$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.


Preparing the Workforce to Adapt and Work Collaboratively with Robotic Solutions

Manufacturing in the U.S will build on its current strength by using “technology to empower American potential and ingenuity," according to the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM).

The institute, which is a member of Manufacturing USA, a network of regional institutes, looks to robotics to bring about the change. Robotics can “elevate, not eliminate the human roles in manufacturing,” ARM says.

The group’s mission is to help train the future workforce for the high-value careers that will determine the future of manufacturing. And it focuses on lowering the economic, technical, and operational barriers that companies experience in trying to adopt robotic technology.

Advance Robotics for Manufacturing

High School Programs Join Welding Students with Jobs in Demand

Welding labs at Elgin and Hampshire high schools now are certified testing facilities -- the first in the Midwest and among only three high schools in the country to be accredited.

Both programs are sanctioned by the American Welding Society, allowing students and community members to obtain professional certification meeting industry standards. Courses will be taught by AWS-certified instructors at the high schools.

"There is a huge demand for manufacturing grade, entry-level welders in this area," said Nick Moran, certified welding instructor at Elgin High and technical specialist for Kane County. He will train teachers at both high schools this summer to become certified welding instructors.


Study Finds LECTURERS Still Dominate STEM Education

An analysis of more than 2,000 college classes in science, technology, engineering and math has imparted a lesson that might resonate with many students who sat through them: Enough with the lectures, already.

Published in the journal Science, the largest-ever observational study of undergraduate STEM education monitored nearly 550 faculty as they taught more than 700 courses at 25 institutions across the United States and Canada.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Marilyne Stains and her colleagues found that 55 percent of STEM classroom interactions consisted mostly of conventional lecturing, a style that prior research has identified as among the least effective at teaching and engaging students.

Lecturer STEM

BMW Investing to Expand its Training in the United States.

BMW seeks to boost the annual number of technicians who graduate from the training centers it owns by around 800, says Denise Melville, department head at BMW Group University. BMW's U.S. dealerships need to add more than 1,500 technicians each year to cover turnover and new positions.

BMW owns training centers at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., and in Ontario, Calif.; Schaumburg, Ill.; Atlanta; Oxnard, Calif. and Spartanburg, S.C.
 
In Atlanta, BMW is building a new campus that will quadruple its training space, Melville says. The new 12,000-square-foot site will have 12 classrooms. The renovated site in Ontario will add 12 classrooms, along with a body and paint shop. BMW also is adding training space at its New Jersey center, and a new building at the Spartanburg training facility.

Community College MakerSpaces Offer Work-Based Learning in California

The CCC Maker Initiative is offering internships and work-based learning experiences for students through 24 California Community College makerspaces, where students gain technical, entrepreneurial and work-ready skills sought by employers.

“Makerspaces are widely recognized now as adaptive labs where learning is contextualized,” said Sierra College Superintendent/President Willy Duncan. “Faculty can offer meaningful projects tied to curriculum and students gain practical skills by interacting with industry partners. In a college makerspace, students practice innovation, develop problem-solving skills and connect to industry partners in cutting-edge fields. It is very motivating for students to see the application of what they have learned in the classroom.”  (https://cccmaker.com/)

Sierra College is serving as the administrator and fiscal agent of the $17 million CCC Maker initiative, which is funded by a grant from the California Community College Chancellors Office, and is focused on developing educational makerspaces within the Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy (http://doingwhatmatters.cccco.edu/) framework at community colleges throughout the state.

MakerSpaces in California

"What's So Cool About Manufacturing," Contest in Pennsylvania

While there are many initiatives across the country to encourage young students to study STEM subjects and pursue technical careers, one effort does this in a way that pairs learning about manufacturing with developing video production skills. The “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” contest is an annual event that allows students from across the state of Pennsylvania to explore different career options in manufacturing by meeting with a local company, and then creating and filming a video that explores that company’s products and services. This opportunity provides the students with experience in planning, scripting, and shooting video content, while at the same time exposes them to what it is like to work in the manufacturing industry, and the different types of career options offered.
 
The contest, which is funded under a 2013 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development’s “Discovered in PA, Developed in PA” program, was created by the Manufacturer’s Resource Center (MRC) and provides students and their teachers (who function as coaches) with camera equipment and video production software to use in creating their entries. The contest has expanded to a total of eleven additional states under the Dream It. Do It. brand that was created by the Manufacturing Institute in Washington, DC.
 
What's So Cool About Manufacturing

Business Community Aims to Increase Employer Investment in Workforce Training

“Quality Pathways: Employer Leadership in Earn and Learn Opportunities,” highlights the importance of employer leadership in developing a growing workforce that meets the needs of a modernizing United States economy.
 
“Last year, President Trump charged the business community with finding solutions to help close the skills gap and connect workers with opportunities to develop skills they need to be successful in a 21st century economy,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “By putting forward this solution, the U.S. business community isn’t sitting on the sidelines – we’re leading the way. Together, we’ve developed a bold solution to improve employer leadership and investment in quality on-the-job learning opportunities. We look forward to implementing this model across the country so today’s students are prepared to be the workers and business leaders of the future.”
 
“Quality Pathways” aims to empower both learners and employers by establishing a business-led recognition system for high-quality earn and learn opportunities based on business best-practices. Creating employer-led earn and learn pathways will also help build stronger connections between employers and their workforce and close the skills gap by connecting job creators with more ready-to-work Americans. To ensure long-term sustainability and success of the system, the paper also calls for an ongoing process to organize businesses across industries.
Quality Pathways

Ohio STEM Learning Network's New Innovative Program

MakerMinded and Learning Blade® are initiatives in Ohio supported by LIFT—Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow, a national ManufacturingUSA institute, to enhance student experiences and understanding of manufacturing and other high demand fields. MakerMinded is a free statewide competition where schools compete to complete STEM activities for a chance to win a virtual reality classroom station. Learning Blade is a web based STEM career awareness curriculum designed to improve student relevance of middle school academics as it relates to future STEM career paths.
Graham Middle School is currently a state leader for both programs. In MakerMinded, Graham middle school has 177 points and currently resides in 2nd place. In Learning Blade, Graham has completed more lessons than 93% of other registered schools in OH. Kirk Koennecke, Executive Director of the Ohio Small and Rural Collaborative and Superintendent of Graham Local Schools is proud of the success of his teachers and students in adopting new innovative STEM programs, “We strive every day to provide the absolute best educational opportunities to our students. MakerMinded and Learning Blade help our students envision their role in the 21st century workforce all while reinforcing in engaging standards and academics.”

Results from The Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

The committee, which is housed under the White House's National Science and Technology Council as part of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, has said in the past that it was trying to identify and manage any overlap in the various federal programs to improve science, technology, engineering and math education. It "has not fully met its responsibilities" in that area, the GAO said.

Education programs in STEM fields are intended to enhance the nation's global competitiveness. GAO reported in 2012 that there were more than 200 federal STEM education programs in fiscal year 2010. Since then, this portfolio of programs has changed. GAO was asked to review the landscape of federal STEM education programs.
 
This report examines (1) how the federal investment in STEM education programs changed from 2010 to 2016, and (2) the extent to which the STEM education portfolio has been assessed.To answer these questions, GAO administered a web-based questionnaire to all federal STEM education programs funded in fiscal year 2016 and analyzed the results. GAO also reviewed relevant federal laws and agency documents, examined the implementation of relevant assessment requirements, and interviewed officials from relevant federal agencies.

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