The future of education is now—and not a moment too soon. The Denver School of Science & Technology admits all applicants based on a lottery—65 percent minority, 50 percent low-income, 50 percent first-generation college—and sends 100 percent of them on to four-year colleges and universities.
Michelle Obama is teaching about gardens, vegetables, and healthy eating. Cameron Diaz is teaching about trees. Three- and 4–year-olds (and their families) are learning about science and math from some of the world’s most effective teachers—Elmo and the gang at “Sesame Street.”
Engineering is showing up in the statewide education standards in Massachusetts and Tennessee, and is ‘coming soon’ in Oregon and Washington. It may even make it into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) bill moving through Congress now.
Engineering—the process of designing and making real stuff that solves real problems—is gaining traction as the entry point into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and careers for young students around the country, thanks to the tireless efforts of Yannis Miaoulis and the Museum of Science, Boston. These are some important lessons for those fortunate enough to attend today’s session, “It IS Rocket Science: The Imperative of STEM,” during the Council on Foundations annual conference on Monday in Denver.
But the learning didn’t stop there. Some additional takeaways:
Wendy Ramage Hawkins is the executive director of the Intel Foundation.