Every child, and every child at heart, knows there is a certain magic about an amusement park. It’s more than just the rides and food – it’s a feeling of freedom and fun rolled into one. With the spring and summer seasons, people flock to amusement parks and water parks across the country. In fact, according to the 2017 Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) /AECOM Global Attractions Report, there were more than 475 million annual visitors at the top 10 theme park groups worldwide.
We have spent a great deal of time working with the concept of individual equity regarding the students we serve. To date, the majority of our training and dialogue has focused on what can be considered the macro conception of equity.
As a science teacher, specialist, or supervisor, we are often tasked with explaining to our supervisor why students are struggling with the EOC (End-of-Course) science assessments. Often when asked to explain the disappointing passing rates, to our principals or supervisors we shake our heads and declare it was about student motivation at the sophomore level. Students didn’t have a need to pass, so they didn’t try.
“Meet George Jetson....”
Welcome to the STEM Issue!
Who knew a 1960s cartoon would someday mirror real life in 2019 and beyond? Well, a lot of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and artists knew then that this was the future. They were just waiting for the rest of us to catch up. And catching up is what we’re doing now — by focusing on STEM, STEAM and STREAM education in our schools.
Relevant Tags: FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
“Thank you teachers for all you do! Here at SEEN, we honor your dedication and commitment to our children and communities. We do our best to bring you the resources and information you need to be productive educators and wish you continued success. SEEN serves the educator community every day and we’re proud to be your partner in the betterment of K12 education. “
We all know that STEM plays a crucial role in our modern world, from the economy to our general well-being. It will continue to play a crucial role in our future economy as advancements in technology persists. STEM goes beyond writing codes and wearing lab coats. It has become the backbone of many industries including logistics, construction, manufacturing and healthcare.
Relevant Tags: COLUMN
STEM has become a household word for most educators. It is the emphasis of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But from a futurist’s standpoint, what does that really mean and how will STEM education look in a futurist classroom?
When we introduce the Scientific Method to our student, we have the highest intentions for these budding scientists to come away from the experience with a sense of what it is like to be a scientist. But, in reality are we just reinforcing the stereotype of the “mad scientist” in a dirty lab coat, with white hair flying straight back, and the black outline of soot around his safety goggles from an explosion in the lab? Is our disappointment with what comes back as “science fair projects” the product of our own making?
How prepared do your students feel, after memorizing the steps of the “Scientific Method,” learning the steps in isolation, and being told to go ask a question, do your research and design an experiment? From my initial experiences as a MS science teacher, in the library with my students, I can honestly tell you — they were not prepared.
Relevant Tags: THE FUTURE IS NOW
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. - Techopedia
Whether you realize it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is already shaping our world. Whenever you use Siri or Alexa, you are already communicating with digital assistance — a form of AI that is pegged as an “intelligent digital assistant.” These AI assistants are designed to make your life easier.
Now, it is clear they are headed to the classroom as well. According to Artificial Intelligence Market in the US Education Sector 2017-2021, experts expect AI in education to grow by “47.50 percent during the period 2017-2021.” Therefore, it is imperative to consider how AI will shape the future of the K-12 classroom.
With the increasing impact of technology in nearly every sector of the global business environment, coding has become a necessary language and skillset in the digital age. It is important for kids — both boys and girls — to start learning the language of code at an early age so they begin thinking about problem solving in a more fluid manner that empowers them to work in team environments that encourages community learning and collaboration.
While STEM programs get a ton of attention and accolades (and rightfully so!), STEAM programs are just as important. If your school, or school district, is not incorporating the “A” (Arts) in their STEM programs, here are just a couple of reasons why it is so important to have the arts as part of your curriculum:
In the scientific community, gathering and explaining evidence in light of current scientific knowledge is one of the practices of scientists and engineers. When we create those same settings in our STEM classrooms amazing learning can take place! Nor longer are students the memorizers of facts and other peoples’ ideas, but are active participants in the creating of scientific explanations based on their observations and understandings of the world around them.
Here in the early 21st century we have a wealth of new materials we can use to teach and learn an amazing array of ideas.
