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Generation STEM in the News
Developments in K-12 STEM Education and the Engineering Design Process
Curated by Paul Pineiro
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STEM Camp in Westfield Schools Rocked

STEM Camp in Westfield Schools Rocked | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
Westfield Public School District’s second annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Camp took off with a bang this summer as student-engineered rockets were launched outdoors...
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7 year old creates mobile app game - YouTube

Kid Wonders: Zora Ball, a shy first grader from Philadelphia, has become the youngest person ever to create a full-version mobile video game application. You...
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How many more Zora's are out there? Let's find out!

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Computer Science: Not Just an Elective Anymore

Computer Science: Not Just an Elective Anymore | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
The subject is getting a fresh look from state and local policymakers, with many pushing measures to expand access to computing courses.
Paul Pineiro's insight:

Would you consider Computer Science courses for math or science credit? 

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Trial and Error: The Gritty 21st Century Skill

Trial and Error: The Gritty 21st Century Skill | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it

"Students are called upon to test and retest their hypotheses, to design, test and redesign an engineering project before presenting a finished product on a topic. Because the student chooses the topic, the process of trial and error does not seem intimidating, but a personal journey and adventure." 

Paul Pineiro's insight:

Young people must not be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. STEM Engineering Design Process promotes experimentation and learning through trial and error.

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Fab Female Friday: Debbie Sterling is ‘Disrupting the Pink Aisle’ | GirlUp | United Nations Foundation | Uniting Girls to Change the World

Fab Female Friday: Debbie Sterling is ‘Disrupting the Pink Aisle’ | GirlUp | United Nations Foundation | Uniting Girls to Change the World | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
Out of all U.S. engineers, only 11% are women. This woman is dedicated to raising this number! http://t.co/awWue3xgQl #STEM
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At White House College Opportunity Event, New Commitments Announced to Help Low-Income Students Succeed in STEM Fields | The White House

At White House College Opportunity Event, New Commitments Announced to Help Low-Income Students Succeed in STEM Fields | The White House | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
At yesterday’s event on College Opportunity, the President and First Lady called for a sustained all-hands-on-deck effort to increase college opportunities for low-income and disadvantaged students in America.
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Women Gain In Some STEM Fields, But Not Computer Science

Women Gain In Some STEM Fields, But Not Computer Science | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
A few weeks ago, I wrote about ways to get more women interested in computer science.
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Celebrate Women in STEM on Ada Lovelace Day

Celebrate Women in STEM on Ada Lovelace Day | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it

October 16th is Ada Lovelace Day, an occasion that celebrates the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) throughout history.

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Ada Lovelace (1815 - 1852) wrote the first published description of a stepwise sequence of operations for solving certain mathematical problems and Ada is often referred to as 'the first programmer'. (Source: Science Museum of London)

 

 

“The Analytical Engine weaves analytical patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.”

Ada Lovelace - 1843

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High School STEM Lessons Simulate Navy Science Missions

High School STEM Lessons Simulate Navy Science Missions | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it

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Really cool high school STEM lessons with accompanying Powerpoint presentations. The activities simulate authentic, real-world connections to Navy science/engineering.

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So you want to be a superhero? Start learning STEM | STEMwire

So you want to be a superhero? Start learning STEM | STEMwire | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
So you want to be a superhero? Start learning STEM | STEMwire http://t.co/yNEnGYfGDf via @stemwire
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Can't wait to share this with my elementary colleagues!

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Westfield 5th Graders Win Top Smithsonian International Design Awards

Westfield 5th Graders Win Top Smithsonian International Design Awards | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
Dustin Paden, fifth grader at Franklin Elementary School in Westfield, was named the winner in the e-Pals-Smithsonian Invent-it Challenge in which hundreds of K-12 students participated around t...
Paul Pineiro's insight:

Westfield's Generation STEM strikes again!

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GoldieBlox: The Engineering Toy for Girls

GoldieBlox is a construction toy + book series starring Goldie, the kid inventor who loves to build.
Paul Pineiro's insight:

 This prototype engineering toy is designed specifically for girls - it's no boy's toy in a pink box!  It incorporates story telling, designing and building. I'm pre-ordering this great, girl friendly pre-engineering toy for students in our kindergarten and 1st grade classes!

