A Letter From Students: "Make STEM Education Count"

As juniors in high school, we are concerned about our future. Since we have started high school, we have taken on challenging classes in an effort to prepare ourselves for higher education. We all started taking high school level classes in middle school in preparation to take college classes that we are currently enrolled in as high school students.

Our high school requires more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses to graduate than what Idaho currently requires for graduation. We have spent hours preparing for and taking standardized tests including ISATs, civics exam, biology EOC (End of Course) assessment, and college entrance exams. In addition to all of our academic endeavors, we have all participated in community service activities and extracurriculars. Our class dreams big, and we are not afraid to put forth the extra effort to achieve those dreams.

Lifelong Educational Advantage Program - L.E.A.P.

Made available through Siemens Cooperates with Education, the effort is designed to give high school and technical school graduates a basic-to-advanced machine tool knowledge that will benefit them in their future careers as CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machinists. L.E.A.P. starts with Sinutrain, a PC-based, control-identical training system. This software turns any PC screen into an exact representation of the Sinumerik Operate graphical user interface. The numeric kernel (NC) that drives Sinutrain also powers the Sinumerik 828D and 840D sl controls. Comprehensive knowledge doesn’t require investing in a machine, as all courses can be taught on a PC.

Virtual and Augmented Reality Learning Experience - DOE Launches $680,000 Challenge

Simulated environments, such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D simulations, and multiplayer video games, are emerging approaches to deliver educational content. Research indicates that simulation-based learning provides students with enriched experiences in information retention, engagement, skills acquisition, and learning outcomes.The EdSim Challenge seeks next-generation educational simulations that strengthen academic, technical, and employability skills. The Department is most interested in immersive and engaging simulations that include clearly defined learning goals and build diverse skill sets.The purpose of this Challenge is to stimulate the marketplace for computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and embedded assessment. The developer community is encouraged to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components.

Coding to Every Classroom

The push to teach coding in U.S. schools has been growing: Thanks to initiatives like the White House’s CS for All program, computer science is now recognized as a core skill for today’s students. A new study by Gallup and Google revealed that 90 percent of parents want their child to learn CS, yet only 40 percent of K-12 school districts offer some kind of CS course. Teacher recruitment and training efforts are beginning to solve the problem at the high-school level, but in K-8 schools (where very few schools offer CS and many teachers are generalists) the challenges are different. Many teachers without much coding experience understandably feel anxious about integrating this new literacy into their classrooms.

Coding to Every Classroom

Top Earning Major's Dominated by STEM Degrees

Glassdoor study released. The job search engine analyzed more than 500,000 resumes and self-reported salaries to determine which majors pay the most during the first five years after graduation. Eight of the 10 most-bankable majors are tied to engineering or technology, such as computer science, electrical engineering and information technology. Nearly half of the majors listed are in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, though business-related majors, such as accounting and marketing, crack the top half of the 50 majors listed.

Engaging Students with Hands-On Learning

About five years ago, I noticed it was getting more and more difficult for my students to retain the information presented in my CNC Machining Program. You see, at that time, I was making widgets in class that demonstrated the basic processes performed on CNC machines. These widgets, though, had no meaning to my students because they weren’t part of anything real or usable.

The result? Students were disinterested.
One day, while shopping for a remote control (RC) car, it occurred to me these cars are like an actual vehicle, with four-wheel, independent suspension and transmissions with front and rear differentials. As a CNC manufacturing engineer, before I entered teaching, I machined driveline components for agricultural and military applications. So, as a teacher, I knew the driveline components on the remote-controlled cars were machined and closely represented a real-life driveline. A closer examination of the RC car revealed to me I could use the resources in my CNC lab to design, re-engineer, set up, program and run almost the entire RC car as a class project.
Hands-On Learning

Students are Skipping Science and Math Because They Don't Understand Vast Career Opportunities

It’s the missed opportunity of a generation: demand for scientists and engineers has never been stronger, but many young people in the U.S. are avoiding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education because they don’t understand the opportunities, according to a recent survey by Emerson. - See more at:

The survey* revealed that 42 percent of respondents would have considered a career in STEM fields had they better understood a potential career path, and one-third of respondents didn’t pursue a STEM career because it seemed too hard.

American Students Want More Hands-on, Real-World Experiences

The Amgen Foundation and Change the Equation (CTEq) today announced results of a survey conducted to better understand what motivates U.S. high school students to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The report, titled “Students on STEM: More Hands-on, Real-World Experiences,” shows that students want additional opportunities that will inspire them to explore careers in scientific fields, and teachers are uniquely positioned to stimulate students’ interest in STEM.

The survey found that large majorities of teenagers like science and understand its value, but common teaching methods, such as teaching straight from the textbook, do not bring the subject matter to life in the same way hands-on, real-life experiences do. Several results reveal an opportunity to better engage students in the classroom. For example:

Samsung's "SOLVE FOR TOMORROW" STEM Education Contest Awards $40,000 to Fifteen Finalists. Grand Prize Winners to Receive $120,000

When their teacher asked them to take a hard look at issues affecting people in their community, one group of students in Missouri noticed that some of their peers with disabilities had trouble staying upright in their wheelchairs. And so, the students got to work with compressed cardboard, cutting and shaping various components to find which ones would create classroom furniture that would make their friends most comfortable. This is the essence of Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest, which challenges students to tap into their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills to create innovative solutions to problems they observe in their communities. The students in Missouri were recently named one of the 15 national finalists by Samsung Electronics America (SEA).

Drones as a Learning Tool

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are frequently used as a part of military, governmental and civil operations. Now, the devices also are being used as learning tools in a classroom at Woodland Elementary School. In the fourth- and fifth-grade gifted learning class overseen by Bobbi Starling, students are learning a number of subjects with the help of more than 50 spider, parrot, sumo and large-scale drones.

"Any lesson or skill can be taught with these drones," Starling said. "And they are definitely engaged."
After reading and studying about the various applications of drones, Starling's students rotated among drone learning stations, programming the devices with the use of the Tickle app on their iPads.
Drones for Learning

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