STEM Educators Demonstrate Innovative Uses of Data-Collection Technology to Win 2022 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards

BEAVERTON, Oregon, April 8, 2022 — Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. Chosen by a panel of NSTA-appointed experts, this year’s winners—one middle school educator and two high school educators—showed innovative uses of data-collection technology to engage students in STEM learning.

“From Earth science to physiology, this year’s Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners demonstrate the many ways data-collection technology can support student learning across scientific disciplines,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “We are proud to both recognize and support these educators as they continue to help facilitate hands-on, real-world learning in their classrooms and labs.”

Each of the winning educators will receive $1,000 in cash, $1,500 towards travel expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Houston, and $3,000 in Vernier products.…Read More

KIPP Public Schools Expands Partnership with YouScience Bringing Student Aptitude Assessments to 48 Schools Across the Nation

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today,  YouScience announced its career guidance tool,  YouScience Discovery, is now available for students in 48  KIPP Public Schools, a network of national public charter schools. With the recent expansion, YouScience Discovery now reaches over 3,000 high school and 200 middle school students. Nearly 19,000 KIPP Public School students have taken the YouScience Discovery Assessment since the partnership began in 2016.

YouScience is the only provider of a fully-integrated platform that delivers highly accurate aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications. With YouScience Discovery, KIPP students are provided with a proven, research-based assessment that empowers them to discover their aptitudes, eliminating their natural bias and showcasing opportunities for success.

“Knowing what students are good at, or their natural aptitude, is one of the most accurate measures of which careers they will excel in. It’s critical we help students understand this as early as possible, so that they can select the best educational pathway for themselves. In return, this will help combat the country’s current talent gap,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO of YouScience.…Read More

Using the book club model in the classroom

I vividly remember my English teacher, Mrs. Grant, bringing a stack of 20 well-read copies of A Wrinkle in Time out from the closet for everyone in the class. She would read a chapter or two out loud during class and later we would read independently until it was time to take a test or write a report on what we learned. I don’t remember ever debating my classmates about the themes in the book or frankly ever even talking to fellow students about what we read.

Yet, for most of my childhood, I spent my free time with my nose in a book. I was an avid reader who read well above grade-level, but even I didn’t like to read the books that were forced on me.

Which is why middle school English teachers like Carrie Friday at Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay, Florida are using the book club model instead. Friday is her school’s librarian, and she also teaches several English classes. With 80% of her students reading between two and three grades below level, Friday says offering students’ choice in literature is a game changer. “Even if you just give them a couple of titles to choose from, they are going to be invested because they had a say in the process.”…Read More

Why self-discovery increases college and career success

What do you want to be when you grow up? As we get older, the answer often changes from highly visible and glamorous endeavors, such as being an actor or a rockstar, to something more useful and meaningful to us personally.

Determining a great career path, however, isn’t always easy and is more often than not inhibited by a lack of exposure to career options and awareness of our own natural abilities. Yet, in order to secure the right educational pathway, students are asked to make a decision as early as high school and sometimes even middle school. 

Statistics show that over the course of a person’s lifetime, they will work an average of 90,000 hours. That’s a lot of time. Time that, if not mapped out properly, can be costly and less than satisfying. So how does a high school-aged student choose a career path at such a young age? What are the steps students need to take to pick a fulfilling profession? …Read More

Search for America’s Top Young Scientist of 2022 Begins

St. Paul, Minn. and Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, February 3, 2022)3M (@3M) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) are excited to announce that the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge ( #YoungScientist) is now open to entries. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, a $25,000 grand prize, and the chance to earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Competition entries are accepted at YoungScientistLab.com until the April 26, 2022 deadline. 

Each year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the grand prize winner, 10 finalists, the Improving Lives Award winner, and up to 50 state merit winners, as well as Washington D.C., nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems to improve the world around them.  

To enter, students in grades 5-8 will share an original idea that helps solve an everyday problem in their community. They are invited to submit their solution in the form of a one-to-two-minute video explaining the science behind it. A diverse group of judges will evaluate entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. …Read More

Independent Study Finds that Amplify Science Has Significant Positive Impact on Student Learning

BROOKLYN, NY (January 26, 2022)Amplify, a publisher of next-generation curriculum and assessment programs, announced today that a gold-standard independent study led by the nonprofit research, development, and service agency WestEd, and with funding support by the National Science Foundation, found promising evidence that the Amplify Science middle school curriculum has a significant positive impact on student learning. 

WestEd researchers found that:

  • The estimated impact was statistically significant (p < 0.001) and corresponds to an effect size of 0.36. This impact is consistent with the average student using the Amplify Science curriculum moving up 14 percentiles compared to their peers who used other materials.
  • The results were similar across gender and racial groups, and for students with varying levels of math and literacy achievement.
  • More than 80 percent of teachers agreed that they and their students benefited from using Amplify Science curriculum.
  • Almost 90 percent of teachers reported that Amplify Science supported them in engaging students in science discourse.

