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21st Century Skills

Social behavior and success

An article recently published details the results of a study showing that pro-social behavior among kindergartners is a strong indicator of which children will be successful later in life--E. Jones, Mark Greenberg, and Max Crowley. (2015). Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness. American Journal of Public He...
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The path to excellence

On August 25th 2015, STEM3 Academy will open its doors to students with social and learning differences, grades 9 through 12, in time for the 2015/16 academic year. The first of its kind in the country, STEM3 Academy is unique in providing a rich and varied curriculum designed to develop the natural skills and abilities of its students, to provide real-world experiences by way of hands-on projects...
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STEM in the real world

How do modern successful companies prepare for future workforce needs? How do they guarantee that there will be a steady pipeline of qualified candidates ready to fill the burgeoning demand for technically trained individuals? If you’re the Ford Motor Company, you start an initiative called Next Generation Learning to bring real-world problems into the classroom, problems that demand collaboration...
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Education’s Modern Face

The face of education is changing rapidly to meet the demands of modern enterprise and industry. Just over the last few years alone, there have been new CCSS (Common Core State Standards), Next Gen (Next Generation Science Standards), and we have seen the rise of STEM and STEAM and their variants, some focusing on art, some on architecture, some on the design process in addition to science, techno...
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Putting STEM to work

“When people think of an industrial factory, they think dark, dirty and heavy lifting and it’s not that way anymore…People don’t understand that…it’s meant for somebody with higher analytical skills and higher troubleshooting abilities [as well as for somebody] who can turn a wrench.” http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/12/apprenticeships-could-provide-a-pathway-to-the-middle-class?int=a4...
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STEM Spirit, Robotics and Village Glen

Last Saturday, on a cold, bright and early morning, a throng of students and adults descended on USC (University of Southern California) for a 7:30am viewing of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition reveal. The hall was hushed as the animation played, some taking notes, some with laptops open viewing it in stereo. Immediately after the short video, the throng made a beeline for the distribution cent...
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A Progress Report on STEM at Village Glen

Last week, Village Glen had a visitor, someone who had heard about our programs and about STEM at Village Glen in particular. He himself runs a school in England for students with special needs, so it was a rare opportunity to see how someone unconnected to and unfamiliar with our school would view us. His impressions were uniformly positive. He was amazed by middle school students milling about ...
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Foundational Skills and STEM

In the 19th century, the foundation of a good education was grounded in reading, writing and arithmetic. In the 20th, the mandate was to provide a sound liberal-arts education. Though we only have early returns to go on, the voting for the 21st century seems to be overwhelmingly in favor of a STEM education. This is not to say, of course, that literacy and numeracy are defunct concepts with no pla...
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Data in a digital age

We are awash in a sea of data. When you accessed your smart phone to navigate from home, your location and destination were tracked by satellite. When you bought something online, or ran a search as part of your research, those data were recorded. That exponentially growing pile of data includes medical records, financial records, educational records, and criminal records, to name but a few. Consi...
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STEM, AUTISM & Computing

The worlds of STEM and Autism are replete with large variances. On the STEM side, there is a large variance between the number of STEM jobs available and those projected for the future, and the number of qualified candidates for those jobs. The latter is far smaller than the former. A similar variance exists on the Autism side, between the number of high school students on the spectrum who graduat...
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