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Report: Improving STEM Education

Kids doing STEM activityWant 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.

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Inspirational Math

female geometry studentMath can be a tough sell. Many students think it’s too hard, or that they’re no good at it. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Jo Boaler, who has designed a free program for teachers to change mindsets and inspire their fifth through ninth graders to think more deeply in mathematics.

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Volunteer to Pilot NGSS Test

test with pencilThe 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.

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Summer STEM Learning

summer bookSummer is a great time to recharge, refresh, and learn new things. Check out eGFI’s collection of engineering education and STEM learning opportunities!

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Building Blocks: Back to Basics

building blocksTalk about old school. Building blocks, those indestructible wooden mainstays of elementary classrooms since the 1900s, are finding new favor as a way to boost student learning, particularly in math and science. In New York City, parents are creating castles and toppling towers at oversubscribed building-block workshops. Some charter schools advertise block corners along with chess programs and science labs.

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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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Math SAT Scores Down Slightly

Math TestBLUESAT math scores for the Class of 2011 dropped a point nationally this year and have barely budged for a decade. Reading scores, meanwhile, fell three points this year and have dropped 33 points from 1972 levels. The College Board says the growing number of test takers includes many who are less prepared for college or learning English as a second language.

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Study: Good Teaching is Not a One-Person Show

Teacher TrainingEducation reformers oversell the importance of highly skilled teachers and undervalue the benefits that come from teacher collaborations, according to a University of Pittsburgh specialist in organizations. An article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review says students “showed higher gains in math achievement when their teachers reported frequent conversations with their peers that centered on math, and when there was a feeling of trust or closeness among teachers.”

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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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