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STEM in the News - January 2015 Edition
Obama proposes 2 free years of community college (AP)
President Barack Obama wants publicly funded community college available to all Americans, a sweeping proposal that would make higher education as accessible as a high school diploma to boost weak U.S. wages and skills for the modern workforce. The initiative's price tag has yet to be revealed, and it faces a Republican Congress averse to big new spending programs. Obama was promoting the idea in a visit Friday to Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in a video message posted to Facebook Thursday evening. "Put simply, what I'd like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it," Obama said in the video.
1M girls and 1M African-American and Hispanic students learn to code! (GeekWire)
Code.org has reached a major milestone: The organization happily reports that a million girls and a million African-American and Hispanic students are enrolled in their learning platform Code Studio. The Code Studio students are not just taking a one-hour class, according to Code.org. These students are enrolled in the full introductory computer science course, and the average student’s age is 12. Additionally, Code Studio offers fun courses, games and the famous “Hour of Code,” for all ages and experience levels. Even President Obama took the coding challenge in early December.
These Are The Science Stories That Will Be Making News In 2015 (io9)
The coming year is shaping up to be a rather extraordinary one. Over the next 12 months, we'll be visiting dwarf planets, unlocking the secrets of a 400,000-year-old genome, and resuming the hunt for exotic particles. Here are the science stories to look out for in 2015. #1. A Reusable Rocket Will Attempt To Land On A Drone Barge: SpaceX will try (for the second time) to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday January 10 at 4:47 PM ET. Unlike previous missions, the company plans to land its Falcon 9 on a barge off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.
California Districts To Pilot Next Gen Science Standards Professional Development (THE Journal)
While districts are ramping up to prepare for online assessments based around the Common Core State Standards, some are also preparing for the Next Generation Science Standards. Eight school districts and two charter school organizations in California are participating in an early implementation initiative to begin development of a learning community for K-8. The idea is to seed professional development among educators who can help others learn how to teach to the new science standards. The standards were completed in April 2013 and are just now beginning to be implemented in new curriculum throughout the country.
STEM in the News - December 2014 Edition
How 4 Mexican Immigrant Kids and Their Cheap Robot Beat MIT (WIRED)
Ten years ago, WIRED contributing editor Joshua Davis wrote a story about four high school students in Phoenix, Arizona—three of them undocumented immigrants from Mexico—beating MIT in an underwater robot competition. That story, La Vida Robot, has a new chapter: Spare Parts, starring George Lopez and Carlos PenaVega, opens in January, and Davis is publishing a book by the same title updating the kids’ story. To mark that occasion, WIRED is republishing his original story.
Girls Who Code Expands To Get More Young Women In Computer Science Majors (TechCrunch)
The computer science gender gap struggle in Silicon Valley is real. A mere 17 percent of Google’s tech workers are women. It’s 15 percent at Facebook. Similar stats can be found at most of the larger tech companies. Girls Who Code is trying to reverse those digits with an announcement of a major expansion in partnerships today. The non-profit organization that aims to close the gender gap in technology will grow its Summer Immersion Program from 19 sessions reaching 375 girls to 60 sessions reaching 1,200 girls this year.
Deciphering the Code: Why America’s Kids Need to Learn Computer Science (Newsweek)
Co-founder and CEO of Code.org Hadi Partovi: "I’m an immigrant to this country. I grew up in Iran and I lived through both the Shah’s regime and then when I was six years old there was an Islamic revolution and a war with Iraq, and it was not a good place to grow up. But my life changed when my dad bought us a computer and my twin brother and I learned computer programming. When we immigrated to the United States, our family didn’t have a lot of money, but this skill that we had learned on our own helped us get computer programming jobs to pay our way through college. Now I feel like I’m living the American dream, having had success in the tech industry. And meanwhile the skill that I learned and the opportunity that I had is still not being offered in the majority of our schools. So I started Code.org to get that opportunity to every student."
White House lectures tech on immigration (Politico)
The tech sector has gotten an earful from the White House after leading industry groups gave a tepid response to President Barack Obama’s immigration moves. According to people familiar with the conversations, the White House has been in touch with members of the tech community to express disappointment with the industry’s lackluster reaction to the executive actions Obama announced last month. The tech groups called the president’s actions a first step but ultimately lacking. Obama mainly focused on deferring deportation for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants and didn’t address the tech sector’s longtime goal of increasing the number of H-1B, or high-skilled, visas for foreign workers.
NASA gets budget hike in spending bill passed by Congress (SpaceFlight)
NASA will receive $18 billion in the federal government’s 2015 budget passed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday, winning nearly all the funds the agency says it needs this year to develop commercial space capsules to fly astronauts to the International Space Station by the end of 2017. President Barack Obama was expected to sign the spending bill into law after its passage by the House of Representatives on Thursday and by the Senate on Saturday night. The $805 million listed in the budget for NASA’s commercial crew program is the biggest annual investment the space taxi initiative has received since the Obama administration set NASA on a strategy to foster a commercial human spaceflight industry in 2010.
