It’s Full STEM Ahead in After-School Programs – Dr Jerrod A. Henderson and Mr Ricky P. Greer, University of Houston
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Dr Evelyn Cooper | Dr Candice Duncan – Improving Agriculture and Geoscience through Educational Initiatives
Addressing the skills shortage within scientific sectors requires a targeted approach for attracting and retaining students in STEM education. Summer Opportunities in Agricultural Research and the Environment (SOARE), SOARE: Strategic Work in Applied Geosciences (SWAG) and AgDiscovery, three innovative programs at the University of Maryland, provide a gateway for continued education, particularly for students who are traditionally under-represented in scientific fields. Implemented by Dr Evelyn Cooper, the success of the AgDiscovery and SOARE programs at the university has led to the inception of the new SOARE:SWAG program. Co-directed by Dr Candice Duncan, SOARE:SWAG focuses on students within geoscience disciplines.
The broad dissemination of information online has made students more inclined to question what they are being taught in the classroom. Many educators are thus trying to adapt their teaching strategies to ensure that new generations successfully acquire new skills and learn new knowledge. Dr Brenton Fredericks, Head of the Communication Sciences Department at Central University of Technology in South Africa, recently developed a framework that could improve communication between educators and students in the classroom, promoting more constructive and effective learning.
Dr Gabrielle Gold-von Simson | The Biomedical Entrepreneurship Skills Development Program (BEEP): Educating a New Generation of Medical Innovators
Innovative, new technologies are rapidly being introduced into the medical world, as scientists and inventors continually discover solutions to all kinds of health issues. However, comprehensive education in medical product development, business process and strategy is distinctly lacking for science students who aspire to become commercial medical innovators and entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurially minded professionals at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine developed, implemented, and integrated programs to train early scientists in the business side of science to accelerate the pace of commercialisation and encourage individuals to pursue venture creation and entrepreneurship to impact highly relevant healthcare solutions.
Explaining complex physical phenomena to students in simple and relatable ways can be challenging. This is particularly true for abstract concepts or phenomena that can only be observed using advanced equipment. Dr AJ Richards, an Assistant Professor of Physics at the College of New Jersey, has been exploring the potential of Kinaesthetic Learning Activities – multi-sensory teaching strategies involving hands-on experiences – to convey abstract and microscopic physics more effectively in the classroom.
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• Good science communication encourages everyday people to be scientifically literate so that they can analyse the integrity and legitimacy of information.
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• In a recent survey, 75% of people suggested they would prefer to listen to an interesting story than read it.
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