In at least one corner of Appalachia, good mid-level energy-sector jobs are available, thanks to an ongoing natural-gas boom and steady declines in the region's working-age population. But it remains to be seen whether the area's schools can produce enough workers with the science, technology, engineering and math backgrounds that employers are looking for, according to a new RAND Corporation report examining the STEM labor-force pipeline in a 27-county region spanning Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Elementary and secondary school students who later want to become scientists and engineers often get hands-on inspiration by using off-the-shelf kits to build and program robots. But so far it’s been difficult to create robotic projects to foster interest in the “wet” sciences - biology, chemistry and medicine - so called because experiments in these field often involve fluids.
The theme of this year's conference is "Building America's Workforce: A Blueprint for Tomorrow." This year's group of Hall of Fame award-winners were selected for their longstanding leadership, guidance, and commitment to improving science, technology, engineering and math education and workforce development.
The students at Franklin Square Union Free School District in Nassau County, New York, had already studied the layers of the earth. They’d seen a video, discussed the concept, and even taken apart a physical class model. But when they worked with a virtual earth in zSpace, you could hear the “wows” and “whoahs” all over the classroom. They lifted the virtual earth from the screen and turned it around to see it from all sides. They peeled off the earth’s rocky crust, and used virtual tools to measure the depth of each layer.
The Department of Labor announced the availability of a grant for organizations to teach STEM skills to native youth and young adults in Hawaii and Alaska. The DOL announced on March 9 that it has $497,000 to give to organizations that will help native youth develop skills needed for in-demand occupations and industries.
Even if you don’t have kids, you should care about STEM education in schools. After all, our future depends on today’s students becoming tomorrow’s innovators and business leaders, and that means getting a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math - no matter what field they enter.
On March 13, the STEM Education Coalition sent letters to President Donald Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The letters outline the Coalition’s policy recommendations for the White House and the Department of Education.
As adults, there are so many resources available to us to break into the world of programming and coding. From organizations like General Assembly and the hundreds of localized coding bootcamps, you can practically throw a stick into the wind and find a way to learn about development. For kids on the other hand, things are not quite as cut and dry, and programming is not readily available in the classroom.
“The lack of women in technology roles really starts in education,” said Crystal Valentine, vice president of technology strategy at MapR Technologies. “It starts at the time when students are starting to think about their careers, primarily at the college level when they start to declare majors.”
High school engineering classrooms look a lot different than they did a few decades ago, and it’s not just because of computers. Those classes now have girls. Lots of girls. Thanks to long-standing efforts by teachers, administrators and nonprofits, girls now make up about half the enrollment in high-school science and math classes.