Panel: STEM education crisis stems from unsupported teachers

In the president's FY12 budget, $206 million would go to STEM training programs.

According to a panel of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education experts and industry leaders, the United States is still falling short of producing the number of STEM graduates needed to fill 21st-century jobs—and panelists said the problem can be traced to to a lack of support for teachers.

At a Sept. 12 Brookings Institution forum in Washington, D.C., Rebecca Blank, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, began the discussion by providing the latest data on the STEM workforce to help paint a current picture of STEM education in the United States.

The data, which come from a recent series of STEM reports published by the Economics & Statistics Administration, further confirm what education stakeholders widely know: blacks, Hispanics, and women tend to shy away from STEM careers, while white males and Asians are more likely to enter a STEM field. (For specific numbers and graphs, see the reports.) Blank said it’s not just important to encourage students to enter the STEM fields so that companies can benefit—it’s good for communities as well.…Read More

Discovery Education launches iPad platform

DE's platform already has over 33,000 videos and clips.
DE's platform already has over 33,000 videos and clips.

In an effort to answer President Obama’s call for companies to become involved with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and also to continue its aim to provide leading-edge STEM resources to thousands of districts across the country, Discovery Education’s new iPad platform comes at a time when educators are giddy with mobile tech fever.

Discovery’s new platform also comes at a time when education vendors are going app crazy; however, Discovery has taken its product one step further.

“When a school or district decides to pilot iPads, sometimes it’s hard because you can’t pre-load apps on the device; meaning if a school wants certain education apps, they have to download them one-by-one, which is time-consuming,” said Craig Halper, Discovery Education’s vice president of customer operations and platform strategy. “We decided to make an online platform specifically for the iPad, so students and educators can access it anywhere there’s an internet connection.”…Read More