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Education World STEM News Roundup: Women Take the Helm at Universities

Education World STEM News Round Up

This week in STEM-related news, a groundbreaking study has revealed that when it comes to university science departments, women are twice as likely to be hired for the job. Experts are divided on what the study's implications are for women in STEM fields, though. Good news is this week revealed that women unquestionably have a strong foothold in statistics, botany, and healthcare.

Also this week, although a study revealed that engineering lacking nationwide in K-12 curriculum, universities across the country are stepping up to offer courses and training to benefit K-12 in STEM fields, like Texas A&M University and the University of Maine's efforts to strengthen K-12 STEM education. 

 

Females Twice as Likely to Get Job in Science Departments

Women are twice as likely to get the job over men in tenure-track positions in university science departments, according to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers surveyed 900 faculty members in 371 schools across the country to arrive at the findings.

Though some researchers are quick to warn that this does not mean science has instantly become a welcoming field for women, it is still a step in the right direction. One of the Cornell researchers behind the study, Wendy Williams, acknowledged that the study doesn't prove discrimination is no longer an issue. “'But these data speak to a real change. People seem to have internalized the value of gender diversity, and are consciously or unconsciously upgrading women candidates,'" she said, according to the article. Read the full story here.

The University of Maine Creates Program to Train K-12 Math Coaches

After a 2014 report revealed that Maine's 4th and 8th grade students are behind in math proficiency compared to their New England counterparts, the University of Maine launched a two year program designed to train K-12 math coaches. Read the full story here.

Study Reveals Engineering Lacking in K-12 Curriculum

Only 12 states clearly define engineering in its K-12 curriculum while only four "comprehensively" do, according to research published in Journal of Research in Science Teaching. "The research is now being used in a curriculum-development project called EngrTEAMS: Engineering to Transform the Education of Analysis, Measurement and Science, an $8 million National Science Foundation-funded research project." Read the full story here

Insight into Women-Dominated STEM Fields

Although the gender-gap in most STEM fields is significant with women trailing behind their male counterparts to fill roles, there are certain fields women dominate. These are: statistics, botany, and healthcare. Women represent 80% of the United States' healthcare force (though this percentage drops significantly with leadership positions), 46% of roles in biological sciences, and 40% of roles in statistics. Read the full story here

State University Creates STEM Summer Camps for Young Students

Texas A&M University will enter its sixth year of hosting science, technology, engineering and math camps for middle school and high school students. The camps feature the guidance and mentorship of Texas A&M professors "actively working in STEM fields" to learn about topics such as robotics, cosmetic chemistry, construction engineering and many more. Read the full story here

 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/14/2015

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