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Inquiry First.

With the lofty goal of reaching one quarter of America's students, the National Park Service is assuming a leadership role is supporting environmental literacy.  Through virtual field trips, teacher professional development and partnerships -- as well as facilitating access to the parks for students -- Park Service leaders aim to reach students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to benefit from all that our national parks have to offer.  "The benefits of multiday, residential, outdoor education programs are very well documented and well embraced, but they are expensive to provide and require a lot of resources," said Julia Washburn, the Park Service's associate director for interpretation and education. "This means they are typically a deeper experience for fewer kids. Shorter single-day, field-trip experiences are less expensive, and can serve more students, but their impact, while still beneficial, isn't as great."
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Engage Everett! involves Everett Public School students in grades 6 through 12 in independent science and technology research experience, with the goal of building a culture of research in school districts across the state.

The latest update is exciting: No fewer than 119 seventh and eight grade projects have been entered into the middle school science fair! For comparison's sake, consider that last year, only about 10 middle school projects were science-fair-bound.

The program was designed through a multifaceted collaboration of professionals, including representatives from MSSEF, the Intel Corporation, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, the Everett Public Schools, and the Marlborough Public School system — the latter as a “mentoring” school district.

MSSEF offers access to key teacher professional development resources and hosts a forum for... Read More

National Museum of Natural History - IMG 1966Boston Museum of Science president and director Yannis N. Miaoulis has a nice piece in  US News & World Report about the importance of museums to STEM success.  "Science centers can be a powerful resource for teachers in STEM fields," he writes.  "School curricula traditionally focus more on the natural world, not the technological one. But it is the human-made world that facilitates 95 percent of daily experience."

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PhotobucketThe 2012 Massachusetts State High School Science & Engineering Fair will take place Thursday, May 3 - Saturday, May 5 at MIT.  Students in grades 9-12 from all Massachusetts public, private and parochial schools -- as well as home-schooled students -- are eligible to enter through their schools.

The Massachusetts Middle School Science and Engineering Fair will be held Saturday, June 2, 2012 at Worcester Technical High School.

How the High School Fair Works
Each school may send two outstanding student projects directly to the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF) State Fair: One individual and/or one team project (2 or 3 student members to each team).  In addition, the top... Read More

An interesting chart based on 2010 census data shows how various college majors stack up in terms of career income potential.  For each major listed, data includes unemployment percent, popularity ranking, and average earnings at the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles.  It's easy to access engineering and science data by clicking the buttons in the "Suggested Searches" area.

Increasingly, the demands of state tests for proficiency in math and reading seem to be pushing subjects like science, art, and social studies aside, according to a survey commissioned by Washington-based research organization Common Core. "During the past decade, our public schools have focused—almost exclusively—on reading and math instruction," said Common Core president and executive director Lynn Munson. "As a result, we are denying our students the complete education they deserve and the law demands." Specifically, the study reveals that while art and music predictably have taken the hardest hit, foreign languages, social studies, phys ed, and science are right behind them, with science getting 27% less time than it used to.

Women CEOs from several US companies traveled to Capitol Hill on Monday to deliver a message to a group of female lawmakers: We've got science and technology jobs to fill; where are the qualified candidates?  A big part of the problem, panelists agreed, is a lack of job applicants with adequate skills in STEM fields. For example, Lisa Hook, CEO of Sterling-Va-based Neustar Inc., a telecommunications company, pointed to a solution.  “We need a lot of federal assistance in encouraging children to go into STEM, we need to make it accessible and available starting in the ninth grade,” she said.


During Computer Science Education Week (December 4-10, 2011), here are several interesting facts about computer science (from

  • Five of the top ten fastest growing jobs will be in computing-related fields ( i.e., computer software engineer jobs expected to grow 45% over the next five to seven years).
  • Only 17% of AP computer science test-takers in 2008 were women, although women represented 55% of all AP test-takers.
  • By 2018, current government projections show that more than 800,000 high-end computing jobs will be created in the economy, making it one of the fastest growing occupational fields.

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As part of a community outreach project, recent high school graduate Kevin Temmer produced an original animated video to teach students how to prepare for science fairs. Enjoy!

Biotechnology veteran -- and MSSEF board member -- Michael S. Wyzga has assumed the position of CEO at Cambridge, MA-based Radius Health, following a 13-year career at Genzyme. While serving as Genzyme's Executive Vice President, Finance, and CFO, Mike led the $20.1 billion sale of Genzyme to Sanofi last April -- the second-largest acquisition ever in the industry.

In his new role at Radius, Mike will drive corporate strategy and lead the advancement of Phase 3 osteoporosis drug BA058. “It is a great privilege to have been asked to lead Radius at this important point in the company’s evolution,” Mike said. “BA058 represents a unique opportunity to advance not just a best-in-class drug, but potentially a best-in-disease drug in the expanding osteoporosis market. BA058 has the potential to transform the treatment of osteoporosis and optimize outcomes based not only on its unique bone-building and safety attributes but on the development of the once-daily, short wear-time transdermal... Read More


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