Mesa Public Schools and S.A.V.E. Consortium Name CoderZ as Approved Vendor

DERRY, N.H. – May 11, 2021 – CoderZ, creators of innovative educational solutions using virtual robotics to bring core subject areas like math and science to life through real-world applications, today announced that it has been selected as an approved STEM curriculum resource for enrichment by Mesa Public Schools and the Strategic Alliance for Volume Expenditures (S.A.V.E.) consortium.

“We are extremely honored to be selected as a preferred provider,” said CoderZ CEO, Ido Yerushalmi. “With this vetting initiative complete, Mesa Public Schools along with S.A.V.E. members, can implement our well-structured and inclusive curriculum with the knowledge that the program meets and exceeds the requirements to become an integral component of a school’s STEM implementation.”

The requests for proposals covered the following areas:…Read More

How our coding platform helps us teach STEM

In a district where most of our students receive free or reduced lunches, we have next to no access to high-quality STEM programs, computer science classes, or coding courses. When I was Googling different ways to fill some of these gaps and incorporate more STEM into my Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) after-school club, I discovered an online coding platform and coding competitions that are both accessible and affordable.

This was a big find. I wanted my students to excel and compete effectively with important college and career and STEM skills, regardless of how rich or poor our school district was, but we just didn’t have the resources to make that happen. I was looking for a platform that taught basic computer coding, and one that would allow anyone at any skill level to jump in and participate.

I also wanted a program that included robotics, and that segued into our existing robotics program, which starts in seventh grade. CoderZ checked all of these boxes, so we started using it three years ago. It effectively replaced the Hour of Code general coding/computer programming platform that we were previously using.…Read More

VHS Learning Commits to CSforALL Movement for the Fifth Year

VHS Learning renewed its commitment to expand access to computer science education for all students at the 2020 CSforALL virtual showcase held recently. The showcase took the place of the annual summit, which was postponed until 2021. During the virtual event, CSforALL announced this year’s CSforALL Commitments from its member community.

VHS Learning, a nonprofit leader providing world-class online programs to schools and students globally, has embraced the CSforALL movement since its inception in 2016, and has made an ongoing commitment to expand access to computer science education for all students. This year, the nonprofit partnered with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) to offer free enrollments in its AP® Computer Science Principles course to high school students in rural areas.
Participating schools from at least five rural districts will be able to enroll students in the AP® program at no charge, beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The aim is to provide more opportunities within the field of computer science and help close the education gap. Students will enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, explore the world of computer science and its STEM applications, and better understand the opportunities available and skills needed for a future career in computer science.

“CSforALL aims to make computer science an integral part of the educational experience for all K-12 students and teachers, “said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “VHS Learning offers computer science career pathways in middle school and high school through our innovative teacher-led online program. We want all students, regardless of their geographic location or economic circumstance, to discover the opportunities available to them through computer science.”
Technology courses currently offered by VHS Learning include CAD, Video Game Design, Java Programming, Programming in Visual Basic, and Creative Programming with Scratch. VHS Learning also offers a computer science certificate program. Students may enroll in any VHS Learning course of their choosing, as long as they meet course prerequisites. Students can choose to enroll directly in VHS Learning online courses or enroll through their school’s participation in the program.…Read More

VHS Learning and NMSI Program Enables Students to Take AP Courses

VHS Learning’s new partnership with the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) has helped over 100 students from rural schools take Advanced Placement courses that would have been unavailable to them. The partnership enabled the schools to enroll the students in VHS Learning’s AP courses via a NMSI grant program. Students also received guidance from NMSI coaches. Schools will receive grants to cover all enrollment costs and student access to laptops, as necessary.

The students came from 15 parochial and public schools in Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont and Pennsylvania. The program allowed them to enroll in the following courses:

AP Statistics
AP Biology
AP Computer Science Principles
AP Calculus BC
AP Chemistry
AP English Literature and Composition
AP English Language and Composition
AP Physics 1…Read More

5 ways esports levels the playing field for all students

An interactive experience that literally knows no boundaries, esports draws on the use of multiplayer video gaming to create engaging, educational experiences for participants. By breaking down barriers that exist in the traditional sports setting, enabling a diverse set of individuals to participate, and incorporating complex subjects like math and science, esports is taking both in-classroom and remote learning to new levels.

The latter is especially critical right now, during an era where schools not only had to finish out the 2019-20 school year in a virtual setting, but where the upcoming year still hangs in the balance for many.

Related content: How esports changed my school…Read More

Is STEM getting ‘IT’ right for female students?

