Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Teach for America targets STEM learning

I will be at the Teach for America Mathematics and Science Summit on Saturday in Washington, DC. I am going primarily as a TFA alum, but I also hope to spread the word about informal learning and the many opportunities to reach kids beyond the classroom.

I recently received email from a former student (who is now a college sophomore - way to go, Sandy!) She mentioned that she mostly remembers the part of my class where they learned chess - a set of activities I organized after we covered all of the math objectives for the year. It just goes to show that young people will remember what they enjoy and connect with. Not that the math standards were not important to her life, but chess was fun and interactive in a way that classroom math was not.

For all of the informal educators out there, TFA teachers could be a great audience for your materials. Many seek to start after-school clubs at their schools. Most are new to their communities and may not know about museums and other kid-friendly resources. Each TFA region has a local office, so you should look them up. There is also a new, well-funded math and science initiative, for those of you on the national level.

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