Teaching, Learning & Technology
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Ideas for Making Your STEM(+) Class Global

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Are your students experiencing science, math and engineering design from a global point of view? It’s not too late to benefit from last week’s Global Education Conference...



School systems around the world are emphasizing the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM+) education for all students. But are we doing all that needs to be done to make STEM(+) learning relevant, inspiring, and fun?


Last week I participated in a very interesting online conference called the Global Education Conference - a 5-day, 24 hours per day online conference with presenters from around the world. It’s a fascinating approach to international conferences, as no one traveled to get there – yet people from around the world connected. The presentations were live and all were recorded. I guess you could call this a “Massively Open Online Conference” (shall we coin the acronym “moocon”?).


On Thursday, I led a panel discussion between three HP Catalyst project teams that are making STEM(+) learning global. The session title was, “STEM(+) through a Global Lens: Fostering international collaboration, perspectives, & peer-to-peer learning”. Through this session we introduced innovative ways to engage students in experiences that expand their international perspective on STEM(+) topics (see below for a full description of the panelists and their projects).


The 60 minute session included some great panelists:

·         Tonia Lovejoy, Reach the World (USA)

·         Lauren Silver, Computer History Museum (Silicon Valley, USA) and Adriana Holguín, Prepa UDEM Academia de Informática (Mexico)

·         Lee Ann Heller, Karen Kulish and Elizabeth Fridinger, Stamford Public Schools (USA).


I invite you to view our panel presentation recording, and I highly recommend that you browse the Global Education Conference session recordings! There are many wonderful ideas for helping your students experience the world and see their education from a global perspective…










Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Global Education Program Manager
Sustainability & Social Innovation

Follow me on Twitter @jgvanides




Tonia Lovejoy, Reach the World (USA) – RTW introduces students to global mentors who are studying in the STEM disciplines and reporting on their experiences from locations around the Earth in a series of articles structured around the essential question, “How does where we live, affect how we live?” Over a period of twelve weeks, students videoconference with their global mentor and engage in meaningful conversations about the very real global issues reported on by their traveler. In this way, Reach the World works to help students not only be able to read science content, but also be able to think critically about what they have read, engage in dialogue with their peers about what they've read (observed, thought), identify questions they now have as a result of those conversations, take a position on an issue, and defend that position in authentic way.



Lauren Silver, Computer History Museum (Silicon Valley, USA) and Adriana Holguín, Prepa UDEM Academia de Informática (Mexico) have been collaborating on a project called “Get Invested”, part of a strategic and intentional effort on the part of the Computer History Museum to address inadequate exposure to STEM learning. Get Invested teaches students about the concepts, challenges, opportunities, and processes involved in innovation; incorporating historical inquiry, object-based learning, and entrepreneurial thinking with 21st century skills and STEM knowledge and concepts. In the first year, the Museum partnered with schools in San Jose, California and Monterrey, Mexico. For six months, student teams worked to develop proposals for innovative technology-based solutions to compelling social challenges. They participated in a variety of activities which made use of resources from the Museum's vast archives, interactions with professional mentors, and peer-to-peer collaborations within their schools and across global lines. The program culminated in a formal "pitch" to Silicon Valley venture capitalists who offered real-world feedback about the students' ideas.


Lee Ann Heller, Karen Kulish, and Elizabeth Fridinger, Stamford Public Schools (USA) are teachers at Scofield Magnet Middle School, where students get hands on experience with science and math while connecting to the world beyond the classroom. Through their water quality unit of study called “Sisters Schools Seeking Solutions Together: Students Analyzing Water Quality Across the Globe”, Scofield has found a way to collaborate to address a global problem. As students learn about water quality in their own community, they are uniquely equipped to share their knowledge and teach students in other countries about the importance of water quality in their local communities.


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About the Author
Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is...

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