‘Hour of Code’ event aims to demystify computer science (Seattle Times)
Students and teachers in classrooms around the globe will join in a worldwide initiative called Hour of Code next week. Presented by Seattle-based nonprofit Code.org, the event aims to demystify computer science for educators and students alike. Thus far, some 28,000 groups plan to host tutorials next week across 166 countries. Code.org created the free tutorial in collaboration with engineers from Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook. It uses puzzles featuring characters from popular online games like “Angry Birds” to introduce students to coding concepts.
Tynker Creates Tutorials for Code.org (PRWEB)
Tynker (http://www.Tynker.com), a leading education startup that enables schools, teachers and parents to help children learn how to code, today announced 8 free interactive tutorials for students in grades 1-3 and grades 4-8 in support of the CSEdWeek and Code.org nationwide “Hour of Code” initiative. Tynker has launched these new tutorials (http://www.Tynker.com/HourOfCode) to support the Hour of Code, which asks schools, teachers and parents across the country to help introduce more than 10 million students of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week, December 9-15, 2013.
Anna Maria Chavez (CEO, Girl Scouts): Closing the Global STEM Gap (Huffington Post)
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) recently released the results of their 2012 standardized tests, and they found that American 15-year-olds ranked 30th in math, 23rd in science and 20th in reading -- roughly the same results as 2009, the last time PISA conducted these tests. So, in light of these disappointing results, the question becomes: How do we maintain our competitive edge in the century ahead? Clearly, there is work to be done in our educational system. But maybe more importantly, American culture needs to place a renewed emphasis on STEM and generate an excitement for science in young people that we haven't seen since the era of the space race.
Women in STEM
Twitter Adds First Female Board Member, Marjorie Scardino (Mashable)
Twitter has appointed its first female board member: Marjorie Scardino. Scardino has a strong media background, having served as CEO of The Economist Group and more recently, as CEO of Pearson, a role she held for nearly 16 years, helping to grow Pearson into a leading publishing and education company. She stepped down from that position in late 2012. This isn't the first time Scardino has served on the board of a technology company. She was a member of Nokia's board of directors for more than a decade as well.
Girl, 16, crushes competition in monster trucks and math (SFGate)
Rosalee Ramer not only lives for weekend truck rallies at fairgrounds along the West Coast, but she works on, designs and pilots the metallic beasts. She's considered the nation's youngest female professional monster truck driver in a sport heavy on testosterone. The near-perfect 780 in math put Rosalee among the nation's 99th percentile and on a track for the Ivy League. Earlier this month, the straight-A student and her father, Kelvin Ramer, visited Harvard and MIT, the two universities her advisers at Pacific Collegiate charter school in Santa Cruz suggested. Rosalee would be the first Ramer to go to college. She plans to major in mechatronics, the study of mechanical engineering and electronics, so she's leaning toward MIT.
UCLA Inst. of the Environment and Sustainability: Women in STEM Symposium (Huff Post Green)
Last month, UCLA hosted a symposium to address how higher education can assist in advancing the careers and goals of women in STEM. Opportunities and challenges for pursuing occupations in science and engineering were considered by a panel of female senior researchers and engineers. "I was really inspired both by the broad participation of women in science at all levels," said Diana Huffaker, director of the Integrated NanoMaterials Core Lab at UCLA and a professor of electrical engineering, "including the 120 local high school girls with questions regarding education paths, through newly graduated PhDs navigating their first jobs, along with the powerful panel of speakers each telling unique stories about their paths."
The Best Jobs in Health Care in 2014 (Forbes)
While many of the new jobs created since the recession are low-paying retail and restaurant positions with no benefits and little chance of advancement, the growing health care sector offers career paths that lead to generous compensation and a secure future. CareerCast, a five-year-old job search website in Carlsbad, Calif., has put together a list of the 12 jobs it deems to be the best in health care. At the top of the list: biomedical engineer, a field that combines engineering expertise and specialized medical knowledge.
Milken Institute's annual review of U.S. Best-Performing Cities: A tale of tech and energy (Milken Institute)
The Milken Institute's annual "Best-Performing Cities" index shows that technology and energy are the biggest forces behind America's booming cities. Austin, Texas, reclaimed the No.1 spot based on a booming technology sector. Similarly, the rest of the top five all enjoy thriving tech sectors: Provo, Utah (second, up from seventh last year); San Francisco (third, up from 36th); San Jose (fourth, down from first) and Salt Lake City (fifth, up from sixth).
Tech launching new STEM-focused MBA program (Lubbock Online)
This summer, Texas Tech’s Rawls College of Business will be the first program in the state to launch an MBA program specifically tailored for students with backgrounds in [STEM]. The one-year master’s of business administration program will see its first students beginning classes in June, according to Mary Frances Weatherly, director of the program. Weatherly said the program is designed to increase the marketability of STEM students.
