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Weekly STEM Roundup: Coding Begets Confidence, Robots from Robai & Intelitek

Learning Computer Code Inspires Confidence In Young Girls

Self-taught computer coder Stephanie Castillo wrote an opinion piece about how girls are notably underrepresented in STEM fields, and how it’s a domestic issue in the digital age. She cites professionals like Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, who saw the need to engage girls in coding.

“Today, women are more than half our workforce but hold just 25 percent of the jobs in computing and technical fields, and that divide is only going to get bigger if we don’t do something about it,” Saujani said. “With more and more jobs being created in the computer fields — 1.4 million of them by 2020 — leaving our girls behind just can’t be an option.”

Castillo’s research also touched on the benefits of teaching coding to young children, and how it promotes problem solving skills, design processes, and collaboration with others.


New Science Program Aims to Bring Adventure Back To Learning

A new program from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Climate Change Institute, and Maine 4-H Foundation aims to bring young students on virtual excursions.

“For the first time, as part of a pilot program called Follow A Researcher, [Climate Change Institute researcher Charles] Rodda along with graduate student Kit Hamley, will try to take interested kids along virtually, as they collect glacial samples in the vicinity of some of the world's most famous ruins.,“ writes Jennifer Mitchell of MPBN in Maine.

So far, schools in Maine, Iowa, Ohio, Rhode Island and Connecticut have signed up to be apart of the program, and Rodda and Hamley plan to visit Maine classrooms after the excursion is complete. 


Project Innovation Inspires Students To Study STEM

An event called Project Innovation invites STEM professionals to present stories of their work. The program occurs in Glenbard, Ill.

“Some of the presenters represented Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Intel, forensic science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Carol Stream Animal Hospital,” writes Safiya Merchant for The Daily Herald. “Students also could participate in hands-on activities, such as making lotion and designing personal logos.”

The event was created by two students, Claire Wild, 15, and Shay Kiker, 17, who weren’t finding the STEM resources they wanted at the eighth grade level.


Robotics Software Providers Plan to Launch Line of Educational Robots

Robai, a robotics provider, and Intelitek, a maker of software for robots, will partner on creating a line of robots for educational use.

“Dubbed the CytonE family, the humanoid robots are about the size of a human arm, weigh less than five pounds and feature seven axes of motion and a gripper,” writes Joshua Bolkan for THE Journal. “CytonE robots use Actin, software originally created by Energid Technologies for NASA and currently used in industrial robotics in fields such as oil exploration and nuclear inspection. Actin is designed to make programming the robots easy and to provide fluidity, efficiency and power similar to human movements.”

A curriculum designed by Intelitek will be provided along with the robots. The aim is to teach students about STEM and inspire them to want to learn more.


Compiled by Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor


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