New resources target STEM via aerospace education

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Estes Industries, and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) have joined together to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through a new, multi-year initiative that will bring research-based aerospace education to thousands of classrooms nationwide.

Launched in April, Exploration Generation (ExGen) will provide K-12 educators with free lesson plans and curriculum storylines to help guide students as they explore various concepts in aerospace, engineering, and rocketry. High-quality professional learning experiences will also be developed to support teachers’ use of the ExGen instructional materials.

Even as the U.S. aerospace and defense industry leads the world in innovation, it faces challenges with the workforce: a skills gap among STEM-literate students entering the industry, a need for greater participation by women and ethnic minorities, and a growing knowledge gap from early retirements.

Based on the 2021 AIAA State of the Industry Report, nearly 50 percent of respondents believe an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion by aerospace industry employers will help increase the pipeline of skilled, competent aerospace professionals.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Estes and NSTA to inspire a new space age generation. Our shared commitment to strengthening the aerospace profession is driving us to inspire the future workforce,” said Dan Dumbacher, executive director, AIAA. “We all recognize the need for a diverse and robust STEM next generation who use what they learn today to innovate and invent tomorrow. These new resources will help even more educators join us in shaping the future of aerospace.”…Read More

‘Educade’ features hands-on lessons, teaching tools

New portal for hands-on instruction aims to make learning fun

hands-on-lessonsWith funding and support from AT&T, ed-tech company GameDesk has created a new hands-on teaching and learning portal called Educade, which aims to “put fun and creativity back into learning” by providing a large online library of free lesson plans paired with engaging teaching tools.

The latest in a host of new websites designed to help educators find and use ed-tech tools in their classrooms, Educade offers a “one-stop shop” for K-12 teachers and parents who are looking for ways to use apps and games, as well as low- and no-tech tools, that focus on hands-on creation to advance students’ understanding.

Every lesson plan created or curated by GameDesk is aligned with the Common Core and Next Generation standards for English language arts, math, and science, the company claims. Users of the website can search for content by grade level, subject matter, device type, and technology level. Users also can add original content to the site; save, organize, and customize what they find in a virtual “backpack”; and engage in conversations with the community to generate and advance new ideas for hands-on learning.…Read More