Archive for STEM Education
Science scored a touchdown at the Patriots game last night, when Kelly Graveson, an 8th-grade teacher at Douglas High School in Douglas, MA, earned “Teacher of the Week” honors through Cubist Pharmaceuticals’ Science Education Leadership Award program. Throughout football season, the program will honor science teachers in middle and high schools throughout New England who are incorporating innovative techniques in the classroom that inspire and engage students in the world of science.
Kelly was nominated by Sandra Mayrand, director of the Regional Science Resource Center at UMass Medical School and a member of the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF) board of directors. “Kelly is a phenomenal teacher,” Sandra said. “I have seen her classes come alive for all of her students with them working in teams solving science challenges, learning, and loving it.”
Kelly has attended graduate professional development courses offered through MSSEF’s Curious Minds Initiative. In addition, her classes have been part of the Gelfand Endeavor in Massachusetts Schools (GEMS), which works in partnership with MSSEF’s CMI Initiative to help teachers and schools integrate real-world, inquiry-based learning activities into their existing curricula, and create school-based science and engineering fair initiatives.
The science fair program in Kelly’s school district is only two years old. Despite its recent inception, the Douglas science fair program has seen impressive success: Ten 8th-grade projects and 10 projects from 6th and 7th grade entered the Worcester Regional Middle School Fair in 2012. Several of those moved on the the State Middle School Science & Engineering Fair, and one made it into the Broadcom MASTERS semi-finals — an achievement realized by a total of only nine students in the state.
In nominating Kelly for the honor, Sandra said that Kelly is “committed to providing relevant innovative science and engineering classroom experiences to raise student achievement and boost student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.”
Throughout the Patriots football season, a “Teacher of the Week” will be recognized and have his/her name read on-air during the New England Patriots radio broadcast. At the end of the season, one of these teachers will be selected as the recipient of the Cubist Science Education Leadership Award and win $5,000 for the teacher’s school science department.
How does environmental education factor into STEM? According to a blog post on Edudemic, environmental science jobs are growing fast — faster than any other science jobs at the moment, in fact. Furthermore, 78% of companies highly value a candidate’s environmental knowledge in the hiring process. Clearly, environmental science education is a niche with a big future. An infographic from the National Environmental Education Foundation puts it all into perspective:
See on edudemic.com
Marlborough High School will welcome a VIP tomorrow, when Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville will pay a visit. The focus of his visit will be the high school’s STEM Early College High School, which integrates project-based learning experiences and personalized portfolio assessment with community involvement and internships in STEM-related careers. Funded in part with Race to the Top money, the program supports closing achievement gaps, and has received praise from Gov. Deval Patrick.
See on www.metrowestdailynews.com
Broadcom Foundation Executive Director Paula Golden received a “high-five” voicemail from astronaut and STEM champion Sally Ride just weeks before Ride’s untimely death from pancreatic cancer: “Paula, this is Sally Ride. I clipped an article you wrote about the importance of motivating kids to study math and science in middle school and called to let you know that the Broadcom Foundation is on target with support for training teachers in STEM project-based learning.”
As Golden points out in a blog post on Huff Post Impact, Ride’s most significant legacy may well be the results of her effort to empower middle school teachers to inspire kid to pursue STEM studies — and eventually, careers — through Ride’s “Train the Trainer” program. “Sharing STEM knowledge and inspiration has never been more essential,” Golden writes. “According to the National Academies, among wealthy nations, the United States ranked 23rd in science and 31st in math in standardized tests. We now know from study after study that the effect of a quality teacher on a child’s life is monumental.”
Broadcom does its part to advance science education among students in this important age group through its national science fair competition, the Broadcom MASTERS. By supporting teachers and honoring excellence among students, Broadcom honors and advances the mission championed by the great Sally Ride.
See on www.huffingtonpost.com
What will education look like a decade or so from now? The demands of a changing society are predicted to alter the job landscape drastically for today’s grade school students: a projected 65% of them will work in jobs that don’t yet exist. It only makes sense, then, that education will have to evolve to prepare students for that future. Check out this infographic on this very subject, that illustrates the move from a classroom-centered learning environment to a new set of virtual environments tailored to a changing employment landscape.
See on www.fastcoexist.com
On Wired‘s “Geekmom” blog, Rebecca Angel recapped her interview with Carlos Contreras, Intel’s Education Director, about the state of STEM education in the US.
Pointing out that American students have a long way to go when it comes to matching their international peers’ performance on tests that require creative, complex thinking, Contreras feels that parents have a role to play in engaging young children in the kinds of activities that foster a spirit of inquiry. “Whatever the passion of the parent is, there is science behind it, whether it’s cooking or whatever hobby they are into,” he said. “There is science there, and get your kids to experiment.”
Encouraging students to explore science and work to find the solutions to the questions they have can be invaluable. Mentoring programs, like Project Engage in Massachusetts — which arose out of a multifaceted collaboration of professionals including representatives from Intel, MSSEF the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, and two public school districts — can be instrumental in lighting the spark that could lead to a great STEM career.
Click here to read Rebecca’s entire interview with Carlos Contreras.
In an interesting collision of pop culture and science, MIT unveiled a new reality video series this week called “ChemLab Boot Camp.” The series follows MIT freshmen as they progress through the four-week-long Introductory Lab Techniques course. It’s geek entertainment with a mission. According to MIT Professor John Essigmann, “We hope to show the human side of our field and to inspire young people to want to become the next generation of chemists.”
The show, which premieres officially in September, promises to give viewers a front-row seat on hands-on learning at its finest. It also has the potential to deliver a little drama: Students who succeed in the class have a guaranteed job in a MIT research lab. Stay tuned…!
See on www.insidehighered.com
NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdowski — a flight director for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission — has been the subject of some unexpected curiosity, himself. With his hair-raising style and winning personality, Ferdowski seems to be taking his new-found fame in style. The Washington Post’s Haley Crum had the opportunity to ask Ferdowski reader-submitted questions. Here’s his response to an inquiry about STEM education and his possible role in motivating the next generation of scientists.
See on www.washingtonpost.com
A $1 billion plan announced by President Obama yesterday would provide for the creation of a corps of exemplary “master teachers” in STEM subjects who would lend their expertise to mentoring other teachers in all 50 states. In exchange, each teacher would receive a salary boost of $20,000 annually. The program would begin with 50 master teachers, building up to 10,000 in four years. Master teachers, who would be identified and selected through a competitive process, would need to demonstrate superior content knowledge and proven effectiveness in teaching STEM subjects, among other criteria. “We need to be sure that we’re identifying the master teachers on the basis of demonstrable results rather than experience or credentials,” said Thomas Kane, professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
See on www.csmonitor.com