S.T.E.M.

Perkins Act - Changes and Opportunities - Including STEM

While the measure was signed into law on July 31, 2018, Perkins V will go into effect on July 1, 2019.

Over the next few months, states will be writing transition plans, which will cover the first year of the law’s implementation (July 1, 2019- June 30, 2020). Full four-year state and local plans, covering all the requirements of the act, will be submitted in spring 2020 (encompassing program years July 1, 2020-June 30, 2024).

The law would authorize $1.229 billion for FY 2019 and gradually increase this authorization level to $1.318 billion in FY 2024, which represents a 10.57 percent increase over the course of the act compared to the amount Congress allocated to the Perkins Basic State Grant program in FY 2018.

Work-Based Learning Champions in New Hampshire

Officials have been working to promote and expand work-based learning, extended learning, and apprenticeship opportunities for students in both high school and college in New Hampshire. Educators are creating templates and rubrics that will be available to districts to develop and implement effective programs for students. 21 New Hampshire residents received Work-Based Learning Awards at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. Teachers, educators, and counselors working together, with businesses, to get students access to learning opportunities outside of the classroom. And two elected officials who have been long-time supporters of students involved in career and technical education.

New Hampshire Work-Based Learning

Amazon Discusses Warehouse Automation and Machine Learning

The Amazon Robotics Challenge was created to inspire the next generation of inventors and we were blown away by what we saw. It was so inspiring to see what these teams brought to the table that it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future of robotics. Brad Porter, V.P. of Robotics at Amazon, about the latest advances in the field and how his team is using machine learning to make its robots smarter. 

There have been so many advances in robotics and yet, we still are in the very beginning stages of innovation and we’re still learning how to best work with robotics. At Amazon, we have to consider the range of inventory items we’re dealing with and when it comes to robotic solutions, that in and of itself, is a challenge for us. We also have to consider the scale in which we deploy robots. It’s great if we test a robot in a small environment and it works perfectly, but we need it to also work in a larger environment without disrupting the entire fulfillment process. I’m so impressed with what my team has been able to achieve in the past few years and I’m excited to see how they overcome these obstacles. 

Amazon Robotics Competition

Women Around the World Empowered with STEM Education

Education in science, technology, engineering and math fields can be the road to economic empowerment for women around the world. But unfortunately, girls often face significant barriers that restrict access to STEM education. According to a United Nations study of 14 countries, the percentage of women graduating with a bachelor’s degree in a field related to science is 18 percent. For women graduating with a master’s in a field related to science it is just 8 percent. While women represent 40 percent of the global labor force, they are often in lower wage jobs.

However, we can change this trajectory. I recently traveled to Tbilisi in the nation of Georgia for the women in science camp hosted by the American Society for Microbiology, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the State Department, the United Nations, Microsoft, Google and Intel. The camp brought together 100 high school girls from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the United States to build science, technology, engineering, arts, math and leadership skills to prepare them for the future.

Women Empowered from STEM

Verizon Executive Helping Woman Advance in STEM Fields

The following is an interview with Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Engineering Officer at Verizon. The interview was conducted by Elana Lyn Gross for Forbes.

"I always tell young women, whether they want to be a farmer or a fashion designer, a strong command of science, technology, engineering and math, will make them a better one. Armed with these skills, they can confidently choose a career and contribute solutions to address society’s biggest challenges in areas like healthcare, poverty, education and the environment," says Palmer. The advice resonates for her because she received similar advice from her own parents. "I feel so fortunate that my father, also an engineer, was a strong role model, and both my parents encouraged me to turn my interests in math and science into a career in engineering. Not every young girl gets breaks like that," she says. We spoke about her 28-year career at Verizon, inclusive leadership and actionable ways we can support women in STEM fields.

Silicon Valley Companies Encouraging Local Student to Aspire for High-Tech Jobs

Internships, contests and engineering coursework give teens from the area’s majority-Latino high schools an entree to STEM careers. 

