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Articles: STEM

In the middle school STEM lab at New Canaan Public Schools in Connecticut, students frequently choose to learn with flight simulators rather than 3D printers, video games and other technological options.

“It’s definitely our most popular tool,” says Vivian Birdsall, New Canaan’s middle school STEM teacher. “Not only do the flight simulations expose our students to aviation, they’re so exciting and fun that our students often don’t realize how much they’re learning from them.”

At Metro Nashville Public Schools, students learn about criminal justice, science, media and music. Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School students perform all roles of a live broadcast on TV, from cameraman to reporter.
A Stratford STEM Magnet High School senior processes a mock crime scene with skills obtained through his criminal justice class in the Academy of National Safety and Security Technologies in Nashville schools.
A Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School student prepares for a live broadcast from the school’s radio station.
A Stratford STEM Magnet High School Stratford student examines various chemicals used in her classes in the Academy of Science and Engineering.

Magnet schools have made a big comeback in America’s education system, offering curricula that span the spectrum—from medicine to the arts to language immersion. The revitalized programs provide plenty of hands-on experience, while the academic themes are infused into traditional classes such as math and English.

Author Clair T. Berube says country’s security, reputation and quality of life all depend on providing future generations of American workers with competitive skills.

STEM and the City: A Report on STEM Education in the Great American Urban Public School System

Information Age Publishing

Nine out of 10 students recognize the importance of developing technology skills early to ensure they are prepared to enter the workforce, according to new research published by CompTIA, an information technology industry association.

The September 2014 survey of 1,000 middle school students further found that most rate their tech skills as average or above. In the study—“The Changing Classroom: Perspectives from Students and Educators on the Role of Technology”—students also said they wanted more instruction in the following:

New York City students may soon learn formal lessons on climate change as a proposed curriculum continues to win endorsements from leading environmental groups.

Two groups, the Alliance for Climate Education and Global Kids, have been encouraging the New York State Department of Education to add climate change to the city’s K12 curriculum.

The effort, centered on Resolution 0375-2014 now before the New York City Council, was endorsed in February by The Natural Resources Defense Council.

Big Ideas Math, by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ST Math, by MIND Research Institute
Math Techbook,by Discovery Education
ALEKS Math, by McGraw-Hill Education
Stepping Stones, by ORIGO Education
Think Through Math, by Think Through Math
Ascend Math, by Ascend Education
WIN Math, by WIN Learning

No matter the grade or skill level, the newest mathematics tools and programs aim to make learning various math concepts an adventure.

Being adaptive, engaging and fun, products try to meet the needs of individual students while aligning with the Common Core and other state standards. Here are some of the latest math tools in light of NCTM's conference in April. Big Ideas Math

NCTM presenter Skip Fennell, who is also a McDaniel College education professor, plays a math game with a teacher from Little River Elementary School in South Riding, Virginia, and a teacher from Mount Airy Elementary School in Maryland.

Teach students math procedures if you want them to solve equations. Instill a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics and get them thinking like mathematicians, and you’ve prepared your students to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Students in the Academy of Computer Game Design magnet program learn game programming and 3D animation.

A magnet program in the booming field of computer game design draws career-focused high school students from across Florida’s sprawling Hillsborough County school system.

Middleton Magnet High School houses four STEM programs, including the Academy of Computer Game Design, which opened in fall 2008 with a four-year, four-course track.

Vince Bertram, formerly superintendent of Indiana’s third-largest urban school district, is now president of Project Lead The Way,

Project Lead The Way President Vince Bertram, a former superintendent, says STEM fields will present graduates with the most job prospects and highest earnings, yet there is a disconnect between who teaches those subjects, how they are taught and how they are applied in the real world.

Mia Dubosarsky, director of PD at The STEM Education Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, helps teachers teach science.

From designing more creative and flexible science classrooms to developing community service projects that engage girls in STEM, this year’s National Science Teachers Association conference in March is all about K12 students connecting learning to the real world. Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and an accompanying push for hands-on learning is bringing new ways to think about integrating science—and scientific thinking—into everyday experiences.

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers has partnered with local businesses to create a multifaceted STEM program.

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers has worked with his board and administrators, and partnered with local businesses, to create a multifaceted program to bolster STEM education. His city was founded by the U.S. government in 1943 as a secret production site for the Manhattan Project and is steeped in technology to this day.

The California-Arizona border, showing green amid brown desert, taken by elementary students in Hempstead ISD in Texas.
A view of the Sacramento Valley in California from the International Space Station, taken by students in the U.S. and Turkey.
An image of Nagano, Japan, requested by students in the U.S., Poland and Australia.

In November, middle school students from around the globe had the chance to take photos of Earth from the International Space Station. Sally Ride EarthKAM is a program meant to spark student interest in STEM subjects through photographing the earth from space.

Students at Charles County Public Schools in Maryland are now exposed to computer science curriculum starting in kindergarten.

In 2020, there will be 1.4 million computing jobs available in the United States and only 400,000 computer science students in the education pipeline.

But the number of students may slowly be increasing, as 25 states now count computer science courses toward high school graduation requirements, compared to 11 states in 2013.

Students in all grade levels have been using robotics in the classroom at Fayette County Schools in Kentucky.

Many districts are charging up their K12 STEM courses with the use of robotics. The clear benefits of robotics are increased student engagement and collaboration—but there’s more.

Students following a project-based, inquiry curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) outperformed their peers who received traditional instruction, according to a National Science Foundation study released last spring.