The program, backed by the Simons and Overdeck foundations, is called Science Everywhere, and sends foundation dollars toward creative projects that encourage students to explore math and science outside the classroom. The projects can happen at home, in an after-school program, or anywhere outside of a classroom. In addition to the foundations' matching donations to the projects, a panel of judges will award five teachers with the best ideas a $5,000 prize each.
It is the radio telescope that hunts killer asteroids, probes distant cosmic blasts and decades ago sent Earth’s most powerful message to the stars. Yet the storied Arecibo Observatory, an enormous aluminium dish nestled in a Puerto Rican sinkhole, might soon find itself out of the science game.
In response to the recession that began in 2007, the U.S. Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed into law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. Law 111-5). At an estimated cost of $831 billion, this economic stimulus package sought to save and create jobs, provide temporary relief to those adversely affected by the recession, and invest in education, health, infrastructure, and renewable energy. States and school districts received $100 billion to secure teachers’ jobs and promote innovation in schools.
The final IES report on the School Improvement Grant program is devastating to Arne Duncan’s and the Obama administration’s education legacy. A major evaluation commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted by two highly respected research institutions delivered a crushing verdict: The program failed and failed badly.
One of the most important things that the U.S. can do to improve economic growth is to invest in artificial intelligence, or A.I., said the White House, in a new report. But there's a dark side to this assessment as well. A.I.-driven, intelligent systems have the potential to displace millions, such as truck drivers, from their jobs. But potential negative impacts can be offset by investments in education as well as by ensuring there is a safety net to help affected people, the White House argued, in what will likely be the Obama administration's final report on technology policy.
Researchers facing a severe shortage of government and foundation funding are increasingly using crowd-funding to get their projects off the ground. It works like this: An idea or research project is posted online, usually with a catchy video telling a story. People then donate money to fund the project. Each project has a deadline for fundraising. So if scientists don’t meet their goals, they don’t get any of the donated money.
The NDAA authorizes a total of $618.7 billion in spending, including more than $67 billion for a war fund known as the overseas contingency operations (OCO) account. That’s $3.2 billion more than Obama requested for OCO, which will be used for base budget items such as a 2.1 percent pay raise for troops and increases in the number of troops for Army, Marines and Air Force.
Federal departments and agencies, including the science agencies and programs, will now face uncertainty about the total funds they have to spend for the upcoming year. They will likely respond by spending conservatively in the first months of 2017 as a precaution. In addition, they will be barred from starting new programs or stopping old ones and from implementing funding increases submitted in the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget request.
The U.S. remains a powerhouse of research and development. As the National Science Foundation reported in September, total national R&D funding from all sources reached nearly $500 billion in 2015, more than any nation has ever spent on it in one year. The share supplied by industry also reached a record-high 69%. This is excellent news.
The White House announced on Monday new initiatives to bolster computer science in K–12 education. Citing the rapidly expanding demand for technology jobs, the Obama administration outlined new efforts by two federal agencies: The National Science Foundation plans to spend $20 million on computer science education in 2017, on top the the $25 million it spent in 2016, with an emphasis on training teachers.