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STEM News Roundup: Everyone Has a Hand in STEM

STEM News Round-Up: Everyone Has a Hand in STEM

This week, experts turn their attention on how STEM's role in the 21st century surpasses the limit of its subjects and how the responsibility to teach and project STEM skills is the responsibility of all.

Ways to Advocate for Women in STEM Fields has some recommendations this week for keeping women in STEM. Despite the fact that women comprise 50 percent of STEM undergraduate degrees, that number significantly drops when it comes to workforce participation.

KSL asked experts to weigh in on the best ways to advocate for women in STEM moving forward. One expert, Anne Bastien, the program manager at the University of Utah’s Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, argued for making women visible and telling the boys to "scoot over."

Another said there is a need for constant, safe, and welcoming environment filled with solid partnerships and abundant mentors for women to take advantage of as their male counterparts do.

"Susan Castillo, a Vice President with Project Lead the Way, said we need to 'provide a welcoming environment where everyone is valued and contributes,” and that this work to create environments needs to be 'constant,'" the article said.

Read more here.

Exposing Every Student to STEM/21st Century Skills

Many experts say that in the changing world and the growing digital age, STEM skills are really life skills also needed for those who don't pursue a career in the subjects.

Understanding technology, experts say, is necessary for any future job and career path in order to be successful. Exposing every student to such skills, they say, is an important task that education should be addressing.

"In adolescence, 'you start developing ideas of what you’re good at,' says Yvonne de la Peña, Ed.D., director of learning and engagement for CodeNow, a nonprofit program that helps introduce less advantaged students to technology. 'If you never have the opportunity to try something like programming, you may never realize you’re really good at it,'" she said, according to

Experts encourage programs that expose all students to these skills to not only expand interest in fields like computer programming where expertise is needed, but to develop skills that will soon become essential.

Read more here.

State Provides Opportunities to Teachers for Better STEM Ed

Eastern Kentucky is ramping up its STEM efforts as a whole by starting with the most important component of teaching STEM—the teachers.

In order to ensure children are getting the best education, the state is providing 64 teachers from the highest poverty counties with the National Board Teaching Certification (NBTC).

“'National Board Certification of teachers is the critical first link in the chain of creating an environment where eastern Kentucky students can get a high-quality STEM-based education that leads to higher-wage jobs, said Anthony 'Tony' Campbell, president and CEO of East Kentucky Power Cooperative," according to The Floyd County Times.

"Along with obtaining the certification, teachers will receive a master’s degree with an emphasis on leadership at regional teaching centers close to their homes, plus rank change and salary increase, all provided at no cost to them or their school districts."

Read more here

Experts: Integrate STEM and Common Core by Integrating Subjects

Experts are looking for ways to align STEM with Common Core standards and are arguing for the marriage of STEM subjects with other subjects in order to do so.

"Integrating Common Core education standards involves integrating once-disparate school subjects with one another, experts said Tuesday at the 2015 U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference in San Diego," said U.S. News.

"'What can an English teacher do to help reinforce the math and science standards in their classroom when it comes to writing? What sort of writing activities would you expect to have in a mathematics class?' asked Thomas Smith, dean and professor of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California—Riverside during the conference, according to the article.

Experts said throughout the conference that broad collaboration between STEM and other subjects through guides similar to the Common Core standards will help bring upon the large scale change needed for a widespread investment into promoting STEM skills.

Read more here. 

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