While Edtech is a booming business, some of our greatest educational tools are hiding in the toy aisle of stores or the game section of retailers. STEM kits, STEAM toys, VR games, the list goes on and on, but bringing these great resources into the classroom is still the realm of the outliers, the pioneers and the vanguards. How do we make STEAM toys the norm for our classes?
At Fulton Academy of Science and Technology (FAST), there is an extra class called “Innovation Hour” specifically created for students to learn the engineering design process through project-based learning. This process requires students to problem-solve, plan project solutions, produce tangible designs and evaluate the outcome of their work.
As an engineering teacher, finding ways for my middle school students to effectively use technology, to make important scientific connections as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and to take ownership of their own learning, is what it’s all about.
Creating a classroom environment that emphasizes hands-on learning not only encourages students to be active participants during the learning process, but it helps instill a passion for science education within them that hopefully lasts well beyond their time in my class.
Relevant Tags: CURRICULUM
The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.
E. O. Wilson
The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math caucus still exists in Congress. It’s relatively bi-partisan, founded in 2005 by Vernon Ehlers, a Republican, and Mark Udall, a Democrat.
Children need to explore and to discover. This is how you innovate; you fail your way to your answer. “Scientists fail all the time; we just brand it differently. We call it ‘data’, said Ainissa Ramirez.
Students at every age should be encouraged to think deeply so that they have the chance to become the innovators, educators, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our future. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) inspires students to think more broadly and to solve problems with a hands-on approach.
As educators who teach writing, we’ve all heard the moans and groans from our students. They don’t want to write because they dislike it and feel self-conscious. They’ve stored years’ worth of negative feelings and experiences about writing, and all that baggage travels with them into our classrooms, dragging them down and souring their dispositions before we’ve even gotten started.
Imagine your dream car, loaded with every bell and whistle you’ve ever imagined. Years of work by a lot of bright people have gone into its design, and countless dollars have been spent to supply it with each newfangled thingamajig. But there it sits in the street, going absolutely nowhere. No matter how fabulous the vehicle is, it’s nothing without you.
Just as great cars need a driver, every great classroom needs a teacher. Autonomous vehicles may be able to replace human drivers, but artificial intelligence can never adequately replace a teacher, despite some proposals to the contrary. The notion of teachers being essential is not a novel one, yet increasingly, teachers have had to fight to assert their own value. It’s worth reminding ourselves how important teachers are, particularly in the dynamic field of science education.
Relevant Tags: SCIENCE EDUCATION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Why is it that despite decades of calls for change, some things never seem to change significantly? Years of appeal for tax reform, a balanced budget, or gun control, for example, have led to little substantial change in the status quo for each of these problematic issues. And despite decades of calling for reform in science education in K–12 classrooms, science is essentially being taught the same way today as it was 50 years ago.
Springfield Public Schools’ motto is “Engaging, Relevant, and Personal.” Our district serves 25,000 students in five high schools, nine middle schools, one intermediate school, and 36 elementary schools. About five years ago, the Learning Support Department began writing curriculum in project-based learning units to better meet this motto. The goal was to create units that were relevant to students’ lives, asking them to solve real-world problems.
I like to tease my oldest daughter that her first word was “Why?” (even though it wasn’t) because in her toddler years, she said this word so often I was convinced she was on an automatic loop. At times, I’m sure it was just a flippant response to something I’d asked her to do. But more often than not, her questions were actually sparked by her curiosity and her eagerness to learn about the world: Why is there a rainbow? Why is the moon out in the daytime? Why is the sky blue?
Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics. These academic concepts, otherwise known as STEM, are nothing new to the sports world. In fact, STEM, especially in today’s world, actually drives sports. If you don’t know the correlation of STEM and sports, here are just some basic parallels to think about:
Football and STEM – “Thanks to science, technology, engineering and math, today’s helmets are formulated to reduce the possibility of concussion. Accelerometers built into chin straps can measure the force and direction of impact and help identify head injuries during play.” https://www.chevronstemzone.com/football/
Relevant Tags: HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Introduction by Deirdre Edwards
As you know, we’ve been discussing the great correlation of STEM in sports and how the principles of STEM are being used in our major sports organizations and sports venues. It truly is phenomenal to see how relatable our core academic subjects directly play into our favorite pastimes, and always has!
