Posted by Dylan on June 06 2015

Our technological society has morphed the importance of the newspaper into the power of blogs; I am here to fuel that power. My name is Dylan Winthers, and I am the newest edition to the STEM Fuse family, which has provided me the opportunity to take command of the STEM Fuse blog. There’s a new sheriff in these parts, and there’s going to be some changes ‘round here.

First, the sporadic postings are done; order has arrived. I plan to publish AT LEAST one post every other week....

Posted by Adam on November 11 2013

Let’s go back, back to a time when children didn’t poke fun at you because your phone still flipped or that you thought Foursquare was a childhood game. While society continues to move forward, so goes the integration of technology and education. There is a bond between education and technology, one that has moved from information crammed deep within a textbook to one found scattered on different devices and screen sizes. There is a new wave of exciting companies armed with applications...

Posted by Carter on December 12 2013

As we are well into the 21st obvious that technology is changing, and for the most part, improving our lives. In some cases the U.S. K-12 education system has been a driver, if not a creator of these technological advancements. Think the CMS industry. In other cases the U.S. K-12 system has been slow to adapt. Think biomedicine. Century (anybody remember Y2K?) is has become beyond

There are many reasonable reasons (is that even close to grammatically ok?) why the U.S. K-12 system has...

Posted by Dylan on June 06 2015

Imagine if a single teacher could teach several students from many districts in multiple states in varying countries all around the world. One teacher could reach thousands of students. It may not surprise to learn that this is the goal of several organizations around the globe. This starts with the use of a simple, free software called Skype. Of course, there are other software programs and apps that have a similar function but for popularity sake, we’ll use Skype. The idea is using...

Posted by Jessica on November 11 2013

In doing research, I found that there really is not one set definition for the term, Open Educational Resources (OER). However, the definition provided by “OER Commons” (http://www.oercommons.org/) seems to be the best one found.

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full...

Posted by Jessica on December 12 2013

Have you noticed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academies popping up all over the US in the last few years? Why are they becoming such a big deal? Here is the short answer…The US needs to make changes if we want our children to have jobs and our economy to thrive. Currently, there is a disconnect between the skills that many US employers need an employee to possess and the number of candidates that are actually qualified to fill that need. In fact, there are...

Posted by Carter on September 09 2012

As another school year gets underway, we at STEM Fuse are dedicated to being a partner in your students’ education. We offer curricula that were designed to engage the student with project-based learning and get them excited to come to class each day. Can you think of anything better than a classroom full of enthusiastic students? We can’t!

We’d love to hear from you! Send your ideas, testimonials, comments and feedback to ...

Posted by Kari on June 06 2015

Kevin Dick is a Tech Ed teacher from Mankato West High School and has been named our June Teacher of the Month. 

STEM in the classroom:  
West High School offers a Game Design course to students as a means to explore the design process and integrate STEM disciplines along the way.  Once students grasp how important and...

Posted by Summer on November 11 2013

Growing up in Iowa gave me a unique perspective on life and allowed me to learn much more than “Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.” Let me start by saying I loved school, and still do. Which I guess is appropriate given I work for an education company. However, much of what I learned in my younger years was learned outside the classroom…and by outside I really do mean OUTside....

Posted by Shane on December 12 2013

Last week was Computer Science Education Week (December 9th through December 15th, 2013). With that came the Hour of Code initiative designed to get as many people as possible to learn some computer science and programming basics. In order to try to help out, STEM Fuse created an interactive online game development tutorial called Flip the Robot Monkey which is still available on the...

Posted by Carter on September 09 2012

While doing some reading on Career and Technical Education this morning I came across an article on greatschools.org containing some exciting statistics!

“School-to-career courses at the high school level have additional benefits that promote positive outcomes for students who enroll – namely higher attendance rates and achievement. For example, the attendance rate for school-to-career students in one Philadelphia school district was 87.5% (10% higher that other students)...

Posted by Dylan on June 06 2015

Mad Science or Medicine? 

Metaphorically, technology and medicine are holding hands making enormous strides of success together. Consider that not long ago in the grand scheme of things, the ultrasound machine was non-existent. That meant that no parent could find out the gender of their child or children for that matter. No doctor could visualize any prenatal defect or prepare for said defect(s). Nowadays any motivated mother or parent could simply purchase an in-home portable...

Posted by Deb on November 11 2013

Okay, let me just preface this article by saying that I will probably be dating myself with the examples I use here. But, I guess it’s worth the risk. After all, I do have two plus decades in the educational system and I am a mom to three very active kids. It’s safe to say I’m not in my 20’s anymore. Because of this, I think I can reflect back and have a unique perspective on...

