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STEM News Roundup: GlobalFoundries, Biogen Idec Invest in Quality Education

This week in STEM Education, we see institutions, companies and foundations across the country donating their money and time to promoting science, technology, engineering and math. A school district in Ohio is enhancing their middle school STEM program to grow with their students, while GlobalFoundries in New York is investing in programs to train its next generation of employees. Read on to find out more about these innovations along with how the University of Arizona is conducting a study on middle schoolers to measure how sleep patterns affect their studies in STEM.


Ohio Schools Expanding STEM Programs With Students’ Learning Levels

School districts in Ohio are expanding their existing STEM programs at the middle school level to follow students as they graduate to the high school learning level. Joelle Magyar, the assistant superintendent of Mayfield Schools, stated: “We started our STEM program with our eighth-grade class, and we purposely design the course using Project Lead the Way curriculum, which is a nine-week module on engineering and robotics and a nine-week module called medical detectives.”

“At Mayfield Schools, the district will transform an old Cuyahoga County Library into the Mayfield Innovation Center, just a quick walk from Mayfield High School,” reports The News-Herald. The news facility will house a biomedical and engineering course for ninth-graders who are on the STEM track, and will also hold the Medical Technologies program, “which is offered through Excel TECC, a career technical consortium, as well as the CAD, or computer aided design, program.”

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GlobalFoundries Creates STEM Education Group

GlobalFoundries, the computer chip plant in Malta, New York, is launching a coalition to encourage engagement in STEM fields for students in the Albany area. “The group is pledging $486,000 for STEM education over the next three years,” reports the Albany Business Review. “The funding will go toward supporting local FIRST robotics programs, including an upcoming competition for high school students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.”

About half of the staff at GlobalFoundries are local hires, and the company wants to recruit locally as much as possible. “By creating this coalition, the company hopes to build a pipeline of potential employees.” Thomas Caulfield, senior vice president and general manager of GlobalFoundries, stated: “Creating a pipeline of future technologists and scientists and getting these children to catch the engineering bug early in their career is good for all of the companies, GlobalFoundries and our suppliers who will be here for many years to come.”

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University of Arizona Studies Effects of Sleep Patterns on STEM Educational Experience

“A new study from the University of Arizona will investigate whether a lack of sleep dulls a student’s potential interest in the field of science, technology, engineering and math,” reports KJZZ. “The study received 1.2 million dollars from the National Science Foundation. Partnering with the Catalina Foothills School District, researchers aim to measure five hundred fourth and fifth graders during a three-year period.”

Michelle Perfect, a professor at UA’s College of Education and a lead research on the project, stated: “4th and 5th grade become kind of a shift before they lose interest in STEM and before sleep habits significantly decline going into middle school.” Teachers and parents also hope participation with the research will spark a STEM interest in elementary students.

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Biogen Idec Commits to Bringing STEM Education to Boston and New England Region

During the Boston Red Sox’s “Red Sox Foundation Game Night” in Fort Myers, Florida, Biogen Idec board member Jo Viney spoke with NESN’s Tim Wakefield and Elle Duncan about the importance of STEM Education and what the company is doing to support it. “Investing in science education at a young age really prepares those future innovators for careers,” Viney said.

Both the Biogen Idec and Red Sox Foundations have teamed up to promote STEM in the Boston and New England communities through quality education for anyone of all backgrounds and ages. They donated $40,000 to the Red Sox Foundation.

Read the full story and watch the video here:


Compiled by Samantha DiMauro


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Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Read about the latest news in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
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