Top 5 STEM Education Articles of July 2017

STEM Education

By Maggie O’Brien


We reviewed the major news articles written on STEM education and project-based learning (PBL) last month and found five that we think are exceptionally inspiring and educational.  Topics range from research reports to feature stories about new STEM and PBL initiatives in schools.

These articles support Defined STEM’s mission of providing students with engaging real-world PBL lessons that empower them to develop the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life.


The Search for Real-World STEM Problems

Education Week

STEM teacher, Anne Jolly, discusses how the key to engaging students in STEM subjects is by asking them to work on solutions to real-world problems.  Anne shares her insights and experiences and offers suggestions on resources educators can use to help identify and create real-world problems with STEM solutions.


New Study Shows Impact of PBL on Student Achievement


This article reviews the findings of a large study of the effects of PBL on social studies and literacy achievement.  This study compared student achievement in two different types of second-grade classrooms in high-poverty schools: 1.) students taught using traditional teaching methods, and 2.) students taught via a PBL approach.  The findings show that project-based learning can raise student achievement in high-poverty communities.


3 Ways to Prepare Educators to Teach PBL

Getting Smart

In this article, IL Superintendent Dr. Art Fessler shares his success with implementing project-based learning (PBL) and how he delivers support to teachers as they shift from traditional teaching methods to PBL.  Dr.Fessler discusses the materials and resources they’ve used to assist their teachers with lesson planning.


Teaching to the Edges Using Project Based Learning

THE Journal

In this article two teachers, a special ed teacher and a gifted teacher, discuss how project-based learning (PBL) helps them differentiate lessons for students of varying learning abilities. They discuss how PBL offers their students an opportunity to showcase their strengths and creativity.


Partnership Strategies for Real-World Projects


Many teachers agree that real-world lessons increase student engagement but they struggle to find the resources needed to create them.  This article showcases one school, Iowa Big, which uses a competency-based model that emphasizes passion, projects, and community rather than a packaged curriculum.  Iowa Big shares how they developed their model and built the community & business partnerships that are the key to their students’ success.

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