Attracting girls towards careers in science and math has been difficult. I wonder if it is a confidence thing or is it more of a gender thing? The research seems to be going in both directions. I think if there were more hands-on problem-solving projects that demonstrated to students how and why to use the higher-level math skills more students, not just boys, would continue in the science and math fields. Projects that allow for trial and error are important to develop strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. STEM activities could be a game-changer.
A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) took a comprehensive look at gender differences in student performance based on an exam taken by 15-year-olds.…
The robot sessions are going very well. The reached capacity in just over 48 hours of the first announcement sent home! I was amazed but not really surprised. Kids are asking for different ways to engage their minds and develop their creative thought processes. This week I worked with 42 students after school over three different afternoons. Each session was the same, high excitement and serious thinking to solve the presented challenges. It is time to share my excitement with others even though I am just starting down this path with the visual programming robots. I am starting with Dash and Dot and a handful of iPads. The kids and their enthusiasm for what can happen are infectious. I want to take my experiences with robots and sharing with others. My first step is Michigan. I just completed my application to present at MACUL 2016. Let’s see if I can begin spreading the word FUN!
It seems like this is the perfect plan for student engagement. Short focused lecture, an activity that is thought-provoking beyond the textbook regurgitation, then short focused lecture. Might take some practice but kids are used to bites of information not long boring lectures. Change is needed, give it a try let me know what you think.
Mini-lectures, interspersed with activities, discussions, and time for reflection, helped ensure students received the content and remained engaged.