Kicking off STEMdaily this week, we have a story from a sophomore on how her high school engineering course is empowering her and others #GirlsInSTEM in Scientific American, CU Denver revamps its engineering curriculum, Rhodes College receives $1.2M grant to train STEM teachers, CU Boulder’s cybersecurity program nets attention of the state and its tech scene, Georgia considers K-12 computer science legislation, and the Big Hoopla STEM Challenge will return to Dayton’s “First Four” activities to kick off the NCAA basketball tournament.
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Women In STEM
What High School Engineering Taught Me, and How It Can Empower Other Girls (Scientific American)
International Women’s Day 2019 is all about #BalanceforBetter—gender balance, that is. Women make up only 30 percent of the science and engineering workforce today—yet this male-dominated group are the people who are designing our gadgets, building machines and tools that are used in health and environmental care, coming up with algorithms that determine a lot of what happens on social media and more … which does not seem balanced. I am sharing my experience in a recent, required, high school engineering class even though I am not even close to being an expert. In fact, if you had asked me to tell you what “type” of person I was a few months ago, I would have told you that I was an “arts” type. I now realize we need to think past being a “type.”
A College Chain Crumbles, and Millions in Student Loan Cash Disappears (NYTimes)
When the Education Department approved a proposal by Dream Center, a Christian nonprofit with no experience in higher education, to buy a troubled chain of for-profit colleges, skeptics warned that the charity was unlikely to pull off the turnaround it promised. What they didn’t foresee was just how quickly and catastrophically it would fail. Barely a year after the takeover, dozens of Dream Center campuses are nearly out of money and may close as soon as Friday. More than a dozen others have been sold in the hope they can survive.
CU Denver looks to capitalize on its place in the city with revamped engineering college (Denver Post)
After creating an engineering school in Singapore from the ground up, Martin Dunn is working to breathe new life into the University of Colorado Denver’s engineering college with a revamped curriculum, a new state-of-the-art building and a fresh name. Dunn, dean of CU Denver’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, acknowledged that Colorado has no dearth of engineering schools — the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Mines all fall within U.S. News and World Report’s Top 60 best engineering schools in the country.
Rhodes college receives $1.2 mil to increase STEM training for students (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
Rhodes College was awarded $1.2 million grant to support students at the college interested in teaching math and science to kids from K-12 in high-need school districts, according to a media release. Eighteen students majoring in STEM will be recruited during their sophomore year to be a part of the Urban Teacher Partnership for Culturally Relevant STEM Education. Scholars in the program will start working the summer between their sophomore year and junior year and continue throughout graduation.
University of Colorado Boulder cybersecurity program nets attention of secretary of state (Times Call)
As Colorado becomes one of the county’s leading technology hubs, the number of cybersecurity jobs is skyrocketing. According to Cyberseek, a digital tracker of supply and demand for a cybersecurity jobs, there are currently 10,207 cybersecurity job openings in Colorado, the fourth highest rate per capita in the country. Those vacancies and the industries growth track mean cybersecurity companies need a pipeline of local talent.
Georgia Senate wants more computer science in schools (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
The Georgia Senate approved legislation that injects computer science courses into public education starting in middle school. Senate Bill 108 by Sen. P.K. Martin, R-Lawrenceville, says 0.5 percent of high school graduates take a computer science course and there are thousands of unfilled computer science jobs in Georgia. It requires that school districts offer computer science at at least one of their high schools by the fall of 2022 and that all middle schools offer “exploratory” computer science courses. The mandate grows to all high schools by 2024.
Air Force lab on a mission to educate the next generation of scientists (Albuquerque Journal)
The Air Force Research Lab is on the cutting edge of everything from space technology to developing microwave energy systems capable of disarming improvised explosive devices. But agency leaders know that in order to continue that important work into the future, they need to invest in young people and come up with cool ways to get them interested in science. So AFRL’s Tech Engagement Office comes up with innovative experiments. Schoolchildren may see a 55-gallon drum filled with water implode during a demonstration by Outreach Branch Manager Oscar Martinez to illustrate the effects of a change in air pressure.
Big Hoopla STEM Challenge channels kids’ love for hoops into education (Dayton Business Journal)
Growing from 250 students at its start in 2013, this year’s Big Hoopla STEM Challenge will engage more than 1,000 of the next generation’s makers, builders and innovators at a free hot-shot basketball contest on Selection Sunday. Founder Scott Sullivan, CEO and president of SelectTech Services Corporation, said Dayton’s future scientists aged kindergarten through eighth grade have a ball both on and off the court at this one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience.
How to prevent the ‘robot apocalypse’ from ending labor as we know it (SFGate)
It seems not a day goes by without the appearance of another dire warning about the future of work. Some alarmists fear a “robot apocalypse,” while others foresee the day of “singularity” coming when artificial intelligence exceeds human intelligence. Still others warn that income inequality will continue to rise as owners of capital capture more of the benefits of innovations than those who labor for a living.
Detroit is Electric Motor City in a frenzied battle for auto engineering talent (Detroit Free Press)
After years when Detroit was Ground Zero for skepticism about electric vehicles, the traditional auto industry’s hometown has become a hub of EV action. The trend is attracting companies, cash and jobs — potentially including jobs for engineers and executives displaced by restructuring at General Motors and Ford. At the same time, established automakers and suppliers are boosting their work on EVs at their local engineering centers, making southeast Michigan one of the world’s centers of EV development.
Tech Hiring a Bright Spot Amid Weaker Job Growth (Wall Street Journal)
Companies across the U.S. economy last month hired information-technology workers at the sharpest pace in more than four years, bucking a slowdown in job growth for positions outside of technology, according to CompTIA. The number of new IT jobs at firms in all industries expanded by an estimated 253,000 positions in February, the largest one-month gain since November 2015, according to an analysis of employment data released Friday by the Labor Department. The gains, which follow declines in January, pushed the unemployment rate for IT occupations to 2.3%, down from 2.5% a year ago.