- 1 ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)
- 1.1 Tom Torlakson to Kick Off 2017 California STEAM Symposium This Morning
- 1.2 Registration is Now Open for the California Subject Matter Project’s Multidisciplinary Forum on Learning and Leadership
- 1.3 Breakthrough Prizes (“The Oscars of Science”) Awarded Last Sunday
- 1.4 Computer Science Education Week 2017
- 1.5 California Computer Science Standards for Grades K-12
- 1.6 Alliance for California Computer Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS)
- 1.7 Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science
- 1.8 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption: 120 Educators and Scientists Appointed as Reviewers
- 1.9 California Science Test Blueprint Approved by State Board of Education
- 1.10 Commission Sets Passing Score Standards for Science Examinations (CSET)
- 1.11 Free Online CSET Courses/Workshops for Single Subject Mathematics and Science
- 1.12 Green Ribbon Schools Leadership Areas–Sustainability, Health/Wellness, and STEM
- 1.13 Newspapers in Education Programs Offer Resources Free of Charge to Teachers
- 1.14 Supporting Student Success is Theme of California State University Graduation Initiative Symposium
- 1.15 Update on Policy Changes and Professional Development Opportunities by California State University Designed to Improve Student Graduation Rates, With an Emphasis on Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
- 1.16 New Website for the California Mathematics Project and COMET
- 2 ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)
- 2.1 International Space Station: Notifications for Viewing Opportunities
- 2.2 Solar System Ambassador: “Volunteers Bringing the Solar System to the Public”
- 2.3 “The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers”
- 2.4 White House Directs the Department of Education to Support High-Quality STEM Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science
- 2.5 The Horizon Report: 2017 K-12 Edition (Focus on Emerging Technologies for Gr. K-12)
- 2.7 Cracking the Code: The Next Generation of Women in STEM
- 2.8 Call for Papers: Inaugural Issue of the Journal of Computer Science Integration [in K-12 Education]
- 2.9 STEM for All Video Showcase
- 3 STEM SNIPPETS
- 3.1 “U.S. Ranks No. 13 in New Collaborative Problem-solving Test” by Jill Barshay
- 3.2 Repeal of High School Exit Exam (AB 830)
- 3.3 “’Sustainable Robots’ Face Off at the World Robotic Olympiad” by Debbie Ponchner
- 3.4 “STEM on Wheels: Bringing Inspiration, Innovation and Creativity to Students” by Angie Marcos
- 3.5 Call for Papers: 15th International Conference–The Mathematics Education for the Future Project (Ireland, 4-9 August 2019)
- 3.6 The PNC Christmas Price Index – Lessons on Economic Trends in the Price of the “12 Days of Christmas” Gifts
ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)
Tom Torlakson to Kick Off 2017 California STEAM Symposium This Morning
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will kick off the 2-day California STEAM Symposium today at 9:00 a.m. PT at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. The program is available online at http://bit.ly/STEAM-Symposium17 A conference app can also be downloaded from https://attendify.com/app/8rp1d5/
This year’s symposium features over 220 sessions, a Makerspace, and a STEAM student showcase. Sessions are coded by eight content pathways (Career Technical Education, Maker and Makerspaces, Early Learning, English Language Learners, Access and Equity, Girls and Young Women, Leadership and Administration, and Making Standards Come Alive) and six strands (STEAM Across Grades and Disciplines, Integrating Environmental Literacy in STEAM Disciplines, Design Thinking and Engineering: Where Art Meets Science, Supporting STEM/STEAM through 21st Century Learning Environments, Learning Beyond the Classroom, and Preparing a 21st Century Workforce).
“This is a terrific opportunity to learn more about leading-edge changes in education,” said Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher and coach.
