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2019 Summer STEM Education News Roundup

It's the latest edition of our STEM Education News Roundup! We’ve gathered 5 recent STEM articles to inspire you to think about the future of STEM learning.

Welcome to the latest edition of our STEM Education News Roundup! Because our game activates brain development and improves skills critical for STEM learning, the Blocks Rock team is always keeping watch for the latest STEM news.

We’ve pulled together 5 recent STEM articles that we hope will inspire you to think about the future of STEM learning. Read until the end to learn more about a bonus research article about Blocks Rock

It’s Never Too Early to Start Thinking About STEM Careers

By: Robin Madell, Contributor at U.S. News

Although girls outperformed boys on the 2018 Technology & Engineering Literacy Assessment, girls still make up a minority of STEM fields like coding. This article discusses the female talent gap in STEM fields and looks into encouraging girls to participate in STEM fields from a young age. 

Standout Quote: "There's a misconception that professional coders work only at stereotypical technology companies...In reality, teaching girls coding at early ages opens career doors even beyond STEM fields.”

Click here to read this article.

Origins and Nature of 'Math Anxiety'

By: University of Cambridge (2019)

This article, “examines the factors that influence 'math anxiety' among primary and secondary school students, showing that teachers and parents may inadvertently play a role in a child's development of the condition, and that girls tend to be more affected than boys.”

Standout Quote: "Because these children perform well at tests, their maths anxiety is at high risk of going unnoticed by their teachers and parents, who may only look at performance but not at emotional factors.”

Click here to read this article.

There's A Nationwide STEM Teacher Shortage. Will It Cost Us The Next Einstein?

By: Talia Milgrom-Elcott for Forbes

Statistically speaking, the United States is missing out on innovations that should be occurring all over the country. Why is that? Explore the work of Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist and director of Opportunity Insights and learn about why we might be “losing Einsteins every day” in this article from Forbes.

Standout Quote: “Chetty’s work found that children born in low-income and middle-class families, students of color, and children from the South are less likely to become inventors than students from the small remainder of other U.S. families. Chetty calls those students lost Einsteins – people who could “have had highly impactful innovations” if they had just been given the opportunities they deserved.”

Click here to read this article.

Science of sisterhood: Girls STEM Institute encourages education, 'authentic selves'

By Tim Brouk for Indiana University

The Girls STEM Institute was founded by IUPUI mathematics education associate professor Crystal Morton as a passion project and the organization has grown organically over time. They recently completed their annual summer camp with their largest number of attendees yet - 46. 

You can learn more about this organization that’s working to provide “young ladies of color, traditionally marginalized in STEM fields, an opportunity to develop an understanding of mathematics and other STEM concepts in a meaningful and culturally grounded context” by reading the article that is linked below.

Standout Quote: "I don't want them to feel like they're in school," Morton said. "Some of them have great experiences in school, but some of them don't. This has to be a space where they can be their authentic selves.”

Click here to read this article.

Fun And Some Free Ways To Learn STEM and Coding In The Summer

This Forbes article looks at a few ways companies are encouraging STEM learning this summer. The introduction also offers insight into why STEM learning is so important for children’s futures. 

Standout Quote: “Companies realize this demand for STEM skills and have made an effort to introduce various new ways that kids and young adults can learn coding and other activities of the future in a fun way.” Click here to read this article.

If you’re looking for more ways to embrace STEM learning this summer, check out our blog posts:

Our Bonus Article: The Effect of Block Building on Mental Rotation Ability

Did you know that Blocks Rock! was studied by the Indiana University Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences? It’s true! They found that “structured block-building games improve spatial abilities in children to a greater degree than board games”. Students with higher spatial reasoning abilities will then have a higher likelihood of furthering their education and careers in STEM.  

Standout Quote: "This study corroborates with past research that structured block play needs to be a part of the young student’s classroom experience.”

For more information about the study, click here.

STEM Education News Roundups

If you’d like to read through our past STEM Education News Roundups, you can here:

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