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STEM News Roundup: Entire Region in Arizona Focused on STEM

STEM News Roundup: Entire Region in Arizona Focused on STEM

This week in STEM, an entire region in Arizona sets an example for how regions can come together to promote STEM education. Also in STEM news, studies have found that non-STEM careers use STEM skills and that STEM grads will likely get paid more than they expect. 

An Arizona Region Home to Boeing and Intel Partner to Make STEM Core Tenant

PHX East Valley Partnership, which includes six Arizona communities, has been working to make STEM education part of its economic development strategy and has some impressive partners such as Boeing and Intel, according to TIME.

"Boeing has a strategic community focus to increase teacher effectiveness in math and science and to attract more students into STEM-related careers,' said Mary Baldwin, Arizona community investor for Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship, according to the article.

And Intel has an entire facility devoted to STEM education "with the intent of explaining STEM through microchip technology concepts, including 'sand to silicon,' wafers and photolithography."

According to the article's author, Tim Bajarin, a tech analyst and proud STEM supporter, "PHX East Valley Partnership should become a model for many cities and municipalities in the U.S. to make sure we have enough STEM-educated students to meet the forthcoming demands of all types of companies around the world in the near future," the article said.

The program is said to reach more than 10,000 Americans every year.

Read the full article here.

Report: STEM Skills 'Increasingly Preferred' in Non-STEM Fields

A new report from the National Science Board suggests that "technical innovation has blurred the line between STEM and non-STEM workers" after it found that non-STEM employers prefer technical proficiency.

The report found that in 2010, 5.4 million (4 percent) of American's had STEM jobs with the assumption that these individuals had at least a bachelor's degree in their field. However, the report found that 12 percent of Americans held jobs that required a degree in engineering or science, meaning jobs not traditionally thought of as "STEM" were requiring the skill set, according to an article on iSchoolGuide.com.

The National Science Board believes this is an indication that STEM skills represent individual opportunity and is essential for workers across all fields.

Read the full article here.

 16th Annual STEM Career Day Distributes More Than $40,000 in Scholarships

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's 16th Annual STEM Career Day event resulted in fifteen high school students receiving a combined total of over $40,000 in scholarships and grants after competing in Goodyear's challenge to produce the most innovation concept in designing a machine to fill a Goodyear blimp.

The 16th annual event hosted "more than 1,556 students, accompanied by parents and teachers to The University of Akron for the day-long event" and allowed them to interact "with representatives from more than 50 local organizations, who hosted hands-on STEM-based activities throughout the day," according to the press release.

"'It is important that we encourage our young people to pursue careers in science and technology. That's the reason why 300 Goodyear volunteers – most of them associates at our Innovation Center in Akron – work so hard to plan this event,' said Chief Technical Officer Joe Zekoski."

Read the full article here.

State's STEM Curriculum Seeks to Get Kids Started Early

In Missouri, nine school districts are participating in a project intended to spark interest in engineering starting as early as Kindergarten.

"Project Lead The Way is an organization that provides science, technology, engineering and math curriculum and teacher training with the goal of preparing students for eventual jobs in those fields," according to an article on USNews.com.

This will be the first year that the Project, which has traditionally focused on middle schools and high schools, will be designed for elementary schools as well.

One assistant superintendent in one of the nine school districts, Travis Bracht, "said teachers are excited to see what can happen when a child starts the curriculum in kindergarten, learning early to feel empowered to solve a problem with their own ideas, without instructions from a teacher," the article said.

Read the full article here

STEM Grads Get Higher Salaries Than Expected

According to a new survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), though most STEM majors underestimated their anticipated salaries, almost all received salaries higher than expectation.

Chemistry majors, for example, "anticipated making a beginning salary of roughly $38,500, but they ended up making 50.5 percent more ($57,900)," according to CBS News.

This trend is only supposed to get better, too. "The latest employer survey from NACE also included good news for new grads. Employers expect to boost their hiring of members of the Class of 2015 by 9.6 percent over last year."

Read the full article here.

 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/28/2015

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