The University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education and Development is holding a free early mathematics conference for childcare providers and classroom teachers Thursday, November 17. The conference keynote is by UCLA Professor Meghan Franke, on developing children’s partial understanding. Her presentation will be followed by workshops exploring the role of counting collections, mth in children’s books, working with families to strengthen math skills, and the role that math plays in developing a child’s executive functioning. More can be found on CEED’s website.
SciMathMN is currently assessing funding needs for both for maintenance and expansion of the content and features of the MN STEM Teacher Center, home of the MN Math and Science frameworks (www.scimathmn.org/stemtc). We are also considering the needs the Center will have when the Minnesota science and mathematics standards are reviewed and revised in the next few years, which will likely result in the need for significant changes to the content on the site and opportunities for enhancing the site.
So, who are the local users of the STEM Teacher Center website? Obviously the STEM TC is visited by folks from all over the world. But through the use of Google Analytics, we can track where the traffic comes from over time and dig into the patterns that we find in hopes of improving the experience for users. Our analysis shows that traffic typically mirrors school calendars, with site visits dropping during the summer months and on weekends. Interestingly though, there is a marked increase in page visits on Sunday evenings during the school year as teachers prepare for the upcoming school week.
The image below is a screenshot of the traffic pattern for MN visitors for one month from August 6, 2016 to September 6, 2016, just as the school year is beginning. In the image you will see cities around that state where visits originated, and the size of the dot reflects the number of visits from that city.
If anyone has a passion for data and would be interested in helping SciMathMN track and analyze the STEM TC site use, please consider joining us. You can contact committee chair Mike Lindstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The agenda for the October 6-7 forum, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, focused on building STEM pathways from pre-K through college, has been released. The forum aims to bring together perspectives from the private and public sector on Minnesota’s changing demographics and workforce development. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate on envisioning pathways for Minnesotans, connecting education and industry, and developing a statewide perspective on these challenges.
The opening keynote on October 6 will be provided by Dr. John Olson, , Vice President & General Manager, Polaris Defense and a Director of AirSpace Minnesota. The luncheon keynote will be Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder & CEO, Cirrus Aircraft. Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith has been invited to provide the breakfast keynote on the second day of the conference. A full conference agenda and registration information can be found at AirSpaceMN website. Early bird registration ends September 30.
Lead by the growing aerospace industry Fly to the Future on STEM Pathways: Access-Innovation-Partnership aims to bring together representatives from business, K-12 educators, higher education, STEM program providers, and the government for a dialogue on working together to design and build a strong STEM pathway for students. The growing job opportunities in additive manufacturing, augmented reality, big data and analytics, cybersecurity, and other areas all require a strong base in the STEM disciplines. Beyond the academic grounding students also need interactions with practitioners, career awareness, and training opportunities.
Keynote speakers for the forum include Dr. John Olson, Vice President and General Manager, Polaris Defense Strategic Advisor to Sierra Nevada Corporation and Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder and CEO of Cirrus Aircraft and founding chair of Airspace Minnesota.
The forum is convened by the Aerospace Industries Association in partnership with AirSpace Minnesota and the Aerospace States Association. Supporting organizations include the Minnesota High Tech Association, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and SciMathMN.
The 7th annual STEM Day at the Fair includes over 30 different engaging exhibits as well as a full roster of performers for the Carousel Park stage. STEM Day opens the State Fair Thursday, August 25. The schedule of performances is:
9:00 U of MN Raptor Center
10:00 Physics Force
11:00 Flying Gizmo Show
12:00 U of MN Raptor Center
1:00 Best of MN Science Museum
2:00 Physics Force
3:00 Flying Gizmo Show
4:00 Best of MN Science Museum
The STEM Day exhibit space includes robots, rockets, the cockpit of an F-4 fighter, math and engineering challenges, architecture and public works activities, computer coding and more. We are grateful to our sponsors for making STEM Day possible again this year.
The 7th annual STEM Day at the Minnesota State Fair promises to be bigger and yes, better, than ever. Fair guests can get an up-close look in intriguing, interactive adventures brought to the fair by 35 organizations in the Minnesota STEM Network, an initiative of SciMathMN. Attendees can design features for a State Fair building and a zoo exhibit; build a battery with coins; make a food web; step inside the Bell Museum’s ExploraDome to see the night sky; test principles of aerodynamics with paper airplanes and clay model cars; learn about the role of polymers in diapers and movies; experiment with water pressure; maneuver robots to tackle challenges; test your engineering abilities by building a bridge; learn about biosecurity, rocketry, aquatics robotics and computer coding; and more! On the Carousel Park Stage, engaging presentations feature the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, Physics Force, the Flying Gizmo Show, and the Best of the Science Museum of Minnesota.
We are grateful for the many sponsors who are making this event possible. They include 3M, Boston Scientific, MTS, OrbitalATK, MN 360, MnDOT, and HB Fuller.
STEM educators fear spending bill undermines goal of new U.S. law
A federal grant has helped 500 teachers in Tampa, Florida, discover new ways to teach science at every grade level. The knowledge they’ve gained over the past 3 years has translated into 24 new lessons and a curriculum that includes hands-on strategies such as engineering design challenges.
But the fate of that and dozens of other federally funded programs to improve STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in U.S. elementary and secondary schools is up in the air following the first move by Congress to fund a new education law that reshuffles money allocated for STEM activities. A 2017 spending bill approved earlier this month by the Senate appropriations committee falls well short of what STEM educators had expected, setting off a potentially zero-sum game between science and other parts of the curriculum.