PASCO Scientific, creator of 21st century science education tools, has announced the winners of the 2016 PASCO NSTA STEM Educator Awards. The annual awards, which are sponsored by PASCO in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), honor middle and high school educators who are implementing innovative inquiry-based, technology-infused programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
This year’s award winners are Jacqueline Fernandez, a science teacher and STEM director at the LAYC-Career Academy, a public charter school in Washington, D.C.; Brandie Freeman, a science teacher at Woodland High School in Cartersville, Ga.; and Chris McChesney, a science and engineering teacher at Pikesville Middle School in Baltimore, Md. Descriptions of the winning entries can be found at: www.pasco.com/STEM2016.
Each recipient will receive up to $1,000 for travel expenses to attend the NSTA National Conference and be part of a STEM share-a-thon workshop, a $500 monetary gift, and a $5,000 certificate for PASCO products. The conference is being held in Nashville from March 31-April 3. Winners will be formally recognized during the conference’s awards banquet.
As part of the application process, educators submitted a narrative describing how they address real-world applications or problems integrating the elements of STEM, differentiate their instruction for students of varying ability levels, incorporate sensor-based data collection and visualization technologies, and support national science education standards. They also included student examples, along with letters of support from education colleagues.
“I am passionate about providing STEM opportunities for every child at our school, not just the gifted and talented,” said winner Brandie Freeman. “Incorporating sensor-based technology helps me engage all students through real-time data connected to real-world applications.”
Every Friday, I’ll be bringing you a recap of some of the most interesting and thought-provoking news developments that occurred over the week.
I can’t fit all of our news stories here, though, so feel free to visit eSchoolNews.com and read up on other news you may have missed.
In this week’s news:
New STEM solutions from Samsung
In partnership with STEM Fuse and Tidebreak, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced two new education solutions to enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, and create more collaborative learning spaces.
#withMalala campaign giving away 20k He Named Me Malala DVDs to classrooms
A social media campaign, Students Stand #withMalala, is making 20,000 DVDs of He Named Me Malala available for free to teachers across the U.S. to use in their classroom. The 2015 film chronicles the life of eighteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and an outspoken advocate for girls’ education across the world.
Before going one-to-one, this district is helping every kid get home wi-fi
Little Falls Central School District in Little Falls, N.Y., is determining how many of its students lack internet access at home and then “filling in” that gap by working with Verizon and OpenRoom to either introduce the families to their wi-fi service options (for those that can afford it) or equip pupils with 3G- or 4G-enabled devices (for those that are financially unable to pay for the service).
MIND Research launches K-12 math game-a-thon
If they build it, they will learn from it. That’s the idea behind the national K-12 Game-a-thon, which invites students to let their imaginations and problem solving run wild as they design, build and share their own math games. Sponsored by the nonprofit MIND Research Institute, the third annual competition is open for entries now through July 1, 2016.
Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, a test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets, announced the CERTIFIED 2016 Educator Conference, a conference dedicated to helping educators bring the full promise and potential of technology certification to the classroom.
Educators are invited to attend CERTIFIED from June 28-30, 2016 in Orlando, Florida at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista. Registration is open now at www.certiport.com/certified.
CERTIFIED 2016 is ideal for secondary education teachers, college faculty, and administrators who are working to empower their students by bringing certification opportunities into their school and classroom.
From experienced certification professionals to those just starting to use certification, CERTIFIED 2016 will provide practical knowledge to help educators make the most of certification today, plan for the future, and become a strong, effective certification advocate. Attendees will also get the chance to participate in the drama and excitement of the Certiport 2016 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship by attending the final awards ceremony.
CERTIFIED will feature three days of educator-led breakout sessions, discovery sessions, keynote addresses, and networking activities designed to help educators serve their students, improve their teaching, and enhance their career. The final keynote address will be given by Manuel Scott, an original Freedom Writer who had lived in 26 places by the age of 16. Scott overcame drug and alcohol addiction and will share the story of how he went from being labeled as 'unreachable' and 'unteachable,' to being a successful entrepreneur and college graduate working on his Ph.D.
