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.
August 25, 2014 — Wall Street Journal — “How to Get Girls Into Engineering? Let Them Build Toys”
When Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen met in 2010, both were in engineering master's programs at Stanford University—mechanical and electrical, respectively. But there weren't many other women around. Chatting about why there were so few female engineers, the pair realized that they had both grown up with toys that encouraged them to build and make things, rather than traditional toys for girls. Ms. Brooks, now 26, received a saw for Christmas at the age of 8; Ms. Chen, now 25, had similar experiences with do-it-yourself playthings. "I made dolls out of wood, nails, and paint, learning to make mistakes and to find a way around them," Ms. Brooks recalls.
August 05, 2014 — Education Week — “ACT: Better Preparation, Not Just More Courses, Is Key to STEM Readiness”
When states and districts start banging the drum about college and career readiness in the STEM fields, they shouldn't just ramp up graduation requirements. They need to make sure that their high school students are academically ready for challenging coursework. That's the key message of a new report from ACT. Issued this week, "Missing the Mark" finds that increasing graduation requirements, all by itself, is unlikely to make students readier for college or careers. What they need are courses that are truly rigorous, and adequate preparation for those courses.
July 24, 2014 — Education Week — “After 20-Year Hiatus, U.S. to Rejoin International Math and Science Test”
American seniors will once again test their advanced mathematics and physics prowess against that of students in other countries next spring, as the United States rejoins the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study's advanced program for the first time in 20 years. TIMSS Advanced is intended to guage advanced math and science concepts critical for students planning to go on to science, engineering, technology, and math careers. U.S. students performed well below the international average of 41 countries on the 1995 math and science tests—8th graders were actually stronger in both subjects than their 12th grade peers—and the United States skipped the last round of advanced testing in 2008.
July 23, 2014 — NBC News — “Summer Programs Aim to Hack Tech's Diversity Problem”
Some kids spend their summer hanging by the pool. Others study up to solve the diversity problem in America’s tech industry. Across the country, summer programs are aimed at addressing a “pipeline problem” in science, technology, and math, encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds –- African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans –- into pursuing careers in those fields.
July 08, 2014 — Associated Press — “Survey Finds Math, Science Grads Earn Top Dollar”
What you study — math and science are a plus — seems to matter more than whether your alma mater is public or private when it comes to finding a high-paying job after college, according to a report released Tuesday by the Education Department. The survey of the class of 2008, by the National Center for Education Statistics, provides an interesting snapshot of the nation's educated elite following a crushing economic recession: Overall, college grads reported lower unemployment rates compared with the national average, although black and Asian college graduates were twice as likely to be out of work than their white classmates. College grads from private four-year schools earned about the same as those from public four-year schools, about $50,000 a year.
July 01, 2014 — WIRED — “Google and Square Recruit Girls Early to Tackle Tech’s Gender Problem”
Silicon Valley has a gender problem, and some big-name companies are finally trying to change things by addressing the problem where it starts: with kids. Firms like Google, Square, and Codecademy are showing young girls that it’s cool to code, hoping it will eventually boost the number of women who fill tech jobs across the Valley and beyond.
Even as it works to help bootstrap female techies in other ways, Google recently announced the Made to Code campaign. The company has committed $50 million over the next three years to expand young girls’ exposure to coding. Some of that money will benefit existing organizations like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code, while the rest will fund marketing campaigns to change the weak reputation programming has among young girls. Square and Codeacademy are encouraging coding among girls in similar fashion.
June 25, 2014 — Forbes — “The Best Cities For STEM Job Openings Right Now”
STEM occupations–described as those requiring a degree in science, technology, engineering, and math related subjects–currently account for more than 10% of jobs in the United States, and pay wages close to double the U.S. average, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last week, Forbes reported on the companies with the greatest number of STEM positions currently open. But which cities are providing the greatest opportunities to STEM job seekers?
June 16, 2014 — Education Week — “Ad Seeks to Explain Why Girls Stray From STEM”
A poignant new ad from tech giant Verizon suggests that how adults (ahem, parents) speak to young girls helps to explain the lack of women in STEM-focused careers.
Part of a larger campaign highlighting the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the ad shows a series of scenes in which a young girl named Sam is praised for being "pretty" and dissuaded from getting her hands dirty. Her innate interest in exploration and building seems destined to wane. In the final moment, she stops to look at a science fair poster, then applies lip gloss and walks away.
May 29, 2014 — U.S. News & World Report — “Bringing STEM Education to Underserved Communities”
In California’s San Francisco Bay Area, a nonprofit foundation has raised the bar for local students, with impressive results. In the nearby Central Valley, a like-minded program introduces children to art, along with a healthy dose of “soft skills” like creativity, relationship-building and teamwork. Meanwhile, across the country, an unlikely pilot from Miami who made aviation history has set up an academy to train those who’ll follow in his footsteps. And in Albany, New York, a little-known college has committed increasing amounts of money and resources to educate what could be the next generation of young scientists.
May 19, 2014 — The White House — “Announcing the White House Science Fair and Celebrating Girls Excelling in STEM”
Next week – on Tuesday, May 27 – the White House is going to be filled with robots, science projects, and more. Students from around the country are headed to the 2014 White House Science Fair hosted by President Obama, and we couldn’t be more excited. With students from a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions, this year’s Fair will include a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work.
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