Thursday — June 27, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, looks at which states have the largest gender gaps for STEM degrees, Colorado Sun profiles Ruthe Farmer and the CSforALL initiative, UTEP receives $1.2M grant to help train STEM teachers with the El Paso Independent School District, Sante Fe College launches new course that uses guitar building to teach STEM skills, the University of Montana hosts a summer STEM camp for Native American students, and the Gates Foundation begins a higher education lobbying arm.

Click here for the full 6/27 STEMdaily.

Diversity in STEM

STEM Gap: No State Has More Women Than Men w/ Tech Degrees (PC Mag) 
If it’s not common knowledge that women in the US earn cents for every dollar a man makes (89 cents, according to Pew Research), it should be. That’s not the only place where the gaps between the genders remain. For the STEM gap, new research shows the state-by-state differences. The research, entitled Mind the (STEM) Gap, was performed by, a free service for teachers and students all about teaching typing and other tech skills—like coding. They looked at the US Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys from 2015 and 2017 to determine where the gaps are widest and narrowest.


How to close the technology gender gap? A Colorado-launched effort starts with making sure stories don’t go untold (Colorado Sun) 
After TV news show 60 Minutes aired its “Cracking the Code” episode in March about the gender gap in technology, many of the folks working on the gap were furious. The show didn’t reference any of the female-led organizations working on the issue, concluded that things were getting worse and let a man speak for women. In Colorado, Ruthe Farmer was fuming as well. A long-time advocate for educating kids, especially girls, in computer science, the Lafayette resident spoke her mind saying “erasing the contributions of women is unacceptable.” But she also had a plan. 

Higher Education

UTEP and EPISD to receive $1.2M grant to impulse STEM educators (UTEP Prospector) 
NSF will grant $1.2 million to the partnership between The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) to contribute to the formation of future STEM teachers through a teaching preparation program, according to a UTEP news release. The program will begin at the start of the fall 2019 semester, recruiting nine junior-standing students. Students who are selected to participate will receive a scholarship of $5,000 every year throughout the duration of the program.

Santa Fe College to offer new STEM course (Gainesville Sun) 
In the fall, Santa Fe College will launch Wide World of Science, an innovative hands-on course that uses guitar building, rocket launching and robot design to encourage underrepresented students to consider work and careers in STEM. Nicknamed GRRATE for Guitar Rocketry Robotics Advanced Technological Education, the project is funded by a three-year $467,713 grant from NSF. The course will be offered in all semesters and end with a final project and a field trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 

Summer of STEM

UM launches STEM camp for Native American students (The Missoulian) 
The University of Montana hosted a two-week camp for 19 Native American middle-school students lasting through the end of June, with faculty leading students into STEM. The majority of students came from the Blackfeet Reservation and other students came from the Navajo Nation. They are the first group to attend the Montana American Indian Math and Science Program, or MT-AIMS. When organizing MT-AIMS, Thomas structured it similar to the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program.


Stanford science camp launches a love for STEM in underserved Oakland youth (KTVU) 
On the sprawling green at Stanford University, 5th and 6th graders from Oakland and beyond transformed into scientists, trading in T-shirts for lab coats. Science in the City has helped launch a love for STEM in young kids from underserved communities like Oakland. “Some of these things here I’ve never learned before and I already know that some of this stuff is supposed to be for 7th and 8th graders but I’m really lucky to be learning this at such a young age,” said Garnett Givans, soon-to-be 6th grader of Oakland.

Mississippi Power hosts iCan! Girls STEM Camp (WLOX) 
Mississippi Power is helping to make the future brighter for school aged girls interested in engineering. At the summer camp, Gulf Coast girls are led by female Mississippi Power engineers and co-op students through four workstations. They learned basic concepts from mechanical, electrical, industrial, civil, chemical and computer engineering. Through a host of hands-on interactions they designed a high-heeled shoe, created lip balm and bath bombs and also created and edited their own digitally-animated movie.


Students study mechanical engineering at WVU Tech’s Camp STEM(Register Herald) 
William Church stood before a group of high school students discussing thermodynamics, nuclear reactors, electric cars and more. While some may be oblivious to these topics, students sat attentively, asking questions as he lectured. Summer camp often brings to mind overnight stays in bunk beds in cabins or sitting around a campfire with friends, but these students have spent their week at the WVU Tech campus in Beckley learning about all things STEM


Gates launches lobbying arm – higher education on agenda (SF Gate) 
Bill and Melinda Gates have launched a lobbying group in part to drive their agenda on education. The move comes as Congress is negotiating a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, the main federal law concerning student financial aid. The Gates Foundation has also recently started up a commission to determine the value of a college degree or certificate. If Gates lobbyists convince legislators to embrace the agenda of the Gates commission, then Congress may make it harder for students in certain majors to secure loans or grants.

NASA, Homeland Security receive D- grades on IT issues (The Hill) 
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) were both awarded D- grades on their information technology management efforts in a biannual scorecard of federal agencies. The House Oversight government operations subcommittee released version 8.0 of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard in a hearing on Wednesday. The scorecard gave IT scores to two dozen agencies, as well as individual scores for each agency in areas such as cybersecurity, the modernization of technology and transparency and risk management.

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