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Is STEM a Viable Alternative to a Gifted Program?

STEM Alternative

STEM has become an alternative in some U.S. school districts for gifted programming. In order to understand the reasoning behind this decision, our chat first focused on whether or not school districts should be required to offer a gifted program at all. Most people agreed that it was necessary, but also reasoned that the program must be funded and properly administered by knowledgeable faculty and staff.

Strong opinions were voiced concerning the need to provide all students what they need to meet their potential at any level. The concept of mastery-based education was introduced as an alternative for education which in part could eliminate the need for special academic programming. However, it was pointed out that STEM programs do little to address the social and emotional needs of gifted students.

Scientist

‘Is STEM a Viable Alternative to a Gifted Program?’ Many present felt it was not an alternative but should be a component part. Some had good experiences when STEM programs were combined with Ability Grouping. The addition of ‘A’ (arts) was welcomed by all.

The discussion then turned to finding some positive attributes of STEM programming if it is the only option available. Here are some of the responses- It was noted that a well done STEM program can increase a student’s appreciation for mathematics; offer a challenging curriculum which gifted students need; and provide increased interaction with professionals through mentoring & job shadowing.  Enhancing STEM programs by integrating communication, verbalization and writing skills as well as incorporating passion-based and project-based learning would improve these programs for gifted students. A more collegiate atmosphere in STEM courses could stimulate creative thought. A full transcript may 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 Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:

Gifted Education: Full STEAM Ahead NJAGC Annual Conference 2015

Gifted Children and STEM 

STEM: Meeting a Critical Demand for Excellence

Statewide Public High Schools for Advanced Students

National Consortium of Secondary #STEM Schools

STEM – Its Importance and Promise for Gifted Students (pdf)

Cultivating Talent: Gifted Children and STEM

STEM Resources for Educating Gifted Students (pdf)

STEM and Gifted Education: Questions and Answers for Parents (pdf)

STEM ming the Tide: Colorado Response to National Crisis in STEM Education (pdf)

STEM is Gifted Education

Partner with STEM to Enhance Opportunities for Gifted Children

STEM to STEAM Education for Gifted Students (Amazon)

Relationship Between #STEM Education & #Gifted Education – Part 1

Relationship Between #STEM Education & #Gifted Education – Part 2

Putting Art in #STEM

Energizing Your Gifted Students’ Creative Thinking & Imagination (Amazon)

Why did ‘nerd’ become a dirty word?

K – 12 Summer Programs from The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Google Science Fair 2015

Is Your Gifted Student Being Supported in Public School?

Cybraryman’s STEM/STEAM Page

STEM vs. STEAM: Why The “A” Makes All The Difference

Partners Create STEM Hubs in Ogden Schools

The Value of STEM Education Infographic

 

STEM Graphic: Courtesy Lisa Conrad

Photo: Courtesy of Pixabay.

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Makerspaces

The topic of Makerspaces was a fairly new concept for many attending this chat although the idea has been gathering ‘STEAM’ for several years. A big thank you to all those who contributed links. Hopefully, you will find what you’re looking for below. A full transcript of the chat can be found here.

Makerspaces are known by a variety of names including Hackerspaces, Fab Labs, and Maker Faire. Although the definition of a makerspace is generally a technology-based extension of DIY culture which can include such things as 3D printers, robotics, microprocessors, “smart” materials, and programming languages; it was also acknowledged that practically any space used for making things could qualify as one. It was agreed that they are here to stay and definitely of interest to gifted children who are creative.

STEAMmaker logoSTEAMmaker Camp from ESSDACK

Links:

Makerspaces – The Future of Education TEDx Luxembourg (YouTube 4:34)

What is a Makerspace? Creativity in the Library

Hackerspace (Wikipedia)

A Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources

From Stacks to Hacks: Makerspaces & Librarybox

The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 1: Space for Creation, Not Just Consumption

Library as Makerspace: Creating and Nurturing Communities of Teen Writers

Making Things in Academic Libraries

Makerspace Directory 

Maker Community Groups 

Hacker Spaces Directory 

7 Things You Should Know about Makerspaces

Is It a Hackerspace, Makerspace, Techshop or FabLab?

Designing a School Makerspace from @edutopia

Make Space: The Book (Website)

There’s a Maker Faire in That iPad! 10 Ways to Create Student Makers with Apps

The Maker Movement Believes In ‘Kid Power’

The Maker Movement Can Give Students ‘A Story to Tell’

6th Graders Planning a Model of the London Eye w/ K’nex (via Vine)

A Movement in the Making

Makeathon @ University of Michigan

Harvard Wants to Know: How Does the Act of Making Shape Kids’ Brains?

Makerspaces – #MakerEd Page from @cybraryman1

What Is the Maker Movement and Why Should You Care?

You Can Make What You Imagine: Hsing Wei for TEDx (YouTube 7:42)

How the Maker Movement is Transforming Education

24 Unique Maker Education Resources For Teaching & Learning

Making a Makerspace: The Physical Space is (Relatively) Finished!

