What do you get when you combine a traditional art with modern technology? New E-Traces shoes can track a dancer's movement and turn it into a stunning visual. Read more here or watch the video below. New advances in science and technology have done a lot to make ordinary pointe shoes more comfortable and practical as well. You can read more about long-standing problems with pointe shoes and how technology has addressed themin this article from Pointe Magazine. Can't get enough ballet and tech? Check out the books below.
What is STEM? At MCDS we have added an A (for arts) to make STEAM
A common definition is
STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [and art] in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009)
How do we introduce this to young students? Here are some picture books to get young minds engaged in STEAM thinking.
A little girl has a wonderful idea. She has imagined The Most Magnificent Thing!
She knows how it will look and work. She measures, hammers, adjusts, and tweaks. It just does not seem to work! Aided by her canine companion she tinkers some more and when she is finished it is just what they both wanted. Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires.
The Going Places contest comes with a go-cart kit and Rafael builds
his to look like all the other contestants’. But what on earth is
Maya doing with her kit? Forget about supposed to and ought to,
Maya’s ideas are sky high and Rafael is happy to pitch in and go along for the ride!
Going Places by Peter Reynolds
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty introduces us to inventor Rosie who creates amazing inventions from everyday objects. When her uncle laughs at her constructions, she begins to keep her dreams to herself. Enter great-great-aunt Rosie who longs to fly. From her little Rosie learns that her first flop is the perfect first try and that the only true failure can come if you quit.
What Do You Do With An Idea by Yobi Yamada. If your idea is different or
daring what do you do? Do you hide it or become friends with it?
If others say it's weird and no good, do you listen or forge ahead?
Can you see big, see bravely? What can happen if you let your idea soar?
Archibald Frisby by Michael Chesworth. What can a mom do with a
kid who has science on the brain and would rather look at
the world through a microscope? Lab experiments leave little
time for socializing. So mom ships him off to summer camp
where many opportunities to investigate science lead to
Dreaming up a celebration of building by Christy Hale. "If they can
dream it, they can build it" Madhu Thangavelu. Pair children
building with concrete poetry and add the inspiration of the
works of innovative architects and you have a unique creation.
From Barcelona, Spain to Luxor, Egypt follow the dreams
of children and groundbreaking architects.
How to you take the mind boggling mathematical concept of infinity and make it kid friendly? The author of Infinity and Me, takes this profound idea and transforms it into a race track, a never-ending ice cream cone, a family tree, a circular round of music, the vastness of the night stars snuggled up next to grandma and finally their love for each other. The end note quotes kindergarten children sharing their definition of infinity. "How many ways are there to imagine infinity? An infinite number. Just close the book and begin." author Kate Hosford.
Looking for innovation, mechanical engineering, women in science? Here is the perfect book to share: Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen. At the age of two, Violet can repair any appliance in the house, at eight
she is perfecting flying machines. But her fellow students tease her
for her mechanical genius until her quick thinking and bravery save
the day when a boy scout troupe faces danger.
A 40 year old classic, Andrew Henry's Meadow continues to celebrate the young inventor and engineer. When Henry's parents are less that supportive of his innovations, he runs away to the meadow where he builds an inspired house. Other children in search of creative freedom join him and each has a house built inspired by their passion. Soon the parents come around to appreciate their children's unique houses and free spirits.
In Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann, we meet perhaps the last mouse in Germany due to the invention of the mechanical mousetrap from which it seems all mousedom has escaped overseas. Ships are under constant surveillance by ferocious cats. The only salvation is for this small mouse to build an airplane. The sepia toned illustrations are amazing and mouse's design drawings are reminiscent of da Vinci's notebooks. This observant little innovator takes inspiration from bats and found objects continually revising his engineering masterpiece until he is able to soar to freedom in America where his story inspires a boy named Charles. Your own small inventor will pour over the wealth of details on every page of this gorgeous book.
Marisol is an artist who loves to paint and draw. She shares her art with the world creating posters with ideas she believes in and is famous for her unique clothes and her belief that everyone is an artist. Excited by the mural project for the library she volunteers to do the sky. Shocked to find there is no blue paint, she learns to see the sky in a different light.
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds.
