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STEM Daily

STEMdaily® aggregates and curates news stories in STEM Education for all professionals interested in staying up-to-date on the latest developments in STEM. These news stories will cover topics in Education (from K-20+), Diversity and Women in STEM, Corporations and the Career Pipeline, Competitions and Conferences, Scholarships and Grants, Government, Non-Profits, Trade and Professional Associations, States, Innovation, Foundations, Testing and Assessments, STEM Policy, and much more.

We draw upon major news sources, cutting-edge blogs, content from social media, and original content from STEMConnector®, plus our partners and sponsors to deliver first-rate news coverage of all things STEM.

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Friday, February 14, 2014
The World in 2050
Elisa Villanueva Beard (Co-CEO, Teach for America) & Ana Rold (Editor-in-Chief, Diplomatic Courier): A Strong Education for a Strong Economy (U.S. News & World Report)
In January, leaders in [STEM] gathered in our nation’s capital for the Diplomatic Courier’s “The World in 2050,” a global summit addressing the future of jobs in these fields. Teach For America was among those leaders and, along with Diplomatic Courier, we considered our global STEM future. We confronted a difficult reality: Not all nations are equally preparing their youth with the skills they’ll need to compete in the 21st century. This poses a risk to our future—some economies will flourish while others flounder. Young Americans will be competing for fulfilling, stable jobs in STEM fields against a cadre of youth in China and India who may be better prepared to fill them. Globally, we must reconsider how we prepare future generations for their careers.
Higher Education
ASU Foundation launching $1 million VC fund for manufacturing companies (Phoenix Business Journal)
The Arizona State University Foundation will start a new venture capital fund for early-stage companies focused on manufacturing, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority. The venture capital fund will benefit ASU’s accelerator programs based at ASU’s SkySong center in Scottsdale, including the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group and ASU’s technology transfer arm, Arizona Technology Enterprises. “We feel this new venture fund will help to fill a gap not only in the early-stage venture sector in Arizona, but also in the ecosystem that is rapidly building in the greater Phoenix area for manufacturing-oriented companies,” Gordon McConnell, associate vice president with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group..

OCTC Awarded Almost $620,000 in STEM Funds (Surf KY)
Owensboro Community and Technical College has received a $619,500 grant award from the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in [STEM] program. The project, entitled the OCTC Achieving Community College Educational Success Scholarship to STEM (OCTC ACCESS to STEM) is designed to increase the pool of skilled technicians in the fields of [STEM] from which to hire the next generation workforce. Given the critical need of the country to encourage STEM careers for a well-prepared workforce, the proposed project bodes well for increased enrollment and retention in STEM education and training programs that lead to transfer to four-year postsecondary training and/or training-related employment.

Engineering students could pay 15 percent more at SIUE (Belleville News Democrat)
Several fees and tuition may be going up for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students - and engineering students may be paying 15 percent more than their classmates. Among the fee and tuition increases proposed to the SIU board of trustees Thursday was a tuition surcharge for engineering students. Certain professional students such as dental, pharmacy and nursing students pay a higher tuition rate than the rest of the student body; this proposal would charge 15 percent more for engineering students as well. That would translate to approximately $1,094 more per year for engineering.
Women in STEM
NCWIT and Microsoft Research Announce Winners of Technology Higher Education Seed Fund Award (PRWEB)
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and Microsoft Research today announce the winners of the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, which provides U.S. academic institutions with start-up funds to develop and implement initiatives that recruit and retain women in computing and technology fields of study. Since 2007, NCWIT and Microsoft Research have awarded $465,450 in funding to 39 universities and colleges over 10 funding rounds. “We know to solve the world’s most difficult challenges we need diverse teams,” said Rane Johnson-Stempson Principal research Director At Microsoft Research. “This is why Microsoft is pleased to support the NCWIT Seed Fund to encourage more effective ways of recruitment and retention of women at college-level computing and technology programs.”

Energy companies aim to recruit more women amid industry boom (Times-Picayune)
Solid statistics on how many women work in energy are hard to find. An analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted by the oil and gas industry news service Rigzone found that 46 percent of all new jobs in the oil and gas industry went to women during the first quarter of 2013, the highest level in years. Still, women represent a minority of the management and professional-level positions at the world's largest energy companies. Women made up 39 percent of ExxonMobil's management and professional new hires in 2012, the most recent figures available. At Royal Dutch Shell, women held 16.2 percent of leadership positions companywide in 2012.
STEM Competitions
XPrize opens $2 million contest for oceanic health (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPrize competition has opened registration for a contest where participants develop new technologies to track oceanic health. Teams compete in a 22-month contest for a $2 million prize to create a new generation of ocean pH sensor technology that could transform the way scientists understand ocean acidification. Technologies that emerge from XPrize will study and monitor ocean acidification and how it impacts marine ecosystems, enabling industries from fisheries to marine managers to anticipate, adapt and mitigate changes in ocean chemistry..
Chart: The top tech companies for internships (Geek Wire)
It’s that time of year when college students start perusing internship opportunities. And to make the process a bit easier, Glassdoor has released a list of the 25 highest rated companies which are hiring interns this year. It also put together the map above showing where internships are geographically located right now. Thirteen tech companies make the list, including Facebook and Google which led the group. Three Seattle companies made the list: Microsoft (#7), Nordstrom (#24) and Amazon (#25).

