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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)

Group Claims 15% of Saudi Arabian Children Have ADHD

Education News – Sherlynn Summers

“According to the Saudi ADHD society, around 1.6 to 2.5 million children in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a psychiatric neurodevelopment disorder. In contrast, there are only 60 specialist doctors working to deal with the cases. ADHD, which is classified as a learning disability, mostly develops during childhood. Children suffering from the disease find it difficult to pay attention, follow directions and regulate their actions. The disorder does not affect general intelligence, but students with ADHD need proper guidance to distinguish words, letters and symbols…The increase in diagnosis and treatment of the disorder has also raised concerns in the medical community regarding overdiagnosing and overmedicating children for ADHD. Medical experts blame the promotional campaigns of pharmaceutical companies and an increased pressure on students to perform well in studies. Long term effects of the medication include alteration of brain chemistry and overdependence.”(more)

Wider world opened to Saudis studying abroad

Reuters – Angus McDowall

“A few years ago she would have worried about the disapproving reaction of friends and parents to the notion of a young woman working in an office without family supervision, but a stint at a UK university has propelled her to seek a career. “Now lots of girls go abroad to study and broaden their horizons. There’s been a big change in attitudes among my girlfriends over about the last three years,” said Mazyad, 27, from Medina, clutching a flamingo-pink handbag stuffed with job fliers.”(more)

Special report: In Saudi Arabia, a clamor for education

Reuters – Ulf Laessing and Asma Alsharif

“Saeed wants to study physics but worries that his state high school is failing him. He says the curriculum is outdated, and teachers simply repeat what is written in text books without adding anything of practical value or discussions. . . . ‘The subjects available are not enough to carry us to the career or specialization that is needed for the job,’ he complains.”(more)