10 best tech companies to work for in 2015 (Mashable)
Google does no evil to its employees. The tech company has been named the best place to work in 2015, according to a new report from Glassdoor. The career database compiled the top 50 places to work in 2015, based on feedback from employees. Out of the 50 options, the top 10 tech companies ran the gamut, from digital management giant Adobe to the iPhone overlords of Apple. However, many a tech name was beat out by other well-known companies, such as Nestle Purina, Chevron and (maybe best of all?) In-N-Out, the West Coast fast food joint, which actually nabbed the third overall spot.
A Virtual Tree To Fight Climate Change, Created By High School Students (Fast Co.Exist)
A new computer model of tree growth could help combat climate change—and it was developed by a pair of high school students. Eli Echt-Wilson and Albert Zuo, high school seniors from Albuquerque, New Mexico, were chosen as two of the $100,000 grand prize winners in the annual Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. The other winner, 18-year-old Peter Tian of Columbus, Ohio, came up with a pattern avoidance system that could have applications in circuit design and robot motion planning (i.e. helping robots find the shortest path between two points without crashing into obstacles).
California is failing to produce enough computer scientists (Sacramento Bee)
Computer science provides fundamental knowledge students need to be prepared for college and careers in the 21st century. And, yet, California, home to Silicon Valley, is not adequately preparing its own students for the projected increase in jobs that will require computer science degrees. More than half of expected jobs in STEM fields will be in computing occupations. And it’s not just about preparing students to work in the tech industry; nearly every occupation will require some background in computer science, whether it be health care or entertainment, auto mechanics or agriculture.
Bill would help vets complete STEM studies (Military Times)
Two congressmen are sponsoring legislation to give students additional GI Bill benefits if they are working toward degrees in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. Students who use the Post-9/11 GI Bill would receive an extra nine months of benefits if they pursue a degree in one of the STEM fields, according to congressional documents and a news release. Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Dina Titus, D-Nev., introduced the legislation Wednesday.
Career Spotlight: What I Do as an Aerospace Engineer (Life Hacker)
From the birth of aviation to the space age and beyond, the aerospace industry has transformed transportation, commerce, and communication. Countless engineers have worked hard to literally give flight to the technologies that drive the modern world. But what does the job really entail? What is the average day for an aerospace engineer? We spoke with a veteran of the industry to learn what their work is really like. Elizabeth Bierman is a senior project engineer at Honeywell Aerospace where she specializes in avionics and is the president of the Society of Women Engineers.
STEM in the News - November 2014 Edition
New Intel Report Finds ‘Making’ Can Engage Girls in Computer Science and Engineering, Potentially Reducing Tech Gender Gap (Business Wire)
new global report produced by Intel Corporation indicates that girls and women involved with “making,” designing and creating things with electronic tools, may build stronger interest and skills in computer science and engineering – which could potentially reduce the growing gender gap in these fields. Intel’s report, “MakeHers: Engaging Girls and Women in Technology through Making, Creating and Inventing,” explores how maker activities can serve as a gateway to computer science and engineering for girls and women, and it identifies ways to better engage girls and women in making in order to increase female representation in these fields.
Scientists in the dark on comet-lander's location after it bounced (Mashable)
The search for the exact location where Rosetta's Philae robot landed is, quite literally, leaving scientists in the dark. After the lander bounced three times on the surface of a comet, European Space Agency (ESA) scientists believe it may have come to rest in the shadow of a cliff. ESA's Rosetta team initially said Philae landed in its target spot, but after further inspection, they realized it bounced into an undisclosed location. According to Stephan Ulamec, Philae lander manager, one bounce was as high as one kilometer off the surface of the comet. A visibly tired and emotional team of ESA scientists discussed their struggle to locate the lander during a press briefing on Nov. 13.
Amazon’s TenMarks unveils new service to get math teachers up to speed (Geek Wire)
TenMarks Education, the education technology company acquired by Amazon last year, is expanding beyond its flagship TenMarks Math interactive math application for students — announcing a new program designed to help teachers prepare for lessons and teach math under new educational standards. “The focus in the past has always been solely on the student, helping a teacher make sure that every student in the classroom gets what they’re teaching,” said Rohit Agarwal, CEO of TenMarks Education, in an interview with GeekWire. “Now we’re adding an offering for the teacher to use, so they can prepare for the instruction in the classroom beforehand.”
CSUN Receives Grant for Science and Math Teacher Education (San Fernando Post-Periodical)
Cal State Northridge received a $797,000 grant from the National Science Foundation intended to encourage [STEM] students to become science and math teachers, the university announced Monday. The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program provides up to $12,000 per year — for a maximum of two years — per student preparing to become a middle or high school science or math teacher. “There is a tremendous shortage of math and science teachers,” CSUN science education professor Norm Herr said.
