Category Archives: STEM

Project-Based Learning: Doing It Right!

gtchat 09122017 PBL

This week it was a pleasure to welcome #gtchat Advisor and long-time friend of our chat, Ginger Lewman, to discuss project-based learning. Ginger is a popular keynote and presenter at gifted and education conferences around the world. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, it will be an experience to remember.

The benefits of project-based learning are extensive and especially good for gifted and talented students. It is a driver for critical thinking, collaboration and innovation. Project-based learning can spark creativity and develop problem solving skills as well as provide deeper, more meaningful learning for students.

“Soft skills and emotional intelligence can be a struggle for some gifted and talented students. Project-based learning helps them grow in a safe environment. Students get to work in areas of strength and interest bringing interests. Good for all students, but essential to untapped potential.”                                                                             ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers and students are  the primary stakeholders and beneficiaries in the pedagogical shift to project-based learning. Students are now in the driver’s seat and  the teacher is the facilitator.  To make the shift work well, teachers must be open to the democratization of their classrooms; be willing to open up their own thinking to criticism. Students should realize efficacy in their efforts; empowered to lead rather than follow. Parents, too, are stakeholders when they seek to hold the system accountable for authentic learning by becoming involved.

How does an educator design and implement quality project-based learning? They need to understand that it’s a steep learning curve for all involved at the beginning. ‘Planning sessions must focus on long-term sustainability instead of a just one-off workshop.’ (TeachThought)

“Project-based learning can be a gateway-drug for seeing students’ strengths, interests, and talents. AND for recognizing a NEED for something MORE.”                                                                              ~ Ginger Lewman

Teachers must balance project-based learning with testing, accountability, curriculum and pacing. They need to begin to think differently about testing and accountability; learning to think trumps content every time. Today, teaching is going under some fundamental changes requiring a lot of soul searching about outcomes and authenticity.

What does quality feedback look like and how do you assess the success of project-based learning? High quality project-based learning leads to the creation of a product such as a display, performance, or construction. Assessments include peer and self-assessment, are both formative and summative, develop content and success skills,  as well as process and products. (Getting Smart)

You can take project-based learning to the next level with more sophisticated project design and assessment. Self-reflection completes a quality project-based learning  experience through journaling, presentation and/or group discussion. Performance tasks should reflect competency by demonstrating knowledge and skills. The projects will show authentic learning including student choice and voice. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

PBL and LifePractice PBL

Ginger Lewman (website)

About Ginger Lewman

STEAMmaker Camps

7 Questions to Guide Your PBL Implementation Plan

4 Things All Project-Based Learning Teachers Should Do

Using Project-Based Learning to Flip Bloom’s Taxonomy for Deeper Learning

Does Your Teaching Have the 4 Categories of High-Quality PBL?

Project-Based Learning Is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality

Preparing Students for a Project-Based World

How I Connect Students Through Project-Based Learning

Don’t just say it. Do it! Motivation & PBL

PBL: Navigating Timelines & Curriculum Maps

So Your Kids’ PBL Work Sucks? 8 Ways to Improve It!

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 1)

PBL is Here to Stay: Let’s Make Sure It’s High Quality (Part 2)

Sprite’s Site: Grey Sneakers

Project Based Learning, Preparing Students for the Work Force of the Future

PBL and Special Student Populations

Motivating for Mastery: It Starts with a Simple Question

Essential Components for LifePractice PBL Planning (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Project-Based Learning Page

ESSDACK Education Products

3 Ingredients for Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom

Your Rubric is a Hot Mess; Here’s How to Fix It

Practicing PBL: Self-Directed Learning for Self-Starters (and finishers) (paid course)

Assessing Learning in the PBL Classroom: A top FAQ

Pondering the Complexity of ‘Mastery’ Learning Assessment

Background photo courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conard. Photo courtesy of Ginger Lewman.

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Residential Public High Schools for Gifted Students

gtchat 06132017 Residential

There are many reasons a student might choose a residential public high school. These schools can provide students with a challenging curriculum at little to no cost to the student’s family. They provide students with extraordinary opportunities to be with intellectual peers and are noted for producing many of the nation’s top scholars.

Residential public high schools can be a good option for gifted students. Each student and their situation should be considered individually; factors such as maturity and personal passions are important. Gifted students can thrive at residential public high schools and gain experience with expectations of higher education. Additionally, these programs are often paired with a university and students have the opportunity to gain college credits.

