A Note From Jen’s Desk

Dear STeM Enthusiast,

Welcome to our new blog feature, “Eye on STeM.” In this section, we are excited to regularly feature real-life stories, instructional and behavioral strategies, and personal experiences from our work in Inclusive iSTeM. These stories are gathered from our friends, partners, and colleagues who are classroom teachers, their students, university faculty, and administrators. Everyone has a voice and something meaningful to share that can inform our understanding of inclusive STEM teaching.

Happy reading!

STEM at the World Cup?

The number and quality of goals in this year’s World Cup is remarkable bordering on incredible, and there have been plenty of theories as to why. The simplest may be the coolest: the mighty Brazuca.

The South Africa World Cup produced 77 goals in the first 36 matches. This tournament, with its “Brazuca” ball, has produced 108 in the same amount of games. That’s more than a 40 percent increase. No offense to the greatest soccer players in the world, but they are not 40 percent better at their sport than they were four years ago.

Read more: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-the-brazuca-may-be-changing-soccer-at-this-world-cup-031924953-soccer.html

Non-Verbal Teen With Autism Says ‘No One Can Place Limits’ On You In Moving Graduation Speech

Dillon Barmache has spent his life struggling to communicate with the people around him.

The 14 year-old, who is non-verbal because of his autism, got an opportunity to address the graduating class of Hale Charter Academy, according to KABC. Using a tablet that read his words out loud, Dillon stood at the podium with a microphone to address the class.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/09/non-verbal-austistic-teen-gives-graduation-speech_n_5474176.html?&ir=Education&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000023

New Jersey May Be Next State To Adopt Common Science Standards

Michael Heinz, the science coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Education, told me by phone that he’s anticipating adoption on July 10 at the state board meeting. However, he noted, “you never know.” The department will be conducting public hearings and accepting feedback until June 20, and then will make recommendations to the state board of education.

Read more: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2014/06/new_jersey_may_be_next_state_t.html

Montclair Named Top College

Here in the United States, education comes at a price. As the cost of education climbs and climbs, loans have become increasingly necessary for students interested in pursuing higher education.

As a result, the national student debt currently stands at a whopping 1.2 trillion dollars. This being the case, many people have started to choose their degrees based off of their ROI, or return on investment.

Read more: http://college.usatoday.com/2014/05/29/5-colleges-and-majors-that-really-give-you-your-moneys-worth-and-5-that-dont/

White House Science Fair

On Tuesday, May 27, the White House will be filled with robots, science projects, and more for the 2014 White House Science Fair!

Read more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair

NAEYC Position Statement: Early Childhood Science Education

At an early age, all children have the capacity and propensity to observe, explore, and discover the world around them…

Read more:    http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/Early%20Childhood%20FINAL%20FINAL%201-30-14%20%281%29.pdf

Obama Wants Better Data on Teacher Preparation Programs

WASHINGTON — President Obama is calling on the Education Department to come up with a plan to overhaul how teacher preparation programs are evaluated.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Obama wants his department to come up with the outlines of a plan by this summer that builds off of successful reporting efforts that are already being used in several states.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/25/obama-teacher-preparation-overhaul/8121401/

Inclusive iSTeM Graduate Students Receive Awards

We are pleased to announce that two of the Inclusive iSTeM Graduate Students, Niobel Torres and Priscilla Camacho, are recipients of the Secondary and Special Education Department award at Montclair State University. Specifically, they have received the “Outstanding Graduate Student Award.” This award honors graduate students who best exemplify commitment to the values and mission of the department. The recipients accepted their awards on April 10th during the Graduate Student Award Ceremony in University Hall. We are so proud of all of their hard work and dedication they apply as students in our program. Congratulations Niobel and Priscilla!

Next Generation Science Standards Now in Development

Illinois has officially adopted the Next Generation Science Standards. The state board of education voted in January to adopt the new standards, but was awaiting legislative confirmation. According to an Education Week blog, the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has “no objection” to the adoption.

Read more: http://ngss.nsta.org/