2019 Fall STEM Education News Roundup

Welcome to the fall edition of our STEM Education News Roundup! We’ve summarized 5 recent STEM articles that we hope will inspire you.

Welcome to the fall 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!

How to Build and Maintain STEM Programming, According to a Longtime Science Teacher

Date: October 2, 2019

By Nick Serpa

While many schools are making efforts to establish STEM programming, it can be difficult for them to maintain programming that has a significant impact. In this article, Linda Coyle, who has taught for 26 years and designs STEM curriculum and resources for schools, explores what it looks like for a school to both start effective STEM programming and maintain it.

Standout Quote: “The great thing about [STEM] is that it’s the perfect tool for access and equity,...The hands-on, play portion of STEM is engaging for any child.” Click here to read this article.

Rethinking the Role of Technology in the Classroom

Date: October 22, 2019

By: University at Buffalo on

Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work found that while “tablets and laptops have their educational virtues”, her research suggests they also have limitations. In her study, Ball found a decrease in academic motivation for students who participated in technology-based intervention. She believes that the results show that there is a “need for looking more closely at how technology fits into the early-learning environment.”

Standout Quote: “The critical piece for me is not about being anti-technology, but to emphasize that even with, or especially with, technology, schools must work on the interpersonal things that happen in schools.”

Click here to read this article.

If you’re looking for more information about technology, we wrote an article on The Impact of Screens & Blocks Rock! on Kids’ Brains, and you can click here to read it!

How Teachers Incorporate STEM Learning into the Classroom

By Sara Friedman of The Journal

Date: October 21, 2019

This article from The Journal summarizes a new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Technology and Digital Promise. In the report, the office identifies nine dimensions of effective STEM learning practices that are enabled by technology. The researchers then produced 10 videos to show how teachers and students are using STEM tools.

Standout Quote: “...The report showcases how technology can be used in practice, but researchers emphasize the need for educators to make instructional decisions to determine the best approaches that will work for their students.”

Click here to read this article.

How Our School Transitioned from STEM to STEAM

Date: September 3, 2019

By: Alana Davis

This article discusses why one district decided to add art into their STEM program and how they found their spark when arts standards were added alongside content standards. Learn how they saw success as they moved from STEM programming to STEAM programming, and discover how your district can do the same.

Standout Quote: "The “A” allows teachers to give students a different learning experience. We thought to ourselves: An artist goes through the same design process as an engineer, so why not open up this channel for students?”

Click here to read this article.

Teachers Nationwide Now Have Access to Open-Source Science Curriculum

Date: August 28, 2019

By: Sarah Schwartz

A new, open-source middle grades science curriculum, OpenSciEd, is started to slowly roll out across the country and claims to be aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Currently, OpenSciEd offers three units that are currently offered to the public: 6th grade thermal energy, 7th grade metabolic reactions, and 8th grade sound waves.

Standout Quote: “Students are engaged in the practices as they learn the disciplinary core ideas—and they use those crosscutting concepts as a lens to really understand what is happening with that phenomena, or what is happening with that design problem they’re trying to address.”

Click here to read this article.

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.

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


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