Wednesday — October 16, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, Microsoft and Dell announce partnership on Girls Who Game afterschool pilot program, applications for Texas Juniors close soon for the NASA High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) program, the theme for Hour of Code this year is #CSforGood, a Promethean report finds more teacher training needed for EdTech tools, UCLA asks why so few STEM students study abroad, and the Chicago Eco House launches kickstarter for Southside Blooms farm-to-table florist program.

Click here for the full 10/16 STEMdaily.

Diversity in STEM
Girls Who Game Program Provides Access to STEM Opportunities (T.H.E. Journal)
Microsoft and Dell Technologies are working together to encourage girls to become interested in STEM through an after-school pilot program. Girls Who Game teaches female students about coding and computational thinking using Minecraft: Education Edition. The pilot program is aiming to engage students in grades four to eight through learner-driven experiences and mentorship opportunities. By building a community of learners, Girls Who Game wants to help girls build relationships and encourage them to continue to develop their coding skills. 



K-12 Education

NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) applications are now open!
HAS is an authentic learning experience for Texas high school juniors to engage with NASA’s mission to become the next generation of explorers. Students are able to learn about different STEM related fields of study they might want to pursue in college. Following a series of online lessons, highest achieving students will be invited to an all-expenses-paid, week-long visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston during the summer. Selected participants will plan a mission to Mars while being mentored and receiving guidance from NASA scientists and engineers. Both the online and onsite portions are free to participants.

Building and sustaining a strong math culture (eSchool News)
Current employment trends and future projections all point towards continued growth in STEM jobs, as well as the need for STEM-related skills in other fields. Yet, recent math proficiency levels among American students remain low, at just 44 percent in fourth grade and 33 percent at the eighth-grade level, and the math score trend lines are not showing significant improvement. David Woods, a senior director at Dreambox Learning, explained during a recent edWebinar a number of the challenges educators face when teaching math, and he explained training and planning strategies designed to address those issues.

This Hour of Code is about #CSforGood. Learn CS, change the world. (
As we look ahead to CS Education Week from December 9-15, we hope you’ll join us and more than 12,000 teachers who have already signed-up as we strive to reach 1 billion served! The Hour of Code will continue inspiring student creativity with a theme that we can’t wait to share with you: Computer Science for Good. #CSforGood. Inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Hour of Code will highlight how we can all use computer science to make a positive impact on our world, from writing apps to solve a local problem, to using innovative ideas in data science to address global challenges.


2U’s latest program shows potential challenges of hands-on learning online (Education Dive)
While architectural education leaders expect hands-on learning to continue to involve a mix of low- and high-tech tools, some see online education as a way to reach more students and allow classroom learning to keep up with how architecture firms operate. The idea got a push earlier this month with the announcement that the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) would offer an online version of its master’s in architecture program. Aiding it in that effort is online program manager 2U, which for its part is “entering a new vertical of graduate education” with the launch, Andrew Hermalyn, the company’s president of global partnerships, told Education Dive in an email.

Great K-12 robotics apps for users of all abilities (eSchool News)
K-12 robotics is having more than a moment – it’s on its way to establishing itself as a necessary component of a 21st-century education. While it can seem overwhelming, it’s not as hard to incorporate K-12 robotics into your classroom. Apps offer an excellent way to gently move into robotics learning without feeling as if you’re in over your head. We’ve gathered a handful of K-12 robotics apps you can explore and use in your classroom. Test them out, and let us know if you have a favorite app you use in your classroom.

Survey: More Teacher Training Needed for Ed Tech Tools (T.H.E. Journal)
While the majority of teachers and administrators recognize that educational technology can accelerate student learning opportunities, a recent survey finds that 39 percent of school staff do not have training or “adequate learning opportunities” to adopt ed tech solutions in the classroom. The survey from educational hardware provider Promethean provides insights from 1,000 K-12 educators in the United States on their ed tech priorities and challenges. 

Higher Education

UCLA needs to offer more study abroad opportunities geared toward STEM students (Daily Bruin)
On Oct. 8, hundreds of wide-eyed students filed into the Study Abroad Fair, picking up dozens of flyers and writing their emails on every list they could find on their way to class. About 25% of students each year study abroad, according to the UCLA International Education Office. What it fails to mention, however, is the disproportion between STEM and non-STEM students who choose to participate. Over the past decade, thousands of students at UCLA alone have studied abroad – yet an overwhelming 70% of them are non-STEM students.


Alabama community college opens workforce center (Birmingham Business Journal)
Bevill State Community College has opened its Workforce Solutions Rapid Training Center in Jasper. The workforce center is the result of a $1.9 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission in January 2017. As a part of the school’s POWER 2016 initiative, a new Rapid Training Center was launched at Bevill State’s Jasper campus that will serve as a regional workforce training and job placement hub in Northwest Alabama. 

STEM Food & Ag

Beyond Organic Flower Bouquets Grown and Designed By Local Chicago Youth Hits Kickstarter as Southside Blooms (Southside Blooms)
Southside Blooms is a farm-to-table florist, providing unique and fashion forward arrangements for events, weddings, online orders, and pop up markets while creating jobs for at risk youth and young adults in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods. Southside Blooms is a project of the Chicago Eco House, a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to use sustainability to alleviate poverty. 100 percent of money raised goes directly towards fulfilling this mission. Every flower purchased from Southside Blooms creates more jobs for at- risk youth, converts more vacant lots into safe and productive community assets, and directly reduces the negative impacts of climate change through regenerative farming practices.

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