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.
October 08, 2014 — Wall Street Journal — “Tech Companies Hope to Introduce Coding to 100 Million Students”
In an effort to attract more — and more diverse — programmers, the CEOs of two dozen big tech companies, including Microsoft, Google and Salesforce.com, will launch a campaign Wednesday with non-profit Code.org to introduce computer science to 100 million students world-wide. The companies agreed to promote Hour of Code, a campaign that encourages students to try an hour of computer coding with an online tutorial. They also plan a crowd-sourced campaign to raise $5 million to be used to train teachers in schools that don’t offer computer science classes, Code.org said.
September 09, 2014 — Education Week — “Arne Duncan Makes Pitch for More STEM Teachers, New Classroom Technology”
The American public education system needs more science, technology, engineering and math teachers, must do a better job encouraging female students to pursue those fields, and should embrace new technology in the classrooms, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Tuesday afternoon. Duncan's latest stop on his back-to-school bus tour took him to NASA's space camp here, where he toured the facility and talked about STEM initiatives, including President Barack Obama's call to recruit 100,000 new STEM teachers in the next decade.
September 01, 2014 — Washington Post — “Policymakers Hail STEM Education as a Strong Foundation, Pushing Innovation”
Although a recent study found that almost 75 percent of those who have science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) bachelor’s degrees have jobs in other fields, policymakers, advocates and executives continue to push STEM education as a way to close achievement gaps and produce U.S. innovation. Senior officials with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy say the focus on STEM education is a response to global achievement trends, with an effort to develop students’ skills rather than drive them to specific careers. Officials point to 12 countries that have higher test scores in science and 17 with higher scores in math.
August 27, 2014 — U.S. News & World Report — “Space Cadets: STEM Program Gives Students Control of Satellites”
To spark STEM inspiration, one tech company is reaching for the stars. Starting Wednesday, students and teachers across the world will be able to control tiny cube-shaped satellites orbiting the globe nearly 100 miles above their schools, harnessing high-tech sensors aboard the devices to predict thunderstorms, solar flares and much more. “We really want to expand STEM education, and one way to do that is to access space,” says Sunny Washington.
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.
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