"Just Being Who We Are Is Extremely Risky": An Honest Discussion On Race In Silicon Valley (Fast Company)
As part of the reporting on this month's magazine profile of Tristan Walker, Fast Company brought together a roundtable discussion of other African-American tech leaders. The conversation spanned everything from hiring practices of top firms to entrepreneurial funding. Fast Company: What are your thoughts about the diversity reports from Apple, Facebook, Google, and other tech companies? Larry "L.J." Erwin: I know the numbers are unsettling, but I applaud the Googles and the Facebooks and Yahoos for actually releasing those numbers.
The Thought-Provoking Science Behind "Interstellar" (Fast Company)
Earth is dying. It’s become little more than a sphere of dust where the only crop that grows—and not for long—is corn. Life on other planets in our solar system is out of the question, but what about planets beyond our galaxy? It’s disaster sci-fi that may call to mind images of space seen before in films, and that’s exactly what the creative team behind Interstellar doesn’t want. What they’re aiming for is the most accurate film depictions of wormholes, black holes, and the theoretical science behind them. Amid the epic intergalactic traveling, overseen for accuracy by renowned astrophysicist Kip Thorne, beats a simple story of a widowed father (Matthew McConaughey) and his love for his children.
STEM in the News - October 2014 Edition
Hired Sets Its Sights On Los Angeles Tech Talent Boom (TechCrunch)
Tech job marketplace Hired is officially announcing its rollout in LA today. The company had announced it was in New York City earlier this year and now says it wants to capitalize on what it sees as the third biggest startup scene in the country, Los Angeles. It’s not far off in that assumption. Well-known companies like Snapchat, Oculus and Maker Studios reside down in Los Angeles. A total of $1.5 billion in VC investment was pumped into the startup ecosystem last year alone. That puts funding just under Boston at $3 billion and New York at $2.3 billion in 2013. According to Hired, at least 1,507 LA companies are currently hiring for tech positions right now.
Recent research published by The Hamilton Project, a Washington D.C. based organization focused on economic policy, showed that the top nine highest paying college majors were all in the fields of engineering, with chemical engineering grabbing the top spot at slightly over $2 million lifetime earnings. The research incorporated census data to determine the highest paying college majors both annually and cumulative lifetime earnings. Aside from engineering, fields like finance, computer science and construction services cracked the top 20 highest paying majors. The lowest paying major was found to be early childhood education, with workers in that field earning around $550,000 cumulatively throughout their lives. The research noted that a college degree is important for advancing earning potential. The Hamilton Project also includes an interactive feature where you can compare different college majors and their earning potential.
Latinas in STEM: Making Bright Futures a Reality (Scientific American)
Latinas have a bright future in [STEM]. Latina girls love learning how things work. They love building things. They think it would be fun to design a video game or an app. Unfortunately, they have fewer opportunities and resources to make that bright future a reality. The Latinas in STEM Foundation is leveraging family, culture and community to change that. Founded in 2013 by five alumnae from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the organization aims to inspire young Latinas to pursue careers and thrive in STEM fields. “We want to spread awareness about STEM and to encourage Latinas in K-12 grades, especially within underserved communities, to strongly consider pursuing a STEM career,” says Diana Albarrán Chicas, an electrical engineer who is a co-founder and the financial director of Latinas in STEM.
Community Colleges: The Secret Sauce (U.S. Department of Labor)
Motlow State Community College in Tennessee is working with Bridgestone Tire Company and other employers to expand their mechatronics program, creating a training facility on-site at Bridgestone to prepare students to move quickly into high-skill jobs. Estrella Mountain Community College is leading a consortium of five Arizona colleges to develop the workforce and talent pipeline required by the region’s energy and mining industries. Bellevue College in Washington state, together with eight other schools, is launching a program to train veterans and their eligible spouses in the high-demand, high-wage field of health information technology. All three of these efforts – and many more – are the result of a bold, unprecedented investment the Obama administration has made to expand job-driven training at community colleges nationwide.
STEM in the News - August 2014 Edition
Top 10 highest paying college majors (USA Today)
It’s true that on average college graduates make more over their lifetime than non-grads. However, not all majors pay you back the same amount. Here are 10 of the highest paying majors as ranked by College Factual. The salary data provided are all averages, and come from extensive survey data conducted by PayScale. We only use results from those with bachelor’s degrees. The figures listed are average starting salaries. It is no surprise that this top 10 list is heavily populated with STEM degrees, as they are continuously in demand.. #1: Petroleum Engineering - $89,000.
