Top 5 STEM Education Articles of August 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 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 project-based lessons that empower them to build the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life.


Getting Students Excited About STEM

Smart Brief

Director of K-12 STEM education for Florida’s Hillsborough County Schools, Larry Plank, explains that they are seeing significant gains in student STEM engagement and achievement due “not only to what we are teaching them but to how we are teaching them”.  Plank gives examples of the strategies they are using to give students authentic hands-on STEM learning experiences that are preparing them for college and careers.


In Search of the Driving Question


In this article, Andrew Miller explains the differences between “driving” and “essential” questions.  He explains that driving questions “direct the students’ inquiry and increase their engagement”.  This article is filled with helpful information and examples that educators can use to create effective driving questions that engage students.


How the Girl Scouts’ new CEO is using her time at NASA and Apple to promote STEM education

Scientific American

The new Girl Scouts CEO, Sylvia Acevedo,  is using her previous work experience at NASA and Apple to help the Girl Scouts address the lack of exposure girls in the U.S. have to STEM. The  Girl Scouts recently launched new STEM-focused badges to encourage more girls to build their skills in these fields and to help close the STEM gender gap.   Acevedo explains, “there’s no way that we’re going to close that gap in the United States without tapping into the great resources of girls and young women.”


These Educators Know How to Make PBL Work for Teachers

eSchool News

Get insight on what it takes to rollout a successful PBL implementation from three trailblazing educators:  1.) a superintendent in Illinois, 2.)  a STEM PD director in Stoughton Public Schools, Massachusetts, and 3.) a science consultant in the Northwest Area Education Agency, Iowa.


Crossing Boundaries: The Future of Science Education

Scientific American

This article discusses the need for STEM education to keep up with the demands of a rapidly growing STEM industry.  It discusses the importance of shifting the traditional perception of who science is for and encouraging all students to engage in STEM subjects. “If we are going to make science classrooms exciting learning environments for today’s youth, science education needs to break out of schools, out of books and out of gender and racial constructs, moving away from both traditional practices and traditional perceptions of who science is for”.




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