And while we have focused on traditional, physical sports, there is another sport to be considered when it comes to STEM: E-Sports. Now, I know there are many who may argue that playing video games is hardly a sport (see op-ed below), but there is an actual definition of “e-sports” that could refute your claim.
Question: What is the one thing which schools can provide to all students in all schools in all states in the U.S. each day which will make them smarter and healthier? Answer: Give them daily P.E. at school. That’s it. It’s that simple. Really.
The academic benefits of physical activity breaks for students — whether it’s physical education, recess or short physical activity breaks —are abundantly clear and in numerous supply. While the benefits of exercise are well publicized, rarely do we hear about the negative side effects of physical inactivity.
Earlier this year, some students complained that the way I taught new vocabulary words was overly rigid and scaffolded. “It’s too easy and it takes too long,” one said plainly. I didn’t want to listen. I had created this vocabulary routine over the span of many years and was convinced that it helped students internalize new words. But when I stepped back to consider what my students were telling me, I knew that they were right. Rethinking my lessons gave me an opportunity to create a more efficient vocabulary routine that encouraged students to be independent learners. But to get there, I had to be willing to learn and grow, too.
Relevant Tags: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
COMPETENCY BASED EDUCATION
Daniel Joseph of Competency Based
CBE Solutions provides support for districts seeking to develop learning systems that are the foundation of student achievement and increased teacher and instructional capacities. We help build organizational readiness and capacity to aid districts in their transformation to a personalized/competency-based learning system by training and coaching all levels of the organization on how to implement rigorous, transparent and viable systems of learning and instruction.
Relevant Tags: EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANTS
More than 219,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since the 1999 Columbine tragedy according to The Washington Post. While a report by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) found that bullying rates, gang affiliation and instances of student victimization have decreased in recent years, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) notes a steep rise in gun violence. The CHDS reports that in 2018 alone, there were 97 gun-related incidents on a school campus that lead to 56 deaths and 109 injuries.
The events that took place at Columbine, Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman Douglas are forever etched in memories. For Birmingham, Alabama’s Samford University Orlean Beeson School of Education faculty and administration, these events and others raised the question: “What can we do to protect and prevent within our local districts?”
Relevant Tags: SECURITY
Students do more than learn when they’re at school. They make friends. They socialize. They develop, they change, and they grow. The many hours that students spend in school are some of the most formative of their lives, and it is important to provide them with a safe environment to navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood.
Not long ago, security concerns for most schools involved student conflicts, vandalism, theft and liability — now the foremost concern is life safety.
Domestic terrorism has become a major motivator for improving the security of school districts in the US. Increasing outbreaks of active shooter and other security incidents in recent years have prompted parents, administrators and law enforcement to take a hard look at improving campus safety.
According to EveryTown Research, since 2013 there have been more than 300 school shootings in the US — an average of about one per week. A recent article published by Campus Safety Magazine states that nearly all US schools now have planned responses in the event of a school shooting.
Every school is an investment in the future. Schools have the unique opportunity to nurture young minds and support a stable, sustainable future for the world around us in a multitude of ways. For students, green schools present an opportunity to learn how to lead healthier and more sustainable lives now and in the future.
How do you get sustainability in your school to stick? The Whole School Sustainability framework, a resource from the Center for Green Schools, can help guide you. Within this framework, there are “the three pillars of a green school” — which measures success in sustainability and helps to make these efforts stick.
Relevant Tags: FACILITIES
At the heart of every school is the desire to help students thrive. This desire requires support from teachers, faculty members, families, communities and even school buildings.
A green school is about more than curriculum, more than programming and more than bricks and mortar. It’s a school that not only sets students up for success, but also supports global sustainability. A green school begins with the future in mind, designing a learning experience that will prepare students to lead their communities toward a healthier and cleaner future.
