Author Archives: Debra Shapiro

Debra Shapiro

Associate editor of NSTA Reports, the association's member newspaper; contributing writer for the NSTA blog; and editor of the Freebies for Science Teachers and NSTA Calendar web pages. Follow me on Twitter: @Debra_NSTA

Redesigning the Science Fair

Schools and teachers are transforming traditional science fairs into events incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or STEAM (STEM plus Arts).

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Building Electric Cars Enhances STEM Learning

Students around the country are learning science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by designing, building, and racing electric cars.

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Building STEM Knowledge in a Breakerspace

A breakerspace—a makerspace workstation where students can disassemble toys, electronics, and appliances—engages students in learning what makes things work and investigating the world around them.

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Unlocking Science in Breakout Games

The popularity of escape rooms— physical adventure games in which players solve a series of puzzles to break out of a locked room—has carried over into science classrooms nationwide in the form of breakout box games.

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NASA Grants Rocket Informal Ed Ahead

Grants from NASA’s Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums, and NASA Visitor Centers (CP4SMPVC) enable the agency to partner with informal education venues to enhance their space science related–programs and engage teachers and students in NASA’s mission. But the CP4SMPVC hasn’t awarded new grants since early 2017. Why should science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers care about this?

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Educating Students About Veterinary Science

Veterinary schools at universities around the country are offering programs for students interested in veterinary medicine and informing them about careers in the field.

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Off to the STEM Races

When students build race cars and compete in races, they can learn science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts, are more likely to retain what they learned, and have fun in the process, educators have found.

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Partnering With Scientists

While it’s common for many teachers to have a scientist visit their classroom once or twice a year, some teachers have formed long-term partnerships that enable scientists to spend significant time with their students. Cindy Hopkins, science teacher at Kaffie Middle School in Corpus Christi, Texas, met one of her scientist partners— Janel Ortiz, a […]

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Striving for a Zero-Waste School

Taking actions to become a zero-waste school can be “a big pain,” says Brian Shmaefsky, professor of biology and environmental science at Lone Star College in Kingwood, Texas. But he adds, “As an environmental scientist, I typically look at waste reduction because of budget concerns…Now [that] we can provide digital [assignments and tests] at school, it […]

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Teaching About Science in the News

How do you teach students to differentiate between science fact and science fiction? Are they able to compare “what pops up on Facebook” to legitimate science news sources like the National Science Foundation? Read this NSTA Reports story to learn what real teachers are doing to combat fake news.

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