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STEM News Roundup: Engineering Education Is on the Rise in Schools

Change the Equation, a nonprofit group focused on improving STEM education, recently analyzed student assessment data and found that states that adopted the NGSS standards prior to 2014 have done a more effective job of integrating engineering within their curricula. 

"For 8th grade, pretty much across the board, the early adopters in NGSS saw swift increases in the amount of time teachers were reporting spending on engineering on a couple different measures,"  said Change the Equation's COO Claus Von Zastrow in an interview with Education Week.

California and Washington are the only two states that have adopted the NGSS early, but have not seen the same level of progress as the rest of their peers. The report also makes it clear that while there is more focus on engineering in these schools, there is no data to prove how effective the subject matter is being taught.

Read a summary of the key findings here.

Ivanka Trump and Betsy DeVos Promote Female Participation In STEM

President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) to help promote female participation in STEM. The duo also promoted the film "Hidden Figures" and the importance of minorities in STEM fields. However, some took issue with their promotion amid the President's proposed cuts to NASA's Office of Education funding.

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, took issue with Trump and DeVos visit to the NASM. “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Ivanka Trump are feigning an interest in STEM careers with a photo op at the National Air and Space Museum while eliminating all funding for NASA’s education programs," said Weingarten, according to The Washington Post

She argued that if the Trump administration really wanted to help boost STEM engagement and promote programs for all students, they would not seek to cut funding which does exactly that.

The visit did bring awareness to the troubling gender gap in STEM. Trump made a point to encourage female students to get involved and help change the statistics. She also called for their male counterparts to aid and encourage females who show interest in the field. 

Read the full story.

Recipients of The National Science Teachers Association's 2017 Teacher Awards Revealed

The NSTA Teacher Awards program highlights and honors the achievements of K-12 teachers, professors, principals and other science education figures every year. This year's list of recipients has been announced, including the recipient for the NSTA's highest honor, the Robert H. Carleton Award for National Leadership in the Field of Science Education, which will be awarded to Edward P. Ortleb.

"Ortleb’s academic background covers science education at all levels, which has given him the platform upon which to develop a successful career spanning more than six decades, including classroom teaching at the primary and intermediate levels, model teaching, curriculum leadership roles, university faculty member, author, workshop presenter, and science education consultant," according to a recent release.

A full list of this year's recipients can be found here.

Trend Micro Video Contest Gives Schools & Individuals A Chance to Win $10,000

The Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids and Families program is getting schools and students involved with the future of the internet and rewarding them for it. The organization is holding a special contest with two grand prizes of $10,000. So what's the task? Participants are being asked to answer one question: "If you could change one thing about the internet, what would you change?" 

"We want to empower our kids and learn from them," said Lynette Owens, global director, Internet Safety for Kids & Families Program, Trend Micro, according to a release.

"Our kids have been raised in a time when being online is a natural part of their lives. They know and understand a lot, and we have an obligation to listen and learn from their experiences. This past year has presented many challenges for society online which sparked our interest in asking a question like this. We are excited to see what the youngest members of our society have to say about it."

To learn more about how to enter, check out the contest details here.

 

Compiled by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor.

 

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