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STEM News Roundup: California Students Beat National Averages in STEM Interest, Achievement

STEM News Roundup: California Students Beat National Averages in STEM Interest, Achievement

California is receiving recognition for successfully encouraging its students to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers.

EdSource took a look at ACT’s annual the Condition of STEM report and noticed that California students are surpassing their national peers when it comes to both being interested in STEM and meeting the benchmark for math and science.

"Overall, ACT officials said, the performance of California graduates suggests that the state is making inroads in convincing more students that jobs await them in the fields of math and science," EdSource said.

Read the full story. 

STEAM Enrichment Course Asks Students to Address Global Water Crisis

A new series of STEAM (STEM + art) enrichment courses from Level Up Village have been announced for this upcoming January.

Level Up Village is a Connecticut-based company has been connecting U.S. students to over 20 Global Partner organizations since 2012. Level Up Village’s courses help students learn STEM skills while encouraging them to tackle real-world problems through collaboration with peers in developing countries.

The company's most recent course announcement, "Global Water Crisis," exemplifies how course offerings inspire students to tackle real-world issues.

Designed for students in grades 3-5, course participants will "reflect on their own water use and how they can be a part of the solution to the global water crisis," says Level Up Village on its website.

Ensuring that students are receiving a well-rounded education through the development of STEM skills, the course will ask students to use 3D printing to supplement their efforts to solve the global issue.

The final component of collaboration will help course participants share their ideas with global partners.

"As their understanding of the subject matter grows, students will work closely with their Global Partners through the exchange of video messages to develop a hands-on research project that shows the water problems each of their countries face, while sharing practical ways to address these problems and help bring clean water to the world," the course description reads.

Read more about the new STEAM enrichment courses from Level Up Village here.

Ambitious High School Students Use STEM to Draw Attention to Controversial Pharmaceutical Practices

A group of Australian high school students have garnered international attention for using their STEM skills to recreate an anti-parasitic medication in their school laboratory for just $2.

The experiment was conducted to further question the decision of Turing Pharmaceuticals under the leadership of Martin Shkreli to raise the price of the drug—Daraprim— from $13.50 a pill to $750. The price hike sparked widespread outrage and forced the company to eventually cut their prices in half.

Shkreli has taken to YouTube to congratulate the students for showing the importance of innovation in STEM.

"We should congratulate these students for their interest in chemistry and all be excited about what is to come in the STEM-focused 21st century," he said.

Read the full story. 

National Science Foundation Funds $61 Million Worth of New STEM Ed Projects

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced this week it will be investing $61 million in new awards "that help the educational community understand, explain and address challenges in STEM learning and participation."

The funded projects cover everything from teaching algebra in community colleges to analyzing the place of grit in STEM achievement to improving state science education—and much more.

Read more about the awards here.

The Holiday Gift List for Any STEM Learner

Make gift-giving especially meaningful this holiday season by giving the gift of STEM.

This list of 20 gift ideas are perfect for any young coder, math whiz or science lover.

Read the full story.

Why Do Singapore Students Surpass the World in Math and Science?

Interested in learning about why Singapore's students are able to outperform their international peers year after year in math and science subjects?

Read more about what makes Singapore’s math curriculum different here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

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