Education

Incentives for STEM majors a concern for proponents of liberal arts

March 09, 2016

The relative unemployability and uncertainty associated with degrees in the humanities has been a popular trope for decades. It used to be the business of the philosophy major’s parents to try to steer their child toward computer science, but now state legislatures are doing their part to influence students’ career choices.

Computer science is the key to America’s skills crisis

March 09, 2016

So, what should we as a nation do to address the challenge? First, every secondary school in America should be required to offer computer science, and those classes should count toward core science or math high school graduation requirements. We must also make sure there are robust and sustained programs to train and recruit high-quality computer science teachers. It’s not enough for students to use technology, they need to learn how to make it work.

littleBits’ new STEAM kit for students emphasizes invention

March 09, 2016

The company, which raised $44.2 million last year, offers a number of different sets that teach kids (and grown-ups) about programming and electronics — and lets them get creative with their new skills. Today, the company introduced its first STEAM kit. STEAM adds “Arts and Design” to STEM’s science, technology, engineering and math, and so it’s no surprise that the focus of this new set is on invention and designing. The set, which is now available for pre-order, will cost $299.95 and ship by April 22.

The Maker Movement Is About More Than Science and Math - But Is All This Tinkering Really Effective?

March 08, 2016

In the last few years, the “maker movement” has become a marvel in American schools through Maker Faires featuring homemade robots to after-school programs that teach kids to code -- to entire schools geared around the art of tinkering. Maker-centered education, so the narrative often goes, could have profound benefits for students hoping to find work in a STEM-related job. Even President Obama has touted the economic benefits the maker movement could have on efforts to reinvigorate American manufacturing.

4 ways forward-thinking districts are inspiring more students to code

March 08, 2016

Districts in the League have committed to developing thoughtful, long-term solutions to overcome the obstacles that many populations of students face  one of the world’s most important languages. Today’s League leaders are exposing students to computational thinking at a young age, giving current educators the opportunity to get certified, making CS a graduation requirement, and providing out-of-school learning opportunities, all of which are helping to close the participation gap in CS education.

3 Ways Educators Can Bridge Education Technology Gap

March 08, 2016

I believe technology will transform what classrooms look and sound like, how teachers teach and how and what students learn. I am not alone in thinking that way –educators, innovators, entrepreneurs have consulted with and advised parents, teachers and superintendents to make this case. But what I also know is that technology alone, just dropped in a classroom or plugged in to a new system won’t do anything.

Digital mapping unlocks students’ STEM knowledge

March 07, 2016

They designed the curriculum and produced maps adapted to an open source GIS software as part of a three-year, $450,000 study funded by the National Science Foundation. The project started in 2013 and has included about 270 fourth and fifth graders, mostly from the Springfield Public Schools. “We developed a set of learning modules that challenge students to solve ecological problems using a GIS software.

Supporting Our Youngest Innovators: STEM starts early!

March 07, 2016

Research indicates that as early as infancy, young children start developing and testing hypotheses for how the world around them works. They understand probability and make predictions. They take in information from trusted sources around them, and use that information to guide their behavior. And that all begins in the first year of life. As they progress through the preschool years, their curiosity continues to grow, and the sophistication of their reasoning and inquiry skills, grow along with it.

Students favor summer online courses for convenience

March 06, 2016

The benefit of the convenience of online courses is apparent to many students. “I could stay at home and go on vacation and still have a summer,” said UConn senior Jennifer Birchwale, who has taken two online summer classes, said.  “It wasn’t just hours of class everyday.” Like with traditional classes, however, students said the less effort they put into online courses, the less they got out of them.

Engineering the patriarchy: The lack of women in STEM

March 06, 2016

While the U.S. may not lie on the extreme end of civil rights violations against the female population, the U.S. still impedes women's access to certain positions. The result is a vicious cycle. Women are not encouraged to be doctors, lawyers or politicians to the same extent as their male peers. Which translates to fewer female doctors, lawyers and politicians to change the stigma that women are not suited for those roles. And the cycle repeats.

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