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STEM News Roundup: Ideas for Generating Interest in STEM

STEM News Roundup: Generating Interest

This week in STEM, African American STEM professionals share their struggles, a city offers free STEM summer learning, an entire community gets involved and a STEM Beyonce parody is made—all in the name of generating interest in STEM studies. 

African-American STEM Professionals Meet with Congress to Discuss Challenges

It's no secret that women and minorities are least likely to pursue STEM careers.

"Census data show that in 2010, African-American men made up 6.2 percent of the population between 18 and 64 years old. But in the same year, the NSF reported that black men represented just 3 percent of scientists and engineers working in those fields," the article said.

A group of African-American STEM professionals met with Congress this week to address the issue and shed insight on the difficulties of getting into the field.

Many spoke of a deep, systematic issues that plague African-Americans and go beyond typical factors that discourage taking on STEM studies, such as lack of role models and lack of relatability.

"The deeper problems, he said, are a sense of hopelessness among certain communities, and a feeling of not being treated equitably in the educational system and the legal system."

"John Silvanus Wilson, president of Morehouse College, a historically black higher education institution in Atlanta, said the outcomes are predictable, based on student achievement data. African-American males, he said, have smaller vocabularies upon entering kindergarten, are more likely to be behind in reading and numeracy by fourth grade and are at a higher risk of being suspended. And of the roughly 160,000 African-American male students who graduate high school each year, fewer than half even apply to a four-year school, he said," according to the article.

Read the full article here.

City Offers Hundreds of Students Free STEM Summer Programs

New York City will offer free summer camp programs to over 1,200 students beginning this summer with priority given to high-needs students.

"The city will give priority to high-needs students with good school attendance, an interest in science, and parents that will support their participation, [Chancellor Carmen] Fariña said. City officials said they would also encourage students attending schools in the city’s School Renewal turnaround program to apply, along with English language learners and students with disabilities," the article said.

The pilot program, if it is successful, could expand to after school programs next year.

Read the full article here

School Creates Beyonce Parody to Get Teachers into STEM

Generating interest in STEM is not limited to budding students. One school used Teacher Appreciation Week to not only show teachers their support and appreciation, but to also urge them to get involved in STEM. "Students made a musical parody to Beyonce's song 'Put a Ring On It' to help shine a light on the need for teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields around the nation," the article said.

Read the full story and see the video here

Community Gets Involved in Promoting STEM

In the Silver Lake school district in Halifax, M.A., STEM participation is a community-focused endeavor. Next week, the community will be holding a meeting that will discuss the currents status of STEM education in Massachusetts and what the intended future is, too.

"In this program you can join community members in discussing ways to ensure that both boys and girls are prepared for jobs in computing as well as in other STEM fields including agriculture and natural resources, architecture, biological and biomedical sciences, computer and information science, engineering and engineering technology/technicians, health professions and clinical sciences, mathematics and statistics, mechanic/repair technician, military technology, physical sciences, precision production," the article said.

Read the full article here.

 

Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/12/2015

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