With science education in the United States continuing to fall behind the rest of the world, some companies have taken it upon themselves to try and change that. Huffington Post's Vip Sitaraman has compiled a list of seven such new companies doing their best to change the future of students thinking of entering a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field. You can find a brief excerpt of Sitaraman's article below, or read his entire post here.
BirdBrain Science: Making Curriculums More Exciting for K-12th Grade Students
"It's sort of like an online science textbook written at multiple reading levels." BirdBrain Science explains itself as a way of marketing science at various literacy levels to students in all different grades from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The primarily video-based information follows the Common Core Standards, but it's easy to see how this information would be more interesting for students as concepts traditionally written in complicated jargon in textbooks come to life in animated videos. It's engaging and educational -- a balance that every curriculum should strive for.
Concord Consortium: Applying K-12th Grade Curriculums Beyond the Classroom
Although it is a nonprofit, the research organization Concord Consortiumhas arguably created more STEM digital learning products than any other single company or association. Products such as Molecular Workbench and Constructive Chemistry bring laboratory-level science to students through incredibly web-based simulations -- and, most of the products are free! Concord Consortium has removed the financial barriers of working in a physical laboratory by giving every student a free, boundless cyber-lab bench to explore scientific curiosities. Considering there is no cost to using these products, the real question is why Concord Consortium programs haven't been integrated into most -- if not all -- school science curricula.
Mosa Mack Animations: Supplementing Middle School Curriculums
Mosa Mack: Science Detective is a web-based series of short, animated science mysteries designed to inspire 4th - 8th graders. By encouraging critical thinking and curiosity, Mosa Mack Animations' curriculum received the 2014 SIIA Innovation Incubator Educator's Choice Award. This is addressing a problem that plagues education: in the words of Roger Lewin, "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." Mosa Mack encourages students to solve problems, and think uniquely, creatively, and critically.