Middle School Portal

the network for middle school math and science teachers

Amy Foster and Julie Halladay


The following are my notes and thoughts for the presentation:

Breaking Stereotypes (Scientist is not always nerdy guy in a lab coat)

Role Models (Anyone can be involved with a STEM career)

The Futures Channel – wonderful videos about this.........

Help US maintain economic leadership and compete in a global economy

1 million openings in computer but only 500,000 estimate graduates in the US

We all know that we should have more hands on- more student choice, but we don't. Often use testing as an excuse. (just because its harder for us, doesn't mean we cant try)

Can lead to careers that not only bridge the gender gap, but also socioeconomic gaps as well. Many grants and scholarships in STEM related programs went unused last year.

STEM needs and can easily be reinforced in extracurricular clubs.

Needs to be early- Prior to selection of HS courses

Exploration/career options

Look for external funding (STEM is a hot button topic. Funding readily available- including grants on the front page of MSP2)

One thing that I really liked was the fact that they used examples of STEM activities that were very cost effective. You don't have to have fancy/expensive equipment to provide STEM opportunities for your students. If there is an interest, then I will post links to some of the activities online.

Tom

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It's 2 weeks after NMSA09 and I'm here at the NSDL Annual Meeting in DC. This meeting is the gathering of folks who are leading program development and research in STEM, K-20. So, I'm crossing paths, once again, with all kinds of free resources for teaching and learning. By the way, as a reminder, MSP2 is a project of NSDL!

Anyway....here are a few that may be helpful for folks:
Exploratorium Afterschool Activities. While these are geared for "informal educators," these are inexpensive, easy-to-manage activities that have their place in the classroom as well.
SMILE Pathways. Site for math and science activities.
PhET Interactive Simulations. These is a collection of digital simulations for math and science.

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