March 7, 2019 STEMdaily

by STEMconnector


In today’s STEMdaily, Wake Forest research finds class makeup in intro STEM courses impacts the continued interest of women, especially in engineering, Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi responds to 60 Minutes criticism, Maria Klawe argued more STEM students should study abroad in Forbes, and the Actuarial Foundation receives a big grant from New York Life to support math tutoring.

Click here for the entire 3/7 STEMdaily.

For women, class makeup may influence interest in STEM studies (Wake Forest) 
Who is in their first class may lay the foundation for more women to pursue engineering as a major, according to new research by Wake Forest University economics professor Amanda Griffith. “In the STEM fields, engineering in particular attracts fewer women,” said Griffith. The study examined how peer ability, gender effects and role-model effects in the first class taken in a major can impact a student’s interest in persisting in STEM.

Girls Who Code to launch free STEM immersion camp for girls in Philly (Technical.ly Philly) 
New York-based Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit focused on STEM equity, will host a free “Summer Immersion Program” for 10th and 11th grade girls in Philly, exposing them to computer science skills and careers in tech. The seven-week program — one of two dozen happening around the country, including Wilmington, over the summer — will take place at consulting firm PwC’s offices in Center City.

Hadi Partovi, (CEO, Code.org): Elevating the voices of women and underrepresented minorities (Medium) 
There’s been a strong reaction on social media to the recent 60 Minutes story about Closing the Gender Gap in the Tech Industry, sparked by a blog by Reshma Saujani. 60 Minutes raised an important issue highlighting the need for computer science education for young women. While I am proud of the spotlight on the important work of over a million men and women in classrooms who are addressing this issue, like many others, I wish more women in leadership and their organizations had been included.

LinkedIn finds women are less likely to apply for jobs, and more likely to get them (LinkedIn) 
To what extent does a person’s gender explain the way they seek employment? A large dataset released today by LinkedIn suggests there are some differences, and some of the most interesting ones are in the likelihood men and women will apply and get hired. The networking site found that men and women viewed about the same number of jobs as one another, but women were 16% less likely to apply for a job they had viewed. 

Higher Education

Maria Klawe (President, Harvey Mudd College): Why We Need More STEM Students To Study Abroad (Forbes) 
According to Open Doors 2018, the Institute of International Education’s most recent survey of U.S. study abroad, less than 2% of all college students studied abroad in 2016-17, and of that small number of participants, only 5.3% were engineering majors and 2.8% were math or CS majors. The report highlights that while the number STEM majors in programs has increased over the past decade, STEM fields continue to be the most underrepresented fields in study abroad.

Industry Training Must Become the Norm (Inside HigherEd) 
A shift is occurring in academe — more and more STEM graduate students and postdoctoral trainees are considering leaving their fields. In one particular study, just under half of such graduate students reported that they wanted to follow a traditional academic career path, and a quarter of respondents wanted to leave higher education altogether. Those students’ lack of “soft skills” and their ignorance of how to navigate the job search, however, have made such a transition daunting. And that has resulted in longer stints in postdoctoral positions, which turn into low-paying research jobs with few prospects of any further progression. 

K-12 Education

The Actuarial Foundation Receives a Grant from the New York Life Foundation (Actuarial Foundation) 
The Actuarial Foundation is proud to announce that it has received a $300,000 grant, one of its largest, from the New York Life Foundation. With a 25-year legacy of enhancing math education and financial literacy, The Actuarial Foundation will use these funds to support two education initiatives: The Hardest Math Problem, a new math competition, and the expansion of Math Motivators, a tutoring program.

Garver donates money, STEM kits to Keystone School (Tulsa World) 
Garver is giving the donations and STEM kits to a total of 100 schools across the 11 states it serves in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary. The recipient schools are nominated by Garver employees and are encouraged to continue to use the kits to create the chain reaction contraptions for the Garver Chain Reaction Challenge. The schools will have an opportunity to win an additional $1,000 by sharing a video of their contraption to be judged by Garver engineers.

Fostering High Quality Student Experiences through Projects (GettingSmart) 
Over the past three years, I have been implementing Project Based Learning (PBL) in several of my classes. For years I believed that I had been doing “PBL” however after attending a conference, and reading a few books, I realized that I was not. The “PBL” was just learning based on projects, where students were doing the exact same thing, with the same end product. 

STEM Events

Siemens CEO Encourages STEM Learning Ahead of White House Summit (Cheddar) 
Barbara Humpton, the CEO of Siemens USA, stressed the importance of STEM education ahead of the White House’s first American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday. “The best thing to get involved with is STEM,” Humpton told Cheddar from the White House lawn. “There are a lot of people who say, ‘but I’m not good at math.’ Hogwash.” The comments came as business leaders gathered in Washington to discuss how the private sector and educational institutions can work together to combat skill gaps in the U.S. workforce. Other CEOs included Apple’s Tim Cook, Walmart’s Doug McMillon, and IBM’s Ginni Rometty.

Scott Heimlich (VP, Amgen Foundation): SXSW EDU – Day 1 (LinkedIn) 
First off, a thank you to the Lemelson Foundation for inviting me to speak at their session tomorrow on A New Paradigm for Tomorrow’s Workforce. I look forward to joining my fellow panelists from Lemelson, the Digital Harbor Foundation, McKay High School, and MIT to discuss this important issue. To better understand Lemelson’s focus on invention education, and why the Amgen Foundation is committed to giving every child the opportunity to engage in and succeed in science – check out this important op-ed from 2017 on the Lost Einsteins among us. LabXchange, our new initiative with Harvard, is one more piece of the puzzle to addressing some of the inequities described in the article…

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