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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

STEM Resources

STEM Resources

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George Stern's picture
George Stern
Intern at Edutopia, college student, aspiring Educator.

[quote]HELP!!! I am a secondary teacher that must supply 100% of my equipment and supplies, including basic safety equipment, out of my own pocket. I am desperately looking for grant opportunities to bring funds into my program to better develop and support STEM education.[/quote]

Hey Lisa,

If you haven't already, make sure to check out our Grant Information page: http://www.edutopia.org/grant-information

Good luck!

-George

Travis OHair's picture
Travis OHair
Science teacher, STEM Educator, and STEM Coordinator

Not sure if this has been mentioned yet or not, but Teach Engineering (http://www.teachengineering.com/) is a fantastic resource. I am a teacher and STEM Coordinator for our high School STEM Academy here at Skyline High School in Longmont, CO. We are partnered with the College of Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado, and they have developed this website as a resource tool for educators. All of the materials are available free of charge and are tailor made to fit the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Fantastic stuff! Check it out!!

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's picture
Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Teacher Agent of Change, Power of US Foundation
Blogger

http://www.google.com/edu/computational-thinking/lessons.html

You will hear me talk about the work we do in computational science. Don't turn your nose up. You use supercomputing applications all the time. I guess it is American to pretend that you don't like what science can bring you. High performance computing helps us every day. You would be surprised to know what the applications are that are so much a part of your every day life. Computational reasoning is the core of all modern Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ( STEM) disciplines and is intrinsic to all sother disciplines from A to Z. You may not be able to define or share what computational thnking is but it is used in our every day lives from baking a cake, changing a tire or brushing our teeth. THe human brain is wired to think computationally as or modern computing devices. as educators a Computational Thinking perspective can help us to convey fundamental computing ideas to all students.Computer science is having a revolutionary impact on scientific research and discovery. Simply put, it is nearly impossible to do scholarly research in any scientific or engineering discipline without an ability to think computationally. The impact of computing extends far beyond science, however, affecting all aspects of our lives. To flourish in today's world, everyone needs computational thinking.

What is computational thinking?

http://www.google.com/edu/computational-thinking/index.html

Computational thinking makes it possible for transplant surgeons to realize that more lives can be saved by optimizing the exchange of organs among pools of donors and recipients. It enables new drug designs to be analyzed so that they are less likely to create drug-resistant strains of diseases. Artists, when given the tools to think and express themselves computationally, can create totally new modes of human experience. Users of the Internet, when empowered with computational thinking, can demystify privacy technologies and surf the web safely.

Tranforming Schools

I have been working with computational thinking and modeling for about ten years. At first the people in the field said they were only interested in juniors and seniors and undergraduates. When a group of us created a team to show the advantage of K-12 infusion we were treated as if we had lost our minds. Fortunately there were resources that were available in the Shodor.org Foundation, and then there were individual curriulum pieces that were generated for teacher use. Later there were visualization and modeling practices that were taught by NCIS, and through the Teragrid.

One person besides Bob Panoff was very much interested in K-12. That was and is Henry Neeman, who actually came to the various conferences where K-12 and college professors met to share and to work to create awareness. We are fortunate to have a SIG in the SITE.org ( AACE) conference. We are happy to be able to present in Nashville.

Another concern that people had was about teacher ability. Some argued that teachers were not able to learn languages nor understand visualization and modeling. There is on the Shodor.org site, curriculum that shows that this is not true. But , it is true that in the last two years, people have still been saying , well just take it to the kids.
Karen North, Ray Rose, Bob Plants, Vic Sutton, Bill and Katie Klinger worked at SC and in a grassroots initiative before ISTE to to create , share and show the possibilities. We are very grateful to the Teragrid staff, particularly Scott Lathrop who stood by us as we learned, shared and participated in the use of supercomputing though some people tried to Excel us to death. We love Excel and understand it, but for a while it was all that people though we could handie. Then came Alexander Repening of Agent Sheets, and using his programs and ways of teaching , he involved teachers in a workshop that changed the way that some of us think about how teachers can be taught. Scalable Game Design through the Atlas Institute was a model
that showed that teachers could do hands on, and even I was able to create a game in two days. Some of us as teachers have been rebuffed by those in authority, in education as being unable to learn, use and disseminate the use of computational thinking. What was also powerful was that we used digital wireless tools with visualizations on them IPAD to share what Supercomputers do.

I was glad to find this in my mailbox today. Way to go Google!!!

