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Game On: An Online Challenge to Gifted Students to Compete Globally

Game On: An Online Challenge to Gifted Students to Compete Globally | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
By Nishat Kurwa, NPR

About 18 months ago, novice entrepreneur Sue Khim flew to San Francisco from her home in Illinois to take part in an uncommonly public version of a Silicon Valley rite of passage — the pitch. With thousands of other young techies in the audience, she was scheduled to be onstage at the Launch Festival, a showcase for “stealth” startups that have managed to keep their products out of the voracious tech press, or have as-yet-unreleased products to announce.

Launch is more competition than festival. Over two days, tech entrepreneurs pitch to a panel of hotshot technologists who issue on-the-spot critique of products’ market viability and revenue models, and, potentially offer funding.

Khim’s presentation knocked it out of the park, bagging $75,000 for Alltuition, a “TurboTax for student loans.” But within six months, the founders had turned their attention to a new endeavor, entirely fueled by their success at the Launch Festival.

Khim has gone from talking about a potential market of 21 million students to about 20 times that number. And she’s targeting children across the world as young as 11 who are the best among their peer groups at science and math.

It’s called Brilliant.org — an online hub for the world’s most promising young minds to come together, connect, and see how they measure up against one another. Launch judge and former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya helped spark the idea.

“There’s a ton of people outside the U.S. that are trying to get into U.S. schools that have no path to figure that out,” Palihapitiya told Brilliant founder Khim after her Alltuition presentation. There also seemed to be plenty of offerings for adults and remediation programs for struggling high school students in online education. But not a place to challenge A and B students.

‘Tantalizingly Tricky And Hard’

So Brilliant is designed for talented 11- to 18-year-olds who would probably be “Googling for hard math problems,” Khim said. Brilliant administers a diagnostic exam to new users, and then begins delivering “tantalizingly tricky and hard” questions written by math and physics teachers, she said.

Because Brilliant’s team assumes their users already have a strong foundation in STEM topics(science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the site focuses on measurement, Khim said. She said it considers questions like, “How can we structure practice in such a way that they will understand (a concept) by the end of the practice? And then how do we measure throughout whether they’re on track to understand it or not?”

In many ways, Brilliant mirrors real-world practice settings that high-aptitude kids have flocked to for years: the cram schools where children in India and China prepare for competitive national exams, or Math Circles in the U.S. The idea also emerged from Khim’s own background attending under-resourced schools on Chicago’s South Side.

“My family did not have a lot of money. I grew up in a housing project, and we were on food stamps,” she told me. In third grade, she said, she realized she was smarter than her teachers. Khim figures she wasn’t being stretched intellectually until her family moved and she entered a school with a gifted-and-talented program, allowing her to learn from, and compete with, other smart kids.

Global Competition

On Brilliant, students can participate in this sort of academic socializing on a global scale. The site also brings transparency to global competition. Students can share their answers, and how they devised them, with the Brilliant community — and their social networks. The data can be sifted by geography and age range. In a March demo, six months after launching the site, Khim pulled up a picture of a Filipino student who she says is doing college-level math at age 12, and a 16-year-old in Brazil who she says “probably doesn’t know that he’s in the 50th percentile globally … and that he actually has a lot of work to do.” To date, 90 percent of Brilliant’s users are outside the U.S.

Yong Zhao, associate dean for global education at the University of Oregon, said “globalization has changed a lot of people’s perspectives. Everybody wants to out-educate everyone else. Since we lack good definition of what that means, we think you have to out-score others in some predefined context.”

Zhao said he worries about how American parents might react to international comparisons. But given this rising anxiety, he said, Brilliant’s comparison engine, which allows users to assess their stats against those of peers everywhere, could help to popularize the site.

Brilliant is predicated on the failure of schools to properly stimulate talented students, but one aspect of its revenue model also could be seen as a response to the STEM skills gap, allowing recruiters to tap into a global pool of talent, for a price. A year after Alltuition won funding, Khim was back at the Launch Festival, this time presenting Brilliant. It didn’t take the panel long to make a leap beyond college recruitment. Launch Founder Jason Calcanis asked judge David Cohen, of the TechStars accelerator, to comment on the site’s potential to broker individual sponsorship, like that a Ph.D. student might enjoy.

“Imagine the idea of sort of investing in people,” said Cohen, teasing out the idea of crowdfundingan entire employment trajectory, starting with junior high. “Are the biggest companies interested in doing that? Are there investors interested in doing that?” He mused about having privileged access to the “smartest, most interesting people in the world.”

