Posts tagged ‘STEM’

Canada 2067 – Shaping youth learning in STEM

Selected from a news release on Let’s Talk Science :

“Canada 2067 will bring together educators, businesses, governments, community groups, parents and youth to develop new framework for learning for the next 50 years

The goal of Canada 2067? To evolve Canada’s education model for the 21st century by enhancing student exposure and access to the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) across all levels and areas of learning.

At the core of Canada 2067 is an innovative framework for learning for the next 50 years. This Learning Framework will identify areas of consensus, common themes and shared calls to action for the future of STEM learning. Policy makers, educators, parents, industry leaders, non-profit organizations and youth are being asked to join the conversation to share their perspective and provide meaningful feedback. This conversation will happen over the next year and has three key phases:

  • Phase 1: Conversations with youth and adults across Canada (in-person and online) to refine the Canada 2067 Learning Framework
  • Phase 2: A landmark live-streamed national conference in December 2017
  • Phase 3: A consensus-based action plan for implementation post conference

Canada 2067 is presented by Let’s Talk Science and made possible by founding partners 3M, Amgen Canada, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and The Trottier Family Foundation.

Canadians can join the conversation online at and spread the word through (English) or (French). ”

Check it out! Rowan

November 9, 2016 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Report: A vision for innovation in STEM Education

STEM 2026: A vision for Innovation in Education (pdf) is a new report available on the AIR site.

From page 1: “The complexities of today’s world require all people to be equipped with a new set of core knowledge and skills to solve difficult problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information they receive from varied print and, increasingly, digital media. The learning and doing of STEM helps develop these skills and prepare students for a workforce where success results not just from what one knows, but what one is able to do with that knowledge. Thus, a strong STEM education is becoming increasingly recognized as a key driver of opportunity, and data show the need for STEM knowledge and skills will grow and continue into the future. ”

From page 44:   STEM 2026 presents an aspirational vision for STEM teaching and learning that promotes such sustained engagement, imbuing all students and their surrounding communities with a belief that they can better their own lives and others through STEM. This vision, which developed out of a series of dynamic discussions among expert thought leaders and innovators in STEM education, comprises six interconnected core components:

  • Engaged and networked communities of practice
  • Accessible learning activities that invite intentional play and risk
  • Educational experiences that include interdisciplinary approaches to solving “grand challenges”
  • Flexible and inclusive learning spaces
  • Innovative and accessible measures of learning
  • Societal and cultural images and environments that promote diversity and opportunity in STEM

Check it out! Rowan

Citation: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement. (2016). STEM 2026: A Vision for Innovation in STEM Education. Washington, DC: Author.

October 11, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

TDSB Research Department series on STEM

Check out the following 2016 reports publically available on the TDSB Research & Information Services site. Path: Publications > Technology and Innovation in Education. One of the important things about these reports, is the link to the TDSB vision/goals and student outcomes/success, see A Vision for Learning in TDSB on the TDSB Learning Centers page.

K-12 PROFESSIONAL LEARNING STRATEGY: INCORPORATING THE ARTS INTO STEM: This fact sheet has been written to inform policy decisions in regards to the TDSB’s Improving School Effectiveness and Student Achievement & Well Being through Learning Centres Strategy. Click here for the fact sheet (2016).

STEM TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: TOWARDS A STRONG THEORETICAL FOUNDATION AND SCALING UP FROM INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE K-12 STEM STRATEGY RESEARCH SERIES IUsing longitudinal research design this “use-inspired developmental evaluation” study examines the system-wide STEM implementation in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). At the end of the first year of implementation of the STEM Strategy, our research revealed important findings about administrator, teacher, coaches, and student attitudes towards STEM education, STEM teaching and learning practices, and STEM professional learning practices. This research study provides comprehensive empirical data to track outcomes for teachers, administrators, coaches and students’ learning and involved a longitudinal STEM strategy over three years to improve educational opportunities, decrease marginalization and improve school outcomes for all learners. This report also includes comprehensive literature on STEM pedagogy, trans-disciplinary STEM education, robotics and STEM education, characteristics of effective professional learning communities, and coaching. Click here for the full report (2016).

 Check ’em out, Rowan

September 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Sci-Why: Canadian Children’s science writers

Sci-Why is a Canadian children’s science writers blog and includes information about new children’s books, science news, links for kids and adults.

From their page:

“Looking for a great science book for classroom use? Have a kid who just can’t get enough info about her latest passion? Click here to download our free list of current science books for young readers. Organized by subject. Identified by grade level. 100% Canadian.”

Teacher Librarians: Start here if you need to augment your STEM collection and support Canadian authors.

Check it out!