Follow social media for news and updates from the Symposium:
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaSTEAMConference/
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/CDEfoundation
Registration is Now Open for the California Subject Matter Project’s Multidisciplinary Forum on Learning and Leadership
LeadLearn2018 is a multidisciplinary forum for California K-12 teachers and administrators to engage in professional learning and collaborative leadership. The forum, which will be held on February 28 at the UC Davis Conference Center, will highlight how educators and schools can leverage content and pedagogy across all disciplines to prepare students for engagement in their schools, in their communities, and on the global stage.
To learn more about this forum, please visit http://bit.ly/LeadLearn2018
Early bird registration (40% off the regular registration fee) closes on December 22.
Breakthrough Prizes (“The Oscars of Science”) Awarded Last Sunday
Since 2013, Breakthrough Prizes have been given out in an Oscar-style awards ceremony to celebrate accomplishments in STEM and inspire the next generation of STEM researchers. Each prize is $3 million and awarded in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics. In addition, up to three New Horizons in Physics and up to three New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes are given to early-career researchers each year.
The 2018 award ceremony was held at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley last Sunday evening (December 3). Hosted by Morgan Freeman, the ceremony drew a variety of celebrities and was broadcast live on the National Geographic channel. The event was also streamed on Facebook, which now contains links to archived videos of the ceremony (Facebook page: http://bit.ly/FB-BreakthroughPrize18 Video of ceremony: http://bit.ly/BreakthroughPrizeCeremony18)
The 2018 Breakthrough Prize Symposium (lectures and Q&A by the award recipients) took place at Stanford University the next day, 4 December 2017. Each recipient gave a 15-minute talk and fielded questions. That evening, three 30-minute cross-disciplinary panel discussions featuring Breakthrough Prize laureates focused broadly on what the decade ahead could bring in three key domains: How much can we know? How far can life go? Is nature simple? The schedule is available at http://bit.ly/BreakthroughSymposium18
For details about the event and award recipients, visit http://bit.ly/BreakthroughPrizeNews18 For an article about this year’s award-winning mathematicians, visit http://bit.ly/Breakthrough2017Math
Computer Science Education Week 2017
Today marks the final day of Computer Science Education Week (December 4-10), celebrated in thousands of schools worldwide. Organized by the nonprofit organization Code.org, schools have been engaging students in activities to increase their knowledge of computer science and coding.
A map of schools that registered to participate in an “Hour of Code” (HOC) event last week and a video of the importance of computer science are available at https://csedweek.org Ideas for implementing an HOC at any time of the year are available at https://csedweek.org/educate/hoc Code.org’s website contains a wide variety of free courses for students of all ages. The course catalog is available at https://studio.code.org/courses
This year’s official kick-off was held at San Mateo Community College. Speakers at the event included Peggy Johnson (Microsoft), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube CEO), and Hadi Partovi (CEO, Code.org)
It was announced that $12 million in new funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Infosys Foundation USA, and PricewaterhouseCoopers had been received by Code.org, which “will enable the nonprofit to train more teachers and update its curricula, said CEO and co-founder Hadi Partovi” (http://bit.ly/2nR0VZ1).
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome stated at the kick-off event, “California is the tech capital of the country and home to Silicon Valley, but we don’t teach our students the foundational skills to access the jobs of the future. Right now most schools in California don’t offer any computer science classes and sadly, that disparity is punctuated by striking gender and racial gaps. I’m thrilled to announce the launch of [Computer Science for California (CSforCA)] to make sure every California student has access to high-quality computer science education.” (Read more about Lt. Gov. Newsome’s work related to K-12 computer science education at http://www.ltg.ca.gov/educomputerscience.html)
CSTA and Code.org Announce the 2017 Champions for Computer Science
In celebration of the 2017 Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and Code.org are pleased to announce the inaugural Champions for Computer Science… These winners represent the students, teachers, schools, districts, and organizations on the forefront of the national computer science education movement… Selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 nominees, the winners [were] presented with their awards at a special 2017 CSEdWeek kickoff event on December 4th …
District Champion for Computer Science – San Francisco Unified School District
As of the 2017-18 school year, SFUSD has expanded computer science classes to 100% of its middle schools, 100% of its comprehensive high schools, and 40% of its elementary schools. The district has increased participation in computer science courses from 701 students in 2013-14 to 17,175 students in 2017-18…
California Computer Science Standards for Grades K-12
Agendas for each of the three 2-day meetings of the Computer Science Standards Advisory Committee (CS SAC) that have been held this fall are available on the State Board of Education’s Computer Science Education website at http://bit.ly/CA-CompSciEd The fourth and final 2-day CS SAC meeting is scheduled for January 22-23, 2018. CS SAC meetings are open to the public, with daily opportunities for public comment.
