Capture a child’s imagination and you’ll create a lifelong learner, says Robin Stevens Payes, founder of Edge of Yesterday Media (EOY) and author of the teen time-travel adventure series and interactive “learning through story” platform, Edge of Yesterday, and Richard Tavener, CEO and founder of Fused Learning of Monterey, CA. Payes and Tavener announce their strategic partnership, which integrates EOY books and curriculum into Fused Learning’s new STEAM initiative, “Adventures in Time.” The program taps arts, science, technology and the humanities and integrates reading and story with hands-on opportunities to engage young people in STEM.
With more than 200,000 STEM jobs going unfilled annually, there are myriad opportunities for young people who study STEM. The need for new ways of introducing students to STEM and STEAM learning (intergrating arts and design) couldn’t be greater, with the demands for scientific, technological, engineering, design thinking and mathematical skills to innovate and collaborate to solve pressing problems including climate change, health and medicine, and renewable energy on a collision course with 19th-century ways of learning. Education is lagging behind unprecedented rates of economic and technological change.
As University of Helsinki professor of pedagogy Kristiina Kumpulainen noted in Scientific American, “Society and the demands of the workforce are changing at a rapid rate, as is our perception of what to teach children and what they need to know to survive, [while] the school environment, teaching methods, and the content aren’t relatable or inspiring to them any longer, which creates motivational problems.”
STEAM learning needs to break out of traditional schools, textbooks, and stovepipes to motivate a new generation of learners to think differently and deeply, and to shift our approaches that confront the realities of our changing 21st-century world.
Adventures in Time is gearing up to do just that by taking students on a journey through time to learn from some of the greatest thinkers, inventors, and innovators of history—both known and forgotten:
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Emilie, the Marquise du Châtelet
- Thomas Edison
- Nikola Tesla
- Marie Curie
- Madame CJ Walker
- Harriet Tubman
- . . . and many more
Payes and Tavener met in 2018 at the U.S.A. Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. Payes, who was there with Women in Technology, was intrigued by Tavener’s amazing exhibit space, where kids were deeply engaged in STEAM projects under a geodesic dome. Tavener shared Payes passion: providing STEAM learning adventures for children to help them invent the future.
It was, as Payes says, “a perfect fit.” This dream team now brings Fused Learning and EOY’s curriculum to the California statewide STEM Network, 11 STEM hubs throughout the state, which connect with schools and districts with STEM-focused programs. The CA STEM Hub network reaches more than 3 million students.
“Strategic partnerships like this one with EOY offers both organizations the opportunity to grow exponentially, and quickly, by leveraging each other’s unique talents, content and networks,” Tavener said. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to work with such an accomplished author as Robin Stevens Payes who, through her “learning through story” interactive platform Edge of Yesterday, brings an unmatched depth of content knowledge around some of the most important figures in world history including, first-and-foremost, Leonardo da Vinci.”
EDGE OF YESTERDAY MEDIA (EOY Media) aims to transform learning through story, interactive, online engagement and hands-on experiences. Our mission: to inspire young people through story to pursue their dreams and blaze new pathways for learning, discovery, and innovation in STEM, STEAM and beyond. Robin Stevens Payes is the author of Edge of Yesterday, a serial science fiction story and interactive web platform designed to blow young minds, tap creative juices, and explore the truths our stories are telling us in IRL. She works with teens through the Maryland Writers Association teen clubs, WIT’s Girls in Technology programs, and the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.
FUSED LEARNING combines technology + arts in education focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering & math). They develop curriculum that adds the ‘A’ in STEAM to open the door for students who may not connect with science, technology or math. Founder and CEO Richard Tavener is an Emmy®-award winning documentary film producer and co-founder of Imagine It™ multimedia curriculum for teachers to integrate the process of creative and critical thinking in the classroom.