The momentum for improving U.S. STEM capabilities is building, with opinion leaders and editorial boards opining in support of reform and newsrooms writing about it across the country.
March 29, 2016 — Forbes — “The 13 Most Important STEM Colleges For Women”
Women are underrepresented in STEM fields. It’s a well-documented fact that fewer collegiate women seek and earn degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related programs than their male classmates. Why does this gap exist? Some reports suggest that women may feel intimidated by being the minority in science classrooms or face work-life balance hurdles getting an advanced degree while raising a family. U.S. Census data from February 2016 shows that women make up 14% of engineers, around 45% of mathematicians and statisticians and 47% of life scientists. But, the number of women in STEM is slowly trending upwards. Data shows that the STEM workforce was comprised of 26% women in 2011, compared to 23% in 1990.
March 21, 2016 — U.S. News & World Report — “Experts: Collaborate to Create Next Generation of Women in STEM”
Talmesha Richards remembered being in third grade and thinking math was "the worst thing in the whole wide world." She then went on to receive bachelor's degrees in mathematics and chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in cellular molecular medicine.
"I hated math but then I had a teacher who took an interest in me," says Richards, the chief academic and diversity officer at Million Women Mentors, a nonprofit that helps girls get interested in the science, math, engineering and technology fields. "Every STEM person that I know has had that aha moment where the light bulb goes off and you think to yourself, 'I can do this; this is really cool.'"
In the United States, despite comprising 47 percent of the workforce, women hold fewer than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields, according to statistics from Million Women Mentors.
March 17, 2016 — Washington Post — “In a First, Girls Outdo Boys in Prestigious High School Science Competition”
Three of America’s brightest high school scientists, one boy and two girls, emerged as winners last week in the annual Intel Science Talent Search, among the top U.S. competitions for young innovators.
Of the 40 finalists for the award, 52 percent were girls, the largest proportion in the program’s 75-year history.
“This milestone is an inspiring sign of progress toward closing the gender gap in technology and engineering,” said Rosalind Hudnell, president of the Intel Foundation. (The competition is sponsored by semiconductor maker Intel.) “We hope these finalists’ outstanding work will inspire young people from all backgrounds to develop their interests in these fields.”
March 15, 2016 — TechCrunch — “Engineers bridge the divide between technology and society”
One of the many reasons women are under-represented in “tech-sector” engineering disciplines such as software, mechanical, electrical, computer and mechatronics engineering is because we’ve done a terrible job conveying how engineers contribute to society in meaningful ways.
Many women, as studies have shown, prefer to enter professions where they can have a beneficial impact on people and society. This preference affects the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields in many ways, and partially explains why engineering disciplines, which have obvious societal benefit such as biomedical engineering and environmental engineering, also have the highest female participation rates (40 percent). The tech-sector engineering disciplines, conversely, struggle to sustain a meager 15 percent female participation.
March 11, 2016 — BostInno — “Why an MIT PhD Says Big-Data Education Is Now 'Fundamentally Important'”
Let’s wander outside our Boston bubble for a moment and direct our attention to Lowell. That’s right, Lowell. It might seem like the last time that city was any kind of beacon of innovation was back in the Industrial Revolution. But there’s actually a startup out there now that’s doing big things with that beloved buzzword: big data.
March 11, 2016 — Education World — “U.S. Lags Behind Other Countries In Tech Skills U.S. Lags Behind Other Countries In Tech Skills ”
It's been well known for quite some time that the U.S. falls behind other countries when it comes to science and math skills, part of the reason behind the recent accelerated push to support STEM learning. But according to a recent study, U.S. adults also fall behind in something a little more surprising: technology skills.
March 10, 2016 — Chicago Tribune — “How to strengthen the STEM workforce”
The breadth and the depth of student experiences in STEM courses, labs, and applied learning activities ensures that they move into their careers with the skills necessary to meet a region’s STEM workforce needs. The most effective way to attain this outcome is for colleges and universities to work in collaboration with local businesses, industries, and third-party intermediaries such as chambers of commerce.
February 29, 2016 — U.S. News & World Report — “The Biggest Hole in STEM Pipeline Starts Before Kindergarten”
It’s a well-established problem that too few blacks and Hispanics, and too few women of all colors, pursue degrees and careers in the sciences. And much research has gone into why minority students aren’t taking as many science classes in high school, and later in college, as their white counterparts do. Wonks call it the “leaky STEM pipeline,” referring to all the students who leave science, technology, engineering and math as they progress through their educational careers.
February 10, 2016 — U.S. News & World Report — “How U.S. Students Stack Up in Math, Reading and Science”
More than 1 in 4 15-year-olds living in economically developed countries – some 13 million students – do not have a basic level of knowledge in at least one of the three core subjects: math, reading and science. In some countries, the statistic is worse, with more than 1 in 2 students lacking such baseline proficiency. And that poor performance holds ramifications that reach far beyond just a report card.
February 09, 2016 — CNN — “How this STEM School is Shattering Stereotypes”
At STEM3 Academy, sticking to the norm doesn't work. In fact, the school was launched to do just the opposite. "Our emphasis is on learning versus teaching," said Dr. Ellis Crasnow, the school's director. "Our students learn by doing, experiencing and constructing rather than just sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher."
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