Not all residential public high schools are created equal. Although many are free, families need to learn about if there are tuition expenses or fees. Families considering this option should expect incidental expenses such as travel costs or special program fees. Students should consider what residential high schools offer in terms of coursework and if diploma or degree granting.

Most residential public high schools have high standards equivalent to college entrance requirements. Admission is based on test scores; grades; extracurricular activities and teacher recommendations.

There are some downsides to residential programs. Some students may not be prepared to live away from home and family; they must want to participate in the program. Most schools have residency requirements; generally requiring students live in the state where the school is located. Residential high schools generally have rigorous coursework;  they require dedication. A transcript of this chat can be found on our Storify page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Finish High School with Bachelor’s Degree? At one Florida School, Yes

Statewide Public High Schools for Advanced Students

Residential Academies for Gifted Adolescents

Public Boarding Schools

National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools

Schools for the Gifted Child

Academic F-1 Exchange Program

Educational Options: Alternative

AUS: Academy Would Enable Gifted Country Kids to Study at Selective State Schools

Years of College in High School for Free

The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science Profile (pdf)

Colleges for Exceptionally Gifted Students

National Consortium of Early College Entrance Programs

 

Residential Public High Schools

Alabama School of Mathematics and Science

The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science is a public residential high school in the Midtown neighborhood of Mobile, Alabama. ASMS is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology.

Alabama School of Fine Arts

The Alabama School of Fine Arts is a public, partially residential high school located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, United States.

Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts

The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts is a two-year, public residential high school located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is a part of the University of Arkansas administrative system and a member of the NCSSSMST.

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy 

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, or IMSA, is a three-year residential public high school in Aurora, Illinois, United States, with an enrollment of approximately 650 students.

Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities

The Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities is a residential school located on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, although it operates independently of the university.

Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science

The Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science (KAMS) is the state’s premier academic high school program for the state’s best and brightest high school students. KAMS is a unique residential learning experience that provides exceptional high school juniors and seniors a potent blend of: college-level instruction by Ph.D. faculty; a high school diploma and 68 hours of college credit; and hands-on research supervised by Ph.D. scientists.

Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky

The Gatton Academy is a public academy and an early college entrance program funded by the state of Kentucky and located on the campus of Western Kentucky University.

Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts 

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana on the campus of Northwestern State University. Ranked the best public high school in Louisiana LSMSA’s residential program offers top-ranked faculty and superior academics for the state’s best students.

Maine School of Science and Mathematics

The Maine School of Science and Mathematics is a residential magnet high school in Limestone, Maine. MSSM serves students from all over the state of Maine, as well as youth from other states and international students.

Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science

Mass Academy is a public, co-educational school of excellence that enrolls about 100 academically accelerated 11th and 12th graders. Seniors complete a full year of college, enrolling in classes at WPI, a nationally ranked engineering school, thus making the Academy the only public school in Massachusetts whose students attend a private university full-time as seniors in high school.

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is Mississippi’s only public residential high school for academically gifted students and is located in Columbus, Mississippi on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women.

Mississippi School of the Arts

The Mississippi School of the Arts is an upper high school of literary, visual, and performing arts on the historic Whitworth College Campus in Brookhaven, Mississippi, about sixty miles south of Jackson, Mississippi.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is a two-year, public residential high school located in Durham, North Carolina, US, that focuses on the intensive study of science, mathematics and technology.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a public coeducational arts conservatory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that grants high school, undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics

The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics is a two-year, public residential high school located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics is a public, boarding high school for students in grades 11 and 12, located in Hartsville, South Carolina.

Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities

The Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities is a residential honors program for gifted and talented Texas high school-aged students who seek to develop their full potential as citizens and who show special interest and aptitude for study in the Humanities.

Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science

The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science is a two-year residential early entrance college program serving approximately 375 high school juniors and seniors at the University of North Texas.

Photo of Gatton Academy used with permission. Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Inspiring Gifted Kids through Emerging Technologies

gtchat 05032016 Emerging Tech

 

 

The emergence of new technologies has historically been a source of inspiration for generations of high-ability and gifted students. Today, however, it’s important to realize that development of these technologies is on an exponential trajectory; years, not decades. The need for highly qualified candidates in STEM fields can often make for an excellent career choice for students interested in areas such as AI, cyber security, biotech, big data, space exploration, and synthetic engineering or even cutting-edge technologies like quantum computing, digital telepathy, and algorithmic personality detection. The opportunities are mind-boggling.

