This article from the Star Tribune reports the correlation between learning math facts at a young age and performing well in math later in school. Specifically, students who practice basic facts from ages 7 to 9 are actually accelerating the development of their brains. This allows students to learn more efficiently and gives them an overall boost in school. Read more here.

## Teaching Students Engineering Principles at a Young Age is Vital for Developing Skills

The University of Massachusetts reports that teaching students engineering principles at a young age is vital for developing skills and interests in the many areas of life affected by this discipline. Preconceived notions about engineering often deter students – especially girls – from pursuing education in this field. The Engineering is Elementary program being utilized in Massachusetts seeks to give students experiences in the many applications of math and engineering.

## Math/Engineering Class Update

In the sixth grade math/engineering course, students have recently completed a unit on the physics associated with tsunamis. The class watched footage of recent tsunamis and studied the mathematical nature of their growth and movement. Students were shocked to learn that the loss of life associated with these events was exacerbated by a lack of detection or warning systems in many parts of the world. Using formulas we had practiced in class, students created a tsunami warning program which calculated the speed of a tsunami and its projected landfall time using actual gps coordinates. (Pretty impressive for sixth grade students!!)

## How Can the U.S. Improve the Overall Quality of Math and Science Education?

How can the U.S. improve the overall quality of math and science education? Ideas in this New York Times article include the following suggestions from a variety of experts:

– have students solve real-life problems and create actual products -“hands-on engineering”

– allow educators to teach concepts outside of the typical textbook lessons

– use partnerships between schools, businesses and the government to show how math and science concepts are applied daily

## Colleges Awarding Scholarships Based Upon ACT or SAT Scores

As competition for students increases, many selective colleges are awarding significant merit scholarships based upon ACT or SAT scores. According to the article, students who score in the top 10% of all test-takers (28 or higher on the ACT, 2000 or higher on the SAT) can expect significant merit-based aid.

## Helpful Links

### The links below provide important information regarding academic instruction and preparation.

**Rising to the Challenge – America’s Math and Science Curriculum is the Key to Future Competitiveness** Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/ad/article/mathscience-rising

**U.S. Lag in Science and Math – A Disaster in the Making**

William J. Bennett – CNN Contributor

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/09/opinion/bennett-stem-education/

**Why are Math and Science so Important?**

Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Math and Science Education – Michigan State University

http://www.promse.msu.edu/mcsm/mcsm_why.asp

**SAT/ACT Importance**

College View – Dave Berry

http://www.collegeview.com/admit/?p=808

**Importance of the ACT**

NIU

http://www.niu.edu/p20/projects/act/importance.shtml