Thursday — September 19, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, Dr. Andre Perry from the Brookings Institute speaks to the importance of black teachers for The Hechinger Report, tech jobs takes 14 out of 25 spots on Glassdoor’s Highest Paying Jobs of 2019 report, Amazon Web Services plans expansion for its cloud curriculum, Education Dive explores how colleges are rolling out blockchain education programs, and Tuskegee University to pilot STEM virtual reality learning platform with NSF grant.

Click here for the full 9/19 STEMdaily.

Diversity in STEM

Dr. Andre Perry (Brookings Institute): Black teachers matter, for students and communities (Hechinger Report)
When it comes to teachers’ roles in shaping anti-racist communities, it’s better to show than to tell. Meaning, society is better off when students see diversity in the ranks of teachers rather than when they hear lessons about the importance of inclusion from a monolithic group of educators. Representation matters. The number of black teachers across the country has been declining over the past twenty years, with individual schools becoming less inclusive. Research shows that black students who have black teachers have better academic outcomes, are suspended less often, and face higher expectations from their teachers.

Rice receives part of grant for minorities in STEM (The Rice Thresher)
NSF awarded a grant of 1.9 million dollars to Rice in August, as part of a collective 2.7 million dollar grant alongside the University of Houston and Texas Southern University to investigate and alleviate the issue of underrepresentation of minority groups in STEM fields. “The goal is to try to increase the number of underrepresented students that go on to academic positions, particularly in the field of computational and data science,” DesRoches said. 



Higher Education

Tuskegee to pilot virtual reality STEM education through new NSF-funded grant (Tuskegee University)
NSF has awarded Tuskegee University a two-year, $250,000 grant for a pilot program to develop and implement a new virtual reality learning environment. The project – iVR to STAR – is a new learning tool that aims to improve undergraduate students’ engagement and enhance learning effectiveness through the use of virtual reality. The project – which involves technology-based active-learning and retention through virtual reality – will allow undergraduate students to integrate VR active learning in order to improve their academic performance.

Study finds digital alerts boost STEM student success (edscoop)
By signing up to receive digital alerts, STEM students at two-year colleges were able to overcome barriers to academic success and ultimately achieved higher rates of persistence, according to a study released Tuesday. The study, conducted over that last two years by Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit working to drive transformation in workforce and education systems, and Persistence Plus, a student-centered mobile platform, examined the effects of digital alerts, also known as personalized nudging, on students at four community colleges in an attempt to address obstacles that can lead to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics students dropping out of college.

To keep up with blockchain, colleges look across disciplines (Education Dive)
To tap into emerging industries, colleges often have to break through the walls that separate academic disciplines. One of the latest barriers they’re addressing stands between their business and technology programs. The emergence of artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain and cryptocurrency is changing how money moves between people and organizations. That’s created a new industry – financial technology, or fintech – around which colleges are being asked to create new curriculum as employers seek hires with these specific skill sets. 



K-12 Education

Oracle Debuts Computer Science Education Resources (T.H.E. Journal)
As more employers look to hire individuals with IT skills, Oracle is investing in helping schools and universities to develop the next generation of computer science leaders. The free Oracle Academy Cloud Program will give institutional members access to the Oracle Cloud Free Tier. Educators will be able to experiment with the Oracle Autonomous Database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The Oracle Academy is tailored to the “unique requirements of educational instructions and educators.”

‘Allows Them To Be Curious’: NASA hosts STEM Day for middle, high school students (Farmington Daily Times)
Crownpoint Middle School students took a deep breath, then exhaled to propel their straw rockets into the air. As they scrambled to catch the colorful rockets, Stephanie Brown-Houston explained the role STEM played in the activity. Brown-Houston is the education program specialist at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. She, along with various personnel from several NASA field centers, conducted a NASA STEM Day event for middle and high school students on Sept. 12 at Navajo Technical University.


Amazon Web Services continues cloud curriculum expansion (Education Dive)
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is continuing to expand its cloud curriculum, working with a set of K-12 schools and colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area to develop courses and credentials through the institutions. Work will start with the community colleges and expand to high schools and four-year colleges in the next two years, with the goal of diversifying the pipeline for tech jobs, according to a company release. 

Skills & Jobs

Tech takes 14 of 25 spots on Glassdoor’s list of highest paying jobs (GeekWire)
The only way you would maybe be upset about the money you make at your tech job is if you checked out the salaries of your friends who went on to become doctors and dentists. But tech is no slouch, of course, nabbing 14 of the 25 spots on Glassdoor’s 2019 list of the highest paying jobs in the U.S. Glassdoor, the job search site that lets current and former employees anonymously share company details such as salary details, found that tech and healthcare roles continue dominate when it comes to median base pay.


The Top Programming Languages 2019 (IEEE Spectrum)
Welcome to IEEE Spectrum’s sixth annual interactive ranking of the top programming languages. This year we’ve done a major overhaul, changing some of the underlying metrics and building a new streamlined interface. But our basic idea and methodology remains the same: combining data from multiple sources to rank the popularity of the programming languages that are used for the type of coding you are interested in.

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