While classrooms in New York and elsewhere have increasingly focused on preparing children for jobs in a tech economy, the recently opened school, Brooklyn STEAM Center, has taken it one step further by locating itself next to companies where students might actually work. It is one of only a handful of programs in the country that are situated in a workplace. “Our ambition is that it will be a next-generation model for career and technical schools here in New York City,” said David Ehrenberg, the president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. The Navy Yard already has an on-site job center, but Ehrenberg said the school will help ensure that more local residents have the necessary technical skills and training for the jobs being created there. The program offers students a chance to show what they can do. “Instead of learning on paper — and maybe you forget it, and maybe you don’t — you put your hands into the work,” Jordan Gomes, 16, said.
Carnegie Science Center hosts “Da Vinci The Exhibition,” a traveling, interactive display that details the life and achievements of the Italian artist and inventor who died 500 years ago this May. Pittsburgh is the seventh North American city to welcome the show in its current format since 2014. “It’s an opportunity for kids and adults to interact with something,” Tom Zaller, president of Imagine Exhibitions says. “Even 500 years later, Da Vinci’s work is still being studied. He still plays a part in our daily lives. It’s interesting to see this all in one setting.”
Stopping a teen bully seems like it should not be complicated. In the movies, all it takes is a single act. Another teen just has to step up and say, “Hey, that’s not okay.” But in real life, it is often not so simple to embrace our inner heroes. Friends may suddenly decide not to help. They may even worry about becoming the next victim. What makes a teen more likely to intervene when they witness bullying? A supportive school with trusted teachers and clear guidance from a kid’s family both help. That is the finding of a new study.
Michael Matera’s grade 6 history class is an ongoing role-playing game called Realm of Nobles, where students join guilds, earn achievements, make trades and wage the occasional epic battle in an imaginary medieval kingdom. Matera has played the game for years, and maintains that the fusion of history, fantasy, narrative and role-play is an effective formula to engage students in learning. “The excitement and the pride in their accomplishments are all through the roof. I love seeing kids gaining real-world skills, taking risks and learning from defeat in this gamified class,” said Matera, who wrote Explore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your Learners, a manual for teachers who aspire to design their classes as games.
In selecting NAA’s Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders 2019, the National AfterSchool Association sought to highlight emerging young leaders who are active in the afterschool community—with a proven passion for professional development, influence beyond their program in an effort to elevate the field, and persistence in their work to grow as a leader. Among the honorees were Samira Ford, grants and fellowships consultant, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and Rebecca Schedl, specialist in art and outreach coordinator for Afterschool Partnership Programming, Parent Infant Center After School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
STEM projects are continuing to make the top ten as a category on teacher funding site DonorsChoose. According to the organization, over the past four years, computer science and coding projects grew two and a half times faster than other project types. DonorsChoose is a nonprofit that encourages teachers to post their classroom project funding needs on the site and solicit donations from the public. During the latest year, the site has raised $87 million for a total funding of 163,323 projects. Applied sciences-related requests made up more than nine percent of all projects funded for the 2018-19 school year — the highest it has been for the last five academic years. Math projects made up another six percent, but that share is only half of what it was for the previous year.