Transitioning into any sort of technology-based curriculum can trigger concern in parents for a number of reasons. Change is frightening, and watching your own children experience the world much differently than previous generations – through the lens of a smartphone camera and behind the screens of portable tablets – can be unnerving.
Engineering teaches critical thinking skills. These skills are in high demand not only in engineering, but also in other professions. The thinking skills of engineers include establishing replicable processes for presenting ideas, the ability to collect and analyze data, and the confidence in presenting solutions to problems.
Those skills aren’t just for engineers,. Everyone needs the critical thinking skills of engineers. These four high schools understand the implications for teaching engineering skills to all their students.
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is more than just an acronym or a collection of letters. Rather, it is an instructional movement that embodies cross-curricular concepts from four fundamental disciplines, as well as a research-based strategy that addresses the future needs of a technology-driven work force and sustaining a global economy. The importance of STEM is further validated by its prominence in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
One of the most effective instructional approaches toward the implementation of STEM in grade-level courses is through project-based learning (PBL). In this approach, instruction occurs through student-centered investigations focused on a specific topic driven by a set of objectives, culminating in a broadly-defined product or technique. Projects foster an environment of discussion, creativity, problem-solving, inquiry, modeling, and testing, and are applicable to students in all grade levels and subjects, but particularly within the STEM arena.
For more than 100 years, we’ve relied on the factory model for providing education. Born of the industrial age, when efficient systems mattered most in producing a product, the factory model mimicked assembly-line work.
Schools built large classrooms and filled them with multiple rows of students. Teachers delivered one-size-fits-all instruction, and process was replicated in room after room, hall after hall, and school after school.
Naming the education system after industrialism was more of a metaphor than anything else, but one thing became apparent. Industrialism had served its purpose. Continuing to model an education system after an era that had passed was hurting instruction, not helping it. In education, we deal with people, not parts.
Philadelphia hospital debuts new robot designed to engage, educate young patients
JOHN KOPP/PHILLYVOICE Saaliha, a 7-year-old patient at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, greets NAO, the hospital's new interactive robot.
“What can we do to motivate our students who need it the most?” my principal recently asked.
As a teacher, I, of course, had many thoughts. But those thoughts are just that: mine. So I asked my principal a simple question: Why don’t we ask the students?
So we did.
Helping reluctant teachers bring education technology into their classrooms starts with respecting their perspective.
Some STEM teachers do it naturally.
They seem to have a sixth sense about how to design and implement STEM classroom learning centers. These teachers are brilliant when it comes to thinking up centers that their students can’t wait to use. Learners are actively involved in explorations that spark curiosity, and the excitement of learning is palpable.
The room is abuzz with on-task conversation, and none of the students are off-task. To top it off, the teacher is relaxed while facilitating student learning. This is the kind of environment you’d like in your own classroom.
What if creating classroom learning centers for STEM was easy?
Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be the key to a successful future. Here's why a STEM education matters and how you can inspire students to pursue STEM careers.
As a science teacher, keeping girls in STEM is something I strive for. A few years ago, my school was fortunate enough to have a Techbridge Girls after-school program. Techbridge Girls is a nonprofit organization focused on keeping girls in STEM. It provides role models, families, and organizations with training, curriculum, and support to girls in undeserved areas.
The co-teacher of the after-school program was a female college student who shared her own struggles and successes in the STEM field. The curriculum included the girls adjusting the design of a robotic wooden dinosaur until it could walk a short distance without falling over, disassembling a hair dryer to determine what made it work, properly soldering five locations on an electronic circuit board, and engineering a gumball machine. I witnessed the girls' confidence grow as the weekly tasks increased in difficulty. With each struggle, they needed to find their own solution and with each solution, they found success. The experience gave them a glimpse of what their future could consist of.