Huffington Post: If you’re watching local television in Massachusetts, there’s a chance you’ll come across “The Dr. Erika Show.” This show, filmed in front of a live audience of children, stars Erika Ebbel Angle, a MIT graduate with a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Boston University and the founder of the nonprofit organization Science from Scientists. She also happens to be Miss Massachusetts, and wears a tiara with her white lab coat.
Many girls who attend “The Dr. Erika Show” tapings tell the producers afterwards that they want to be “princess scientists” like Ebbel Angle. For years, educators have been trying to make STEM subjects appealing and accessible to girls. Is having a spokesperson with both brains and beauty the answer? Not according to some women currently working in science fields, who say telling girls they need to be both smart and beautiful to find a career in STEM subjects is too much pressure. What do you think? Read the Huffington Post article and share your thoughts in our comments section.
Education Week: A new study from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development revealed that the United States lags behind most of the world’s leading economies when it comes to providing early-childhood education opportunities. According to the study, which was released this past Tuesday, the United States ranks 28th out of 38 countries in the number of four-year-olds enrolled in preschool.
Early education programs like preschool help children succeed when they enter kindergarten. And according to a paper published in the March edition of Psychological Science, these programs are particularly important for children living in poverty. Home environment is a key variable in knowledge absorption, and when a child is living in a home with few toys, books or other developmental tools, it can inhibit future learning.
GOOD: Tuesday marked the 11th anniversary of 9/11, and it’s still a challenge for teachers to educate their students on the subject. Young people in school today were either toddlers, or not yet born, during the events that transpired that day. How can teachers get across the gravitas of 9/11, when it is still a sensitive subject for so many people?
Last year, The New York Times began to compile a list of resources from its coverage of 9/11 that teachers could use. The newspaper also encouraged teachers to submit their own ideas, and on this year’s anniversary shared some of the best lesson plans they have received.