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K-12 education

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Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Greg Toppo spotlights alumna Laila Shabir ‘10, founder of Girls Make Games, a series of summer camps, workshops and game jams aimed at bringing together and empowering young women interested in video games. “The camp not only promotes a message of empowerment for girls, but one that encourages them to think differently about games,” writes Toppo. “Shabir urges campers to ‘think big’ about games and get to the essence of the games they love and why they love them.”

KQED

A new report by Prof. Justin Reich and Jal Mehta of Harvard proposes a new path forward for rethinking K-12 schools after Covid-19, reports Paul Darvasi for KQED. “The report recommends that educators build on the positive aspects of their pandemic learning experience in the years ahead,” notes Darvasi, “and supports increased student independence to cultivate a safe and healthy environment that is more conducive to learning.”

ABC News

Prof. Lydia Bourouiba speaks with ABC News about how schools can use ventilation and masks to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. “If we're not wearing a mask, that contamination is building up, particularly when we're in a classroom for hours," says Bourouiba. "But there are simple measures when we bring in fresh air from the outside that are very effective."

The Boston Globe

President L. Rafael Reif has been named to the board of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, reports Jon Chesto for The Boston Globe. “Reif is expected to focus in particular on the Partnership’s “Growing the Innovation Economy” committee, whose goals include enhancing science, math, and computer education in public schools in Massachusetts,” writes Chesto.

Inside Higher Ed

In an article for Inside Higher Ed, Joshua Kim writes that “Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn,” a book by Sanjay Sarma, MIT’s vice president for open learning, and research associate Luke Yoquinto is “an important contribution to the literature on learning science and higher education change.” Kim adds that “Grasp can provide the foundations of what learning science-informed teaching might look like, with some fantastic real-world examples of constructivist theory in pedagogical action.”

Diverse: Issues in Higher Ed

Cherish Taylor, a fifth-year PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin, speaks with Pearl Stewart of Diverse: Issues in Higher Ed about how the MIT Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program, “exposed me to the possibility of a career in academic research. Prior to my time at MITES, having a career in science meant serving as a medical professional or forensic analyst,” says Taylor. “I had no idea universities housed large research facilities that allowed scientists to answer questions about basic science (and) human disease.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Two high school students and their mentor, MIT postdoc Tansu Daylan, have discovered four new exoplanets located about 200 light years from Earth, reports Nora McGreevy for Smithsonian. The students were participating in the Student Research Mentoring Program, which pairs young astronomers with scientists at MIT and Harvard. “[The students] are so good at finding things that may skip your eyes, basically. It’s fun. And I really like the exchange of ideas,” Daylan adds. 

Mashable

Mashable spotlights how two high school students, who were part of Student Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and MIT, have discovered four new exoplanets. “Both the students took guidance from mentor Tansu Daylan, a postdoc at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, and helped the students study and analyze data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).” 

EdSurge

Vice President for Open Leaning Sanjay Sarma speaks with Jeffrey Young of EdSurge about how the brain works when understanding new concepts. "I question a lot of the structures and dogmas in education that are very closely held, but not necessarily based on science,” says Sarma. “And if we have the courage to reexamine these assumptions and reconstitute education, there's an incredible opportunity to change the game.”

National Public Radio (NPR)

Prof. Justin Reich speaks with NPR’s Anya Kamenetz about digital teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic and how children and teachers are adjusting to the new experience. "There's [approximately] 10% of people for whom it works better," Reich says. And for these students, "this is actually a better version of school."

CNN

CNN reporter Christine Walker spotlights the MIT App Inventor 2020 virtual hackathon, which allowed aspiring coders from all over the world to create apps aimed at improving the global good. “There was a sense of helplessness that was settling down. And a big theme in our workplace is empowerment," says Selim Tezel, a curriculum developer for App Inventor. "We wanted to give them a context in which they could be creative and sort of get rid of that feeling of helplessness."

Stat

Emily Calandrelli SM ’13 speaks with STAT reporter Pratibha Gopalakrishna about her work aimed at getting children interested in science, the importance of representation in the STEM fields, and her new Netflix show. “I don’t shy away from the science because I think kids are very clever and know way more than a lot of people give them credit for,” says Calandrelli.

New Scientist

New Scientist spotlights “Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn,” a new book by Sanjay Sarma, vice president for open learning, and Luke Yoquinto, a research affiliate at the MIT AgeLab. The book explores how “scientific findings in wildly different fields are transforming the way we learn and teach.”

Bloomberg Businessweek

In an article for Bloomberg Businessweek about the best online activities to help kids engaged during the shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Arianne Cohen spotlights Scratch. Cohen writes that Scratch, “is a simple coding language designed by MIT that lets kids create animations, write stories, and play games while learning how to solve problems.”

KQED

A report by researchers from MIT and Harvard outlines a framework for improving education during the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Paul Darvasi for KQED. “It's more likely that if young people feel like they have voice and ownership and are part of the process of reopening and recreating schools, that they will be more likely to be excited to participate in them,” says Prof. Justin Reich.