Exploring Computational Thinking
Monday, October 25, 2010 at 10/25/2010 10:00:00 AM

Posted by Elaine Kao, Education Program Manager

Over the past year, a group of California-credentialed teachers along with our own Google engineers came together to discuss and explore ideas about how to incorporate computational thinking into the K-12 curriculum to enhance student learning and build this critical 21st century skill in everyone.

What exactly is computational thinking? Well, that would depend on who you ask as there are several existing resources on the web that may define this term slightly differently. We define computational thinking(CT) as a set of skills that software engineers use to write the programs that underlay all of the computer applications you use every day. Specific CT techniques include:

Problem decomposition: the ability to break down a problem into sub-problems
Pattern recognition: the ability to notice similarities, differences, properties, or trends in data
Pattern generalization: the ability to extract out unnecessary details and generalize those that are necessary in order to define a concept or idea in general terms
Algorithm design: the ability to build a repeatable, step-by-step process to solve a particular problem
Given the increasing prevalence of technology in our day-to-day lives and in most careers outside of computer science, we believe that it is important to raise this base level of understanding in everyone.

To this end, we'd like to introduce you to a new resource: Exploring Computational Thinking. Similar to some of our other initiatives in education, including CS4HS and Google Code University, this program is committed to providing educators with access to our curriculum models, resources, and communities to help them learn more about CT, discuss it as a strategy for teaching and understanding core curriculum, as well as easily incorporate CT into their own curriculum, whether it be in math, science, language, history or beyond. The materials developed by the team reflect both the teachers' expertise in pedagogy and K-12 curriculum as well as our engineers' problem-solving techniques that are critical to our industry.

Prior to launching this program, we reached out to several educators and classrooms and had them try our materials. Here's some of the feedback we received:
CT as a strategy for teaching and student learning works well with many subjects, and can easily be incorporated to support the existing K-12 curriculum
Our models help to call out the specific CT techniques and provide more structure around the topics taught by educators, many of who were already unknowingly applying CT in their classrooms
Including programming exercises in the classroom can significantly enrich a lesson by both challenging the advanced students and motivating the students who have fallen behind
Our examples provide educators with a means of re-teaching topics that students have struggled with in the past, without simply going through the same lesson that frustrated them before
To learn more about our program or access CT curriculum materials and other resources, visit us atwww.google.com/edu/ect.

The Power of US site is creating trnasformational learning through the use of HPC at a school. Some of the applications came from tie ITEST community.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton
PowerofUS

eGFI's picture
eGFI
Engineering: Go For It!

Thanks for mentioning ASEE's K-12 center, Eric! ASEE (the American Society for Engineering Education) has recently launched a new website and magazine targeting K12 students and their parents and teachers.

Our new site (egfi-k12.org) is chock full of fun lessons and activities to help get kids inspired! Be sure to also look at our teacher blog for more lessons plans and classroom activities.

Our weekly newsletter features all the new classroom-ready STEM lessons, plus K12 education news and more. Subscribe here!

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

Hi Don and other colleagues:

as promised here is the second link to a fantastic Engineering website:
"Design for the Other 90%" sponsored by the aforementioned Smithsonian
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum:

http://other90.cooperhewitt.org/

Coincidentally, the Museum just concluded a second in this series of exhibitions: "Design for the Other 90%" (it ended in September, 2010...) but I could not find any online links to their collection...
I guess that is still a work-in-progress...

btw: Don't ask me why National Geographic magazine waited to publish their 2-page spread this month in November 2010, by using examples from the 2007 Exhibition which is long gone, except that I found it online...

ps: if you go to the National Geographic current link for Big Ideas -
Little Packages and read carefully the one paragraph about the "Infant Warmer", you will find a website link called:
embraceglobal.org

Which I higly recommend because they have a fantastic diagrammatic
explanation of the "Analysis of the Whole and its Parts" of their product... including a new fabric technology (called something like a
"Phase _____"

Sincerely yours,

Allen Berg

ps 2: and the "Asthma Device" in the article is made from
"folded paper" !!! at 1/20th the cost of conventional Asthma Devices:
one dollar from paper vs twenty dollars for the other conventional product...

