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To Strengthen Science, Bring Back Grammar

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

Randolph-Macon College English Professor Thomas Peyser makes an interesting case for the importance of STEM students having a strong foundation in grammar in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  “…we can be confident that the abandonment of instruction in grammar is robbing us not just of future writers but of future scientists, physicians and engineers as well,” he writes.

With more and more emphasis on STEM education and less and less on grammar, the gap seems to be widening dangerously.  Scientists use words, sentences, and paragraphs to communicate, just as writers do.  Furthermore, STEM studies require students to distill complex sentences for comprehension.  Without an ample grasp on the fundamentals of grammar, students find themself at a disadvantage on both the expressive and receptive sides of the communication equation.

One of the key benefits of science fairs is the opportunity they provide for multi-disciplinary learning. A student’s skills as writer, designer, and speaker all come in to play during the science fair process — excellent practice for real-world science.  “Engineers and scientists must be competent readers, writers and speakers of syntactically complex sentences,” Peyser points out. “That is why the English classroom is an important stop on the road to the lab, the clinic and the drafting table. Good grammar isn’t rocket science, but students can’t become rocket scientists without it.”


See on www2.timesdispatch.com

Former Miss Massachusetts Champions Science Education

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

With a unique resume that features a doctorate in biochemistry as well as a beauty pageant title, Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle is poised to go big with her mission to make a difference in STEM education.  The MIT graduate, who received her PhD from the Boston University School of Medicine, founded the non-profit organization Science from Scientists in 2002.  The organization aims to gets students in grades 4-8 excited about math, science and technology.  “It’s important for children to understand that science isn’t this one area; it’s the material that your car’s made out of, it’s the chair you’re sitting in, it’s your iPhone,” Ebbel Angle said. “Science is in everything.” 

Ebbel Angle’s newest project puts her in the spotlight once again, as the star of the “Dr. Erika Show,” which can be seen via Comcast On Demand or online.  In mock talk-show style, “Dr. Erika” helps students saddled with failed science fair projects, helping them figure out where they’ve gon wrong and how to salvage them. A veteran of numerous science projects herself, Ebbel Angle knows first-hand the importance of innovative thinking.  “To be able to think like a scientist or to be able to ask the right types of inquisitive questions, that just helps you; that’s a life skill,” she said.

 


See on edweek.org

"Extreme" Science Fair Project Set to Hit the Market… and the Slopes

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

There’s plenty of room in the fast-moving world of extreme sports for science.  Ben Gulak proved it.  As a teenager, the now-23-year-old had a big ambition: Winning the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  His senior project, the Uno, was a part Segway, part motorcycle vehicle that he developed as an environmentally friendly transportation option for consumers in Asia.  Although regulatory issues thwarted that vision, the chairman of Intel at the time, Craig Barrett noticed Ben’s project, which won the “most marketable” award.  From there, Ben launched his won engineering design company, called BPG Werks, to develop a similar, even cheaper-to-produce concept — the DTV Shredder.  Geared toward extreme-sports fans, he tough-looking all-terrain vehicle borrows elements from the Segway, motorcycle, and skateboard.   “I really like the idea of bringing something new into the world, to an industry that’s been stagnant for a long time,” Ben said.  With about 4,000 pre-sold to date, Ben anticipates that he’ll ship in November and will have 10,000 sold by the December holidays.


See on businessweek.com

Turning Classrooms into Idea Factories

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

All signs point to the fact that the ability to innovate and create are skills that today’s students need for future success. Teachers who make their classrooms “idea factories” for their students, rather than focusing solely on textbook-based instruction, have the right idea. By coming up with their own ideas and executing them in the classroom, students get grounded in the kind of thinking and experimentation that is the foundation for innovation.

A new book, Bringing Innovation to School: Empoweringn Students to Thrive in a Changing World, makes useful suggestions for turning classrooms into spaces where innovation can thrive.  Among them, the book advises teachers to welcome authentic questions, build empathy, and amplify worthy ideas.


See on blogs.kqed.org

Mapping The Future Of Education Technology

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

What will education look like a decade or so from now?  The demands of a changing society are predicted to alter the job landscape drastically for today’s grade school students: a projected 65% of them will work in jobs that don’t yet exist.  It only makes sense, then that education will have to evolve to prepare students for that future.  Check out this infographic that illustrates the move from a classroom-centered learning environment to a new set of virtual environments. 


See on fastcoexist.com

Intel Inspires the Next Generation of Thinkers

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

On Wired’s Geekmom blog, Rebecca Angel recapped her interview with Carlos Contreras, Intel’s Education Director, about the state of STEM education in the US.  Pointing out that American students have a long way to go when it comes to matching their international peers’ performance on tests that require creative, complex thinking, Contreras feels that parents have a role to play in engaging young children in the kinds of activities that foster a spirit of inquiry. “Whatever the passion of the parent is, there is science behind it, whether it’s cooking or whatever hobby they are into,” he said. “There is science there, and get your kids to experiment.” 

