Thursday — August 22, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, OpenSciEd project provides free science materials to help teachers meet Next Generation Science Standards, Oregon’s Columbia Gorge STEM Hub selects student Chief Science Officers to serve as STEM ambassadors in their schools, a new study finds that students earned about 2% more each year for each advanced or upper-level vocational class or CTE class they completed in high school, and Wichita State to use NSF grant to help retain more women and minority STEM faculty.

Click here for the full 8/22 STEMdaily.

K-12 Education

Nationwide project provides free science materials to meet California’s new standards (EdSource) 
While California students began taking a new statewide science test this past spring, school districts were still struggling to get teaching materials aligned to the state’s new science standards into classrooms. A new nationwide effort is trying to speed up that process by offering free, open source science materials to teachers and schools. In 2017, philanthropists, state leaders and curriculum writers formed OpenSciEd to get materials to teachers implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, new academic standards that emphasize hands-on projects and integrate several scientific disciplines.

STEM Hub selects ‘Gorge Chief Science Officers’ (Hood River News) 
The Columbia Gorge STEM Hub recently introduced the 17 middle and high school students from Hood River and The Dalles who will serve as Chief Science Officers this coming school year. These students are joining a cohort of peer-elected student leaders from across eastern and southern Oregon. In their role as CSOs, students will be advocates for STEM and science in their schools, gathering insights from their peers, working with teachers and administrators, and bringing important topics to local and state government.


Advanced Vocational Classes Boost Early Career Earnings (T.H.E. Journal) 
A new study of the schooling and workforce outcomes for 4,414 “early-career” adults (median age 29) found that students earned about 2 percent more each year for each advanced or upper-level vocational class or career and technical education class they completed in high school. The research was published as an article in Education Next. Authors Daniel Kreisman of Georgia State and Kevin Stange from the Univ. of Michigan also noted that rather than directing “capable students” away from pursuing more academic pursuits, the vocational courses enabled them to make better enrollment decisions for their college careers. 

Higher Education

Virginia Tech outpaces George Mason in plans for Amazon’s HQ2 (Inside HigherEd) 
Virginia Tech and George Mason University both pledged to significantly expand their computer science programs following Amazon’s announcement last year that it would build a second headquarters in Arlington, Va. But the two universities do not appear to have made equal progress with their plans. While Virginia Tech has already secured a substantial amount of funding from the state, George Mason is still far from meeting its fundraising goals, making the institution’s original five-year timeline seem increasingly infeasible.


With $10M gift, USF’s College of Pharmacy will move to new downtown Tampa medical school (Tampa Bay Business Journal) 
As the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine nears completion, it already has its first addition planned out: a new home for the College of Pharmacy, thanks to a $10 million donation. At a Friday morning ceremony at Amalie Arena, officials announced the Taneja Family Foundation is giving a $10 million gift to the College of Pharmacy. The college will now be renamed the USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy in honor of the family.

Looking to hire a programmer? Here are the 13 schools in the Americas that train the best ones (Silicon Valley Business Journal) 
Companies looking to hire qualified programmers may want to overlook Stanford, Caltech and MIT in favor of UC Berkeley, the University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University, according to new data released by Mountain View-based HackerRank. The company offers employers a platform to assess job candidates’ skills. After compiling almost 1.5 million such assessments of new college graduates, HackerRank identified the 13 schools in the Americas where candidates ranked the highest on their assessments.

Higher Ed Commission Awards STEM Recruitment Grants (Inside Indiana Business) 
To help prepare future educators to teach STEM subject areas, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education has awarded nearly $10 million to 16 schools and organizations to support those efforts. The money is being awarded to programs that place high-quality teachers in schools in high-need school districts. “The careers fueling Indiana’s economy and future growth require STEM-related skills and experience,” said Indiana’s Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. 

Diversity in STEM

Wichita State begins project to hire and retain more women, minority STEM faculty (KWCH) 
Wichita State University says it hopes a new grant-funded project will help to hire and retain women and minority faculty members. The university plans to use a $300,000 grant from NSF to increase the number of women and minorities in faculty positions on campus, particularly in STEM fields. The university says the 18-month grant-funded project will also be a benefit to the growing and diverse student body.

Georgia Southern’s i2STEMe receives 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEMAward from INSIGHT Into Diversity (GSU) 
Georgia Southern University’s Institute for Interdisciplinary STEMEducation (i2STEMe) received the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEMAward from INSIGHT Into Diversity, a diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Programs in STEMAward honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of STEM. Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on their efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives. 




STEM: Efforts to inspire more children could be entrenching educational inequalities ( 
In their STEM strategies, governments are increasingly focused on addressing the large disparities in participation between different social groups. But is all this activity having the desired effect or could it even be doing more harm than good? First, we know that there is just not enough provision. For example, our mapping of invention programs found that they reach just 1.5% of the UK school population annually. Overall, participation in STEM careers activities is low, with less than 30% of 11- to 14-year-olds reporting having taken part in 2017.

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