Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

July 19, 2017


I believe science education starts in the book of Genesis and continues through the Scriptures. So, while I am teaching these STEM subjects, I always have my child read through the Bible by the end of their school years. Then, there are four things that come to mind about leading our children today to help them tomorrow:


1. Prepare. I would help them prepare in advance by looking at what each science position requires academically, and also interview scientists in these positions, to find out if this is what they really desire. I found a lot of this information in one place.


And, here is information to help you teach the scientific method, science fair ideas, hands-on STEM activities, and engineering resources. 


2. Research. If college is involved, I would also have my high school child do their own research and check each college’s science department website and try to discern their philosophies on creation, and then read through some of their science class descriptions to see if this is a good fit. 


3. Pray. Pray daily for each child. Pray that God would open up doors and orchestrate the people and events in their life to bring them to what He has planned for them. Pray that whatever gifts, abilities, talents, jobs, or college searches, that God would be glorified in all those choices and giftings. Pray for their salvation and their sanctification. What good is it if they gain the whole science world, but lose their own soul?


4. Trust God. Trust that God will sovereignly lead you and your child through these school years and into their future. He desires to do so. Throughout the Bible, you will see the principle that God rewards obedience. I know He will reward your obedience as you have set your children apart and separated them from the world and its teachers so that they would be raised in Godliness for His purposes. Trust Him that He will provide all that your child will need for life and Godliness through their knowledge of Him (See 2 Peter 1:3).


“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).


Prepare, Research, Pray, and Trust God.  


Trusting with you, 

~Deborah

dwuehler@theoldschoolhouse.com


Here are some more links on incorporating STEM sujects into your curriculum:


My Path to Flight, and Furthering My Path to Flight, by Julia Suarez

Going Deep Into Math, by Jean Soyke

Nature Bowl, by Natalie Fenner


  Lisa Marie Fletcher    

Did you know that Canadians have made some very important contributions to the development of science and technology? Here are a few you might want your kids to learn about: 


  1. Insulin.


Our bodies naturally create a hormone known as insulin. It helps regulate different parts of your metabolism. In the 1920s, Frederick Banting and Charles Best, who were from Ontario, discovered that insulin had a direct connection to people who suffered from diabetes. Through their tests and studies, they were able to create a treatment for diabetics—one that we still use today to help keep blood sugar levels in balance. 


1. Ricker Curve


The fishing industry could easily deplete the population of fish, but a Canadian named William Ricker created a mathematical model (known as the Ricker Curve) that helps fisheries figure out the maximum amount of fish that can be caught without negative effects.


2. Tectonic Plates


It was a Canadian geologist named John Tuzo Wilson who pioneered the idea of plate tectonics, an idea that's so completely accepted that it's even taught to students. This concept explains how the earth is made up of moving and shifting plates. 


3. The Snowmobile


Joseph-Armand Bombardier was a mechanically-inclined young man who created all sorts of neat things—the most successful of which were cars and buses that could travel well on snow because they used tracks instead of wheels. Since he was from Quebec, where they get lots of snow, this was a very handy invention! He eventually created a recreational vehicle that we call the snowmobile, too.


  1. The Charge-Coupled Device


Willard Boyle from Nova Scotia invented something known as the CCD (Charge-Coupled Device). It is an amazing piece of technology that today is in just about every digital camera, videorecorder, and even many telescopes. It allows our cameras to measure light intensity and convert it into an image on our memory devices.


There are many more! It is important to make sure our kids are aware of the scientists, engineers, and inventors from Canada—because not only does it instill a sense of pride, it also leads to inspiration. It can help our children think, “If they can do it, so can I.” 


~Lisa Marie


Lisa Marie is a mom with 5 kids ranging from 2 to 13. Between teaching the kids, chasing littles, and pretending to clean the house, she works on her site, The Canadian Homeschooler. Her mission is to connect homeschoolers in Canada with each other and with resources that will help them on their journey. 



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Staying Relational    
DianaWaring.com 

Dear Friends,


I know my esteemed colleagues are going to write about these STEM subjects and do a great job. 

So. . . let me come at this with two different thoughts:


1. Some of your kids are going to LOVE these subjects because they are Logic Smart (I call it Number Smart) and/or Nature Smart. Check out Dr. Kathy Koch’s book, 8 Great Smarts at www.celebratekids.com to learn more about what these “Smarts” mean, or, if you prefer a video, check out my 8 Kinds of Smart DVD.

However, not all of your kids are Logic Smart or Nature Smart. Instead, they might be great at things like writing historical fiction (Word Smart), making others feel loved (People Smart), building Lego skyscrapers (Picture Smart), working on tasks by themselves (Self Smart), singing in the choir (Music Smart), or playing soccer (Body Smart). (BTW, this is just a sampling of the amazing things these Smarts do!)

So, if your kids thrive in the STEM subjects, then help them find opportunities to do more, to test the limits of their abilities. And for those who struggle with the STEM subjects, help them to accomplish the minimum needed to graduate, and set them free to flourish in the area of THEIR giftings.

Enjoy who God created them to be—regardless of the kind of Smarts they have.


2. The second point is just to check: ARE YOU TAKING A BREAK???????
Our brains work better, our emotions are healthier, and our bodies are refreshed when we take a break. A real break. A stop-doing-the-demanding-stuff-and-do-something-fun-for-long-enough-that-you-actually-feel-excited-to-homeschool-again break.

You need it. Your kids need it. It’s summer . . . the perfect time for playing outside, reading for pleasure, and doing hobbies that get set aside during the school year.

If I were you, I’d take 2-3 months. Seriously.


Remember, stay relational!!