March 8th was memorable for many reasons. Not only was it International Women’s Day, but Meghan Markle made one of her first official public appearances with her future husband, Prince Harry, at an event in Birmingham, England. Significantly, the event was organized by the STEMettes, an award-winning social enterprise working across the U.K. and Ireland to inspire young women to pursue STEM careers. The STEMettes were founded in 2013 by a math and science prodigy who had been motivated by the fact that only three of the 70 students in her math and computer science class in college were female. In its first five years, the organization has worked with nearly 40,000 girls, 95 percent of whom have expressed an increased interest in STEM.

Organizations all over the world, such as EngineerGirl in the U.S., are working hard to encourage more women to seek careers in STEM fields, and it is clear that these bodies and their events are having an impact. However, my feeling is that we can and must do more in our schools to increase the number of women represented in STEM careers, not just because of the drive for equality but because we are potentially missing out on a massive pool of talent. It is widely recognized that a career in STEM is more than technical knowledge; increasingly, it requires soft skills such as flexibility, creativity, and judgement. We need to look above and beyond people who rate highly in cognitive ability as it would typically be defined, and create an intentional plan to acquire talent from diverse sources.

One great example is that set by the Haysfield Girls’ School in the U.K. The school has won awards for its efforts in promoting STEM, including specialist days, a science fair, visits to science attractions and from female science role models, and encouraging STEM scholarship programs. The school’s STEM initiatives have been supported by corporations, including Dyson, and The James Dyson Foundation has developed brilliant resources and activities to teach STEM in fun and dynamic ways. Thirty percent of Dyson’s engineers are female, five times the percentage of the overall engineering workforce in the U.K. and almost three times the percentage in the US. When an effort is made to engage girls in STEM, great things will result.…Read More

3 winning characteristics of a school STEAM program

I started my career at The Shipley School, an independent K-12 school located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, at an innovative and exciting juncture. In 2014, Shipley was starting an engineering course from scratch, and having spent several years in the industry as an engineer and several more as a math and science teacher in Philadelphia-area schools, I jumped at the opportunity to pioneer a new program as an Upper School (grades 9-12) teacher.

At the same time, Shipley was making great strides to build out its STEAM program, which is similar to a STEM program. It includes science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, but also has an added focus on the arts. A STEAM program offers a more holistic approach to education than STEM, marrying subjects that traditionally have been separate–like arts and engineering.

From formalizing plans to create a “MakerSpace” outfitted with 3-D printers to incorporating STEAM projects in classrooms across disciplines, these initiatives underscored Shipley’s mission of developing a love of learning in each student and preparing them for whatever may come beyond the confines of the classroom after high school and college.…Read More

WWU researchers to study math, science teaching methods in area schools

Starting this fall, researchers from Western Washington University will study local elementary school math and science teaching methods in an attempt to figure out if specialists – those who teach only one or two subjects – are more effective than those who are expected to teach all subject areas, the Bellingham Herald reports. The three-year project, funded by a $449,957 grant from the National Science Foundation, will compare math and science instruction models currently in place in the Anacortes, Bellingham, Burlington-Edison, Ferndale, Nooksack Valley and Sedro-Woolley districts. Elementary school teachers have traditionally been generalists, teaching all subject areas to students in the same classroom…

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Where are the black students in science, math?

“Stem for All. All for Stem” is the refrain heard throughout the nation and in Georgia, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.  The national emphasis on improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education is to ensure the United States maintains global technological and economic leadership. Emphasis on STEM has become the cornerstone of the national education dialogue. National and state level focus is on increasing the number of students who graduate from college with STEM degrees to meet growing workforce needs…

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ENC links math and science for teachers and kids

The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC) site links math and science teachers to useful classroom resources. A page called Digital Dozen (apparently a digital baker’s) features 13 outstanding sites each month. January’s sites included Geologylink (http://www.geologylinks.com/), where students can take virtual field trips to a volcano in Indonesia or a copper mine in Peru; Sea and Sky (http://www.magicnet.net/~jdk/seasky.html), where students can learn about sharks or design an online fishtank; and InvestSmart, a site developed by students to teach investment basics using a stock market simulation.

The ENC site also links viewers to stories about math and science teachers who are charting new territory in education. A page called Innovator of the Month, for example, highlights the activities of one educator, such as December’s Dr. Shelia Strawn, who started a program to help teachers learn about scientific methods firsthand by conducting experiments in their own locales.

You can also find the latest CD-ROMs and software available to math and science teachers on the Focus page, and browse an archive of lesson ideas on the Lesson Activities page.…Read More