CSU Receives Grant to Study Impact of STEM (SCV News)
The California State University has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation that will fund a study on the impact of service-learning courses in [STEM]. Service-learning combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service. The practice has a strong correlation to student success in most academic disciplines, but there is a lack of research on its impact in STEM. In partnership with the California Campus Compact, a statewide service-learning organization, the CSU’s Center for Community Engagement will investigate the practice’s impact on student success in STEM fields.
Tech Leaders Tell Interns What They Wish They Knew At Age 20 (TechCrunch)
Hundreds of Bay Area interns lined up on Tuesday to hear some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley share what they wished they knew when they were 20 at a recruiting event called Internapalooza. Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz, early PayPal and Airbnb investor Keith Rabois, Indiegogo co-founder Danae Ringelmann, Yelp VP of Engineering Michael Stoppelman and Re/code founder Kara Swisher were among the 11 speakers whose advice ranged from whether or not you should drop out of school to launch a startup to how to network. The event was organized by Cory Levy, who at 19 co-founded One, a mobile app that connects you to others with similar interests.
In tech, some minorities are too minor. This group wants to change that. (Fortune)
To even be considered for a Code2040 fellowship, a student must be black or Hispanic—two demographics vastly underrepresented in the tech industry. Before Randi Williams spent last summer in San Francisco, the 19-year-old computer-engineering student from Maryland had only one idea on how to break into the tech industry: Get a bachelor’s degree, get a master’s degree, then start applying for jobs. It’s a formula that seems routine except, perhaps, in Silicon Valley, where internships, connections, and even dropping out of college can be a means to a job at a tech startup. But a fellowship program with Code2040, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, flipped her script.
Hacking contests ID cyber talent for government, industry (Politico)
The best warriors are battle-tested. So how do you identify and train the most skillful up and coming cyberwarriors when the combat they practice — hacking — is illegal? Enter cyber competitions: Contests for aspiring cybersecurity warriors to show their mettle in real hacking challenges, where they can both practice their skills in a legally safe environment and appeal to recruiters that sometimes will hire the top talent on the spot. While the competition is friendly, the backdrop is serious. Security training organization (ISC)2 estimated in its 2013 workforce study that the world will need 2 million more IT security professionals by 2017, and the Pentagon last year announcedan expansion that would more than quadruple the staff of Fort Meade, Md.-based U.S. Cyber Command.
STEM in the News - June 2014 Edition
When children let their imaginations run wild, the STEM subjects get a boost (Deseret News)
When Alice Brooks was little she wanted a doll. Her father gave her a saw instead. She soon learned she could make her own dolls — and animals and other toys. At 8, she was comfortable with tools in a way that most her age were not. She became excited about building, and one of the most valuable things she built, she said, was her own confidence in her abilities — a real boon when she decided to study engineering. Years later, Brooks and business parter Bettina Chen are manufacturing Roominate, a building kit for girls that allows them to create anything they can imagine, from dollhouses to farm animals.
Eight Oakland residents awarded $30,000 fellowships to become STEM teachers in high-need schools (The Oakland Press)
To win recruits into teaching STEM in high-need schools, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded eight county residents $30,000 to complete an intensive fellowships in one of five Michigan universities. Gov. Rick Snyder introduced the 2014 class of the Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship Wednesday morning. Each will receive the $30,000 in a stipend while completing an intensive master’s-level teacher education program. After their clinically-based preparation, they will be committed to teach for at least three years in a high-need Michigan school, such as in an urban area, with ongoing support and mentoring.
'MythBusters' Host Says Science Demonstrations Are Imperative For Students (Huffington Post)
The "MythBusters" guys may not be professional scientists, but they have strong opinions about how science education should be conducted in U.S. classrooms. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, co-hosts of the hit Discovery Channel show, spoke with HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps about their upcoming road show, "MythBusters: Behind The Myths." When the conversation turned to science education in the U.S., they spoke out against the budget constraints that limit teachers' ability to demonstrate key concepts. "Science is absolutely something you have to learn by getting your hands dirty," Savage said.
Program provides STEM education to under-served students (Lake County News-Sun)
A competition for students of the In Search of Genius program will take place today June 11, at North Park University in Chicago. Founded by Riverwoods resident Gerry Walanka, the ISOG program teaches [STEM] to third- through fifth-graders at under-served schools throughout the Chicago area. At the event, hundreds of students will compete and demonstrate what they learned during the school year in the hands-on and inquiry-based program, which pairs mentors with educator. Students will be asked to take on challenges in areas of ecology, electricity and physics and earn science-related prizes.
Encouraging girls in STEM (Danbury News-Times)
As an engineer with Praxair, Tamara Brown wanted to do more to attract women into the fields of math and science and technology. That's why in 2006 she founded Tech Savvy, a program that encourages female middle school students to enter careers in the fields of technology and engineering. Since then, more than 8,000 young women have entered the program, which was launched nationally last year. For her achievements, Brown, who works in Praxair's Danbury facility, was recently named one of Fortune Magazine's Heroes of the Fortune 500. She was also recognized for her work through the program in 2011, when she was named a White House Champion of Change.
