If you follow #edchat, you might be familiar with #STEM, #pbl, #flipped, #NGSS, or #project but it is unlikely that you will ever see #lecture, #drillandreview, #traditionallearning, #presenter or #standanddeliver.
Have I completely lost you? Let me give some clarity to the sentence above. In social media such as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook words, phrases and acronyms preceded by the symbol # are a way of tagging the ideas. Social media hipsters didn’t describe the # symbol as the ‘pound sign’ or the ‘number sign’, they came up with the descriptor ‘hashtag’ to describe this usage. It became so widespread that the term hashtag was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary
in June 2014.
If you are unsure of the meaning of a hashtag, it is possible that you will find out at #tagdef
. Let’s look at the ones I started with:
#edchat – education topics for discussion
#STEM – science, technology, engineering and math
#pbl – project-based learning
#flipped – flipped classrooms
#NGSS – Next Generation Science Standards
Science educators’ discussions on social media (#edchat) are often on topics that support the standards brought out in #STEM and #NGSS curricula. The enthusiasm for so-called ‘flipped classrooms’ may seem like old wine in new bottles to Canadian educators, but there is currently a lot of social media buzz regarding the ‘novel’ idea that the teacher is no longer a presenter, but a facilitator of project-based learning. Are you kidding me? In Canada, we have been doing project-based learning for over 50 years! Outstanding science projects compete each year at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
Genome Alberta has been a sponsor of Alberta’s regional science fairs since 2006. Genome Alberta awards are presented to students with outstanding projects in the life sciences, and especially in genetics and genomics.
We know that it is extremely rewarding to interact with these young scientists. Here are our recommendations on how you can be involved during Science Fair season:
- Parents of school-aged children: get your children involved by taking them to see a regional fair or by encouraging them to participate in the process.
- Interested adults: take the time to volunteer as a judge or on a committee which puts on the fair.
- Teachers: inspire your students to pursue science fair projects. These STEM activities build proficiency and confidence in cross-curricular areas integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics with language arts, oral presentation skills, and graphic arts.
You can find your local fair date and location listed below. Please take this opportunity to become involved or just take in the excitement of your local Science Fair.
You can find the location and links to your nearest Science Fair here
This year the Canada-Wide Science Fair will be held in Fredericton, New Brunswick
from May 10 to 16, 2015.
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