National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 5

Effective Partnerships with K-12 - Keith Krueger, CEO CoSN, Mark Nieker, Pres. Pearson Education Foundation, Bev White, CTO, Wake Co Schools

  • Education typically largest recipient of funding from foundations, individuals (after religion)

  • Essential to our competitiveness, our children's future, belief that K-12 needs help

  • Many of today's partnerships don't take off, or meet the needs of participants

  •  What doesn't work:

    • thinly veiled sales pitches

    • donated stuff schools haven't asked for

    • well intended/not thought out

    • unsustainable "model" programs with no plan

    • chasing money for someone else's priorities/make sure resources match your mission

    • higher ed partnerships:  major disconnect, tendency to do narrow proof of concepts, useless language, little dissemination

    • govt: complicated application process, different priorities, lack of dissemination

  • What does work:

    • meeting real needs of K-12

    • high quality, vendor neutral information

    • working in coalition

    • using language of K-12 (not business)

    • foundations tend to be sustainable and provide freedom to be creative and think out of the box

    • govt:  some really good NSF (for example) projects have been done

  • Self Criticism K-12

    • K-12 is totally unique and alone

    • "poor us" mentality - willingness to take anything that is given

    • historic suspicion about companies

  • Need to have mutual vision

  • Must have right partner(s)

  • scalability & sustainability

Nieker, Pearson:

  1.  Partnership must be commonly describable by all involved; must include flexibility

  2. Good documentation - things that go well and things that don't

  3. Scalability - is it replicable?

White, Wake Co:

  1. Spoke about the partnerships with Centennial's 8th grade laptop initiative. (SAS, NCSU, Friday Inst)

Question:  How do we invite partnerships in rural areas where there is little industry/big business?

Answer:  Willingness to dialogue with business, not ruling out small business, parents that are involved in business, demonstrate the disconnect between the school classroom environment with the business environment, clarity of expression of needs.

Daniel Solomon, Dean, Physical/Math Sciences, NCSU

America Competes Act due to be signed by both houses.

Diversity is an issue in STEM - namely women and African Americans

Intentionally think about the problem from multiple perspectives

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 4

Cyberinfrastructure - Break Out Session

  • Making it available to the masses

  • Creating computerized classrooms - financial implications that accompany this

  • Possibility of using iPhone for computing in the classroom

  • Need for professional development - both in technology and the content areas

  • Issues with relying too heavily on technology - "deskilling"

    • kids can't make change

    • kids use calculators, but don't understand the concepts behind it

    • kids can't read maps, because they've only been using GPS

  • Learning thinking skills as opposed to memorization and test-taking skills

  • Diane Oblinger - papers on this generation of learners

  • Assessment is a big issue

  • Greater student interaction

  • Schools need Instructional Tech Facilitators (with tech and curriculum background)

  • Where is the media specialist's role in all of this?

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 4

Sally Howe, Associate Director, National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology R&D

  • NITRD Program Goals:

    • Provide foundations for continued US tech leadership

    • Accelerate development and employment of technology for global leadership

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 3

Working Breakout Session

  • How can we better prepare students for the literacy demands post secondary?

  • Not involving our kids in their own education, they are not responsible for their learning.

  • Not enough critical thinking, high level problem solving in the K-12 classroom.  How do we facilitate that in the classroom?

  • Classroom management is an issue.

  • Professional Development is a great need.  Pre-service training for new teachers needs to improve.

  • Relevancy in math and science classes needs to be improved and addressed.

  • Allow students to drive more of the content.

  • Does the teacher wearing too many hats take away from quality instruction?

  • Assessment requirements take away from true learning/quality learning.

  • How can we make assessment relevant?

    • formative assessments

    • e-portfolios

    • performance assessments

  • Community involvement is important

  • Parent empowerment to be a part of the educational process; matching professional development for parents

  • Moving from a traditional report card to a standards based report card?

  • Place greater funding and emphasis on teacher effectiveness.

  • Public doesn't understand the need that exists

  • Communication across government, school, and other public stages need to increase

  • How do we maintain sustained student interest in learning?

    • global communication/collaboration

    • empowering them by celebrating their creation of new knowledge

    • creating student centered environments

  • Concern about losing a large proportion of kids interested in science/math as early as late elementary/MS up through post-secondary.  Does the system defeat itself through staunch assessments and a critical value system?

  • Expose students to role models and careers; as well as a support system to encourage them to stay in the STEM programs.

  • Middle school years are critical as far as career development plans.

  • High expectations and encouraging students in their abilities

  • What can we do to prevent losing kids from the STEM areas?

    • professional development

    • stimulating students to become critical thinkers, life long learners, solution finders, risk takers

    • content through experience/experimentation

Susan Patrick - CEO, North American Council for Online Learning

  • focus on K-12 virtual schools and online learning

  • opens access for students and teachers

  • more and more jobs these days are focused on online telecommuting and flexible schedules

  • Singapore - 100% of their systems have online learning - online is blended with the traditional program

  • mentioned the Partnership for 21st Century Skills' 6 key elements of 21st Century Learning (*21st century assessments must match the 21st century skills)

  • Sharing Research to Inform Policy

    • Online learning expands options

    • Online learning is growing rapidly

    • Online learning is equal or better in effectiveness

    • Online learning improves teaching (although a lot of training is needed)

  • Michigan April 2006 first state to require online learning

  • the US spends more per pupil on education than any other nation (besides Switzerland), yet we are not seeing results

  • "Silent Epidemic" study by the Gates Foundation on high school drop outs

    • 88% had passing grades

    • 69% were not motivated to work hard

    • 66% would've worked harder had they been challenged

    • 81% called for more real world opportunities

  • Millenials:

    • Kids spend more time online than they do watching television

    • see information as free

    • like to collaborate virtually and face to face

    • 96% say doing well in school is important in their lives

    • children are much more involved in decision making at home

  • Cyberinfrastructure - integrates hardware for computing, data and networks, digitally-enabled sensors, observatories and experimental facilities, and an interoperable suite of software and middleware services and tools.

