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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)
There are dozens of services out there that can help you find your way, but a new YC-backed company wants to teach you how to code through gamification. The web-based game teaches rudimentary JavaScript fundamentals, including everything you’d learn in an introductory computer science course, by forcing you to code your way through the game. In order to get from one level to the next, you must understand the lesson being taught and prove it through writing your own code. The game is entirely free to play, and Saines claims that it will stay that way. Instead, the company will make money through recruitment. Because CodeCombat can see the way you type through a log of how you solve the problems and challenges posed by the game, as well as the way you structure your algorithms, it has incredible insight to your talent as a programmer.



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.


Read More: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/business-and-education-leaders-urge-stem-education/article_c1c3297f-0ca4-5602-94ef-cb3fffb2ae4c.html


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®.


 Read More: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11241290.htm