Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Geek's Paradise

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo by coschda:
The message is loud and clear. All you have to do is see how emotionally handcuffed some students beyond the age of eight are when they are asked to solve a problem, invent, explore, or create. They have become so adept at following directions and being guided they fall apart when given the opportunity to make their own decisions. And I am sure you will agree, dear reader, that this is not good for anybody.

STEM is the new buzz word. Education is crazy about acronyms and our own secret jargon. We have had our personal version of texting for ages. In order to clue in those out of the club, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These are areas where for years Americans have been slipping in the global stats. Personally, I am more fond of STEAM which includes Arts into the mix. After all, Einstein himself said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." And I believe a dearth of time playing and creating is more to blame for the data than a lack of instruction in these areas.

Nevertheless, we certainly need to change what we are doing to develop minds in these areas. More than ever real world challenges and problem solving can be tackled and utilized as a learning opportunity at younger and younger ages. In order to facilitate this at Grosse Pointe Academy I created a Symbaloo ( a sweet, visual matrix of web links) to carefully researched sites for STEM. I called it A Geek's Paradise because this New Dork happily spent hours exploring these resources. The links toward the top are for younger students and progress in age and ability as you descend. Enjoy!

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