Renascence School Education News - private school

Monday, April 27, 2015

How Intel and Boeing Are Helping These Kids Learn STEM Skills

Time – Tim Bajarin

“An entire region of Arizona has made STEM education a core economic development tenant. As a tech analyst, one of the areas I’m highly interested in is STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. I have written columns in TIME about why the San Francisco 49ers and Chevron are willing to spend millions of dollars getting kids up to speed on STEM. Their central goal is to help kids prepare for a world where technology has become pervasive, one where there will be a need for millions of STEM-educated students to work for and run all types of companies around the world. I was recently told about an entire region in Arizona that has made education — and especially STEM education — a core tenet of its economic development strategy. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of going to Phoenix and attending what was called the PHX East Valley THRIVE Economic Diversity Summit. It was sponsored by what is known as the PHX East Valley Partnership, which encompasses Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Queen Creek, Apache Junction and Scottsdale.”(more)

Friday, April 24, 2015

District gets Chinese language grant

The Newberg Graphic – Seth Gordon

“As one of 10 districts in the nation to receive a U.S. State Department grant through the Teachers of Critical Languages program, Newberg Public Schools are in exclusive company. Perhaps more importantly, the district and Newberg High School will become unique in the state as one of the few schools to offer Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language. The grant will pay for the district to host a teacher from China next year, hopefully laying the foundation for a permanent program. “Especially students who go into any kind of business that connects internationally, there just aren’t enough people who can speak that language,” superintendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza said. “If we can give kids any kind of exposure, that’s a great head start for them.””(more)

‘Learn to learn forever': Carlos Slim emphasizes education as major economic driver in Phoenix visit (Video)

Phoenix Business Journal – Eric Jay Toll

“More than 500 Arizona and business leaders welcomed one of the world’s richest men to downtown Phoenix on Wednesday to talk about trade with Mexico, Arizona’s largest trade partner. Carlos Slim Helu was the big draw…Slim emphasized education and lifelong learning as keys to continued economic success…”We need to learn to learn forever,” said Slim, the billionaire owner of Grupo Carso, which controls Mexico’s largest telecommunications concerns. “We need to learn to research and be more open minded.” To be a successful business in the new economy, Slim shared his philosophy of success: “Accept different thinking of others,” he said. “To maintain strong human capital value, invest in training and help workers maintain good health.””(more)

Friday, April 10, 2015

What Little League Baseball Tells Us About the Skills Gap

The Huffington Post – Blair Forlaw

“You might not see it when driving past your local sports field, but trouble lurks beneath the dirt. Every year for the past 16, enrollment in Little League baseball has steadily dropped, according to reporting in the Wall Street Journal. One or two percentage points annually is the kind of slow but steady erosion that escapes notice until it’s almost too late to do anything about it. Could the foundation of one of America’s most treasured traditions be crumbling away, right below our feet? It’s deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra might have said. It’s a lot like what has happened to jobs and skills — all-American mainstays that also aren’t what they used to be. Not too long ago, winning in the workplace was about being dependable, consistent, loyal, a good sport. Then suddenly, we turn around and the labor market looks like a whole new playing field, with different positions, unfamiliar rules, and a lot of people on the sidelines. What’s going on? Here are three clues to help us answer that question by better understanding the demand for skills in today’s market and the gap between where we career-seekers are and where businesses wish we would be.”(more)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Call for Mandarin and Arabic to be taught from primary school

Holyrood – Alan Robertson

“Studying a foreign language should be compulsory from the year children start school in order for Scottish firms to compete in the international export market, a business group has urged. Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Arabic and Russian have been pinpointed by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) as “international languages of business” that must be made mandatory in the education curriculum from primary 1 onwards. It has called on government to implement the measure by 2020 to ensure Scottish businesses have sufficient cultural and language skills to tap into a number of growing economies…“If we want to be more international, then we need to think more international, beginning in our schools, where international business languages must be taught from primary school right through to the end of secondary schooling and beyond,” said SCC director and chief executive, Liz Cameron OBE. “Over the past two decades, the number of students studying modern languages at Higher or equivalent has fallen by over 20 per cent. This is a damaging trend which needs to be reversed. “We should look more closely at where economic growth will be attained and that should determine the languages delivered by the supply side, ensuring the curriculum reflects needs of business more.””(more)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Global Challenges Drive Need for International Awareness

