MIT Stem Pals
  June 2012  
Please forward this to friends and colleagues interested in STEM

Our STEM education community is growing rapidly. We want to hear from you—your ideas, opinions
or news on this important topic. Send your contribution and a photo by the 10th of each month here.

A STEM-Literate Citizenry
Dick LarsonWhat fraction of seats offered for sale each week by your local movie theater are sold to customers? Think for a minute before proceeding. Many people estimate 40% or 50%. In fact, many of you might have been turned away recently from an opening weekend of a blockbuster film, so you might even guess closer to 100%. Well, the typical correct answer across the USA is about 5%. That’s right, about 5% of all movie theater seats offered for sale during a week are actually sold to paying customers. How can this be, when all we see is nearly filled theaters? The answer is that most of us go to see films on Friday and Saturday nights, when the seats are relatively filled, not the Tuesday 11:00 AM showing when you might be the only customer in the theater. Your own appearance during busy times creates a significant selection bias. You as customer experience a busy theater. The owner of the theater sees 95% empty seats. Both are correct. Read more.

How Proud Am I?
Heidi RudolphAs a career math teacher in a public high school in Ohio, I am proud to say that the Ohio State University is producing fresh, new math and science teachers through its amazing STEM Masters program. As a mother of one particular STEMer, I am even more proud!

Here is some information from the website: “The STEM Master of Education (M.Ed.) teacher preparation program is a full-time or part-time graduate program that takes one or two years to complete. The M.Ed. includes a coherent series of interdisciplinary core courses, content-specific courses, a research and inquiry component, field experiences, a clinical practicum, and a culminating project focused on critical issues in education…The STEM M.Ed. Read more.


What is a STEM School? How do STEM Schools Spread and Last?
Courtney HeppnerLearn about the current landscape of STEM education and our current work in STEM at the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) at the University of Chicago. In this interactive webinar, we will share resources for STEM schools, hubs, and state networks and provide an opportunity for discussion and questions. To register for this webinar, go here.

Courtney Heppner is Research and Evaluation Associate at the Center for Elementary Math and Science Education of the University of Chicago.

The T in STEM – The T-Shaped Professional
Rick McMasterLast month I talked about the move to incorporate more letters into STEM or give additional meaning to those already there. We need to keep it simple while maintaining a common understanding of what we mean and define the skills students need to be successful as they start careers. A number of people have already touched upon these proficiencies, and I would like to mention two of these people. Read more.

MIT+K12 Collaborates with Khan Academy
Ian WaitzIn April, MIT launched MIT+K12—an initiative in which MIT students produce short videos teaching basic concepts in science and engineering. The videos are aimed at K12 students and are accessible through a dedicated MIT website and YouTube channel. MIT+K12 is a collaboration with Khan Academy, a popular not-for-profit educational site founded by an MIT alumnus. Read more.