K-12 Outreach News - All Years

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  • Collaboration will support pre-K-12 teachers in using emerging digital learning tools.

  • MISTI Global Teaching Labs has reached over 10,000 foreign high-school students with summer internships and research opportunities.

    The MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives program (MISTI) places over 500 MIT undergraduate and graduate students with international internship and research opportunities each summer. Through MISTI Global Teaching Labs (GTL), an experimental teaching program, nearly another 150 MIT students now travel abroad during MIT’s January Independent Activities Period (IAP) to teach science and engineering in foreign high schools.

  • The MIT Edgerton Center’s K-12 electronics curriculum was the basis for a creative technology-education workshop in rural Maine this winter.

    When a middle-school girl from rural Maine updated her Facebook page with a photo of herself soldering on a circuit board, the creators of Gizmo Garden knew the project was working — participating students were developing new images of themselves.

  • A classroom of 4th and 5th graders chatter excitedly, hunched over long tables to hunt for tiny resistors in clear electronics kits. They’re building a simple circuit to attach to the back of a cardboard box that is decorated with multiple-choice questions. The objective? When touched by a clip, the thumbtack next to the correct answers causes a bright green LED to light up; the tacks next to the incorrect choices won’t.

  • Last week 24 soldering irons were producing a lot of heat up in MIT’s Edgerton Center. Their operators? 24 rising ninth grade girls donning goggles and melting wires to make miniature traffic lights and flashlights as part of a lesson in electrical circuitry. “Today we got rid of a lot of fear,” said Amy Fitzgerald, the instructor of You Go Girl! a four-day crash course in all things science for girls.

  • Before Jessica Garrett arrived at the Edgerton Center, she taught math and science to grades 3, 5, and 6. She often recruited special guests to speak to her classes. Some were better than others, and she wished there were a way to help them better understand how to speak to young audiences.Edgerton Center TSC Workshop

    And while she had a network of scientific friends and family, she knew that other teachers often struggled to find scientists and engineers willing to talk to their classes.

    When Jessica attended the final COSEENE/TERC's Telling Your Story session at MIT, she was so excited about the idea of a workshop where teachers and scientists could meet each other and make a concrete classroom visit plan that she decided to help continue this program. She has been doing so since fall of 2011, teaming with other colleagues across MIT and Harvard, and continually improving the program.

  • With the aim of increasing the number of students and teachers inspired by the Edgerton Center's model of experiential science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, the Edgerton Center is collaborating with i2 Camp, a national STEM summer camp.

    Partnering with a variety of educational organizations, i2 Camp broadens a student's exposure to a variety of innovative courses not seen in traditional middle school education.

  • Edgerton Instruction Ed Moriarty surrounded by visiting Chinese studentsEdgerton instructors Ed Moriarty, Alban Cobi and Jessica Garrett spent ten days this month leading two groups of 32 middle and high school students from Beijing, China, in science and engineering projects.

  • “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a big question for children, and knowing of only a few options can limit their future aspirations. The Telling Your Story (TYS) Workshop seeks to change that, offering children the opportunity to hear the life stories of scientists and engineers in their very own classroom. At the very least, it helps them know that scientists and engineers are interesting people with whom they might like to be friends. And some might just get that inspirational spark to pursue a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) career.

  • On May 30, the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology’s (OEIT) STAR program (Software Tools for Academics and Researchers) was awarded a JFYNet Innovation Award for Technology in Education at a ceremony at the Boston State House. The award recognizes significant contributions to the cause of improving high school student achievement through the use of technology. This year’s awards were focused on innovative uses of technology in STEM education and college readiness. The awards are presented by JFYNetWorks, a Boston-based non-profit enterprise that, for the past 12 years, has helped schools effectively use technology to improve student success.

    JFYNET Innovation Award Recipients

    OEIT began a collaborative project with JFYNetWorks and a high school biology teacher at North Shore Technical High School, Shannon Donnelly, in the spring of 2010. The goal was to adapt StarBiochem, a molecular 3-D visualizer developed and used at MIT, to help high school students better understand the four basic biological macromolecules:proteins, sugars, fats, and nucleic acids – a topic that is included in Massachusetts standardized tests. This effort has resulted in the development and implementation of inquiry-based activities that enable high school students to use StarBiochem to explore the molecular structures typically encountered within Introductory Biology and high school biology curricula. Gary Kaplan, Director of JFYNetWorks explained the choice of STAR, “STAR creates vivid, colorful, dynamic online visualizations of molecules so that students can see what they look like in three dimensions [and] manipulate them.”

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