March 5, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector


In today’s STEMdaily, Lyda Hill Philanthropies launches $25M investment in its #IfThenSheCan campaign through partnerships and media efforts, Code.org was featured on 60 Minutes, Corlis Murray from Abbott is featured on the MWM Leaders to Learn From series, the University of California system adds computer science as a science prereq options for incoming freshmen, SpaceX successfully docked the first commercial spaceship built for astronauts on ISS, and more on Women in STEM, higher ed, EdTech, & AI!

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Diversity in STEM
Closing the gender gap in the tech industry (60 Minutes) 
Hadi Partovi was born in Iran, where he taught himself to code as a kid. After immigrating to the U.S., he began his career at Microsoft, then founded two tech startups and made a fortune in Silicon Valley. His biggest mark may be with his current project, a non-profit called Code.org, which may finally help close the tech-skills gender gap. “It’s a chicken/ egg problem. There’s not enough women going into the field. And because the field is so male dominated, it doesn’t make women comfortable. And both problems hurt each other.”

Google Finds It’s Underpaying Many Men as It Addresses Wage Equity (New York Times) 
When Google conducted a study recently to determine whether the company was underpaying women and members of minority groups, it found, to the surprise of just about everyone, that men were paid less money than women for doing similar work. The study, which disproportionately led to pay raises for thousands of men, is done every year, but the latest findings arrived as Google and other companies in Silicon Valley face increasing pressure to deal with gender issues in the workplace, from sexual harassment to wage discrimination.

New STEM initiative is partnering with Girl Scouts and ‘Project Runway’ to inspire future STEM trailblazers (Mashable) 
Many girls think, “I’m not a math person” or “I’m not a science person,” but Nicole Small, president of the Lyda Hill Foundation, wants to prove them wrong. On Monday, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, which funds science projects and research, announced a $25 million initiative called IF/THEN that seeks to inspire more girls to pursue STEM careers.

Long before Gates or Jobs, 6 women programmed the first digital computer (Digital Trends) 
The first computer had a strange, fascinating beginning. Its construction in the 1940s marked a major milestone in computing’s early history, being involved with research into the hydrogen bomb. It’s celebrated every year on February 15 (ENIAC Day), but it’s just as appropriate to pay it some attention during Women’s History Month in March. 

Higher Education

U California System Finally Adds CS as Science Prereq Option for Freshmen (T.H.E. Journal) 
The University of California System has quietly begun accepting high school computer science credits as part of its curriculum prerequisites. CS will join engineering and applied science in the list of approved high school courses toward the university system’s two-year college preparatory laboratory science stipulation. In reporting by EdScoop, previously, just physics, chemistry and biology were eligible for core curriculum requirements and CS was considered only as an elective credit.

Boise State STEM programs were revamped but need more help (Boise State) 
Lecturer for the College of Engineering Ann Delaney, sat by herself at the Starbucks in the Student Union Building, answering emails as she waited for students to come to her office hours. The STEM departments at Boise State has developed new teaching methods for professors but not all students are receiving the benefits. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has worked on making STEM interactive through teaching, more diverse in gender, and prepared to offer more resources for students.

Is your campus ready for AI and other technology trends? (eCampus News) 
Have you prepared your campus for augmented reality and artificial intelligence? A survey from the Center for Digital Education (CDE) recently found that college and university leaders are focusing on transforming academics, securing students and data, improving student services, and modernizing IT. These for core areas, they believe, will establish a solid foundation to support future innovation on campus. 

K-12 Education

Fairfax High School Opens New Innovation Lab (T.H.E. Journal) 
A Fairfax County high school has added a maker space thanks to two parents who donated the funding. According to the Virginia district, the launch of Chantilly High School’s new Innovation Lab began with an email to the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools from Sekhar and Malini Puli, who wanted to make a lasting donation to the school and its students, including daughter Roshni and son Pranav. They’d seen the growing popularity of makerspaces in schools and wanted to provide Chantilly students with the same opportunities to explore their own ideas.

GE Aviation joins forces with United Way to create STEM kits for students (Asheville MountainXpress) 
200 STEM Kits will be distributed to students in 4th and 7th grade in Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools this winter, including Oakley Elementary, Montford North Star Academy, and Owen Middle. United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County joined forces with GE Aviation and Buncombe County Schools to create these kits as educational take-home activities to engage and educate students and parents. 

Space

SpaceX just docked the first commercial spaceship built for astronauts to the International Space Station — what NASA calls a ‘historic achievement’ (Business Insider) 
Elon Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, on Saturday launched for the first time a commercial spaceship designed to fly NASA astronauts. The ship, called Crew Dragon, pulled off another first on Sunday morning: its first docking with the International Space Station. No people flew inside Crew Dragon (just cargo and a dummy), but crew members already at the space station opened the hatch and greeted the spacecraft. “Welcome to the new era in spaceflight,” an astronaut said from inside SpaceX’s ship.

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