STEM in the News: Dec. 18, 2012

December 18, 2012

It's been a solemn week, given the tragedy in Connecticut, and our thoughts are with Newtown.

Here is our roundup of the interesting and the intriguing in STEM news. 

Math Museum Readies for Grand Opening in New York City

Cleverly dubbed MoMath, this museum focuses on introducing kids to the joys of math in the everyday world. Funded in part by a $2 million Google donation, the museum uses fun and interactive exhibits (think building downhill tracks for racing) and is targeted at the 4th- to 8th-grade set -- just before Math Phobia sets in. 

Why Nate Silver can save Math Education in America

We've blogged about the awesomeness that is Nate Silver before, but high-schooler/education activist Nikhil Goyal writes about the potentially transformative effect that focusing on the more "practical" applications of math -- think statistics in medical trials and calculating baseball players' potential, which is how Silver made a name for himself -- within the curriculum could fix the "engagement deficit" the field currently faces. 

Students Who Struggle Early Rarely Catch Up

"Start behind, stay behind," has been a doomsday warning in education for years, but a new report breaks it down clearly, showing how even students from the most affluent schools rarely regroup and get back on track once they've fallen out. It's strong evidence that we need to build in greater support systems for students before they fall behind.

Forbes' 30 Under 30

Forbes' annual list of young Turks who are making indelible impressions on their fields will simultaneously awe and intimidate you. Check out the list for Engergy, Tech, Science & Healthcare, and Education

The Top 5 Surprising Scientific Discoveries of the Year

Many of the most significant scientific discoveries started out as accidents -- think penicillin. 2012 had some pretty remarkable, accidental discoveries, as chronicled by Smithsonian.