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STEAM education

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Happy Tau Day. Schools Shift from STEM to STEAM. Students in DeSoto West Middle School's iSTEAM3D Magnet Academy aren't just learning about cities, they're building one from the ground up — complete with running water and working lights.

Schools Shift from STEM to STEAM

They're using MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printers to create roads, homes and businesses that bring their imagined city to life. The lesson integrates all of the subjects students learn about in school — from the mathematics of engineering bridges to the art of designing the objects that will go in their cities. It's the type of project to which students have become accustomed since iSTEAM3D launched last fall. The unique moniker reflects both the international movement to add the arts — which can include the fine, language and musical arts — to STEM education and the school's desire to help students pursue a different kind of 3D: discovering, designing and developing.

"Everything that we do has an art component to it," says Dr. Live and Learn SOURCE: MakerBot Building Support Game Changers. Want to Get More Girls Into STEM? Give Them Real-World Work. A screen grab from Burlington High School’s Help Desk video, “All the Techie Ladies,” produced by the female members of the team.

Want to Get More Girls Into STEM? Give Them Real-World Work

From the left: student Kelsey O’Brien and instructional technology specialist Jennifer Scheffer. In an effort to encourage girls’ interest in STEM, a high school in Massachusetts is giving students a chance to apply their skills at the school’s help desk. Students can join, regardless of their tech savviness, and learn on the job. The program’s combination of strong, fun, female role models and hands-on learning has helped boost girls’ confidence and excitement about tech. The all-student run Help Desk is part of Burlington High School’s Student Technology Innovation and Integration course.

“It’s great you have this great coursework, but what’s the real-world application of these skills?” “Help Desk is not a real-world simulation,” said senior Cat Hoyt, “Help Desk is the real world.” “They’re hard, but fun,” said Kelsey O’Brien of her STEM classes. Hands-On Learning and Mentorship Are Encouraging More Women in the STEM Pipeline. Girls on why they still love physics. A Better Way to Teach? Any physics professor who thinks that lecturing to first-year students is the best way to teach them about electromagnetic waves can stop reading this item.

A Better Way to Teach?

For everybody else, however, listen up: A new study shows that students learn much better through an active, iterative process that involves working through their misconceptions with fellow students and getting immediate feedback from the instructor. The research, appearing online today in Science, was conducted by a team at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, in Canada, led by physics Nobelist Carl Wieman. First at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and now at an eponymous science education initiative at UBC, Wieman has devoted the past decade to improving undergraduate science instruction, using methods that draw upon the latest research in cognitive science, neuroscience, and learning theory. Researcher advocates 'student-centered' approach to science education. (—A group of educational researchers at Florida State University are drawing widespread attention after their paper measuring the superior results of a more "student-centered" approach to teaching science was published in the pre-eminent journal Science.

Researcher advocates 'student-centered' approach to science education

The stakes are extraordinarily high, so it is critical that the United States find more effective ways of teaching the so-called STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) in K-12 classrooms, said the paper's lead author, Ellen Granger. "By many measures, the United States is not making much, if any, progress in science and math learning," said Granger, who is director of Florida State's Office of Science Teaching Activities and co-director of FSU-Teach. How Do You Develop a Scalable STEM Education Model That Nurtures Deep Learning? I was very intrigued by Alex Hernandez's post about scalable K-12 solutions and wanted to share some of our own hard won lessons in trying to build a scalable STEM education solution.

How Do You Develop a Scalable STEM Education Model That Nurtures Deep Learning?

Here are the constraints that the solution needs to be engineered for: It should be scalable i.e. it should be pretty clear what needs to be adjusted to support another million users - and how.It should inspire the learner -- not just drill and kill. It should support deep, meaningful learning (not just teaching to the test) in Physics and Engineering. Inquiry Curriculum: On Inquiry Science “Science can be introduced to children well or poorly.

Inquiry Curriculum:

If poorly, children can be turned away from science; they can develop a lifelong antipathy; they will be in a far worse condition than if they had never been introduced to science at all.” –Isaac Asimov The core philosophy behind inquiry-based, student-centered learning is that students learn best while doing science rather than merely reading about this or that aspect of science. This pedagogy captures the sense of exhilaration around the sense of discovery in this engagement, inviting students to become active agents in their own learning. A scientific field trip just for teachers.