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Popular Mechanics

Graduate student David Berardo has demonstrated how science enthusiasts can measure the speed of light at home using a bar of chocolate and the microwave, reports Caroline Delbert for Popular Mechanics. After microwaving the chocolate for about 20 seconds, “what you’ll see is a specific pattern of melting that shows the wavelength of the microwaves that power your oven.”

The Boston Globe

State officials and MIT kicked off the 2020 virtual STEM week with a focus on the power of mentoring. The effort, reports Travis Anderson for The Boston Globe, is aimed at increasing interest in and awareness of STEM fields and career opportunities for all students. In opening remarks, Governor Charlie Baker noted that “Massachusetts is enormously lucky to have MIT among the constellation of amazing colleges and universities that are part of this Commonwealth.”

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."

ESPN

Graduate student John Urschel speaks with Jamison Hensley of ESPN about his efforts aimed at empowering and encouraging more Black students to pursue careers in STEM fields. “Now more than ever, it’s really important that we highlight some of the diverse areas of mathematics that don’t typically get seen every day,” says Urschel.

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.”

WGBH

WGBH reporter Cristina Quinn visits MIT to learn about a new ethics of AI workshop offered to middle school-aged children this summer. “I don't want the ethics piece to go to an elite few,” says graduate research assistant Blakeley H. Payne of the importance of offering an education in AI ethics. “And then you're just perpetuating these systems of inequality over and over again.”

WGBH

WGBH’s Cristina Quinn visits an AI Ethics camp for middle school-aged kids co-hosted by the MIT Media Lab and local STEM organization Empow Studios. “I love to think about a future where the students in this workshop make up the majority of the people who work in Silicon Valley or the majority of the people who work on Wall Street,” says graduate research assistant Blakeley H. Payne, a leader at the camp.

Associated Press

A new book by graduate student John Urschel chronicles his decision to retire from the NFL and pursue his passion for mathematics at MIT, reports the Associated Press. Urschel explains that through his book, he “wanted to share my love of math and also perhaps train certain peoples’ thinking about math and show them some of the beauty, elegance and importance of mathematics.”

Washington Post

In this Washington Post article, reporter Chris Berdik spotlights assessment tools developed by MIT’s Playful Journey Lab to help educators track skills development in playful learning activities. “We want to support teachers who are fighting for these types of activities and future-ready skills,” explains research scientist YJ Kim.

Good Morning America

Graduate student John Urschel appears on Good Morning America to discuss his new book chronicling his career and passion for football and math. “Math is something that I have loved ever since I was very little,” explains Urschel. “I love puzzles, I love problem solving. Math, truly, is just a set of tools to try to solve problems in this world. 

WBUR

Graduate student John Urschel speaks with Karen Given of WBUR’s Only a Game about how his mother helped encourage his passion for mathematics. "Most kids get their allowance by, you know, mowing the lawn — things like this," Urschel says. "My mom, because she recognized that I was strong in math, wanted to encourage me with respect to math."

Time Magazine

TIME reporter Sean Gregory visits MIT to speak with graduate student John Urschel about his new book, and his passion for both mathematics and football. “The United States, more than any other culture, has the strange marriage of athletics and academics,” Urschel says. “I thought it was important to show that this is something that really can co-exist.”

Fox News

Graduate student John Urschel discusses his new book and passion for both math and football on Fox and Friends. “Football coaches, they tell their best players to dream big,” says Urschel. “I would love to see math teachers telling their students you can be an elite mathematician, you can be a top physicist, you can even dream to be the next Einstein.”