Nature Outlook |

Science and technology education

A strong background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is crucial not only for students who go on to become scientists. The jobs of the future, in a variety of sectors, will increasingly require skills in STEM subjects. This Outlook looks at the ways in which science education is being modernized and updated to help prepare young people for life in the twenty-first century.

This Nature Outlook is editorially independent, produced with financial support from a third party. About this content.

Features and comment

Blowing up your lab is usually discouraged, but it’s part of the experience when you’re learning online.

Outlook | | Nature

Teachers do not need training in the arts to create useful drawing experiences for science students, says Bethann Garramon Merkle.

Outlook | | Nature

More from Nature Research

Experienced chemists know that chemistry is all around them. Helping students to see the connections between real life and concepts of organic chemistry is the driving force behind the development of a set of online resources pioneered at UCLA.

In the Classroom | | Nature Reviews Chemistry

Girls and boys show no cognitive differences in mathematical ability during infancy and early childhood across multiple tasks. To compare boys’ and girls’ early mathematical thinking, Alyssa Kersey and colleagues at the University of Rochester and University of Pittsburgh examined performance on three milestones of numerical development: numerosity sensitivity, counting range, and early mathematics achievement. Researchers tested not only for statistical differences between boys and girls but also statistical similarities. Across all aspects of early mathematics development, boys and girls exhibited no statistical differences and instead generally showed statistical equivalence. The results suggest that girls and boys begin development with an equivalent cognitive capacity for mathematics.

Article | open | | npj Science of Learning

Students attending selective schools have, on average, more genetic variants associated with educational attainment compared to students attending non-selective schools. A team led by Professor Robert Plomin at King’s College London found that these genetic differences between school types were also mirrored in examination differences. Students attending selective schools were performing a grade higher than their non-selective schooled peers. However, once the researchers statistically accounted for student-level factors, including family socioeconomic status, prior ability and prior achievement, there were no significant genetic differences between students in selective and non-selective schools, and only small examination score differences. This research shows that genetic and exam score differences between selective and non-selective schools are primarily due to the genetically influenced characteristics involved in student admission.

Article | open | | npj Science of Learning