Merge all DEFUNCT Science-STEM websites into one!?

Merge all DEFUNCT Science/STEM websites into one!? –New Blog…for Marine Biology At Least?

MIT Study Names Olin College World Leader in Engineering Education

A new MIT study has named Olin College of Engineering, along with MIT, as the top leaders in engineering education globally.

Source: MIT Study Names Olin College World Leader in Engineering Education

“We consider ourselves to be a national educational design laboratory and this study encourages our faculty and students to continue to explore the frontiers of learning. We seek to serve as a proof-of-concept that change can happen in academia and as a catalyst to help others evolving their learning practices and culture.”

Among the pedagogical features shared by the current leaders in engineering education are multiple opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning throughout the curriculum, the application of user-centered design principles and partnerships with industry, all of which characterize the learning program at Olin. In addition, Olin was cited specifically for its “multidisciplinary student-centered education that extends across and beyond traditional engineering disciplines and is anchored in issues of ethics and social responsibility.”

The U.S. MIGHT (remember few studies are replicable) have been 19th in the world in math (instead of 36th) if we’d bribed our students with $25

Here’s a puzzle:  if U.S. students do so badly on international tests, especially in math, how can it be that the U.S. economy is so strong? An educated workforce is supposedly a big predictor of a country’s income and annual growth. Yet the performance of American 15-year-olds on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, has always been lackluster. Since 2012, U.S. math scores have slumped down into the bottom half. Meanwhile, the U.S. remains the top economy in the world this year with over $19 trillion of goods and services produced. No other country even comes close.

A group of behavioral economists wondered if U.S. students are actually not as incompetent as their scores would suggest, but simply lazy when they’re taking the PISA exam. To test this, they created a PISA-like exam of just 25 questions and asked 447 sophomores at two different high schools to take it. Seconds before the test started, they surprised half the students at each school with an envelope of 25 one-dollar bills. The researchers told those students they would take away one dollar for each incorrect or unanswered question.

Guess what? Scores rose for the American teens who were bribed. The economists estimated that if U.S. students had put this much effort into the real PISA test, they would have scored 22 to 24 points higher in math, moving the U.S. from 36th to 19th in the 2012 international rankings. (The U.S. ranked 39th in 2015.)

The researchers conducted the same experiment in Shanghai, China, where students had posted the highest scores in the world on the actual 2012 PISA test. However, the bribe (in renminbi instead of U.S. dollars) didn’t make a difference. The bribed Chinese students scored the same as those who weren’t bribed. They both got almost twice as many questions right as the incentivized American students. (Click here if you want to try the test yourself.)

“We’re by no means fully closing the gap,” said Sally Sadoff, a behavioral economist at the Rady School of Management at the University of California at San Diego and one of six authors of the study. “But the incentive is a tool to show that U.S. students aren’t really trying as hard as they could.”

“We’re not saying we should throw out PISA. But the gaps we see are not just about ability, but [about] some combination of ability and motivation,” Sadoff added.

The working paper, “Measuring Success in Education: The Role of Effort on the Test Itself,” was distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research in November 2017.

There’s no reason for U.S. students to try their best on the PISA test. It won’t help them get into college. They don’t even get to see their individual scores afterward. But the scores often influence policymakers. Often, there’s a rush to copy the educational models of countries that rank at the top. Or there are policy debates inside a country when scores slide.

Source: The U.S. might have been 19th in the world in math (instead of 36th) if we’d bribed our students with $25 – The Hechinger Report

(Importance of “Early Learning Advantage™” in Science) Report: Science Knowledge Gaps in Kindergarten Harm Students’ Academic Futures – The Atlantic

When children start kindergarten, sizable gaps in science knowledge already exist between whites and minorities—as well as between youngsters from upper-income and low-income families. And those disparities often deepen into significant achievement gaps by the end of eighth grade if they aren’t addressed during elementary school. These are some of the findings in a new report by researchers from Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, Irvine.

The study, published this week in an American Educational Research Association journal, tracked 7,757 children from the start of kindergarten to the end of eighth grade, providing a rare glimpse into the state of science knowledge of America’s youngest students.

The findings suggest that, in order for the United States to maintain long-term scientific and economic competitiveness in the world, policymakers need to renew efforts to ensure access to high-quality, early learning experiences in childcare settings, pre-schools, and elementary schools. In other words, waiting to address science achievement gaps in middle or high school may be too late.

Source: Report: Science Knowledge Gaps in Kindergarten Harm Students’ Academic Futures – The Atlantic

New Category: “Outside-the-Box” Teaching Schedules

“Outside the Box” of Traditional fragmented, teacher-centered, assembly line teaching periods.

“Outside the Box” of traditional 9-3 teaching hours–we have to find ways to help kids learn 24/7.

“Outside the Box” of traditional school campuses–we have to find ways to help kids learn from people other than teachers!

Bad Heuristics and Bad Education « Leaving trails

This goes on to one of my bigger “beefs” no pun intended with our current school system, which is intent on pushing certain subjects as “necessary” and “required” which are a complete waste of time for most. If we want to look at the reason why we have so much class division in America, we need look no further than our schools, which are intent on making an Engineer out of every child.

  • They teach “Math” and Geometry without teaching basic carpentry skills, or how to balance a checkbook, or how to invest your money.
  • They teach “Verbal” –whatever the hell that is– without teaching Literature.
  • And they teach “Science Reasoning” without ever engaging a child’s mind with Nature, Astronomy, or Navigation techniques.

Maybe the reason our children cannot concentrate in school, is because the content we’re trying to push in their brain is completely useless outside of an SAT, which many people will never have the chance to take.

via Bad Heuristics and Bad Education « Leaving trails.

Why I won’t buy an iPad-Maker Manifesto…

Infantalizing hardware

Then there’s the device itself: clearly there’s a lot of thoughtfulness and smarts that went into the design. But there’s also a palpable contempt for the owner. I believe — really believe — in the stirring words of the Maker Manifesto: if you can’t open it, you don’t own it. Screws not glue. The original Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards, and birthed a generation of hardware and software hackers who upended the world for the better. If you wanted your kid to grow up to be a confident, entrepreneurial, and firmly in the camp that believes that you should forever be rearranging the world to make it better, you bought her an Apple ][+.

But with the iPad, it seems like Apple’s model customer is that same stupid stereotype of a technophobic, timid, scatterbrained mother as appears in a billion renditions of “that’s too complicated for my mom” listen to the pundits extol the virtues of the iPad and time how long it takes for them to explain that here, finally, is something that isn’t too complicated for their poor old mothers.

via Why I won’t buy an iPad and think you shouldn’t, either – Boing Boing. Continue reading

For “Why Study Math?” First Week of School–Also Homework Design

I showed Dan’s video to my freshmen study hall. The first thing it showed me is how much they still need to read. They had a hard time following Dan’s vocabulary, which, while he is well spoken, he isn’t exactly Mary Shelley or anything.

Second, they totally agreed with him. I have a really great mix of high and low achievers in this study hall. All of them responded the same way. They said, why can’t we just ask simple questions that need math? One kid said he hates doing math, because he does every homework problem and repeats the same thing that he either understands or doesn’t. Notice that he said he can still do his homework whether he understands the concept or not. Yikes.

Test for math PROBLEM-SOLVING homework–if kids can do by dumb rote–is it really helping?

via Yahoo, Good News! Susan Ohanian Speaks Out.

via For “Why Study Math?” First Week of School–Also Homework Design.