Analysis: The exploding demand for computer science education, and why America needs to keep up (Geek Wire)
The chart above tells quite a story. That blue line — the one that looks like a hockey stick — shows how interest in computer science from freshmen at the University of Washington in Seattle has skyrocketed since 2010 compared with other engineering fields. The UW is not alone. Countless other U.S. universities, from Harvard to Stanford to the University of Michigan, are seeing similar demand for computer science degrees. On the surface, it’s an encouraging trend for the tech industry, which can’t get enough new engineers. But beneath the surface is a problem: College students want to become computer scientists, but in many cases there isn’t enough room or faculty to meet the demand.
STEM mentor program to start in 10 Indy schools (Indy Star)
Ten Indianapolis schools and a community organization are joining a national initiative to develop mentoring programs for students in [STEM]. Grabbing elementary students’ interest in STEM fields can lay a foundation that blossoms through middle school, high school, and on to college and a career, say city educators and business leaders. Indianapolis is one of seven cities picked for US2020 City Competition, sponsored by Cisco. The goal is to generate a groundswell of interest from area STEM professionals to volunteer as student mentors and then match them with various classroom, after school and community programs
STEM in the News - May 2014 Edition
Tech Leaders Call on California to Boost Computer Science (re/code)
High-profile technology executives and investors are asking for a meeting with California Governor Jerry Brown to discuss augmenting computer science education in the state’s public schools. In a letter they circulated to the press, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Stanford President John Hennessy, Khan Academy founder Salman Khan and many others called on Brown to add coding classes and adjust requirements. They contrasted the availability of California computer science classes — taught in fewer than five percent of the state’s public K-12 schools — with California computer science jobs — which reportedly outnumber CS students by a factor of 16 to 1.
Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding (New York Times)
Seven-year-old Jordan Lisle, a second grader, joined his family at a packed after-hours school event last month aimed at inspiring a new interest: computer programming. “I’m a little afraid he’s falling behind,” his mother, Wendy Lisle, said, explaining why they had signed up for the class at Strawberry Point Elementary School. The event was part of a national educational movement in computer coding instruction that is growing at Internet speeds. Since December, 20,000 teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade have introduced coding lessons, according to Code.org, a group backed by the tech industry that offers free curriculums. In addition, some 30 school districts, including New York City and Chicago, have agreed to add coding classes in the fall, mainly in high schools but in lower grades, too.
Getting Girls to Study STEM: It's About More Than Just Making Science ‘Cool’ (U.S. News & World Report)
Issues connected to STEM education resonate deeply for Deep Nishar, the head of products and user experience at LinkedIn. As both an Indian-American whose technical background helped him make the leap from Mumbai to Silicon Valley, and as the father of two teenage girls who will soon be off to college, Nishar is a passionate advocate for STEM and has personally experienced the economic empowerment that technical fluency has afforded many. After recently learning about some of the great strides being made in STEM at the university level, Nishar had the pleasure of asking Maria Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd College, a few questions to hear more about the challenges and solutions she’s implemented. Klawe has bucked this trend with her work and recently led an impressive effort to increase female computer science majors at her school to 40 percent, up from 10 percent.
Top-performing high school seniors can get free ride to state colleges for science studies (New York Daily News)
The New York State STEM Incentive Program, unveiled by Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday, will pay the full, four-year undergraduate tuition for high school seniors who graduate in the top 10% of their class and enroll at any State University of New York or City University of New York college campus. Scholarship recipients will have to work in a STEM field in New York for five years after graduation, or they will have to pay back the grant, which is worth up to $6,170 per year. There will be no limit on the number of students who receive the awards. High school seniors who graduate in 2014 are the first eligible class.
Latinos Aren't Interested in STEM Fields and That's a Problem for Everyone (Next Gov)
The new U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index, released last month, found that STEM employment in the U.S. has increased by more than 30%, from 12.8M jobs in 2000 to 16.8M in 2013. And while the number of undergraduate and graduate STEM degrees granted increased during that time, the proportion of STEM in terms of total degrees granted has remained relatively flat, the study found. Another key issue is the lack of progress among female and minority students in STEM fields, Kelly said. “A big part of the problem is the continuing split that puts Asian-Americans and white males on the side of those who are driven to acquire STEM skills, and women, blacks and Latinos on the other side of the dividing line,” Kelly said. “The labor pool going forward will not be made up mainly of white males and Asian-Americans. The labor pool will be increasingly Latino, and that group is not advancing in STEM fields right now.”