Master builder Iggy Peck has been practicing his craft since he was a babe. However, his second grade teacher traumatized by a sky scrapper snafu as a child, does not appreciate his architectural marvels until the class embarks on a picnic crossing an old trestle to a small island. The bridge collapses and the fainting teacher and the children are trapped. Iggy galvanizes his classmates into action and a suspension bridge is constructed using shoelaces and more. Miss Greer is a convert to building your dreams and Iggy is the tour guide through architectural history. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
This children's book tells the story of Jefferson's life through his love of books and reading. It includes quotes from Jefferson about books and other fun facts in sidebars throughout. It has a particular focus on libraries, describing how Jefferson arranged his personal library by subject and how when the Library of Congress burned, his personal collection became the country's new library.
Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by John O'Brien
This story of a classroom garden, inspired by the one at Monticello focuses on a friendly contest and experimenting with different gardening techniques to get the first peas on the table.
First Peas to the Table by Susan Grigsby, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell
These three books describe Jefferson's relationship with the enslaved Sally Hemings and the children they had together. The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed is aimed at adult audiences while Jefferson's Children by Shannon Lanier and Jane Feldman is aimed at a middle school audience. Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a historical fiction novel for middle grades told from the perspective of three enslaved persons at Monticello including two of Jefferson's sons.
Natasha Trethwey has also explored this relationship and its repercussions in poems such as "Enlightenment"
In the portrait of Jefferson that hangs
at Monticello, he is rendered two-toned:
his forehead white with illumination --
a lit bulb — the rest of his face in shadow,
darkened as if the artist meant to contrast
his bright knowledge, its dark subtext.
By 1805, when Jefferson sat for the portrait,
he was already linked to an affair
with his slave. Against a backdrop, blue
and ethereal, a wash of paint that seems
to hold him in relief, Jefferson gazes out
across the centuries, his lips fixed as if
he's just uttered some final word.
(read the rest of the poem over at the poetry foundation: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/249398)
This beautifully illustrated picture book biography describes Thomas Jefferson's incredible accomplishments and contributions to American society without glossing over the hypocrisies and failures in his life. It presents everything in a language accessible to students as young as first grade.
Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman
Additional biographical details and related links and articles can be found on Gale's Biography in Context database that we subscribe to. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the library if you need the password to access it.
Welcome to the Tech Committee Round-Up where we publish links to articles, videos, and other resources that the members of the Tech Advisory Committee would like to share with our community.
What Teens Really Think about Technology
This series of articles, all from Medium.com, provides a quick introduction to many popular websites and is a great segue into discussions of multiple perspectives. The final article discusses what viewpoints are left out of the first two articles and why these voices are often ignored when discussing technology trends.
The original article, written by a 19 year old college student provides his perspective on various popular sites: "A Teenager's View on Social Media"
The second part "What Teens Really Think about YouTube, Google+, Reddit and Other Social Media" discusses sites left out of the first: https://medium.com/backchannel/what-teens-really-think-about-youtube-google-reddit-and-other-social-media-a7263924a506
Finally a counter point to the article discussing view points that were left out of the original: "An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media" https://medium.com/message/an-old-fogeys-analysis-of-a-teenagers-view-on-social-media-5be16981034d
Digital Citizenship Resources
This blog post over at Edudemic provides a curated list of resources to help parents and educators teach students about how to be a better digital citizen: "2014 Recap: 15 Top Resources on Digital Citizenship"
The article "Sussing Out the Truth: Student Engagement and Online Fact Finding" by Matt Levinson explores ways in which students already seek out expert advice online and how teachers can encourage them to do so for academic subjects.
The Student Reporting Labs at PBS partners with middle and high school students to produce student-generated video reports on a variety of issues. In addition to educating students on a variety of topics chosen by their peers it has a curriculum on news and media literacy for teachers.
Social Networks and Social Sciences
The most recent episode of Radiolab explores the intersection between social media and social sciences. There are now more Facebook users than Catholics worldwide and this pool of data provides those in the social sciences with an enormous data set, but it also creates questions around the ethics of performing these tests on unknowing subjects. This additional article by Andrew Zolli explores the universality and evolution of human expressions through online 'stickers' (think more detailed emoticons) and what we can learn from the popularity of different stickers across the globe.
This lesson from Media Smarts teaches students about gender stereotypes and how they can lead to violent behavior.
Here were some of the resources mentioned at our first Tech Committee meeting on January 22nd.