MIT Stem Pals
  February 2012  

Rethinking STEM Education at Stanford
From Richard Larson
Dick LarsonOur BLOSSOMS Twitter page focuses on news, research and editorials about STEM education. We urge you to take a look. Go to the BLOSSOMS web site and click on the Twitter icon. One item that caught our eye recently was an editorial in the newspaper of Stanford University: Rethinking STEM Education at Stanford. But the theme—we believe—applies to STEM education at MIT, Harvard and at high schools. Read more.

Growing STEM in Elementary Schools
From Rick McMaster
Rick McMasterThere is an increasing focus on initiating STEM in elementary schools. Here are two recent examples, Logan Township Elementary STEM program puts the focus on engineering and Marlborough looks to expand STEM program to younger students. My personal view has always been that you need to start early and continue through the middle and high schools if we are going to truly address the leakage in the STEM pipeline. Read more.

An Update on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)
From Elizabeth Murray
Ian WaitzThis month PCAST released its report entitled "Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics." This report provides a strategy for improving STEM education during the first two years of college, but that strategy is certainly relevant to those of us in the K-12 STEM Community. Below is an excerpt from that report along with the PCAST Committee’s five recommendations. Read more.



The Challenge of Implementing a Reporting of Current Events in a High School Chemistry Class
From Reen Gibb
Megan RokopI have implemented the reporting of current events in my honors chemistry 1 classes. Twice a month I have students report on a current event to do with the topic of water or energy—themes I thread throughout the year as we cover the topics required by the chemistry SAT 2 curriculum. The article has to be from a reputable source and students have to write a summary paragraph that they submit for grading. Read more.

A Lesson in Pure Mathematics Contributed from Malaysia
From Rosalind Hoe Swee Yoke
Rosalind Hoe Swee YokeI love teaching Pure Math. When I taught the "sum to infinity" of the convergent geometric progression ...1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16, I tried to demonstrate why, in the limit, it would approach a value of 2.

To help my students learn this, I held up 2 pieces of A4 paper. Read more.

Highlights of Issues Discussed at the MIT STEM Meeting Held in October 2011
From Megan Rokop
Megan RokopOn October 27 and 28th 2011, we held a meeting at MIT entitled “STEM Education: What Works, What’s Broken, How Do We Fix It?” Committed members of the STEM community from across the U.S. – including teachers, school administrators and policy leaders – worked together to tackle the complex and thorny issues raised by the title of this meeting. Below is a sampling of some important matters that were discussed at this October gathering. We welcome your feedback on these – and other – issues you feel are important, when it comes to strengthening STEM education. We look forward to hearing from you with comments, questions and suggestions. Read more.