STEM in the News - April 2014 Edition
Hackathons Are the New Career Fairs (Mashable)
For those looking to score a job at a hot tech startup or a coveted spot with a tech behemoth like Facebook or Square, the job search scene has an up-and-coming competitor to the traditional career fair: hackathons. Readyforce, a career network for college students, aims to hone in on hackathons as an outlet for job seekers. The platform streamlines the process of connecting students with companies and organizations recruiting those with computer science and computer engineering backgrounds. Readyforce's new platform, HackerHub, launched this spring. Readyforce CEO Alex Mooradian hopes the hub will serve as a one-stop shop for student leaders and companies.
Gays, Lesbians and Allies at Dow, PFLAG offer STEM scholarships (MLive)
Gays, Lesbians and Allies at Dow, has announced its 12th year of partnership with Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG National, to promote STEM scholarships for students who support LGBT equality in their communities. GLAD is Dow Chemical Co.’s resource group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally employees. Dow officials say the GLAD’s partnership with PFLAG’s national scholarship program demonstrates the company's “commitment to education and support of young LGBTA scholars, and forward-thinking vision for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”
More Women Game Developers Means More Success, 'Animal Crossing' Director Says (Mashable)
Last year, the Japanese game maker sold millions of copies of its city-building franchise Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It helped raise Nintendo's stock this summer after a rocky launch in 2011. One of its directors, Aya Kyogoku, called the series part of its own genre: inclusionary games. Kyogoku said the development team on New Leaf was a 50/50 gender split, something American game studios might be surprised or envious to see. Kyoguku said she worked on male-dominated teams in the past — her long history with Nintendo includes working on The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii — but she has seen more women join her teams in the past few years.
Daniel R. Porterfield (President, Franklin & Marshall College): Bringing Low-Income Students Into STEM Education (Forbes)
In January, as part of the White House’s summit on college opportunity, the Posse Foundation announced a bold five-year scholarship initiative to educate 500 low- or moderate-income students in [STEM] disciplines at 10 leading American colleges and universities, including Franklin & Marshall College (F&M). Powered by $70 million of investment from the colleges and the Posse Foundation, this project should be cause for celebration across the country, but especially in the cities from which the scholars will be drawn like Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston and New York.
STEM in the News - March 2014 Edition
New STEM App contest for students (The Weston Forum)
Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) is inviting high school students who live in the 4th District (which includes Weston) to participate in the first annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, also known as the “House App Contest.” The House App Contest is open to students ages 13 and up. Students must submit their app’s source code online by 11:59 p.m. on April 30, and provide a YouTube or Vimeo video demonstration explaining their app and what they learned through the process.
NY educators want to pool resources to encourage more girls to embrace STEM [VIDEO] (Albany Business Review)
New York educators want to pool resources to encourage more young girls to embrace STEM. A state chapter of the National Girls Collaborative Project will officially launch this fall as NY STEAM (they added the 'arts' into STEM). The organization is focused on providing opportunities for both young men and women. I caught up with Hilary Reilly, a member of the organization's leadership board after she gave a keynote address at the Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center’s conference Friday and asked her what she thinks is a major barrier to gender equality in STEM field.
Women Drop Out of STEM Fields Because They Fear Failure (Jezebel)
A couple of new studies suggest that women might be "self-selecting" out of STEM fields because we're trained to fear mediocrity and failure. It makes sense—when you're told all your life that you have to be "twice as good" to compete "in a man's world," it's tough to feel like you have the luxury of taking chances. And when you get into specifically male-dominated fields, the pressure to excel is even more intense—after all, the reputation of your entire gender is riding on you. When a male comic bombs, it's because that guy had a bad set or a bad crowd. When a female comic bombs, it's because women aren't funny.
Solar-Powered Toilet Turns Poop Into Charcoal-Like Pellets (Mashable)
Led by Karl Linden, an environmental engineering professor at the University of Colorado, a team of engineers built the Sol-Char, a toilet that scorches waste via fiber-optic cables, heated by solar concentrators on the roof. The system produces a useful byproduct called biochar, a sanitary charcoal briquette-like material that can be used for agricultural fertilizer and soil amendment. Researchers built the Sol-Char as part of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Reinvent the Toilet challenge, which seeks to bring radical, sustainable change to sanitary facilities in developing nations.
5 Games and Apps That Build Math and English Skills (Mind/Shift)
For educators who are interested in using games for learning – specifically towards developing skills as they relate to the Common Core State Standards — here are five games students can enjoy that we’ve found sync with standards.
Editorial board: Suppressing science education standards is irresponsible (Casper Star-Tribune)
Facts aren't always convenient. But that doesn't make them any less factual. And ignoring them doesn't make them go away. That's a special message for Wyoming legislators, who last week helped this state become the first to block a new set of national education standards for teaching students science. The problem? The Next Generation Science Standards, which were developed by national science education groups and representatives from 26 states, say that human-caused climate change is real. Some legislators attached a footnote to the state budget that blocks the state from adopting the standards. One of the footnote's authors, Rep. Matt Teeters, R-Lingle, said the "social implications" of the standards on global warming wouldn't be good for Wyoming, with its long history of mineral extraction.
