Inquiry-based Learning Experiences Focusing on Sustainability
Smithsonian Science for Global Goalsis a new, freely available curriculum that uses the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development as a framework to focus on sustainable actions to local problems, defined and implemented by students. The curriculum was developed to be region and grade-level agnostic so that any student between the ages of 8 and 17 will be able to engage in the material. Among the tentative topics are “Energy” (How do we balance energy and environmental concerns?), “Weather and People” (How do we balance economics and preparedness?), “Biotechnology and Humans” (How do we balance technology, actions, and ethics?), and “Access” (How do we balance support for individuals with special needs?). Students have the opportunity to learn firsthand from researchers who are working on these problems around the world. Students then engage in inquiry-based challenges in their local communities, considering the problems through multiple perspectives (social, ethical, economic, environmental). The modules are built on a rich storyline that begins with students creating an Identity Map and Defining the Problem, and ends with the development of an Action Plan. The program was developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, along with the InterAcademy Partnership. The modules have been field-tested and reviewed by subject-matter experts, teachers, and students from around the world and are available in multiple languages.
Each month we publish blogs and several newsletters full of
digital learning, funding, professional growth, social media, and STEM
resources. Below are items from our blogs and newsletters that educators turned
to the most in 2018.
Rube Goldberg, Inc. develops curricula designed to bring laughter and invention together in STEM- and STEAM-friendly activities. A Rube Goldberg Machine (RGM) is a crazy contraption that accomplishes a simple task in the most complicated—and funniest—way possible.
Steven Wang got into the tech field about seven years ago—as a pre-adolescent. Now, at 17, he has a concrete vision for how he wants to use technology to transform the learning experiences of students all over the world. He is CEO and cofounder of a startup company called Realism that offers virtual labs in physics, chemistry, and biology.