Several articles are posted about this US News STEM Solutions Conference. I always find it interesting when academics feel they can decide how best to engage youth without including youth in the discussion. That being said, they are coming up with good theories on how to make curriculum more engaging. I wonder if I can test these, too… From the ASEE aggregator:
Panel Considers How To Make STEM Education More Engaging The US News & World Report (4/24, Leonard) reports that the session “Music, Magic and More” at the STEM conference focused on the delivery of STEM education, considering the question: “How can…[educators] not kill a student’s natural curiosity in the world around them?” Speakers at the session “included Parag Chordia, scientist and technology entrepreneur; Alan McCormack, professor of science education at San Diego State University; and Seymour Simon, children’s science book author.” Simon argued said that teachers shouldn’t “spoil” STEM subjects “by making it too dry and technical,” and added “make big numbers real to people.” McCormick said that testing “Present new problems involving a higher level thinking and concepts they learned,” instead of simply repeating concepts they learned.
I’m starting to wonder how much of the feeling that girls can’t do science, tech, engineering or math is coming from statements like Barb Marquer’s below? It is time to start getting these comments better documented. I don’t think that girls don’t feel they can do STEM – I think they are already interested but don’t feel that girls belong in STEM. This is the perception we have to change… From the ASEE aggregator:
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle (4/20) reported on Wyoming’s STARBASE Academy which “is focused on getting girls interested in science and technology.” The project aims to keep girls interested in the STEM fields, according to program Director Barb Marquer, who added: “A lot of times, girls don’t feel like they can do things in science, technology, engineering and math because the boys overshadow them.” The group is open to girls from fifth through 12th grade and the article covers the group’s science night last weekend, which combined creativity with opportunities to expand their technical knowledge
Oh! I missed this one last week! This is very interesting: I’ll have to look into how they “reimagined” the computer science classes. From the AEEE aggregator:
The San Francisco Chronicle (2/18, Brown) reports on an introductory computer science course at UC Berkeley that has more female students than male students. Prof. Dan Garcia said the goal of the introductory course is to expand beyond “just programming,” to make the material “kind of right-brained as well.” The Chronicle reports that Berkeley and other universities have seen an increase in the number of female computer science students. The increase in female computer science students has “coincided with a reimagining of computer science classes,” the article notes.
I think the longitudinal study may be in order to see if this event really makes a difference to gender balance. From the ASEE aggregator:
Newsday (2/23, Ferrette) reported the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury held “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” last week. The goal of the NYIT event was to get more girl interested in engineering. Organizers of the event said it brought the girls “into the college engineering pipeline.” The Stony Brook University, Hofstra University and Farmingdale State College said they see some progress enrolling girls in their engineering programs. Officials at the engineering schools credit “high school science camps and other programs that support young girls.”
Just received an email with this link: Engineering Emergency | Change the Equation.
I am curious where women fit into this equation… Still, this is a concern for our American neighbours and, therefore, a concern for us. Fairness is necessary for all and that should really include equal access to higher levels of mathematics and physics courses in high school. What this page does not tell is whether high schools that did offer those courses were open and accessible for these students — oh, and what is the percentage of white student who attended high schools that did not offer these courses? Continue reading
From the ASEE aggregator:
The Washington Post (2/13, Mcgregor) reports that a new report from the Center for Talent Innovation finds that, in addition to the difficulty getting “more young women into science and high-tech fields,” keeping women in those jobs, “and helping them reach the top,” may be “even a bigger challenge.” The study found that US women in these fields are “45 percent more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within a year.” In addition, the study found that “nearly one-third of senior leaders — both men and women — who work in science, engineering and technology fields reported that a woman would never reach the top position in their companies.”
From the ASEE aggregator:
The New Orleans Times-Picayune (2/14, Larino) reports that with growing worldwide energy demand creating the need “for a larger and more diverse energy industry workforce,” the number of women in key industry roles is rising. With veteran workers retiring and fewer young workers entering the field, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that 46% of new jobs in the sector “went to women during the first quarter of 2013, the highest level in years.” Debbie Settoon, a 30-year veteran of the oil and gas industry, is currently a project engineer for Shell. Settoon said she has seen more female engineers entering the energy “industry and filling management positions.” The article notes that energy companies have donated to the Society of Women Engineers and similar groups with the goal of increasing the number of women entering STEM careers.
I am chagrined to see that the uptake of technology programs by women is sporadic, yet I still hope to affect widespread change — which starts with awareness. This article from Education Week (Heitin, Jan 10, 2014) highlights how few US girls signed up for and completed the computer science AP test – complete with a very interesting graphic.