“What are they teaching kids these days?” It’s a question that perennially pops-up among parents. From “new math” to iPads in the classroom, school curricula are ever changing. But, the more things change the more they stay the same. The goal at the forefront of education is still to equip students with the skills to solve the problems they will face as working adults. One of the newest approaches to problem solving integrates social and emotional learning with basic science and social studies. A process called Design Thinking is taking hold with educators across the country.
It may not surprise parents and teachers that social media use among middle schoolers and teens is growing. Yet, many of us struggle to make sense of what our kids are doing online. We don’t understand what the fuss is about, and can’t seem to keep up with all the new apps and tools that are popping up. Often teens are more savvy than we might give them credit for. Common Sense Media, a website offering expert, parent and child reviews of technological entertainment, reports that 72% of teens believe that companies manipulate users into spending more time on their devices.
At Shorecrest, progressive education is not kept behind classroom doors, but something that is shared with the greater community. One could see a prime example on Saturday, January 27, as the School hosted the 3rd annual St. Pete STEAMfest. The outdoor, educational festival is centered on the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). Over 1,000 students and families from all over the Tampa Bay Area experienced more than 40 exhibits and activities at the free admission event. There were robotics demonstrations, arts and crafts, design activities and engineering challenges. Local research and educational centers including Busch Gardens, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), Great Explorations, iD Tech, and Mathnasium hosted exhibits.