February 26, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector

In today’s STEMdaily, a new study finds black and Latinx students enrolled in STEM programs are either switching majors or dropping out of college at higher rates than their white peers, UTC invests in Girls Who Code, Science Line profiles the oSTEM chapter at NYU and what it’s like being queer in STEM, BAE Systems launches its FIRST Scholarship program, Amazon sponsors computer science education at 1000 schools, and more on diversity in STEM, makerspaces, and HB-1 visas.

Click here for the entire edition of 2/26 STEMdaily

Diversity in STEM
Latinx, black college students leave STEM majors more than white students (Inside HigherEd) 
College administrators have long debated how to attract minority students — black and Latinx men and women — to science and technology fields. It turns out these students already have an interest in those fields, at least according to a new study. But black and Latinx students enrolled in STEM programs are either switching majors or dropping out of college at higher rates than their white peers, the study concludes.

United Technologies CDO Backs Effort to Train Female Coders (Wall Street Journal) 
United Technologies Corp. wants to help close the gender gap in science and technology by investing in Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that provides intensive education in computer science to high schoolers in the U.S. and Canada. The multiyear commitment of more than $1 million will help Girls Who Code expand its computer science training programs in the U.S., and, in turn, increase the pool of female technologists from which to hire, said Vince Campisi, senior vice president and chief digital officer of United Technologies.

LGBT+ students confront challenges in STEM by building community (Science Line) 
Succeeding in STEM is difficult for many students — but queer and transgender students face additional challenges ranging from lack of visibility to outright discrimination. In fact, 7 percent more queer college students drop their STEM major compared to their straight peers, according to a recent study. To combat these challenges, some queer and trans STEM students participate in support networks that help young LGBT+ science scholars thrive in their coursework and prepare for their future careers. One such coalition is oSTEM (out in STEM), a national organization with local chapters that run activities such as conferences and resume workshops.

UO joins a new national effort to diversify the STEM faculty (University of Oregon) 
As part of its ongoing commitment to improving STEM education the UO is joining a national effort that aims to boost the diversity of faculty and students. The three-year initiative funded by the National Science Foundation will help 15 public research universities reform their recruitment, hiring and retention practices and commit to more inclusive teaching, advising and research mentoring practices. 

K-12 Education

Amazon Future Engineer to Offer Computer Science Education for Thousands of Underprivileged Students (MacObserver) 
Over 700 of the more than 1000 high schools signed up to the scheme are Title 1 schools. Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon said: “We want to ensure that every child, especially those from underprivileged communities, has an opportunity to study computer science.” Participating schools will offer Intro to Computer Science and AP Computer Science classes via curriculum provider, Edhesive. All the students that participate in Amazon Future Engineer will be given free membership to AWS Educate.

BAE Systems Launches New STEM Scholarship and Internship Program for High School Seniors (BAE Systems) 
BAE Systems will sponsor a new, nation-wide annual scholarship and internship program to enhance opportunities for high school seniors that plan to seek a career in STEM. The BAE Systems FIRST® Scholarship Program will grant a total of $40,000 in scholarships to eight students that are pursuing an undergraduate degree in a technology or engineering field. As part of the scholarship, students will also be awarded a paid summer internship at BAE Systems.

High School Team Masters 3D Printing for Part in $2.2B Aircraft (T.H.E. Journal) 
A high school team in Missouri recently helped the U.S. Air Force create 3D-printed switch covers for a $2.2 billion aircraft. Students from Knob Noster High School, which serves families deployed and working at nearby Whiteman Air Force Base, designed the plastic cover for a switch box inside the B-2 Spirit bomber. According to base spokesman Capt. Kennan Kunst, the B-2 Spirit cockpit, while equipped with “state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology,” is also “very cramped.” Something was needed, he said, “to keep the pilots or other items from bumping into the switches.”

Pat Henry Elementary students join with engineers for STEM event (KSWO) 
Local elementary students got to join forces with professional engineers to test chain reactions as part of a STEM event Monday. That happened at Pat Henry Elementary for the Garver Firm’s 100 year anniversary of being in business. The company’s Chief Operating Officer says they started 100 years ago and have grown to operate in 11 states across the US, and for their centennial, they want to give back to the people in those areas. 


Trump administration denying, delaying more foreign skilled-worker requests (Reuters) 
The Trump administration is denying and delaying more skilled-worker visa petitions than at any time since at least 2015, in keeping with its promise to increase scrutiny of foreign workers, according to data the government released on Friday. U.S. officials say they have made reforms that prioritize American workers, cut down on fraud and streamline the immigration process. But lawyers who help employers apply for the visas say the agency is rejecting legitimate applications and tying up requests in bureaucratic red tape. 


Rural Libraries Hosting Movable Makerspaces (T.H.E. Journal) 
The Nebraska Library Commission is using a $531,000 grant to purchase “mobile” maker labs and spread them into rural communities for five months at a time. Nine libraries have been chosen to host what’s being called “Library Innovation Studios.” These join 18 other libraries that were previously selected for the same program in 2017.

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