How to get a job in energy IT (InfoWorld)
Nick Broskey likes to call the U.S. power grid "the most complex machine ever made - but never designed." And the industry is only going to get more complex, says Broskey, senior business systems analyst for OnDemand Energy Solutions, an energy broker in Moon Township, Pa., as solar and wind seek to join in. In short, these and other executives say, energy is a field that's simultaneously entrenched and undergoing a rapid rate of change, and IT is playing a critical role in almost every aspect of its transformation.
Nevada higher education: Group seeks experts in science, math to mentor students (Reno Gazette-Journal)
To help Nevada’s K-12 students and their teachers increase their STEM knowledge, a Nevada group is looking for volunteers who are experts in [STEM] to speak to students or become mentors. The Nevada STEM Coalition was formed in 2006 by the nonprofit organization Gathering Genius. “We are recruiting people in STEM careers who will sign up on our website so teachers can invite them into their classrooms and students can hear from people who really are excited about their jobs,” Beth Wells, the coalition’s executive director, said.
Washington STEM is hiring a Director of Development (Washington STEM)
Washington STEM is hiring a Director of Development. The Director of Development will lead the creation and implementation of a major gifts strategy to advance Washington STEM’s organizational mission in partnership with leadership and the development team. The full job description and how to apply can be found on our website:
South Carolina
State Sen. Mike Fair Blocks Evolution From South Carolina Science Standards (Huffington Post)
The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee approved most of the state's new science standards on Monday but blocked a clause featuring the phrase "natural selection.” According to Republican state Sen. Mike Fair, "To teach that natural selection is the answer to origins is wrong." "I don't have a problem with teaching theories. I don't think it should be taught as fact," Fair said after Monday’s review.. "Natural selection is a direct reference to Darwinism. And the implication of Darwinism is that it is start to finish."
5 for 5: Meet Pennsylvania's Faces of STEM (Keystone Edge)
It's a conundrum that has bedeviled educators, policymakers, workforce development experts and - especially - employers, for years: With high unemployment, why is it still so difficult to find workers skilled in [STEM]? The STEM skills gap in Pennsylvania and across the nation affects companies far beyond the tech and science sphere. In fact, domestic manufacturing is steadily becoming more "advanced," transforming into a computer-heavy, math-heavy world. Keystone Edge interviewed a handful of the important thinkers on this issue, people working to make the Commonwealth more competitive. Meet Pennsylvania's "Faces of STEM."
STEM Food & Ag
Students learn importance of agriculture industry in Salem County and how they can take part (
Future Woodstown High School students learned this week about the importance of the agriculture industry in Salem County and how they can become a part of it. An event at Holly Acres Farm hosted by the owners, the Ackerman family, and the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Educational Advisory Committee gave future Woodstown High School freshmen a glimpse of what the school’s revamped agriculture education curriculum could offer them. About 200 eighth-graders from the Woodstown-Pilesgrove district and its sending districts attended the event Wednesday. “We tried to think about how we could revamp our agriculture program and how we could get more students involved and enrollment to increase. And we wanted to gain an interest,” said local farmer Mike Brooks who chairs the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Agricultural Education Advisory Committee.

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Joe Koglin (Teach for America, Greater New Orleans Corps ‘11): From Corporate Lending to the Classroom: My Transition to Teaching as a STEM Professional
After six years working in finance for a multinational conglomerate, I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do for the next twenty years of my life. While my position had it all from the outside – the title, salary, and gravitas that comes with many STEM jobs – I craved something which would allow me to use my skills to help directly empower people and communities. I considered switching careers, but wasn’t sure how. I even set a date on my calendar for when I would quit my job. As that date approached, I grew increasingly nervous. Was I qualified to do anything else? The answer was a resounding yes. The vast majority of experiences from the STEM private sector transfer into classroom leadership. Be they an accountant introducing decimal placements, an engineer leading an after-school robotics club, or a doctor teaching the classic frog dissection – STEM professionals have transferrable skills in spades. Teaching is essential to the future of STEM. Educators hold our collective future as inventors and innovators in their hands, as they work to instill the next generation with the passion and skills to keep the STEM field moving forward. Perhaps the most exciting thing is that being a teacher doesn’t mean giving up the opportunity to innovate. In addition to helping students navigate ambiguity, think analytically, and act strategically, they’re pioneering cutting-edge education methods themselves. Irene Hsieh (Metro DC ‘11) is helping create a healthy living curriculum that has kids as young as six planting community gardens, mapping nutrition access in their city, and writing letters to their representatives in Congress.

Living on the Edge: USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo Takes You Inside the Science of Extreme Sports With Daring Athletes!
No doubt, extreme sports – ranging from competitive big-wave surfing and downhill skiing to the rigors of the Ironman Triathlon – represent some of the most challenging, intense and risky undertakings around. Get ready for a behind-the-scenes look next April at how some of the world’s most daring X-athletes use principles of science to achieve their amazing feats that leave us in awe! In an interactive presentation, sports legends from the ZOZI Guru™ team – including Chris Lieto, three-time Ironman Triathlon champion; extreme surfing champion Maya Gabeira and Tao Berman, rated by Sports Illustrated as “ the best kayaker on the planet” - will show you how it’s done!

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Time Warner Cable Partner to Spark Youth Interest in STEM
Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) announced details of a new partnership designed to help address America’s declining proficiency in [STEM]. TWC, as part of its Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) initiative, will provide $500,000 in cash and in-kind support to help BGCA engage and inspire youth around the country to become interested in STEM subjects. The partnership was initially announced by professional football player and Boys & Girls Club alumnus Victor Cruz and Food Network Chef Anne Burrell at CAMM Day, which was held on February 1, 2014 at TWC Studios in New York City.

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