District Administration December2017 - 24
Schools add another 'S' to STEM-for sports
A home run
Teachers should start by showing students how physical activities link to
STEM standards, says Yakman.
For example, schools can connect
trigonometry to baseball. Students learn
that hitting the ball at different angles
changes the total distance a ball travels, says Daren Heaton, vice president
of business development at Science of
Sport, a nonprofit foundation that develops physical STEM activities.
Students can also experience angular momentum by running the bases.
incorporating athletic activities into
STEM learning, teachers can make
practical connections that students
better understand-plus, it adds
opportunities to integrate a dynamic
component to instruction.
PROVIDED BY FREE AGENT BMX
Administrators from the Houston
area discovered a more effective way of
teaching terminal velocity and gravity-by keeping students afloat on 150mph winds inside a vertical tunnel.
The experience-hosted by the indoor skydiving facility iFLY-is one
of many physical activities that schools
use to better engage students in STEM
"PE-based STEM brings life back
into physics," says Georgette Yakman,
founder of STEAM Education, a company that provides PD. "It connects
athletes to the deep level of mathematical science behind their movements."
"They learn that running in a straight
line might be the shortest distance, but
it's not necessarily going to be the fastest distance because you are stopping
and starting," Heaton says.
Across the finish line
Students also calculate speed with BMX
bikes. At Edison Township Public
Schools in New Jersey, pairs of learners
ride 100 meters and time their results
to solve the equation for speed: distance
divided by time.
Students also explore force and aerodynamics by adjusting the bike's seat.
"Students learn that if a person who's
6 feet tall gets on a bike that's designed
for a person who's 5 feet, they are not
going to achieve maximum power,"
says Mike Duvarney of the USA BMX
Foundation, which developed the bike
lessons with a company called STEM
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Guillermo Pro, principal of Laredo ISD's Raymond & Tirza Martin
High School, has improved student performance by increasing
school spirit during his six-year tenure. Pro created a student
band that plays conjunto-Latin American music from Mexico-
because nearly 700 of the school's 1,900 students left Mexico to
attend school in Laredo. He also meets with
students before classes and grills burgers
for students who attend Saturday tutoring
sessions. The percentage of students who
passed English on state STAAR assessments
has risen from 19 percent to nearly 50 percent
in the last six years. In 2016, approximately 85
percent of students passed most STAAR tests.
24 December 2017
Shane Robbins temporarily stepped away
from his role as superintendent of Indiana's
Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation
in October to join the National Guard's relief
efforts for Puerto Rico. Robbins was stationed
in South Carolina at a clinic
that treated Puerto Ricans
requiring medical care.
Robbins created a team of
leaders to manage his duties
as superintendent while on
leave, regularly checking in on
district affairs via video chat.