Educators at a California school are learning how to incorporate "making" into core academic classes, thanks to support from the school's Creativity Lab. In one math class, students worked together on an online program aimed at teaching them about using grids.
Agency, integrated identity and competencies are three factors for success in school and life, according to a report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. "Kids will be engaged in learning and internalize the academic side if you are also helping them work to develop in multiple ways," study lead author Jenny Nagaoka said.
Project-based learning may serve to shrink the achievement gap for low-income students and others underrepresented in science and technology, new research indicates. A study of 3,000 middle-schoolers found no ethnic or gender disparities after a year with the approach that emphasizes inquiry over rote memorization.
The depth and breadth of science, technology, engineering and math education at K-12 schools can be increased by creating opportunities for teachers to do more research and collaborate to exchange ideas, as well as by including more parents and STEM professionals in the conversation, writes Matt Levinson, an educator at Marin Country Day School in California. In this blog post, he offers 10 recommendations, including the creation of STEM-related clubs and expanding the use of Skype to connect students to scientists in labs and their experiments.
More schools should offer students the opportunity to learn computer programming at a young age, teacher Sheena Vaidyanathan writes in this blog post. A 3D design and computer-programming teacher in California, Vaidyanathan writes: "Everyone can learn to program just like everyone can learn to swim when they are young and unafraid."