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STEM News Roundup: Early Engagement in Science Research Encourages Pursuit of STEM Degrees

STEM News Round-Up: Early Engagement in Science Research Encourages Pursuit of STEM Degrees

A new study from the University of Texas at Austin has found that students who are exposed to science research in the early stages of college are more likely to pursue STEM as a degree, says Science Daily.

"The study... is the largest and most carefully controlled analysis to date of how participating in course-based undergraduate research experiences affects students' outcomes. It found that across all demographic groups students who participated in a program called the Freshman Research Initiative were more likely to graduate college and to earn degrees in STEM disciplines at The University of Texas at Austin.

This is important news because while many students intend to study STEM after graduating high school, only 40 percent of students with interests in STEM actually pursue it.

The report arrived at its conclusions using data from over 4,000 students who participated in the Freshman Research Initiative at the University of Texas.

An estimated two out of ten students enrolled in the program graduate with a STEM degree thanks to participation.

Read more.

 

Documentary Details One Entrepreneur’s Journey Inspiring Students in STEM

A STEM Story: Nate Nichols is a short documentary available for viewing on YouTube that details Nate’s work inspiring middle school students to get involved with STEM.

A magnetic personality, Nate begins by telling his students that his own inspiration in STEM started after he learned the subjects could exist in a “cool” place.

"So I’m showing ya’ll today how you can really ‘flex' when it comes to STEM,” Nate says to the captivated bunch of students.

Nate aims especially to reach children who come from single-family households or other non-traditional families to show them that perseverance is still possible despite early challenges. 

One of the best parts of the documentary? The awe on students faces when Nate tells them he gets paid to Tweet and Instagram.

Nate is the founder of boutique creative agency Palette Group.

See the documentary in full here. 

 

Report Argues for Computer Science as Core Subject

A report released this week from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation looks at the state of computer science in America’s K-12 classrooms and found that most classes fail to teach students more than just coding.

In order to teach students the core principles of computer science to be successful, the report recommends that the U.S. begin to take steps to recognizing computer science as a core science subject just as biology and physics is.

The report says that in order to improve computer science, tens of thousands of U.S. teachers need to be better trained to teach the subject in classrooms, as well.

Read the full report. 

 

Wearable Tech Expected to Increase in Classrooms by Almost 50% By 2020

Wearable technology is expected to increase classrooms significantly in a four-year period thanks to companies’ efforts to improve the use of smart phones in learning.

Google’s virtual reality cardboard viewfinders are perfect examples of this. The easy-to-build and affordable cardboard sets are easily synced to smartphones and make virtual field trips a possibility for students all over the country.

Read more here.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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