Many school systems build career exploration into the high school experience. However, evidence suggests that middle school is actually the best time to begin this process. This white paper examines why career exploration is important in the middle grades, and it describes key characteristics of a successful middle school career exploration program.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.