Most students at the high school, on San Jose’s East Side in the southern end of Silicon Valley, are from Mexican immigrant families. Nearly all will be the first in their families to go to college; some will be the first to complete high school. The kids who grow up in Silicon Valley’s Latino neighborhoods, the children of groundskeepers, janitors, cooks and construction workers, rarely get a shot at high-paying, high-tech jobs. Just 4.7 percent of the Valley’s tech professionals are Latino and 2.2 percent are African-American, according to 2015 data from the American Community Survey. By contrast, 57 percent are foreign-born, with many coming from India and China, a local industry group estimates.

Silicon Valley STEM

FIRST Championship About Way More Than Robotics

It’s about the lessons it teaches its students, the empowerment it creates for its teachers, and the love of learning it fosters among all involved. FIRST Championship is the shining example of everything FIRST values: teamwork within and between teams; learning and on-the-fly problem-solving; “Coopertition®,” which is what we like to call displays of unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition; and “Gracious Professionalism®,” which encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and shows respect for everyone.

FIRST Championship is an incredible experience with many lessons, but there are three that can be applied to every classroom.

1. It’s not about winning—it’s about the journey

Competition is about so much more than who comes out on top. True winning means we’ve inspired a real love of learning in our students, teaching them to solve problems, work collaboratively, and communicate with others. Most important, it teaches them humility and resilience in the face of failure, and the innovation and creativity they need to overcome these obstacles. Our students frequently tell us they leave our program as very different people than when they joined. They transform from timid to confident leaders, from hesitant to adept engineers, and it’s a pleasure for us to watch them grow.


Innovation Lab Program Emerged from International Baccalaureate Authorization

A collective effort by the academic leadership team of the Solomon Schechter Day School of
Bergen County, the development of our Innovation Lab program emerged from our pursuit of
the International Baccalaureate(IB) authorization. As part of that effort, we introduced a design
thinking course in our middle school and hired a part-time design thinking faculty member.
 
Andrew Katz, our Director of Academic Affairs joined the school in mid 2017, bringing with him
experience in design and building innovation labs at two previous independent schools. Once we
created our vision for the program, we were fortunate enough to receive a donation from an
alumni parent, which enabled us to turn our vision into a reality. We then quickly turned our
focus to hiring an experienced director of the lab, and together - along with our science team,
librarian, and educational technology team -  began concentrating on developing a robust
curriculum, designing the space, and focusing on interdisciplinary integration across the school.
 
Our team also visited and initiated relationships with community maker spaces, such as the
Maker Depot in Totowa, N.J., which have offered advice regarding 3D printing and
demonstrated potential tools that will further inspire our design courses.
Solomon Schechter NJ

Dual Mission Education Institutes in Higher Education

As higher education faces declining enrollment numbers, reduced state funding, and accusations that it is elitist and out of reach for many Americans, university presidents, chancellors, and system heads from Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, and Utah, discussed new and innovative models of education that are addressing some of higher ed’s greatest challenges and the shortage of skilled workers. The dual education model can help universities save costs by sharing staff, faculty and infrastructure (it is essentially two schools for the price of one) and keep tuition low. It also allows students who start on a community college track to easily transfer their credits if they choose to continue their studies towards an advanced degree, and to do so much more seamlessly than if they were to transfer to a different school. Additionally, its open admissions policy means more underrepresented populations are getting a shot at a degree in higher education. 

The summit was hosted by Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the Utah State Board of Regents and UVU President Matthew Holland

With higher education increasingly in the cross-hairs, the summit provided a lively and timely debate on the future of higher ed and how to provide improved access to quality programs for students across the spectrum of need and opportunity. The following are transcripts from the conversation and links to the video.


$1.2 Million to Recruit Students to Become STEM Teachers

The grant from the National Science Foundation was awarded to the William & Mary, Robert Noyce Scholarship Program and allocated over five years to increase the number and diversity of students from STEM disciplines who become teachers.

The award was announced by Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine.

“Enhancing STEM education is a critical priority, and we are thrilled that William and Mary students and the National Science Foundation are partnering with schools in the local community to pursue this important endeavor,” Warner and Kaine said in a joint statement.


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