Another Teacher Appreciation Week is upon us and the STEMscopes team is excited to have so many teachers and former teachers in house at the corporate office to celebrate the event. Every year we celebrate, but it seems this time the magnifying glass on educators is more evident than ever before as the fight for increased pay and better facilities is seen in some states across the nation.
If you are a teacher in the 21st Century, then you know that the education landscape has changed quite significantly in the last two decades. The differences between traditional science education as we once knew it and STEM education has been the subject of much debate, but one thing that we cannot deny is that the buzz around STEM continues to be a leading topic in education circles and politics.
What is the difference between science education and STEM education, though, and what do first-year teachers need to know coming into a science classroom?
One of the top reasons customers love the STEMscopes curriculum suite is that it's constantly improved and updated throughout the year. Many of these changes are based on our users' feedback and insights into what's working and what needs improvement. In 2017 there were accessibility updates, new games, and new content features, all based on teacher feedback. So what's the 411 on 2018?
ELL students, also known as "English-language-learners," are students that are learning English as their second language and make up eleven percent of the PreK-16 population. To illustrate the impact, this means that 3.8 million students in today's classrooms speak Spanish as a first language, and that figure only makes up one portion of the overall number of students who are ELLs.
Figuring out the mechanics behind the bottle-rocket, testing the solutions that made a volcano erupt, and exploring entomology through various bug collections were just some of the top science exploration activities many can recall growing up and they all have had a profound impact on science understanding. These three staple activities, however, are not the only ways that students have access to real-world experiments during the new age of 21st Century classrooms and advanced technology.