School Login

KnowAtom's Blog

3 Key Takeaways from Achieve’s New Alignment Claims Resource

May 3, 2018 by Sara Goodman

Achieve has recently published a new resource aimed at helping educators begin to evaluate common claims made by curriculum providers about how their materials relate to the Next Generation Science Standards.

We asked our curriculum content specialists to review the document, and they came up with 3 key takeaways.

Continue reading

Topics: Evaluating Curriculum, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

3 Key Features of Next Generation-DESIGNED Science Curriculum

Feb 27, 2018 by Francis Vigeant

Curriculum is what translates the Next Generation Science Standards into a classroom experience where students can be scientists and engineers. It is what helps students gain experience performing the expectations and making connections on an everyday basis in order to reach mastery, so that over time they can generalize those skills to a variety of situations.

Continue reading

Topics: NGSS-Designed Curriculum

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. 

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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?"

Continue reading

Topics: STEM

Why is Alignment More Difficult with Next Generation Science Standards?

Nov 30, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

With the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) at or near the classroom implementation stage in most states, principals and teachers have come together to discuss their interpretations. Everyone involved is doing their best to understand where they need to be in September.

The problem facing all educators, early elementary through high school, is that few classrooms have ever taught science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) effectively. While "science classes" have been taught PK-12 for decades, many educators are now questioning if they've ever really taught students science, and if not, what effective STEM instruction is and what it looks like.

Continue reading

Topics: NGSS

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore STEM Curriculum

Nov 29, 2017 by Maryellen deLacy

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The changes being discussed in curricula and educational standards involve major revisions to the way we teach. However, there are compelling reasons you shouldn’t ignore STEM curriculum that go beyond standards and assessments.

Continue reading

Topics: STEM, interactive science, STEM schools

Girls and Women in STEM: Enhancing Equality and Opportunity

Nov 27, 2017 by Nicole Lanoue

The conversation about women in STEM is everywhere and growing exponentially in popularity, something seen in the sheer number of headlines written in the past few years. What you may not know, however, is that while women are better represented in the science and engineering workforce today than in the past, there are still gaps, especially in the engineering and computer sciences fields.

In grades K-12, a report by the National Girls Collaborative Project found that more girls than boys took advanced biology and pre-calculus classes, but male students were six times more likely to take engineering classes and slightly more likely to take calculus beyond pre-calc. After high school, the numbers drop even more dramatically.

Continue reading

Topics: STEM

New Call-to-action

Posts by Topic

see all

Stay Up to Date With Our Latest Posts

Pick How Often: