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STEM News Roundup: Advocates Worried STEM Funding Under ESSA ‘Is Recipe for Disaster’

STEM News Round-Up: Advocates Worried STEM Funding Under ESSA ‘Is Recipe for Disaster’

Despite a clear national goal of increasing focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering), many STEM advocates are wary about funding changes made to STEM programs under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

According to Science magazine, STEM educators are fearful of the removal of the $153-million-a-year Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program. Activities and training programs formally funded with this money will now "compete for money in a new account, called Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants,” the Science magazine article said.

"The block grants are designed to give local educators greater flexibility to tailor programs that meet the needs of their districts, according to federal lawmakers, while keeping STEM education a high priority.”

Advocates are unsure if states will use funding to promote STEM activities if not specifically designated to do so.

One expert told Science he thinks students will lose out because the lack of specified funding will cause further competition between subjects as opposed to a focus on a well-rounded education.

Read more.


18 STEM Activities, Resources for Summer Learning


Looking to continue your child’s learning in STEM subjects throughout the summer? These activities and resources will help you do just that.

Check out Education World's popular list of activities, experiments websites and more.


Does Nature-Based Learning Increase Student Interest in STEM?

According to Utah Business, nature can help inspire more students to find interests in STEM as well as spur the imaginations of existing STEM workers.

"Speaking as the keynote address at the STEM Best Practices Conference Tuesday to a crowd of educators, administrators and business leaders, [Sam Stier, founding director of the Center for Learning with Nature] said in addition to inspiring people working in STEM fields, nature can stoke the imaginations of budding scientists, engineers, architects and computer programmers in the classroom,” Utah Business said.

Stier argues that both students and teachers find STEM to be more interesting and are more inspired to work in STEM fields when related back to nature.

Read more about his argument here.


Teachers Learn STEM Over the Summer

Students aren’t the only ones who should keep learning going over the summer. Teachers looking to learn more about STEM have many opportunities available to them this summer, like the the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATS).

SSEATS, according to THEJournal, is offering teachers three six day programs that teach about topics like climate change, energy innovations and biodiversity. 

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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