Tuesday — September 17, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, DiscoverE announces “Clean Water: Tap Into Tomorrow” as its theme for the 2020 Future City Competition, CME Group announces $1M in grants to help reduce computer science education deserts in Chicago Public Schools, NSTA and Corteva partner on lesson plans and teacher resources exploring food and agriculture, the Amazon Future Engineer program announces funding for computer science and robotics courses in Nashville, and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network announces Learning Blade’s STEM Career Awareness platform will be available to schools statewide!

Click here for the full 9/17 STEMdaily.

STEM Competitions

Future City Competition Announces Theme for 2019-20: Clean Water: Tap Into Tomorrow (DiscoverE)
We turn on the faucet and clean water flows. Most of us don’t give it much thought. But for civil engineers, urban planners, developers, and other professionals, maintaining a reliable water supply takes expertise, planning and constant vigilance. A water-resilient city must be prepared to address a wide range of risks, including drought, flooding, population change, natural and manmade disasters and economic recession. With this pressing issue top of mind, the Future City Competition, now in its 28th year, announces Clean Water: Tap Into Tomorrow, the 2019-20 theme for its award-winning, project based learning experience for middle schoolers.

When A Brand Collaboration Actually Has Synergy: Disney And FIRST Robotics (Forbes)
FIRST is the parent organization of four different robotics competitions, FIRST LEGO League Jr, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and the FIRST Robotics Competition. Every year there is some commonality between the four competitions in terms of the theme and the design challenge. Every year there is some commonality between the four competitions in terms of the theme and the design challenge. 



K-12 Education

CME Group Foundation Awards Nearly $1 Million in Grants to Reduce Computer Science Deserts (CME Group)
CME Group Foundation will award more than $900,000 in new grants to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and local nonprofits to support in-school and after-school computer science programs with the goal of reducing “computer science deserts” in Chicago. Grants are being allocated for summer and after-school programs for K-12 students in Chicago, based on the results of a first-ever study funded by the Foundation to identify neighborhoods in most need of computer science programs. Northwestern University’s Office of Community and Education Partnerships conducted the research, which identified Chicago neighborhoods that did not have any computer science programming open to all neighborhood students.

NSTA and Corteva Agriscience Collaborate to Bring New Food and Agriculture Educational Resources to Teachers (NSTA)
The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) and Corteva Agriscience have collaborated to bring new, science-based lesson plans and resources to elementary teachers nationwide. A series of 10 teacher reviewed lesson plans exploring food and agricultural themes are now available at https://www.nsta.org/corteva. From designing healthy ice pops to learning about plants’ growth needs, each lesson plan is primed to inspire and excite students in the classroom.

Amazon to fund robotics and computer science courses in more high schools (Amazon)
A new partnership between Amazon and Metro Nashville Public Schools will bring computer science courses and robotics to 24 schools focused on students from underserved and underrepresented communities as part of the Amazon Future Engineer program. Amazon is providing 21 elementary, middle, and high schools with robotics programming, which includes funding to launch FIRST robotics programs along with teacher professional development, $10,000 to expand access to computer science education at each school, which could include field trips, hardware, and technology upgrades, and access to a tour of an Amazon robotics fulfillment center.


STEM Teachers Could Get Up to $20K in College Loan Aid (NJ Spotlight)
Senate passes legislation to give STEM educators a hand with paying off existing student loans or help funding advanced degrees. State lawmakers want to provide a new incentive for New Jersey’s public-school STEM teachers by offering to help them pay off college loans. Under legislation that cleared the full Senate on Sept. 12, teachers of STEM ho are working in public schools in New Jersey could get up to $20,000 in college-loan assistance in return for teaching in the classroom for at least four years. 

Diversity in STEM

$10M Pitt grant to address enrollment gap in STEM fields (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Addressing the STEM enrollment and success gap, and promoting a more robust pipeline in STEM for various underrepresented groups, are reasons why NSF announced a $10 million grant to a team of University of Pittsburgh researchers and an outside group. The Pitt researchers are part of the university’s Broadening Equity in Stem (BE STEM) Center, located in the Kenneth Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. It and an organization called the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice (SLECoP) have been chosen to create a network of pre-college programs with accreditation standards, officials said.

STEMinista program encourages girls to get involved with STEM (WNYT)
Passion for STEM is taking flight inside the UAlbany drone lab where a group of fourth graders is on track to defy the odds. The STEMinista program is in its first year in the Albany City Schools and consists of two girls from every elementary school in the district. Sara McGraw heads up the STEMinistas and is the supervisor of the Albany City School’s math, science, and STEM departments. She says studies show most girls lose interest in STEM by the age of 11. STEMinistas hopes to change that. 


Mitchell Baker (Chairwoman and Co-Founder of Mozilla): How STEM Education Must Evolve (Scientific American)
Over the past 40 years, the number of graduate students studying STEM has more than doubled to almost 700,000. Yet over that same time period, relatively little has been done to educate those students about the political, psychological, economic, social and ethical dimensions of their work. Yesterday’s STEM curriculum produced an environment where tech platforms and products were developed in isolation from the broader effects they had on society. We need to update the syllabus so society gains a wider understanding of both the good and bad that come with massively accelerated technological development. 


Introduce Students to STEM Careers with Learning Blade (The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network)
Start the school year right by exposing your students to high-demand STEM and Computer Science careers! TSIN is pleased to provide Learning Blade’s online STEM career awareness platform for all middle schools in the state. The platform contains 200+ hours of interactive STEM and Computer Science activities to show your students how these careers and technologies solve human-centered problems. Students can select from 400 online, engaging lessons, while educators have access to lesson plans for hands-on projects.

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