How often do you stop to think about color? We take it for granted, but it's ubiquitous in our everyday lives, and whether you're looking at it through the lens of art, science, or philosophy, color can be evocative. Full disclosure: I'm the mother of a toddler, and we're talking about color a lot in my house right now, as my daughter learns to identify and describe the world around her.
Two weekends ago, I attended EdCamp NYC at The School at Columbia, an independent school on Manhattan's Upper West Side. One of the things I love about attending edcamps is that the day is always unpredictable because you don't know what will be discussed or who will be leading conversations until that morning. What ensued was an inspiring day focused on tinkering, exploration and innovation.
The power of nature was felt throughout the Northeast last night, as devastating Hurricane Sandy hammered the East Coast. For students and teachers looking to help out, the Huffington Post published this list of ways you can lend a hand.
Now, as students ask about the cause and effect of the storm -- here are a couple of resources to help guide the classroom discussion. We'll start with a special hurricane episode of Sesame Street for younger students.
How can educators integrate the insights and achievements of the social and emotional learning movement into efforts that address today's most pressing ecological issues? The new book Ecoliterate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence offers inspiring stories, practical guidance and an exciting new model of education that shows a way to do just that. Ecoliterate reveals how educators can advance academic achievement, protect the natural world on which we depend, and foster strength, hope and resiliency. It is written by psychologist Daniel Goleman with Lisa Bennett and Zenobia Barlow of the Center for Ecoliteracy.
As the nation embarks on a new school year, education leaders from President Obama on down are facing a renewed commitment to the STEM subjects -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- as a driver of innovation. And what better advertisement of the power of STEM education than the recent landing of the Mars Rover? Like the original Apollo missions to the Moon, they powerfully reveal the magic of science and engineering. Just this summer, the Obama administration announced a laudable new "teacher corps" dedicated to excellence in the STEM subjects, and as far and wide as Estonia, a new policy is spurring debate about the value of teaching programming to elementary school students.
In an interview with students, MIT's Kerry Emmanuel stated, "At the end of the day, it's just raw curiosity. I think almost everybody that gets seriously into science is driven by curiosity." Curiosity -- the desire to explain how the world works -- drives the questions we ask and the investigations we conduct.
When six middle-school girls from Bowling Green, Kentucky, got the wild idea to launch a camera into space, they knew there would be big challenges ahead. They would have to learn about everything from weather balloons to high-definition cameras, raise thousands of dollars to buy the gear they needed, and work together (with help from a few trusty adults) to address a host of technical challenges.
This summer was quite literally a windfall for any teacher involved in educating students about STEM ideas. In one summer we were treated to the physics-laden Olympics, the engineering marvel of NASA's Mars Curiosity, and the statistically significant fingerprint of the Higgs Boson. It's little wonder why so many sources extol teaching STEM using current events in an attempt to generate relevancy in the classroom.
A few days ago, I visited a math teacher who was busily preparing his classroom for the start of the school year. This classroom, however, was a bit unusual. Casey Shea, who teaches at Analy High School in Sebastopol, California, was transforming an old wood shop into a "makerspace." With his students’ help, much of the furniture was built from scratch, and the space will soon be filled with students working on projects that might range from solar-powered battery chargers to geodesic domes and a pedal-powered blender.