Students to join the conversation at the Massachusetts STEM Summit
Nov 12, 2013
Twenty years after Massachusetts enacted aggressive reforms in education and ten years after the state’s first STEM Summit, Massachusetts students are ranked as second in the world in science achievement. This year’s STEM Summit will bring together educators, government officials and business leaders whose commitment to fostering STEM education throughout the Commonwealth underlies these impressive findings, but for the first time, the Summit will also welcome students to demonstrate and discuss the ways they’re learning about STEM.
Children’s literature provides the entryway into problem solving and engineering for sixth graders and kindergarteners at West Brookfield Elementary Innovation School’s Peer Mentoring program, where students have helped the stranded ducklings from Robert McCloskey’s Boston-based classic, Make Way For Ducklings get across Beacon Street via student-built bridges and innovative jet packs. This unique peer mentoring program is centered on STEAM learning, with an “A” incorporating art and literature into STEM lessons. Each week, sixth graders read to kindergarteners, and together, the students identify problems faced by the characters in the books, determine whether they can create a possible solution to the problem, and then design and create their solution using a donated stash that could include recycled milk jugs, cereal boxes, toilet paper tubes and other valuable household treasures. Two sixth graders and four kindergarteners will exhibit their innovations and discuss their program in the Resource Room.
Green Scholars from the Middlesex-Essex Regional School District will be in the Resource Room to discuss how they’re developing green solutions to today’s environmental challenges. Green Scholars have tackled plastic bag usage, recycling, composting and local food production and are continually recognized for their achievements.