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STEM News Roundup: The Current State of STEM

STEM News Round-Up: The Current State of STEM

This week in STEM, national data and survey information has revealed a lot about the current state of STEM education. Educator opinions, student insights and reports on the role of parents and international students in STEM provide an insight into what's going on with STEM ed. 

 

National Survey Asks Educators About STEM Education

This week saw the release of the 2015 Educator Edition: National Survey on STEM Education, which looks at topics like adopting the Next Generation Science Standards to high-priority experiences needed for students when learning science.

"The report provides thoughts and perspectives from more than 5,000 science and STEM educators nationwide regarding the topics of state science curriculum standards, including the adoption of NGSS; STEM programs, courses, and initiatives in districts and schools; priorities for science and STEM courses; challenges facing STEM education in the United States; instructional tools and resources for science and STEM education; and, teacher professional development for science and STEM education," according to Vernier Software & Technology, the source of the survey.

Read the full report here

Diverse Students Share Their Journey to Successfully Majoring in STEM

As the push to get kids into studying STEM continues, studies consistently show the underrepresentation of both minorities and females in the fields. Students from diverse backgrounds who overcome obstacles to major in STEM share their stories in a session called "Diverse Scientific Leadership: Growing Kids to Career takes a Community," according to U.S. News.

The students all graduated from Ocean Discovery Institute, a "a San Diego-based nonprofit organization, [aimed] to teach students what they can achieve through STEM careers by getting them involved in science exploration," the article said.

One of the students who spoke, Ahiram Rodriguez, talked about he felt his high school did not prepare him for the difficulty of STEM in the college classroom, but that he persevered nonetheless.

"After the first C he received on a midterm, he realized his high school had not prepared him well. He knew how much harder he would need to work and decided to 'step it up.' 'I had to learn how to learn,' he says. 'Once I got the hang of it I was pretty much fine after that. But it took a while.' Students in the same major leaned on each other to learn," the article said.

Read more here.

The Role of Parents in STEM

A report released this week from U.S. News looks at the integral role of parents in getting children—specifically females—into studying and sticking with STEM.

Active parents, parents who spark their children's interest by doing simple things like taking a trip to the local science museum—are the first mentors who have the power to pique interest.

Author Andrea Beaty offered some tips for parents to U.S. News.

"'Point out science everywhere,' Beaty suggested. 'If you have a can opener, talk to your kid: Look, it's a can opener; who made that? An engineer probably made that. Grow plants with your kids, and call them a botanist when they do it. You are a zoologist, you are taking part of the dog or the cat or the fish. Make them feel important about what they do and make the conversation important, and they will follow your lead,'" she said, according to the article.

Read more here

International Students Outpace Americans in STEM Majors

A report this week from Pew Research Center revealed that international students studying in American colleges outpace American students when it comes to studying STEM.

"According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, international students earned 11.6 percent of all American doctoral degrees conferred during the 2012-2013 academic year. However, at the department level, a different picture emerges, with international students earning 57 percent of doctoral degrees in engineering; 53 percent of doctoral degrees in computer and information sciences; and 50 percent of doctorates in mathematics and statistics," according to NBC News.

Read more about the report here.

 

 

 

\Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/30/2015

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