No matter what subject matter you are working on, problem solving and critical thinking are both important skills for everyone. Problem solving is woven throughout our daily lives as we engineer better methods of overcoming obstacles in our pursuit of better living conditions. Across the curriculum, educators can nurture strong product design skills in their […]
Looking for a quick way to hook future STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) fans? PBS Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers are short, golden nuggets of insight into the life of modern day scientists and engineers. From biology to astronomy, to nanoscience and engineers, PBS inspires future innovators andnew discovery, showing the role models […]
Problem Based Learning and STEM
As the state of our educational system changes in search of solutions to low Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math scores nationwide, teachers are in pursuit of learning strategies that meet the goal we’ve always had with our students (learning gains) with the statewide goals (student learning gains). Problem based learning is one of many methods in our teaching tool box we use to make this happen.
In a middle school science lab, how many students would you predict would get tongue tied when asked to describe photosynthesis? As a working example of learning gains in the classroom, the science concept of photosynthesis will take the stage as an example of how problem based discovery engages an unmotivated student.
I found myself among the dead on Friday. The science of mummies and the technology that unravels the mysteries are on display at the Charlotte, NC Discovery Place Mummies of the World Exhibit. Mummies of the World tells the story of the mummies through state-of-the-art multimedia, hands-on interactive stations and cutting-edge 3-D animation taking visitors on a 6,500-year journey to explore the mummies’ history and origins as well as how they were created through both intentional and natural processes. Through computer tomography (CT) scans, researchers have determined that prior to death many of the mummies showed evidence of various ailments and illnesses, some of them endemic among families.
Did your science or math professor scare the curiosity right out of you? Girls and boys alike are curious by nature. Changing the social norm of hands-on for boys and dress up for girls means equal opportunities for all students to explore the world around us.
A colleague and I are building a new STEM club at our math, science, technology middle school magnet in Central Florida. We have looked at club successes from the past and we have analyzed the decline of some clubs, as well. Bringing together what works and weeding out a long term commitment, we hope will build the science muscles of these targeted learners.
I think “science in small doses” is a good place to begin.
Mapping out a series of units based on key science learning needs for our students on campus is complete. Now we begin our pursuit of the under resourced students mentioned in the NPR interview included in this post.~KayBorglum.com
The Reality of Technology in Our Classrooms
Our students were born in a world with satellites and cell phone towers. But the policy in the school yard has that technology tool held hostage in their backpack or back pocket. I bet if I took a survey tomorrow morning, more of my students would have their cell phones in their backpack and less would have a pencil or pen. From the vista of my discovery lab classroom, I see cell phones as an immediate solution to a contagious interest in science and engineering for our students.~Kay Borglum (2011)
As a STEM (science) teacher, I experience a more meaningful day with my learners from bell-to-bell when we blend real-world problems that enable them to safely problem-solve with meaning. Immediate feedback is generated through their daily learning journals in my Space Lab classes.
I promote high expectations and use instant revision to energize it. This past Friday, I invested 12 minutes towards how-to- improve the three lesson facts each student picks for their daily journal. “Don’t pick facts that you cannot connect to your life. That is boring. Boring is the opposite of discovery. Find facts that are hooked into what you do, what you want to do, and what thrills you. Then, your journal activity becomes something personal, something meaningful.” I saw an instant return on that 12 minute investment.~Kay Borglum, STEM Science Teacher (FL)
As governors and administrators modulate class size and craft budgets for teaching the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and innovators, parents cannot be removed from the equation of success for their child.
I see the most meaningful learning happen when the unit of discovery is structured enough to guide them towards a target topic, but flexible in that their own questions energize two things: personal interest and higher quality reflective lab reports.~Kay Borglum, MS
LabTV (NDEP) video features an experiment created at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and blasted into space aboard the Space Shuttle is helping design better ways to treat injured soldiers and keep astronauts healthier.
NASA Office of Education invites local schools and organizations to apply for grants that would enable existing summer & after-school programs to incorporate NASA-inspired science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) content and activities for middle-school (grades 5-8) students. Application deadline is June 17, 2011.
The most recent assessments show improvement in U.S. pupils’ knowledge of math and science; however, the large majority still fail to reach adequate levels of proficiency. Moreover, when compared to other nations, the achievement of U.S. students is seen by many as inconsistent with the nation’s role as a world leader in scientific innovation.
We are here to inspire a generation with technology at their fingertips. The students entering my classroom are the generation who, for many of them, have been using the computer since they were two years old.
During the two-week program students have opportunities to interact with NASA scientists and engineers, engage in hands-on activities and integrate NASA content into standards-based curriculum.
My F.U.N. model represents the Fundamentals of Understanding Networking in a team. Communication, popularly labeled the weakest link in a team and organization, is the energy that fuels the outcome of getting to the finish line.
I had the honor of meeting some very dedicated teachers, engineers, educators and NASA Astronaut Jon McBride today at the Florida Engineering Education Conference, sponsored by The University of Central Florida College of Engineering and Computer Science in Orlando, FL. This year’s conference focus was Engineering Space Education .Conference teachers requested some of the STEM Space Science Resources after the panel presentations today. I have included three of the resources mentioned during my presentation today. I will follow up this weekend with the Science and Math Lab grading rubric and Science Literacy Cafe’ student worksheet
“This truly amazing process will give students and the general public a unique inside view to behind the observatory scenes, while presenting to the viewers how science is being done – all in real time.”
When will you ever use Calculus:Talking on the phone while driving~ 60mph at 7:45pm in the woods on SR 46A when I noticed off to my right view a rather large 250 poundish black bear galloping toward where my car was about to be in 5 seconds or so. A fast acceleration and a squint […]
Do you remember a hands on experience that sparked your inner science explorer?
You’ve heard the adage that water and oil don’t mix. But don’t be surprised if they play out their role as vital assets in the same sand box. Just look to our neighbors in the western U.S., specifically Las Vegas, Nevada, to measure just how important water is at this moment. Water? The same valuable […]