Encouraging students to explore science and work to find the solutions to the questions they have can be invaluable.  Mentoring programs, like Project Engage in Massachusetts — which arose out of a multi-faceted collaboration of professionals  including representatives from Intel, MSSEF the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, and two public school districts — can be instrumental in lighting the spark that could lead to a great STEM career.

Click here to read the entire interview with Carlos Contreras.


See on wired.com

Nine Massachusetts Students Make Broadcom MASTERS 2012 Semifinals

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

The Broadcom MASTERS® (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the national science, technology, engineering and math competition for U.S. 6th, 7th, and 8th graders that inspires and encourages the nation’s young scientists, engineers and innovators. This year’s list of semifinalists includes the following nine young stars from Massachusetts:

Dayle Kwang-Liang Wang (Grade 8)
Massachusetts Region V Science Fair (USMA01)
Dover Dover-Sherborn Regional Middle School
Gusty Discoveries

Evan Leon Tilley (Grade 6)
Massachusetts Region III Science Fair (USMA03) Acushnet
St. Francis Xavier School
Salt Water Desalination

Ethan Wyatt Messier (Grade 6)
Swansea New England Christian Academy
Wave to the Future: The Utilization of Marine Waves Using Wave Buoys to Generate Electricity

Katherine Miranda (Grade 7)
Massachusetts Region II Science Fair (USMA05) Grafton
Grafton Home School
Nuclear Energy: How Can We Make It Safer?

Kumaran V.K. Ratnam (Grade 7)
Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair (USMA50) Acton
R.J. Grey Junior High School
A Study of Macular Degeneration and a Design of an Ultrasonic Guiding Device to Aide the Patients

Schools Daniel Lu (Grade 8)
Carlisle Carlisle Public
Psychoacoustics: The Perception of Volume

Emily Anna Lane (Grade 7)
Douglas Elementary School
Peel Power

David Anthony Bau (Grade 8)
Lincoln Lincoln Public Schools

Fan Liu (Grade 8)
Quincy Central Middle School
Fly Why? Will Irradiation Produce Mutations on Drosophila melanogaster?

Congratulations to them all!


See on societyforscience.org

In ChemLab Boot Camp, Online Video Meets STEM Education

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

In an interesting collision of pop culture and science, MIT unveiled a new reality video series this week called “ChemLab Boot Camp.”  The series follows MIT freshmen as they progress through the four-week-long Introductory Lab Techniques course. It’s geek entertainment with a mission.  According to MIT Professor John Essigmann, “We hope to show the human side of our field and to inspire young people to want to become the next generation of chemists.”  The show, which premieres officially in September, promises to give viewers a front-row seat on hands-on learning at its finest.  It also has the potential to deliver a little drama: Students who succeed in the class have a guaranteed job in a MIT research lab.  Stay tuned…!


See on insidehighered.com

‘Mohawk Guy’ on STEM Education

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdowski — a flight director for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission — has been the subject of some unexpected curiosity, himself. With his hair-raising style and winning personality, Ferdowski seems to be taking his new-found fame in style. The Washington Post’s Haley Crum had the opportunity to ask Ferdowski reader-submitted questions. Here’s his response to an inquiry about STEM education and his possible role in motivating the next generation of scientists.


See on washingtonpost.com

Awards Available for Innovations in Game-Based Learning

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

As games gain popularity among students as an education delivery method, the Department of Education has jumped on board with awards that focus on game-based learning education technology products.  The Institute of Education Sciences — the research arm of the Department of Education — announced a new round of awards, many of which focus on game-based learning products.  Phase I awards provide support to the tune of up to $150K for prototype development.  Phase II awards will kick in next year in amounts reaching $900K over two years. 

Education gaming experts say that well-designed games are motivating for students and by presenting discovery-based tasks, encourage critical thinking skills.  One project currently in the funding cycle is Game-enhanced Interactive Life Science — a suite of five life-science games.  Their purpose is to boost understanding  of the scientific inquiry process among middle school students and students with disabilities.


See on ed.gov

To Strengthen Science, Bring Back Grammar

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

Randolph-Macon College English Professor Thomas Peyser makes an interesting case for the importance of STEM students having a strong foundation in grammar in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  “…we can be confident that the abandonment of instruction in grammar is robbing us not just of future writers but of future scientists, physicians and engineers as well,” he writes.

