Discovery Museum Celebrates 30 Years of Delivering Hands-On Science in Elementary School Classrooms

Acton, MA – Discovery Museum announced a 30-year milestone for its in-school STEM program, Traveling Science Workshops, having delivered hands-on science to more than half a million PreK through 8th grade students from hundreds of communities throughout Massachusetts since the program began in 1992.

Traveling Science Workshops (TSW) are state curriculum-aligned, small group, in-classroom workshops that use simple, everyday materials and a hands-on approach to allow students to be scientists: exploring, observing, asking questions, and sharing discoveries. Museum educators deliver twenty-three STEM topics, including Sound, Weather & Climate, Physical Changes of Matter, and Force & Motion, to give elementary and middle school students direct experience with how things work in the physical world.

MathWorks has partnered with the Museum since 2010 to bring TSW to school classrooms, supporting program growth as well as the development of virtual workshops and distance learning resources for teachers during the pandemic. TSW is on pace to serve more than 42,000 students this school year, outpacing pre-pandemic numbers.…Read More

An OER curriculum brings my students’ lives into our classroom

When I was growing up, I assumed that my teachers knew everything, including all of the “right answers.” Now that I’ve been a teacher for 15 years, I know this simply isn’t true. In fact, some of the most powerful learning in my middle school science classroom has happened when I’ve pretended to NOT know the “right answer.” That’s when students take the lead and start to offer up their own ideas, share their experiences, and make powerful connections—sometimes amazing ones that I would never have thought of.

Teaching in this way requires a good deal of flexibility—including in your curriculum. A traditional science textbook doesn’t always provide educators the freedom to delve into topics that students bring up from their own lives or questions they have about the world around them. That’s why I’ve turned to open educational resources (OER).

OER are openly licensed, which means that educators can use, customize, and share these resources for free, allowing them to incorporate material that’s fresh and relevant for their students—all without having to worry about traditional copyright restrictions. I’ve been using an OER science curriculum called OpenSciEd for five years, and it has completely revolutionized the way I teach. It’s also transformed the way my students relate to and take ownership for their learning.…Read More

Treering Yearbooks Launches New Donation Feature

SAN MATEO, CA — Treering Yearbooks – a company modernizing traditional yearbooks – enables schools across America to make yearbooks accessible to all students by integrating a new online donation option.

As the season of giving commences, it’s the perfect time for schools to rally together their communities and provide the gift of lifelong memories to students. When the donation feature is enabled, books can be purchased and donated directly to the school through Treering’s website. Yearbooks are a portal to the past; a book that captures the best moments from childhood and tells the story of the formative chapters of life.

Janet Yieh, Family Partnerships Coordinator at Presidio Middle School in San Francisco, CA, utilizes fundraisers as well as Treering’s early purchase incentive to ensure that every 8th grader graduates with a yearbook. With Treering’s new donation option, Yieh can encourage parents, teachers and community members to join the initiative and donate yearbooks directly from their smartphones or computers.…Read More

NWEA Shares Progress on Using AI to Identify and Remove Barriers Within Mathematics for Students with Visual Impairment

Portland, OR –   NWEA, a not-for-profit, research and educational services organization serving K-12 students, today announced progress it has made toward creating an accessible and equitable math assessment for middle school students with visual impairments.

Last October, NWEA was awarded an  AI for Accessibility grant from Microsoft. The project, led by research manager, Dr. Elizabeth Barker, in collaboration with  Perkins Access  Digital Accessibility Consulting, the Governor Morehead School, and two key local experts: Sonja Steinbach, a math educator who works with students with visual impairments, and Neil Soiffer, an accessibility mathematics developer, aimed to create accessible assessment formats. NWEA has chosen to tackle this important challenge, wanting to ensure students with visual impairments benefit from accessible math and have equal opportunities in their studies.

Seventy-five percent of students who are blind or low vision are at  least one grade behind their peers. This is due to many access barriers that contribute to the lack of accessible math education. Classroom materials are not always adapted to formats such as braille, large print, materials suitable for a screen reader, auditory input, or a combination of these designs. Creating accessible formats for students with visual impairments is important for their learning and success, which is why NWEA is committed to addressing such barriers through the work of this grant.…Read More

Slooh Partners with TransAstra to Add to its Network of Student-Controlled Telescopes – This Time in Space

Washington Depot, Connecticut, August 10, 2022 – Slooh, the pioneer in offering live online telescope feeds of major celestial events along with expert commentary and instructional lessons to individuals and school communities worldwide, is partnering with space domain awareness, orbital logistics, and space mining leader TransAstra to add to Slooh’s student-controlled network of telescopes. TransAstra’s ground-based telescopes, as well as its future space-based telescopes, will be added to Slooh’s network.  

Through this partnership, middle school through college-level educators can engage students in discovery-based science using Slooh’s Online Telescope and TransAstra’s breakthrough Sutter Telescope Technology. Students can direct the view of the telescopes to detect, track, and potentially get credit for the discovery of comets, asteroids, and other moving bodies in space. Using Slooh’s education platform, educators and students can additionally collect data and images to analyze what is taking place beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

…Read More

Vernier Software & Technology Launches E-Book to Support Hands-On Science Learning for Middle School Students

BEAVERTON, Oregon, July 27, 2022 — Vernier Software & Technology has launched Light & Matter: Vernier Supplement to OpenSciEd Unit 6.1 to support engaging, hands-on science learning for middle school students. This free e-book incorporates data-collection technology into the first lesson in OpenSciEd Unit 6.1, which is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), to help students gain a deeper understanding of the initial scientific concepts being taught and to motivate their learning throughout the remainder of the unit.

“It is so important for teachers to have high-quality content to help build students’ STEM literacy at an early age,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “Our partnership with OpenSciEd gives middle school teachers access to free, standards-aligned, technology-integrated instructional materials to support this work. The new supplement, in particular, helps set the stage for the following lessons in the unit by encouraging students to collect and analyze data as they engage in three-dimensional learning and explore how light interacts with matter in the world around them.”

After watching a perplexing movie involving a one-way mirror, Light & Matter: Vernier Supplement to OpenSciEd Unit 6.1 prompts students to use a Go Direct® Light and Color Sensor to quantify amounts of transmitted and reflected light, then compare the sensor readings with what they perceive with their own senses. Using various models, students develop an understanding of two of the ways light interacts with matter. They also answer the question, “How can something act like a mirror and a window at the same time?”…Read More

3M and Discovery Education Recognize 31 State Merit Winners in 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge

SILVER SPRING, Md. & ST. PAUL, Minn. – 3M and Discovery Education announced 31 State Merit Winners in the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition for 15 years, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge features outstanding innovations from young scientists that utilize the power of STEM to improve the world. 

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge asks students in grades 5-8 to identify an everyday problem in their classroom, community, or the world and submit a one- to two-minute video communicating the science behind their solution. An esteemed and diverse group of judges, including 3M scientists and leaders in education from across the country, evaluated entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and communication effectiveness.  

“At 3M, we are committed to unlocking the power of our people, our science, and our ideas to reimagine what comes next. The ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ supports young innovators who have demonstrated that same passion to create what’s next and see their creative discoveries unfold and improve the world around us,” said Karina Chavez, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at 3M. “We are thrilled to welcome the latest generation of finalists and honorable mention recipients, and we are energized by a future that embraces STEM-for-all and what it can do for the world around us.”  …Read More

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