Elon Musk Donates $1 Million to New Tesla Museum (Live Science)
For his 158th birthday, Nikola Tesla got a day named in his honor and a new science museum with $1 million in funding from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. Musk, the CEO of electric carcompany Tesla Motors and rocket company SpaceX, pledged the money in support of a new Tesla museum to be built on the grounds of the Serbian-American inventor's laboratory at Wardenclyffe in Long Island, New York. The announcement was made today (July 10) at a birthday celebration on the historic site. "We're happy to be gathered at the laboratory of Nikola Tesla, the person we've come to celebrate," a museum official said at the event. "Thank you, Elon Musk!"
UNR plans to graduate more STEM teachers (Reno Gazette-Journal)
The University of Nevada, Reno hopes to have a new program called UTeach in place by the fall of 2015. It will offer undergraduates majoring in engineering, math, science and computer science the chance to earn a second degree that will qualify them to become teachers. So in addition to UNR teaching undergraduates who plan to major in education, it will reach out to students majoring in the STEM fields as well by offering them a dual degree. UTeach was established in 1997 at the University of Texas at Austin to increase the number of its certified STEM teacher graduates. Due to its success, about 40 universities across the United States now have or plan to implement the program on their campuses.
St. Mary’s Receives National Science Foundation Award for New STEM Scholarships Program (Lamorinda Patch)
Saint Mary’s College has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant, the largest from the organization in the College’s history. The grant, an NSF Scholarship in STEM Award, is for $613,477 over five years and will help support full-tuition scholarships for academically talented low-income students majoring in STEM fields. “We are extremely grateful to the National Science Foundation for supporting the College’s efforts in creating STEM education opportunities for Saint Mary’s students,” said Saint Mary’s President James Donahue. The College will combine the NSF grant with institutional support from Saint Mary’s for the new initiative “Mentored Access to Programs in Science,” or MAPS.
Teaching teachers to teach STEM (Baltimore Sun)
Towson University, with support from the Maryland State Department of Education, has launched the first program in the state that leads to an elementary STEM certification, preparing teachers with the special skills needed to introduce critical STEM concepts into elementary classrooms. Towson University was the first university in Maryland to adopt the nationally recognized UTeach model for preparing STEM teachers, a move that was funded in 2012 by a $1.9 million grant. (The University of Maryland in February announced plans to also implement UTeach.)
Kaine, Portman introduce Senate career, technical education bill (Augusta Free Press)
Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chairs of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, introduced bipartisan legislation to raise the quality of CTE programs at schools in Virginia, Ohio and across the country. The Educating Tomorrow’sWorkforce Act amends the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to better meet the needs of a 21st century workforce and ensure students have access to the highest-quality CTE programs. “It is essential for the U.S. to invest in creating a world-class system of education across the spectrum to ensure we have the technically skilled and well-trained workforce we need. That is why Senator Portman and I are introducing this bill, the Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act,” Kaine said..
$5 Million Grant Supports STEM Education Initiative (The Morning Sun)
A $5 million grant from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation will fund an Alma College initiative that will address the national demand for more graduates trained in STEM fields. The initiative, titled “e-STEM: Enhancing STEM Education and Practice,“ will provide new opportunities for students and faculty at both Alma College and K-12 schools to collaborate and engage in real-world research and learning in [STEM]. The goal of e-STEM is to get more students excited about science through laboratory and field experiences that are tied to local issues and have personal meaning, says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy.
Summer of STEM
NYU offering summer STEM classes for city's kids (New York Daily News)
Nearly 500 city students are taking classes in STEM in mostly free summer camp programs operated by New York University. The classes focus on cybersecurity, video games, renewable energy, computer coding and other white-hot fields and are taught by staffers and students at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering in downtown Brooklyn. Fifty city teachers are also working with NYU staffers this summer to bolster their own ability to deliver STEM classes, said Katepalli Sreenivasan, NYU School of Engineering president and dean. “Our experience proves how powerfully we can change students’ lives, particularly by working with their teachers,” Sreenivasan said.
Diversity in STEM
Level Playing Field Institute: Diversity Data Shows Need to Focus on Women of Color (ImpactX)
The floodgates holding back the tech industry's dismal diversity data are now wide open. First Google, then LinkedIn and Yahoo, and now Facebook have soaked Silicon Valley watchers with what many of us already assumed: the tech community is mostly white and male. The statistics about racial and gender diversity in the technology field are disheartening and signal the need for efforts to increase the presence of women and African American, Latino, and Native American professionals in computing and technology fields. There is currently a fair amount of dialogue and momentum, focused on increasing numbers of women and underrepresented people of color in the tech industries -- as there is a great need for it. The nation is recognizing the benefits of engaging and preparing diverse groups in the rapidly-growing tech industry in order to keep pace with economic demands.
