Tornadoes are always big news, because they are strong storms that we still don't understand very well. Because of their size, speed, and unpredictability, they can cause massive amounts of damage. Yesterday, an unusual tornado touched down in Kansas. Even in an area known for its frequent twisters, this week’s storm was strange in that it lasted on the ground for about 90 minutes, which is 10 times longer than usual. The twister traveled about 23 miles. Luckily, there were no deaths or injuries.
If you work in education, have children, edit children's nonfiction books, or spend any time on social media, you've probably heard of STEM education. STEM education focuses on the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. And you might have come across STEAM education as well, which adds the Arts. Schools, administrators, parents, researchers, and politicians have long held STEM education to be the goal to strive for in an age of tightening school budgets. But is this tightened focus on a handfull of subjects going to be worth it?
Ah, May, when the weather turns warm, the flowers bloom, and schoolchildren everywhere start daydreaming of summer vacation a month before it actually starts. This last stretch of the school year defines the laws of quantum physics by both flying by and lasting forever. It flies because there’s still so much work to be done during this last month of school to prepare children for the next year. And it drags because when the windows are open, you can smell the sweet spring air just taunting you with promises of lazy afternoons and buckets of free time.
Did you know that kids typically lose two to three months of math and reading skills during the summer months, with low-income children experiencing the greatest loss? Most teachers spend the first four to six weeks of the new school year reviewing concepts that have not been retained from the previous year.
Bioengineering is a pretty exciting topic. Yes, it’s also a controversial one, but it offers great fodder for classroom discussion!
Take this question, for example. Should wooly mammoths be brought back from extinction through genetic engineering? This is an important question, because now, scientists are closer than ever to being able to make this a reality.
Yesterday’s Google doodle, along with my local PTA, reminded me that this week is Teacher Appreciation Week. This is the week we honor the work of the caring, dedicated individuals who shepherd our children through their formative years and help shape the adults who come next, the generation who will be charged with making the decisions that will most affect my own generation in its latter years.