Ed News: Attracting, Retaining Qualified & Diverse Faculty Is A Prerequisite To Building The Field

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This week in education news, Girls Scouts launch $70 Million STEM initiative; new study reveals that some Latinos believe science education may have a negative impact on the religious faith of their children; the more education that Democrats and Republicans have, the more their beliefs in climate change diverge; Nevada may add math and science requirements to graduate high school; and after school STEM programs inspire kids to keep learning.

Attracting, Retaining Qualified And Diverse Faculty Is A Prerequisite To Building The Field

As we try to digest how to get more women and underrepresented minorities into STEM fields, or really any other type of career, experts often say that one key factor is that students see in themselves a future through the people they look up to. In other words, it’s difficult for a girl from a diverse background to see herself getting into a computer science field, when the demographics of her class and her professor is the complete opposite of anything she’s ever known. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Girl Scouts Launches $70 Million STEM Initiative

Girl Scouts of the USA has announced a national fundraising initiative in support of a new program aimed at closing the gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Read the article featured in Philanthropy News Digest.

Some Latinos Believe Science May Negatively Impact Their Kids’ Faith

More than one-third of Latinos interviewed in a recent study believe science education may have a negative impact on the religious faith of their children, according to new research from sociologists at Rice University. The study examined the relationship between STEM education and religious faith from the perspective of blacks and Latinos, two groups that are among the most religious in the U.S. Read the press release from Rice University.

Even When States Revise Standards, The Core Of The Common Core Remains

For a while, the Common Core State Standards seemed to teeter on the brink of the abyss. State lawmakers were defecting left and right, convening committees to rewrite the standards. But a review released of 24 states’ revisions show that they have largely preserved the common core’s most important features. Read the article featured in Education Week.

The More Education Republicans Have, The Less They Tend To Believe In Climate Change

Climate change divides Americans, but in an unlikely way: The more education that Democrats and Republicans have, the more their beliefs in climate change diverge. About one in four Republicans with only a high school education said they worried about climate change a great deal. But among college-educated Republicans, that figure decreases, sharply, to 8 percent. Read the article featured in The New York Times.

Nevada Students May Soon Face Added Math, Science Requirements

Nevada may soon join a handful of states that require students to pass four credits of math to graduate high school, a move critics say would limit student choice. At the moment, the plan includes adding one credit apiece of math, science and social studies to current requirements. Read the article featured in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Fires, Floods, Hurricanes: Teachers Turn Natural Disasters Into Science And History Lessons

At Design Tech High, a charter school in Burlingame that’s affiliated with Oracle, students are analyzing the science behind the Tubbs Fire that raged through Sonoma County in October and creating blueprints for how the destroyed neighborhoods can rebuild in a way that could minimize impacts from the next fire. “Drought, famine, fire, war — students get it. They see the connection between what’s on the news and these larger environmental issues,” said Andra Yeghoian, environmental education coordinator for the San Mateo County Office of Education, who teaches environmental science and trains teachers at Design Tech and other public schools in San Mateo County. Read the article featured in EdSource.

After-School STEM Programs Inspire Kids To Keep Learning

At an after-school STEM club in Rhode Island, students are working on an engineering challenge — because they want to be. The low-stakes, fun environment offers time for exploration when resources or hands-on activities may be in short supply during school hours, and can help sustain interest as classes get harder. Watch the segment featured on PBS Newshour.

Fascinating: Can Analytics Help Schools Hire The Best Teachers?

As K-12 school administrators know, finding the best talent for their schools is becoming more challenging, with fewer people entering the teaching profession and more teachers retiring. With no near-term end in sight, hiring and retaining great teachers may be problematic for years to come. Read the article featured in eSchool News.

3 Reasons To Introduce Kindergartners To Robots

The children we teach were born with technology as a part of their lives. They don’t know a world without touchscreen phones and computers in every room. In today’s world, saying that subjects like coding and robotics “are for ‘big kids’” is like saying “reading is for ‘big kids.’” Read the article featured in eSchool News.

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.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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