Ed News: STEM Education Revs Its Engines

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This week in education news, using cars to teach science and math principles was the original STEM; rural school districts across Mississippi and around the country call on retired teachers to return to the classroom; California county offices of education are investing in engineering labs, science camps, mobile classrooms and other initiatives to help rural students compete with their urban counterparts; Boeing held its first Washington STEM Day, celebrating students who have made commitments to pursue careers in the STEM fields; a new report from NCTM calls for major changes to high school mathematics; the U.S. Department of Education announces new STEM education grant opportunities; and programs centered around getting kids outside to explore are few and far between.

STEM Education Revs Its Engines

Mechanics can make at least $60,000 per year. That’s why schools have started fine-tuning their automotive tech programs to make them ideal vehicles for STEM instruction. Using automobiles to teach science and math principles was the original STEM, says Trish Serratore, president of the ASE Education Foundation, which works to prepare the auto service workforce. “Educators have been teaching math and science principles in auto and technology classes since the get-go.” Read the article featured in District Administration.

Flurry Of Bills Take On Teacher Housing And STEM Access

The fate of bills to fund teacher housing initiatives, universal preschool and educator preparation in STEM will be up for discussion in the California’s lower house. Among the other bills slated for debate at the Assembly Education Committee hearing, one would expand dual enrollment partnerships between community colleges and charter schools, and a separate bill would do the same for private schools. Read the article featured in K-12 Daily.

Former Educators Answer Call To Return To School

Hymethia W. Thompson was happily retired after 46 years as an educator when she saw a television news conference last summer that changed her life. The interim school superintendent of Jackson, Mississippi, where Thompson lives, issued a plea to retired teachers to come back. The Jackson Public School District was experiencing a shortage of certified teachers and there was a desperate need for qualified former instructors. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

Rural Schools Find Ways To Bring Science Innovations Closer To Home

In an effort to bring the latest innovations in science education to students in some of the most remote parts of California, some county offices of education are investing in engineering labs, science camps, mobile classrooms and other initiatives to help rural students compete with their urban counterparts. Read the article featured in EdSource.

How The 5E Model Makes Science Meaningful For Bilingual Students

As a first generation Mexican-American, I know how difficult it is to be in a classroom where everyone speaks a language that’s different from yours. My family moved from Mexico to the United States the day after my Quinceañera (15th birthday party). I was shocked at the difference it made moving just 25 miles away. Read the article featured in EdSurge.

Inaugural Washington STEM Signing Day Celebrates Students Reaching For The Stars

Just like signing days for athletes, the inaugural Washington STEM Signing Day celebrated high school seniors from across the state as they made their commitments to some of the state and country’s top technical schools, colleges, and universities. During a ceremony attended by family members, elected officials, school and community leaders, 49 students signed “letters of intent” confirming their plans to pursue careers in STEM fields ranging from bioengineering, to animal science, to aeronautical engineering. Read the article by Boeing.

High Schoolers Should Take 4 Years Of Leaner, More Relevant Math, Teachers’ Group Says

High school math classes should be broadened to focus on goals beyond college and careers, including teaching the math students will need to be literate participants in civic life. Educators should ensure that all students master a core set of “essential concepts” through four years of math coursetaking. And the classes should be detracked, to prevent students of color from winding up in dead-end math pathways, says an expansive new report from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Down On The Farm, These Chicago High School Students Get A Unique Public Education

The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences is a public school that is set on a working farm. It offers its diverse population of students an education that prepares them for college as well as a career in agriculture. As its website says, this school is the only one of its kind in the Midwest and a model for others around the country. It is one of eight schools from around the country that were selected in the 2017 “Schools of Opportunity” project, which recognizes public high schools that work to close opportunity gaps by creating learning environments that reach every student. Read the article featured in The Washington Post.

U.S. Department Of Education Announces STEM, Computer Science Education Grant Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Education is now accepting applications for two fiscal year 2018 grant competitions that support the Presidential Memorandum on increasing access to high quality STEM and Computer Science (CS) education. The $75 million competition for Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program and the $120 million Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program include priorities for STEM/CS and are designed to further expand access to underserved communities and support educators in these fields. Read the U.S. Department of Education press release.

The Perks Of A Play-In-The-Mud Educational Philosophy

Most American kids don’t spend large chunks of their day catching salamanders and poking sticks into piles of fox poop. In a nation moving toward greater standardization of its public-education system, programs centered around getting kids outside to explore aren’t normal. Read the article featured in The Atlantic.

Oklahoma Teachers Move Science Lessons Outside And Away From Textbooks

The state’s market for engineering and technology jobs is growing, but the test scores of Oklahoma students lag behind national averages on science and math test scores. Researchers say one way to fix this gap is training science educators to do more than teach the facts — and to think beyond the textbook. Read the article by StateImpact Oklahoma.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

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