It Takes a Village — STEM Exchange with Design Squad Global

 

Perhaps, like me, you’d never head of SOS Children’s Village schools like this one in Mbabane, Swaziland, where children design a waste bin to reduce litter around their school.  SOS Children’s Villages is a global organization to help orphaned and abandoned children, more than 80,000 boys and girls in over 540 villages in 133 countries, including here in the United States.

PBS KIDS’ Design Squad Global — a 10 month after school program/club — connects 8-13 year olds in the U. S. with those in Swaziland, Botswana, and southern Africa.  You can learn more about this exchange and find Design Squad online resources Continue reading

Special Educator Event Tomorrow — Just Before Broadcast of A Year in Space

WGBY airs Part One of PBS’ A Year In Space this Wednesday, March 2 at 8 pm, just 24 hours after astronaut Scott Kelly’s return to Earth.  The quietly powerful trailer suggests the personal nature of a program about the International Space Station, Scott and his identical twin brother Mark Kelly, husband of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who retired after his wife was shot during a violent attack in 2011.

To help educators engage on a closer level with this behind-the-scenes look at Scott’s record-breaking 12-month mission, Continue reading

Resources for National Engineers Week & Beyond

I saw my first 3D printer at a recent Springfield City Library Open House.  While I can only imagine what we’ll create on 3D printers in the future, you and students can explore the frontiers of engineering now with PBS LearningMedia.

Featured resources highlight careers in engineering and offer students a look at what it takes to design rockets, jets — and, of course, 3D printers.  During National Engineers Week or any time, the “Engineering Is…” collection teaches students Continue reading

Ready Jet Go! Arrives with Breakthrough Discovery of Gravitational Waves

Could we have planned a more fantastic arrival for Jet Propulsion — the star of PBS KIDS new show Ready Jet Go! — than on the heels of last week’s historic announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves, those “ripples in the fabric of space time” that Albert Einstein foresaw 100 years ago?  Jet, whose family members are aliens from the planet Bortron 7, explores the solar system and its effects on the science of our planet, all while learning about friendship and teamwork.

Premiering today, February 15, Ready Jet Go! already has some amazing resources to stir the curiosity of young minds.  Continue reading

Interactive Activity: Mapping the Brain

Imaging technology allows scientists and doctors to gather information about the human brain without cutting it open with each technique having its advantages and disadvantages.  In this interactive activity from the NOVA scienceNOW website, students learn about several brain mapping techniques: MRI, fMRI, PET, MEG, DTI, and probabilistic.

Accompanied by support materials, the interactive shows Continue reading

SciGirls — Changing STEM Thinking for Millions of Tween Girls

SciGirls, an award-winning PBS KIDS series, website, and national outreach initiative for ages 8-12, is in its 3rd season.  Inspiring girls to science are animated characters Izzie, her best friend Jake, and the SciGirls — bright, curious, real-life scientist mentors.  Izzie also invites viewers to hang out on the SciGirls website, a safe social networking environment where girls can play games, connect, create personal profiles and avatars, share projects and watch every episode.

You can also find hundreds of SciGirls’ resources for students Continue reading

The Best Teacher I Ever Had

I opened my email from LinkedIn Pulse, curious to find out about “The Best Teacher I Ever Had,” and discovered that the “I” was Bill Gates and the teacher was Richard Feinman, a Nobel Laureate and Harvard prof who had captivated me long ago.  Though I was teaching high school language arts and Feinman was a scientist — he who discovered the cause of the space shuttle explosion — I was drawn to his joy and energy as an educator, something Bill Gates discusses here.

We can all learn something from this beloved teacher about Continue reading

ARTHUR’S Enduring Empathy & Humor Infuse STEM Curriculum

PBS KIDS Arthur kicks off Season 19 with all-new episodes and exciting scientific adventures beginning Monday, January 18.  Whether exploring the inner workings of the brain or illustrating the many fun uses of math, these stories of self-discovery tackle a STEM curriculum with Arthur’s enduring empathy and humor.

Children can also explore the world of Arthur with a collection of educational resources aimed at viewers ages four through eight.  Arthur’s goal is to help foster an interest in reading and writing and to encourage positive social skills

Continue reading

Middle & High School STEM Teachers — WGBH Education Needs Your Input

WGBH Education — co-producers of PBS LearningMedia™ — needs input on a free app to assist English language-learners with STEM vocabulary. We’re asking middle and high school STEM teachers about the potential usefulness of such a tool.

Your responses to a brief survey (5-10 minutes) will be used to inform production of educational resources by WGBH Education.  To show our appreciation for your time and thoughtful responses, Continue reading

Inside Einstein’s Mind

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein

For a second time, Albert Einstein has been the subject of these posts.  As “our pal, Al” on Peg + Cat, he shined light on Hanukkah.  This week, NOVA’s Inside Einstein’s Mind airs on WGBY Wednesday, December 16 — TONIGHT — at 8:00pm.  By retracing Einstein’s experiments in thought, NOVA reveals the simple but powerful ideas that reshaped our understanding of gravity and illuminated the theory of general relativity.

Einstein in the classroom can be a source of inspiration, not only because of his brilliant mind but for his humanity.  You’ll find resources Continue reading