Diana


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Jodi Riddle


According to the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, these words have existed for many centuries. However, recently these words have been combined and used in the educational realm to form the acronym, STEM. The reason and purpose centers around a need for laborers in these fields and education’s push to make these subjects a vital part of a child’s education. Regardless of how today’s society approaches it, my interest lies in the fact that an Almighty God of the Universe has ordained these areas and can use people in these fields to not only promote the advancements of our society today, but also to promote His Word and instill Biblical truths that reinforce one’s faith and belief in the Creator. 


Hebrews 11:3 says, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” It wasn’t until the 19th century that a discovery was made that all visible matter consists of invisible elements. A scientist discovered this, but it had been written in the Scriptures long before that!


Technology/Engineering began early on when the Scriptures gave the precise directions on the production of animals and crops.  “Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee” (Leviticus 19:19). “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled” (Deuteronomy 22:9). Those that are thinking that something can be created without doing it as God has described are finding out that it just isn’t possible (or if possible, creates something that defiles). 


Mathematics began in Genesis—we never really think about it though when we read it. “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died” (Genesis 5:3-5). Adam lived 130 years—Seth was born, and the days after were 800. Then it says that Adam’s total days were 930. Yes, when you add 130+800, you do get 930! A very simple, yet mathematical equation at the very beginning of the Bible. And there are so many more! Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, measurements . . . you find them all in the Word of God.


So, I have said all of that to say this . . . Regardless of what you choose to teach your child and how you choose to do it, remember that “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him“ (Colossians 1:16). There is nothing new under the sun!


~Jodi


Jodi has been with TOS since April 2016. She serves as a Human Resource and Operations Assistant. Jodi is a pastor’s wife and has 3 boys. She has homeschooled for 16 years and also taught in the private and public school settings. Jodi enjoys teaching, playing the piano, scrapbooking, and making cards. Her heart’s desire is to help others learn to enjoy these things as well!



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Building Faith Families 
Steve Demme, BuildingFaithFamiles.org  

I am frequently asked to comment on the importance of math for future occupations. “Where will I need to use this?” students ask. I did a little research and discovered STEM occupations are on the increase. In our highly technical society, jobs related to science, technology, engineering, and math continue to expand. 


Each of these fields is built upon mathematics. Algebra 2 prepares students for chemistry. And trigonometry is a prerequisite for physics. But, before you can study Algebra 2 and trigonometry, you first need to study Algebra 1 and geometry. While geometry can be shown to be immediately applicable, it is difficult for students to grasp the importance of basic algebra. 


Of all the high school math subjects, basic algebra is the least practical. But learning algebra is similar to learning a new language. Once you have mastered the fundamentals of algebra 1, you are equipped for all of the more applicable math courses, and subsequently the sciences.


To summarize, the opportunities for occupations in science, technology, and engineering continue to increase. But, unless and until students have a solid grasp of high school math, they will be ill-equipped to take the necessary classes to prepare for a career in STEM fields. Math is foundational, and this begins with Algebra 1. 


As a former high school math teacher I observed that what made Algebra 1 difficult to learn, was not the algebra itself, but a deficient understanding of fractions and multiplication. To have a solid foundation upon which we will build Algebra 1 and 2, geometry, and trigonometry, we first have to master the four basic operations, as well as fractions and decimals.


And, while teaching students and developing MathUSee, I found it was just as important to understand the concepts of math as it was to memorize rules and formulas. When you are teaching your students well, and they are understanding the concepts, as well as committing to memory essential formulas and facts, talk through your conclusions, and explain the process of solving real life word problems and applications.


If you are going to invest the time to bequeath your student a broad and solid foundation in math, you will be giving them the tools to perform well in high school math, which will provide the basis for being successful in the science, technology, and engineering disciplines. 


God bless you in your efforts,

Steve


Steve Demme is the author of Math-U-See and the founder of Building Faith Families. In addition to his weekly podcasts, he produces a monthly newsletter and other resources to strengthen and encourage parents. Learn more about these at www.buildingfaithfamilies.org.


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in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.

As homeschoolers, there are so many skills we teach our children, but none is more important than how to read. The ability to read and do it well often determines how your child will progress through his education. Reading for most children is not a challenge. Then at times, there are children who experience reading difficulty due to struggles with conditions like dyslexia or are just new readers who have difficulty with learning how to put the patterns of language together as rapidly as the average reader.


Author Sarah K. Blodgett was one of those parents who watched her own child struggle with reading. If you have ever been in that position, you understand the helplessness that may ensue. Rather than give up, Blodgett relied on her background in research. The result is Noah Text, which is one of those, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” ideas.


The concept behind Noah Text is quite simple. Noting the complexity of the English language, Blodgett focuses on the “code” or patterns used in teaching reading. The recognition of syllables and vowel sounds in words is further defined by highlighting and bolding those areas in the sentences students read. Learning the language patterns of words is easier with visual reminders as students move through the words in each sentence. Students navigate through text that notes the patterns in the words, which helps them improve their reading fluency and comprehension.


Blodgett has created three reading levels for Noah Text. This is an example of one of them:

Using all three levels of text presentation, Blodgett has written a chapter book series, The Mystical Years of Franklin Noah Peterson, which includes three volumes. Blodgett uses the same specific text in all three volumes of each level of the books in the series. It is that consistency that helps build a level of comfort in the struggling reader. As the student grows in his confidence with reading, the Noah Text graduates with him allowing the student to move from the visual support to eventually reading plain text without the coding of the words. Whether the student needs to rely on the Noah Text patterns throughout all three books in the series, he will still be able to feel a sense of accomplishment as he turns and reads the last page of the chapter book. (. . .)


(Read the rest of the review.)


YOU can WIN this nine-book set for your homeschool!


TO ENTER: Email Kathleen with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, “Noah Text” for a chance to win* it for your family! 


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