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50 Open Source Applications for Sci-Tech Education

Jan 25, 2011, 21:33 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cynthia Harvey)

"You don't have to search very hard to find educators and policy makers worried about the current condition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States. There's a STEM Education Coalition, a National Science Board STEM Education Commission, a Journal of STEM Education and even a STEMEd Caucus in Congress dedicated to passing legislation that increases funding for STEM education.

"Organizations like these frequently cite statistics which show that American students lag behind their international counterparts. For example, in the 2007 Trends in International Science and Math Study (TIMS), U.S. fourth graders placed eleventh in math and eighth in science, while U.S. eighth graders ranked ninth in math and eleventh in science. Falling behind in these areas could eventually lead to a decline in American innovation, with drastic effects on the economy. As a result, groups have recently taken a number of steps on local, regional, and national levels to improve interest and achievement in science and mathematics.

"The open source community is also doing its part to improve STEM education. They've created dozens of quality open source apps that aid both teachers and researchers, raising the bar for STEM education. In addition, a number of universities and other organizations have "open sourced" the content of their curriculum, making course materials available online."

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