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STEM News Roundup: Groundbreaking Analysis Details STEM Efforts in Colorado

STEM News Roundup: Groundbreaking Analysis Details STEM Efforts in Colorado

A first-of-its-kind analysis from the Chalkbeat Colorado has provided a unique look at the results of recent STEM efforts in the state.

The analysis, which Chalkbeat says was made from dozens of interviews with school and state officials, has found that only two out of every seven students in responding districts have access to STEM education.

While the analysis found that STEM is increasingly reaching minority and low-income students, universal access to a blend of STEM coursework is lacking.

"To get a measure of STEM education in Colorado, Chalkbeat surveyed the state’s 30 largest districts, which enroll more than 80 percent of the state’s students, about their courses and programs. All but two districts—Greeley and Montrose County—provided information,” the news outlet said.

Chalkbeat points out that there is little evidence based on state data to yet determine if its recent efforts to bolster STEM education are improving student achievement in the subjects:

"A change in student assessments means results on the state’s science and math tests won’t be able to spotlight trends for at least another year. Meanwhile, student performance on national math and science tests including the ACT and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, have barely budged upward,” it said.

Read the full analysis here. 


Research Finds Social Inclusion Helps Young Learners Become Interested in STEM

National efforts to encourage students into STEM studies have trickled down to the earliest of learners; new research indicates captivating the interest of four and five year-olds could be rooted in including them in social groups.

”... [A] new study by University of Washington researchers shows that adding a basic social cue—making children feel like they're part of a group—increased preschoolers' engagement in STEM,” said

The study measured how 141 preschoolers performed on STEM tasks when under the impression they were to complete the task in a group versus doing so individually. 

"For each activity, the researchers measured how well the children did, how long they persisted on it, and how they felt about each of the tasks. After completing both tasks—and experiencing both the individual and the group conditions—children were also asked to choose which one they liked more,” the article said. "When told that they were part of a group, the children persisted longer, did better, enjoyed the task more, thought they were better at it, and chose that task over a task they did as an individual,” said lead author Allison Master to

Read the full story.


How Using a Hashtag Can Reinvigorate Math Instruction

Finding new ways to teach math concepts and engage learners is as easy as looking up a hashtag thanks to a dedicated group of math teachers from Pasco County.

Searching #PascoMath brings educators to a series of Tweets from math teachers all over the country sharing their techniques, as well as opens the doors for crucial peer collaboration.

Check out some sample Tweets and how the hashtag got started here.


The Maker Movement Goes Global

Other countries are beginning to see the potential of the maker movement—a movement based on facilitating tinkering—and are promoting it in their schools.

Malaysia, for example, will begin setting up “maker hubs” across the country starting next year.

The country is hoping a push for the maker movement will help its schools build makers through using 3D printing facilities and having access to robotics kits, says

The global expansion of the maker movement is further proof that the movement, which started in the U.S. several years ago, is here to stay.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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