Ed News: K12 Educator Externships Provide Practical STEM Experiences

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This week in education news, maker spaces help teach students to redesign their worlds; educator externships provide hands-on authenticity that better informs instruction and boosts teacher confidence; teachers wish they had more opportunities to further their careers while remaining in the classroom; across the country, most teachers don’t receive enough money to equip their classrooms and keep them running; President taps Kelvin Droegemeier as next White House science adviser; and Florida’s talent gap persists in the STEM occupations, despite the state’s booming economy.

‘I Can Do That!’: How Maker Spaces Teach Students to Redesign Their Worlds

As schools nationwide are expanding the use of maker spaces, researcher Edward Clapp spoke with Education Week about how teachers can get it right. Clapp is senior research manager on the Agency by Design initiative at Harvard University, which examines the promises of maker-centered learning. Read the article featured in Education Week.

K12 Educator Externships Provide Practical STEM Experiences

An externship program run by the Oklahoma State Department of Education expanded this summer, allowing K12 teachers to gain professional STEM experiences they can bring back to the classroom. During the pilot last year, teachers tested soil samples and worked in a concrete-making lab, among other activities, during a paid two-week externship at an Oklahoma City engineering firm. Read the article featured in District Administration.

It’s Time To Change Our Learning Model

As a 22-year-old first-year teacher, I was introduced to one of the biggest challenges within our schools. While setting up my classroom, my principal came by to deliver a set of fifth-grade textbooks and an analysis of the starting points for each of the 28 students in my class. While all of my students were in fifth grade, they were individuals starting at varying places academically. I worked hard, cared a lot, and spent lots of late nights developing lessons. I tried to learn how to keep the classroom orderly and motivate my students to learn. And I tried to learn all I could from my colleagues who had far more experience, knowledge, and skill than I had. Read the article featured in eSchool News.

What’s School Without Grade Levels?

On windswept fields outside Fargo, North Dakota, a bold experiment in education has begun. In a lone building flanked by farmland, the Northern Cass School District is heading into year two of a three-year journey to abolish grade levels. By the fall of 2020, all Northern Cass students will plot their own academic courses to high school graduation, while sticking with same-age peers for things like gym class and field trips. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

Teachers Weigh In On Pay, Safety, School Choice, And Evaluations in New Survey

In a year marked by teacher activism and demonstrations, educators are urging policymakers to listen to them. Now, a new survey details teachers’ opinions on more than a dozen education issues. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Cash-strapped Teachers Turn To Facebook, Online Sites To Equip Their Classrooms

When teacher Shemena Shivers walked into her Melrose High School science lab for the first time, she couldn’t contain her excitement at the closet full of equipment and supplies. But after a closer look revealed long-expired solutions and outdated texts, she realized that she would need to spend hundreds of dollars out of pocket just to provide her students a basic science education. So, she did what many of her fellow teachers have done: She turned to Facebook for help. She created a video of her classroom, issued a heartfelt online plea and posted a link to her supplies campaign on MTR Give, a fundraising site run by the teacher-training program she had attended. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.

Trump Taps Meteorologist As White House Science Advisor

U.S. President Donald Trump will nominate meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier as his government’s top scientist. If confirmed by the Senate, Droegemeier would lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Trump, who took office 19 months ago, has gone longer without a top science adviser than any first-term president since at least 1976. Read the article featured in Scientific American.

Building A Talent Pipeline To Meet STEM Demands

Florida’s economy is booming, yet, as other states also are experiencing, the talent gap persists in many of our targeted industries, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations. Read the article featured in the News-Press.

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.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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