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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Family Science Saturday Is a Maker Extravaganza!

[Reposted from http://www.bbns.org/page.cfm?p=782&newsid=214]
The winter Family Science Saturday held last week centered around inventing and tinkering in order to solve problems, learn how things work, and create.

Beginners through sixth grade students were able to visit seven stations and try various challenges. The stations were staffed by the Lower School science and technology department, as well as by four Upper School students – Sophia Scanlan '18, Tali Sorets '16, Claudia Inglessis '18, and Ethan O’Reilly '16. Parents were asked to let their children take the lead, rather than jumping in to make the project work or work better.


The Lower School students had a chance to useMakeyMakeys to type by touching fruits and vegetables or play a keyboard by touching play dough. They also created structures with marshmallows and spaghetti, and one structure was even strong enough to support a block! Other great activities included building cardboard structures, electric greeting cards, wind-up cars, and bristle bots.

Monday, February 23, 2015

BB&N Teachers attend STEM forum at Harvard

Last Wednesday, February 18, a few BB&N educators were able to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Askwith Forum "A Space of Their Own?  Girls, Women, and STEM."  In attendance were Lower School Academic Technology Specialist RM Pellant and Upper School math teachers Mark Fidler, Chip Rollinson, and Mike Bernstein.  HGSE advertised the event as follows, "Girls and women are significantly underrepresented in many areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and STEM professions. In this group conversation, we will discuss what factors contribute to female underrepresentation in STEM, why female underrepresentation is problematic, and how to support broader participation."  The event was moderated by Karen Brennan, Assistant Professor of Education, HGSE, and the panelists were:
  • Kimberly Bryant, Founder, Black Girls CODE
  • Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College
  • Jane Margolis, Ed.M.'88, Ed.D.'90, Senior Researcher, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
  • Stephanie Wilson, Astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
At the Askwith Forum, panelists discussed what factors contribute to female underrepresentation in STEM.  Watch their discussion here.

Below are some of the takeaways from Mark Fidler:
"A major focus of the "Girls and STEM" panel discussion at the Harvard Ed School was on girls and computer programming. Discussion touched upon the impediments to girls entering the field at all levels - elementary school, middle school, high school. college, and in industry. There was discussion of racial and economic factors, too. Mike Bernstein, Chip Rollinson, and I attended. Mike and I felt that the most important suggestion for us was to make introductory programming experiences fun, not scary, and social. This week, the EPC approved an Upper School programming course designed to be all three of those. At BB&N, we have a much higher female percentage of AP Comp Sci students than at most schools. Mike and I are committed to improving that with our goal being 50%."

Lastly, below are a couple of related resources shared by Chip Rollinson:

A few more resources related to the event:

-Megan