Intel awards $1 million to schools

2010 SODA Star Innovator, Walter Payton College Prep.
2010 SODA Star Innovator, Walter Payton College Prep.

Things are looking up for six U.S. schools dedicated to providing innovative and effective STEM education, thanks to Intel Education’s donation of more than $1 million as part of the company’s Schools of Distinction Awards (SODA).

This annual award is in its seventh year as part of the company’s “quest to prepare tomorrow’s innovators,” and the six schools honored do just that in the areas of innovative math and/or science programs.

“The critical knowledge base provided by math and science education is the foundation for innovation,” said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group. “These schools imbue a deep passion for math and science in the next generation, a critical requirement for America to remain competitive in the global economy.”…Read More

House passes major science, technology bill

Schools and universities urged the bill's passing for STEM funding.
Schools and universities could see millions more for STEM education.

The U.S. House of Representatives gave its assent on May 28 to $84 billion in federal funding to help keep the country competitive in the fields of scientific and technological innovation, just days before a new list suggested China is challenging America’s dominance in supercomputing.

Among other measures, the bill supports science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education through a coordination of activities at all levels.

Passage of the legislation, called the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 5116)—the biggest science bill that Congress is expected to consider this year—came on a third try. Republicans objecting to the cost of the bill succeeded in sidetracking it on two previous occasions.…Read More

House GOP stops major science, technology bill

Fifteen of 163 House Republicans voted for the America COMPETES Act May 19.
Only 15 of 163 House Republicans voted for the America COMPETES Act on May 19.

It was strike two for a major science funding bill on May 19 as House Republicans again united to derail legislation they said was too expensive.

Going down to defeat was an updated version of the America COMPETES Act, legislation that would have committed more than $40 billion over three years to boost funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other federal agencies involved in basic and applied science, provided loan guarantees to small businesses developing new technologies, and promoted science and math education at the K-12 and higher-ed levels.

Many college and university faculty rely on NSF funding to support their research, including an engineering professor at Northern Illinois University who created a video game that allowed students to design a desired movement or action using the required formulas and algorithms that apply to all types of engineering. Higher-ed researchers earlier this spring submitted proposals to the NSF that would grant them access to Microsoft Corp.’s massive cloud-computing power for three years.…Read More

Every child needed to boost economy

Having a guest speaker who works in STEM come into the classroom is a great way to inspire students, say experts. (Copyright Elemental Imaging)
Having STEM guest speakers in the classroom is a great way to inspire students, experts say. (Copyright Elemental Imaging)

At a time when the global workforce demands more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals, education stakeholders worry that today’s students aren’t answering the call. To ensure that the United States remains a leader in the global economy, experts say the nation must engage and motivate more students in the STEM subjects, focusing on girls and minorities in particular to help fill future job quotas.

Continuing the national conversation about STEM education in the United States, education and industry experts gathered in Washington, D.C., earlier this month for Intel’s Visionary Conference 2010, with the theme “Technology @ the Intersection of Educational Change.”

The conference began by quoting statistics from the 2009 McKinsey Report, “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools,” which shows that if students from the U.S. were performing as well as just the average student in the best-performing nation, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008 would have been $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion higher.…Read More

Survey: Educators aren’t discussing STEM careers with students

Students say they aren't getting the STEM guidance they need.
Teachers say they don't have the time or the resources to discuss STEM career options with their students.

In a recent survey, a majority of students said that while their science and math teachers seem knowledgeable and keep class interesting, they aren’t teaching about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career options. High school students also said they don’t believe STEM knowledge is integral to getting a good job, which doesn’t bode well for leaders counting on STEM education to keep the nation at the forefront of the global economy.

Spurred by the Obama administration’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign—a nationwide effort by U.S. companies, foundations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to help move America to the top of the pack in math and science education—the American Society for Quality (ASQ) commissioned market research firm Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey to uncover how well teachers transfer their knowledge and passion for science and math to their students and inspire them to pursue STEM careers.

The survey, conducted in December, asked more than a thousand students in grades 3-12 to provide a scaled report card (with grades ranging from A-F) on their science teachers’ classroom skills and activities.…Read More

National STEM program increases reach

The Educate to Innovate program is expanding its partnerships.
The Educate to Innovate program is expanding its partnerships.

President Barack Obama on Jan. 6 announced the expansion of the Educate to Innovate program he launched last November, including the creation of several new partnerships to help attract, develop, reward, and retain outstanding STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers.

These partnerships build upon initiatives already announced by Obama Nov. 23, and include programs involving major companies, universities, foundations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. (See “Obama launches new STEM initiatives.”)

“Several new public-private partnerships are going to offer additional training to more than 100,000 teachers and prepare more than 10,000 new teachers in the next five years alone,” Obama said.…Read More

Solving the STEM Education Crisis

beakersresizedAs technology becomes an integral part of the workplace, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are no longer just “good skills” to have; they are increasingly important to a 21st-century education.

Training students for success in the STEM disciplines also is necessary if the U.S. is to remain globally competitive; recent results from the Program for International Student Assessment suggested the top-performing U.S. high school students were bested by students from at least 20 other nations in math and science.

Attracting students to the STEM disciplines is the first hurdle, and retaining student interest in these areas is the second. Solving the STEM education crisis won’t be easy—but with the generous support of Learning.com, we’ve compiled this collection of stories from our archives, along with other resources, to help you answer this challenge in your own schools.…Read More