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Three Years In, Science Program in the Kurdish Region of Iraq Yields Positive Results  

Feb 16, 2018 by Sara Goodman

A program aimed at providing children living in camps for internally displaced people in the Kurdish Region of Iraq with important skill-building science instruction has established a vital network of people who know STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and who have a desire to learn and to teach other people in one of the most challenging environments on Earth.

The program began in 2015 in an effort to build relevant and lifelong skills for children living in conflict while at the same time helping to take their mind off of the conflict. Since its beginning, KnowAtom has partnered with local aid workers and the precursor to STEM Synergy, a non-profit that partners with community leaders to deliver quality STEM education to communities on the cusp of rapid development. 

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Topics: higher order thinking, Creativity, Next Generation Science

5 Steps to Use Science Phenomena More Effectively in Your Classroom

Feb 9, 2018 by Sara Goodman

There are 5 steps educators can adopt in their own classrooms to use phenomena most effectively in the classroom.

 Step 1: Find a real-world anchor phenomenon.

If you're a KnowAtom user, you don't need to find anything because phenomena are the basis for all of our lessons. If you don't use KnowAtom, that's fine. These are all things you can do in your class.

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Topics: NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, Phenomena-Based Learning

How to Use Phenomena to Develop NGSS Practices in the Classroom

Feb 2, 2018 by Sara Goodman

Phenomena are an essential part of teaching the Next Generation Science Standards.

This is because they provide the real-world context for learning. When combined with the science and engineering practices, phenomena are a powerful way to engage students as scientists and engineers in the classroom.

Phenomena are central to a next generation-aligned instructional model because they allow students to develop and use all of the practices in a variety of contexts.

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3 Ways Phenomena Transform Science Classrooms

Jan 29, 2018 by Sara Goodman

The Next Generation Science Standards are all about students being scientists and engineers every day in the classroom. And if a student is going to be a scientist or engineer in the classroom, if that's going to be the mode of learning, there needs to be a purpose.

That’s where phenomena come in.

Phenomena provide the real-world context for learning. For scientists, a phenomenon is an observable event, a complex, real-world context. For engineers, phenomena have to do with a problem that may be solved by extending their knowledge of science.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, Phenomena-Based Learning

7 Habits of Highly Effective STEM Teachers

Dec 18, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

There are only so many hours in a school day. Here are seven habits that you can easily incorporate into your teaching approach that will help you maximize your effectiveness as a STEM teacher.

Check out our list and let us know in the comments if you think we missed anything.

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Topics: STEM

5 Reasons Inquiry Science in Schools Gets the Best Results

Dec 14, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

If you asked a child if they wanted to sit down and read and/or memorize a list of scientific facts, what do you think they would say? You’ve probably experienced this exact scenario with your students at some point. Being the awesome teacher that you are, you probably found a way to make this activity seem more exciting than that, but it likely still involved some hard work on your part. On the other hand, what if you asked that same child to design and perform cool experiments using everyday objects along with tools they’ve never used before? You would probably be greeted with a much more positive response, right?

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Topics: STEM, interactive science, Science Curriculum

STEM Grants for Teachers: Where Can I Find Them and How Do I Apply?

Dec 12, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

Do you want to implement a new STEM curriculum in your school and/or improve upon the way your school currently teaches science and math? Every student deserves the latest, most innovative tools, materials, and inquiry-based learning curriculum, but unfortunately a lot of schools just don’t have the budget to pay for an all-new set of curriculum and supplies. However, there are many STEM grants for teachers designed as seed funding to help implement new STEM resources.

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Topics: STEM

STEM Industry Wants Employees Who Can Think

Dec 7, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Over the past year, various industry leaders in Massachusetts have joined with an unlikely group: elementary educators. Their purpose: begin a conversation about why it is important to hook students onto science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) early on.

Consensus emerged on the importance of developing not just students’ technical abilities, but on "softer" skills as well: curiosity about the world around them, the ability to think on their feet, and resilience in the face of challenges. For many in the industry, hiring employees who can apply higher order thinking to any challenge is far more important than hiring employees who have a specific skill set.

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Topics: STEM

Help Wanted: How to Onboard Parents Early with STEM

Dec 5, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

When you hear about STEM education, the conversation often revolves around teachers and students. What’s often overlooked is the role parents can play, both in supporting student learning at home and in advocating for teachers and schools in the community.

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Topics: STEM

Should Every Student Learn STEM?

Dec 1, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Someone recently asked me: "If only 4 percent of students will become scientists, engineers, or mathematicians, why should time, effort, and resources go toward helping the other 96 percent learn science, technology, engineering, and math?"

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Topics: STEM

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