Friday — September 27, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, Walmart is expanding its Live Better U tuition benefit that offers its 1.5M employees access to online programs with partner universities for $1-a-day degrees and career diplomas in health-related fields, tech industry group Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) pens letter to Congress about facial recognition software, the U.S. Air Force gives 4-H a $150K grant to expand participation in the 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) and STEM curriculum, and Amazon Web Services and Dallas County Community College team up on cloud computing degree program.

Click here for the full 9/27 STEMdaily.


Walmart adds health degrees to $1-a-day education benefit (Education Dive)
Walmart is expanding a tuition benefit that offers its 1.5 million U.S. employees access to online degrees through a set of partner universities for $1 a day. By adding seven bachelor’s degrees and two career diplomas in health-related fields to its Live Better U program, the retailer is addressing the growing demand for health care workers across the U.S. as it moves to increase its own presence in that sector.


Tech industry continues push to shape federal facial recognition laws (GeekWire)
Tech companies developing facial recognition software want to write the rules that will govern the controversial technology. A coalition of trade groups representing the tech industry sent a letter Thursday to Congress urging lawmakers not to forbid law enforcement from using facial recognition tech. They made their case just a few hours after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told reporters in Seattle that his public policy team is crafting recommended regulations. 

Diversity in STEM

Digital badges validate skills for special-needs students (edscoop)
Students with special needs struggle to graduate from high school and earn a diploma, much less pursue higher education or gain meaningful employment. Sometimes, this can be attributed to a skills gap between the desired career and the student’s training. Many times, though, the problem is also a communication gap. During a recent webinar hosted by themed around preparing students with special needs for employment, presenters discussed how and why digital badges can help students validate their training, providing a reliable credential for prospective employers. 

K-12 Education

STEAM Initiative for Brooklyn South Students Launches (T.H.E. Journal)
Technology incubator New Lab is working with the New York City Department of Education, Microsoft and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to foster the next generation of technology innovators. The new healthcare, energy, education, environment, and agriculture (HE3AT) Program gives Brooklyn South public high school students the opportunity to explore how technology impacts different industries through project-based learning.

National 4-H Council Expands STEM Education Efforts (T.H.E. Journal)
The National 4-H Council is partnering with the U.S. Air Force to teach young people computer science skills. A $150,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force will provide communities in Colorado, Missouri and Utah with a free curriculum to participate in the 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD). This year’s 4-H NYSD challenge is called Game Changers and it focuses on teaching computer science skills through games and physical activities. The grant will also support the training of teen leaders who will facilitate the activities for 4-H. 



Higher Education

Amazon, DCCCD roll out statewide cloud computing degree programs (Dallas Business Journal)
Community colleges and technical schools across Texas will offer associate degrees in cloud computing beginning in spring 2020 through a partnership between Amazon Web Services and the Dallas County Community College District. The partnership, announced Wednesday in Dallas by state, local and Amazon officials, aims to meet industry and employers’ immediate needs and give students statewide a fast track into one of the fastest-growing and highest-paying high-tech careers.

U.S. graduate students in STEM are mostly foreign (Washington Post)
The Sept. 23 editorial “A message of hostility” listed many of the important reasons the Trump administration’s policy to discourage foreign students from coming to the United States is wrong and hurts the nation, but it overlooked the most important reason, one that will hurt the United States for decades to come: Foreign students in university graduate programs, especially in science, technology, engineering and math fields, make up the majority of the student body in most research universities.

Dayton-area college moves ahead on $96M health sciences facility (Dayton Business Journal)
Miami University is moving ahead on its first new academic building in more than a decade. Miami’s board of trustees took the first step this month toward a new $96 million health sciences building on the Oxford campus, authorizing a contract for planning and design. At its Sept. 20 regular business meeting, the board unanimously authorized Miami’s administration to sign contracts of up to $4.5 million for preconstruction services for the new building. This follows the work completed last year on the cost, feasibility and early site selection for the project.

Riverside City College Received $1.67M Grant For STEM and Nursing Pathways (Inland Empire)
Riverside City College received a five-year, $1.67 million College and Career Access Pathways Grant from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office for its STEM/Nursing Health Science Pathway. The grant will enable RCC to recruit and educate underrepresented student groups to become nurses. Over the course of the grant, College officials expect nearly 1,500 students from Arlington and Ramona high schools to participate, with 435 completing the discipline to become nurses or other healthcare professional

Stewart and Lynda Resnick Pledge $750 Million to Caltech to Support Environmental Sustainability Research (Caltech)
The commitment will bring together experts across campus, and provide shared facilities with unparalleled instrumentation, to advance bold new solutions to energy and sustainability challenges. Philanthropists and entrepreneurs Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of The Wonderful Company, have announced an unprecedented $750 million pledge to Caltech to support cutting-edge research into the most pressing challenges in environmental sustainability.

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