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Bringing science and engineering stories to life for students

PRI – Julia Franz

“How about a little news? That’s the idea behind the Science Friday Educator Collaborative, now in its second year. Seven teachers around the country are designing curiosity-provoking science, technology, engineering and mathematics resources for anyone to use, based on stories from Science Friday. Stacy George, who teaches STEM to elementary schoolchildren in Hawaii, pulled together a guide for observing the shape of bee honeycombs that was inspired by an article on Science Friday’s website. “The lesson actually started from the students,” she says, who were afraid of the honeybees they encountered while watering the school’s garden, “and so they would throw buckets of water from 5 feet away.”(more)

How Playing With Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize With Students

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Michelle Manes has taught math in almost every setting. She taught public high school students, deaf elementary school students, and middle school girls at a single-sex school. But eventually, she couldn’t fight the feeling that as much as she loved teaching math, she also loved doing math, so she went back to get her Ph.D. in mathematics and is now a professor at the University of Hawaii. Although she has settled into a life of teaching undergraduate students and working on her own research, Manes still cares deeply about K-12 education. To stay connected to teachers in that world she helped start a Math Teachers’ Circle in Honolulu. The circle meets once a month and invites math teachers from all grade levels to get together and work on fun, challenging math alongside research mathematicians.”(more)

Project Lead The Way Grants Aim to Boost STEM Ed in Hawaii

Education News – Jace Harr

“Twelve high schools in Hawaii have been announced as the recipients of a multi-year, $2.2 million grant to improve science, math, engineering, and technology education, as well as college and career readiness. The initiative to improve the state’s innovation economy and workforce was announced in January by Governor David Ige. The state is working in partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and USA Funds. According to the PLTW website, the programs are project-based and focus on giving students a chance to apply their knowledge, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own education…[they] empower students to develop the knowledge and transportable skills they need to thrive in our advancing, high-tech economy…The state of Hawaii is desperately in need of more workers trained in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields…”(more)

A Tale of 2 States: Lessons to Be Learned

The U.S. News and World Report – Frederick M. Hess and Sarah DuPre

“The new Every Student Succeeds Act wisely returns to the states much of the authority for directing school improvement that the federal government had assumed in the past 15 years. Some states are ready to roll, but plenty are searching for potential role models. Fortunately, at least two such candidates are easy to find. Earlier this fall, the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” provided a snapshot of student achievement across the land. Amidst generally disappointing results, there were a few bright spots. Washington, D.C., and Hawaii, led the nation in aggregate national assessment improvement over the past decade. From dismal depths in 2005, the two have climbed their way to respectability. In a new report for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, entitled, “Laggards to Leaders in K-12,” we take a deeper look at what has transpired in these locales that can help account for their outsized gains.”(more)

8 Ways To Get More Women Into S.T.E.M.

Hawaii Business – LiAnne Yu

“Phuong-Thao Nguyen’s work at Hawaiian Telcom will affect everyone in the state…She is part of the emerging technologies and integration team managing development of a new fiber-optic transPacific cable passing through Hawaii while connecting Southeast Asia and the continental U.S….Although women in Hawaii like Nguyen play leadership roles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the number of females in STEM jobs continues to lag far behind that of men…So we asked a diverse spectrum of Hawaii’s women in STEM to weigh in on how to increase those numbers.”(more)

Education Department extends No Child Left Behind waivers for 7 states, District of Columbia

The U.S. News and World Report – JENNIFER C. KERR

“The Obama administration is giving seven more states and the District of Columbia continued flexibility from the requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law. Besides the nation’s capital, Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday announced the renewal of waivers for Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New York, and West Virginia. Current law requires schools to use standardized tests in reading and math to measure student progress. Schools in states with waivers wouldn’t be excused from the testing requirements but instead could develop and implement their own plans to measure progress that go beyond the required testing. The idea is to free the states from some of the more rigid parts of No Child Left Behind while Congress works on an update to the law.”(more)