There are other education sites and initiatives that allow students to publish their results online. The juggernaut online learning site Khan Academy has a system of rewarding badges for a range of accomplishments, from simply watching videos consecutively, to correctly answering problems, and it has a built-in infrastructure for teachers and coaches to view progress. But neither has Brilliant’s focus on top students, key to its appeal for recruiters.

Khim says she’s already hearing that students are listing Brilliant on their college applications. Recruiters say there are many services that purport to increase the flow of talented students, but at some schools, like UC Berkeley, they say they’re already too busy to consider adding new tools.

Brilliant is facing a crowded marketplace amid recruitment-augmenting services. But Khim says colleges, scholarship programs, and corporations have already signaled interest in the access to top-tier talent that her site provides.

Brilliant’s user base is still modest: 120,000, but doubling every eight weeks or so.

“These are the people that tomorrow will be creating the next big tech company, the next great medical breakthrough … that will be sending man to Mars,” Khim said to a crowd assembled at a recent TEDx conference in her hometown of Chicago. Her pitch has evolved, even since March. Now it references a grand theory of massively impacting the economy, and being motivated by the idea of harnessing human capital to notch up an entire country’s GDP. Khim herself is on leave from the University of Chicago to devote more time to building the site.

Meanwhile, the 12-year-old user from the Philippines whom she mentioned back in March won a math competition on Brilliant, beating a 17-year-old who got a perfect score at the International Mathematical Olympiad. Khim says he’s now being privately coached by a math professor who’s taken him on as a mentee.

Nishat Kurwa is a reporter for Turnstyle News, a tech and digital culture site from Youth Radio.

Copyright 2013 Turnstyle. To see more, visit http://turnstylenews.com/.
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STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming
STEM (Science Technology Education & Mathematics) K-20  education models and innovations
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Engineering highly adaptable robots requires new tools for new rules

Engineering highly adaptable robots requires new tools for new rules | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Northwestern University mechanical engineering professor Todd Murphey and his team are engineering robots that one might say could make robotic assistance as seamless as "humanly" possible. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the team is using novel algorithmic tools, such as a drawing robot, to develop the algorithms, or rules of behavior, that would greatly enhance a robot's ability to adapt to human unpredictability.

Murphey points out that in order for robots to help people, they have to have at least a basic understanding of the types of tasks people can do. Some tasks, like lifting and placing an object, are close to the types of tasks that robots already do. Other tasks, like drawing, are harder for robots, partly because there are so many ways to get the same image. As Murphey explains: "And so, drawing is a type of task that's maybe not the same as that sort of precision manufacturing task that we've seen robots do historically."
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Learning Studios - Digital Promise Global

Learning Studios - Digital Promise Global | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
A Learning Studio is a place where learners define the problems they want to solve and design solutions to address them. Leveraging powerful technology, students engage in activities and projects that expose them to skills and concepts such as design thinking, three dimensional design, and social entrepreneurship.
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tina miller's curator insight, May 5, 5:56 AM

This video on this scoop is a must watch as I feel it demonstrates the use of the SAMR model. Technology is modifying and redefining learning in the learning studio. The big C's - creation, critical thinking, communication and collaboration are represented throughout this short video. Personally I took value in the children still being outside visiting the wetland issue as they were looking at a real life issue in a real environment and taking photos with the I-pad to utilise for further learning and research back in the classroom. I think the outside classroom is under utilised and if used in parallel with technology it will facilitate further meaning to learning for students.

Typetoteach's curator insight, May 10, 4:11 AM
Let the learners take control of what and how they learn...create a sense of ownership and encourage creative development.
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Stereotypes about “Brilliance” Affect Girls’ Interests as Early as Age 6, New Study Finds

Stereotypes about “Brilliance” Affect Girls’ Interests as Early as Age 6, New Study Finds | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
By the age of 6, girls become less likely than boys to associate brilliance with their own gender and are more likely to avoid activities said to require brilliance, shows a new study conducted by researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton University.
The findings appear in the journal Science.
The research, led by Lin Bian, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, and NYU psychology professor Andrei Cimpian, demonstrates how early gender stereotypes take hold and points to the potential of their life-long impact. Sarah-Jane Leslie, professor of philosophy at Princeton University, also contributed to the research.
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The K12 Engineering Education Podcast

The K12 Engineering Education Podcast | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it

This is the podcast for all the educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and parents out there who are interested in getting kids into engineering at younger ages. Listen to real conversations among various professionals in the engineering education space, as we try to find better ways to educate and inspire kids in engineering thinking. .