YC-Backed CodeCombat Wants You To Learn To Code By Playing Games (TechCrunch)
STEM in the News - February 2014 Edition
A Push To Boost Computer Science Learning, Even At An Early Age (NPR)
A handful of nonprofit and for-profit groups are working to address what they see as a national education crisis: Too few of America's K-12 public schools actually teach computer science basics and fewer still offer it for credit. It's projected that in the next decade there will be about 1 million more U.S. jobs in the tech sector than computer science graduates to fill them. And it's estimated that only about 10 percent of K-12 schools teach computer science. At a Silicon Valley hotel recently, venture capitalists and interested parties heard funding pitches and watched demonstrations from 13 ed-tech startups backed by an incubator called Imagine K-12. One of them is Kodable, which aims to teach kids 5 years old and younger the fundamentals of programming through a game where you guide a Pac-Man-esque fuzz ball.
Lockheed Martin Teams Up with Project Lead The Way in National Partnership (PLTW)
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) announced Tuesday a $6 million national partnership with Lockheed Martin to expand PLTW’s [STEM] programs in select U.S. urban school districts. The specific urban districts will be announced in the coming months. “Success in building the next generation of STEM talent depends on collaboration among industry, educators, policy makers, and families,” said Jeff Wilcox, Lockheed Martin vice president of Engineering. “Our partnership with Project Lead The Way is designed to educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.” Since 2007, Lockheed Martin has provided over $1.2 million in grants and scholarships to PLTW students. The company has also supported the development of PLTW’s middle school and high school courses focused on aerospace engineering and flight, and connected Lockheed Martin engineers with students through the company’s “Engineers in the Classroom” initiative.
Global Impact Grant To Attract Female Students In STEM Fields (New Carlisle News)
Ohio Senator Chris Widener was present Friday, January 24 as representatives from the Walmart corporation presented a check to the Global Impact STEM Academy at Clark State Community College. Walmart gave a $47,000 contribution to Global Impact aimed at engaging more female students to participate in STEM disciplines.. with The Springfield Foundation acted as the fiscal agency for the donation. Senator Widener took the stage at Friday’s luncheon, telling students in attendance that they “were making history” by participating in such a groundbreaking program.
Energy companies aim to recruit more women amid industry boom (Times-Picayune)
Solid statistics on how many women work in energy are hard to find. An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted by the oil and gas industry news service Rigzone found that 46 percent of all new jobs in the oil and gas industry went to women during the first quarter of 2013, the highest level in years. Still, women represent a minority of the management and professional-level positions at the world's largest energy companies. Women made up 39 percent of ExxonMobil's management and professional new hires in 2012, the most recent figures available. At Royal Dutch Shell, women held 16.2 percent of leadership positions companywide in 2012.
Chart: The top tech companies for internships (Geek Wire)
It’s that time of year when college students start perusing internship opportunities. And to make the process a bit easier, Glassdoor has released a list of the 25 highest rated companies which are hiring interns this year. It also put together the map above showing where internships are geographically located right now. Thirteen tech companies make the list, including Facebook and Google which led the group. Three Seattle companies made the list: Microsoft (#7), Nordstrom (#24) and Amazon (#25).
How to get a job in energy IT (InfoWorld)
Nick Broskey likes to call the U.S. power grid "the most complex machine ever made - but never designed." And the industry is only going to get more complex, says Broskey, senior business systems analyst for OnDemand Energy Solutions, an energy broker in Moon Township, Pa., as solar and wind seek to join in. In short, these and other executives say, energy is a field that's simultaneously entrenched and undergoing a rapid rate of change, and IT is playing a critical role in almost every aspect of its transformation.
STEM in the News - January 2014 Edition
Latinas & Tech: What Steps Are Being Taken to Encourage Women to Study Computer Science? (Latin Post)
While a female presence is predominant online, there is still a lot more work to do to encourage young women, including aspiring Latinas, to study in the field of computer science and later enter in the tech-related workforce. "Women may make up the majority of online users, trendsetters, and consumers, but they have a long way to go to reach proportionate amounts in the field of technology," the Latin Bay Area reiterated. "Women account for only five percent of tech engineers and startup founders and represent 12 percent of all computer science graduates. Latinas are even less represented with only .03 percent of Latina freshmen majoring in computer science in 2006."
Anna Maria Chavez (CEO, Girl Scouts): Championing the Mentors and Role Models Who Build Tomorrow's Leaders (Huffington Post)
I remember my very first Girl Scout troop leader. I was 10 years old, and though I had no scouting legacy in my family, she made Girl Scouts fun, teaching me new skills and showing me that anything was possible. Along with my mother, my troop leader was one of my first female mentors, someone who encouraged and supported me, but more importantly, served as a role model and example of what I could do in my life. January is "National Mentoring Month," celebrating the mentors and role models who guide us through childhood into adulthood. At Girl Scouts, we will be celebrating National Mentoring Month, and ringing in the New Year, by joining forces with the Million Women Mentors..