With more and more emphasis on STEM education and less and less on grammar, the gap seems to be widening dangerously.  Scientists use words, sentences, and paragraphs to communicate, just as writers do.  Furthermore, STEM studies require students to distill complex sentences for comprehension.  Without an ample grasp on the fundamentals of grammar, students find themself at a disadvantage on both the expressive and receptive sides of the communication equation.

One of the key benefits of science fairs is the opportunity they provide for multi-disciplinary learning. A student’s skills as writer, designer, and speaker all come in to play during the science fair process — excellent practice for real-world science.  “Engineers and scientists must be competent readers, writers and speakers of syntactically complex sentences,” Peyser points out. “That is why the English classroom is an important stop on the road to the lab, the clinic and the drafting table. Good grammar isn’t rocket science, but students can’t become rocket scientists without it.”


See on www2.timesdispatch.com

Former Miss Massachusetts Champions Science Education

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

With a unique resume that features a doctorate in biochemistry as well as a beauty pageant title, Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle is poised to go big with her mission to make a difference in STEM education.  The MIT graduate, who received her PhD from the Boston University School of Medicine, founded the non-profit organization Science from Scientists in 2002.  The organization aims to gets students in grades 4-8 excited about math, science and technology.  “It’s important for children to understand that science isn’t this one area; it’s the material that your car’s made out of, it’s the chair you’re sitting in, it’s your iPhone,” Ebbel Angle said. “Science is in everything.” 

Ebbel Angle’s newest project puts her in the spotlight once again, as the star of the “Dr. Erika Show,” which can be seen via Comcast On Demand or online.  In mock talk-show style, “Dr. Erika” helps students saddled with failed science fair projects, helping them figure out where they’ve gon wrong and how to salvage them. A veteran of numerous science projects herself, Ebbel Angle knows first-hand the importance of innovative thinking.  “To be able to think like a scientist or to be able to ask the right types of inquisitive questions, that just helps you; that’s a life skill,” she said.

 


See on edweek.org

"Extreme" Science Fair Project Set to Hit the Market… and the Slopes

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

There’s plenty of room in the fast-moving world of extreme sports for science.  Ben Gulak proved it.  As a teenager, the now-23-year-old had a big ambition: Winning the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  His senior project, the Uno, was a part Segway, part motorcycle vehicle that he developed as an environmentally friendly transportation option for consumers in Asia.  Although regulatory issues thwarted that vision, the chairman of Intel at the time, Craig Barrett noticed Ben’s project, which won the “most marketable” award.  From there, Ben launched his won engineering design company, called BPG Werks, to develop a similar, even cheaper-to-produce concept — the DTV Shredder.  Geared toward extreme-sports fans, he tough-looking all-terrain vehicle borrows elements from the Segway, motorcycle, and skateboard.   “I really like the idea of bringing something new into the world, to an industry that’s been stagnant for a long time,” Ben said.  With about 4,000 pre-sold to date, Ben anticipates that he’ll ship in November and will have 10,000 sold by the December holidays.


See on businessweek.com

Turning Classrooms into Idea Factories

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

All signs point to the fact that the ability to innovate and create are skills that today’s students need for future success. Teachers who make their classrooms “idea factories” for their students, rather than focusing solely on textbook-based instruction, have the right idea. By coming up with their own ideas and executing them in the classroom, students get grounded in the kind of thinking and experimentation that is the foundation for innovation.

A new book, Bringing Innovation to School: Empoweringn Students to Thrive in a Changing World, makes useful suggestions for turning classrooms into spaces where innovation can thrive.  Among them, the book advises teachers to welcome authentic questions, build empathy, and amplify worthy ideas.


See on blogs.kqed.org

Mapping The Future Of Education Technology

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

What will education look like a decade or so from now?  The demands of a changing society are predicted to alter the job landscape drastically for today’s grade school students: a projected 65% of them will work in jobs that don’t yet exist.  It only makes sense, then that education will have to evolve to prepare students for that future.  Check out this infographic that illustrates the move from a classroom-centered learning environment to a new set of virtual environments. 


See on fastcoexist.com

Intel Inspires the Next Generation of Thinkers

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

On Wired’s Geekmom blog, Rebecca Angel recapped her interview with Carlos Contreras, Intel’s Education Director, about the state of STEM education in the US.  Pointing out that American students have a long way to go when it comes to matching their international peers’ performance on tests that require creative, complex thinking, Contreras feels that parents have a role to play in engaging young children in the kinds of activities that foster a spirit of inquiry. “Whatever the passion of the parent is, there is science behind it, whether it’s cooking or whatever hobby they are into,” he said. “There is science there, and get your kids to experiment.” 