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

Hi Don,

I am new to this group and a computer newbie, so I will have to make several postings to include the several "Engineering" resources available online... I agree totally with you concerning the real everyday experience we all have with "Engineering" and its products/productions etc. First I am going to post a link to the current edition of National Geographic magazine: (November 2010)their
"Big Idea / Innovation" section (published every month):
"Big Ideas - Little Packages" pages 24-25.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/big-idea/16/little-packages

This is a brief very visually effective 2-page spread about current engineering projects, that are included in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum exhibition from 2007:
"Design for the Other 90%" (and currently wonderfully permanently online! --that will be my second post, because I do not yet know how to copy & paste more than one hyper-link at this forum format ...but i will learn... :-)

btw: if you read about the Water Purifying Straw, called "LifeStraw", and go to their website: lifestraw.com

They list the Maufacturer of the product, which is a Professional European Engineering Firm, and if you click on their link for the English version "Bochure" of their product you can download the Adobe file --which I highly recommend -- because it is a real-life Professional Engineering Product Description and Social Environmental Impact Report/Evaluation Example for students to read and view and learn about Engineering "Best Practices" including: Schematics, Technical writing, Research data: tables and graphs, etc.

**********************

Then after the second link, I will post my one-page lesson/project outline for "The Engineering of Everyday Things: Structure and Function
-- The Anaysis of a Whole and its Parts"

Then there are a couple of pages of Teacher Resource Lists of
"Compare and Contrast Everyday Things" (Objects)

such as:
1. pencil vs. pen
2. flashlight vs. desk lamp
3. paper clip vs. stapler
4. ladder vs. staircase
5. nail clipper vs. Swiss army knife
6. child's bicycle vs. multi-gear bike
7. landline phone/home phone vs. cell phone

etc.

Then there cool books (CoolStuff and CoolStuff 2.0 etc.)
then there are cool website links...
then there are my arts & crafts 3-D geometry sculptures projects
and papermodel crafting websites etc.
to be continued...

I appreciate your collegial collaboration

Allen Berg

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

howdy Engineers and Imagineers

This is the 3rd page is my series about Engineering Curriculum Resources
************************************************************************

The Engineering of Everyday Things: Structure and Function
---The Analysis of a Whole and its Parts.

Lesson Plan by Allen Berg

[Photograph of a ball point pen disassembled: the clear plastic tube of ink, the small inner spring, and the 2 parts of the outer casing with their molded screw connection. ]

I am not incurious;
I like to look at things, care-fully
and understand how they work.

Observation and then description
are important tools of Science.

As you can see from the picture of the pen above,
Things have parts that make up the whole.

In this lesson, you will choose an object
and analyze its structure and function.

1. Name and define the object. (You can check a dictionary.)
The definition of an object is often its purpose.

2. Draw a picture of the object as a whole and as its separate parts.
2a. Take digital photographs of the object as a whole and of its various parts.
2b. Advanced students can use free 3-D software to produce computer-generated 3-Dimensional images. (Google's "Sketch-Up" etc.)

3. Label each part.
Describe the material each part is made of.

4. Explain the function of each part and how it is related to the
whole object.

5. Look close-up and carefully at the object to find the name of the
country where it is made.

6. Evaluate the object:
a. Does it do the job it is supposed to do?
Rate its performance: poor__ ok__ good__ excellent__ etc.
b. What is the object's durability?
How long does it last? Can you repair or replace the parts
or do you just throw it away?
c. What is its cost? Is this a "fair value"?
d. Would you recommend using this object? Why or why not?
e. Can you suggest improvements in its design?
List and explain your suggestions.
Provide a visual image(s) of your improved design.

7. Conclusion:
How does this object compare to similar objects, for use?

[Example of an "improved design": the addition of a soft rubbery fingers grip... Photograph of the "improved" pen]

8. Share your Analysis with other students, family, and friends...
Be proud that you are a Beginning Engineer...

Allen Berg's picture
Allen Berg
curriculum and projects learning centers

Hi Don and other colleagues:

as promised here is the second link to a fantastic Engineering website:
"Design for the Other 90%" sponsored by the aforementioned Smithsonian
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum:

http://other90.cooperhewitt.org/

Coincidentally, the Museum just concluded a second in this series of exhibitions: "Design for the Other 90%" (it ended in September, 2010...) but I could not find any online links to their collection...
I guess that is still a work-in-progress...

ps: if you go to the National Geographic current link for Big Ideas -
Little Packages and read carefully the one paragraph about the "Infant Warmer", you will find a website link called:
embraceglobal.org

Which I higly recommend because they have a fantastic diagrammatic
explanation of the "Analysis of the Whole and its Parts" of their product... including a new fabric technology (called something like a
"Phase Sensor Textile"

Sincerely yours,

Allen Berg

ps 2: and the "Asthma Device" in the article is made from
"folded paper" !!! at 1/20th the cost of conventional Asthma Devices:
one dollar from paper vs twenty dollars for the other conventional product...

Allen

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