EdTech Education k12 Podcast STEM

Episode 04

Dr. Steven Farber explains how zebrafish can help teach students about the challenging subjects of sex education and race. 

Are tougher test fueling a teacher shortage?

Safari Safari, Today at 8.18.17 PM

An investigative story from the NBC affiliate in Miami says that the teaching certification test for Florida has become so difficult, it may fuel a teacher shortage.

‘Class Dismissed’ Co-host, Lissa Pruett, also opens up about her challenges with the new certification standards in her state.

Have the tests become too hard? We discuss.

Teach like the Swiss

According to the Denver Business Journal, Denver Public schools are running a pilot program that will align their education model with Switzerland. The plan is to have high school students spend 50% of their time with employers while still in high school.

The apprenticeships will also allow for students to earn a two-year community college degree while enrolled and better position students for work when they graduate.

In Switzerland, high school students are encouraged to make career choices from just over 200 hundred options. Students then enroll in courses with curriculum tailored to their choice.

Make America Photoshopped Again

The Huffington Post reports that a students’ pro-Trump clothing was edited out of his yearbook photo and the school district is now offering a mea culpa.

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Courtesy of Joseph Berardo

Grant Berardo says he opened his new yearbook only to find that the “Make America Great Again” shirt he was wearing had been Photoshopped. Grant’s father, Joseph Berardo, told CNN that he was disappointed because this was the first election that Grant had been interested in.

A teacher from the Wall Township High School in New Jersey is reportedly suspended as a result on the photo alteration and the Superintendent is taking clear action.

Superintendent Cheryl Dyer told parents that she’s still not clear as to why the alterations happened, but she cannot allow the intentional change that was not based on dress code.

After the recording of Episode 04, the AP reported that Superintendent Dyer sent a note to parents saying that the yearbooks will be re-issued with the pro-Trump photos.

Sex Ed via Zebrafish

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Courtesy of BioEYES

In our Bright Idea segment this week we speak with BioEYES founder, Dr. Steven Farber.

 

Farber’s Zebrafish research lab was the catalyst for ‘BioEYES’, a K-12 program that provides learning in classrooms with live zebrafish.

In Episode 04, Farber explains how zebrafish can help teach grade school students about the challenging subjects of sex education and race.

When is comes to sex-ed, Farber explains…

“Because it’s fish and because they swim next to each other and you don’t have any mechanical issues to discuss, literally, no one gets upset about that curriculum topic!”

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Courtesy of BioEYES

As for critical thinking about race, Farber says, “The kids have to mate a fish that does not have pigment to a fish that does have pigment.” In the high school unit students learn about the genetics of pigmentation.

“So most kids in the urban setting, their only concept of race is a social construction”, explains Farber. “What they learn in our unit is that there’s actually one gene that was discovered in fish that explains the biggest chunk of why somebody’s skin is darker or lighter.”

Farber says that there’s one little change that happened in that gene to make skin lighter and that learning with zebrafish allow students to come away with an entirely different perspective then they had before.

 

 

 

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