The randomized controlled study focused on physical science for grade 7 and included 28 teachers and more than 1700 students across three districts that served diverse populations.

…Read More

Kiddom Expands Partnership with Kendall Hunt Publishing

SAN FRANCISCO — January 12, 2022Kiddom, the first all-in-one education platform for high-quality digital curriculum, today announced an expansion of its partnership with Kendall Hunt Publishing. As a Certified Partner of the nonprofit OpenSciEd since August 2021, Kendall Hunt will offer a customized version of OpenSciEd’s high-quality middle school science instructional materials in a dynamic format through Kiddom’s comprehensive digital curriculum platform. This expansion comes on the heels of Kiddom and Kendall Hunt’s successful partnership in February 2021 to provide the Illustrative Mathematics K-12 math curriculum to users interested in a more robust or exclusively digital experience.

“Working with Kendall Hunt for the past year has been a dream for Kiddom and we’re thrilled to further strengthen our partnership with the integration of their customized OpenSciEd offering for middle school science,” said Abbas Manjee, co-founder and Chief Academic Officer at Kiddom. “OpenSciEd’s commitment to flexibility and quality directly align with Kiddom’s core values and we are looking forward to offering a dynamic, fully customizable version of OpenSciEd’s standards-aligned materials on our digital curriculum platform.”

Kiddom provides teachers and administrators with all the tools they need in one digital setting so they have a single, cohesive place to seamlessly access high-quality content and personalized learning. With Kiddom, teachers no longer need to juggle multiple tools and can access 70,000+ high-quality, modifiable, standards-aligned curated supplemental resources in an integrated content library. Its key features are in alignment with the five key features of OpenSciEd’s instructional materials, including:…Read More

Focusing on key standards to accelerate learning

While each standard is important and it should not be up to individual teachers which are taught and which are not, the truth is that each year some skills get overlooked or rushed past. It may not be ideal, but there are so many that, as education researcher Bob Marzano once noted, if we taught students to master every standard in each grade, we’d have students in class year-round and they wouldn’t graduate until they were in their twenties!

This year, teachers are finding themselves with even more ground to cover. In addition to the standards of the grades they’re currently in, many students, particularly those in middle school, need instruction in skills they would have mastered last year without the disruptions associated with the pandemic.

Simply put, many students still need to learn material from last year before they are ready to progress to this year’s standards. Here’s how my district, Schuyler Community Schools, is working to get students up to speed while still addressing the new content they need to learn this year.…Read More

4 reasons to rethink middle school math acceleration practices

As the pandemic continues to impact another school year, a lot of focus has been on “accelerating learning,” which is about maintaining on-grade level instruction or infusing pre-requisite skills in the instruction so students can access on-grade level instruction.

There is another way the term “acceleration” can be used in math, however, and that pertains to moving students beyond grade-level instruction. Sometimes 5th grade students are accelerated into 7th grade math, or 8th grade students are accelerated into Algebra 1.

Research shows this is not optimal for many students and is oftentimes detrimental when students are inappropriately accelerated. Given this research, as well as the effects of the pandemic, the current practices of this acceleration need to be re-examined as some students may have gaps in learning which will be exacerbated through an aggressive acceleration program.…Read More

Twig Education Launches Twig Science Next Gen for Middle School

(Los Angeles, Calif.) October 28, 2021 —  Twig Education, creators of the leading elementary level science program Twig Science, today announced the launch of Twig Science Next Gen for grades 6–8.

Twig Science Next Gen for middle school is an investigation-based science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) solution developed for the three-dimensional Next Generation Science Standards. It transforms the standards into story-based modules in which students take on a range of STEAM career roles through various investigation types:

  • Hand-On Labs: Students learn through inquiry-based activities, solving problems and designing solutions using resources supplied in Hands-On Kits and other everyday items.
  • Digital Interactives: High-quality simulations based on real-world phenomena and authentic data, from the Gravity Simulator and Volcano Builder interactives to adventures like “The Great Air Race” and “Into the Abyss,” let students experience science in action.
  • Real-World Multimedia Field Trips: Through video and text, students shadow scientists and engineers around the world as they explore local, national, global, and space phenomena, deepening student understanding of STEAM practices and concepts.
  • Scientific Text Investigations: Students experience a variety of authentic scientific text types, including informational, narrative, descriptive, and argumentative, reinforcing the real-world science and engineering concepts of their learning journey.
  • Video Labs: Specially shot in the Twig studio, video labs enable students to take part in scientific inquiries and experiences that would be impractical to carry out in the classroom.

For Twig Science Next Gen, Twig partnered with some of the most highly respected organizations in the worlds of science and engineering education. Developed with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) team, three-dimensional performance assessments evaluate student attainment of NGSS Performance Expectations and prepare students for state testing. Imperial College London also acted as scientific advisors during the development of the program, which introduces students to multiple real-life STEAM professionals who inspire and motivate students and help them explain phenomena.…Read More