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Schools add another ‘S’ to STEM—for sports

The District Administration – Steven Wyman-Blackburn

“Administrators from the Houston area discovered a more effective way of teaching terminal velocity and gravity—by keeping students afloat on 150-mph winds inside a vertical tunnel. The experience—hosted by the indoor skydiving facility iFLY—is one of many physical activities that schools use to better engage students in STEM courses. “PE-based STEM brings life back into physics,” says Georgette Yakman, founder of STEAM Education, a company that provides PD. “It connects athletes to the deep level of mathematical science behind their movements.”(more)

Pushing Kids in Sports vs. Pushing Kids in School

Education Next – Robert Pondiscio

“Hand wringing over Americans’ obsession with sports at the expense of academics is a hardy perennial in education writing, social commentary, and even sketch comedy. Many parents “don’t push their children very hard when it comes to academics” Perry explains, because they “don’t necessarily believe in the connection between effort and academic achievement, and don’t believe that academic success is within reach of any student willing to work hard for it.” Not quite right. For starters, I don’t buy entirely the comparison; I’d wager that most parents still make participation in organized sports conditional based on their child’s keeping his or her grades up. It’s also easier for most parents to engage with their child’s athletics than academics. By the time my daughter was in middle school, my days of helping with her math homework were over. But I can still lace ‘em up and go for a run with her.”(more)

Are ‘non-competitive sports days’ really better for school kids?

The Guardian – Leo Benedictus

“According to a recent survey, 57% of parents with children at primary school say their sports day is “non-competitive”. This means an event in which “everyone joins in via a team-focused event where individuals are not singled out”, says Families Online, which conducted the survey. In practice, this often results in schools dividing the children into groups that do compete, while parents yell encouragement from the sidelines. There are no school records to be broken and no tears on podiums. The survey found that 86% of its responders do not approve.”(more)

Boys more likely to hide a concussion than girls

Medical X-Press – Maureen Salamon

“When it comes to reporting a sports-related concussion, high school boys are less likely to speak up than high school girls, new research reveals. The findings, derived from surveying nearly 300 young Michigan athletes, highlight a “show-no-weakness” mentality that experts say needs to change to protect brain health. “Males are more worried about what their peers or coaches would think of them if they reported [their concussion],” said study author Jessica Wallace. She’s director of the master of athletic training program at Youngstown State University in Ohio.”(more)

Op-Ed: Football Can Inspire Future STEAM Leaders

The U.S. News and World Report – Kelvin Beachum, Jr. and Jesse Lovejoy

“Football and STEAM education might not seem like a logical tandem on the surface. Through deeper exploration, we discover these seemingly opposite activities are a complementary match in inspiring young people to explore new subjects and further define their passions, futures and career opportunities. The game of football is influenced by fundamental principles of science and incorporates subjects from physics to geometry to material science. Applying these concepts can be the ultimate common denominator for kids entering a formal or informal learning environment with questions about why STEAM matters, why it’s relevant or why it’s cool. Solving for that last question is crucial to engagement.”(more)

Water outperforms sports drinks for young athletes

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Most youngsters don’t exert themselves at an intensity or duration that requires the extra sugar and salt contained in sports drinks, said Dr. Matthew Silvis. He is director of primary care sports medicine at Penn State Health Medical Center. “Sports drinks can replenish some of what you lost during exercise, but you really need to be exercising for more than 45 minutes to an hour before you would consider that,” Silvis said. “Many of our kids are not doing enough to warrant it,” he added in a university news release. Also, giving children sports drinks with extra sugar puts them at risk for weight gain and tooth decay, Silvis and his colleagues noted.”(more)