Today in good news, children's author Judy Blume will receive a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing author is one of 19 writers who will be honored at the Academy of Arts and L
Wagamese’s novel “Indian Horse” was a finalist in CBC’s Canada Reads in 2013. The story, about a boy abused in the residential school system who finds his release in a love of hockey, is being adapted for a movie
The release of the Automatic Alt-Text service allows people who are blind (or might otherwise use screen readers) to better understand what exists in photos in their News Feeds. User research helped develop the tool through interviews, usability testing, and surveys.
We can all agree it’s been a rough season for the news media. Hostile political crowds, accusations of slander, and struggles with what Guardian editor Katharine Viner has called the “waning power of evidence” and “diminishing status of truth.” Today more than ever, the news media’s role as a mediator and gatekeeper of civic discourse […]
“Mom, I think I’m going to build a video game. I’ve already started on the storyline,” my daughter said as she handed me what seemed to be a 20-page report.
I looked over the carefully-crafted story and drawings of kids traveling through a fictional world trying to save the planet from being destroyed.
“Wow! This looks really good.”
“I’ve already started sketching out the characters and their personality descriptions.”
“You’ve put a lot of time into this. But don’t you think you should probably learn how to make a video game first?”
“I know…can you help me?”
In the past, whenever my kids expressed interest in doing something I’ve been able to come through. You wanna play basketball? No problem — I’ve got that covered. Art, sure, I can make that happen! Science experiments, you came to the right person. Theatre, I’ll write the script!
But, when my 12-year old daughter Jayda asked me to help her build a video game, I had no idea where to start. Well, that’s not completely true. Whenever I’m stuck, I do what millions of parents do when their kids come home from school and ask them to help with a strange math problem or homework that is way beyond their expertise. I went straight to YouTube!
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According to the National Science Foundation (PDF) and the National Academies, women and certain ethnic groups -- blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians -- are considered underrepresented in STEM. We are combating this phenomenon by integrating STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) into all the classes at Boston Arts Academy (BAA), and by including culturally responsive instruction in our STEAM lab. BAA is Boston's only public high school for the visual and performing arts, where students come from every neighborhood to explore their passion while also receiving a full college preparatory education. As the director of the STEAM lab, I oversee an environment that is part makerspace, part artists' studio, and part fabrication laboratory. The STEAM Lab and Boston Arts Academy is also where:
--Students and teachers collaboratively explore 3D modeling, design, electronics, digital media, and fabrication. --Artscience curriculum focuses on human microbiome led by TERC researchers and supported by the National Science Foundation. --Students from underrepresented minority groups (UMGs) connect with creative techniques and computational tools that are usually in the exclusive domain of professional designers, artists, and engineers.
An Inclusive Future
As an African American woman who completed doctoral-level graduate work in computer-generated art/design and digital media, my stewardship and presence in the lab models a pathway into STEM for minority groups. I also model an ethos inspired by my scholarship in Afrofuturism, a creative practice that takes black thought and re-imagines themes in STEAM, science and speculative fiction, and fantasy. Characterized by inventiveness, adaptability, imagination, (re)appropriation, and persistence, Afrofuturism is a framework that supports those agentive dispositions that enable my minority students to succeed in the worlds of art and science.
Based on these experiences, I offer the following three recommendations for helping students from underrepresented minority groups successfully navigate STEAM curricula:
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I have been on the hunt as of late for books that I can hand to one of my hardest student groups; my resistant readers. Not just reluctant readers, not just readers that may have forgotten how much they like reading, no, the students that really do not want to read and would rather fake…
Our fearless reviewer—who just happens to be SLJ's 2015 Librarian of the Year and a maker queen—canvassed the entire Javits Convention Center in Manhattan to find the most exciting innovations coming out this year.
We can all agree that libraries are awesome but some are more awesome than others because they lend out more than books! At the Public Library in Albuquerque, New Mexico, they lend out CAKE PANS!! image via flannelpancakes, (Other libraries let …
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