Category Archives: STEM

Video Case: Powerful Engineering Example

I’m always looking for powerful examples of engineering to share with teachers and students. This is one of my current favorites- the story of designing an elegantly simple microscope and centrifuge that can save countless lives around the world. Enjoy!

Learning Targets in a NGSS Classroom

OVERVIEW: I have had several conversations with teachers and administrators about how learning targets, objectives, and success criteria should look different in science learning than they might in other content areas. Some of these conversations have been greeted with skepticism (to say the least) so it will be nice to have a resource to help guide this topic in the future. The latest STEM Teaching Tool #46 is titled: How to define meaningful daily learning objectives for science investigations… and it looks like a brilliant overview of this important topic.

PURPOSE: This STEM Teaching tool provides clarity and examples for how learning targets in science can be public, helpful, constructed with students, and designed in a way to not “give away” the concept being learned.

AUDIENCE: district and building administrators, teachers of science, PD providers, teacher educators, curriculum writers

LINK: http://stemteachingtools.org/brief/46

 

What do Pre-service Teachers Need to Know About NGSS? A Twitter Essay

OVERVIEW: Dr. Phil Bell at the University of Washington was recently asked what pre-service teachers should know about the Next Generation Science Standards. He responded with a series of Tweets or a Twitter Essay. (As an instructor of multiple science methods courses I’m considering making this a part of my syllabus.)

AUDIENCE: Any teacher educators of K-12 teachers of science (I think this list also applies to practicing teachers of science and those who provide science professional development.)

PURPOSE: This Twitter essay provides specific resources and reminders about how the teaching of science is much more than just putting a bunch of content into the heads of learners. My personal favorite is recommendation #3:

Make equity & social justice a central, daily focus of your science teaching practice —not an add-on 

LINK: https://twitter.com/philiplbell/status/805927250210144259

I also highly recommend following Dr. Bell on Twitter if you don’t already:

https://twitter.com/philiplbell

Here is a short video of Dr. Bell discussing the role of play and personal engagement in science learning.

Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences

OVERVIEW: The National Academies Press recently released a report on the state of science literacy titled Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences. Like all of the NAP documents you can read it FREE in your browser, download for FREE or order a hardcopy (Not FREE).

AUDIENCE: Science teachers, educational researchers, policy makers, administrators, others

PURPOSE: This report provides an overview of the state of science literacy in several areas and provides a number of Conclusions for each area:

  • Science Literacy and Health Literacy
  • Science Literacy in Society and the World
  • Science Literacy for Communities
  • Science Literacy for Individuals

Here is the description from the NAP site:

Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to science—whether using knowledge or creating it—necessitates some level of familiarity with the enterprise and practice of science: we refer to this as science literacy.

Science literacy is desirable not only for individuals, but also for the health and well- being of communities and society. More than just basic knowledge of science facts, contemporary definitions of science literacy have expanded to include understandings of scientific processes and practices, familiarity with how science and scientists work, a capacity to weigh and evaluate the products of science, and an ability to engage in civic decisions about the value of science. Although science literacy has traditionally been seen as the responsibility of individuals, individuals are nested within communities that are nested within societies—and, as a result, individual science literacy is limited or enhanced by the circumstances of that nesting.

Science Literacy studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research.

LINK:  http://www.nap.edu/catalog/23595/science-literacy-concepts-contexts-and-consequences

Successful STEM Education

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 3.59.56 PMOVERVIEW: Successful STEM Education is a site that provides resources, information, and events about effective tools and practices for K-12 STEM education. The site also contains links to 2 important STEM education reports:

Successful K-12 STEM Education

Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K-12 STEM Education

My favorite part of the site is the STEM Smart Briefs– these 10 briefs provide an overview on research that relates to common challenges and recommendations in K-12. Topics of the briefs include:

  • Connecting Informal and Formal STEM Education
  • CTE Pathways to STEM Occupations
  • Engineering: Emphasizing the “E” in STEM Education
  • Preparing and Supporting STEM Educators

TARGET AUDIENCE: Administrators, STEM teachers and teacher leaders, PD providers, informal science providers, curriculum directors, and others in education

PURPOSE: Provides key STEM Education resources in one location.

LINK: http://successfulstemeducation.org/

March 2016 NGSS Newsletter

The Nextgenscience.org site posts a monthly newsletter. You can access the March 2016 NGSS Newsletter HERE. You will find information about the new NGSS website, bundling Performance Expectations, thinking about bee colony collapse as a phenomena, and more.

 

WA State: LASER STEM Education Leadership Institute

Washington State LASER is offering a week-long STEM Education Leadership Institute to be held June 22-26, 2015 in Lynnwood, WA. For registration information and more details about the institute click HERE.

Applications for teams are due April 3, 2015.