Despite years of White House science fairs, a national emphasis on STEM education, and new science standards that include engineering design, U.S. students still fall short of their peers around the world in math and science, a major international exam reveals.
Results from America’s first-ever test of K-12 technology and engineering literacy point to the power of hands-on, applied STEM learning – both in and outside of school – to increase diversity and achievement. The National Assessment of Educational Progress found that girls scored higher on average than boys. And while suburban and rural students outperformed their urban peers, the achievement gaps between race and income groups were much smaller than typically posted on national tests in other subjects.
Connected Science Learning, a new online journal for STEM educators, seeks to bridge the gap between informal and traditional education settings by highlighting effective programs and partnerships that enhance STEM learning. The inaugural issue, released March 15, includes articles on Omaha’s “Zoo Academy,” a museum partnership with Denver schools, and a Franklin Institute program on applying neuroscience to education.
Tags: Association of Science Technology Centers, connected science learning, Education Policy, informal science, Museum, National Science Teachers Assocation, online journal, Professional Development, Research on Learning, Resources for Teachers, zoo
Could makerspaces transform career, technical, and vocational education? The U.S. Department of Education believes so and has launched a CTE Makeover Challenge to kick-start the process. Up to 10 schools could win $20,000 in cash and other awards to turn their makerspace designs into reality. Submissions due April 1, 2016.
Congress could deliver an early holiday gift to educators before school lets out this December: A rewrite of the federal education law that established today’s testing and accountability mandates. It’s not a done deal, but House and Senate education leaders announced they have “a path forward” and hope to have the long-stalled reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act approved before Congress recesses for the year.
Silicon Valley’s high-tech upper echelon isn’t the only place with a gender gap. A National Center for Education Statistics study of 20,000 students who were high school freshmen in 2009 reveals that while boys and girls earn math and science credits at similar rates, young men are far more likely to take engineering and technology classes and to consider pursuing STEM majors in college.
Want to improve the quality of STEM education? AdvancED devotes its entire Spring 2015 issue to the subject. Articles range from narrowing the STEM achievement gap to 3-D virtual learning to explicitly teaching engineering.
Plant a tree. Snap a selfie for NASA. There are countless ways students and teachers can celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. This year’s theme: It’s Our Turn to Lead. See how your small steps can lead to big change!
Tags: Class Activities, Climate, Curriculum, Earth Day 2015, Education Policy, Environmental Education, Environmental Engineering, Environmental science, NGSS, Resources for Teachers, sustainabilty, Web Resources
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the groups that helped develop the Next Generation Science Standards is seeking science teachers to field-test multiple-choice items for a 45-minute assessment on energy in March, April, or May of 2015.