A Georgetown University study suggests 65 percent of all jobs in the U.S. will require more than a high school education by 2020. Hence it is clear that much work needs to be done to narrow the educational achievement and economic opportunity gaps in the U.S. In addition, there is the sobering statistic that only 9 percent of low-income students earn a Bachelor’s degree by the age of 24, in contrast to 77 percent of their higher-income peers.
At an after-school STEM club in Rhode Island, students are working on an engineering challenge -- because they want to be. The low-stakes, fun environment offers time for exploration when resources or hands-on activities may be in short supply during school hours, and can help sustain interest as classes get harder. Special correspondent Lisa Stark of Education Week reports.
U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Todd Young, R-Indiana, have made it their mission to help students get career and technical education skills. Earlier this year they introduced the “21st Century Strengthening On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students Act," which would give federal funding for equipment for career and technical education programs and give teachers more training on how to use the equipment.
“Getting children at a young age to be immersed in STEM, and not separating the boys to the sandpit and the girls to a garden, having them be equal with the toys and the lessons and what you’re choosing to teach them -- I hope I can help foster that sense of equality in STEM,” Vassalo said.
One of the selling points for Boeing to come to South Carolina in 2009 was a strong technical school system, according to Tommy Preston, director of national strategy and engagement and government operations for Boeing S.C. He said that same technical school system will continue to support Boeing, as well as other advanced manufacturing in the state.
To spark students’ interest in science and technology, some school districts have turned to afterschool programs focused on STEM. Now, some suggest the success of these programs could be instructive when making changes to in-school STEM programs.
Hands-on STEM experiences are what Space Camp is all about. Like Scouting, the program puts young people in an environment where all five senses are engaged and learning comes naturally. A Boy Scout troop or Venturing crew acquires leadership skills in the context of a fun weekend campout. Similarly, a Space Camp team gains STEM skills and inspiration outside of the classroom.
The Force is strong with LittleBits, and the educational toy startup aims to reach a whole new fanbase with its latest product--a Star Wars droid invention kit. The product's appeal was on full display Wednesday when Bay Area students oohed and aahed at the custom R2-D2 droids made with these kits during a special event at Disney's San Francisco LucasFilm offices.
In the time of engineering games and toys for children, everyone from Kibo, Jewelbots, and even Fisher Price are getting into the action. So which toys are best to introduce your kids to the big world of programming?
Last week, Dunn unveiled the “Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act” which would make the National Science Foundation (NSF) “develop a veterans outreach plan and publish data on veterans’ participation in its annual ‘Indicators’ report.” Dunn’s legislation also reforms several NSF scholarship and grants to help more veterans.