Want to Start a Makerspace at School? Tips to Get Started

Commentary: How to Get a Job at Google

B.O.S.S. HQ Is Now Open for Business

Three Column Network

World Maker Faire New York 2013

STEAMmaker Camp from ESSDACK

Make (Pinterest Board) from Terri Eichholtz

Makerspace Playbook (pdf)

Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families (book – Amazon)

Sometimes We Just Need to Throw Out The Instructions

How to Make a Mini Maker Space for Mini Makers

21 Incredible Maker Ed Kits for Learning

Invent to Learn (book)

Design Squad Nation from PBS Kids

Built by Kids

DIY Earn Skills Become a Maker

Finding Value in Video Games

Links:

Jane McGonigal: Gaming Can Make a Better World (You Tube)

The Future of Video Games Is Also The Future Of Storytelling

Duke research: Video Games Make Players Smarter

Video Gamers Capture More Information Faster for Visual Decision-making

What Works in Schools Is Real Work

Learning by Designing Games (with useful resources, #GBL)

Back to the drawing board for game making?

GoGo Labs is a Disruptive Learning Technology Lab

Digital Games: A Context for Cognitive Development

Understanding Quest-Based Learning (pdf)

Assessment Matters: Game-Based Learning to Foster Student Engagement

Choice-Based Assessments for the Digital Age (pdf)

Video Games and Social Emotional Learning

Situated Learning in Virtual Worlds and Immersive Simulations (pdf)

What’s the Difference Between Games and Gamification?

Using Educational Games and Gamification

Beyond Badges: Why Gamify? From @edutopia

games-based-learning blog: Games Based School

How Do You Teach Empathy? Harvard Pilots Game Simulation

How Game-Based And Traditional Learning Are Different

3D Game Lab: Online Teacher Camp

games-based-learning blog: 21st Century Skills and Games Based Learning

Video Games In Learning? These 50 Videos Explain What’s Possible

TEDxManitoba – Rick Van Eck – The Gaming of Educational Transformation (video)

Classroom Game Design: Paul Andersen at TEDxBozeman (video)

7 Skills Students Need for Their Future (video)

Can Digital Games Boost Students’ Test Scores?

Research on Assessment in Games

Teachers, Students, Digital Games: What’s the Right Mix?

Center for Game Science

The Radix Endeavor

Motivating Children to Learn Effectively: Exploring Value of Intrinsic Integration in Educational Games (pdf)

New Survey: Half of Teachers Use Digital Games in Class

Money, Time and Tactics: Can Games Be Effective in Schools?

Playful Learning

The School Where Learning is a Game

Institute of Play Quest Schools

Meet Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz!

Calist head shot

Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz will be our first teen guest on #gtchat on June 21st at 7PM ET (US). It has been a long-standing request of many who participate in #gtchat to involve more students in our chats. We are excited that she has accepted our invitation to chat!

I first met Calista as a child quietly sitting at the back of the room at a STEM Advocacy meeting where her mother, Cynde Frederick, was speaking. She was folding origami birds; not something you would expect at a STEM meeting I thought. How wrong I was!

Calista is the founder and CEO of Origami Salami. Her interest in origami began with a gift ~ a beginner origami kit when she was 6 years old. The support to launch her company came from the Davidson Young Scholar Ambassador Program. They provided Calista with sound advice and inspiration on being a positive force in the world. She subsequently founded Folding for Good, a community outreach spin-off of Origami Salami which responded to the tragedy at Sandy Hook earlier this year with a special project – Operation Sandy Hook: Peace to You.

Origami, the ancient Japanese art of folding, has increasing applications in STEM fields as the patterns can be found in proteins, DNA, robotics and computers. It is used by NASA in the design of space telescopes, the Mars rover and space tethers. In medicine, it was used to develop a new heart stent. Calista uses her knowledge of paper folding to encourage other students to investigate the relationship between origami and science and become more involved in science careers.

Currently, Calista is a dual-enrollee at PA Cyber Charter School and Robert Morris University‘s School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science where she just finished her second year of college. She is also a member of the NASA Online Learning Community, a 2013 National Center for Women & Information Technology Aspirations in Computer Science Award Winner, a 2012 Kids are Heroes honoree, a violinist with the Three Rivers Young Peoples’ Orchestra in Pittsburgh, a nine-time State Taekwondo Champion, a volunteer at Animal Friends where she organizes Operation Happy Sock to make safe toys for shelter cats and has lobbied for gifted education in her state House of Representatives.

Learn more about Calista:

Wexford Teen Honored for Volunteerism

Interview with Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz  at About.com

Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz at Zoominfo.com

References:

2012 Service and Scholarship Award“, Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education, 2012 Annual Conference

Cyber Student, 16, Makes Impact at Robert Morris U Folding for Good

PA Cyber Student-Athlete Profile: Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz

Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz: A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference

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