STEM Careers
Top stories summarized by our editors

There are five key elements to building connected classrooms, Robert Dillon, director of innovation for the Affton School District in St. Louis, Mo., writes in this blog post. Elements include giving students a voice, having partnerships in the community and beyond, and tackling real-world problems.


Prehype founding partner Henrik Werdelin argues that if you discover "an idea makes perfect sense, someone's already done it." To that end, seek out imperfect ideas that address customer pain points rather than organizational problems.

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Henrik Werdelin

Students participating in some nontraditional courses such as software-coding boot camps and massive open online courses will be able to apply federal financial aid to the programs under a Department of Education pilot program. The department will approve qualifying programs.


Instead of using a new ratings system to rank colleges, the U.S. Department of Education says it will produce a website that will allow consumers to compare colleges in categories such as graduation and loan-repayment rates. Ted Mitchell, the undersecretary of education, suggested that the ratings-system project will give way this year to creating the consumer-oriented website.


Congressional lawmakers are returning from a five-week vacation. They come back to a full list of education agenda items, such as passing a spending bill, reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and an overhaul of the federal higher-education law.

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Research shows "recreational math" can help excite students about math, University of Maryland professor Manil Suri writes in this opinion article. Suri highlights games such as those once published in Scientific American magazine's "Mathematical Games" series.

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University of Maryland

The education community may need more guidance about which courses constitute "computer science," according to the Computer Science Teachers Association, which recently surveyed secondary-school leaders on the topic. Some respondents listed "business management," "robotics," "artificial intelligence" and "yearbook layout" as part of their computer science offerings.

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T.H.E. Journal

The College Board will launch a new Advanced Placement computer-science course in 2016. The new course will include seven primary areas of study, including how the Internet works and the global effect of computing.


Two original content pieces about the Maker Movement struck a chord with SmartBrief readers this year. We asked readers to choose their favorite original content pieces written by educators, for educators, from a pool of 20 original content pieces chosen throughout the year by our team of editors. Nearly 3,000 people voted! Meet the winners.

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More than 70% of college students believe internships -- even if they are unpaid -- are crucial to helping them enter the workforce after graduation, according to a new survey by Looksharp. Unpaid internships were fine with 61% of students surveyed, but paid internships were more likely to help students gain full-time employment after graduation, the survey found.