5 Great STEM Education Reads This Week

LEGO Rover Encounters Creature

A LEGO rover encounters a gigantic creature. Flickr via Creative Commons/rlerdorf. LEGO Science

There’s nothing we love more than insightful, engaging conversation on the much-debated topic of STEM education (implementation, policies, growth and everything in between).  Every week, we’ll be sharing with you our picks for a few of the most thought-provoking posts on STEM education from around the web.

With 2014 STEM-related events [NOTE TO IAT: LINK ‘EVENTS” SECTION OF IAT.COM] in full gear, and with the discussion around recent developments in STEM education heating up in weekly tweetchats (such as #STEMchat and #sigml), there is no shortage of news and compelling ideas to share. So, let’s get right to it!

    1. LEGO Science: How Construction Toys Can Help Build STEM Education. “To hear a 10-year-old young lady say she has the opportunity to become an engineer and now she’s thinking along those lines, to me that’s changing the world.” — Fred Tudda (Principal, PS 188, Coney Island, Brooklyn). Principal Tudda’s overwhelming success implementing LEGO science in his elementary school’s cirriculum is one of several promising and inspiring examples of how LEGO science is helping teachers to develop our next generation of scientists, to inspire children to embrace science, and to “change the ratio.” Roxanne Palmer (@rpalmerscience) captures the LEGO Science movement in this piece, offering a broad range of LEGO science test cases. Read the entire post HERE. And, if that’s not enough to inspire you, take a look at this great STEM Fair 2014 rap video (the LEGO remix!) produced by students at Woodholme Elementary School HERE.
    2. STEM Education for Girls: too Little, too Late, too Pink. “Young women don’t magically become technologists at 22. Neither do young men. Hackers are born in childhood, because that’s when the addiction to solving the puzzle or building something kicks in to those who’ve experienced that “victory!” moment.” Kim Z. Dale (@observacious) uses this quote (among others) by Susan Sons to outline her argument on what she sees as pervasive and damaging stereotypes in how girls are nurtured in STEM education versus boys. Dale’s post will undoubtedly ruffle a few feathers and spark debate (as evidenced in the Comments section, after the post, overflowing with impassioned reader-feedback). Read the entire post (and reader-comments) HERE.
    3. Helping Hollywood Get the Science Right: At the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Meet the STEM Experts Who Are Making it Happen! Hollywood isn’t known for telling the most accurate science-based stories. But, for the most part, Hollywood producers of film and tv want to get the science right. STEMconnector (@STEMconnector) gives us an introduction to several of Hollywood’s leading STEM consultants (yes, they exist!) and a sneak peak at an upcoming event where you can meet  these STEM superstars and hear their experiences and challenges bringing accurate science to the world through film (April 26 and 27, Washington DC). Glitz, glam and STEM! Read the entire post HERE.
    4. #BYOD gurus engage in #BYOTchat about equity + access (VIDEO). In this one-hour video-chat, The Innovative Educator, Lisa Neilsen (@InnovativeEdu) assembles an all-star cast of edtech gurus to discuss “equity and access” when bringing your own technology (what works and what to steer clear of). Neilsen’s chat guests include: Tim Clark (Coordinator of Inst. Technology for Forsyth County, GA, @BYOTNetwork), Willyn Webb (author of Teaching Generation Text, @WillynWebb), Michael Mills (edtech specialist and Assistant Professor at University of Central Arkansas, @AquiAmigo). Not only does this crew share valuable strategies for BYOT, but they also have fun doing it (plenty of jokes). Watch the entire entire HERE.
    5. Engaging Brains: How to Enhance Learning by Teaching Kids About Neuroplasticity. Donna Wilson, Ph.D (Educational Psychologist, Former Teacher, and Author, @BrainSMARTU) guides us through her research and strategies for helping kids to learn more effectively by teaching them about how they learn: “Lessons on discoveries that learning changes the structure and function of the brain can engage students, especially when combined with explicit instruction on the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies that guide them to learn how to learn. Keeping the idea of brain plasticity at the forefront of your professional practice offers a constant reminder than when students struggle with lessons, it isn’t because they can’t learn, but because they need more practice and instructional support.” Read the entire post HERE.

Enjoy these great reads and let us know which ones resonated the most with you below in the Comments section (or tweet and follow us at @ItsAboutTimeEDU).   And if you’ve read something this week that you think should’ve made our top five reads, share your great reads with us.

Have a great weekend!

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