MIT STEP offers a teacher licensing program that can be done entirely at MIT or in conjunction with courses at Wellesley College. This program licenses students to teach mathematics or science in grades 5-12. The Scheller Teacher Education Program, offered through the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, prepares MIT students to become teachers who are competent to teach in their field, willing to challenge established norms, able to bridge the boundaries among disciplines, and eager to help students develop the desire to question and explore. Click here for more info on STEP and here for more info on classes.
STEP is actively engaged in many research and development projects, designing and testing new learning technologies for use in formal and informal education. While some projects are in limited testing with partners, others are freely available for all to try and to use (some complete with curriculum and assessment). Find out more about these projects on the projects page.
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Vanished is a "curated game," a format derived from alternate reality games (ARGs) for museums, being developed by Education Arcade for the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C., with NSF funding. The game ran from April 4 through May 22 2011, and targeted middle school age kids in informal settings like afterschool programs.
The ARG aspects of the game included going to museums and interacting with real world places and objects as kids solved puzzles to unravel a fictional interdisciplinary science mystery that touched on life sciences, environmental sciences, paleontology, archaeology, geology, anthropology, math, the arts, and language arts. Players collaborated online and in-person while receiving help from MIT students who acted as facilitators and conferenced with Smithsonian scientists.
The project staff hopes to have changed students' conception of the scientific method to one where they view scientific problems as interesting mysteries to be solved. Another goal of the project is to develop a set of open source web tools with documentation that will enable others to create more games in this new genre.
With the game play concluded, Vanished is currently undergoing open sourcing and analysis of collected data.