Ed News: Igniting Students’ STEM Interest Begins With Education Their Teachers

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This week in education news, Missouri Senate passes STEM awareness legislation; NSF awards 5 diversity grants under its new INCLUDES initiative; U.S. Congress pledges $71.5 billion in education funding for fiscal 2019; new framework developed to help define high-quality project-based learning; Arizona program instructs teachers on how to bring more engaging STEM lessons into their classrooms; and NSTA president discusses her ideas on science literacy and education at the World Conference on Science Literacy in Beijing.

Alternative Sentencing Courts, STEM Awareness Program Pass Senate

Legislation that expands alternative treatment courts and STEM education was finally passed by the Senate and sent to the governor. Many jobs that require training in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — are not being filled because schools are not training enough people, said Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff. Read the article featured in The Missourian.

What NSF’s New Diversity Grants Say About Attempts To Help Minority Students

Ted Hodapp has spent the past 5 years helping boost the number of minority students pursuing U.S. graduate degrees in physics. But Hodapp, who works on education and diversity issues at the American Physical Society in College Park, Maryland, knows the society’s Bridge Program will at best make only a small dent in the nationwide dearth of blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans working in all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. He wanted an opportunity to show that Bridge’s approach—which starts by encouraging graduate schools to de-emphasize scores on the standardized GRE entrance exam in the student selection process—could work in other STEM disciplines and, in doing so, promote the value of diversity in U.S. higher education. Read the article featured in Science magazine.

Science Fair’ Documentary Makes Its Own Statement About Young Science Whizzes

That other film, “Science Fair,” produced by the National Geographic Society, opens in one New York City theater Friday and in other cities throughout the fall. “Science Fair,” directed by Cristina Constantini and Darren Foster, follows several groups around to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, meeting them in their home states or countries, watching as they nervously prepare to explain their projects to the judges and interact awkwardly with their peers, and waiting for the payoff—the awards presentations. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Appropriations Bill Sets Aside Over $71B For Ed, But Is It Enough?

A group of lawmakers from the U.S. House and Senate finalized a massive appropriations bill Thursday that would pledge $71.5 billion in education funding for fiscal 2019. But as school districts wait for President Donald Trump to sign the bill into law, many struggle, especially in the face of a new school year, to fund the bare necessities. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Defining High-Quality Project-Based Learning

A growing number of educators around the world believe that project-based learning (PBL) is an important instructional approach that allows students to master academic skills and content knowledge, develop skills necessary for future success, and build the personal agency needed to tackle life’s and the world’s challenges. Many districts are either already using PBL or are on the verge of using this approach in classrooms. Educators can find a wealth of resources on how to plan for and get started with PBL, but until recently, there were far fewer resources on what the outcome of high-quality student experiences ought to look like. Read the article featured in eSchool News.

Igniting Students’ STEM Interest Begins With Education Their Teachers

A program in the Arizona Science Center trains teachers how to bring more engaging STEM lessons to their classrooms. When 3rd grade STEM teacher Amanda Roum went to camp this summer, instead of playing games and learning archery, she developed a science curriculum. And after five days at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, she took that curriculum, along with the materials she needed, back to her classroom at the Tartesso Elementary School in Buckeye, Arizona — just in time for school to start in August. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

World Conference On Science Literacy In Beijing: Talk By Christine Anne Royce

Christine Anne Royce, President of the US National Science Teachers Association, talks about her ideas on science literacy and education during the World Conference on Science Literacy in Beijing. Listen to her interview with China Daily.

Beyond STEM: Why AI Demands Higher-Level Skills

There is plenty of discussion about the need for STEM skills as the gateway to employment opportunities (and for employers, staffing requirements) in the artificial intelligence-enhanced economy ahead. But emphasizing STEM skills may not be enough — there needs to be a greater emphasis on the way people interact with each other and manage their workplace challenges. Shirley Malcom, for one, sees a need to recalibrate the educational system to not only teach STEM, but also lead and succeed in digital organizations. Malcom, head of education and human resources programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says creating a workforce ready for the challenges of an AI and digital future requires teaching people to think differently. Read the article featured in Forbes magazine.

Cash-Strapped Teachers Are Getting Up Early To Tutor Students In China

Newhouse is one of the more than 60,000 American and Canadian tutors who work for VIPKid, a Beijing-based online English-tutoring company. Frustrated with their salaries and looking for second jobs they can work around school hours, some U.S. teachers have turned to teaching Chinese students online for a source of additional income. Peak tutoring times in China line up with early-morning hours on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Read the article featured in Education Week.

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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