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STEM News Roundup: Despite Impending Resignation, Duncan Focuses on STEM Ed

STEM News Round-Up: Despite Impending Resignation, Duncan Focuses on STEM Ed

This week in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) News, Arne Duncan continues to advocate for STEM after announcing his resignation this December, students showcase STEM skills through creating mobile apps, and schools in one state work hard for one-of-a-kind STEM certifications.

Soon-to-Resign Education Secretary Talks STEM at Week Long Conference for STEM Ed

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who announced his resignation effective in December, participated in a panel discussion at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley during the week-long Hispanic Engineering, Science and Technology week (HESTEC).

HESTEC "focuses on exposing middle school, high school and college students to careers in the STEM fields," according to The Monitor.

Duncan discussed the importance of educating a work force that can take on the growing needs of STEM jobs.

"'I can’t tell you how many CEOs, how many company leaders I’ve met with, and President Obama has met, with that say ‘We want to grow, we want to keep good jobs in our community, but we can’t find the workforce,’” Duncan said, according to The Monitor.

Aside from training teachers better in STEM subjects, Duncan also said a huge obstacle to STEM education is a divide in access to internet in parts of the country.

"A food for thought for superintendents, he said, is making sure students have access to devices and focusing on the transition from print to digital to take advantage of this access to broadband."

Read more here. 

High Schoolers Create Innovative Mobile Apps with STEM Education

The Lenovo Scholar Network hosts a program for underserved high schools across the U.S. that focuses on bringing STEM education to students in need through "a robust mobile app development curriculum and delivery program," according to eWeek.com.

With the help of teachers, mentors, and loaned devices over 400 students last year were able to compete in the network's national app development competition, and eWeek is highlighting some of the stand-out apps available today in the Google app store.

For example, students in Washington High School of IT in Milwaukee worked together to create an app to combat bullying called WHS Bowling. The app doubles as a fun bowling game and a tool of encouragement as it displays motivational messages for those who might feel isolated. The app is a great tool to highlight in class for this month in particular- Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

Check out the full list of innovative apps created by high schoolers using STEM skills here

Georgia Elementary Schools Earn STEM Certifications

Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy has just become one of 11 elementary schools in the state of Georgia to receive the distinction of STEM certification.

The state's STEM certification is an attempt to recognize not only middle schools and high schools- but all schools within the state that are leading the way in teaching students STEM skills.

"The state STEM certification process has 15 components the state reviews, including teacher collaboration, technology integration, STEM competitions, math and science instruction and community partnerships," according to The Ledger News.

In Georgia, schools are able to receive special STEM certifications after a team of state officials and education officials are sent from the state's Department of Education to review the schools.

According to The Ledger News, Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy says the process of prepping for a STEM certification takes three years, indicating how seriously the state takes overseeing STEM initiatives.

Read more here

Students Win Big Prizes in National STEM Competition

Several middle school students from across the country have won big after participating in the fifth annual Broadcom MASTERS® national STEM competition for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.

"Broadcom MASTERS winners were chosen from the 30 top finalists (14 girls and 16 boys) from 14 states representing 29 schools. Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers," according to a statement from the Broadcom Foundation.

First prize winner Annie Ostojic, a thirteen-year-old from Indiana, was awarded the Samueli Foundation Prize of $25,000 for her project, "A Novel Microwave Cavity Design Using Cylindrical Parabolic Reflectors to Optimize Energy Efficiency ."

PepsiCo Sponsors Social Learning Platform Dedicated to STEM

PepsiCo Inc. has given a $1 million grant to t the New York Academy of Sciences' Global STEM Alliance, which will be used to fund the The Junior Academy.

The Junior Academy is a social learning platform that will provide "students flexibility through self-directed learning. Gamification techniques will be leveraged to engage and incentivize students. In addition, Junior Academy students will have access to mentors from corporate partner organizations or STEM expert networks," according to a statement from the company.

The Academy is recruiting students for the program until Oct. 15, and application and registration details can be found here.

 

 

 

 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/07/2015

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