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Lesson: Target Practice – Pumpkin Launcher

target practiceStudents in grades 1 to 6 follow the engineering design process to build and test a catapult that launches projectiles, such as marshmallow “pumpkins.” They then make changes to improve their launcher’s aim and distance it can hurl the projectile.

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Feature: A Deeper Partnership

elementary STEMForget science fairs and drop-bys. Engineering educators now actively prepare teachers to deliver the E in K-12 STEM. Propelled by research and the country’s drive for more STEM graduates, outreach programs have evolved well beyond the career-day talks, teacher workshops, and other one-shot efforts of a decade ago.

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Alarm Over Science Squeeze in California

kids raising handsCalifornia officials and business leaders want to correct what they say is a failure to invest enough time, money and training to teach science well. Only 10% of elementary students regularly receive hands-on science lessons, a recent survey found. Just one-third of elementary teachers said they feel prepared to teach science, and 85% said they have not received any training during the last three years.

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Lesson: Chemical Wonders

chemistryIn this lesson, students in grades 3-5 are introduced to chemical engineering and learn about its many different applications. They are provided with a basic introduction to matter and its different properties and states. An associated hands-on activity gives students a chance to test their knowledge of the states of matter and how to make observations.

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Tykes Reveal Math Talent

the path to schoolProwess in math may be apparent in children as young as three, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins University researchers that may help point the way to improved learning. Children display a “number sense” even before formal mathematical education takes place, the study published in the journal of Developmental Science suggests.

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STEM Activities: Time to Invent

Time to Invent ClubThe Time to Invent Club, an invention-based mentoring program, helps students participate in fun, hands-on invention activities that spark their interest in STEM. They tackle challenges, gain confidence through inventing and creative problem-solving, meet STEM professions, and realize the impact invention has on daily life.

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Elementary School Principal Saves Students from Tsunami

NakahamaA Japanese elementary school principal’s quick thinking saved his students’ lives after March 11’s colossal tsunami hit their school building. He immediately called the first- and second-graders who were playing outside into the school before guiding a total of 90 people — students, teachers and residents — onto the top of the two-story school building.

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Cookies, Milk, and PDAs

Learning with TechnologyTeacher Stephanie Rick was honored recently by the National School Board for her innovative uses of technology in the third-grade classroom. Her students maintain a class blog, write to “e-pals” in England, and use hand-held devices on practice tests.

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Make Way for Micronauts

Young Micronauts Learn with NASAThe Challenger Center for Space Science Education operates 45 Learning Centers across the United States, using space-mission simulators and interactive exhibitions to make STEM subjects fun for students in grades 5 through 8. Now, a new center will open next spring in West Virginia targeting K-2 students.

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