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experiential learning

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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How to improve upon perfection

Last weekend, Village Glen High School participated in the Regional championship for FIRST Robotics. Competition was tight. The 41 teams that participated were some of the best in Southern California, and some of them had already participated in other Regionals, as they are allowed to do, and won awards there. The level of engineering design and construction was high, rivalries new and old were in...
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Giftedness and learning

At this weekend’s California Association for the Gifted Conference there was intense focus on the elements of depth and complexity. Students are guided towards a series of visual prompts to help them penetrate beneath the surface understanding of a concept and develop a richer understanding by thinking critically about it. Is there, for example, special vocabulary to learn? Are there terms that th...
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Learning and experience

The path from Piaget to Papert to project-based learning is a direct one. It was the Swiss psychologist, Piaget, who argued that children don’t learn by being passive receptors of information from the environment, but by actively confronting it. His student, Papert, who went on to be a founding faculty member of the MIT Media lab, followed in Piaget’s footsteps, arguing too that children learn by ...
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STEM, Village Glen, and the deep future

On Tuesday, the explosion of an unmanned rocket loaded with supplies for the International Space Station was a blow not only to the company that launched it, but also to the 18 students whose experiments had been chosen to be part of the payload. The experiments were designed to answer important, and in some cases far-reaching, questions about the possibilities of life in a reduced gravity environ...
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