Friday — July 12, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, the 2019 Congressional App Challenge is officially underway, Google launches Code with Google teacher resources, how coding and entrepreneurship is building a path from prison to employment, a look at Base 11’s STEM internship programs, dozens of universities collaborate on climate action initiative, Huntington Ingalls sponsors the National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative, and what having more women astronauts means for space exploration and society.

Click here for the full 7/12 STEMdaily.

The 2019 Congressional App Challenge Has Launched! (Congressional App Challenge) 
The annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) has launched! The CAC is a Congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in STEM and, more specifically, computer science. Middle and high school students from across America are invited to participate. Registration is now open for students, and more detailed rules and guidelines can be found on our website. Already, over 250 Members of Congress opened a Challenge for their district’s students (we expect dozens more to launch their Challenges in the coming weeks). “The Congressional App Challenge is the largest series of student coding competitions in the world,” said Tim Lordan, Executive Director of the Internet Education Foundation, which was appointed as the CAC’s official sponsor by the U.S. House Of Representatives.


Google Launches Comprehensive CS Resources for Educators (T.H.E. Journal) 
Google jas launched Code with Google, a new compilation of resources for K-12 educators for exploring computer science in the classroom. According to Google, “We believe that training, resources, and community for teachers are key to improving equity in CS education and expanding access for all students. Code with Google is our new CS comprehensive resource for educators. It brings together Google’s free curriculum and programs that build coding skills – from beginner level to advanced – to help students succeed.

How entrepreneurship and coding training programs build a path from prison to employment (GeekWire) 
Incarcerated people and entrepreneurs, generally speaking, share some key traits. Both are willing to embrace big risks and to work the angles to put together a deal. “You’ve gotta know how to hustle in prison, or you get nowhere,” said Leo Novsky. So Novsky is tapping that entrepreneurial spirit to teach incarcerated people how to plan for launching startups after release, while also helping them redefine and reimagine who they are as members of society, as fathers and mothers, as friends and as employees.



32 States Expand Access to K-12 Computer Science Education in 2019 ( 
Interest in computer science education is increasing at a record pace. Since January 2019, 32 states have passed legislation and funded $40.1 million to expand access to and diversity in K-12 computer science. Teachers, parents, community leaders and policy makers from across the country are recognizing the importance of ensuring that every student has the opportunity to learn computer science. These 32 states passed new laws or initiatives to support K-12 computer science (CS) since January of this year. Since the Advocacy Coalition was founded in 2013, nearly all states have made policy changes to ensure that students have an opportunity to learn computer science. Members of the coalition include Amazon, College Board, Computer Science Teachers Association, ExcelinEd, and Microsoft. 

Higher Education

STEM Heroes of the Future Complete Their Base 11 Internships (Base 11) 
The Base 11 Academic Year Internship for the 2018/2019 school year have just wrapped up, and the results were beyond impressive. With a total cohort of 28 students and a 100% retention rate, this was one of Base 11’s most successful years yet. At the UCI Autonomous Systems Engineering Academy, students met monthly at UC Irvine to learn lucrative skills such as how to program a Raspberry Pi, prototype using Arduino, and use computer-aided design software for 3D printing to develop their own project.


Dozens of universities are declaring a climate emergency (Fast Company) 
Dozens of universities announced today that they are declaring a climate emergency, along with educational networks representing more than 7,000 other schools. The plan comes with a commitment to go carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the latest, mobilize more resources for climate research, and increase opportunities for environmental education. “We’ve been working with schools for the past decade that have really aggressive carbon neutrality targets,” says Timothy Carter, president of Second Nature, one of the networks that works to accelerate climate action in colleges. 

K-12 Education

Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce: ‘Career ready’ out of high school? Why the nation needs to let go of that myth (The Conversation) 
Unlike old-fashioned vocational education, high school-level career and technical education doesn’t really prepare people for jobs directly after high school. While the stated end goal of K-12 education in America is for students to be “college and career ready,” the reality is the existence of career-ready high school graduates is a myth. The expectation that high school produces career-ready adults in a 21st century economy is unrealistic and counterproductive. While there have been efforts to revive vocational training in high school, it has become clear that, for today’s students to be prepared for tomorrow’s jobs, all pathways must lead to a credential with labor market value, such as a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree.

Residential STEM High School Getting Second Campus (T.H.E. Journal) 
A residential STEM high school in North Carolina has broken ground on a second campus. The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is expected to open a western campus in Morganton in August 2021. (The original campus is located in Durham.) According to news reports, the facility will be about 211,000 square feet and will include existing buildings from the previous school that was on the site that have been renovated along with new construction. Plans are for 300 students from across the state to reside at the school, most, if not all, juniors and seniors.

Huntington Ingalls Industries Sponsors National PTA’s STEM + Families Initiative (Huntington Ingalls) 
Huntington Ingalls has announced its three-year sponsorship of National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative. HII’s sponsorship kicked off in conjunction with the 2019 National PTA Convention and Expo, which was held in late June in Columbus, Ohio. This is the first enterprise-wide sponsorship HII has made since its establishment in 2011. The company is a strong advocate of STEMinitiatives and early childhood education, seeing both as fundamental to ensuring a skilled and productive workforce of the future. 

Diversity in STEM

What having more women astronauts could mean for space exploration (Fast Company) 
In March 2019, Vice President Mike Pence stated that the goal of NASA should be to return humans to the moon by 2024. While the cost of such a venture isn’t known yet, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has supported the effort and gone as far as naming the 2024 moon mission Artemis. The selection of Artemis is no mistake. In Greek mythology, Artemis was the sister of Apollo as well as the goddess of the moon. The name also signals a new focus on the role of women in space exploration. From my perspective as a space policy analyst, this is an important message for NASA to send.

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