10 computer science education resources and facts

Computer Science Education Week is full of resources to get you and your students computing and coding

computer-scienceTo celebrate Computer Science Education Week and to make sure you’re ready to educate students and peers about why computer science is such an essential part of U.S. education and the economy, we’ve compiled a list of 10 useful resources and facts about computer science education.

Are you participating in Computer Science Education Week? Follow the hashtag #CSEW to keep up with events, and let us know your plans.

1. Daisy the Dinosaur is a free app that uses a drag-and-drop format to teach children the basics of computer programming. Students animate Daisy and make her dance across the screen. They also have the option to download a kit to program their own computer game.…Read More

Computer Science Education Week: How will you participate?

Participate in computer science events, which run from Dec. 9-15

computer-science-education-weekComputer Science Education Week begins today, and the week is full of resources and events to help curriculum directors and educators integrate and implement computer science lessons.

As of Dec. 6, 167 countries had planned 33,247 events for 4.5 million students–and those numbers definitely increased over the weekend.

Educators and stakeholders can take a number of steps to support Computer Science Education Week and broader nationwide initiatives.…Read More

Could these new standards work better than Common Core?

New science standards are free of time-crunches and high-stakes requirements

standards-science-NGSSImagine this ‘unicorn’ scenario in education: You take an entire subject–one whose mastery could push the country to the forefront of innovation–and spend years doing nothing but perfecting its standards and assessments with absolutely no looming deadlines or high-stakes requirements. Be prepared to believe, educators, because this scenario is real, and it’s happening with new science standards.

In a recent webinar hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education, “Scientific Assessments: Innovations in the next generation of state assessments,” noted state education leaders described the enormous potential the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) could have for states and how assessments may be developed from these standards.

“This is truly a great opportunity for states, districts, and schools, because they don’t have the high-stakes national requirement breathing down their necks. States can really take the time they need for thoughtful, effective implementation and assessment development,” said Stephen L. Pruitt, PhD, senior vice president for Achieve, which helped developed the standards.…Read More

NBA great promotes STEM education at event

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar bent down Monday to study the solar-powered car being demonstrated by sixth-graders from Miller’s Hill School in Shingle Springs, the Sacramento Bee reports. The NBA Hall of Famer was at the Sacramento Convention Center to kick off the first-ever California STEM symposium, a two-day event designed to help K-12 educators improve how they teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics. “By fifth grade, 92percent of boys and 97percent of girls lose interest” in STEM fields, Abdul-Jabbar said. “I’m really stoked to have the opportunity to impact our kids’ lives in a really positive way. That’s what this is all about. That is why I’m here.”

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South Portland ‘university’ promotes high school STEM education

The transparent gelatinous alginate strands South Portland High School junior Jackeline Zarate and Portland High School junior Bailey Ruesch pulled from a test tube last week at Fairchild Semiconductor were nanotechnology at their fingertips, The Forecaster reports. “I’ve always liked math especially, so I was happy to come,” Ruesch said as she created the compound with Zarate during the three-day, first-ever Semi High Tech University in Maine. Sponsored by the nonprofit Semi Foundation of San Jose, Calif., the intensive course merged fun, practical applications in science, technology, engineering and math with mock job interviews for students who are not always selected just because of outstanding grades…

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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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Expert invites more black students to science

There are far too few black students in science, math and technology programs, according to a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, GPB reports. Dr. Cardinal Warde spoke Tuesday to a group of students at Fort Valley State University, a historically black college in middle Georgia. Warde, an MIT engineering professor, said black students lag behind others in science, technology, engineering and math programs also known as STEM education. “It’s a good news, bad news story,” explained Warde. “The bad news is that there are not enough of us in the STEM disciplines and while we’ve had some very prestigious innovators in STEM going all the way back to the turn of the century, we continue to lag behind minority groups in the number and the percentage of our people who are going into the STEM disciplines.”

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Why are there still so few women in science?

Last summer, researchers at Yale published a study proving that physicists, chemists and biologists are likely to view a young male scientist more favorably than a woman with the same qualifications, The New York Times reports. Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts. The new study goes a long way toward providing hard evidence of a continuing bias against women in the sciences. Only one-fifth of physics Ph.D.’s in this country are awarded to women, and only about half of those women are American; of all the physics professors in the United States, only 14 percent are women…

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Intel honors science excellence

The twop three winners of the Intel Science Talent Search contest took home scholarships totaling more than $200,000.
The top three winners of the Intel Science Talent Search contest took home scholarships totaling more than $200,000.

Space exploration could become cheaper and more efficient, and scientists might understand how genetics influence the spread of prostate cancer—thanks to the work of some very talented high school students.

The Washington, D.C.-based Society for Science and the Public honored the 2010 winners of the Intel Science Talent Search on March 16, recognizing 40 high school seniors for their original research projects.

Students entered a variety of project topics, including the study of racial genetic factors that might affect the spread of prostate cancer, using cluster analysis of objects in the night sky to study the structure and evolution of the early universe, and researching ways to reverse drug resistance in breast cancer cells.…Read More

Teachers get a taste of real-world science—with impressive results

Students of teachers who participate in lab and field research tend to improve achievement in STEM fields.
Students of teachers who participate in lab and field research tend to show better achievement in STEM fields.

Giving teachers hands-on science experience not only helps improve student achievement, but also reduces teacher attrition, according to results from a Columbia University study.

Of the 145 teachers who completed Columbia University’s Summer Research Program (CUSRP) between 1994 and 2005, 32 New York teachers with similar backgrounds participated in a study to determine if taking part in hands-on science research enabled them to better teach their students.

“Teachers who participated in focused, intensive, and hands-on summer research programs produced a 10 percent increase in the pass rate of their students in New York state science Regents,” said Sam C. Silverstein, who founded the CUSRP and published the results of the study in Science magazine last fall.…Read More