  • simulation-based engineering

  • Examples:

    • Micro Observatory Online Telescope at Harvard

    • iLab Network - pairing kids with scientists using high powered microscopes to learn

  • Students use the computer an average of 15 minutes per week at school!

  • Need more and continued training for teacher use

  • Student and teacher access for technology

  • Use of digital content tied to state academic standards

  • Need to measure and SHARE with policy makers the successes of our tech programs

  • Creativity is highest at 6 (100 questions a day), terminal seriousness at 44 (2 questions a day), bounce at retirement

  • Need to take risks, continue to question to move our efforts forward

  • Leadership = Trust, Integrity, Passion

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 2

Michael Lach, Head of Math and Science, Chicago School District

  • 430, 000 students, 27, 000 teachers in Chicago City Schools

  • Lot of emphasis on local control; believe in the support of communities

  • Ranks 49th among the 50 states in the share of education funding

  • Still making good gains in both science and math

  • CO's + NSF = Math and Science Initiative

  • Tools and support, increased content knowledge, extended learning opportunities all used to enhance the learning of science and math

  • Use Math Thematics and Connected Mathematics as the main programs 6-8; Elementary Math Trailblazers and Everyday Mathematics

  • Standard Scope and Sequence in Science

  • Can correlate test score improvement with those educators who attend professional development on an ongoing basis

  • They pay for teachers to take grad classes at several universities to add endorsements to their licensure

  • School leadership is KEY!

  • What we need more of:  formative feedback, leadership, equality in opportunity

  • "Computers are not magic, teachers are magic" Craig Barrett, Intel

Sharon Schulze/Colleen Karl - NC Science House

  • Science House emphasis on hands-on inquiry, research based programs, teacher training

  • 14 full time staff/lots of part-time; 16 years of experience

  • Partnerships with many business/industry

  • Year round ed programs for students; summer camps

  • K-12 Teacher support - manuals, content courses, workshops, extended programs

  • Bennett's Millpond Environment Learning Project

    • student learning

    • teacher involvement

    • community engagement

    • new partnerships

    • environmental citizenship

    • experimental design and research

    • Junior/Senior year

    • Model of Place Based Learning

    • increased professional networking

    • SCOS connected to outside learning

    • teachers/students feel a part of the scientific community

    • real life practice collecting and analyzing data

    • encourage the kids to design their own equipment

    • making kids aware of new career possibilities in the sciences

Bette Manchester, Director Maine Learning Technologies Initiative 

  • 1:1 initiative began 6 years ago

  • promoted by Seymour Papert to Governor Angus King

  • time and money spent working with teachers PRIOR to giving the kids the laptops

  • program aimed at creating equity of resources for students and staff

  • from the beginning it was not about the test scores, it was about learning!

  • another goal was to increase collaboration between students and their teachers through the technology

  • focus on PBL!

  • commitment to change needs to be systemic, there need to be purpose, move to learner centered, PLC's, culture of risk taking

  • must build communication networks, virtual networks, training leadership teams, student teams (annual conference with all involved)

  • assessment for learning practices - training/resources (templates, etc.) provided to the teachers

  • involved teacher leaders (classroom teacher at building level), media specialist are both part of the teacher support component

  • Maine Virtual Library

  •  Math teachers had the hardest time using the laptops - received a grant to help support this need

  • NSF grant - Ecoscience (using simulations for math/science); currently in pilot programs across the state

  • Creativity/Innovation, Critical Friends Groups, Inquiry based learning

  • Project's foundation begins with quality classroom teachers, not technologists.

  • Leadership is EVERYTHING!

National Workshop on Stimulating STEM Education - Part 1

Blogging live from the Friday Institute:

Audience is a cross-section of educators (primary-university), government, business.

Brave New Schools, How Computers Can Change Education - written by new director of Friday Inst.

Remarks from Katherine Moore, NC State College of Ed

  • 1:1 pilot project started with 8th graders at Centennial MS

Remarks from Jim Goodnight, CEO SAS Institute

  •  Spoke of the 21st Century belonging to Asia - US is not feeling the "clear and present danger" it needs to in the innovation/brain "war".  We've got to teach to our technologically savvy kids!

Keynote Speaker - Alan Kay - Viewpoints Research Institute (non-profit dedicated to children and learning)

  • "It's the fundamental changes that make the big difference."

  • "If there was ever an air guitar nation, it's the United States."

  • We don't need more scientists and engineers, we need higher quality scientists/engineers.

  • "Distracting Ourselves to Death" - whenever you reset what is "normal" it makes it difficult to allow constructive criticism

  • "Science is a debugging process for our bad human brains."

  • Mentioned Francis Bacon and the beginnings of real science

  • No reason to make a distinction between the STEM areas to/for children.  They should be interconnected.

  • The Internet has killed criticism because there is so much out criticism out on the Internet.

  • Believes that more knowledge is gained in Science through reading because you can't experiment with everything in Science.

  • $100 laptop includes Etoys (worldwide authoring tool)

  • Adults who teach children generally lack sufficient fluency in math thinking.


  • Never give simulations that are already written, the child should be the one to create the variables and experiment with them.

  • Must use phenomenon that are in the child's world as part of the investigation.

  • Lillian McDermott - physicist who studies how people learn science

Definitely need to spend some time with the above links!