Buoyed by Congress, STEM and coding are on the rise

New legislation makes computer science an official part of STEM education

STEM-edSTEM education, while always a national focus, is receiving more attention in recent days, as surveys and legislation reveal awareness of its importance to the nation’s success.

Three out of four Americans in a recent survey said they think “science is cool in a way that it wasn’t 10
years ago.”

Seventy-three percent of participants in the Finger on the Pulse opinion survey, from Horizon Media’s WHY Group, agreed with the statement that “in the future, all the best jobs will require knowledge of computer coding languages.”…Read More

12 STEM resources for all grades

These sites are intended to help students strengthen much-needed STEM skills

stem-resourcesIn classrooms across the nation, STEM education is hailed as one of the most important concepts for today’s students.

After all, STEM know-how, coupled with skills such as problem solving and strong communication, will help students compete with peers on a global level.

We’ve compiled a list of STEM websites for elementary, middle, and high school students. Each grade range features one science, one technology, one engineering, and one mathematics resource.…Read More

5 ways to remember STEM’s forgotten ‘E’

Engineering experts are urging U.S. schools to incorporate the subject in a few novel ways

engineering-STEMSTEM education–a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math–has cemented its place of importance in U.S. schools and in the global economy.

And while science and math skills remain at the top of educators’ lists, engineering, often called the “forgotten E” in STEM, is equally important in today’s world.

Students need to know what engineering actually is, experts and stakeholders say. What has traditionally been viewed as a stereotypically dry and numbers-heavy career actually has vast applications in today’s workforce. Engineers can specialize in space engineering, special effects, sports, toys and entertainment, and more.…Read More

3 ways to boost students’ STEM interest

STEM education is critical, but schools struggle to keep students interested

STEM-edEducators hear it all the time: STEM education is one of the keys to a competitive and successful U.S. workforce. But for all the emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math, these subjects often can be dry and leave students wondering how they’ll apply these concepts in the real world.

The latest PISA results paint a grim picture of U.S. math and science performance–in math, the U.S. ranked 26th out of the 34 testing countries, and the nation ranked 21st in science.

There also exists a gap between U.S. performance and that of top-performing countries. For instance, Shanghai-China’s performance “is the equivalent of over two years of formal schooling ahead of those observed in Massachusetts, itself a strong-performing U.S. state,” according to the results.…Read More

5 easy steps to increase female engagement in STEM

Simple solutions to encourage more girls to pursue STEM education

girls-STEMWomen today make up a large percentage of the work force, and are employed in almost half of the jobs in the United States.

But despite that, according to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and STEMConnector, fewer than 25 percent of females work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, where employment opportunities are growing rapidly.

To bring awareness to this issue, STEMconnector, which works with corporations and other organizations to provide tools and resources to promote STEM education, initiated the Million Women Mentors campaign. The campaign brings together corporations, nonprofit organizations, government entities, and education groups to inspire young women and show them the possibilities of STEM careers.…Read More

Here’s a quick way to connect students and STEM experts

Website helps students learn real-world value of STEM

STEM-NeprisA new online platform helps connect students and teachers to real-world STEM professionals in an effort to help students link classroom STEM lessons to careers and how they might use STEM learning in the real world.

The platform, Nepris, operates in two ways. STEM professionals and experts can sign up and offer their services, specifying subject areas they are qualified to discuss. Educators sign up and pick a curriculum topic or student project for which they’d like help from a STEM expert. Nepris connects the two and suggests potential match-ups. All interactions are virtual and recorded for later use, and every student has the chance to submit a question and participate in the discussion.

The impetus to design Nepris came in large part from a “STEM participation gap,” said Sabari Raja, the founder and CEO of Nepris.…Read More

State-by-state STEM education resources

Take advantage of this list of STEM resources

STEMEd_ResizedIn states across the country, STEM education takes top priority. Each state has different resources and advocacy efforts, and we’ve outlined them here for you.

Many resources are state-specific, and others are nationwide advocacy groups that promote STEM education awareness, legislation, and action.

Do you have a favorite education group that isn’t included? Be sure to let us know in the comments.…Read More

South Portland ‘university’ promotes high school STEM education

The transparent gelatinous alginate strands South Portland High School junior Jackeline Zarate and Portland High School junior Bailey Ruesch pulled from a test tube last week at Fairchild Semiconductor were nanotechnology at their fingertips, The Forecaster reports. “I’ve always liked math especially, so I was happy to come,” Ruesch said as she created the compound with Zarate during the three-day, first-ever Semi High Tech University in Maine. Sponsored by the nonprofit Semi Foundation of San Jose, Calif., the intensive course merged fun, practical applications in science, technology, engineering and math with mock job interviews for students who are not always selected just because of outstanding grades…

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Obama budget threatens popular STEM education initiatives

Ayah Idris, 14, spent two weeks of her summer isolating strawberry DNA at a Seattle cancer research center, watching heart cells pulse in a dish and learning about ethical guidelines for animal research, Yahoo! News reports. This type of inspiring dive into the rigors and rewards of a career in science would seem to be a perfect antidote to the national hand-wringing over the slipping state of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the U.S. In addition to offering the kinds of inquiry-based experiences that have been shown to best promote science learning, programs such as the Summer Fellows bring kids in contact with the latest scientific advances that have yet to be published in textbooks. Now, the funds that bolster these programs are in danger…

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