Microsoft Revamps Imagine Cup, Adds Worldwide Semifinals And New Challenges (TechCrunch)
Microsoft's Imagine Cup is one of the world's largest software development competitions aimed at students. Since its launch 11 years ago, more than 1.7 million students have participated in it in some form and this year, there are $1 million in prizes up for grabs. In an effort to make the competition closer aligned to what students need to know to get jobs later on (or start their own companies), the company today announced a number to the competition.
SpaceX Launches Its First Commercial Satellite Into Orbit (Mashable)
Third time's a charm for Elon Musk. After two failed attempts last week, SpaceX on Tuesday successfully launched an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its first commercial satellite into space. The launch is monumental for SpaceX because it proves the private company can deliver satellites into orbit on a budget. Now, CEO Musk and his team have an entry ticket to the $190 billion commercial satellite industry.
Siemens, CADENAS Extend Partnership for STEM Education (Ten Links)
Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business unit and CADENAS have extended their partnership to provide students in [STEM] with free access to a popular product design productivity tool used by the global manufacturing industry. Siemens PLM Software’s academic partners – including students, researchers and educators – can now quickly and efficiently find and download standard parts from a massive digital database based on CADENAS’ widely-used PARTcommunity technology.
UTC plans $10 million Investment for Advanced Systems Engineering Institute at UConn (United Technologies)
The creation of the next generation of affordable “smart” products and services requires both new designs and new ways of designing. That’s why United Technologies is planning a $10 million investment in the University of Connecticut (UConn) – including one of the largest corporate gifts ever received by UConn – to launch the UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering.
Women in STEM
Techbridge Girls: Before You Make Your Shopping List for the Holidays: Consider the Message Your Gift Sends to a Girl (Huffington Post)
A toy catalog arrived with Sunday's paper. I have three nieces, ages 3-9, and am looking for holiday gifts that will empower them. As founder of Techbridge, a program that inspires girls to change the world through science, technology, and engineering I am interested in toys that help girls imagine all the possibilities for their futures. Do all girls like pink? Do all girls want to play princess and be rescued by a prince? I am passing on the pink and getting science and tinkering toys for my nieces. I've seen how toys like these can turn a girl on to a new interest and even a lifelong passion for science or engineering.
Girl Scout council encourages love of science, tech (Star News Online)
The Girl Scouts of the North Carolina Coastal Pines is partnering with companies and organizations to engage and support girls' interest in [STEM]. "These are the leaders of tomorrow, and we are making strides and taking them forward by bringing attention to these STEM fields," said Krista Park, communications and marketing director for Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. "We are grabbing a hold of girls' interests and keep them moving forward."
Women Benefit from Project-Based Approach to Learning STEM (Science Careers)
Project-based education is particularly effective in helping women succeed at STEM subjects, according to studies reported at Inside Higher Ed. A survey of nearly 40 years of alumni from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, which since 1974 has required each student to participate in two major projects, found this approach "substantially more effective for women, suggesting that a project-based curriculum may boost female success in [STEM] fields," writes Allie Grasgreen.
Elizabeth Cleland: How I Help All My Students to Be Good at Math (The Atlantic)
As a mathematics educator for the last seven years, I can attest that most folks believe they either are or are not “math people.” And that idea of innate math ability is very harmful to both those who believe they possess it and to those who believe they don’t. Furthermore, our new era of educational accountability perpetuates this fallacy and clouds the message we want our students to receive in math class.
Math education expert selected for NGA roundtable (Vanderbilt)
Vanderbilt University Professor Bethany Rittle-Johnson was one of a select group of researchers and representatives from state and local governments, national organizations and foundations invited to participate in the National Governors Association Expert Roundtable for Strengthening Early Mathematics Education. Under the aegis of the NGA Center for Best Practices, the roundtable convened in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 20, 2013, to discuss a research and policy report on early math instruction (preschool through Grade 3) being prepared for U.S. governors.
Univ. of Arizona day camps to extend past summer, focus on science of winter (Daily Wildcat)
Elementary students can explore the science of winter this holiday season with UA day camps. The Flandrau Science Center and the UofA Bookstore are working together to provide day camps for students in grades K-5 this winter break. The camps, called UA Fusion Camps, focus on giving kids a fun experience with science. Fusion Camps started four summers ago as a partnership between Flandrau, the bookstore and the Student Recreation Center, and were held at the Rec Center, said Jennifer Fields, education director at Flandrau.
