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Inquiry First.

We already knew that the demand for STEM graduates was on the rise to meet the demands of a changing economy, but recently the White House put a big number on how critical the demand really is.

Last week, the Obama Administration designated the effort to increase the number of undergrads with degrees in STEM fields as a Cross-Agency Priority goal.  According to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, this means that the effort is, "one of a limited number of such articulated goals designed to focus cross-agency coordination and encourage sharing of best practices among agencies with complementary missions."

Initially, at least, the CAP goal to increase STEM graduates will focus on five "areas of opportunity":

  • improving STEM teaching and attracting students to STEM courses;
  • offering meaningful opportunities for students to engage in STEM research early... Read More

New construction breaks ground at the Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey. This $16 Million building that focuses on STEM facilities will be a sustainable venture into expanding the College’s supply of forward thinking curriculum. “It will be the home of the new Air Traffic Control (Terminal) Degree program, will have a vegetated “green” roof and astronomy viewing area, and is designed to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver status”. Complete with a Recycled materials and energy saving construction costs, the new building will not only support our future STEM graduates but the environment for years to come!

See on Press of Atlantic City

Political jokes aside, Big Bird and his friends at PBS have a key role to play in the future of our youth and the educators responsible for teaching them. Although the continuous television programming offers kids of all ages a stable channel of fulfillment and education, the PBS Teachers STEM Resource Center will help those looking for some online content in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. Everything from free webinars, videos, lesson plans to interactive content for grades pre-K to 12.

Acquiring the attention and interest of children is not easy these days with all that high tech gadgetry around but leave it to PBS to push the envelope in expanding the imagination of what the future may hold.

“PBS is well known for science series such as NOVA, Nature and Sid the Science Kid. PBS... Read More

The Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology/Engineering at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education posted the following notice to its Listserv:
"The release of the second and final public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is set for the first week in January 2013. In recognition of the hectic schedules in December and the approaching holidays, the NGSS staff wanted to ensure all educators, stakeholders and the public had appropriate access to the draft. We fully encourage all interested parties to review the draft as individuals or in groups and provide feedback to the Lead States and writers. Information about the Next Generation of Science Standards is available at www.nextgenscience.org/."

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has appointed Dr. Pendred "Penny" Noyce to Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

"Dr. Noyce’s lifelong experience and commitment to education in Massachusetts makes her an excellent addition to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education," said Governor Patrick. "I am confident she will continue to be a great partner in our efforts to close the achievement gap and ensure that all of our students are prepared for success, and I thank her for her willingness to serve in this capacity."

A longtime supporter of the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF) through the Noyce Foundation, which she helped establish, Dr. Noyce is a former doctor of internal medicine.  The daughter of Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit and co-founder of Intel, Dr. Noyce earned a degree in biochemistry at Harvard and a medical degree at Stanford.  With Barnas... Read More

PASCO and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have teamed up to celebrate STEM educators who have created and are using effective STEM curriculum in the classroom.

A total of five 2013 PASCO STEM Educator Awards will be given to teachers exhibiting excellent in STEM education.  One elementary school educator and two teachers from middle and high schools will receive a prize worth approximately $4,500.

Consisting of experts selected by NSTA, the judging panel will be looking for entries that implement innovative inquiry-based, technology-infused STEM programs.  The best entries will be those that address a real-world application or problem, challenging students to use STEM skills to solve it.

To apply, fill out this application and submit it  by November 30th, 2012.

Good luck!
See on www.pasco.com... Read More

The Art of Science Learning, a new initiative made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation, promises to enhance STEM education in Worcester through the arts.  Led by the Ecotarium in partnership with individuals from numerous Worcester organizations, the project is one of three in the country benefiting from the $2.7 million NSF Art of Science Learning grant. The other two projects are in San Francicso and Chicago.

MSSEF board member Sandra Mayrand, director and founder of UMass Medical School's Regional Science Resource Center and director of the Central Massachusetts STEM Network serves on the advisory board.  “The collaboration of the Worcester art and science organizations,... Read More

John McIntyre, Sustainability and Brand Manager for Samsung, notified us of the following opportunity for Massachusetts schools:

From now until October 31st, Samsung Electronics is accepting applications for a program called Samsung Solve for Tomorrow. By entering, schools have a chance to win up to $110,000 in technology grants.  The competition is open to public middle and high school classes... and there is not a limit on how many classes can enter from a particular school.  Also, applicants don't have to be Science or Math teachers.  Any teacher and their group of students...specials, AT, etc., can submit an application.

The way it works is teachers are asked to complete a short application.

From all entrants nationwide, 75 are selected to participate. Each of these 75 are then equipped with a camcorder, laptop, and video editing software to create videos addressing the challenge, “Show how STEM can help the environment in your community.”

The top 15 finalists will... Read More

It's the "E" in STEM, but what is engineering education, really, at the K-12 level?  A series of discussions on The Opportunity Equation blog tackles that subject thoughtfully through conversations with engineering experts and educators.

Recently, Christine M. Cunningham, the Founder and Director of Engineering is Elementary (EiE) -- a program of Boston's Museum of Science -- weighed in on the work that her organization does to engage students of diverse backgrounds and interests in the wonderful world of engineering. After seven years of research and testing, EiE has evolved into a 20-unit engineering curriculum for elementary schools.

The program also focuses on professional development through a "train the... Read More

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