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STEM News Round-Up: Inventions that Facilitate STEM for Young Learners

STEM News Round-Up: Inventions that Facilitate STEM for Young Learners

This week, young learners are accomplishing a lot in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)— certain evidence that the national push towards STEM learning is working. Here are some new things this week that help young learners get interested in and stay in STEM subjects.

The "Pi-Bot"

The Jawaharlal sisters were always more interested in figuring out how their toys worked rather than simply playing with them, according to NBC News. This interest in design led them into robotics and engineering studies, and after graduating from university are now using their interests to give back to young children with similar ones.

"The Pi-Bot kit includes everything students need to jump-start an engineering interest — a gearbox, motors, sensors, an Arduino-compatible controller called the STEM Board, wires, tools, and a novel Pi-shaped chassis. The sisters say the kit can help them to learn every aspect of robotics from assembling the gears to programming the software, using real-world electronic components and software, at an affordable price of $99," the article said.

The Pi-Bot has been requested by in 46 different countries and has been adopted by several different engineering programs for young learners.

Read more here

Netflix Tween Series Featuring STEM Spies

A new animated series created by Netflix will be featuring STEM-skilled spies to serve as role models for its young audience.

The upcoming project will reportedly be called Project Mc², and will be tied to a series of educational toys with the same intention of getting young learners, specifically girls, in STEM.

"There’s been a huge push lately trying to get more girls interested in STEM at a young age. It’s inspiring to see everyone planting these seeds in an attempt to bring more women into these industries. If these pushes affect the kind of change we’re hoping for, then the future looks pretty bright for women in STE(A)M," said TheMarySue.com.

Read more here

The Inspiration of NASA's Pluto Mission

While US World News contributor Andrew J. Rotherham understands that there are several factors that need to be addressed when considering getting American children interested in STEM, he encourages parents and educators to discuss real-life inspiration like NASA's latest mission to Pluto.

"Students don't want to become athletes or pop stars because those careers seem boring or are a lot of work. The excitement lures them in even if being a professional athlete or musician is difficult. But we sell STEM like the spinach of careers. It's endemic in the language we use; we talk in sterile terms about how many scientists or engineers the nation "needs." Space can help change that."

In his argument for teaching space exploration in the exciting terms that can lure children to have interest, he also argues for more funding of NASA projects in recognizing the impact it has on future children.

"NASA has education programs, of course, but there is no substitute for the real thing with space flight, especially space flight that goes somewhere. It's why NASA funding matters as much as funding for any STEM program."

Read more here

Little STEM Explorers in Preschool

In a Florida preschool, Little Explorers Academy, the curriculum is focused on STEM instruction and is therefore being called a "next generation" preschool.

The preschool integrates music, arts, and the outdoors into STEM instruction to give early learners a mixture of both creative play and STEM teachings.

"Each classroom is named for a famous explorer or scientist such as Einstein or Galileo," said ClickOrlando.com.

The people behind the academy claim that data has shown their young learners increase their vocabulary and critical thinking skills thanks to the instruction.

Read more here.

 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/28/2015

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