STEM – the acronym popular with educators and policymakers – shortens the decidedly clunky phrase: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But something seemed to be missing. So leaders from science, engineering, mathematics, education and design have been advocating incorporating art and design into STEM education. In other words, STEM should now be referred to as STEAM.
A writer from The Atlantic, who applauded the new STEAM acronym, quoted NYSCI’s President and CEO Margaret Honey as saying “It’s not about adding on arts education. It’s about fundamentally changing education to incorporate the experimentation and exploration that is at the heart of effective education.”
There are some things in life we’d be glad to see less of: bills, litter, standardized tests. Monarch butterflies are not one of them. The striking orange and black wings of the monarch make it one of the most favorite butterfly species in North America. Unfortunately, this year’s numbers of monarchs are the lowest ever on record. At their peak in 1996, monarchs covered nearly 45 acres of forest in their overwintering grounds in Mexico. This year, they covered only 1.65 acres.
So spare some space in your garden this year for milkweed. If you’ve seen our current 3D film Flight of the Butterflies, you know how important milkweed is to monarchs. Milkweed is where monarchs lay their eggs and is the only food source for monarch caterpillars.
Click here to learn how to plant milkweed and nectar-producing flowers to create your own butterfly garden. Then sit down quietly and wait for the butterflies to alight upon you.
Computer hackers and fashion designers don’t usually have a lot in common. But this weekend at NYSCI, teenagers at the Playable Fashion workshop will be a little bit of both.
Twenty teens at the free, two-day workshop will learn how to hack a digital game and will design and create their own wearable, game controller glove. In the process, they’ll learn about sewing, circuits, switches, sensors and the digital tools needed to produce a video game.
The program, a partnership between NYSCI, Eyebeam and the HIVE NYC Network, encourages a multidisciplinary approach to learning, covering skills in technology, fashion and video game design.
Soviets Spent $1 Billion on "Unconventional" Science and Mind Control
"The work built on a long-standing idea in Soviet science that the human brain could receive and transmit a certain kind of high frequency electromagnetic radiation and that this could influence other objects too." For example, Soviet researchers reported, electromagnetic radiation could stimulate the immune systems of plants and humans. Psychotronic weapons were also tested for their ability to alter people’s minds.
"Reduce the amount of information, reduce the number of facts that we ask kids to cram into their heads, so that there is time in the school day for students to explore, to try things out and then … go back and revisit their ideas," she says. "So, the shift in vision by [Next Generation] would put kids in more active charge of their learning."
That’s a chaotic kind of classroom to manage, but it’s key, Colson says, to getting more students out of the science boredom rut and saying, “This is real. It makes sense. It’s interesting.”
Watch this quick video from the Associated Press featuring NYSCI’s world record-breaking Gingerbread Lane and its creator, Chef Jon Lovitch. We are psyched to know that Jon is already planning for 2014!
The Merriam-Webster dictionary noted an increased interest in the word “science” this year and crowned the word as its 2013 Word of the Year.
"It is a word that is connected to broad cultural dichotomies: observation and intuition, evidence and tradition. A wide variety of discussions centered on science this year, from climate change to educational policy. We saw heated debates about ‘phony’ science, or whether science held all the answers." The result was a 176 percent increase in lookups of the word "science" in 2013 compared with 2012.
Commissioned by the New York Hall of Science for ReGeneration, artist Amy Franceschini has created a mobile fieldwork station that aims to challenge the dominance of ”modern quantitative science as compared to the long tradition of qualitative indigenous knowledge through an inventory of…
What’s scarier than Dracula, spookier than the headless horseman, and more disturbing than a Miley Cyrus Twerking costume?
Answer: A mysterious disease called white nose syndrome. The illness is killing North American bats by the millions. Named for the white fungus that appears on the infected bat’s face and wings, the disease infects colonies of bats, making them wake up from their hibernation and causing them to leave their caves in search of insects to eat…in the dead of winter, when it’s freezing cold and there’s no insects to be found. Since 2007, when the disease was first documented, nearly 6 million bats have died from the disease, making this one of our nation’s most critical wildlife issues.
So what can you do about it? Start by learning the truth about America’s bats. They won’t drink your blood or get tangled in your hair. In fact, they are an important part of our ecosystem. This weekend, we have a family-friendly program by the Organization for Bat Conservation that will teach you and your kids the basics about bats. Plus, you’ll even get to see a few live bats in person!
Glass vials, a row of chemicals, and an alcohol lamp. Perhaps nothing symbolized the excitement of science in the early to mid-20th century better than a chemistry set. The classic kits got kids tinkering, experimenting and thinking about science. In the process, they inspired a generation of inventors and scientists, some of whom became Nobel Prize-winners. But somewhere along the way, spurred by safety concerns and legal changes, chemistry sets faded in popularity.
A new competition, launched this week, aims to find the 21st century version of the classic chemistry set. A collaboration between the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public, the Science, Play and Research Kit competition (SPARK) challenges participants to generate a new set of experiences and activities that encourage imagination and interest in science, bringing the spirit of the classic chemistry set to today’s children.
Margaret Honey, NYSCI’s president and CEO, is an advisor to the competition, which will offer tangible ways to get more kids experimenting with science.
The competition’s top award is for the best science kit prototype with a prize of $50,000. Additional prizes ranging from $1,000 – $25,000 will be awarded for runners-up and idea submissions.