Posted by Summer on January 01 2014

“Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness.” 

― Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Very often in the business of STEM another acronym is not far behind – PLTW. Project Lead The Way has been seen as the “giant” in the STEM education circuit over the last ten...

Posted by Carter on September 09 2012

I’m not going to name any names…but one of our employees told a story today about their first day of school as a 3rd grader. She was all dressed up in her new school clothes and ready to pose for mom outside on the front door step (everyone poses on the front door step for a picture on the first day of school…right?) for the family album, before heading out that morning.

Just as mom was snapping the picture, an elderly lady happened to be walking by our (I mean “her”) house with...

Posted by Dylan on June 06 2015

Homeschooling is a growing trend in the United States, and now STEM Fuse is making it easier for homeschooled students to keep up with new age teaching methods and courses. STEM Fuse is offering all Homeschools a discounted price on the majority of their fully-stocked courses, but only for a limited time.

Surprisingly, there are many students that are educated in a home school environment. Dr. Brian D. Ray reports, “There are about 2.2...

Posted by Carter on November 11 2013

Dear Reader, if you have read any of my blog posts in the past (which puts you in very exclusive company) or have ever heard me speak at a conference you know that STEM Fuse was founded due to one word – “how”. We believe when it comes to STEM education and high school curriculum development the greatest positive difference can be made by always thinking about the “how”....

Posted by Adam on February 02 2014

We just concluded our Fall 2013 Got Game competition and summarized the results below. Enjoy. 

STEM Fuse 2013 Fall Got Game Statistics

Posted by Carter on September 09 2012

We take great pride our new GAME:IT Advanced curriculum! You will find that this is more than simply an outstanding computer programming curriculum (18 weeks of material!) that introduces the student to C# programming and game development with XNA Game Studio. We also focus on each discipline related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Using game design and development as the teaching vehicle, GAME:IT Advanced exposes your students to a wide range
of...

Posted by Kari on July 07 2015

Science teacher, Sara Peloquin, plays a critical part in providing the technology rich environment by teaching many of the STEM courses at Spectrum High School in Elk River, MN.  Sara teaches Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Environmental Science and Robotics.  This last year, Spectrum High School purchased the STEM Fuse GAME:IT ...

Posted by Kari on November 11 2013

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard about the nationwide push for increased education in science, technology, engineering and math, otherwise known as STEM.  But why? And why these four together? 

STEM education combines the competencies and skills of all four disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math). Students now have the opportunity to use technology with ...

Posted by Shane on May 05 2014

A quick Google search of “The history of education in the United States” brings up this Wikipedia image and makes me think back to what it was like before the age of computers and the internet:

When a school...

Posted by Carter on June 06 2013

As schools everywhere try to change, improve or create STEM / technology projects, lessons or full curriculum cost is often cited as a major obstacle. At face value it would seem common sense that integrating technology into a classroom must be costly. Well, not exactly. Or even better said not at all! FREE is still a pretty good price.

Fact is there are terrific resources available to schools to build STEM, CTE or tech-ed courses around that can result in SAVING MONEY! Let’s use...

Posted by Kari on July 07 2015

Free website design curriculum for high schools.

Too often, teachers continue to teach technology that is obsolete because they are comfortable with the material and are afraid...

Posted by Tyler on November 11 2013

According to the 2011 National Survey on STEM education, STEM educators reported a lack of funding and professional development for teachers as the two major barriers to the realization of 21st century classrooms. Due to the growing need for quality STEM training and material many education grant sources are placing STEM education as a top priority at all grade levels.

STEM education grants work to attract and retain students in STEM disciplines, strengthen the STEM...

Posted by Shane on June 06 2014

As a curriculum development company, we don’t just choose to randomly create a course.  We identify what courses are missing in high schools and what careers are on the rise.  Then we find industry professionals and teachers to...

Posted by Carter on June 06 2013

I think it safe to say that STEM as a concept has taken hold.  That is the idea of teaching science, technology, engineering and math as interwoven subjects usually around a single project or design creation.  At STEM Fuse we use games, mobile apps and health science (health informatics, biomedicine and biotechnology) as the subject and design correlating true STEM lessons and projects within the courses themselves.  There are many effective ways to do it, we certainly are not the last word...

Posted by Dylan on July 07 2015

Computer Science is moving into the basic core subject areas of education in grades five through twelve. Common subject areas plus their respective sub-categories include: 

English
    Composition 
    Literary Understanding

Math
    Algebra
    Geometry 
    Trigonometry
    Calculus 

History
    American
    World
    Geography 

Physical Sciences
    Biology 
    Chemistry...

