According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, mainland China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea rank the highest in math and science versus the U.S., ranking 31st in math and 23rd in science.
But school districts across the U.S. are trying to change that dynamic by making those subjects more appealing at a much earlier age.
CCTV America’s May Lee has more on how some schools in Southern California are nurturing up-and-coming engineers and scientists.
US schools include more science, math at earlier agesAccording to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, mainland China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea rank the highest in Math and Science versus the U.S.
Nick Caiozzo is just like any 7th grader except for one thing: he was born without the lower half of his left arm. But, just a few months ago, he was fitted with a functioning prosthetic arm.
His new arm didn’t come from an advanced medical company. It was actually made using a 3-D printer for just $200 by these four engineers in training, led by teacher Ed Hernandez, at Tustin High School in Southern California.
These students are part of a growing number of young Americans who are falling in love with science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM areas that U.S. students trail behind other regions.
School districts like Tustin Unified in Southern California are adding more STEM programs that start as early as kindergarten. For some 3rd and 4th graders, they are participating in robotics competition. Each team was given the same kit, but then could enhance their robot.
“It’s hands-on learning. And it’s learning by doing, so we’re no longer teaching curriculum. They actually have to figure it out themselves and innovate,” Cari Williams, digital learning coach for Tustin Unified Schools said.
And innovation, often times, leads to breakthroughs for the greater good. For students like Nick Caiozzo who personally benefited from STEM, it’s an inspiration.
Mexican gov’t gives tablets to elementary students
In the next school year, the Mexican government will distribute over 700,000 electronic tablets to elementary students in public schools. The plan’s goal is that by 2018 every fifth and sixth grader will have one.
CCTV America’s Martin Markovits report.
Mexican gov’t gives tablets to elementary studentsIn the next school year, the Mexican government will distribute over 700,000 electronic tablets to elementary students in public schools. The plan’s goal is that by 2018 every fifth and sixth grader will have one.
The distribution of the tablets is part of a program by Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto to reduce the digital divide among Mexico’s poor. According to the Mexican government, only 29.4 percent of the population has internet access.
The tablets have been pre-configured so they cannot be used for purposes other than their educational programs and students can also take them home.
Fifth grade teacher Carlos Paredes has seen improvements in his student’s coursework but he fears that it will make students too addicted to technology.
“There has been some positive changes. The kids are now learning skills they will use the rest of their lives. But I also feel they are using these technologies excessively. Many kids are replacing their personal relations with these tablets,” Paredes said.
Other challenges include slow Internet speeds at many of the schools.
Jessica Hiltabidel discusses global classroom technology
To take a deeper look at the present and future of global classroom technology CCTV America’s Eleane Reyes spoke with Jessica Hiltabidel, manager of teaching and learning for Inspired Teaching.