STEMpower

21st Century Skills in the Classroom

21st Century Skills in the Classroom

When discussing 21st Century Skills, these most often refer to critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, innovation, problem-solving and other similar skills which are highly sought after in the evolving workforce of tomorrow. Although the idea of what 21st Century Skills, for the most part, remains constant, the idea of what constitutes 21st Learning tends to be controversial. Educators have different opinions as to how these skills will be acquired by students, and in what kind of environment they will be most successful. Some believe that a PBL (Project-Based Learning) atmosphere is the most lucrative approach to teach students skills for the future, some advocate the use of current technology in the classroom and others encourage a return to the basics to reinforce communicative and collaborative skills among students. The controversy continues, as 21st Century Skills become progressively more important for young learners to possess.

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The Future of Robotics in STEM Education

The Future of Robotics in STEM Education

Robotics is actively becoming used in a wide variety of learning environments, and the market shows no signs of slowing down. It has been proven that the use of robotics can help to encourage confidence and a positive attitude toward education in students, which helps to reinvigorate classrooms with cross-curricula activities. STEM education proponents are looking for more ways to incorporate robotics classes into schools at the earliest of ages. Peter Turner for Tribotix wrote in 2009, “Robotics will play a major role in the future, so it is important we prepare the current generation of students for this.” With this in mind, robotics is an obvious and important field of the future which helps students to develop important skills for the 21st century.

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Customer Spotlight: Vallivue Middle School

Customer Spotlight: Vallivue Middle School

Casey Boothby, a teacher at Vallivue Middle School, has used PCS Edventures robotics curriculum in his classrooms over the past four years. He is currently teaching robotics as an elective for the second year in a row. Boothby said the robotics elective class “tends to fill up” because students get to choose the projects they work on. He explained, “The way I have it built is all student driven, so the students have a lot of ownership and pride about what they make in my class… they can choose something more complex to challenge themselves… It’s really cool to see them take that on!”

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The Science of Summer Camps

The Science of Summer Camps

Summer season 2015 is approaching quickly and parents are seeking summer solutions to fill the school gap. What many parents don’t realize is what their children will lose during these months of Summer fun. Studies show that a lack of educational stimulation during a break leads to lower test scores, lessened mental retention and on average kids perform one month behind where they left off in the grade before (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsay, Greathouse, 1996). However, there is a simple solution to this loss - educational summer camps! Summer camps with academic base allow students to continue learning during the off-months, which leads to better learning retention, increased STEM career pathways and offer a variety of subject exposure in a flexible learning environment. In combination, these benefits prepare students for each upcoming school year.

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