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STEM News Roundup: Ahmed Visits the White House for Astronomy Night

STEM News Round-Up: Ahmed Visits the White House for Astronomy Night

This week in STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) news, the White House hosts its annual Astronomy Night to a variety of special guests, a new report reveals some unlikely states succeeding in STEM and a new study indicates that men are less likely to acknowledge gender bias in the field. 

White House Astronomy Night Welcomes Budding Science Lovers, Including Clock-Maker Ahmed

Last night, the White House held its annual astronomy night for students from around the country to gather and star gaze with experts in science and President Obama.

Also in attendance was Ahmed Mohamed- the 14-year-old from Texas who drew national attention after a home-made clock he brought into school was mistaken for a bomb, leading to his arrest and suspension. Ahmed received an outpouring of support from the science community and beyond, including President Obama, who invited Ahmed to the White House.

“After delivering a speech, the president shook hands with some of those in attendance and spoke briefly with Mohamed. The teenager, who embarked on a wide-ranging tour after his arrest made him famous, did not bring his clock along,” said NPR.

Read the full story here

School’s Latin Club Helps Weather Channel Name Winter Storms

A high school Latin Club in Montana has a hand in helping the Weather Channel select winter storm names, all thanks to a letter four years ago from a student in the club. In the letter, the student suggested that the channel use Greek and Roman mythology for storm names. They agreed.

“So every year, the students send a list of names, one for each letter of the alphabet,” said NPR.

The unique partnerships gets the Bozeman High Latin Club collaborating every year and sharing their love for mythology- allowing for them to be one of the only groups excited for winter storms.

Read more here. 

National PTA Teams up with Bayer Foundation to Provide 100,000 STEM Experiences in Three Years

The National PTA and the Bayer USA Foundation are teaming up to provide families with experiences that will engage them in STEM.

The efforts, which were announced last night during the annual White House Astronomy Night, are intended to engage parents in STEM learning to provide strong foundations for children interested in studying STEM.

“Through a variety of activities, including events, grants, and resources, Bayer, National PTA and local PTAs across the country will engage and empower families to support student success in STEM and inspire their children to pursue STEM careers. The effort will include a focus on increasing access to STEM experiences in urban areas, particularly among girls and under-represented youth,” said the companies in a statement.

Read more here.

Report Reveals Best States for STEM

A report released today from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has compiled a list of the best states for STEM job growth last year- revealing North Dakota to be number one for both long-term job growth and the best pipeline of talent last year.

“In its sixth iteration, the Enterprising States report ranks states based on ‘everything from business climate, transportation and trade, talent issues [and] education to workforce training," [lead author Mark] Schill says. Emphasis this year was placed on technology implementation and the growth of jobs in the STEM …fields,” according to U.S. News.

With the new emphasis, unlikely states like North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming came out on top.

Read more here

Florida Governor Seeks $1 Million for Teacher STEM Program

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is seeking $1 million in funding to provide the state’s teachers with a summer residency program that will teach them STEM.

“Scott, who announced the proposal at the Juno Beach-headquarters of Florida Power & Light Co., hopes the program will bring ‘new industry trends back to Florida's K-12 classrooms,’ according to a press release from the governor's office,” said

Scott’s emphasis on training teachers in STEM underscores the national need for more teachers adequately trained in the field.

Read more here. 

Study Indicates Men Don’t Believe in STEM Gender Bias

A new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) has indicated that many men don’t believe there is a gender bias in STEM fields.

“When shown empirical evidence of gender bias against women in the STEM fields, men were far less likely to find the studies convincing or important, according to researchers from Montana State University (MSU), the University of North Florida, and Skidmore College,” said

The study indicated that even when confronted with hard evidence, men were more likely to deny instances of gender bias.

Read the full story here. 



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Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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