Ed News: Idaho Legislature Approves New Science Standards that Omit Climate Change

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This week in education news, the Idaho Senate Education Committee approved new science standards that omit climate change; more states introduce bills that interfere with science education; 100Kin10 renews its call to support STEM teachers; and a new study suggests spending an hour learning computer basics may positively change students’ attitudes about computer science.

Idaho Legislature Signs Off on School Science Standards That Leave Out Climate Change

The Senate Education Committee voted to approve new science standards for Idaho public schools that do not address the human impact on climate change. The vote essentially kicks the question of including climate change down the road a year, because lawmakers must permanently approve the science standards in 2018. Click here to read the article featured in the Idaho Statesman.

More States Introduce Bills to Interfere with Science Education

The South Dakota bill has now died in the legislature, while the Indiana resolution has passed the senate. Resolutions are not subject to veto, so that vote is final. But in the intervening time, similar bills have appeared in three other states, and a fourth state is considering eliminating references to climate change in its teaching plan. Click here to read the article featured on the Ars Technica website.

Trump Signs Laws to Promote Women in STEM

President Donald Trump signed two laws this week that authorize NASA and the National Science Foundation to encourage women and girls to get into STEM fields. The INSPIRE (Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers) Act directs NASA to promote STEM fields to women and girls, and encourage women to pursue careers in aerospace. The second law is the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act. It authorizes the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programs aimed at women. Click here to read the article featured on CNET.com.

With New Administration, 100Kin10 Renews Call to Support STEM Teachers

100Kin10 published an open letter that reiterated the importance of their mission in a new political climate. The underrepresentation of women in STEM fields is one of the challenges 100Kin10 lists in its open letter, along with the underrepresentation of minorities, dwindling enrollment in teacher-preparation programs for STEM, the high rate of STEM teachers who leave the profession, and the need for more early-childhood STEM education. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

After-school Programs Foster STEM Skills

While many classrooms and internship programs are actively trying to incorporate STEM education into the lives of children and young adults, after-school programs that focus on STEM let children explore new ideas without worrying about keeping their grades up. According to the study, “Afterschool & STEM: System Building Evaluation 2016,” which will be formally released in April, more than 70 percent of students in all participating states showed positive gains in STEM subjects, careers, knowledge and 21st-century skills by participating in STEM-focused programs after school. Click here to read the article featured in U.S. News & World Report.

The Hour of Code: Impact on Attitudes Towards and Self-Efficacy with Computer Science

Spending an hour learning computer basics may positively change students’ attitudes about computer science and increase their feelings of self-efficacy where that subject is concerned—especially among girls, suggests a study. Click here to read the article featured in Education Week.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

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