News

STEM Education Revs Its Engines

Students at Tahoma High, Washington, learn math and science concepts through instructor-led demonstrations and hands-on automotive experiments. “We teach students about chemical reactions by showing them what happens when brake fluid spills on car paint or what happens to fuel trim when an ignition coil is unplugged,” says Thompson, automotive technology instructor and ASE master certified technician. Student demand supports the program, while an advisory committee of local industry professionals and parents defines goals and helps with decision-making.

 

STEM Education Coalition Supports House Bill to Realign NSF Education Grants

The STEM Education Coalition has voiced support for H.R. 5509, the Innovations in Mentoring, Training and Apprenticeships Act. James Brown, executive director of the Coalition, released the following statement: “We commend the House Science, Space and Technology Committee for advancing bipartisan legislation that would enable the National Science Foundation to better align its educational investments with today’s American workforce needs, which are overwhelmingly concentrated in the STEM fields. This bill takes a very bold approach to authorize grants that would support expanding and improving two-year STEM degree and certificate programs, apprenticeships and other pathways into rapidly evolving STEM fields. Our economy is demanding more technical skills at every level and federal agencies need to respond more aggressively to emerging workforce needs. This bill moves us forward in that direction.”

 

Company Leaders Look to Kids for STEM Workforce

At a panel about filling future STEM job needs during the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions: Workforce of Tomorrow conference, Vince Bertram, president and CEO of nonprofit Project Lead the Way, said as more and more companies become tech-enabled, businesses need to support measures that will encourage students early on to pursue STEM-related studies – and later STEM careers – so that they will have a supply of workers to fill ever-growing job demands.

 

I was a bad student who became an astronaut. Let’s stop telling people they can’t be good at science.

According to the 3M State of Science Index, more than one-third of the world thinks you have to be a genius in order to have a career in science. Scott Kelly shares how he went from being a daydreamer and “bad” student to becoming an astronaut. What can we do to motivate today’s daydreamers?

 

First Lady Frances Wolf Hosts Girls and Women in STEM Roundtable Discussion at the Governor’s Residence

First Lady Frances Wolf hosted a roundtable discussion with educators, government officials, community members and business leaders in STEM, focused on how to increase participation of girls and young women in STEM education. PSAYDN Director Laura Saccente participated in this important conversation. This event was held at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg and provided a platform for further conversation on how to promote the engagement and success of girls in computer science and STEM.

 

33 boys. Zero girls.

At age 13, Jothi Ramaswamy, founder and CEO of ThinkSTEAM, had her perspective on society transformed when talking to her brother about the gender ratio in his undergraduate C++ coding class – 33 boys, zero girls. Another conversation about three years ago changed everything, and inspired Ramaswamy to effect the gender gap in STEM learning. She founded ThinkSTEAM to bridge the gender gap in STEM, primarily through technology workshops for girls and connecting them to STEAM professionals from organizations like Facebook, Google, IBM, PepsiCo, etc. ThinkSTEAM has reached more than 600 girls in eight states, through 36 workshops, teaching programming, coding in several languages and challenging girls to use code to create a platform raising awareness of a social issue of their choice.

 

Are science fairs unfair?

There’s a growing sense among some scientists and educators that many science fairs are not actually very good at teaching kids about science. The field of science is ever changing and advancing, but the fairs sticks to fairly rigid, traditional rules. Real scientific research can be observational, collaborative and creative — approaches that are sometimes verboten to science fair participants. The good news is that some schools are conducting truly radical experiments on the science fair itself. Among the most intriguing: taking the competition out of science fairs. Under this model, students are evaluated based on their mastery of the scientific method rather than being pitted against one another.