These 12 Tech Companies Have (Relatively) High Numbers of Women (Mashable)
Entelo, a startup that analyzes social data to help corporate recruiters spot promising candidates, put together a list of tech companies with some of the highest percentages of female technologists. Of course, only the companies know precisely their gender breakdown, and just a few have publicized their numbers. Last month, Google revealed that 17% of its technology employees are female, roughly the same number that Entelo had previously estimated. Entelo, whose customers include Facebook, Salesforce and UPS, recently started a service specifically for companies that want to increase their hiring of women, Hispanics, blacks and people with military experience.
Most with college STEM degrees go to work in other fields, survey finds (Washington Post)
People with bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and math are more likely than other college graduates to have a job, but most of them don’t work in STEM occupations, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Thursday. Nearly 75 percent of all holders of bachelor’s degrees in STEM disciplines don’t have jobs in STEM occupations, according to a survey that reached 3.5 million homes, said Liana Christin Landivar, a sociologist with the Census Bureau. The bureau’s American Community Survey is the largest household survey in the nation.
New Jersey Board of Ed preserves climate science in curriculum (Asbury Park Press)
New Jersey's Board of Education voted Wednesday to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, a curriculum that happens to include climate science instruction for high school students. Like so many curriculum shifts underway nationally, the Next Generation Science Standards became a political football in the ongoing conservative versus liberal culture war. For what it's worth, the standards were developed by National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve, a nonpartisan educational nonprofit aimed at reforming curriculum standards and improving student achievement. So far, New Jersey joins 11 other states in adopting the science standards. Proponents of the NGSS have launched what they are calling the Climate Science Students Bill of Rights.
STEM program keeps inner-city New Jersey students involved in science (Trentonian)
On Wednesday, Samsung announced that the company has awarded 63 scholarships to New Jersey high school students to serve as Samsung Scholars at the Rutgers Summer Science Program in July, which provides participants with week-long [STEM] immersion sessions. Two former Summer Science Program attendees received the first Samsung STEM College Scholarship which grants $2,500 to New Jersey students pursuing undergraduate degrees in STEM fields. “This is a great opportunity. We have met many very nice people and engage in very interesting activities,” said Akil Roberts from Trenton who is working on a music and video game app.
Kokomo programs get piece of $3 million state CTE grants (Kokomo Tribune)
Career and Technical Education programs in Kokomo received a share of the $3 million the state awarded to new innovative CTE curricula. Chrysler Group LLC received $100,000, with a private matching grant of $2.98 million, for the Advanced Innovative Manufacturing program the company is spearheading with support from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region, Conexus, 10 area high schools and four CTE centers. Advanced Innovative Manufacturing is an early college program that will allow students to graduate from high school with several nationally recognized certifications.
SHEC Member Profile: Rob Denson of DMACC
The STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) is proud to announce that Rob Denson, President of the Des Moines Area Community College, will be the Chair of the Council. Rob Denson was appointed the 4th President of Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) on November 1, 2003. He is the first native-born Iowan to be President of DMACC, a comprehensive community college serving 37,000 credit and 32,000 non-credit students annually in 153 program and certificate areas. Regarding joining the Council, Rob said, “STEM and higher education must exist at the intersection where high quality jobs and qualified workers meet to create an aligned pathway to success for both. Working together, business and education can energize future generations and give them the tools to solve global challenges. STEM skills are the key and institutional STEM Councils lead the way.”
California STEM Weekly: July 10, 2014
Don't miss out on this week's California STEM Weekly- featuring STEM stories on Silicon Valley Education Foundation women in STEM panel discussion, Symantec launches cyber career initiative, Laney College "fab lab" program expands to Castlemont High School in Oakland, El Camino College gets $2.8M to bring engineering experiences to high schools, and much more!
House Passes Holt/Foster Amendment to Restore National Undergraduate Fellowship Program
The House of Representatives passed an amendment, proposed by Congressman Rush Holt (NJ-12) and Bill Foster (IL-11), to restore the National Undergraduate Fellowship Program (NUF) at the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations Act for 2015 was adopted by voice vote. The NUF program supports a specific workforce need by encouraging participants to study fusion energy, plasma physics, and related fields. Additionally, the program has been remarkably successful in encouraging female participation in the sciences. "Department of Energy labs provide world class user facilities that should operate both as hubs of innovation and important research tools to engage students from K-12 through graduate school. The National Undergraduate Fellowship Program is just one example out of many DOE education programs that are being threatened, and I hope that the situation can be remedied in conference with the Senate," said Foster. “Having worked at a national lab for 20 years before coming to Congress, I have witnessed firsthand how time spent with researchers and experiments can inspire a lifelong interest in science in young students." "When young students and teachers are able to directly engage with our national labs it inspires an interest and passion for science beyond what any textbook or online resource could ever provide,” said Holt. "I fear that in limiting educational activities to only the Education Department, we are further isolating the public from the important scientific research that is being conducted at our national labs, and we diminish science education in America."