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NASA Funds Science of Climate Change Coursework for Westfield, NJ Teachers

NASA Funds Science of Climate Change Coursework for Westfield, NJ Teachers | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
Edison Intermediate School science teacher Kristi Houghtaling and Roosevelt Intermediate School science teacher Andrew Bausch have completed a NASA-funded course on the science of climate change.
Paul Pineiro's insight:

NASA funding of STEM-related Professional Development has been a critical resource for guiding teachers in the integration of STEM disciplines.

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HS students with STEM backgrounds more desirable than college grads says Brookings Institute report

HS students with STEM backgrounds more desirable than college grads says Brookings Institute report | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs take more than the twice as long to fill as other openings, according to a new Brookings Institution study.
Paul Pineiro's insight:

Most ed-changing data in years: "HS students with STEM background more desirable than college grads" Brookings Institute.  (College STEM Major graduates trump all.)

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Launching the Next New Frontier – STEM Education

Launching the Next New Frontier – STEM Education | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it

by Paul Pineiro

STEM education is often cited as the next great frontier for America - a new, New Land where innovation can reinvigorate the economy and provide opportunities for all young people to thrive and not just survive. Despite a clarion call from the White House in 2011 to get “all hands on deck” for STEM, the ship does not have enough qualified crew. The most important thing we can do as a nation right now is to build and sustain an aggressively ambitious feeder system, pre-k through 12th grade. We've got to face the reality that graduates with majors in STEM fields such as engineering, science, math, computer science and technology, are not attracted to teach. Why would they be? STEM majors currently lead to the top ten highest paying salaries out of college (www.payscale.com), salaries that pay significantly greater than the education jobs which rank at the very bottom. There is the added drawback that math, science and computer science majors may not want to enter a field (education) at a time when teachers are so publicly decried. In this climate, state and local funding for the recruitment and retention of highly skilled STEM educators does not seem likely. Enter President Obama’s Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan (2013), a framework for the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM). Among the key aspects of this Plan are developing a STEM Master Teacher Corps ($35 million) and funding STEM Teacher Pathways ($80 Million). The administration’s priorities, as outlined in the budget request, align with the five priority areas identified in the strategic plan: K-12 instruction; undergraduate education; graduate education; broadening participation in STEM education and careers; and informal education and out-of-school time. While there are supports coming out of this plan, significant commitment of resources struggles to gain traction in Washington. Even if the President's call for STEM support received stronger support, differentiated pay to attract STEM majors would have has its own unionized hill to climb. It's time to more widely implement innovative options that are already in place. Dual-credit courses offer college and high school credit for exceptional learners who go out to labs for applied learning experiences in authentic settings. These have been around for a long time but let’s make a high school level version of these courses not for college credit but for high school credit. Let’s open them up to all students interested in pursuing college majors and careers in STEM fields. We need more students pursuing STEM coursework so why limit the opportunities to only a small, select population? It is extremely likely that some outstanding, non-traditionally exceptional students will go on to be brilliant innovators. We can preserve the college content and rigor for the dual-credit courses while at the same time having similar educational experiences for more kids. (www.students2science.org,/ for example). Increasing access to STEM coursework would also give the underrepresented populations such as women, Hispanic and Black students a chance to solidify their fragile interests in fields that seem intended for others. How many Nobel Prize winners have we missed by not finding ways to foster self-efficacy in these disciplines for all students? In an off-campus, in-lab model, more students could take advantage of authentic lab-based experiences in the private sector; but, not all experts are necessarily pedagogically savvy. Education training would be needed. Such training would not require years of study. Learning techniques for checking student understanding and differentiation for various learning styles would be the most necessary skills. Instructional design skills would be attainable due to the nature of problem-based, real-world STEM activities. With the help of a school-based teacher consultant, this career-based teacher would have an ideal blend of expertise and pedagogy. Such an arrangement would benefit so many more students and not just the top few percent of a given school. And what about private companies? What makes it worthwhile for them to host such a program? New hires could receive the basic training in pedagogy and work part-time with the students. With a little bit of curriculum development support from the sending school, the skills called for in a course could be aligned with existing company projects. These new hires might serve as outreach teachers for a minimum or indefinite period of time. Private companies would be grooming the next generations for the jobs they will need to fill. Whether or not they track the students through college or offer them incentives or scholarships to come back, the efforts are still helping to prepare a larger population of qualified, future STEM employees who can experience higher rigor in college due to these high school experiences. And what about STEM education within the schools? Hiring STEM experts as school-based teachers is difficult because of collectively bargained pay scales. These scales traditionally do not differentiate by course content or national demand. We should allow exceptionally highly qualified teachers (with very specifically designated credentials) to receive pay that is above and beyond the collectively bargained contract scale. These dollars could come from federal and state grant money (such as the President Obama’s proposed STEM funding) or from local donations from community Education Funds, private business, etc. Now is the time for America to do what it has done so well in the past – discover and leverage new frontiers. But it's clear we need to do so on a massive scale and with many creative and varying perspectives. It's been said that the STEM movement needs "all hands on deck." Let’s extend that metaphor just a bit. A small team of existing experts may be able to build the most sophisticated ship to sale the seas, but will we have enough qualified sailors to steer it? We have tremendous available resources of human capital in our schools; if these resources go untapped, our ship may remain floating aimlessly, hoping by chance to reach America's next frontier. We need to do better than just wait and hope. We need to nurture the innate curiosity of our young students and make their classrooms laboratories of trial and error, not test centers for passing and failing. We need to support curious young minds with hands-on applied middle school math and high school labs that don’t affirm what’s in the textbook but instead stimulate thoughts about what’s not in there. And for this, they need physical resources and expert educators to launch them.

