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STEM News Roundup: Maker Movement Keeps Moving to Create Problem-Solving Students

STEM News Round-Up: Maker Movement Keeps Moving to Create Problem-Solving Students

This week in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math news, the maker movement keeps moving. 

Librarian Helps Create Problem-Solving Students Using Maker Movement 

More and more schools across the country are participating in the maker movement, as is the case with Oskaloosa High School in Iowa.

The middle and high school’s librarian, Patricia ErkenBrack, is pivotal component to helping keep the maker movement going with her hand in upk-eeping the library’s maker space.

"To protect the library furniture, students might make a protective surface for the tables and figure out what to use and how to make it themselves. Makers would have access to materials, a space to work and “just a free breathing area and a place for people to tinker” not only with hands-on materials but digital projects as well, such as coding programs. All aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as well as the arts have a place in the Makers Movement,” said Oskaloosa.com.

"ErkenBrack, who teaches a last period class to sixth-graders, began a rotation with a big piece of paper on the wall called 'the wonder wall.' She gave the class some sticky notes and told the class to just paste up there what they wonder about. 'They were flabbergasted,” said ErkenBrack.

“I was thinking, ‘Sixth-graders don’t wonder about anything?’ Society has changed so much and we are so focused on the digital world. Kids know how to click a hyperlink, they know how to play a game, and there’s value in that as well, but when that’s the only thing kids do for their entertainment or free time, I think that’s a problem,” the article said.

As a result, ErkenBrack and many others are looking to the maker movement to ignite creativity and problem solving skills in students.

Read more here. 

MIT Launches Sandbox Innovation Fund Program

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has announced the launch of an institute-wide program that will help over 10,000 children learn through innovation and tailored educational experiences.

"The endeavor opens more pathways for all types of student innovators — whether they have a seed of an idea, a nascent technology, a specific startup in mind, or are planning the next moonshot,” said MIT News.

"Sandbox will connect students with tailored educational experiences, mentoring, and up to $25,000 to help qualified students and teams nurture their creative brainstorms.”

Read more here.

University Holds Day-Long STEM Conference

Over 600 people participated in an all-day STEM conference at Purdue University to discuss STEM in Indiana.

“The conference schedule [included] more than 100 presentations by educators from schools across Indiana as well as representatives from Purdue, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame, among others. Many presentations [dealt] with new teaching strategies for STEM education,” said Purdue in a statement.

The conference exceeded expectations for participation as only 400 attendees were originally expected.

Read more here. 

Elementary School Focuses on STEM Initiatives for Impoverished Students

Marcus Whitman Elementary School is turning to STEM to provide impoverished students with new learning initiatives, says KEPRtv.com.

The school is looking into "having STEM weekend camps; summer learning at The REACH museum; and opportunities for app design, coding, and robotics they hope to engage students with learning beyond the classroom,” the article said.

The endeavor will start with the next school year and the school is optimistic the initiatives will help will help students subjected to poverty, which is most of the schools’ student population.

Read more here.

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

Photo credit: S&S Worldwide.

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