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School is out and summertime is upon us, which means that amusement park season is in full swing. Children and adults alike look forward to playing carnival games, eating popcorn and funnel cakes, and of course, riding roller coasters. Coasters have been an anchor for American amusement parks for decades, drawing in thrill seekers from around the globe. Guests willingly wait hours in line for a few minutes of thrill, a chance to experience that adrenaline high that makes us giddy. Not everyone enjoys roller coasters, but most find them fascinating. They’re thrilling, chilling, and an excellent study in the power of physics.

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May 29, 2017
Kacey Templin

5 Offline Games That Teach Kids Coding Skills

STEM Education / Play, Kids & Coding, Girls & STEM, STEM

You’ve probably seen an article or two about how coding is the “it” skill for children these days. Organizations like Girls Who Code and Hour of Code are developing coding programs designed to prepare children for career success later in life. Schools around the country are recognizing the need for computer science classes, and nearly 40% of schools around the U.S. now teach programming. While technology continues to evolve, computer science job openings continue to grow.

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April 17, 2017
Kacey Templin

9 Lesser-Known Games for Family Game Night

Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play

It's family game night again, but you've already played Life and Monopoly more times than you can count. You want to switch it up, but you're not sure which games your family will enjoy. Well never fear, ThinkFun has you covered! These lesser-known choices are both educational and are sure to be a hit the next time around. 

 

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March 13, 2017
R. Elaine L. Smith

"At-Risk" Brains and Games

Kids And Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play

Mary and I are two teachers, who have been teaching science in some form or another since dinosaurs roamed the earth (at least that is what we tell our students).  Personal communications changed dramatically with the advent of an affordable personal computer.  Social media, such as Myspace, appeared facilitating communication across long distances, classrooms, age and gender gaps.  At the same time, cell phones became cheap and available.  Now there is opportunity for constant communication from a variety of platforms ranging from Facebook to Twitter to Snapchat. During this time period, we have observed that social communication has become a premier driver of the adolescent brain at the same time that the focus and effort required for academic success has been diminishing.

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February 20, 2017
Cheryl Wendling

Making Science Relevant

STEM Education / Play, Girls & STEM, STEM, STEAM

Now retired, Cheryl Wendling was an award-winning high school science teacher, with a career spanning more than a quarter of a century. Her students ranged from those with Special Needs, to Advanced Placement students, and everything in between. During that time, she also wrote curricular materials for NASA and presented science workshops at local, state, national, and international levels. Upon leaving public education, she was a high school science editor for a major textbook publisher and currently works as a freelance science illustrator

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February 13, 2017
Carol Tang

Finding the Time to Play

Kids And Creativity, Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning at Home, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

Dr. Carol Tang is the Executive Director of the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco. She is on the Board of Directors for the National Afterschool Association, the How Kids Learn Foundation, and Artists United as well as a reviewer for the academic journal, Afterschool Matters. She previously was employed as the team lead for out-of-school time grant making portfolio at the S.D. Becthel, Jr. Foundation, the director of the Coalition for Science After School, and head of exhibitions and public programs at the California Academy of Sciences. Carol has a Ph.D. in paleontology and is the author of the Jurassic articles in the Encylopaedia Britanica Online. You can reach her on Twitter at @CarolTang1.

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February 11, 2017
Rachael Rufino

5 Education Trends Your Child Wants to be a Part of

Music Education, Kids And Creativity, Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning Through Play, STEM, STEAM

Education methods have always aimed to ensure future generations are fully prepared to contribute to the working force as adults.  But what about preparing children to also function as social members of society?  More recent approaches to education are now focusing on developing wholesome, happy children with the ability to develop healthy relationships and persevere through the trails of life.

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