Top 5 STEM Education Articles of March

By Maggie O’Brien


Each month, we list news articles on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and project-based learning (PBL) that we find 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 empowering students to build future-ready skills through authentic project-based learning.


Here’s what we liked this month:


Why It’s Time to Rethink School Science Fairs 


Springtime is science fair season. Thousands of kids across the country, from elementary through high school, spend weeks or months coaxing seedlings to grow, building devices to harness solar energy and carefully mixing acids and bases.  Read more


Commentary: Where STEM Context and Careers Meet

U.S. News & World Report

STEM JOBS REPRESENT ONE of the fastest-growing opportunities in our economy, leaping past other careers. These jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields often pay better than other jobs for workers with the same level of education, and there is a shortage of young people pursuing these paths, in the public and private sectors. Despite all of these reasons to pursue a STEM degree, a recent Pew Research Center survey found, “only a third of workers (33%) ages 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field.” With a network of 20,000-plus schools throughout North America, EVERFI delivers digital resources that help teachers equip students with the skills they need to succeed. Read more


21st-Century Learning Starting in Elementary School


Learning about weather-related natural disasters is serious business for the budding meteorologists at White Oak Elementary School in Sugar Hill, Georgia. For a recent STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) project, one team of fifth graders drafted emergency response plans that they planned to present to an audience of civil engineers. Another team mapped out a field trip for younger children to help them understand weather patterns. Other students contemplated how they might use Minecraft or produce videos to share what they had learned through their weather investigations. Read more…


Structuring the Chaos: Making PBL Feel Safe for New Teachers & Students

Buck Institute for Education

When I started my teaching career, I worked in a vibrant Project Based Learning community and was told to just jump in and get my students doing projects! It sounded amazing! However, as a new educator, I didn’t know how to get a room of teenagers quiet enough so they could listen to my instructions, I couldn’t yet figure out how to determine who was on task (and who wasn’t), and sometimes I wasn’t even sure if my students were all still in the room. Read more


Mentors, Encouragement, Hands-on Learning Boost Girls’ Interest in STEM Substantially

THE Journal

Providing girls with real-world examples of STEM careers seemed to help girls connect STEM disciplines to their own interests. According to the report: “In our study, after being presented with just a brief description of the real-world accomplishments of engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists, girls’ perceptions of those career characteristics changed dramatically. In some cases, the perception of the creativity and positive impact of STEM careers more than doubled.” Read more






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