STEM Learning

2018 Spring STEM Education News Roundup

April / 2018

Read through five current articles that will excite you about the current state of STEM learning and give you a glimpse of its future!

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. Recently, we’ve read articles that range from the future of the STEM workforce to a spotlight on a former NFL player who is making math more interesting at MIT. 

 We’ve pulled together 5 recent STEM articles that we hope inspire you to be excited about the future of STEM learning! At the end, you’ll also find information about millions of dollars of government grants for STEM programs that just opened for application.

Company Leaders Look to Kids for STEM Workforce

Companies and nonprofit leaders are encouraging STEM education at younger ages in order to build the skill sets that are needed in our technological world. This article discusses a panel meeting about filling future science, technology, engineering and math jobs at the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions: Workforce of Tomorrow conference.

Standout Quote: “We don't even know what jobs are about to present themselves, and we also know that … it is imperative that we are teaching our youth how to be digitally savvy and have the tech skills that they need so that they have those critical thinking skills," said Jennifer Taylor, vice president of U.S. Jobs for the Consumer Technology Association..

Click here to read this article.

STEM Education: New Research Sheds Light On Filling The STEM Gap For Girls

A recent report from Microsoft called “Closing the STEM Gap” has found that girls and young women remain less likely to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. This article discusses Microsoft’s research method and findings on the subject and interviews leaders in STEM to discuss their thoughts on the topic.

Standout Quote:  “I wish I had more awareness of my female predecessors prior to entering college. I feel like I stumbled into the [STEM] field. I can’t imagine this ‘lucky streak’ is common as a path to a career in STEM,” said Shannon Loftis, General Manager of Publishing for Xbox.

Click here to read this article.

How do teachers integrate STEM into K-12 classrooms?

A team led by Michigan Technological University looked into STEM integration in classrooms and found that the greatest challenge that teachers face is making connections between STEM fields while needing context and student engagement. They note that “there is little guidance for teachers” on how to improve STEM education.

Standout Quote: "What is new about this current study is that this degree of (STEM) integration (in a classroom) may be related to a teacher's understanding in making explicit and meaningful connections between the disciplines, as opposed to assuming that students will make those connections on their own,” said Emily Dare, assistant professor of STEM education at Michigan Tech and the lead author on the study.

Click here to read this article.

From the NFL to MIT: How John Urschel Is Making Math More Interesting

John Urschel, a former offensive lineman for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, is now a current doctoral candidate in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In this article, he “reflects on his own experiences working to convince young students that math can be cool and discusses the future of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education more generally.”

Standout Quote: “The more exposure students have to STEM, the better. But even as we talk about how practical and relevant math is, we should also remember that it can be like a game—and fun. There is an element of competition to STEM subjects—even if the person you’re competing against is yourself,” said Urschel.

Click here to read this article.

Applications open for federal STEM education grant programs

The U.S. Department of Education has opened applications for STEM grant competitions. The $75 million “Supporting Effective Educator Development”, or SEED, program and the $120 million “Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program are both the result of a presidential memorandum signed at the end of 2017.

Standout Quote: “These grant programs offer unique opportunities for experts in the STEM/CS (Computer Science) field to partner with local education agencies to help ensure students are prepared to succeed in the 21st century economy,” said Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Click here to read this article.

If you’re interested in learning about available grants for education-focused nonprofits, click here. You can also learn more about writing a grant for Blocks Rock! by clicking here.