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STEM News Round-Up: Science Classrooms Boast Technology but Lack Basic Supplies

STEM News Round-Up: Science Classrooms Boast Technology but Lack Basic Supplies

This week in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math news, the National Center for Science Education discusses how while some modern science classrooms have state-of-the-art instructional technology but no money for basic supplies.

Science

Hi-Tech Classrooms Have No Money for Basic Equipment

According to NCSE’s Emily Schoerning, a recent round of applications for funding requests led to the discovery that while science classrooms may look complete boasting things like smart boards, they are still lacking money for basic supplies like thermometers.

In one lab requesting funding, kids had access to "chemical-resistant benches and smartboards, but the forty kids in [the]...class had to take turns using two thermometers, which were also shared with the physics and chemistry classes.”

"Now it seems that while lack of resources is indeed a problem, it turns out that when there are resources, they’re not necessarily the right ones! There is a complete disconnect between district funding and what teachers need,” Schoerning says.

"A lot of people are pushing technology in every classroom, and that’s very nice. All kids should be learning how to harness modern information technology. But it's weird to go into a classroom and find that modern information technology is all they have—and that anything needed for an authentic, hands-on science experience, any equipment or materials whatsoever, has been begged, bought, or possibly stolen by the teacher."

Technology

Global Learning Organization Offers 3D Printer With Enrollment

Level Up Village (LUV) is offering schools that enroll in two or more courses by May 15, 2016 a free Polar 3D printer.

LUV courses teach students STEAM with a global perspective thanks to its partnership with 20 different developing countries; its course offerings span a variety of subjects, like programming in  Global Web Designers and both language arts and engineering in Global Storybook Engineers Jr., to name a couple. 

The free 3D printer for a developing maker space is just an added bonus. 

"This offer is valid for schools that sign up for two or more Level Up Village after-school courses and enroll at least ten students in each course. Interested educators can request more information about Level Up Village or book a call with a team member at https://www.levelupvillage.com/,” LUV said in a statement.

Engineering

Middle School Teacher Uses 3D Printer to Help Injured Animal

One middle school teacher showed his students the real-world importance of learning to build and create when he used a 3D printer to build prosthetic legs for an injured duck.

Thanks to teacher Jason Jischke, Phillip the duck can now walk again and Jischke has an awesome story to tell students about why learning how to use modern technology like 3D printers is important. 

Math

Why Computer Science Should Be Part of Math Curriculum

Edutopia writer Lincoln Sedlack made a case this week for why computer science and math should go hand-in-hand. According to Sedlack, math skills lay the foundation for success in computer science and therefore should be in the same curriculum. Computer science, he says, reemphasizes the importance of grasping math concepts early on.

"All too often, students are allowed to back away from math without understanding why math matters. We want our students growing up to become the next leaders in computer science and STEM careers in general. But we need to recognize that as long as we're short-changing our students on their mathematical educations, we're missing an important part of the equation,” he said.

Survey Finds New York Math Curriculum Most Used in the Country

A new study has found that the math curriculum developed by non-profit Great Minds and the New York Education Department, Eureka Math, is the most used math curriculum in the country despite only just being developed three years ago.

The survey, conducted by the RAND Corporation, asked 1,168 teachers to answer questions about the math curriculum they use; 47 percent of secondary teachers and 57 percent of elementary school teachers said they use Eureka Math.

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