Why Translation in Education is Important
At the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), we believe every child can invent. To help them reach their potential, we intend to provide children across all communities and backgrounds with opportunities to engage in hands-on, accessible STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.
To stay true to our mission, we are making strides to prioritize inclusivity and provide inspiring and empowering programs for more young innovators, including English as a second language (ESL) students.
Translations in NIHF Programming
To meet the needs of schools, students and families across the country, NIHF Curricula and Communications Translator Maggie Saine works to provide Spanish translations of many of our curricula, as well as promotional materials and tools that support our education programs.
For example, our flagship summer program, Camp Invention®, provides an equitable experience for ESL students with translated materials including Inventor Logs. These are literacy tools provided to each camper, allowing them to read about STEM concepts, record observations, write down their thoughts and sketch their invention ideas throughout their time at camp.
Through invention education programs like Camp Invention, ESL students can engage in the curriculum, collaborate with their peers to solve real-world problems together and discover their potential without the obstacle of language barriers.
The Impact of Accessible STEM Education
We know that diversity is necessary for the advancement of STEM. With greater diversity among those in STEM fields, we will find more creative, inclusive and effective solutions to the increasingly complex problems we face, To build a more diverse future in STEM, we must commit to creating a more inclusive and equitable present.
By meeting students where they are and providing equal access to educational materials through translation, we can give more students a path to success. “This is not only about breaking down language barriers, but also about building bridges to reach even more young minds and give children greater opportunities to explore their potential,” explained Saine. With accessible programming, children get to experience STEM in a new way, work with peers they typically might not have the chance to team up with and enhance their communication skills — regardless of the language they are most comfortable using.
For a great example of how accessible STEM education opportunities can bring students together and build confidence across languages, look to the story of Pinellas County School District. When this Florida district’s Gifted and Talented (G&T) Office and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Office collaborated to provide the Camp Invention program to both groups of students combined, they saw significant benefits for every child.
Translations open doors for ESL students, helping them to engage in STEM learning, express their creativity, and communicate and build upon their ideas confidently. By providing equitable opportunities for all, educators have the power to shape the future by assuring students that the next great inventor could be anyone.
To discover new ways to encourage healthy perspectives, promote greater inclusivity in learning environments and guide the next generation of innovative leaders, we invite you to visit our blog and read more about diversity in STEM.