“If thoughts of curriculum dancing in the heads of science teachers across America don’t include a project-based model for learning, then the experience and opportunities being offered to our children in science classrooms is coming up short.” – Greg Reiva, Teacher Advisory Group(TAG) member.
We recently asked our TAG members to name the educational trends they expect to play a role in the upcoming school year. I have to agree with Greg. Each year, we see more and more opportunities for project-based learning and for good reason. If you teach using the hands-on approach, you’ve likely seen how students are engaged during projects and have an increase in achievement. Greg’s interest especially piqued this year due to a $5,000 grant with the stipulation that project-based science must be used. So, if you needed another reason to consider giving project-based learning a shot, grant money is a pretty good incentive.
Coding as a Language
At Pitsco, we’ve seen this trend coming for years, which is why we developed our proprietary TETRIX® PRIZM® and TETRIX PULSE™ Robotics Controllers. Every year, new products hit the market to make coding easier for younger children to learn. Coding isn’t just for the older crowd as we’ve seen a surge in coding products – even at the preschool level.
We’ve also seen a rise in open-source code that is easy to use and manipulate. Eventually, coding might be like another language that we all speak.
The idea is controversial, but several states have kicked around allowing computer sciences classes, or coding, to count as a foreign language credit. Those who are against the idea say that both foreign language and coding should be valued but kept as separate sciences. However you feel about this approach, coding is undeniably on the rise.
Full STEAM Ahead!
When I first started at Pitsco in 2007, the term STEM was just edging onto the scene. By 2017, STEAM has exploded. STEAM is, of course, putting an emphasis on teaching the arts and humanities along with science, technology, engineering, and math to ensure that students have a well-rounded education. Or, as I like to think of it, No Subject Left Behind.
This is a trend that we’ll definitely see continue to increase in the upcoming school year. Teachers are looking for ways to take an integrated approach to these subjects, and companies are recognizing this and offering more STEAM products to ease the transition. We’ve been working to add more art into our products, especially our elementary Missions.
Have a Great Year!
If you’re a seasoned teacher, you’re probably hoping the trends of bottle flipping and dabbing won’t make the scene this year. Here’s to a great new school year, with these three trends dominating your classroom instead!
A few of Pitsco’s cool staffers contributed their knowledge and time to this post. We’re proud to have a great group of developers, writers, managers, builders, and creatives who can help bring the Pitsco Blog to life.