Ed News: Science Centers Play Role In Boosting Children’s Interest In STEM Fields

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This week in education news, the White House unveiled new initiative, the National Council for the American Worker; Louisiana plans to add an endorsement on high school diplomas for students who complete a certain set of STEM classes; new summer camp for high school girls aims to take fear out of a career in technology; design thinking is both a process and a mindset; science centers play a distinctive role in advancing science literacy and building a pipeline of workers in the fields of STEM; federally funded programs are not enough to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities pursuing and completing degrees in STEM; Oklahoma State Department of Education has expanded summer externship program for teachers.; and Arkansas governor named chair of the Governors’ Education and Workforce Committee.

Open Education Science And Challenges For Evidence-Based Teaching

With my colleague Tim Van der Zee, I wrote an article called Open Education Science that outlines new pathways and best practices for education researchers—in particular about being more transparent with readers about how we plan our research, what research we actually conducted, and how that reality aligns or not with what we planned. In this post, I try to explain why we wrote it, and what it might mean for educators and policymakers trying to make good use of education research to improve teaching and learning. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Retraining The Workforce Is Not Enough To Meet Labor Demand

This month, the White House unveiled the National Council for the American Worker, a new initiative focused on training and retraining American workers to fill the in-demand jobs of today. As part of this initiative, the administration is asking companies to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers to commit to invest in workforce development. Reskilling American workers is vitally important to the continued productivity of our labor force. Read the article featured in The Hill.

New Diploma Planned For Math, Science And Other Courses

The state plans to add an endorsement on high school diplomas for students who complete a certain set of math, science, engineering and other classes, officials said. The change is part of Louisiana’s push to elevate interest in STEM careers. Read the article featured in The Advocate.

For These High School Girls, Science And Technology Is A Brave New World

The STEM fields have long faced a challenge to attract and retain women and minorities. But a summer camp for high school girls, held for the first time last week in Indianapolis, is working hard to take the fear out of a career in technology. The Brave Initiatives program was a five-day camp held on Monument Circle that sought to influence young women to become involved in developing technology by using solution-oriented design-thinking tools. Read the article featured in the Indianapolis Star.

Design Thinking In Education

Design thinking has been around since the 1960s but reached K12 education only in the last decade. Some call it a revolution in learning, while others see it as just the latest fad, better left to Silicon Valley charter schools. Part of the problem is that design thinking can be hard to define and even harder to use in the classroom in a meaningful way. Read the article featured in District Administration.

Science Centers Play Role In Boosting Children’s Interest In STEM Fields

Change in our everyday lives and the workplace is occurring at a breathtaking pace. The need for citizens engaged in and appreciative of science and technology and for a skilled workforce to fill new and emerging roles has never been greater. Science centers, like the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, play a distinctive role in advancing science literacy and building a pipeline of workers in the fields of STEM. A national study (“The contribution of science rich resources to public science interest”) released recently found that visiting science centers was the only experience among those studied that consistently impacted youth and adult interest in science throughout their lives. Read the article featured in The Morning Call.

Federally Funded Programs Are Not Enough To Diversify The STEM Workforce

The Government Accountability Office (GOA) reported that of the 13 federal agencies surveyed that administer STEM education programs, there were 163 STEM programs funded in fiscal year 2016 that were designed to increase the number of historically underrepresented students studying or improve the quality of education in STEM. Of the $2.9 billion spent on these programs, the National Science Foundation received about $1.2 billion that supported 20 programs, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received about $688 million that funded 54 programs. Read the article featured in Diverse.

Externships Give Oklahoma Teachers New Skills – And Extra Spending Money

Oklahoma teachers are taking advantage of the state education department’s expansion of an externship program that not only increases their skills in STEM subjects, but also puts some extra money in their pockets. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.

Governor Hutchinson Selected As Chair Of Governors’ Education, Workforce Committee

The National Governors Association named Governor Asa Hutchinson 2018-2019 Chair of the Education and Workforce Committee during its summer meeting last week. The Committee is responsible for ensuring that the views of state leadership are represented in federal policy issues related to early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, workforce development, and career-technical education. Read the press release.

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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