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3 ways to help students think and act as scientists

E-School News – Ryan Reardon

“I enjoy challenging students to engage in hands-on scientific inquiry. In fact, I’m always telling my students and colleagues that I don’t want our students to think and act like scientists. I want them to think and act as scientists. Here are three things we can do to make that happen.” (more)

International Day of Women and Girls in Science encourages girls to consider STEM

The Toronto Star – Fatima Syed

“Held at Facebook headquarters in Toronto, the event served as the launch of the federal government’s second phase of its plan to encourage increased female participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The next phase is called “Choose Science” — a digital campaign sharing why women chose to work in the sciences. The aim is to create a network of mentors to inspire future female STEM leaders. “We need to include all people to make sure we have the right answers for our future, and if you only have men making those decisions that’s not good,” said Kate Young, parliamentary secretary for science. “(Young girls) do need to hear these stories to know there’s a place for (them).” In 1987, only 20 per cent of the people working in STEM fields were female, a number that has moved up to just 22 per cent today. Just 29.6 per cent of individuals with a post-secondary STEM credential and 26.9 per cent of those employed in a STEM-intensive occupation in Canada are women.” (more)

What Does Good STEM Education Look Like?

Black Enterprise – Robin White-Goode

“It’s unclear why those polled would bifurcate meeting state standards and learning about practical applications—the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Students’ unwillingness to work hard, though, could be an indictment against the STEM program. Most excellent learning programs engage students and reinforce their interest, so students’ unwillingness to exert themselves could indict a school’s STEM program and not just the students.” (more)

New science standards a boon for the littlest learners

Ed Source – Carolyn Jones

“The new science standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards, focus on hands-on classroom projects and broad scientific concepts, and begin in kindergarten. Some elementary teachers say that once they learned the new standards, science became easy and more rewarding to teach, especially to younger children.” (more)

Reconstructing Math & Science for Success

The Huffington Post – Irene Aldridge

“A recent Georgetown study found that memorable and engaging educational experiences outside of school at an early age is a strong predictor of success in middle school and beyond. To put it simply, fun advanced Math & Science, in addition to the formal graded schooling process, expands the brain. Even children enrolled in the most well-respected of schools benefit from activities that go beyond standard curriculum and that are really fun. In addition, hands-on projects address the need for immediate gratification to see science work and to create long-lasting practical connections with real-life applications.”(more)