Friday — July 19, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, the New York Times discusses women in the space program in light of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Ad Council puts out PSAs about girls in STEM for the upcoming Angry Birds Movie 2, NSF funds STEM field trips to the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago, and a dean from Sacred Heart University dissects the false dichotomy of STEM vs Liberal Arts narratives.

Click here for the entire 7/19 STEMdaily.

Diversity in STEM

To Make It to the Moon, Women Have to Escape Earth’s Gender Bias (New York Times) 
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, NASA has started Artemis, a program that aims “to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024, including the first woman and the next man.” Although both astronauts have enormous challenges ahead, the first woman will face added hurdles simply because everything in space carries the legacy of Apollo. It was designed by men, for men. Not deliberately for men, perhaps, but women were not allowed in the astronaut program until the late 1970s, and none flew until Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, in 1983. By this point, the space program was built around male bodies.


At STEM Competitions, Gender Norms Still Hold Girls Back (Discover Magazine) 
…Girls like Seevers winning awards at science competitions are the exception to the rule, according to a study published last month in the Journal of Research on Science Teaching. Such competitions can be an important factor in stimulating interest in STEM fields, but women hold only 24 percent of STEM jobs in the United States. With women under-represented on the podium at these competitions, this trend could be exacerbating rather than helping narrow the science gender gap.

New PSAs Featuring The Angry Birds Movie 2 Inspire Girls to Pursue STEM (The Ad Council) 
The Ad Council has joined forces with Sony Pictures Animation/Rovio Entertainment’s The Angry Birds Movie 2 to inspire young girls to use STEM to envision, invent and create a better world. The new PSAs (public service advertisements) are an extension of the Ad Council’s She Can STEM campaign, which encourages girls to pursue their STEM passions by challenging obsolete stereotypes and surprising girls with how cool, unexpected and inspiring STEM can be. 



K-12 Education

Stocker Foundation gives $1.35M to Elyria Schools for STEAM program (Elyria Chronicle) 
Elyria Schools will receive $1.35 million over the next three years for its STEAM program across the district. The Stocker Foundation presented a check at Wednesday’s school board meeting. The STEAM program is for preschool K through eighth grade. Superintendent Ann Schloss said many of the STEAM or STEM programs in schools are for specific groups and used for electives.

Museum of Science and Industry gets $1.2 million grant for STEM field trips (Hyde Park Herald) 
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has granted $1.2 million to the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) to allow it to directly connect students with specific field trips linked to STEM careers. “This grant will help customize museum programming in a way that will genuinely resonate with our young people and inspire them to pursue STEM careers,” said U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-2nd) in a statement announcing the grant. 

Higher Education

Robin L. Cautin (Sacred Heart University): STEM vs. liberal arts? That’s a fight we don’t need. (Hartford Courant) 
I received an interview request last week. A local reporter was interested in the ongoing public debate around “STEM vs Liberal Arts.” She wondered about the extent to which students today are more interested in their career prospects versus their pursuit of a passion. As a college dean at Sacred Heart University, I felt compelled to speak out: The current public discussion that puts STEM in competition with the liberal arts is anything but constructive. Pitting STEM against the liberal arts is a false dichotomy. It’s also a dangerous one. It’s false because science and mathematics can’t oppose the liberal arts. They are liberal arts disciplines themselves.

USC to open “smart data” artificial intelligence institute (Charlotte Observer) 
The University of South Carolina wants to start working smarter. Later this summer, the school will open an institute dedicated to studying and developing artificial intelligence, which is sometimes abbreviated AI, the school announced Tuesday. The institute aims to use its AI research to help develop “self-improving” and customized programs for social workers, pharmacists, teachers and more. 


From Satellites to the Moon and Mars, China Is Quickly Becoming a Space Superpower (TIME) 
Nestled among the crimson dunes of China’s Gobi Desert, a warren of domes and squat white buildings rises from the parched earth. Inside is a research and educational facility for budding astronauts – and the latest manifestation of Beijing’s bid to position itself as a leading space power. “Mars Base 1,” built by private Chinese company C-Space, is like a space station on Earth, boasting an airlock, greenhouse, gymnasium, living quarters and control room. Solar-powered buggies and lunar probes scour the red dust landscape of northeastern Gansu province, whose barren expanses bear an eerie resemblance to the Red Planet, which China is planning to visit next year.


Solar And Hydrogen Boats Win The Future In Monaco (Forbes) 
The dozens of tiny, handmade boats looked out of place among the super yachts moored at the Monaco Yacht Club. It wasn’t a mistake that the little ships were in this particular harbor at this particular time. No, these little watercraft were slipping silently between the billionaire boats to promote cleaner water transportation under the idea that our green mobility future includes common technologies between cars, bikes, airplanes and boats. The fleet had gathered from around the world to participate in the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge. 


State announces computer science education funding boost at Marshalltown Schools (Marshalltown Town Obersver) 
The office of Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Marshalltown Schools as one of 23 districts to get extra funding for computer science education Wednesday. Specifically, a governor’s office statement says state lawmakers appropriated $500,000 to the Computer Science Professional Development Incentive Fund. The goal of the fund is to help educate teachers on how to perform high-quality computer science instruction at the elementary-, middle- and high school level.

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