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Irreverent Learning

Irreverent Learning | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it

There are dozens of resources available to tell you about makerspace. How to create one, how to implement one, etc. Articles about libraries as the hub for a school's makerspace; articles telling you what you need to set up and what kinds of projects you might do; and many, many, many books to read to better understand and implement a makerspace.

I was thinking about makerspace today as I was watching a couple of kindergarten students build a fantastic structure with wooden blocks. And then I was watching some kids make drawings influenced by a rather heated conversation about emojis. And later I watched some kids figure out how to create their own manipulatives so they could better understand a particular way of solving a particular kind of math problem.

Makers. Making. And just randomly in a classroom.

I agree that some resources for some kinds of makerspace activities require storage and often an electrical outlet so those tools also require rules. And I agree that having a space or resources for kids to use for specific kinds of tasks or problems, or for extension activities, or for supplemental work when they've finished their other work might require a separate space if only to reduce distraction for other kids and for storage.

But I've also seen what kids can do with some craft sticks and Play-Doh®. Toss in some markers, a few sheets of construction paper, some chenille sticks, and random other stuff and who knows what they'll make? Give them access to a tablet or laptop with the ability to record something and stand back.

Then they'll be asking for other stuff when they say "It would be cool if we had something that let us. . . " because they might know exactly what they want but they have an image in their heads for what they want to create, to make.

So when schools and teachers talking about setting aside space so they can have a single place for making, I assume that's mostly for quality and damage control because making can be messy.

If you're waiting for a budget or a special room for a makerspace, stop waiting. Get some craft sticks, duct tape in different sizes and colors, chenille sticks, styrofoam shapes, and whatever else. Mismatched buttons, leftover pieces of cardboard, small nuts and bolts that don't seem to have a home, leftover wire, glue sticks, yarn or string. All kinds of stuff you can pick up while walking through Michael's, Hobby Lobby, your garage, and elsewhere. If you want to be organized, but each of them in their own bins or baskets. Or just make the stuff available on a table or on a shelf in your classroom.

....read more

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Jumpstart Projects with Cayenne - myDevices Cayenne

Jumpstart Projects with Cayenne - myDevices Cayenne | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Jumpstart Raspberry Pi & Arduino Projects with Cayenne
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Communicators Tours Driverless Car Test Site

The Communicators tours the Mobility Transformation Center at the University of Michigan to see how this test site can help car companies develop wireless…
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Lessons Learned from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam

Lessons Learned from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Lessons Learned from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam

Tue, Oct 4, 2016 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
Show in My Time Zone
This presentation will outline the process involved in the creation and refinement of the AP Chemistry Exam, and it will discuss the elaborate measures taken to ensure the consistent, fair, and accurate grading of the free-response section. The presentation will then review in detail all the free-response questions from the 2016 AP Chemistry Exam and highlight the most common…Read more
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K12 Engineering Postcast #STEM

Promoting education in engineering and design for all ages. Produced by Pius Wong, engineer.

This podcast is for educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and parents interested in bringing engineering to younger ages. Listen to real conversations among various professionals in the engineering education space, as we try to find better ways to educate and inspire kids in engineering thinking.

Topics to cover are intended to be wide-ranging. They include overcoming institutional barriers to engineering in K12, cool ways to teach engineering, equity in access to engineering, industry needs for engineers, strategies for training teachers, "edtech" solutions for K12 classrooms, curriculum and pedagogy reviews, and research on how kids learn engineering knowledge and skills. Thanks for listening!
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Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it

Authored by Bonnie Lathram, Bob Lenz and Tom Vander Ark


In the paper, Preparing Students for a Project-Based World, released jointly by Getting Smart and Buck Institute for Education (BIE), we explore equity, economic realities, student engagement and instructional and school design in the preparation of all students for college, career and citizenship.

The new economic realities are illustrated by Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar: “My father had one job in his life. I’ve had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time.”

Throughout the paper, authors Bonnie Lathram, Bob Lenz and Tom Vander Ark describe how the new economy and growing inequities are impacting students and schools, and what we need to be doing to better prepare students for a project-based world.

