Tuesday — June 4, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, the math that ended James Holzhauer’s record-setting streak on Jeopardy, Texas considers legislation that would add CTE progress as a school indicator, Michigan becomes 32nd state to adopt computer science standards, how micro-credentials help teacher professional development, and Texas A&M receives $1M NSF grant to train STEM teachers.

Click here for the full 6/4 STEMdaily.

Higher Education
Texas A&M to receive $1M federal grant for STEM education (IT) 
Texas A&M University was awarded a $1,002,792 federal grant to address the critical shortage of teachers in STEM fields in Texas, U.S. Senator John Cornyn announced today. The grant comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF). “Our world’s increasing reliance on technology and data means strong STEM-focused minds will continue to be in high demand, and we should give students in these fields every advantage to succeed,” said Senator John Cornyn.

Vicki Maple (Central Ohio Technical College): Technical and community colleges: An answer to bridging the workforce gap and skills shortage (Columbus Business First) 
The growth of a competitive global economy and rapid advances in technology have changed the face of the American job market in recent years. The workforce gap and the skills shortage continue to hinder large segments of business and industry. Many are leaning on local technical and community colleges to help with strategic solutions in recruitment, training, and advancing a technically-advanced and skilled workforce.


Does This Research Have an Agenda? (Inside HigherEd) 
The Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University is “a key cog in Charles Koch’s master plan,” according to a new report by that name from Public Citizen. The report’s subtitle, “How the Purportedly Unbiased [Center] Advances an Agenda to Deregulate America,” pretty much sums up Public Citizen’s position: like many professors, the group questions the Charles Koch Foundation’s growing influence on academe — and wonders whether the academics Koch funds are helping it push a specific political agenda in the name of supporting academic research.

University of Maryland receives $175M for Earth research effort (Baltimore Business Journal) 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded the University of Maryland, College Park $175 million in funding to support a collaborative research effort around better understanding Earth’s atmosphere and systems. The five-year agreement funds the new Cooperative Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies (CISESS), a national consortium of more than two dozen academic and nonprofit institutions, to be led by principal investigators Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm and E. Hugo Berbery of UMD, and Otis Brown of North Carolina State. 

K-12 Education

Dr. Gina Cherkowski: Why Math and STEM Education is a Social Justice Issue (Getting Smart) 
The Fourth Industrial Revolution requires that today’s youth are equipped with the skills, tools and mindsets needed to think creatively, leverage technology wisely and solve wicked problems collectively. Answering the call, leading education systems around the world are striving to integrate STEM, STEAM and Maker learning experiences into students’ daily lives. Globally, we are moving away from an antiquated industrial approach toward one more suitable for today’s digital natives.


How micro-credentials can encourage professional development among teachers (Edscoop) 
All educators are lifelong learners, whether they’re figuring out how to incorporate the latest edtech device into their lessons or researching bios on NBA players to help a reluctant reader. But while schools expect teachers to continue their educations, most only get rewarded for getting an advanced degree like a master’s or a Ph.D. But now, organizations like Digital Promise have developed micro-credential programs, which recognize educators for acquiring new skills.

CoSN releases checklist to prepare school IT for natural disasters (Edscoop) 
Like the tornadoes and heavy rains affecting much of the country at the moment, severe weather can often impact a community’s essential services, including the technology operations at many schools. In an effort to help districts better prepare their IT systems for such disasters, the Consortium for School Networking released the IT Crisis Preparedness Countdown, a free resource which lays out the critical preparations schools need to make before a natural disaster hits. 


Michigan Adopts K-12 Computer Science Standards: What’s Next? (T.H.E. Journal) 
As of May 2019, Michigan has become the 32nd state in the U.S. to adopt standards for K-12 Computer Science education. A recent report put out by Code.org Advocacy Coalition, a group of “more than 50 industry, non-profit, and advocacy organizations, whose goal is to make computer science a fundamental part of K-12 education” noted, that as of last year’s report, only six states had adopted academic standards for CS skill and concepts.

Texas Bill Would Add CTE Progress as Indicator on School Grades (T.H.E. Journal) 
Texas, a state that emphasizes workforce pathways for its students in K-12, is considering legislation that would require the Texas Education Agency to track career readiness as an indicator on the state’s school accountability system. Bill HB 1388, pending in committee after a recent public hearing, would add an indicator for the count of students with successful completion of a “coherent sequence of career and technology courses.” 

STEM Media

The Math Behind James Holzhauer’s Streak-Ending Final Jeopardy! Wager (TIME) 
Monday’s Jeopardy! game was destined to be exciting. James Holzhauer, who had become famous for winning by enormous margins, was within $60,000 of reaching the all-time winnings record. But it wasn’t to be. Holzhauer lost both the game and his chance to take over the $2.52 million record set by Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings in 2004. At a glance, Holzhauer seemed to stray from his big money strategy in the final round. He uncharacteristically wagered just $1,399. Up to that point, his final wager for his previous 32 games averaged nearly $29,000.

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