The theme of this year’s event is “Where Can STEM Take You?” And, just looking at everything the Festival has to offer, you’ll learn that STEM can take you anywhere from the ocean floor to the deepest reaches of space. With over 3,000 activities to explore at the event and over 30 enthralling stage shows to check out, the event looks to seamlessly combine entertainment and education for thousands of STEM enthusiasts.
The ninth annual National Robotics Week kicks off April 7 with STEM-focused events happening across all corners of the US. Established by Congress and iRobot in 2010, National Robotics Week is designed to raise awareness about the importance of STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and how these subjects play a role in shaping the future of education, industry and the U.S. economy.
The United States Postal Service is issuing a set of four nondenominated (50¢) forever stamps April 6 to commemorate the subject of STEM Education. Each stamp characterizes one of the four educational disciplines represented by the STEM acronym: science, technology, engineering and math.
As educational opportunities, science fairs let students tackle the scientific method hands on. Classically that process begins with identifying a question, developing a hypothesis to answer it and then devising an experiment to test that hunch. In principle, kids who participate will not only learn about science but may be inspired to join the next generation of scientists and engineers. But the fairs also have problems.
On the whole, more women are going into STEM fields than ever before--but STEM, as we already know, is an abbreviation that makes up several different academic disciplines (in this case, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). And while women are definitely applying to STEM majors in general, computer science is a field that hasn't exactly broken major ground when it comes to diversity.
A study by a team of researchers from Dartmouth, the University at Buffalo and Carnegie Mellon University has found that gender affects an individual’s perception of women’s anxiety in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Men are more likely than women to attribute this anxiety and self-doubt to internal factors, while women usually attribute such emotions to external factors.
Tesla has launched a new automotive training program with colleges called ‘Tesla START’ to train a new generation of electric car technicians to work on their vehicles. Until now, Tesla has mainly been recruiting technicians who have been working for other automakers or coming out of training programs where they mainly worked on internal combustion engines.
A recent research summary report from Toronto summarizes well the arguments in favor of phenomenon-based learning. According to the report, “a large majority of students find mathematics ‘boring, mostly irrelevant and unrewarding.’'” Phenomenon-motivated problems engage students more directly, offering relevance, opportunity for critical and careful thinking, and even joy.
For years, the strategy for teaching and promoting STEM was conducted in silos, where K-12, college and university education and professional career development each focused on its own community without looking at transitions, bridging the gaps or passing the “STEM baton” from one life stage to another. Tremendous strides have been made in each focus area, yet it is still a relatively new concept to combine great accomplishments to create a cohesive life-learning recipe.
Between 2011 and 2016, the government spent roughly $3 billion annually on STEM education, but the total number of federal programs fell from 209 to 163. The committee attributed the changes to agencies launching, discontinuing and consolidating programs, but GAO found only 49 of the 109 programs that remained active between 2011 and 2016 were ever evaluated.