Encouraging students to explore science and work to find the solutions to the questions they have can be invaluable.  Mentoring programs, like Project Engage in Massachusetts — which arose out of a multi-faceted collaboration of professionals  including representatives from Intel, MSSEF the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, and two public school districts — can be instrumental in lighting the spark that could lead to a great STEM career.

Click here to read the entire interview with Carlos Contreras.


See on wired.com

Nine Massachusetts Students Make Broadcom MASTERS 2012 Semifinals

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

The Broadcom MASTERS® (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the national science, technology, engineering and math competition for U.S. 6th, 7th, and 8th graders that inspires and encourages the nation’s young scientists, engineers and innovators. This year’s list of semifinalists includes the following nine young stars from Massachusetts:

Dayle Kwang-Liang Wang (Grade 8)
Massachusetts Region V Science Fair (USMA01)
Dover Dover-Sherborn Regional Middle School
Gusty Discoveries

Evan Leon Tilley (Grade 6)
Massachusetts Region III Science Fair (USMA03) Acushnet
St. Francis Xavier School
Salt Water Desalination

Ethan Wyatt Messier (Grade 6)
Swansea New England Christian Academy
Wave to the Future: The Utilization of Marine Waves Using Wave Buoys to Generate Electricity

Katherine Miranda (Grade 7)
Massachusetts Region II Science Fair (USMA05) Grafton
Grafton Home School
Nuclear Energy: How Can We Make It Safer?

Kumaran V.K. Ratnam (Grade 7)
Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair (USMA50) Acton
R.J. Grey Junior High School
A Study of Macular Degeneration and a Design of an Ultrasonic Guiding Device to Aide the Patients

Schools Daniel Lu (Grade 8)
Carlisle Carlisle Public
Psychoacoustics: The Perception of Volume

Emily Anna Lane (Grade 7)
Douglas Elementary School
Peel Power

David Anthony Bau (Grade 8)
Lincoln Lincoln Public Schools

Fan Liu (Grade 8)
Quincy Central Middle School
Fly Why? Will Irradiation Produce Mutations on Drosophila melanogaster?

Congratulations to them all!


See on societyforscience.org

In ChemLab Boot Camp, Online Video Meets STEM Education

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

In an interesting collision of pop culture and science, MIT unveiled a new reality video series this week called “ChemLab Boot Camp.”  The series follows MIT freshmen as they progress through the four-week-long Introductory Lab Techniques course. It’s geek entertainment with a mission.  According to MIT Professor John Essigmann, “We hope to show the human side of our field and to inspire young people to want to become the next generation of chemists.”  The show, which premieres officially in September, promises to give viewers a front-row seat on hands-on learning at its finest.  It also has the potential to deliver a little drama: Students who succeed in the class have a guaranteed job in a MIT research lab.  Stay tuned…!


See on insidehighered.com

‘Mohawk Guy’ on STEM Education

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

NASA’s “Mohawk Guy” Bobak Ferdowski — a flight director for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission — has been the subject of some unexpected curiosity, himself. With his hair-raising style and winning personality, Ferdowski seems to be taking his new-found fame in style. The Washington Post’s Haley Crum had the opportunity to ask Ferdowski reader-submitted questions. Here’s his response to an inquiry about STEM education and his possible role in motivating the next generation of scientists.


See on washingtonpost.com

Awards Available for Innovations in Game-Based Learning

See on Scoop.it - Curious Minds

As games gain popularity among students as an education delivery method, the Department of Education has jumped on board with awards that focus on game-based learning education technology products.  The Institute of Education Sciences — the research arm of the Department of Education — announced a new round of awards, many of which focus on game-based learning products.  Phase I awards provide support to the tune of up to $150K for prototype development.  Phase II awards will kick in next year in amounts reaching $900K over two years. 

Education gaming experts say that well-designed games are motivating for students and by presenting discovery-based tasks, encourage critical thinking skills.  One project currently in the funding cycle is Game-enhanced Interactive Life Science — a suite of five life-science games.  Their purpose is to boost understanding  of the scientific inquiry process among middle school students and students with disabilities.


See on ed.gov
To Strengthen Science, Bring Back Grammar
Former Miss Massachusetts Champions Science Education
"Extreme" Science Fair Project Set to Hit the Market… and the Slopes
Turning Classrooms into Idea Factories
Mapping The Future Of Education Technology
Intel Inspires the Next Generation of Thinkers
Nine Massachusetts Students Make Broadcom MASTERS 2012 Semifinals
In ChemLab Boot Camp, Online Video Meets STEM Education
‘Mohawk Guy’ on STEM Education
Awards Available for Innovations in Game-Based Learning

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Committed to increasing participation in inquiry-based learning through the development of science and engineering projects by middle and high school students.

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