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Minnie – The Robot Reading Companion

Social learning is a powerful way to motivate students, develop learning skill and, the interest in the subject. It improves comprehension and reinforces understanding through dialogue. Teaching and technology have, in recent years, merged more seamlessly to make learning easier for kids. In a recently published study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, resea...

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Small Steps to Giant Leaps: Celebrating Apollo 50 Years Later

Apollo 50th Anniversary Logo   "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." These are the iconic words spoken from the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969 by Neil Armstrong, almost 50 years ago. From October 2018 through December 2022, NASA will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program that landed a dozen Americans on the moon be...

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The Concept of Zero and Honey Bees

For years scientists have trained many species of animals to solve puzzles, to count and even, communicate. Scientists have observed them in their natural habitat and in the lab, testing how they interact, learn and comprehend new information. One example is Koko the gorilla who learned sign language and was able to communicate back with her handler. Crows and oct...

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Best Practices in Professional Development

Research has identified a number of best practices (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009; Guskey & Yoon, 2009; Rhoton & Wohnowski, 2005; NCCTQ, 2011) in providing professional development to teachers and educators. BEST Educators professional development should be based on the following six practices: BE OF SUFFICIENT DURATION The duration of professio...

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MODELS OF THE ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS

The NASA’s BEST Engineering Design Model serves as a foundation for all BEST activities. BEST Activity Guides were designed to teach students the engineering design process (EDP) as an iterative process that engineers use to guide them in problem solving. NASA Engineers ask questions, imagine solutions, plan designs, create and test models, and then make improveme...

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Integrating STEM Into Your Curriculum

I have been in contact with a number of school districts and STEM Specialists lately that are struggling with the same issues. Teachers are unsure how to add STEM into their already crowded curriculum and teachers are uncomfortable with their current understanding of STEM in relationship to doing science in their classrooms.  There remains a stigma around what ...

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3D-Printed Magnetic Structures

New 3D-printing technique helped engineers create magnetic structures capable of moving with a wave of a magnet. The magnetic structures can wrinkle, squeeze themselves and even crawl, roll, jump and snap close to catch a rolling ball. Among the many new soft devices being created and designed to shape-shift or move, these 3D-printed magnetic structures look alive. ...

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The Discovery Of Gamma-Ray Bursts

Gamma-Ray Bursts are the single, most violent events in the universe! Ironically these are one of the hardest events in the universe for us to witness. The discovery of these was purely coincidental and after their research, we now know so much about them and how rare they are to spot. How were Gamma-Rays Discovered? It was the peak of the Cold War, the United Sta...

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Preparing for Blast Off! NASA STEM EPDC Supports Summer Engineering Camp

As countless educators from around the country plan and organize vacation plans, a group of committed educators from San Marcos C.I.S.D. prepare to engage in a unique summer camp that aims to develop, inspire, and nurture the next generation of aerospace-engineers and mathematicians. Earlier this month, NASA STEM EPDC facilitated an intensive day and a half long...

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