The second annual CERTIFIED Educator Conference expects to welcome more than 300 educators, industry experts plus additional sponsors. The importance of technical education continues to grow along with the value of validated skills in the workforce, and CERTIFIED will help educators implement successful certification programs to meet these needs.
Conference content will focus on Certiport’s portfolio of leading certification programs including Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Technology Associate, Adobe® Certified Associate, Autodesk Certified User, Autodesk Certified Professional, Intuit QuickBooks Certified User, and IC3 Digital Literacy certification. Early-bird pricing for a full conference pass is $495 until April 15. Register now and find more information at www.certiport.com/certified.
Teachers must exchange their traditional instructor role for that of a "learning strategist" in order to achieve deeper learning outcomes, according to a new white paper from the nonprofit National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) and ConsultEd Strategists.
The report's authors also found that teachers who do achieve deeper learning with their students personalize learning experiences, apply real-world knowledge to learning, and use technology in a way that enhances and empowers student learning.
Deeper learning refers to the competencies, knowledge, and skills that students must develop to flourish in the 21st century. There are more than 500 schools across the country that incorporate various types of deeper learning methods.
The white paper, How Deeper Learning Can Create a New Vision for Teaching, describes a new vision for teaching and outlines how teachers' roles and teaching conditions can best support deeper learning for students.
“Our goal was to highlight and document that teachers need support and training as they make shifts in their practice and in the way they work with colleagues,” said Elizabeth Foster, an author of the white paper and NCTAF’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “We wanted to draw out how teachers, who share a vision of deeper learning for their students, adapt their strategies and take on new roles. In addition, it was also necessary to highlight the kinds of conditions that facilitate teaching for deeper learning, such as a learning culture based on trust and professionalism, shared responsibility for student learning, embedded professional learning, and time for meaningful collaboration.”
Drs. Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath, ConsultEd Strategists and co-authors of the white paper, analyzed eight schools for their book “Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the 21st Century,” and drew on that research for this paper.
They found that teachers who are achieving deeper learning outcomes:
• Empower students as learners
• Contextualize knowledge so it is coherent
• Connect learning to real world experiences
• Extend learning beyond the school
• Inspire students by customizing learning experiences
• Purposefully incorporate technology to enhance (not automate) learning
South Carolina's Greenville County Schools and PlanetHS, a platform connecting school communities online, have formed a collaborative partnership the Greenville Health System to collect data regarding student participation in school-sponsored athletics and sports-related injuries.
“This community collaboration has given us the unbelievable gift of ensuring we’re taking care of our greatest asset, which is those kids,” said Darryl Nance, the director of athletics for Greenville County Schools. “In a perfect situation, when a student is injured, the coach, athletic director, trainer, guidance counselor, and anyone else involved, would be able to collaborate about the student’s condition and academic performance in one platform. Our plan is that our collaborative partnership with PlanetHS will ultimately allow us to do just that.”
The data that is being gathered proves empirically that students involved in extracurricular activities get better grades, have higher attendance, have lower discipline levels, and are less likely to drop out.
Resource allocations may now be made by districts based on this data to provide programs and services to achieve the optimal outcome for each student.
As part of the next phase of the partnership, the unique data gathered by PlanetHS will also be connected with other consequences of injuries, including time off the field, how much school a student misses, and academic performance. PlanetHS will then correlate the data to reveal trends.
In recognition of its success in implementing programs to protect its student athletes, Greenville County Schools was the first district in the country to have each of its schools named a “Safe Sports School” by the National Athletic Trainers Association.
“Greenville has truly embraced all PlanetHS can do, and we plan to share their model as a prime example for other districts to show what kind of tremendous success a district can have through collaboration,” said Lupita Knittel, the CEO of PlanetHS. “Through partnerships like the one built in Greenville, PlanetHS is transforming the way we prepare our students for success and the way districts make decisions.”