Ed News: Inspiring STEM Education & Life Skills Via Robotics

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This week in education news, a recent study found that on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school year learning; new study suggests that specific types of preservice training and professional development may be less related to student achievement than the content and priorities of these programs; in the age of online learning, parents and students have more access than ever before to educational resources; 76% of current and former K-3 teachers favor a more integrated early education system; new report details how sexual harassment of women permeates academic institutions, scientific societies, and federal agencies; ISTE is creating new computer science standards for educators; and the Colorado State Board of Education adopts new science standards.

More Than Robots: Inspiring STEM Education And Life Skills Via Robotics

Nearly 70,000 people cheering for their favorite teams, bleachers filled with signs and costumes, and fans gushing over game highlights and strategic execution. This was the scene in Houston and Detroit in late April—not for a football game or rally, but rather the premier sport for the mind: the world’s largest youth robotics competition, FIRST® Championship. Read the article featured in eSchool News.

What’s In ESSA’s Big Flexible-Spending Pot

The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants—better known as Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act—is one of the most flexible federal programs around. And it just got a huge increase, from $400 million in the 2017-18 school year to $1.1 billion for the 2018-19 school year. The program is closely watched by advocates and district officials alike, in part because the dollars can cover such a wide array of needs—from school safety training to drama clubs to science programs to suicide prevention. Read the article featured in Education Week.

It Takes A Community To Stop The Summer Learning Slide

This aptly-named “summer learning slide” that many students experience has represented a perennial challenge to the education and youth development communities. Consider a recent Brookings Institute study, which cites that on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school year learning. Or an Oxford Learning statistic that highlights how, over the years, students who experience summer learning loss are two grade levels behind their peers. Read the article featured in The Hill.

What Other Countries Can Teach The U.S. About Teacher Professional Development

U.S. teachers have many possible routes into teaching, from traditional schools of education to alternative-certification programs. A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development suggests that specific types of preservice training and professional development may be less related to student achievement than the content and priorities of these programs. Read the article featured in Education Week TEACHER.

STEM: At the Crossroads Of Traditional And Online Learning

In the age of online learning, educators, parents and students around the world — especially including from diverse and rural populations — have more access than ever before to educational resources. The STEM education community, where innovation and hands-on learning experiences are critical, often finds itself at the exciting crossroads of traditional and online learning. The role we play in classrooms and communities across the country has taught us an important lesson: As online learning continues to change the face of education, those of us at this intersection have a tremendous opportunity to embrace digital advancements and, ultimately, enhance traditional classroom environments and hands-on programs for our students. After all, what is online learning but an incredible STEM innovation? Read the article featured in T.H.E. Journal.

Many Teachers Favor A More Integrated Early Education System, National Survey Finds

Teachers of children in preschool through 3rd grade said a more unified education system, for children younger than 8 years old, would help to establish a common foundation in early childhood education that would align teaching and student learning, according to a national survey. Read the article featured in EdSource.

After-School Programs Enter Career-Tech Space

Programs like the ACE Mentor Program (ACE stands for architecture, construction, and engineering) are part of a growing interest in career and technical education, or CTE, in high schools across the country—both in school and after school. In Portland, as in many other districts, the push to increase CTE offerings is partly coming from leaders within the business community and the trades, who see it as a way to keep the pipeline into their professions flowing with workers who have the right job skills. The after-school option gives students who are already taking CTE classes something extra, while permitting students in regular classes to try on careers to see if they fit. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Girls’ STEM Programs Alone Can’t Combat #MeToo In Science Fields

Girls across the Chicago area may be kicking off summers filled with chemistry, biotechnology experiments and app development, but it’s going to take a lot more than STEM education to end a pervasive culture of sexual harassment of women in science, according to a sweeping new study. Read the article featured in the Chicago Tribune.

ISTE’s Updated Computer Science Standards Will Reflect A ‘New Era’ Of The Discipline

For the first time in six years, the International Society for Technology and Education (ISTE) is creating new computer science standards for educators. The document will reflect a “new era” in the way K-12 educators should think about teaching STEM and computer science, experts and coding advocates say. Read the article featured in EdScoop.

Colorado Adopts New Science Standards That Focus On Inquiry, Not Memorization

New science standards adopted by a divided Colorado State Board of Education call on students to learn by puzzling through problems in the natural world rather than by listening to facts from a teacher. Read the article featured in Chalkbeat.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.


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