Classroom technologies on the horizon will also help to inspire gifted kids. Augmented reality, virtual field trips, 3D printing, cloud computing, digital libraries; all are poised to disrupt how they learn. Traditional education is set to be revolutionized as teachers become facilitators; not simply lecturers. New methods such as game-based learning will not only aid in how students learn, but provide opportunity for our brightest students to create and design the games. Biometrics will allow teachers to track student comprehension; and provide evidence for the need to differentiate instruction on an individual basis. Online education utilizing technologies like Second Life are already being implemented to create global classrooms.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech jobs related to environmental innovation are the fastest growing.” ~ Dr. Cait Fuentes King

Recent research has shown how important it is to expose young children to technology. The top 10 career choices (2-12 y.o.) are positions highly visible in their everyday lives and in the media. As they get older, we know that passion follows exposure. Kids should experience the possibilities of tech careers through engaging field trips to high-tech companies, attending summer camps, mentoring and internships. Early introduction to STEM careers allows the creation of skill sets over a longer period of time and inspires kids before the ‘nerd’ factor sets in.

How can science and education collaborate to promote STEM in schools? Scientists working as local school advisors and serving as mentors to students is a good first step. Tech companies can provide funding and resources for STEM education; aiding in the development of career pipelines.

Parents, too, can encourage their kids to explore STEM careers. They can talk to their kids about following their passions; dreaming big! Parents should seek out opportunities such as after-school programs, competitions (chess, robotics, etc.), online classes, and classes at local libraries, museums, and universities.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Disclaimer: Inclusion of links in this chat does not imply an endorsement for any company or group.

Links:

Exponential Technologies | Peter H. Diamandis (YouTube 19:48)

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2016

8 Tech Trends to Watch in 2016

Four Big Technology Trends For 2016

Scientists Inspiring Kids: Students Visit our National Labs

Showing, Not Telling to Engage Students in STEM

8 Technologies That Will Shape Future Classrooms

7th Annual Kids-at-Play Awards for Innovation in Children’s Media

Inspiring the Next Tech Gurus of Generation Z

Robots, Drones & Wearables for Kids at CES 2016 – Tech Age Kids Roundup

Institute for Meaningful Instruction

Rainbow Loom

Cybraryman’s Virtual Reality Page

Cybraryman’s Robotics Page

Cybraryman’s Virtual Field Trips Page

Cybraryman’s 3D Printers Page 

Cybraryman’s Augmented Reality Page

Cybraryman’s Project-Based Learning Page

Cybraryman’s STEM/STEAM Page

Cybraryman’s Careers Page

Cybraryman’s Multiple Literacies Page

Cybraryman’s Women’s History Page

Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015

Tech Titans STEMfire

Thrively

First LEGO League

The Only Girl at Her Science Camp

Can Teaching Spatial Skills Help Bridge the STEM Gender Gap?

Why the Maker Movement Is Important to America’s Future

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad. Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

The Maker Movement and Gifted Ed: The Perfect Combination!

gtchat 07312015 Makerspaces and Gifted Ed

 

Many thanks to Krissy Venosdale @Venspired for filling in as moderator at last week’s chat. Krissy is a member of the #gtchat Advisory Board and the Innovation Coordinator at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. Her passion is undeniably the Maker Movement. You can read more at her blog.

Below please find links to the incredible resources shared during this chat by Krissy and chat participants.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Making Matters! How the Maker Movement Is Transforming Education

Be a Maker

Live Binder Maker Spaces

Live Binder Maker Space Tools Project

Kim’s MakerEd/Makerspace Livebinder

Live Binder Maker Faire Materials

Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Amazon)

DIY.org

The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun (Amazon)

Makerology

Code.org

My Disney Class

Maker Education

Inspiration for Starting a Makerspace

Sensational Books for Maker Education

Makezine

Create an Engineering Mystery Bag Challenge for Kids

Exploratorium: The Tinkering Studio Sketchpad

Innovation Lab – The Space

How to Add a Makerspace to Your Classroom

Make Your Own Ant-Man Suit! – Homemade How-to! (YouTube)

Naeir Resource Exchange

Constructing Modern Knowledge

Constructing Modern Knowledge 2015

21 Everyday Objects You Can Hack From a Bacon Sandwich to a Pencil to Your Cat

Sketch Play (pdf)

Paper Roller Coasters

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