A shimmering 18-foot-tall Firebird sculpture greets visitors to The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Its reflective mirrors, glass and specks of color move with the surroundings: traffic, trees, buildings and pedestrians. The phoenix-like piece by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle offers a playful introduction to the one-of-a-kind collection waiting inside the museum. The building itself is only the second in this country designed by the Swiss architect Mario Botta. Botta is considered one of the world’s foremost architects whose career spans a variety of building types. He has only accepted two commissions in the United States: the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Intimate in scale, delightfully arresting in its spaces and vistas and simple and elegant in its materials, the Bechtler is a jewel of a museum. The museum building is a square terra cotta tile-covered box with a cantilevered fourth-floor gallery hanging over a plaza with a column in the middle. An interior atrium creates a light-filled space inside.
Relevant Tags: STUDENT TRAVEL
Are you in the know? About educational field trips at the North Carolina Zoo that is. The Zoo offers a variety of educational activities for school and homeschool groups. To start, did you know that North Carolina teachers can bring their students to the Zoo for free, early September to early June? Out-of-state schools receive a discount on their admission. Please make sure to register on our website (www.NCZoo.org) 15 days in advance of your group’s visit.
The Fredericksburg region, consisting of the city of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County and Stafford County, is conveniently located between Richmond and Washington, D.C. and offers a rich history with a multitude of opportunities for students to interact with the historical events and remarkable people who helped form our country. Here are some Fredericksburg’s museums and tourist’s favorite attractions:
Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay is a 63-acre theme park in Louisville, Kentucky with more than 70 rides and attractions, including six thrilling roller coasters, lots of thrill rides and family classics, and a large selection of children’s rides. Kentucky Kingdom will also feature a NEW roller coaster this year, Kentucky Flyer. The Hurricane Bay water park boasts two wave pools, two rivers, two children’s activity pools, a water coaster, and oodles of water slides.
Take charge of your summer fun with a vacation that’s perfect for you in Sevierville, Tennessee.
From outdoor adventures to theme parks and amusements — even shopping trips — sometimes it’s hard to choose how you want to spend your summer vacation. It can be even harder to find a destination that pleases everyone traveling with you. But never fear, Sevierville, Tennessee is here with perfect summer break ideas to help you get the most fun out of the season.
What better way to learn about science and enjoy the summer than with hands-on labs and summer camp activities in a beautiful outdoor setting! That’s what Guided Discoveries’ Astrocamp provides kids during the warm months – a chance to learn more about science and enjoy a traditional summer camp experience.
Who doesn’t want a reason to visit the beautiful Florida Keys? With convenient flights to Key West, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the History of Diving Museum is a short scenic drive away, located in Islamorada (MM83). Divers and land-lovers alike are amazed by one of the world’s largest collections of diving equipment. Exhibits span over 4,000 years of “man’s quest to explore under the sea’”. The displays tell an international story that highlights both male and female pioneers, as well as those who broke through racial and ethnic barriers to descend to the ocean floor.
On Dec. 1, 1955, the act of one courageous woman sparked a movement that brought change not only to the city of Montgomery, Alabama but throughout the United States.
As if the unseasonably warm temperatures, budding trees, and blooming flowers weren’t enough, a sure sign that spring is coming is the start of Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad’s 2019 season.
Located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Potomac Eagle is less than three hours from Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. Close enough for a day trip, yet far enough away to escape the hustle and bustle of the every day.
If there’s one thing Brittain Resorts & Hotels knows how to do is to create the ultimate Myrtle Beach family vacation. From oceanfront resorts filled with lazy rivers, water slides and giant pools to thrilling attractions, award-winning dining, and non-stop entertainment. Brittan Resorts strives to make each vacation experience unique. The Grand Strand is not only a top vacation destination, it has everything needed to combine fun and learning!
Super Holiday Tours was founded over 40 years ago with the mission of providing service to student groups. Since 1975, Super Holiday Tours has developed a business model that provides full service travel arrangements for student performing groups traveling throughout the US and Europe. We work with over 5000 students comprising over 120 groups each year and maintain the highest standards of safety, customer service and performance planning in the industry. Super Holiday Tours also produces music performance events in Nashville, Orlando, Carnegie Hall and Daytona Beach.
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