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

If Not You, Then Who? Children’s Book Series Launches Classroom Program Encouraging Students To Explore The World Of Inventions And Inventors

DALLAS (October 1, 2021) — If Not You, Then Who?, the popular book series for early and grade school children, has launched an educational curriculum for teachers designed to introduce the vast world of inventions and inventors through history to contemporary times into the classroom. 

Each of the If Not You, Then Who books showcases how Inventions and Inventors can come from anywhere, how inventions solve everyday problems and how many of our most enduring inventions were actually created by accident.

To further expand the educational mission of the book series, If Not You, Then Who? has developed a Young Inventors Club  website for in-school and home use along with an Educator’s Guide to help teachers implement the many associated themes in the classroom. The guide aligns the If Not You, Then Who?  books with Next Generation Science Standards sharing such topics as:…Read More

Why STEM literacy is critical for our students

Providing an engaging and equitable STEM education is an important step in helping to develop more scientists and engineers while increasing race and gender diversity in the field–both of which are much needed in today’s world. Education in STEM can also help develop a STEM-literate citizenry. 

While there are many nuanced definitions for STEM literacy, the basis is that STEM-literate individuals are able to apply STEM concepts to identify, understand, and solve problems in the world around them, whether or not these problems are scientific in nature. STEM-literate individuals are able to think in a scientific-minded way about issues that impact their life and the community as a whole.

As educators, helping students understand the importance and benefits of STEM literacy – and how science impacts so many facets of their everyday lives – is an important responsibility.…Read More

Student entrepreneurs flex a funding win to grow 3D printing business

Since the first patent for additive manufacturing (more commonly known as 3D printing) was filed in 1980, the industry has expanded rapidly. As with any new technology experiencing accelerated growth, unforeseen problems spur innovation.

In San Antonio, TX, an all-women team of Alamo Heights High School students realized one of the problems facing manufacturers of 3D printers was the procurement of raw materials available to make filament. After collaborative deliberation, the group founded FYDER Filament—a company poised to revolutionize sustainable materials sourcing in the 3D printing market.

We developed the idea for FYDER Filament while participating in INCubatoredu, a full-year entrepreneurship program offered at our school to empower young business leaders to identify an opportunity, develop solutions, and create an actual business. At the end of the course, each team competes for funding to grow their business.…Read More

How the 4 Cs prepare students for the real world

As our world continues to become more connected through technology, today’s students have boundless access to a wealth of information. But, to effectively leverage these resources, students need to be able to make meaning of them.

According to educator Thomas Hoerr, the very notion of intelligence has changed. We no longer rely on the limits of our single mind to access the information resources we need to solve problems. Problem solving has always involved teamwork and cooperation. Today, however, open source programs, wikis, blogs, and other Web 2.0 technologies enable total strangers divided by space and time to collaborate.

Successful problem solving in the 21st century requires us to work effectively and creatively with computers, with vast amounts of information, with ambiguous situations, and with other people from a variety of backgrounds.…Read More

How to prepare students for the jobs of the future

“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist … using technologies that haven’t been invented … in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”—Richard Riley, former Secretary of Education 

Less than twenty years ago, a student saying that they wanted to be a data scientist, digital artist, app developer, virtual assistant or blogger would’ve been met with confused faces and the standard “what’s that?” question from parents and educators.  

You can’t blame them, most of those jobs (if they even existed yet) were just fringe roles on the outside of tech spaces. And at the time, education and job prep were still based on careers that had been solidified. But, the students of the time filled those new roles, many of them having to teach themselves how to effectively do the functions of each job.  …Read More

What should educators teach? Computational thinking

The way we approach problems in the workplace has changed drastically because of technology.  Therefore, it is imperative that we set students up for future success by teaching relevant skills and modernizing the curriculum. 

As we work to realign K-12 education to better meet the needs of today’s Information Age society, I implore my fellow educators to embrace teaching research-backed skills like computational thinking across curriculum. By doing so, we will benefit our students and our world.

Why computational thinking?

Today’s employers are seeking problem solvers. Computational thinking is an appropriate way to teach students quantitative and qualitative thinking. Computational thinking practices equip students with problem-solving skills, such as analyzing data, in order to make inferences and break problems down into manageable pieces. This transdisciplinary mode of instruction ensures learners can pair critical thinking with creativity to think through challenges and identify potential solutions.

…Read More

Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education Announce 2021 Making for Good Challenge Winners

Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, April 29, 2021) – Today, three students across the United States are recognized for innovative solutions to societal and environmental issues as winners of the Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education 2021 Making for Good Challenge. Working individually or in teams of 2-4, high school students nationwide created 60-90 second videos outlining innovative solutions to societal or environmental problems.

The annual challenge builds upon a Stanley Black & Decker and Discovery Education educational program – Innovation Generation – igniting, engaging, and empowering students to become innovators through no-cost dynamic digital resources. Through real-world explorations of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), Innovation Generation cultivates students’ collaboration, problem solving, and creative thinking.

The winning 2021 Making for Good Challenge teams and prizing are as follows:…Read More

SplashLearn Announces ‘SpringBoard Math Challenge 2021’

The popular game-based learning program SplashLearn, announced the 7th edition of its massively popular SpringBoard Math Challenge today. The math competition is a calendar marked event and is highly anticipated by teachers across the US and Canada. SpringBoard Math Challenge 2021, open to all classes from grade 1 to grade 5, will run from March 1 – May 9, 2021.

“SpringBoard is unique because it brings students together in an environment that enables competition as well as collaboration. This year, it assumes a new meaning as different classes compete with each other but are also coming together, learning together while also having fun – something they haven’t been able to do this year,” said Joy Deep Nath, Co-founder, SplashLearn.

After creating an account on SplashLearn, teachers can enroll their classes for SpringBoard 2021. Once enrolled, all the math problems the students solve will earn them points, which will count towards the total class score. The best performing classes with the highest points win weekly prizes at both the state and national level. The grand winners will be announced at the end of SpringBoard. Prizes worth more than $20,000 are up for grabs this year.…Read More

Leading in this time of crisis

Henry (Hank) Thiele, Superintendent for Community High School District 99 in Thorndale (IL) can’t stop looking forward.

Despite the current, daily chaos of re-opening and lockdowns, hybrid and remote learning, and other disruptive undercurrents affecting schools, he believes that being prepared for what’s next is as important as dealing with the problems of right now.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Hank offers his insights for education professionals that will have to deal with fractured communities in the future even after they are “back to normal.”…Read More