STEM Entrepreneur: Government and Corporations Should Work Together to Help Schools (U.S. News & World Report)
More than 20 years after Dean Kamen founded the nonprofit Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), he says there's still a long way to go to fill the STEM jobs gap in the United States, and the federal government can have a large role in the solution. Kamen's organization holds annual robotics and technology programs and competitions for nearly 13,000 schools in the United States. But according to testimony Kamen gave Thursday before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology's Subcommittee on Research and Technology, that's just 10 percent of American schools. Many schools, he said, struggle to fund not just FIRST programs, but any STEM programs.
Heather Heenehan (Duke Univ., Graduate Student): The Power of Skype to Inspire a New Generation of STEM (Huffington Post)
Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to use and explore Skype in the classroom and to witness its incredible power to inspire students throughout the disciplines. So I wanted to share some of the ways that scientists and teachers can use Skype in the classroom to connect. Over a two-week period I connected on four different occasions with three different classrooms in Canada (P.S. I live in North Carolina) as part of November's "Exploring Oceans" unit. I joined the Ocean GEMS team to share a little bit about my own research. When you sign up for Skype in the classroom you receive a free year of Skype Premium which allows for group Skyping and more.
Samsung Mobile App Academy Winners Announced, $35,000 in Scholarships Awarded to STEM Students (Business Wire)
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (Samsung Mobile), today recognized the top five STEM students and their mobile application concepts at a special announcement ceremony at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The winning ideas came out of Samsung’s 2013 Mobile App Academies, which were hosted across the nation in six U.S. cities this past summer. Now in its second year, the Samsung Mobile App Academy has exposed high school students to the growing possibilities of mobile application development and provided the opportunity to create app concepts that are relevant to them and their communities.
STEM in the News - December 2013 Edition
U.S. Students Get Stuck in Middle of the Pack on OECD Test (Bloomberg)
U.S. teenagers showed little progress on an international test of math, science and reading, which was again led by students in Shanghai and Singapore, bolstering support for tougher standards in U.S. schools. The U.S. placed below average in math and about average in reading and science among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Paris-based agency that released results today of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment. There was little change from the last test three years ago, the OECD said.
Sreedhar Pillai (CEO, CAPEXSALES): Can the United States Afford to Let Engineering Degrees Cost More for Its Students? (Huffington Post)
The rapidly growing debate about the "higher-education bubble" came to a boil earlier this year when new data revealed that student loan debt in the U.S. topped the $1 trillion mark in 2012. In the months following (and with debt already at $1.2 trillion for 2013) educators, students, parents and economists have been struggling to come up with a solution for the debt problem faced by the nation's 37 million student borrowers. Although student debt is a drop in the bucket compared to the national debt as a whole, student debt has a particularly potent influence on the health of our economy.
New BU Initiative to Boost STEM Education (BU Today)
Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, recently named two BU faculty members to take STEM to the next level. Bennett Goldberg, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of physics and a College of Engineering professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been appointed director of BU’s STEM Education Initiatives. Joyce Y. Wong, an ENG professor of biomedical engineering and of materials science and engineering, has been named director of a new University effort to advance women in STEM fields.
UW Leads Project to Use Gaming and Robotics to Boost Math Learning (Univ. of Wyoming)
Can gaming and robotics be used to teach computational thinking skills to middle school students in culturally sensitive ways? A multidisciplinary University of Wyoming research team will explore that and related questions with the support of a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. UW’s project will engage middle schools in at least 10 Wyoming school districts.
STEM in the News - October 2013 Edition
Business and education leaders urge STEM education
By Barbara Christiansen
October 18, 2013
It's the stuff that things are made with -- all kinds of things.
And without science, technology, engineering and math, we would not have much of what we take for granted in our world today.
A panel from government, business and education answered questions about STEM for the Women's Business Network luncheon on Thursday.
Seven panelists shared ideas and answered questions. One major focus they addressed was the lack of a prepared workforce to fill jobs in Utah County and across the nation.
"There aren't enough qualified workers here," Kim Buhler, an immigration attorney, said. "The US only issues 85,000 professional visas a year. This year we are meeting with clients the first week in January. They will apply for some of those work visas." If local workers are trained, the need to bring others to the country will not be as great.
TeenLife Media Encourages Teens in Pursuit of a STEM Education
Boston, MA (PRWEB)
October 18, 2013
TeenLife Media, an online media company that offers comprehensive information and resources for parents, teens, and educators, recognizes the value of STEM education for students in its first-ever 2013 Guide to STEM Programs presented in partnership with STEMconnector®.