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Education World STEM News Round Up

This week, news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education is focused on innovative student-engaging projects, modernized teaching methods, and K-12 STEM reform. Universities and governments are seeing the need for education reform and taking the steps in funding, programs and innovative learning. After-school programs are also seeing a rise in precedence, as the extra time goes toward advanced learning projects and continues to engage students to thinking about STEM career opportunities.

University of Arizona Proposes New Initiatives For K-12 STEM Reform

With funding from a major investment toward redefining STEM education, The University of Arizona established the Undergraduate STEM Education Project. According to AZEDNews the project is “a comprehensive, interdisciplinary effort to significantly expand STEM-related collaborative enterprises, curricula and funding opportunities.” UA faculty have taken the steps to redesign foundational STEM courses, and develop experiential learning methods that encourage “analytical thinking and collaborative learning.”

New Hampshire Report Emphasizes Greater Need For Student Preparation in STEM

A report issue by New Hampshire Governor, Maggie Hassan, calls for a need to better train teachers and educate students in STEM fields. Currently, New Hampshire ranks 32nd nationally in the percentage of bachelor’s degrees earned in STEM fields, and the state is falling behind in meeting demands for jobs with STEM skills. The report suggests and recommends a variety of solutions, including the formation of a STEM K-12 Education Innovation Fund, developing personal learning standards for students starting in 7th grade, and creating a New Hampshire Math and Science Academy for students highly interested in STEM careers.

High School Students To Launch After School Weather Balloon Project

Students from the Walla Walla School District in Washington have been collaborating since junior high on the FORWARD Space Project. The project centers around the presentation and launch of a sophisticated weather balloon built to ascend as high as 20 miles into the atmosphere. As reported by the Public News Service, Brent Cummings, the director of Century Community Learning Center program in Walla Walla Public Schools, says “there often isn’t enough time for in-depth projects like these during a regular school day, so a growing number of after-school programs are filling the high tech learning gaps.”

Five Tech Pioneers Announced As Finalists for 2015 FETC Goldfish Tank Innovators Competition

The Education Technology Industry Network announced this year’s finalists for the Goldfish Tank Innovators Competition, which “provides visibility and support for successful products and companies in their efforts to improve education through the use of software, digital content and related technologies.” The five finalists are Cogent Education: Interactive Cases; Makers Crate; Teachley Analystics and Tynker.

Middle School Students Excited By STEM Scooter Project

The Team Makeosity Energy Scooter Project, lead by students at PS 107 in the Bronx, New York, started as an after-school program. According to DesktopEngineering.com, “Dr. Karen Kaun, Makeosity’s founder, got the idea for the scooter project a couple of years ago after reading an article about a soccer ball capable of generating electricity that could be used to power lights in developing countries.” 

 

Article by Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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