On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM, Wayne Bishop <email@example.com> wrote: > For the uninitiated, STEM, means Science, Technology, Engineering,and > Mathematics with a strong national push for properly educating many more US > students to be competitive in these areas and, of necessity, the teachers to > meet that need. > > Focus on the essential mathematics, careful reading, and science courses? > How simplistic; that's what Legos are for. Crossfile under, "some things > that are impossible to make up" and "some things that are impossible to > parody". > > http://www.oregonlive.com/north-of-26/index.ssf/2012/09/forest_heights_eighth-grader_p.html > > Wayne
You have said that you want US to follow East Asian education. But your above that ridicules what is going in the US seems to ridicule what goes on in East Asia. In the below, but one example of what can be found on the Internet, note all the international robotics competitions - for k12 students, and note the references to Lego. These kids have to learn all this stuff somewhere. Yes, you will no doubt claim that including such things in k12 education will destroy math education in East Asia, but so far all the East Asian countries or school districts that take TIMSS are still in the top group by themselves by far:
"In line with MOE's direction of 'Teach Less, Learn More' (TLLM), Robotics has been introduced and integrated into Rulang Primary School's formal curriculum to complement the shift in focus of our education system from quantity to quality teaching and learning since 2005. The school's Robotics education comprises different programmes catering for different purposes: mass participation, interest groups and talent development. It empowers pupils to learn through experience and exposure, along with specially-planned activities to enable talent development.
Rulang has clinched many awards at different international platforms such as International Robot Olympiad (South Korea, Australia, China and Singapore), International Robocup Junior (Italy and Germany), VEX Robotics World Championship (USA), World Robot Olympiad (China) and First Lego League Open (Japan and Norway). The school has also sustained a positive trend from 1 award in 2002 to 37 awards in 2009 at international level.
In view of the good track records, the school has been awarded the status as the Zonal Centre of Excellence for Robotics West Zone (COE) in 2008. We aim to provide leadership in pedagogical applications of robotics as well as facilitating the development of robotics skills competency of teachers and pupils in Singapore schools. In additional, as a COE, we also provide the opportunities for schools to explore the possibilities of using robotics to complement teaching and learning. Rulang also shares her resources such as playfields, equipment and human resources to facilitate learning for staff and pupils from schools in the West Zone.
Singapore was the host country for the Asian Robotics League Vex Championship (ARL) in 2008. Rulang in Singapore collaborated with the ARL organisers to host this international competition.Rulang supported the ARL event in terms of publicity, infrastructure (playfields and accessories) and judges and the West Zone (W4/ W6/ W7) secondary schools provided student leaders to lead the international contingents. Representatives from countries in the Asia Pacific region launched their local or regional Vex competitions within their countries and top winning teams were invited to join the ARL. This competition had attracted more than 420 participants from countries such as China, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Together with LEGO Singapore and Science Centre Singapore, the school has been hosting the LEGO Conference cum Robofest since 2009. Professor Chris Roger from Tufts University and Dr Chew Tuan Chiong, CEO of Science Centre Singapore, were the two keynote speakers for Robofest 2008. In 2009, Kristen Bethke Wendell, Research Assistant and Programme Manager from the Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach was invited to be the keynote speaker. She shared how robotics and design activities can enhance the teaching and learning of science and engineering. Pupils, teachers, parents and even overseas delegates from countries such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea attended the event.
Rulang has been collaborating with educational institutions like Millennia Institute and Fuhua Secondary in organising these events for Singapore schools. The school has also collaborated with external agencies to promote robotics to schools which are trying out robotics for the first time. Since 2008, Rulang has been co- organising the 'Robotics for Math and Science' workshops with ETD. Robotics education is an excellent platform to generate interest and to engage pupils in developing useful skills and values to meet future challenges. Rulang would continue her mentoring system to mentor more primary schools to take on Robotics as a formal CCA by acting as a focal point to maximise expertise and resources."