News

PSAYDN Testifies at Joint House Policy Committee Hearing

Laura Saccente, director of PSAYDN, testified on Monday at a joint bipartisan House Policy Committee hearing on out-of-school time programs and their contributions to building a strong and vibrant workforce in the commonwealth.

Republicans and democrats in the state legislature learned about several distinguished informal STEM learning environments, such as afterschool and summer learning programs and their partnerships with STEM Learning Ecosystems that are gaining national recognition and educating youth across Pennsylvania.

Read the full press release. (PDF)
Watch the PA.House video with highlights of the hearing. (YouTube)

 

2018-19 Code.org’s Facilitator Development Program

Code.org is looking for individuals interested in developing facilitation capacity in computer science education to deliver high-quality professional development to teachers in a format that is fun and accessible for the 2018-19 school year. The Program is a highly-selective professional learning program designed to prepare and support facilitators to deliver quality workshops on Code.org’s curriculum.

 

Tech Industry Diversity Is Troubling

According to the 2017 National Science Foundation report “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering,” women earned about 29 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in computer sciences in 1995. In 2014, they earned only 18 percent.

 

Hogan Announces Initiative to Boost Computer Science Workforce

Gov. Larry Hogan has announced a comprehensive computer science education and workforce development plan, including a new executive order, proposed legislation, and $5 million in new education funding.

 

17 STEM Politicians Won Elections

There are now a lot more nerds in elected office. Seventeen candidates with STEM-backgrounds ran their respective races, from Virginia governor-elect Ralph Northam – a doctor – to Tiffany Hodgson, a neuroscientist who won a seat on the Wissahickon School Board in eastern Pennsylvania.

 

Supplemental Math Intervention Program: Action Math Baseball – Learning Simulation Software

Students improve math-fluency as they manage their own team of MLB players. Aligned with Pennsylvania State Standards, this innovative software simulation is uniquely designed to supplement the classroom and/or support intervention in grades 5-8. Purchase by January 31, 2018; use promo code PSAYDN and receive a 25% discount.

 

What Corporations Can Do to Reframe the Image of STEM

Instead of talking about the mundane aspects of the career and using abstract words to describe scientific jargon, make it relatable. Use language that is simple to connect to. Show the day-to-day of the job and the potential impact it has on the larger scope of things. Speak about what the perspective employee would do on a daily basis and profile someone at the company at the early stage of their career. Show an example of what a day at work would look like, by breaking down one of the exciting days on the job. Then, connect this work to impact – show how this work will leave a lasting impact on a product, industry or brand. In this way, a STEM career becomes much more personal and relatable while peaking curiosity.

 

White House, Tech Companies Pledge $500 Million to Increase STEM Opportunities

As K-12 schools attempt to close the STEM skills gap, federal support for such programs is key. Late in September, President Trump signed a memorandum to provide at least $200 million in annual grant funding to expand K-12 computer science and STEM education. The push for federal support also sparked action from the tech industry. Shortly after the White House released the memo, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce pledged a total of $300 million for computer science education, reports The New York Times.

 

Where the STEM Jobs Are and Where They Are Not

Much of the public enthusiasm for STEM education rests on the assumption that these fields are rich in job opportunities. Some are, some are not. STEM is an expansive category, spanning many disciplines and occupations, from software engineers and data scientists to geologists, astronomers and physicists. What recent studies have made increasingly apparent is that the greatest number of high-paying STEM jobs are in the “T” (specifically, computing).

 

High Hopes But Few Details for Trump’s $200 Million STEM Pledge

The White House’s pledge to spend $200 million on science, math and computer education could potentially transform U.S. classrooms, but educators are waiting to celebrate until they know how the money will be spent. “I think it’s positive that the White House is talking about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, but we just need to see more details,” said Vincent Stewart, executive director of the California STEM Network at Children Now, a nonprofit that advocates on children’s health, education and policy. “Until we see where that money is going, it’s too difficult to say what the impact will be.”