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The Power of Curiosity

The Power of Curiosity | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Research shows when people are curious about something, not only do they learn better, they learn more. It should come as no surprise, then, that inquiry-based learning is proving to be an effective education model. Inquiry-based learning occurs when students discover and construct information with the teacher’s guidance. It is a learner-centered model that arouses students’ curiosity and motivates them to seek their own answers. Increasingly, technology is the foundation of an effective inquiry-based lesson. Download this Center for Digital Education paper to learn more about inquiry-based learning and how you can support this model in your classrooms. The paper also offers sample lesson plans that draw upon inquiry-based strategies with the integration of technology.
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Brit Morin: Inspiring Creativity with Great Content [Entire Talk] | Stanford eCorner

Brit Morin: Inspiring Creativity with Great Content [Entire Talk] | Stanford eCorner | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit + Co, describes her path and motivation for launching a platform that aims to inspire women and girls to be creative through compelling content such as videos, online classes and do-it-yourself kits. Morin explains how creativity is sparked by rekindling that playful spirit from our youth and stems from the primal instinct to make things.
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Maker Promise

Maker Promise | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
In March 2016, Digital Promise and Maker Ed issued a call-to-action for school leaders around the country to commit to growing the next generation of American makers, by committing to dedicate a space, designate a champion, and display the results of maker education.
School leaders across the country answered the call.
Over 1,400 schools representing one million students in all
50 states
signed the Maker Promise.

These schools are leading the movement to harness new digital design and production abilities to unleash students’ passion, creativity, and capacity to make. But it doesn’t stop with them.

You can join this movement by signing the Maker Promise today.
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Coding for What? - DML Central

Coding for What? - DML Central | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Ben Williamson argues that if kids need to learn to code, it should be for digital citizenship, not to become complicit with computational propaganda.
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Think and discuss
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Harnessing wave energy to light up coastal communities -- Science Nation | NSF - National Science Foundation

There's a new renewable energy player in town and it's about to make waves in the industry. Despite its massive potential as a source for renewable energy, the ocean is unlikely to contribute meaningfully to electricity supplies without dramatic, innovation-driven reductions in the cost of energy conversion. That's where engineers Balky Nair, Rahul Shendure and Tim Mundon come in with their company, Oscilla Power. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), they're developing a utility-scale wave energy harvester called the Triton. It's a sturdy system with few moving parts -- rugged enough to stand up to harsh seas with little need for maintenance. This technology shows promise as a means for delivering utility-scale electric power to the grid at a price that is competitive with conventional fossil or renewable technologies. The team plans more tests with increasingly larger and more sophisticated prototypes. At full scale, each Triton system will be 30 yards wide and will power more than 650 homes. Original air date: February 8, 2016
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Code for the Future.com

About Us
Code To The Future is the Leader for Computer Science Immersion. Having been highlighted by the White House for helping start America’s first elementary Computer Science Magnet Schools, Code To The Future provides the premier Solution for Districts and Families.
Our Mission is to inspire students to become aware of their incredible potential, and equip them with the skills necessary for success in school and life.

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The culture of engineering does not take women seriously

The culture of engineering does not take women seriously | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Isolation and ‘blatant sexual harassment’ among the issues reported by female engineering scholars, writes Brian Rubineau

Via Sylvia Martinez
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The Perfect Storm for Maker Education

The Perfect Storm for Maker Education | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Originally published at http://blog.iat.com/2015/09/30/a-perfect-storm-for-maker-education/ Perfect Storm: an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically.  The term This term is also used to describe an actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence, resulting in an event of unusual magnitude. Maker Movement: The maker movement,…
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I put "Maker Ed" under STEM not to exclude other areas of making, like music and art, but as design processes within sciences and engineering.
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Engineer GirlEssay Contest - Engineering and Animals

Engineer GirlEssay Contest - Engineering and Animals | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Engineers affect everything about the way people live, so it is not surprising that they also have a big impact on the animal world. Environmental engineers, for example, are often tasked with evaluating projects in order to minimize negative effects on valuable animal species. In some cases, engineers have developed ingenious solutions to help animals and people share the planet. 

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a list, known as the IUCN Red List, which ranks the conservation status of thousands of species. For your essay, choose an animal that is ranked by IUCN as either: vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. Learn about the animal and consider how engineering might improve life for that species. To prepare your essay consider the following questions: 

Why did you choose this species, and what problem or problems does it face? 
What ideas have already been tested that may help to design a solution and begin solving those problems? 
What specific solution would you suggest to help solve the problems faced by this species? 
Aside from the animals, who would benefit from your proposed solution? 
Are there any policies or standards currently in place that would affect the way your solution could be implemented? 
Who would have to be involved in implementing the proposed solution? 
Who should fund the proposed solution?
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Search AP Credit Policies

Find colleges and universities that offer credit or placement for AP scores. Begin your search by entering the name of the institution below. For the most up-to-date AP credit policy information, be sure to check the institution's website.
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National Chemistry Week (NCW) - American Chemical Society 10.16-22

National Chemistry Week (NCW) - American Chemical Society 10.16-22 | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
NCW encourages chemists and chemistry enthusiasts to build awareness of chemistry at the local level. Local Sections, businesses, schools, and individuals are invited to organize or participate in events in their communities with a common goal: to promote the value of chemistry in everyday life.

