Blogs on Science

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Suzie BossSeptember 12, 2011
20th Anniversary Edutopia logo

The start of the school year offers an ideal time to introduce students to project-based learning. By starting with engaging projects, you'll grab their interest while establishing a solid foundation of important skills, such as knowing how to conduct research, engage experts, and collaborate with peers. In honor of Edutopia's 20th anniversary, here are 20 project ideas to get learning off to a good start.

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Diane DarrowAugust 24, 2011

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy breaks each learning stage (remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create) into four separate levels of knowledge. These levels include the factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive. Together the levels of knowledge are making incremental movements from a factual understanding, to the personal command and realization of the learning process.

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Diane DarrowAugust 18, 2011

Benjamin Blooms' second stage, "understanding" occurs when new learning connects to prior knowledge. At this point, students have the ability to make sense of what they have read, viewed, or heard and can explain this understanding clearly and succinctly to others. This particular learning stage balances precariously between communicating understanding and expressing opinion. Here the student demonstrates the ability to identify the main idea, generalize new material, translate verbal content into a visual form, transform abstract concepts into everyday terms, or make predictions.

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Bill SmootJuly 20, 2011

Bill Smoot teaches English at the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. He is the author of Conversations with Great Teachers.

 

Two roads have diverged in our national debate about education. Should we educate students for the 21st-century job market (with an emphasis on STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and math), or does a broad liberal arts education, preparing students for all of life -- work included -- still make sense?

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Judy Willis MDJuly 11, 2011

As science and math are slated for more emphasis in our classrooms, writing should not be sacrificed. Indeed, in the past two decades, neuroscience and cognitive science research have provided increasing evidence that correlates creativity with academic, social, and emotional intelligence. Writing can help the brain to develop the logical functions required for successful math and science learning.

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Eric BrunsellJune 21, 2011

Access to the Internet brings an almost unlimited amount of content to our fingertips. Effectively collecting, organizing, and making sense of this information is critical to learning. Ubiquitous access to information provides many opportunities and challenges for "formal" education systems. After all, what good is memorizing the atomic number for Iridium when you can just text Cha Cha?

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Eric BrunsellJune 2, 2011

"Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time."
-- Tagore, Bengali poet

About 20 years ago, I received my first email account. It was awesome -- not many college students had one. Of course, I quickly realized that I only knew five friends with email and I lived with four of them.

Today, almost every teenager in our schools has the opportunity to access email, but many choose not to. It is much easier to send a message via texting or through Facebook. In fact, a growing number of my college students only use email to correspond with "old people."

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Michelle HlubinkaMay 17, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Michelle Hlubinka, the Education Director for Maker Faire and Make magazine.

Maker Faire is a combination DIY festival and project showcase, sponsored by Make magazine, where "makers" of all ages convene to show off a spectacular array of projects that combine science, art, performance, creative reuse, and technology in varying degrees. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of educators are getting involved in these events which are currently held in the Bay Area, Detroit and New York. There are also many independently organized Mini-Maker Faires around the country. Maker Faire Bay Area is this weekend, May 21 - 22nd.

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Amy WhittakerMay 9, 2011

Editor's Note: Today's guest blogger is Amy Whittaker, one of the co-producers of the STEMposium event.

On April 1st, a sold-out crowd of 250 students, teachers and civic, business, philanthropic, nonprofit, education and technology leaders flocked to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco for STEMposiumTM - a celebration of excellence in K-12 STEM education innovation presented by the nonprofit EnCorps Teachers Program with co-host Citizen Schools.

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