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Education World STEM News Round Up

As November comes to a close, actions revolving around the effects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) education are revving up. New studies are revealing fascinating insight into the inner-workings of students who are interested in tackling a STEM career, and journalists are investigating the sociological aspects of pursuing math and tech-minded career paths. 

This week, we're hearing about the effect of STEM education initiatives on students, news about relevant grants and funding that will ensure further progress, and the continuing, yet slowly disappearing presence of gender stereotypes against young women in STEM fields.

 

Study Finds Different Reasons for Students Pursuing STEM Careers

A new study conducted through the Indiana University School of Education analyzed the pathways that lead participating students to their STEM-oriented fields. The study found a majority of students to exhibit an interest in STEM before the sixth grade, however, those who showed initial interest later in their education showed a higher likelihood of pursuing a career in STEM. While teachers were proven as the primary source of influence as students grow into middle school, high school and early college, most students who persisted did so from their own interest and passion for the subject. Read the full story.

 

Corporations Make Effort to Connect STEM to Real-Life Practice

Through mentoring, corporate-sponsored course, and educational programs and events, big businesses (like Verizon, General Electric, and CISCO) are encouraging students to see how STEM is relevant to their skill set outside of school. U.S. News writer Amy Golod also points out: “At the same time, they shed a light on underlying stereotypes that may deter young women from pursuing what are sometimes considered traditionally male-dominated fields.” Read the full story. 

 

49% of ACT-tested Graduates in 2014 Show Interest in STEM

A new report from the college testing organization ACT found the overall interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to remain steady as the amount of college-bound students increases. However, of the 49% (nearly 900,000) students who expressed interest, only 17% had an ACT-measured interest. The report showed that while the percentage of interested students has increased over the past five years, efforts to keep students engaged in STEM fields should increased in postsecondary education. Read the full report. 

 

National Education Foundation Plans to Invest $10M in STEM Education

The NEF announced their intention to invest $10 million to increase the number of school districts across the US with access to high-quality STEM education programs. “In order to qualify for the matching grant,” the press release stated, “a school district must have 35% or more students on free or reduced cost lunch.” Schools can apply for the grant at www.cyberlearning.org/STEMgrant. Read the full story. 

 

President Obama Announces Investment of $28M in STEM Education

On November 20, the White House announced a partnership with a number of organizations to increase funding for STEM education. The Washington Times reported: "The new increase in funding will help pay for science courses for 1 million new students in the next two years, Obama said. Half of the high schools across the U.S. do not offer calculus and more than a third don't offer physics." Read the full story.

 

‘The Atlantic’ Reports Black Girls Have Better Performance in STEM

While research on how gender stereotypes affect girls in STEM fields is now a common topic of discussion, new research finds that girls exposed to these stereotypes will elicit a different response dependent on their race. The leader of the study, Laurie O’Brien, a philosophy professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, found that black women may not internalize the stereotype as much as white women due to differences in upbringing. Read the full story.

 

Compiled by Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor.

 

11/25/2014

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