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How Schools Can Get Children to Eat Their Vegetables

The Wall Street Journal – Bonnie Miller Rubin

“We try haranguing. We try pleading. We try bribing. But we still can’t get children to eat their vegetables. Now schools, nutritionists and behavioral scientists are putting science to work to figure out how to get children to reach for a carrot instead of a candy bar. And they’re seeing gains from strategies such as changing the placement of vegetables on the food line, giving vegetable dishes names that sound more appealing and hiring chefs to redesign cafeteria meals. There’s urgency behind these efforts. The nation’s childhood-obesity rates have tripled since the 1970s, and legislators are clashing over the effectiveness of recent federal rules mandating healthier fare in schools. While it seems the regulations are getting more children to make better choices, there hasn’t been a measurable health impact just yet.”(more)

After years of trying to ban cellphones, many schools are now trying to make them work in the classroom

The Star – Michelle McQuigge

“Researchers and educators agree that cellphones have become fixtures in Canadian classrooms, but opinion remains divided on how best to address their presence. All agree that the presence of smartphones can be problematic if students are allowed to devote more attention to their screens than their studies. One research paper suggests the majority of schools are still treating cellphones as a scourge and banning the devices outright both in and out of class. But that study and a growing number of boards say they’ve had more success once deciding to stop fighting the technological tide and find ways to incorporate cellphones into schools.”(more)

Jennifer Garner stresses early education at meeting with U.S. governors

Fox News – Staff Writer

“Actress Jennifer Garner spoke at a meeting of the National Governors Association on Saturday, saying that growing up “surrounded by generational, rural poverty” in West Virginia inspired her to become an advocate for early-childhood education. Garner spoke about programs that help bring educators into low-income homes and assist them in preparing children for kindergarten.”(more)

Encouraging Today’s Hidden Figures In STEM

Forbes – Staff Writer

“Hidden Figures has taken not only the box office by storm, but the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education world as well. As a leading Oscar contender, it is helping to elevate the ongoing conversation surrounding women in STEM. By increasing awareness of past gender and racial inequity, Hidden Figures has sparked interest in addressing the inequities that are still present today. Studies show that female and male students actually perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests, but larger gaps exist between students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds or family income.”(more)

In Finland, Kids Learn Computer Science Without Computers

The Atlantic – Emily DeRuy

“The Finns are pretty bemused by Americans’ preoccupation with whether to put iPads in every classroom. If a tablet would enhance learning, great. If it wouldn’t, skip it. Move on. The whole thing is a little tilting-at-windmills, anyway. That was the gist of the conversation one recent morning at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., where diplomats and experts gathered to celebrate the country’s education accomplishments as Finland turns 100. And Americans could stand to take notes. (Yes, from Finland—again.) Coding and programming are now part of the curriculum in the Scandinavian country, and they’re subjects kids tackle from a young age. But unlike in some parts of the United States where learning to code is an isolated skill, Finnish children are taught to think of coding and programming more as tools to be explored and utilized across multiple subjects.”(more)