"When American education is in crisis, policy makers and thought leaders roll out the STEM argument, that the science, technology, engineering and math curriculum needs to be emphasized as the cornerstone of American competitiveness in a world where Chinese students do lightening drills on the periodic table of the elements at age 4 (lol).
There is certainly no question that STEM education and STEM skills are a vital part of this country’s edge, but many educators would argue that STEM is missing a key set of creativity-related components that are equally critical to fostering a competitive and innovative workforce, and those skills are summarized under the letter “A” for Arts.
Two years ago, the Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in association with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), conducted a survey of executives and school superintendents. The study, called Ready to Innovate, demonstrated that more and more companies are looking for skill sets in their new employees that are much more arts/creativity-related than science/math-related. Companies want workers who can brainstorm, problem-solve, collaborate creatively and contribute/communicate new ideas.
And, interestingly, the study shows that managers are finding a dearth of creative workers trained in these “A” skills. So why is this not part of the overall national debate?
STEM should be amended to STEAM, an idea that has been kicking around with many people in the creative industries for a few years now, and became a key discussion point of the Americans for the Arts 2007 National Policy Roundtable where the Ready to Innovate study was first unveiled."
Science can be a struggle for many students, especially those who do not have logical/mathematical brains. Start off the school year by directing your students toward apps that will make science a little easier.
Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
"We need to sit and really think a bit about this summer’s extremely widespread record heat and drought. We’d like to think it will come and go. Of course we would.
But history shows us that’s not always the way things work. The five-year drought in the American West that began the last decade was the worst in 800 years. Eight hundred!
Scientists are talking about this century shaping up as a very likely century of mega-drought. With profound implications for crops, forests, water – for how and where we live. This hour, On Point: what if drought is here to stay?"
"A student's tuneful 10th grade chemistry class project has become a viral video."
"Give this kid an “A.” Eli Cirino, a 16-year-old high school student submitted the video above for extra credit for his 10th grade chemistry class. The reaction is probably far beyond what he expected.
The They Might Be Giants-like “Good Chemistry” explains chemical bonds via a boy-girl love story, which Cirino wrote, performed and filmed. The animation was created using construction paper. The video got a boost when Cirino’s father submitted it on Reddit. Tuesday morning, it was up to 250,000 views on YouTube.
The video’s so catchy that it might be churlish to point out — as many on Reddit did — that the melody seems to borrow a bit from Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” a bit. On the other hand, some Redditors gave Cirino props for making the video 'pi length' — 3 minutes and 14 seconds long."
EXCITE! — Excellence in Curriculum Innovation through Teaching Epidemiology and the Science of Public Health EXCITE! is a collection of teaching and reference materials developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to introduce and excite youth from kindergarten through 12th grade about the knowledge and skills utilized by public health professionals. The information presented in EXCITE! includes such academic subjects as life sciences, epidemiology, mathematics, social studies, language arts, and health education. Topics applicable to all levels of instruction include elementary statistical concepts, scientific method of inquiry, and outbreak investigation.
"When we tell students to study for the exam or, more to the point, to study so that they can do well on the exam, we powerfully reinforce that way of thinking. While faculty consistently complain about instrumentalism, our behavior and the entire system encourages and facilitates it.
On the one hand, we tell students to value learning for learning's sake; on the other, we tell students they'd better know this or that, or they'd better take notes, or they'd better read the book, because it will be on the next exam; if they don't do these things, they will pay a price in academic failure. This communicates to students that the process of intellectual inquiry, academic exploration, and acquiring knowledge is a purely instrumental activity—designed to ensure success on the next assessment.
Given all this, it is hardly surprising that students constantly ask us if this or that will be on the exam, or whether they really need to know this reading for the next test, or—the single most pressing question at every first class meeting of the term—"is the final cumulative"?
This dysfunctional system reaches its zenith with the cumulative "final" exam. We even go so far as to commemorate this sacred academic ritual by setting aside a specially designated "exam week" at the end of each term. This collective exercise in sadism encourages students to cram everything that they think they need to "know" (temporarily for the exam) into their brains, deprive themselves of sleep and leisure activities, complete (or more likely finally start) term papers, and memorize mounds of information. While this traditional exercise might prepare students for the inevitable bouts of unpleasantness they will face as working adults, its value as a learning process is dubious."
April Fools Day: See April 1st, 2012 The Writer's Almanac Note on April Fools' Day for More: http://goo.gl/Zm7C9
Original LTLT ScoopIt! Text:
A very rare planetary event will take place this morning— Jupiter and Pluto will align in relation to Earth, and their combined gravitational pull will momentarily override the Earth's own gravity and make people weigh less. If you jump in the air at exactly 10:47 a.m., USA Eastern Time, you will experience a floating sensation. Spread the word!
P.S. Please return here to comment on the sensation you experienced and any after efffects.
This color panorama shows a 360-degree view of the landing site of NASA's Curiosity rover, including the highest part of Mount Sharp visible to the rover. That part of Mount Sharp is approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) away from the rover.
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, responsible for monitoring, reporting, and researching earthquakes and earthquake hazards...
This map represents the 1079 earthquakes with magnitudes higher than 2.5 that have occured in the last 30 days. You can customize the map to display different data at any scale. There is detailed information about each earthquake in this great dataset.
It is both. But that answer requires looking more deeply at the meanings of the words "theory" and "fact."
In everyday usage, "theory" often refers to a hunch or a speculation. When people say, "I have a theory about why that happened," they are often drawing a conclusion based on fragmentary or inconclusive evidence.
The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.
Many scientific theories are so well-established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). Like these other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously."
"The first substantial update to national science teaching standards in roughly 15 years — and the first including the science of human-driven climate change — is open for public comment through this month.
The effort has been directed by Achieve, an organization created by states and corporate backers eager to boost student performance and prospects as science and technology increasingly drive economies. The final (optional) standards will help guide states in shaping science curricula and requirements.
The foundation for the standards was laid in a National Academy of Sciences report. Other groups involved in the effort are the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Teachers Association and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has provided much of the money."
"Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.
Not that the avowed atheist has any doubts himself.
Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist expects scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that 'even the skeptics can accept it.'
'If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it's solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive,' Leakey says, 'then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges.'
Leakey, a professor at Stony Brook University on Long Island, recently spent several weeks in New York promoting the Turkana Basin Institute in Kenya. The institute, where Leakey spends most of his time, welcomes researchers and scientists from around the world dedicated to unearthing the origins of mankind in an area rich with fossils.
His friend, Paul Simon, performed at a May 2 fundraiser for the institute in Manhattan that collected more than $2 million. A National Geographic documentary on his work at Turkana aired this month on public television."
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