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Inquiry First.

Identifying problems, brainstorming possible solutions, and conducting experiments are all steps in the process of inquiry learning.  One school is taking the process even further, by adding video documentation to the mix. Thanks to a partnership with Crissy Field Center, environmental science students from Galileo Academy of Science & Technology in San Francisco have the opportunity to use video to capture data and present scientific findings.  The video-production angle takes inquiry learning to a new level, bringing with it the potential to extend the end project far beyond the classroom walls.  In this digital age, challenging students to develop some media production skills isn't a bad idea, either!

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Making science come alive for kids through interactive, hands-on, inquiry-based learning is key to getting them "hooked" enough to pursue STEM subjects as their academic careers advance.  Darryl Lee Baynes, president of the Minority Aviation Education Association's Interactive Science Programs, has an action-packed formula for encouraging minority students to think about pursuing careers in STEM fields. A compelling part of Baynes' message?  Careers in STEM pay.  “There is a shortage of scientists and engineers in this country,” he says. “If you get a job as a petroleum engineer, you’ll make $100,000 to start. The more math and science you take, the more money you make.” Read more on Take Part

Touted as the educational model best suited to prepare students for 21st-century challenges, project-based learning boosts student engagement while honing critical thinking and problem solving skills. While the idea of project-based learning is gaining traction, the challenge of shifting from the "traditional" teaching method to a project-based model takes careful planning and more than a little trust. Teacher training is crucial. In Massachusetts, teachers have an opportunity to earn the STEM Certificate in Inquiry from Framingham State University by taking a series of three professional development courses over the summer.  The program was developed by the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF) in collaboration with the Education Development Center (EDC) as part... Read More

Massachusetts isn't churning out enough college graduates in the field of computing to meet the demands of the current job market.  So said representatives of Google, Microsoft, and Intel during a meeting with Massachusetts lawmakers on Wednesday at a Tech Hub Caucus meeting held at the State House. According to Steve Vinter, engineering and site director at Google's Cambridge office, "Computing... is not a tech sector problem, it is a Massachusetts economy problem." Vinter pointed out that while more than 70% of new STEM jobs require advance computing skills, inadequate computer science offerings in Massachusetts schools have created a shortage of workers to fill the available openings.  One solution: Spark interest in computer science by introducing the subject earlier in students' school careers. Read on CommonWealth Magazine

Allison Wolfe, left, and Ella King won the Genzyme Award at the Region I Massachusetts Science & Engineering Fair (photo by

Excitement is building to the Massachusetts State Middle School Science & Engineering Fair, now just two days away! A record student turnout is expected at Worcester Technical High School on Saturday, and the caliber of projects looks to be higher than ever. Two outstanding exhibitors, Ella King and Allison Wolfe, have already received considerable media attention for their science fair project. A recent... Read More

Nine students in Massachusetts' delegation, 24 strong, received awards at Intel ISEF 2013!  In addition to the Special Award winners announced last night, this year's Grand Award winners included: Ayush Kumar & Raashed Raziuddin, Advanced Mathematics and Science Academy 3rd place Grand Award - Life Sciences - Biochemistry Project: "Albuterol Toxicity in Zebrafish and Its Protection with Vitamin E" Abstract: "The goal of this project was to determine the toxic effects of albuterol in an in vivo model system of zebrafish. 24 hpf and 48 hpf zebrafish embryos were exposed to different concentration of Albuterol and were inspected for mortality and heart rate. Significant morphological defect and mortality was observed at concentration of 1000 μM of albuterol treatment. Acridine orange staining of the treated embryos exhibited apoptosis. Concentration dependent increases in superoxide anion (O2-) and nitric oxide (NO) production was also observed... Read More

Four members of the Massachusetts delegation to Intel ISEF were honored last night at the Special Award Organizations Ceremony.  Congratulations to Rahi Punjabi, Emory Payne, Zohaib Moonis and Douglas Smith! Read on for details about their awards and winning projects. Award: American Society for Microbiology Founded in 1899, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is the largest single life science membership organization in the world. Members worldwide represent 26 disciplines of microbiological specializations plus a division for microbiology educators. The ASM awards honor the most outstanding microbiology projects. Rahi Dilip Punjabi, 16, Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School, Marlborough, Massachusetts: "Engineering a Novel Fusion Protein Therapy for Meningococcal Infection" (Second Award of $1,750) Award: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health & the Friends of NIDA Part of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest science competition for high... Read More

To: Abeer, Adam, Adrian, Amy, Andrew, Andriana, Ayush, Benjamin, Daniel, Dillon, Emory, Erica, Greg, James, Jessica, Lucas, Nafisa, Omar, Patrick, Raashed, Rahi, Shannon, Shirley, and Zohaib: You're all winners already... We're so proud of what you've accomplished in Massachusetts.  Now go show the world what you've got!

Good luck to each and every member of Massachusetts' Intel ISEF crew!

Some of the world's brightest high school students -- including 24 from Massachusetts -- have converged on Phoenix, Arizona this week to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). Their ultimate goal? Grab a piece of the more than $4 million in awards. The students in the Massachusetts delegation have had a busy month.  Just last week many of them competed in the 64th annual Massachusetts State High School Science & Engineering Fair at MIT (May 3rd and 4th).  Most of them rose to the state fair level on the strength of their projects' performance in their regional fairs -- of which there are six in Massachusetts.  The students... Read More


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