UC investing $440K in diversity (Cincinnati Business Courier)
The University of Cincinnati is investing an additional $440,000 annually to diversify its student body. The funds support three scholarships to help attract, retain and graduate students who reflect a wide range of diversity. The newly established Niehoff Presidential Scholars Program will allocate about $140,000 to support women and minority students in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine majors.
Nixon preps community colleges to train Boeing workers (Kansas City Business Journal)
Gov. Jay Nixon has readied a force of Missouri community colleges — the Missouri Aerospace Training Consortium — to prepare to train thousands of workers for aerospace manufacturing jobs. It's another move to lure Boeing Co. to put within Missouri its production of the Boeing 777X. "Especially in high-tech industries like aerospace, we're seeing once again that Missouri's human capital is one of our most precious and marketable assets," Nixon said in a statement.
Aviation lifting STEM education in Kentucky (The Lane Report)
It’s not often mentioned, but aviation is one of Kentucky’s biggest industries – so big that we hardly notice it. Aviation means more than $10 billion annually to the commonwealth’s economy and includes 100,000 jobs, according to Robert Riggs, board member of the Aviation Museum of Kentucky in Lexington and for the Institute for Aerospace Education. The museum is calling attention to the fact that more than 5,000 state students have now passed through its education programs. In fact, Kentucky is a leader in aviation education: 23 high schools around the state have aviation science programs.
NASA Langley, Virginia's Advanced Manufacturing Center Join Forces (Industry Week)
NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) in Richmond, Va., announced today that the have will be working together to advance technology and innovation The space agency will be the first government member of the applied research center. "This is an important day for CCAM as we welcome the nation's space agency as a key player in helping to lead research and development in aerospace, space exploration, satellite systems, consumer products and other industries," said Armand F. Lauzon, Jr., Chairman of the CCAM board.
Waterloo Schools embraces STEM through its programs, curriculum (WCF Courier)
STEM has become a buzzword in education circles. But Waterloo Community Schools’ effort to focus on [STEM] in its classrooms goes beyond just following the latest trend. The district has embraced the concept. Superintendent Gary Norris said the importance of pushing STEM learning in district schools became “crystal clear” about three years ago. Waterloo’s high schools had just launched their career interest academies. Students could enroll in one of four or five academies that tailored classes toward groups of career interests. Core academic subjects would be taught in a way that reflected the career areas and related elective classes would be offered.
UC Davis chooses head of institute for innovation (Sacramento Business Journal)
The University of California Davis named Cleveland Justis as the executive director of its institute for innovation and entrepreneurship. Justis, who started this week, will lead and manage the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The institute was formed to integrate science and business. It brings together scientists and engineers with investors, entrepreneurs, business school students, faculty and professionals. Justis will oversee institute programs such as its entrepreneurship academies, the Big Bang! Business Competition, the Business Development Fellows program, Angels on Campus, undergraduate Innovation & Entrepreneurship Workshops and the Sustainable AgTech Innovation Center, among others.
The Weather Channel and Discovery Education Give Students an Inside Look into the Science Behind Severe Weather and Preparedness
Discovery Education is announcing a multi-year partnership with The Weather Channel to bring the science of weather and natural disaster preparedness to classrooms. These two trusted brands are launching this initiative with a virtual field trip to provide scientific expertise, weather curriculum and streaming content across multiple platforms. Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content for K-12 classrooms, and The Weather Channel are continuing to reinforce the importance of severe weather safety among students and families with this extension of Connect with Weather, an ongoing national preparedness initiative. The live virtual field trip will be held at The Weather Channel’s headquarters in Atlanta, GA. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 1p.m. EST and hosted by on-air meteorologist Mark Elliot.
NASA Fellowships, Scholarships Bring Diversity to Future STEM Workforce
NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) has awarded fellowships and scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year to 40 graduate and undergraduate students from across the United States to increase diversity in STEM disciplines. 30 graduate students from 16 states and DC were selected to receive the competitive Harriett G. Jenkins Graduate Fellowship, which provides as much as $45,000 annually for as many as three years, and includes tuition offset, student stipend, and a research experience at a NASA center. It addresses NASA's mission-specific workforce needs and supports the development of the future STEM workforce through the increased number of master's and doctorate degrees awarded to women, ethnic minorities and disabled people in STEM disciplines.
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 STEM.
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 at the UC-Boulder, Kansas, the UMass-Lowell and the UT-Austin. The partners plan to expand this program to four more universities, starting early next year.