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Advancing Comprehensive STEM Education

Data suggest that currently American schools do not produce sufficient numbers of graduates who want to pursue a career in STEM related fields.

For example, if one goes to the Massachusetts Business Roundtable web-site, one finds many interesting documents, including a 2016 report, which says:

“Currently 75 % of MA employers find workers NOT ready for the tasks they need to do.

http://www.mbae.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/FINAL-Report-2016-MBAE-Employer-Poll-for-web.pdf

“Why DON’T students want to go into STEM related fields?”

Trying to attract people into STEM education without answering this question, is like trying dating without asking “Why do all girls leave me after the first date?”

For ten years, I have been collecting my own data.

On day one of each my course I ask students what they think about physics.

There are two the most popular answers:

1. physics is hard.

2. physics is boring.

One of my professional goals is to show students that

(a)      even if physics seems hard, it is definitely doable for everyone in the room, and

(b)      the perception of physics as “hard” or “boring” heavily depends on who teaches and how.

By the end of my course the majority of students tends to shift their original view of physics.

I present my approach to teaching STEM courses in my presentation “Physics as a Door into STEM Education”, and in my book Becoming a STEM Teacher: a Crash Course for People Entering the Profession”.

 

Not diving into the whole debate about the reasons for the young to study science, I want to express my own view on the matter.

 

The #1 goal of science education is to advance formation of the scientific way of thinking about things, including natural, social, political, and individual events.

 

Even such “hot” objectives as building cyber education and developing computational thinking will become achievable only on the top of a solid science education, because learning a programming language or coding protocols is unusable without being able to produce a functional logical sequence of steps, a.k.a. an algorithm.

 

I would be happy to meet with fellow educators to discuss and compare our experiences and to share the effective techniques helping students to master Science (which, in general, includes T, and E, and M, too).

 

Topics for potential meetings, workshops, lectures, discussions include (but not limited to):

* The fundamentals of the scientific thinking

* How do sciences change us – humans

* Physics as the basis for the scientific devolvement of individuals

* What do teachers need to know about Artificial Intelligence?

* Effective strategies for teaching STEM subjects

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