Paul Pineiro's insight:
Now is the time for America to do what it has done so well in the past – discover and leverage new frontiers. But it's clear we need to do so on a massive scale and with many creative and varying perspectives.
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How to Get Girls Into Coding

How to Get Girls Into Coding | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
Educators believe that computer games can be the gateway — and female mentors are the X factor.
Paul Pineiro's insight:

Attract girls to STEM on their own terms.

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San Francisco STEM Initiative Reaches Middle School Girls

San Francisco STEM Initiative Reaches Middle School Girls | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
A group of citizens is trying to spark girls' interest in STEM careers through assemblies in middle schools.
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Tesla Comic Inspires STEM Learning | Ravé Mehta

Tesla Comic Inspires STEM Learning | Ravé Mehta | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
If we are to truly solve our energy crisis, then we must engage a lot more children today in learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). With our current education system, we are going in the opposite direction....
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STEM Camp in Westfield Schools IS Rocket Science!

STEM Camp in Westfield Schools IS Rocket Science! | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
The following is a press release form the Westfield School DistrictThe Westfield Public School district initiated its first ever STEM (Science, Techno
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Schools can branch out from STEM curriculum

Schools can branch out from STEM curriculum | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
The new STEM school in Reynoldsburg doesn’t follow the typical science, technology, engineering and math script. Instead, Herbert Mills Elementary has built a STEM identity on weaving government, citizenship and world languages into core lessons.
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Colleges Work to Retain Women in STEM Majors

Colleges Work to Retain Women in STEM Majors | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
All-female residence halls and mentorship programs can help women thrive in male-dominated fields.
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"I never felt like I was at a disadvantage because there were so many men in the room, but it was definitely noticeable," says Sarah Hefter Flanigan, who earned a bachelor's and master's in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech and Cornell University, respectively.

 

This is why my dissertation will include data I'll collect contrasting  young female students working in girl-only groups during integrated STEM activities versus mixed gender.

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The STEM Cause: Connecting Students With STEM Programs And Jobs

The STEM Cause: Connecting Students With STEM Programs And Jobs | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
In 2012, nearly 28 percent of high school freshmen, around one million students, expressed an interest in pursuing a STEM career.
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The mobile technology boom has created a new "app economy" leading to an estimated 311,000 new jobs.

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Women workers lag in STEM | STEMwire

Women workers lag in STEM | STEMwire | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
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March is Women's History Month. STEMwire looks at 40-years of STEM-occupation data relative to women.

