VariQuest Blog

The VariQuest Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite Blog contains resources on classroom ideas, lesson plans, industry news, events, and offers throughout education.

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Professional Development | Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Professional Development | Kinesthetic Learning | Project-based Learning

Professional Development Webinar: Pink Brains vs. Blue Brains: What Neuroscience Teaches Us About STEM

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
August 31st, 2017

Tuesday, November 7th at 9:00am CT The focus of student achievement has extended beyond reading and math scores and shifted to a “learning by doing, making, building, and discovering” approach. Despite the fact that this resurgence in experiential learning is supported by recent brain-based research about cognition, problem-solving, and innovation, females are still under-represented in STEM-based programs and careers. Join us on Tuesday, November 7th for a free professional development webinar at 9am CT, and learn about this often-discussed hot topic.

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Professional Development | Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Professional Development | 3D Printing | Kinesthetic Learning | Project-based Learning | STEM:IT

Professional Development Webinar Series: Whole Brain Instruction With a Kinesthetic Approach

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
June 15th, 2017

Until recently, we believed that intelligence and creativity were fixed traits. We now know differently. The capacity to learn, solve problems and be creative is hardwired into our brains – we either tap into it and nurture it, or we don’t. Join us for an informative professional development webinar series hosted by Dr. Melissa Hughes, author of "Happy Hour With Einstein", and STEM Fuse, creators of STEM:IT, where we will explore these concepts and how to infuse this knowledge into your classroom curriculum to nurture more active, engaged students.

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How to Write a Grant eBook

How to Write a Grant eBook

This helpful guide includes an explanation of the grant process, including a checklist (with samples!), and useful links and resources to find funding!

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Academic Subject: STEM | 3D Printing | STEM:IT

Upcoming Webinar: Incorporate STEM and Kinesthetic Learning in the Classroom with STEM:IT

By: VariQuest Visual & Kinesthetic Learning Tools
April 27th, 2017

Are you curious about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education - and how to incorporate it in your classroom? This curriculum takes academic concepts and applies them to real-world lessons - connecting students' learning to the world around them. With the 21st century job market ripe with opportunity in these fields, children can greatly benefit from developing their applied critical-thinking skills early.  VariQuest offers a fantastic solution for STEM education - and we don't just want to tell you about it, we want to show you.

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Academic Subject: STEM | VariQuest Tools: Perfecta 2400 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer

The Power of Experiential Learning

By: Melissa Hughes, Ph.D.
April 18th, 2017

We used to call it hands-on learning.  Before high-tech classrooms, learning labs, and makerspaces, kids would build and create and make things using buttons, bottle caps, popsicle sticks, and glue.  The focus was on exploration, discovery, creativity, and problem-solving.  There was no clear distinction between the arts, engineering, science, and math.  Kids were making things, expressing their creativity, and they were learning how things worked. The current buzzword is experiential learning, but the concept has been around for over 100 years.  Dr. Maria Montessori would be thrilled to see the future of education rooted in her research.  The movement of “making” brings engineering, science, technology, art and design together and overlaps those instructional principles with the natural inclinations of children the power of learning by doing.  

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Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Student Engagement | Academic Subject: Science | Featured Topics: Lessons and Activities | Academic Subject: Mathematics | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer

Discovery Charter Discovering the Difference with VariQuest

By: Heidi Glasow
March 10th, 2017

"If you build it they will come"- Field of Dreams, 1989. Dan Hurley, Director of Discovery Charter School in Inver Grove Heights, MN had the same dream in 2014, although not for a baseball diamond in his field, but rather a school to embrace a multidisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). His vision was to prepare K-8 students for life-long learning, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Just over one year ago his dream became a reality, and now over 200 students are engaged in an environment that values creativity, diversity, and multiculturalism. With Dan's vision a partnership also ensued with VariQuest and Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer, and STEM Fuse, a leader in K12 digital curriculum. Dan knew in order to fulfill his dream he needed to build his 'Dream Team'.

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Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Academic Subject: Science | Academic Subject: Mathematics

STEM vs. STEAM—Which One is it?

By: Geena Maharaj
January 9th, 2017

16. 17. 25. What do these numbers mean to America? Federal reports show only 16% of high school seniors in the US are interested in pursuing a career in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). Our students rank 17th in science achievement and 25th in math ability among industrialized nations. Couple that with the fact that “the demand for scientists and engineers is expected to increase at four times the rate for all other occupations,” and it’s no wonder why the topic of STEM is the talk of town. America’s face palm can be heard internationally, but its sting hits close to home, starting with schools. But are four letters enough to encapsulate the issue?

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Education Policy | STEM | Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Funding | Funding

The Billions Behind STEM

By: Geena Maharaj
August 29th, 2016

"In the coming years, we should build on that progress by...offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one." -President Barack Obama, 2016 State of the Union Address It's no secret that there's money in STEM. With related jobs in higher demand than ever before, these fields offer a lucrative career path for interested individuals. But when only 51% of US school districts are cognizant of the $7 billion behind STEM, therein lies the secret that merits promulgation. Billions. That's nine zeros. Before the decimal point. 

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STEM | Academic Subject: STEM | VariQuest Tools: Trifecta 800 3D Printer | 3D Printing | Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer

What Schools Will Gain from 3D Printing

By: Geena Maharaj
October 19th, 2015

The 80s were revolutionary in a number of ways. Big hair, neon aerobic garb, and the King of Pop made headlines. But in the realm of educational technology, the personal computer stole the show. Today, we’re experiencing a similar revolution. Setting aside the popularity of man buns, boho chic wear, and unfortunately, “Beliebers”, the edtech world is again taken aback by cutting-edge technology. PCs, time to make room for 3D printers. 

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Academic Subject: STEM | Featured Topics: Industry News and Trends | Featured Topics: Differentiated Instruction | Academic Subject: Career & Technical Education

Maker Movement Gains Traction in the Midwest with NSF Funding

By: Margo Ensz
September 28th, 2015

Earlier this month, two Indiana University researchers received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the successes of the Maker Movement in China and cultivate the movement in the United States Midwest. This grant and new study focuses not only on the academic importance of the movement, but the economic importance as well. So, why the Midwest? 

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Poster Maker 3600 | Grade Level: Secondary (7-12) | Grade Level: Intermediate (3-6) | Academic Subject: STEM | VariQuest Tools: Poster Maker 3600 | VariQuest Tools: Cutout Maker 1800 | Academic Subject: Science

Understanding the Plant Cell: 3 Engaging Activities

By: Margo Ensz
August 31st, 2015

Engage students in learning the parts of a plant cell with a variety of teaching tools and fun activities using your VariQuest Cutout Maker 1800 and VariQuest Perfecta Poster Design System!

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