Gov. Inslee, Microsoft's Smith address science, technology, engineering and math at summit (Redmond-Reporter)
Brad Smith eyed the crowd, stretched his arms out, opened his hands and smiled. He acknowledged the members of the Washington STEM board in front of him and likened them to an army, fighting on the front lines to bring [STEM] to the forefront for all students. "We have an opportunity, I believe, to become the first state in the country that gets computer science into every high school," said Smith, Microsoft's executive vice president and general counsel, Legal and Corporate Affairs.
Chicago's Tech Scene Faces Competition From All Sides (Mashable)
Chicago’s reputation as a tech cluster is rising quickly. Several initiatives are encouraging the city’s entrepreneurs to stay put, not to relocate to either maritime coast to seek their fortunes. Moreover, its time zone between the west and east poles of San Francisco and New York make it an attractive place not only for local startups, but also for European ones. Detroit may not immediately seem a local rival, but things are stirring in the struggling city. While startups aren't yet setting up shop on the notorious East Side, the downtown M@dison Theatre co-working space is a catalyst for companies looking for cheaper alternatives to the Valley.
Innovation Hub Announces $250K Grant From DRA (Innovate Arkansas)
The nonprofit Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub announced Monday a $250,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority to be used for program support and administrative operations at the planned Argenta Innovation Center. The Hub will break ground in early 2014 for the Innovation Center, a planned 17,000-SF facility that will promote economic development through entrepreneurship. It will entail the renovation and expansion of a former police substation located at West Fourth and Poplar streets in the Argenta district of downtown North Little Rock, and is expected to be up and running by early spring.
Educators, policy makers unite to discuss STEM education in Norwood (Wicked Local)
Educators, politicians and employers came together at Universal Technical Institute to discuss the skills gap and how schools can create new STEM initiatives at the second annual New England Skills Gap Expo. “STEM is not only for the privileged few. It is for everyone. Much of the national dialogue today is one STEM,” UTI CEO Kim McWaters said. “STEM is important for innovation to occur. I fully support that advancement of these subjects and skill sets is necessary.”
10 Innovations That Improved the World in 2013 (Mashable)
Never before in history have new innovations unfolded so quickly, and that pace will only keep accelerating. But we're not just talking about long-lasting cellphone batteries and self-driving cars. Brilliant minds around the world are using today's latest technologies to make the world a better place. These 10 innovations from 2013 were not only great technological feats, but they also have the potential to improve millions of lives. In the above gallery, you'll find new solutions that are helping to meet the increasing global demand for food, make the lives of people suffering from diseases and disabilities easier, and protect animals and the environment.
Today's CEO Leader in STEM: Denise Ramos of ITT
Denise Ramos is Chief Executive Officer and President at ITT. Here's a quote from our Q&A: "To ensure our long-term competitive advantage and prosperity, ITT and all U.S. companies must peer into the future – the sometimes distant future – and determine where we need to be and what our purpose will be in five, 10 or 20 years. We must have the ability to successfully look around corners, and this absolutely requires the strategic thinking, problem solving and technological capabilities that the study of science, technology, engineering and math encourages."
X-STEM is a Ted Talks for Kids and Much More
When you were in class, did you ever wish you could ask an astronaut what space was like? Of have a world renowned mathematician explain how they approach a problem? Or find out what inspired a storm chaser to pursuit her passion? That’s X-STEM! The USA Science & Engineering Festival is kicking off another groundbreaking event with X-STEM - presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune. Its an Extreme STEM symposium for students featuring interactive presentations and workshops by an amazing group of science and technology visionaries will empower and inspire kids to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The speakers will not only discuss their amazing discoveries and the wonders of science and technology, but they will also discuss what drove them to become the visionaries they are today.
Verizon, UTeach Institute Launch Program to Help Future Teachers Integrate Mobile Tech Into Math and Science Teaching
The UTeach Institute, a notable teacher preparation organization at the University of Texas at Austin, has teamed up with Verizon to launch a program that is helping tomorrow's educators effectively use mobile technology to improve student learning and interest in STEM subjects. The initiative, begun in September and called the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Higher Education program, currently is available to students in UTeach secondary STEM teacher preparation programs at the UC-Boulder, the University of Kansas, the UMass-Lowell and UT-Austin. The partners plan to expand this program to four more universities, starting early next year.
Students Can Create Animations of Garfield the Cat With New Version of Carnegie Mellon's Alice Software
Children who love Garfield, the feline star of the world's most widely syndicated comic strip, now can make their own computer animations of the lasagna-loving, Monday-adverse cat — and learn a bit about computer programming in the process — with the latest version of Carnegie Mellon University's Alice educational software.