Top 5 STEM Education Articles of May 2017

By Maggie O’Brien


We reviewed the major news articles written on STEM education 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 STEAM (STEM+Arts) initiatives in schools.

These articles support Defined STEM‘s mission of assisting students in developing the critical 21st-century skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life.

Students Shouldn’t Live in STEM Deserts

Knowledge Bank | US News

Matthew Randazzo of the National Math and Science Initiative discusses how access to high-quality STEM learning is unevenly distributed and a critical equity issue in education. He explains that millions of students go to schools across the U.S. that do not offer rigorous and engaging math and science courses.  The U.S. must address this inequity and ensure “every student has access to quality rigorous coursework taught by highly trained and supported teachers.”


Next-Generation Science Tests Slowly Take Shape

Education Week

This article discusses the need for states to align their assessments with Next Generation Science Standards.  Students “have got to show us how they know, not just what they know,” said James Pellegrino, a co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an expert on assessment.


Wow! This inquiry-based, technology-rich school has no tech staff

eSchool News

A highly innovative K-8 principal, Mary Beth Cunat, explains how her international baccalaureate school builds 21st-century learners and integrates technology into the teaching and learning process – with no tech staff.   “Being a caring and competent user of technology is core to being a productive, proactive citizen…and we accomplish this with no tech staff”.


Will Elementary Science Remain the Forgotten Stepchild of School Reform?

Change the Equation

In this report, Change the Equation reviews survey data from the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for elementary school science.  The results show that millions of elementary school students get “too thin a diet of infrequent science instruction”.  To address this, Change the Equation stresses the need for more science time in the classroom to “clear space for better science teaching” and more professional development.


To Engage Students and Teachers, Treat Core Subjects Like Extracurriculars

KQED Mindshift

This article discusses the work of education researchers, Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine, who have spent six years assessing the variables that contribute to deeper learning.  They discuss how the most powerful core classes they have seen take on the elements of PBL extracurricular activities vs. traditionally taught classes.

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