Michelle Obama Reminds Tech Industry – Again – Girls Can Code
Michelle Obama spoke at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Ca., where she emphasized the importance of encouraging young girls to pursue careers in technology. The former first lady, who launched an education initiative in 2015 called Let Girls Learn, said society has a long way to go when it comes to establishing equality and access in the workspace. The tech industry’s lack of diversity continues to make headlines, with companies including Apple and Google undertaking efforts to hire and promote more women and minorities.
While U.S. STEM Education Market Declines, China Invests Heavily
The United States is a global superpower, but recent political decisions have called to question its commitment to certain core concepts, including STEM education. In fact, between the conflicting interests of U.S. Secretary of State Betsy DeVos’ pro-STEM education stance and President Donald Trump’s intention to cut NASA’s education office, the world is questioning the fate of STEM education in U.S. school systems.
Engineering Camp Designed to Attract Girls to Field
Unlike boys, Kim Higgins said girls aren’t encouraged enough to pursue a career in a STEM field. Higgins, an assistant to the dean of the college of engineering at the University of Evansville, hopes girls develop the confidence to know and pursue STEM options for future careers after attending UE’s OPTIONS summer career exploration camp. “So many times, girls at this age are not pushed toward this career path. I want them to have a can-do attitude,” she said. “They can do anything the boys can do.”
Pennsylvania Department of Education Announces the Creation of Regional STEM Ecosystem
The department announced that it has received national recognition for another STEM ecosystem in the commonwealth, bringing the total of formally-recognized regional ecosystems to five. The National STEM Funders Network, which aims to assist states in enhancing equity and quality of STEM learning outcomes by reducing barriers within STEM educational systems is supporting the partnership between the Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery County intermediate units. Pennsylvania has been recognized as a national leader in STEM education for the collaboration between the state’s STEM ecosystems.
STEM Education Starts in Early Childhood, Researchers Say
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and New America issued the study “STEM Starts Early” after directing educator focus groups and conducting an extensive literature review. A key takeaway for parents, educators and policy-makers is that “early STEM experiences predict later academic outcomes better than early reading skills,” according to McClure. In other words, the huge emphasis on promoting literacy in a child’s early years may not be the most effective way to ensure that they are prepared for formal schooling and beyond. Instead, she called for integrating STEM concepts into literacy instruction and vice versa – as she argues the subjects reinforce one another, particularly at an early age. The advantage of teaching STEM to students is two-fold, according to the study. Not only are important traits like perseverance and determination ingrained in children through the trial and error process inherent in science education, but also children are already naturally predisposed to curiosity and hands-on exploration, said McClure.
2017 Pennsylvania Afterschool Advocacy Day Huge Success
On May 10, PSAYDN, in partnership with the Pennsylvania School-Age Child Care Alliance and the Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST), held the 2017 Pennsylvania Afterschool Advocacy Day at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. The event brought together more than 200 participants from across the commonwealth, policymakers, children, youth, businesses and community partners to advocate for afterschool.
NBA, Discovery Education Give Students Mathematics-Based Virtual Field Trip
As part of a multi-year partnership, the NBA and Discovery Education are giving students a virtual field trip geared towards leveraging basketball to teach subjects around STEM but more specifically, mathematics. “We want students to know that anyone with a passion for math and sports can pursue a career in professional athletics,” Kiki VanDeWeghe, NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, said in a statement. “Basketball and numbers go hand-in-hand, and we’re excited for students to see how we utilize math on an everyday basis to improve our game.”
Confidence in Math Predicts Girls’ Participation in STEM
A girl’s decision to take more classes in math or computer science may depend on whether she feels up to the challenge. But her confidence in her abilities may be lower than it should be. Even when male and female high school students receive the same math grades, girls tend to feel they are less competent than boys, a new study shows. And that may affect her choice to pursue science — or not.