Makerspaces and Making Culture

Making Culture, a report released by the ExCITe (Expressive and Creative Interaction Technologies) Center at Drexel University is the first in-depth examination of K-12 education makerspaces nationwide.   Making Culture is the product of a year-long investigation visiting 30 K-12 education makerspaces across 12 metropolitan regions conducted through in-depth interviews with students, instructors, and leadership alongside observation and study of each space and its programs. This report reveals the significance of cultural aspects of making (student interests, real world relevance, and community collaboration) that enable learning. The research highlights how makerspaces foster a range of positive student learning outcomes, but also reflect…

STEM Education in the U.S.

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is a leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality assessments grounded in nearly 60 years of research. ACT’s annual Condition of STEM reports provide essential national data on student interest and achievement in STEM subjects. The latest report – STEM Education in the U.S.: Where We Are and What We Can Do – takes the data one step further by pairing the latest findings with promising practices aimed at improving STEM achievement and preparedness. These practices include examples…

Science Rising

Science Rising is a nationwide mobilization effort taking place throughout 2018 in the run-up to the midterm elections. It is not a one-day march—it is a series of local activities, events, and actions organized by many different groups.  Many activities are local events; others are online.  All activities are group-oriented, open to the public, and should have a way for participants to get involved in the issue being discussed. Fundraising may be a secondary aspect of an event but not the primary focus.  The shared goal is to ensure that science is front-and-center in the decision-making processes that affect us all—and…

The Roots of STEM Success

The Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum has released the report, The Roots of STEM Success: Changing Early Learning Experiences to Build Lifelong Thinking Skills, which finds that children are capable of remarkable problem solving from the earliest of years.  Based on the review of more than 150 empirical studies from cognitive and developmental psychology and education, they found: 1) STEM thinking begins in infancy; 2) To become strong STEM thinkers, children need more play; 3) STEM amplifies language development; language enables STEM thinking: 4) Active, self-directed learning builds STEM skills and interest; 5) Mindset matters to STEM…

STEM Starts Early

STEM Starts Early: Grounding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education in Early Childhood,” published by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and New America and supported by a National Science Foundation grant reports that children who engage in scientific activities at an early age (between birth and age 8) develop positive attitudes toward science, build up their STEM vocabularies and do better at problem solving, meeting challenges and acquiring new skills.  Along with their findings, researchers offer several recommendations including engaging parents, supporting teacher professional development, and increasing resources.  Full Report

Physics + Dance + Wheelchair = Art

Alice Sheppard, a celebrated disabilities dancer and choreographer recently demonstrated the connection between physics and engineering, and dance as she performed on a prototype ramp designed and built by students at Olin College of Engineering.  The idea for the ramp came from Sheppard, but the planning, modeling, and manufacturing all took place at the college.  Sheppard plans to take the prototype plan to set designers who can build a finished product that she can travel with for her performances.  Read more.