In a special edition of STEMdaily on International Women’s Day, Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani’s new Brave Not Perfect book drives home the message that it’s okay to fail, MWM’s Women In Insurance initiative is profiled, U.S. Soccer joins the Lyda Hill Foundation’s IF/THEN initiative, a professor looks at project-based learning and standards, a new poll finds the majority of the public favors more federal scientific research spending, and a recap of the San Diego Science & Engineering Festival.
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Diversity in STEM
The Founder Of Girls Who Code Wants Women To Lose (& Win) (Refinery29)
Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, will be the first to tell you that her first big success was technically a failure. In 2010, Saujani hit pause on a successful career in law and finance to run for incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s seat in Congress, but lost. But instead of letting the loss define her negatively, she used it to her advantage. “It didn’t break me and I was shocked that it didn’t break me. It was the beginning of this eye-opening revelation that I can build a bravery muscle and that being brave actually brings you joy,” she says. Saujani is helping women and girls build that muscle with her new book, Brave, Not Perfect.
Margaret Resce Milkint (Managing Partner, Jacobson Group): Industry Still Lags on Diversity (Insurance Thought Leadership)
While the insurance industry has made great strides in recent years, we still have a long road before balance is achieved at the leadership level. A recent study found that women represent more than half of the industry’s entry-level positions, yet hold only 18% of its C-level roles. As the #BalanceforBetter campaign advocates, “gender balance is not a women’s issue, it is a business issue.
U.S. Soccer Joins IF/THEN Initiative to Promote Women in STEM (U.S. Soccer)
U.S. Soccer announced today that it will partner with IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies supporting women in STEM. This first-of-its-kind coalition emphasizes that STEM is everywhere, essential to the success of all fields from entertainment to business, and that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models to activate a culture shift among young girls and their potential of careers in STEM.
Politics are tearing tech companies apart, says new survey (Fast Company)
Silicon Valley lends itself to political stereotypes–called overly progressive by conservatives and overly conservative by progressives. A new survey of 1,924 tech workers around the U.S. indicates that neither view is quite right but why both are so prominent. In the poll of workers across the tech industry, conducted by survey company Morning Consult and commissioned by the conservative-leaning nonprofit Lincoln Network, about a quarter of respondents identified as having very strong views (14% left, 11% right).
Full details of Amazon’s HQ2 deal with Arlington County, Va., revealed for the first time (GeekWire)
Now that the New York deal is dead on arrival, Amazon’s only “HQ2” will be built in Northern Virginia, where the company faces a warmer reception than it did in Queens. The deal Arlington County used to lure Amazon’s ballyhooed second headquarters was published Tuesday and first reported by The Washington Post. It makes Amazon eligible for up to $23 million in tax incentives — part of a larger $573 million incentive package promised in exchange for the 25,000-person office.
Critical Thinking – a Critical Skill in School and for the Future of Work (GettingSmart)
On this, business and education leaders can agree: We need to do a better job of developing critical thinking skills for learners and workers. That’s the easy part. Now the hard part: Are we using the same label to describe a different set of skills? Let’s look at how business describes critical thinking and the jobs that require it to be successful.
Q&A: Do Standards and Project-Based Learning Go Hand in Hand? Prof. Nell Duke Says Yes, & Looks at the Best & Worst of PBL (The74)
In 1919, the question had an easy answer: Which is more engaging, going to school or doing chores at home? In 2019, the question also has an easy, but very different, answer: Which is more engaging, going to school or playing video games? Schools have to compete for students’ attention in ways they’ve never had to before, said University of Michigan professor Nell K. Duke, which she said may be one reason classrooms around the country are increasingly implementing project-based learning.
Registration open for Penn State Mont Alto STEM Camp (Herald Mail)
Penn State Mont Alto is taking registrations for its annual STEMCamp, which provides incoming ninth- and 10th-graders with opportunities to learn about careers in STEM through hands-on activities facilitated by university faculty. This year’s STEM Camp will be Monday, July 8, to Friday, July 12. While the home base for the camp will be Penn State Mont Alto, campers also will take field trips to the state-of-the art Pennsylvania Research and Teaching Laboratory for Biofuels at Penn State Harrisburg to learn about high-tech DNA profiling techniques and to Manitowoc in Shady Grove, Pa., to learn about engineering from the company’s world-class engineers.
New Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support More Federal Funding for Science and Technology Research (Hart Research)
The findings of a new national poll conducted on behalf of the Packard Foundation show that voters are near unanimous in their support for federal funding for science and technology research— 88% believe that it is important for the federal government to fund science and technology research, including 94% of Democrats, 86% of independents, and 81% of Republicans. And support for INCREASING federal funding is similarly high—86% of voters would support a proposal for the federal government to increase funding for science and technology research each year over the next 10 years, a belief that again cuts across the partisan spectrum.
What critics get wrong about the ‘American AI Initiative’ (TechCrunch)
There’s been a bit of hysteria — AI-steria, if you will — over the Trump administration’s recently issued American AI Initiative, formally known as “Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence.” The initiative is a broad strategy “to sustain and enhance the scientific, technological, and economic leadership position of the United States in AI R&D and deployment.” But critics have complained it’s short on specific actions and lacks new funding to accomplish its goals.
From STEM To STEAM: San Diego Science And Engineering Festival Now Includes Art (KPBS)
The 11th annual San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering opened Saturday at Petco Park in downtown San Diego with artists included in the program. The festival is composed of a variety of activities, for both kids and adults, designed to inspire excitement about STEMlearning. “Art teaches how to connect the dots. It teaches how to look at the big picture. How to put all the parts and what they mean together,” said Linda Sheridan of the San Diego Cultural Arts Alliance.
France overhauls its special visa for tech talent (TechCrunch)
The French government has unveiled a complete overhaul of the French Tech Visa for employees working for a tech company. And France is taking a contrarian stance by making it easier to come work in France. Let’s start with the big number. According to French Tech Mission director Kat Borlongan, there are more than 10,000 startups that meet the requirements to access the French Tech Visa and hire foreign employees more easily. (And if you live in the European Union, you don’t need a visa, of course.)