Blog

National Math + Science Initiative Blog

rss


Movie Review: 'Most Likely to Succeed' Questions Our Education System, Offers Alternative

Last week, the NMSI team attended a screening of the documentary Most Likely to Succeed at the Dallas International Film Festival. The film sparked great discussion around our office about the effectiveness of American public schools in educating today’s children for the future. We asked our Brand Manager, Elliot Mayen, to weigh in on the conversation. Here are his thoughts on the film: At a panel discussion following a recent screening of "Most Likely to Succeed", executive producer Ted Dintersmith summarized his reason for underwriting the film: “…within ten years time, ...

State of the Union 2014 – The State of STEM Education

During President Obama’s State of the Union Address last night, he emphasized the importance of “preparing students with skills for the new economy – problem solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering, and math.” Indeed, throughout the speech, the President highlighted critical industries, such as renewable energy, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and technology, all of which demand STEM-literate workers and innovators. But will our students be prepared to take on these jobs of the future? Unfortunately, it’s clear that our nation is still facing a STEM crisis. The latest PISA scores have highlighted as much, with the U.S. ranking 30th in math ...

Catalysts for Improving our Classrooms

In the laboratory, a catalyst is defined as a “substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions than otherwise possible.”  And in the realm of education, a catalyst can act as an “agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.”  This is precisely what we need – a catalyst – to help improve our education system, improve student outcomes, and close the achievement gap. What can we do to solve these problems, and who is in the best position ...

Computer Science and Student Engagement: Supporting the “T” in STEM

Last month, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) published an eagerly anticipated white paper titled Education & Careers in the U.S.: The Future of Computer Science. The report is a comprehensive compilation of insights from government officials, business executives, and thought leaders from across the country who met together for a day-long executive round table discussion last September – hosted by STEMconnector and TCS – to explore the current state of science, technology, engineering, and math education in America. The discussions particularly focused on how policy, advocacy, and outreach have worked ...

ELA + STEM = Developing Literacy with Math and Science

As a former English teacher, the peculiarity of my position at a STEM-focused education organization isn’t lost on me. I’m much more at home with Shakespeare and Dickinson than with calculators and equations, and I’ve received much good-natured ribbing from colleagues and acquaintances about my lack of math prowess. I may not be a math or science specialist; however, I appreciate the critical need for improving STEM education in our country. I also believe that our future mathematicians, computer programmers, engineers, and scientists must be strong readers and writers, effective ...

How does the government shutdown impact our students?

The government has been officially shut down for two weeks, and while everyone is worried about the long and short-term impact on our daily lives, NMSI is particularly concerned about the impact the shutdown has on education.  Specifically, we are concerned about how the shutdown affects, and will continue to affect, our teachers and students.  You might be shocked to know that more than 90% of the Department of Education’s staff members were deemed “non-essential.”  In other words, out of the DOE’s 4,225 employees, only 212 are now working. With ...

Brains and Brawn – Secrets to Student Success

Let's face it – math and science are hard. It takes the right combination of support and resources to succeed in challenging STEM courses. New research suggests that students not only need those two ingredients, but they also require the "grit" and intellectual brawn to obtain academic achievement. What does having "grit" mean for a student? According to the research, grit is comprised of: •  Goal-directedness – Knowing where to go and how to get there. •  Motivation – Having a strong will to achieve identified goals. •  Self-control – Avoiding distractions ...

School Choice and Preference: What Kind of Parent Are You?

Today, we live in an era of choice. All things being equal, virtually anything and everything we want is available to us – ranging from cars to houses, movies to restaurants – we only have to make up our minds and choose, and this same principle of choice applies to education as well. Charter schools, public schools, private schools, and even STEM schools are all available for the average family to choose from – But what do parents really want? The Thomas B. Fordham Institute asked precisely this question ...

Lack of Support Causes Students to “Melt”

Here at NMSI, we have long been aware of the achievement gaps that are present in America’s school system, and we have highlighted time and again the need for support among minorities and other under-represented groups in STEM fields. And even though we have made great strides in alleviating these issues, the fact remains that there are still students out there who are not getting the support they need in order to become college and career ready, as evidenced by a new report from Harvard University. The report examines what ...

5 Simple Steps for Supporting STEM Schools

Last week, STEMconnector and the Next Steps Institute hosted another TownHall Conference Call on what the nation can do to ensure the organic growth of STEM and “Promising Practices for Industry Engagement in STEM Schools.” The conference call featured speakers from the 3M Foundation, the DuPont Corporation, the Verizon Foundation, and the Fluor Foundation – the latter of which is the focus of this post, as Torrence Robinson, Senior Director of Community Affairs, made a compelling case for how corporations can effectively support STEM Schools. The reason why we need ...

Classroom-Ready Resources

Looking for rigorous teacher training? Need free classroom-ready resources? We’ve got you covered.

Don't worry! We hate spam and your information will never be shared with any third party.
* Required