Archives for the month of: September, 2014

From The Atlantic


research spotlight article

From The New York Times:

A new study, published in the journal CBE Life Science Education, looked at six semesters of an introductory biology class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Three terms took a lecture-based approach and three demanded more participation by students. The more active approach gave students more in-class activities and online exercises that forced students to think about the material rather than just memorize it. This active learning strategy raised average test scores more than 3 percentage points. This score increase was doubled, to more than 6 percentage points, for black students and first-generation college students. Other studies have shown similar improvements from demanding more student interaction, but did not break that down by demographic groups. Full text of the study can be found here.

From PR Web:

The Polymer Play program at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia aims to introduce a new methodology for materials science education and inspire city middle-schoolers to explore STEM disciplines and careers. By making bio-plastics, solving problems through design projects, and recycling used containers into new products, students will use innovative techniques to solve design problems. The real-life applications of these projects are reinforced with tours of labs at the Science Center. Scientists, investors and researchers at the Science Center Port incubator and its resident companies will mentor the students.

From Science Insider:

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s (OECD) report Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators was released on September 9. The report draws on student test results, government spending, employment statistics and other metrics in order to explore the relationship between education and social progress. For example, only 30% of adults in the United States who are no longer in school have completed more education than their parents. The report covers a wide range of topics, such as how many three-year-olds are attending preschool around the world to how many adults without a high school education are faring in the workplace and also examines the relationship between the recession, countries’ Gross Domestic Product, and public spending on educational institutions.

cps graduation rate

From US News:

This piece by Timothy Knowles, the John Dewey Director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute, discusses the recent announcement of a record-high graduation rate for the city’s public high schools. In reports released in 2005 and 2007, the Urban Education Institution showed that graduation is mostly determined in ninth grade. As a result of these findings, Chicago Public Schools developed brief, regular reports that allowed principals and teachers to monitor student performance in real time and identify students at risk of failing classes in ninth grade. Knowles states that this monitoring of the on-track status of freshman and follow-up interventions are a large part of the increase in graduation rates from 2011 to 2014.

making education

From Newsweek:

High Tech High, located in San Diego, was founded 14 years ago by a coalition of local business leaders and educators and has since grown into its own district of charter schools, including three elementary, four middle, and five high schools as well as a graduate school of education. High Tech High is just one example of the push towards integrated, design and maker-based curriculum in elementary and high schools. Albemarle County Public Schools, a 27-school district serving nearly 13,000 students around Charlottseville Virginia, is developing computer classes that will allow students to model and make physical objects as well as projects that will foster integrated learning between subjects like science and history.

Artist's impression of the Science Museum's new mathematics gallery

From The Guardian:

As part of a wider plan that will redevelop a third of the museum over the next three years, the Science Museum, London has announced a new exhibit to open in late 2016 focusing on mathematical ideas. The layout of the gallery itself is inspired by the math behind aerodynamics: a plane will be suspended from the ceiling and the position of the displays will follow the lines of aerodynamic flow around it. The exhibit will “tell the stories that place mathematics at the heart of our lives, exploring how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the world from the turn of the 17th century to the present.”

From The Atlantic

From Chicago Sun-Times

Discovery Cube

From LA Times:

Discovery Cube L.A., San Fernando Valley’s first major museum, will be led by Kari Blumenfeld, who recently served as the head of the L.A. based Liberty Hill Foundation. The science museum will open November 13 at the city’s northern edge. The museum is aimed largely at children and will feature environmentally focused exhibits including a video-simulated flight over Los Angeles that shows where the city’s water supply comes from.