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STEM News Roundup: Report Determines What Successful STEM High Schools Have in Common

STEM News Roundup: Report Determines What Successful STEM High Schools Have in Common

Researchers from George Washington University, SRI International and George Mason University with funding from The National Science Foundation have identified 14 components that eight exceptional high schools from around the country have in common when it comes to educating students, specifically underrepresented groups like minorities and women, in STEM.

Commonalities include well-prepared STEM teachers, flexible administration, a positive school community and “culture of high expectations,” and an inclusive STEM mission.

The researchers have expanded on their findings to develop tools to help other schools experience similar successes.

"The researchers developed several resources, including a logic model and accompanying STEM Inventory—tools for schools to self-assess their STEM programs. The study's website contains detailed case studies of the eight schools, 'day in the life' narratives of students in comprehensive and inclusive STEM high schools, and links to scholarly publications and to other STEM education resources,” says

Read more here. 

Mentorship Program Found to Encourage Underrepresented Individuals to Pursue STEM

Researchers from John Jay College, City University of New York studied how the introduction of a mentorship program called Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) encouraged underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers.

"Notably, the study found that PRISM positively affected students' decisions to pursue graduate degrees and STEM careers, impacting African-American and Hispanic participants more significantly than their white and Asian counterparts,” said Photonics Media.

All in all, the number of students pursuing STEM degrees increased tenfold since the program’s introduction to the college in 2006.

“The PRISM program at John Jay College has produced extremely compelling results and it serves as an impressive model for other universities, especially those that do not initially have high-level research profiles," said Norman Lederman, professor of mathematics and science at the Illinois Institute of Technology in a statement.

The research also could have implications for high schools as well, indicating that similar mentorship programs might have a place in K-12 to spur student interest in STEM before pursuing undergraduate studies.

Read more here. 

49ers’ STEM Program Graduates First Group of Students to High School

The San Francisco 49ers have been working with middle school students to encourage their interests in STEM for two years and have graduated the first class of participants to high school this year.

"Since it moved to Levi’s Stadium for the 2014 NFL season, the 49ers have spent $1 million a year to help equip and support a STEM Fab(rication) Lab [at two schools], two of 702 such labs around the world begun by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001 with a National Science Foundation grant,” said BizJournals.

The 49ers sought to encourage student interest in STEM when team members learned about how a small minority of students in the surrounding areas were provided with the resources to pass the classes required to pursue STEM majors in higher education.

Read the full story.


Raspberry Pi Develops Starter Pack

In honor of the sale of its 10 millionth device in just four years, Raspberry Pi has announced the development of a starter pack that will accompany the Raspberry Pi 3. The starter pack includes both a mouse and a keyboard, making the affordable device even more user-friendly and ideal for teaching computer science in schools.

Read more here. 


Fall into Fall with Seasonal STEM Activities

Get excited for both fall and STEM learning with these easy-to-do learning activities.

Activities include delving into why leaves change color, using data worksheets to figure out if vampires can really exist and learning a really fun way to make use of stale pumpkin candy.

Check them out here! 

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