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Inquiry First.

The STEM Education Coalition states there are currently 26 million STEM jobs in the United States--this makes up 20% of all jobs. Despite the growing need, there is a severe disparity between the number of jobs available and the number of qualified applicants. With many initiatives working to increase interest among school children in the STEM fields, technology is playing a larger and larger role as time moves forward. Here are few unexpected ways in which technology is helping to improve skill sets and bolster interest in STEM:

 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16% of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in pursuing a career in STEM field. Among industrialized countries, the United States ranks 17th in science and only 25th in mathematics. The need for change is recognized and a plan to create and implement a united, national approach to promoting and expanding STEM education nationwide.

New and repurposed monies are bolstering several initiatives to improve both the teaching and learning of STEM subjects in schools across the country. The 2015 budget totals $2.9 billion to be invested in the future of STEM students and educators; this is 3.7 percent greater than the budget approved for 2014. The President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget cites the STEM Innovation Proposal as including $170 million in new funding that will be used to “... Read More

The Hall at Patriot Place, presented by Raytheon, is once more looking to honor and celebrate a Massachusetts educator with the title of STEM Teacher of the Year.

For those of you familiar with the award, please note that the application process has changed this year. The first part of the application must be submitted by the person nominating the teacher (e.g. student, parent, etc.). After the teacher is nominated, he or she will receive the second part of the application to fill out.

For more information and full details, please visit The Hall's news article ... Read More

On December 10th, West Virginia joined the ranks as the thirteenth state to
accept the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a federal 
program designed to standardize student literacy and interest in science 
across the United States. School board Administrators in 26 states 
collaborated with 41 writers to develop the new standards. Among 
other states that have accepted the NGSS are California, Kentucky, 
Maryland, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. States who have yet to 
accept the NGSS are still adhering to the National Science Education 
Standards and Benchmarks of Science documents, which are now 15 
years old. West Virginia school administrators plan for full-scale 
implementation of the new standards between 2016 and 2017.

Leslie Reinherz, a teacher at Canton High School, had a big question: How does human food intake and output fit into the larger framework of our ecosystem? She set about exploring that question near the site of America’s first settlers, Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth Mass. Contrasting modern day Thanksgiving food staples with the feast of the first Thanksgiving, Reinherz fits this important question into the framework of a familiar and beloved American tradition. Find out what she dicscovers on the MIT Blossom’s website: http://blossoms.mit.edu/videos/files/videos/ecological_cost_dinner_english_flash

 

 

 

Supercomputers are the newest weapon against HIV, a disease that has claimed more than six million lives. Technologists and scientists have put their heads together and are using various methods, including crowdsourcing, to map and identify the makeup of diseased cells.The idea is that, by monitoring the activity of these cells, predictions about the best mode of treatment can be made. On the frontlines of this fight is Armand Bilge, a tech savvy teen from Lexington, MA, who used NSF technology to create a digital evolutionary tree including 400 strains of ... Read More

Following up on the news that nine Massachusetts middle schoolers were semi finalists for the Broadcom MASTERS competition, we are delighted to report that two of those students have been selected for the finals! These semifinalists were already in a very competitive field of 300 students from around the United States, and are now part of a group of 30 which will compete in Washington DC from October 24 - 28.

The two Massachusetts finalists are:

Alden Giedraitis, Grade 8
Bfield, MA - Triton Middle School
Project title: Project A.I.P: An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Navigation

Floyd Greenwood, Grade 7
Andover, MA - Andover West Middle School
Project Title: Selectively Breeding Nannochloropsis Microalgae to Become a Healthier Feedstock for Freshwater Rotifers

We will be reporting more about these students and projects soon, and wish them the very best in the finals!

 

Broadcom MASTERS Middle School STEM CompetitionWe are always very proud of all Massachusetts students who put the time and effort into competing in a wide variety of local, regional, and state STEM competitions. When some of our students also make it into larger, higher level competitions, that's even better. Nine students from our fair state, representing almost all corners geographically, are semi finalists in the Broadcom MASTERS competition.

Sponsored by the Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science and the Public, the MASTERS competition is in its fourth year and is the most prestigious STEM competition for middle school students. The nine students from Massachusetts are part of a field which includes competitors from 247... Read More

On September 22, Google will announce the winner from a very select group of 15 competitors in its global Google Science Fair. Culled from thousands of applicants ranging in age from 13 to 18, the fifteen finalists represent just some of the fantastic and innovative ideas emerging today from young STEM scientists. Projects cover a range of topics from fuels, to assistive technology, to combatting online bullying and more.

Google has partnered with National Geographic, Scientific American, Lego Education, and Virgin Galactic in... Read More

Maryam Mirzakhani or Stanford University. Photo courtesy of Stanford.Major news emerged this week about a significant first in the field of mathematics. The Fields Medal, which is the most prestigious prize in the field - its version of the Nobel Prize - was awarded to a woman. Maryam Mirzakhani is an Iranian born professor of maths at Stanford University. She also has a connection to Massachusetts, having earned her PhD at Harvard University. Her work, with emphasis on geometric structures and their deformations, is regarded by her peers as being "technically superb and boldly ambitious". Originally drawn more to literature as a child growing up in Iran, her brother introduced her to math, which eventually captured her imagination. She went on to... Read More

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