Author Archives: Amanda Baker

When Did That Happen?

Getting a handle on past scientific discoveries may require thinking about them in a new context

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Stepping Back in Time with the "Destination Moon" Exhibit

Steeping visitors in the 1960s brings the Apollo 11 mission to life for a new generation

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Remote Mentorship from K–12 to Tenure

With increasingly creative approaches, mentors can open doors to experiences, challenges and even labs that might otherwise be a world away

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6 Ways to Bring a Little STEM to Your Summer

Whether inside or outdoors, looking up or digging down, the summer is full of textbook-free ways to enjoy some science

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When Former Competitors Get to Design Tournaments of Their Own

Science Olympiad alumni created a new breed of tournament that brings a range of competitors together on college campuses around the country

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The Gleeful Abandon of Youthful Curiosity

Giant leaf piles, the Mythbusters and remembering what it was like to be a curious kid

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Are We Even Playing the Same Game?

Playing against a range of opponents opens doors for strategy and problem-solving, but also lessons that loss and failure are not the same thing

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Girl Subject? No Such Thing

Techbridge Girls believes in the power of creating a space where students feel like they belong

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Including Some Activism with Your Earth Day Arts and Crafts

Remembering the scale and impact of the day’s origin may inspire kids to expand their Earth Day plans

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STEM Is Far More Than the Lone Genius

What if kids pictured STEM careers like getting to spend every day talking to people who are just as excited about space, dinosaurs or butterflies as they are?

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Nature: Closer Than It Seems

Fighting the stigma that the outdoors is hard to reach, dangerous and best experienced alone

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"For Whatever Reasons"

Acknowledging bias is not a substitute for doing something to address it

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Winning, Losing and Learning to Be a Better Member of the Team

Tough lessons from competition can help build stronger collaborators

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Relevant Skills: It’s All Relative

From getting samples through customs to siphoning gas in the desert, the skills researchers need to develop for their work often extend far outside the traditional classroom

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FabLabs Are Showing That Student Makers Have Many Faces

Opening the lab door to alternative education, therapeutic emotional support, special needs and behaviorally nonconforming students shows potential benefits that reach far beyond report cards

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Lighthearted Thinking about Thinking Out Loud

Can a card game make interdisciplinary synthesis and critical thinking fun?

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Using Pop Culture to Practice Productive Disagreement

From supervillains to Sunday book club, books and movies provide low-stakes chances to build the constructive conversational skills we need for more important debates later on.

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Connecting Kindergartners and Coding without a Screen in the World of Unstructured Play

The KIBO robot tries to balance the huge potential young children have for learning with the physical realities of how they like to play.

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Can a Shipping Container Increase Access to Hands-On STEM?

The MilliporeSigma Curiosity Cube traveled more than ~18,000 miles in its inaugural year, packing science and scientists into a bright yellow box. 

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STEM Gifts That Don’t Come in Boxes or Need Batteries

Encouraging the budding scientist in your life doesn’t have to mean getting your hands on the latest gadgets

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Recognizing False Beliefs: More Than Chimneys and Reindeer

The holidays can provide a yearly reminder that all the learning we have to do as we grow up leads to a lot of important highs and lows

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Hiding Clear Ideas behind Unclear Words

Sometimes it take a little bit of humor to see that clear ideas can get buried inside convoluted sentences

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Getting a Little Lost on the Great Food Scavenger Hunt

Looking into the source of your holiday meal may lead to more questions than answers—and that can be a good thing

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Underestimating After-School STEM Is for the Birds

Informal introductions to new ideas can open doors for participation in citizen science – like tracking local bird populations – long after a particular program ends.

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Exploring a Different Kind of Team Sport

Learning how to balance strategy, practice, programming and teamwork at robotics camp

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The GLOBE Program: Making the Case for K–12 Citizen Scientists

Young participants in the GLOBE Program have collected more than 140 million data points in the last 20 years

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Why Just Play Video Games When You Can Design Your Own?

Spending a week at animation academy got kids looking at one of their favorite hobbies from a brand new perspective

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Art, Data and Environmental Stewardship

An unexpected marriage between socially engaged art and citizen science for youth outreach

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Storming Castles and Forming Friendships with Catapults, Robotics and Code

Five days, 18 kids, nine robots and a whole lot of plastic bricks

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STEMtastic Party Games for Your Backyard Bash

Some ideas on how to add fun problem-solving and STEM challenges to an end-of-summer gathering

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