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New Science Courses Approved for Westfield High School

New Science Courses Approved for Westfield High School | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it
Forensics and exercise science will come to WHS for 2013-2014 school year.
Paul Pineiro's insight:

STEM-appeal! Students lined up to take these new courses at Westfield High School (NJ)

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With Students Lagging Globally in Science, the U.S. Looks to Inspire an Untapped Resource

With Students Lagging Globally in Science, the U.S. Looks to Inspire an Untapped Resource | Generation STEM in the News | Scoop.it

by Paul Pineiro


Underlying the lagging performance of U.S. students in global assessments in math and science is another troubling statistic: According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development, fifteen-year-old girls in 65 countries generally outperformed boys worldwide, but in the United States, boys outperformed girls in quantitative studies. We are left scratching our heads and wondering why it’s only our female students that “can’t do science.”


The fact is they can, but culturally, we may be dissuading them from doing so. Consider that even for those female students who do pursue college studies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) the likelihood is they will more quickly change majors than their male counterparts, despite relative success. "Women drop out of engineering programs with higher average grades than the men who stay in engineering programs," reported CEO of the Society of Women Engineers, Betty Shanahan, at last summer at U.S. News STEM Summit 2012. And of the women who do earn STEM degrees, the U.S Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration shows their typical career paths diverge substantially from men. “About 40 percent of men with STEM college degrees work in STEM jobs, whereas only 26 percent of women with STEM degrees work in STEM jobs” (August 2011).

 

While girls in most other nations thrive in science-related studies, there is a disconnect for them in the U.S. This drop off of interest in STEM subjects among young female students is typically attributed to how our culture views women who demonstrate an interest or ability in the STEM fields. In subtle but impactful ways, our culture pushes away young women from STEM fields by often painting aspiring engineers as geeks with thick glasses and curious sense of fashion (see Amy in “The Big Bang Theory”). “One of the things that we can do to help disband that stereotype,” says executive director of technical research at AT&T Labs, Alicia Abella, in an interview with U.S. News and World Report, “is to really expose these young girls and young women to role models who are in the field to make them recognize that, in fact, you don't have to fit that stereotype.”


For this reason there is an all-call out to U.S. industry and educators at all levels to undo the stereotypes that could be costing the country some of its best and brightest future innovators. Young STEM-inclined females need role models and to this end “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” was established in 2009 to promote their connection with accomplished women in the STEM fields.

 

This year, “Introduce a girl to Engineering Day 2013” is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Sally Ride, physicist and first American woman in space. Here is a list that includes links to the accomplishments of Sally Ride and eleven other women and organizations with whom we should want young, STEM-inclined female students to be introduced.

 

Introduce a Girl to these STEM Role Models

 Sally Ride, first American woman to fly in space, www.sallyridescience.com

 The Girl Scouts of America, http://video.tbo.com/v/32926505/girl-scouts-stem.htm

 Gigliola Staffilani, MIT Professor of Mathematics, http://vimeo.com/58297904

 Molly Hoppe, Aviation Engineer http://youtu.be/diufosvuCL4

 Cora B. Marrett, deputy director of the National Science Foundation, http://www.stemconnector.org/cora-marrett-NSF

 Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider, Co-winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, 2009 "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase", http://youtu.be/C9CkzZm-e2I

 NASA, http://youtu.be/yuyEWbWRu5M

 Smith College Engineering Students, http://youtu.be/eTXuEZEZhWE  The Women Researchers of AT&T Labs, http://youtu.be/tAKnb9G5DEw  Anna Park, Executive Director and Board Member at Great Minds in STEM http://blog.stemconnector.org/stem-woman-leader-day-anna-park-great-minds-stem

 The Connect a Million Minds Initiative, http://goo.gl/lHcoe


And here are 100 more: http://stemconnector.org/100women


# # #

Sources:

 

Hopkins, Katy, “How to Encourage Women to Consider STEM Majors,” U.S. World News and Report, http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2012/07/10/how-to-encourage-women-to-consider-stem-majors


Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Sheehy, Kelsey, “STEM Disconnect Leaves Women, Minorities Behind;” U.S. World News and Report, www.usnews.com/news/blogs/stem-education/2012/06/28/stem-disconnect-leaves-women-minorities-behind


U.S Department of Commerce, Economics ad Statistics Administration, www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/reports/documents/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf

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