Water on Mars? NASA set for big announcement

From CNN: NASA says it has big news for us Monday. “Mars Mystery Solved,” the agency’s news release touts without offering even a hint as to what mystery they mean.

For those who just can’t wait, a little Googling may solve the puzzle — and it’s not Matt Damon, little green people, or any other clear indication of life. It appears to be a confirmation of periodically flowing water on the planet’s surface.

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Would virtual reality classrooms help STEM education?

16475420268_4b6528b0ca_bFrom the International Business Times: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson made a play for Silicon Valley support Thursday by calling for more science and math education. Tech itself, he said, can be used to spur interest in those fields.

How so? Using “Internet-based virtual-reality classrooms where we can put the very best teachers in front of a million students,” Carson said in a prerecorded video message played at the CloudFlare Internet Summit.

Do you think this kind of high-tech classroom could boost STEM education?

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Drones increasingly becoming common part of education

In this Aug. 25 photo, from left, fifth-grade students Parker League, Zane Flores and Brendan Albers reassemble their drone after it took a spill during an experiment at Whitetail Elementary in Gretna, Neb. (Megan Farmer/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
In this Aug. 25 photo, from left, fifth-grade students Parker League, Zane Flores and Brendan Albers reassemble their drone after it took a spill during an experiment at Whitetail Elementary in Gretna, Neb. (Megan Farmer/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

From the Omaha World-Leader: Ingraham is a technology specialist with Educational Service Unit 3, a political subdivision that provides technology support to 18 eastern Nebraska school districts.

The organization bought 25 drones, including the Phantom, as part of its mission to seek out emerging technologies that might be important to schools in the future, he said.

“It just seemed to be an incredibly compelling way of engaging students, specifically in STEM concepts — science, technology, engineering, math — that is so important for the future of our nation,” Ingraham said.

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STEM Should Broaden, Not Narrow, the Curriculum

String MachineFrom Education Week: What we call a STEM shift—a movement toward comprehensive and fully integrated STEM education throughout a school or district—is the first real and promising development with the potential to re-envision educational orientation from the bottom up. A STEM shift encourages the reimagination of schools, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, including the way curriculum is designed, organized, and delivered. Done well, this includes the learning processes of inquiry, imagination, questioning, problem-solving, creativity, invention, and collaboration—and certainly learning, thinking, and writing.

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