The main point of this article is that there are different ways in which we can encourage our kids to take interest in the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The main way that she focuses on is through a digital design program for elementary students. The kids are encouraged to be creative and innovative through the use of free programs such as Scratch, Google SketchUp, and Seashore. Each grade level has a project on one of those programs, and they get more advanced projects as they go up in grade level. What she found is that the kids really enjoy doing these projects, and even come in on recess and open computer lab to work on their projects. They also want to work on the projects at home. Many of the concepts such as vector graphing are directly related to the STEM subjects, in this case math. The kids get to be creative and work in a low-stress environment because there is no fear of failure.
1. What if a school isn't as fortunate as Los Altos and doesn't get donations?
This is something that was going through my mind as I was reading this article. She makes the claim that any school can afford a digital design program, but this isn't the case. Had it not been for "generous donations" they would not have been able to launch this program. So to rely on something like that is foolish. If this is to be instituted widely in schools it would need a more stable bit of funding, which means being approved by the district.
2. Will taking time away from students to work on digital design hurt them in other subjects?
I think the digital design idea is a very innovative way to get kids interested in the STEM subjects, but there is no real substitute for instruction. I feel that depending on how much time is devoted to this class, it could take away some valuable time learning the important things they are tested on. In short, I believe that as long as we have standardized testing and use that as a benchmark, this program can not fit in schools.