Posted by Jessica on November 11 2013

Twice a year STEM Fuse offers a competition for students all across the United States to put their best coding skills to work with a program/software called Game Maker. The “Got Game?” Contest is a natural offshoot of STEM Fuse’s GAME:IT programming courses that were created to inspire middle school and high school students to learn how the individual facets of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) come together when developing a video game. Students are required to “dream up”...

Posted by on July 07 2014
Student playing video games

Video games outside of the classroom are typically frowned upon by teachers. Some are too violent; some don’t force kids to think critically. Those schools of thought are starting to become a thing of the past in education. Now teachers are looking strategically at these games and using them as creative tools in the...

Posted by Carter on July 07 2013

I Founded STEM Fuse, because I was convinced I was going to lose my job.  How’s that for motivation?  I was working as a college admissions & recruiting manager for a Minnesota college system.  My goal was to fill STEM degree programs (computer science, IT, health sciences, engineering, etc.) with high school students.  Problem was there were not very high ...

Posted by Kari on August 08 2015

Stop the Insanity!

Many districts have room for improvement in their math and reading test scores, yet they continue to use the same curriculum year after year, expecting scores to rise.  Seems insane, doesn’t it?

STEM Fuse offers the solution to districts seeking to improve their student’s proficiency in math and reading.  Our...

Posted by Deb on December 12 2013

E-Learning.  You have probably heard this term a lot.  In fact, by now most of us (or our children) have taken some online courses to supplement or earn a degree.  But, perhaps you don’t know what all it includes.  It’s not simply what most think of as just learning on the computer without a teacher (asynchronous learning –usually self-paced).  It is much more than that.  E-learning is described as the use of any electronic media and information and communication technologies used in...

Posted by Summer on August 08 2014

It’s that time of year again, and while I admit I do have fried food on a stick on my brain, I’m not talking about the State Fair - I’m talking “Back To School”. It seems everywhere I look these days I’m seeing new socks, new shoes, rulers, pencils, folders, backpack, shoes...oh, wait, that’s just in my hallway here at home. However I’m sure people everywhere are prepping for...

Posted by Carter on August 08 2013

Did you know that according to Forbes magazine almost $25 billion dollars of private money has been invested in startups geared at creating or improving technology for teachers?  Let me clarify, $25 billion in 2012 alone!  All toward giving technology for teachers a much needed boost.

But here’s the thing.  Why don’t these innovations make it into the classroom?  ...

Posted by Kari on August 08 2015

 

Our GAME:IT curriculum has been a huge success with both teachers and students and is now taught in all 50 states and 7 foreign countries and in over 4,000 schools.  But does it really teach 21st Century skills that will help students prepare for the workplace?  The answer is YES!!!

GAME:IT is an introduction to computer programming through game design. The focus of this curriculum is to build a strong foundation in...

Posted by Summer on December 12 2013

I chose this topic for several reasons, but most importantly to try and get a better handle on Common Core as a whole. What does it mean? How does it affect schools? Do teachers lose control? Are their standards for all courses?

My love for Google is well documented, so my first thought was to simply google “Common Core”. That was sure fun, talk about information overload. My first question (what is Common Core?) was answered pretty quickly: The Common Core State Standards...

Posted by on October 10 2014

It’s Digital Citizenship Week across the country which is a great time to remind students what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. As one teacher noted “I always like to remind my students that first impressions used to start with handshakes, but now they begin with a Google search.” In fact, the majority of employers will Google an applicant’s...

Posted by Kari on October 10 2013

If you’re like me, it’s been a few years (okay, maybe more than a few!) since you were a high school student.   In that time, education in America has significantly changed.  Gone are the days of a teacher standing in front of the classroom, lecturing while students passively take notes.  Today’s classrooms are much different. 

Students learn so much better doing rather than simply listening, which is why schools...

Posted by Kari on March 03 2016

STEM Fuse will be hosting a hands-on demonstration on GAME:IT, our exciting computer programming course that incorporates all the facets of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).   

About GAME:IT 
What better way to teach computer programming than by building video games?!?  In this course, students will learn about variables, loops, conditional statements, functions, arrays and more while building 4 different...

Posted by Adam on December 12 2013

STEM Fuse Develops Free “Hour of Code” Game Project

Sioux Falls, SD – According to the U.S. Department of Labor there will be more than 1 million open computer programming jobs in the U.S. by 2020. Meanwhile, less than 2.4% of college students  graduate with a degree in computer science and that percentage has fallen steadily over the past decade.

To reverse this trend, and significantly grow the number of computer science students within the U.S. the Hour of Code...