The Huffington Post – Dr. Scott D. Miller

“The shrinking nature of the globe through the interdependence of national economies, the advance of terrorism, and common threats facing the world’s environmental systems, among many other factors, makes a compelling case for increasing international studies at our colleges and universities…If we expect our budding “citizens of the world” to take their responsible place in an interconnected planet, we also need to make them literate in public policy, international diplomacy and finance, global security, and environmentalism…We also have an obligation to introduce our students to the wonders of the world, other cultures, different ways of thinking and behaving…we should rethink how and what we teach about geography, world history, languages, and the origins of cultures. Focusing on topics of paramount importance to our nation’s prosperity and security is a good place to begin.”(more)

Friday, March 27, 2015

First Person: ‘Why schools should teach Mandarin’

Leicester Mercury – Alice Eaton

“Mandarin Chinese is spoken by around 800 million people worldwide. That’s twice the number of English speakers. With China becoming increasingly powerful in business, there’s a growing need for Mandarin speakers…An often quoted phrase about Mandarin is to “seal the business deals of tomorrow”. In China, it’s common for nursery children to start learning English, because the Chinese recognise it as an important language. We should reciprocate this, for the possibility that in the near future, Mandarin could overtake English as the global language of business…Finally, there’s more than just the utility factor of Mandarin as a language. It is fun.”(more)

Friday, March 20, 2015

US students share love of Mandarin

China Daily USA – HUA SHENGDUN

“When the Chinese president and the Harvard president met in Beijing this week and called for deeper understanding through cultural and educational exchanges, it resonated with a Chinese language group for American college students in Washington. The Chinese tea time, a regular event for Mandarin speaking and bicultural sharing, kicked off this semester at the George Washington University Sigur Center for Asian Studies on Tuesday afternoon. Daniel Reinemann, a senior majoring in international relations at GWU, went to Shaanxi Normal University in Xi’an as an exchange student in the fall of 2014…”An interesting experience,” Reinemann said in Mandarin. He has studied Chinese for three years as his minor. “A lot of people learn Chinese for practical reasons, but I think the cultural aspects are also important and attractive,” he said. Mark Jarvis, who graduated from GWU more than 20 years ago, returned to the school’s Confucius Institute to further his study in China after retirement. “I used to do some business in Asia and went to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong very often,” Jarvis said. “It’s very useful.”…Both Reinenmann and Jarvis are among the growing number of American students who have taken to the Chinese language and culture in the past decade, particularly after US President Barack Obama announced in Shanghai in 2009 a goal of sending 100,000 American students to study in China from 2010 to 2014.”(more)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

10 steps to making yours a STEM school

E-School News – Stephen Noonoo

“The quest to improve the way schools team STEM subjects, such as engineering and computer science, isn’t an easy fix. New resources, technology, and teacher training all play a significant part. Recently, school administrators shared how they were tackling the problem at the elementary level, using professional development courses from the National Center for STEM Elementary Education at St. Catherine University in Minnesota. To help other schools, the NCSEE has also come up with a ten-point tip sheet for schools looking to beef up their commitment to STEM. “The thing that’s most universally true is that schools and teachers are so full of opportunities to teach STEM. There’s so much right there already,” said Patty Born-Selly, the executive director of the NCSEE. “What we’ve found across the board is that teachers really want to be more comfortable with this material and the subject matter so they feel as comfortable with it as, say, reading.” Among the organization’s suggestions: be realistic, involve local professionals from the community, survey local outdoor areas, and take time to celebrate STEM successes in a way that joins together the entire school. Read on for the NCSEE’s full suggestions.”(more)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Inspiring the Next Generation of STEMthusiasts

Change the Equation – Staff Writer

“Last week we saw this article proposing an awards show that spotlights scientists in a way that’s as big as the Oscars. The author argues for a science awards show grand in stature, which would present awards to the top five to 10 breakthroughs in science. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? We thought so too. But the reality is that it’s unlikely an award show will be enough to inspire young people about STEM…So what’s the solution? We’ve got to focus our efforts on building a strong foundation by fostering interest in STEM at a young age. Young people should be exposed to STEM earlier and in a variety of ways…Maybe an Academy Awards for STEM isn’t the solution, but shining a spotlight on the good commitments of Corporate America and promoting strong STEM programs will go a long way to inspiring young people.”(more)