February 2, 2016 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Rev Up #STEM with #Storytelling! @TDSB_STEM

The acronym STEM brings up lots of ideas, preconceptions, practices, and more for teachers.  One idea teachers often don’t connect with STEM is storytelling.  And yet, according to Lev Fruchter, it is storytelling that supercharges STEM into a subject that appeals to and benefits all learners.  In fact, he has experienced such success with this unusual marriage that he has designed a curriculum called StoryCode to support teachers as they integrate fiction and STEM.  StoryCode is a paid curriculum (unfortunately), but you can access a free lesson here:

According to Fruchter, there are three types of fiction for teaching STEM, each with its own level of payoff:

  • Explicit STEM texts—directly teaches a STEM concept, such as Moby Dick and marine biology/ecology, or Little House on the Prairie and practical engineering. Less educational payoff.
  • Science Fiction texts—allow students to mentally test ideas and hypotheses in a hypothetical world such as A Wind in the Door, which features a plague battled by a character’s mitochondria.
  • Implicit STEM texts—metaphors for STEM concepts, such as The Lady, or the Tiger for binary code, or A Wizard of Earthsea for CSS and HTML. Large educational payoff.

Involving students in literary experiences such as these attracts students who might not otherwise be interested in STEM, supports students with learning learning challenges, and develops a love of reading for students who prefer to avoid humanities, and builds communication and empathy skills in students who relate to numbers better than to people.

These experiences also cross disciplinary boundaries and involve multiple learning standards.  The article gives a powerful example of using the story The Lady and the Tiger to teach binary:

“In this one combination of literature and math, Fruchter has hit on many learning standards. Students are reading and interpreting literature, writing creatively, interpreting a math problem in multiple ways, showing solutions in various ways, using functions and factoring.”

If you’re curious about how he touches upon all of these standards, the article details Fruchter’s instructional activities:  Or, check out the free lesson plan at

If you’re interested in incorporating storytelling with STEM, the Professional Library has resources to support you!  Here are a few:

Of course, you can always search for Professional Library resources at, or contact us at to have us help match the right resources to your needs.


Schwartz, K.  (2015).  Could storytelling be the secret sauce to STEM education?  Retrieved from

Contributed by Lauren M., Reference and Digital Resources Librarian, TDSB Professional Library

August 19, 2015 at 8:00 am

New report on STEM in Canada released today

Today’s Globe and Mail (April 30, 2015, p A10-11) includes an article by Simone Chiose on STEM Skills titled Business, government, education need to go back to school on STEM skills: report.

The newspaper article is based on the content of a report released by the Council of Canadian Academies titled Some Assembly Required: STEM Skills and Canada’s Economic productivity: The Expert Panel on STEM Skills for the Future.

The following content is selected  and reproduced from the report’s executive summary.

“Main findings:

  1. It is not possible to definitively determine what skills and knowledge will be required for the jobs of the future. Proactive, long-term strategies to keep a range of economic options open include investments in building fundamental STEM skills while maintaining Canada’s capacity for producing advanced STEM skills
  2. To build this capacity and maximize Canada’s potential for innovation, evidence points to the value of early childhood interventions to strengthen fundamental skills.
  3. There is no evidence of a current imbalance of advanced STEM skills nationally
  4. STEM skills are necessary but not sufficient for innovation and productivity growth.
  5. Support for under-represented populations in STEM is important for broadening Canada’s STEM skill supply.
  6.  STEM skills are global skills
  7.  Developing a flexible labour force requires collective, coordinated action to facilitate education, training, and mobility.

Future Considerations:

Given the inherent uncertainty of the future, one of the most proactive and strategic ways to be prepared in the long term is to ensure that Canadians have a strong base of fundamental skills. The fundamental skills that enable STEM literacy are prerequisites for a variety of education and career pathways. Such skills will equip individuals and the economy with the flexibility to take advantage of a number of opportunities, and increase the range of options available. Investments at the pre-primary through to secondary school levels are important to develop a STEM-literate society with strong fundamental skills. This action may be an important step towards improving Canada’s poor innovation record.”

Check out this important document!


April 30, 2015 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Vote on game changing discoveries from Ontario universities

Here is an interesting site to check – especially if you are a secondary teacher implementing an inquiry-based or STEM curriculum. From their About Us page:

Research Matters is a collaborative project among Ontario’s 21 publicly assisted universities to build new bridges between university researchers and the broader public. It is a multi-platform endeavour that involves a website and blog, social media, and public events – all designed to give Ontarians unprecedented access to the wealth of ideas and innovations happening at Ontario universities.”

Included on their site are 3 tabs:

  1. Game changers (read up on important discoveries that have impacted life around the world, and starting April 1st, the public is invited to vote on the top 5 game changers)
  2. Curiosity Shop (ask questions)
  3. Explore Research (7 directions: community, culture, economy, health, environment, natural resources, technology)

Check it out!


April 3, 2015 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

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