U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy has succeeded Lt. Gov. Tim Murray as chair of the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council. Rep. Kennedy sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and is supporting IL Rep. Bill Foster’s bill to create a national STEM grant program for school districts. In a succession ceremony, Kennedy highlighted a partnership he observed between the Brown Middle School in Newton and Boston University where engineering students taught seventh graders for credit about the physics of a wind turbine and led them in a competition to design a turbine on a budget that produced the most energy.
Recently funded through Kickstarter, a new toy company, Goldie Blox, is receiving lots of attention and will deliver its first product in February, 2013. It’s a construction toy and book series starring Goldie, a kid inventor who loves to build. The kit combines spatial and verbal skills and is aimed for girls 5 to 9 years old. The second and third sets of the series, to be released in the spring, will introduce more engineering principles, new characters, and more construction pieces. You can pre-order sets, track the company’s production progress, and see what’s new at www.GoldieBlox.com. See videos on Goldie Blox’ Youtube channel.
Dr. Ann Koufman-Frederick has joined Newton Public Schools as the system’s first Deputy Superintendent for Teaching & Learning. We’re fortunate to have an educator with a strong background and interest in STEM in this new position overseeing Newton’s K-12 curriculum and professional development. Here’s a bit of her background in STEM: Continue reading
Many thanks to Horace Mann school librarian Patti Karam for compiling the following holiday booklist of twelve STEM-related recommendations for elementary-school students, in response to our request for ideas for STEM holiday gifts. (Note: The ones marked OSTB are Outstanding Science Trade Books noted by the National Science Teachers Association, which maintains a broad catalog of recommendations at www.nsta.org/recommends/) Here’s Patti Karam’s booklist: Continue reading
MIT’s BLOSSOMS program offers over 50 free math and science videos online, as well as a library of links to resources for STEM teachers in biology, engineering, math, physics, and science. The videos, all freely available for online viewing or downloading, are aimed to be used by high-school teachers in classrooms, enhancing classroom teaching: They serve as a guest lecturer in the classroom and contain frequent pauses for classroom discussion and exercises led by the classroom teacher. Each video comes with downloadable handouts and discussion guides and links to related resources. Students may also find these videos useful for viewing at home. The initial videos were made by MIT faculty and educators in Jordan and Pakistan, and new videos are being added by educators from around the world. (Thanks to Mass Science Fair for pointing this out.)
FIRST has produced a terrific 3-minute promotional video featuring Morgan Freeman.
Take a look this new book – The New Cool, “the astonishing story of a team of high school seniors and their remarkable mentor, who come together—not to play a sport or exercise their athletic prowess—but rather to build a machine that will battle in the most heated, sophisticated robotics contest in the world — the FIRST competition.” I met Neal Bascomb (the author) and Amir Abo-Shaeer (MacArthur Genius Award winner and the focus of the book) at the FIRST kickoff, and they are amazing. This book is excellent!
Update: This book was discussed on the Diane Rehms show on March 3.