The NCW 2016 theme is "Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry", focusing on the chemistry of forensics and more.
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STEM 2026
A Vision for Innovation in STEM Education- US Dept of Education via AIR

Executive Summary

Building on the priority to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM1 ) education set by the Obama Administration that is reflected in several of the Administration’s initiatives,2 the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is releasing a report outlining a vision to carry on that legacy in the coming decade. This vision was informed by the key observations, considerations, and recommendations put forth by a varying range of STEM education thought leaders and experts from the field during a series of 1.5-day workshops convened by the Department in collaboration with American Institutes for Research (AIR). This report is a resource that provides examples, not endorsements, of resources that may be helpful in reaching the STEM 2026 vision as outlined by the field experts. 

The complexities of today’s world require all people to be equipped with a new set of core knowledge and skills to solve difficult problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information they receive from varied print and, increasingly, digital media. The learning and doing of STEM helps develop these skills and prepare students for a workforce where success results not just from what one knows, but what one is able to do with that knowledge.3 Thus, a strong STEM education is becoming increasingly recognized as a key driver of opportunity, and data show the need for STEM knowledge and skills will grow and continue into the future. Those graduates who have practical and relevant STEM precepts embedded into their educational experiences will be in high demand in all job sectors. It is estimated that in the next five years, major American companies will need to add nearly 1.6 million STEM-skilled employees (Business Roundtable & Change the Equation, 2014). Labor market data also show that the set of core cognitive knowledge, skills, and abilities that are associated with a STEM education are now in demand not only in traditional STEM occupations, but in nearly all job sectors and types of positions (Carnevale, Smith, & Melton, 2011; Rothwell, 2013). 

The nation has persistent inequities in access, participation, and success in STEM subjects that exist along racial, socioeconomic, gender, and geographic lines, as well as among students with disabilities. STEM education disparities threaten the nation’s ability to close education and poverty gaps, meet the demands of a technology-driven economy, ensure national security, and maintain preeminence in scientific research and technological innovation.

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Is the maker movement putting librarians at risk?

Is the maker movement putting librarians at risk? | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Librarians in the Shawnee Mission School District are making way for “the maker movement,” and some worry where that story is going.

Reading stories, of course, has been a big part of what Jan Bombeck does with children. “Stories, stories and more stories,” she told the school board last month.

The Ray Marsh Elementary School directory lists Bombeck as “librarian” because she is state-certified to be one. But at least four Shawnee Mission grade schools have hired “innovation specialists” to run their libraries when fall classes open.

That’s the language of the maker movement, which seeks to convert once-quiet school spaces — usually in the libraries — into hands-on laboratories of creation and computer-assisted innovation.
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In fact, the word “librarian” didn’t come up in the job description for an innovation specialist at Merriam Park Elementary. “Stories” wasn’t there, either. 

 No mention of “books,” “literature” nor “shelves.”
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The Active Learning Continuum

The Active Learning Continuum | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
Ninety-one percent of respondents to a recent CDE survey agreed active learning better prepares students for college and careers than traditional education frameworks. So why is it that it’s more common to see rows of desks facing the front of the room instead of workspaces designed for collaboration and exploration in today’s classrooms? Unfortunately, students can often lack the communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills they will need in their careers when they graduate. This paper helps school districts change that outcome. It discusses the benefits and challenges of active learning and offers real-life examples and strategies to help districts make their learning environments more engaging and collaborative.
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Can Schools Get Maker Education Right?

Can Schools Get Maker Education Right? | STEM Education models and innovations with Gaming | Scoop.it
as districts rush to embrace the trend, some key observers are also worried.

Can schools, with their standards, state tests, and bell schedules, maintain the do-it-yourself, only-if-you-want-to ethos that fueled making's popularity in the first place?

"There's an amazing grassroots effort underway to bring the maker movement into education," said Dale Dougherty, the founder of MAKE magazine and godfather of the modern maker phenomenon. "But if schools don't get the spirit of it, I don't think it will benefit them a whole lot."

Undoubtedly, making is having a moment. Beginning June 17, the White House will host its second National Week of Making. The U.S. Department of Education is supporting efforts to rethink career and technical education through the creation of high school maker spaces. And nonprofit advocacy groups such as Digital Promise and Dougherty's Maker Education Initiative are encouraging districts to champion making inside their schools.

For all the excitement, though, there are also hurdles.
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