A 60-day public review period for the draft version of the Computer Science Standards for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve is expected next spring.
Alliance for California Computer Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS)
The fall 2018 meeting of the California STEM Network was held on October 30 at the CA Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The first speaker was Julie Flapan, Executive Director of the Alliance for California Computer Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS). She expressed great enthusiasm for the state’s focus on PK-12 computer science instruction and stated that computer science is foundational knowledge for all, no matter a student’s eventual major, as it develops critical thinkers for effective participation in a democracy. Flapan encouraged everyone in attendance to affiliate with ACCESS, a network of industry leaders, nonprofits, K-16 educators, and others who support computer science education equity. To subscribe to the newsletter, visit http://access-ca.org/contact/
ACCESS is supporting the Computer Science for California (CSforCA) initiative that was announced by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsome last Monday (see story above). CSforCA is “a campaign to ensure that every student in California has the opportunity to learn computer science.” Details can be found at http://access-ca.org/csforca/
Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science
A growing number of institutions are developing programs to help credentialed teachers attain a Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science to meet the demand for computer science teachers and increase the computer science knowledge of teachers of all grade levels.
The Alliance for California Computer Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS; see story above) and the Computer Science Teachers Association were instrumental in the conceptualization of this Supplementary Authorization (see pp. 2-3 in http://bit.ly/2ki3ldR). See http://bit.ly/2nKDQa9 for ACCESS’s comprehensive presentation to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
CTC approved the establishment of two levels of Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science:
– Introductory Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science (can be added to a Multiple or Single Subject credential)
– Specific Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science (can only be added to a Single Subject credential)
See pages 2-3 in http://bit.ly/2ki3ldR for information about the content areas of study required for the two levels.
2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption: 120 Educators and Scientists Appointed as Reviewers
At its November meeting, the State Board of Education (SBE) appointed 120 California educators to serve as advisors to the SBE and Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) for the 2018 Science Instructional Materials Adoption (grades K-8). Of those selected from the original pool of 177 applicants, 109 were approved as Instructional Materials Reviewers (primarily classroom teachers) and 11 as Content Review Experts (all CREs hold doctorates in science or a related discipline).
The SBE also approved members of the IQC and California Department of Education (CDE) staff to train reviewers in Sacramento on April 16-20, 2018. Following this training, reviewers will independently review the materials and then reconvene in panels on July 16-20.
More information–including tables containing the names, positions, and employers of the reviewers–can be found at http://bit.ly/SBE-SIMA
Collaborative White Paper: Priority Features of NGSS Aligned Instructional Materials
During the public comment period for Agenda Items 9-14 at the November State Board of Education meeting, California Science Teacher Association (CSTA) president Jill Grace addressed the Board regarding Item 12: “CSTA provides the white paper, Priority Features of NGSS Aligned Instructional Materials, with the intent that this be used as a resource for both IQC members and CDE staff who will be engaged in training of the appointed reviewers. This is intended to be a resource to aid in the selection of the highest possible quality instructional materials to support implementation [of the California NGSS]. This should be used to enhance, not usurp, the guidance in our state Framework…”
This document was a collaborative effort among the state science teachers associations of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The presidents of these organizations met at the National Congress on Science Education this summer and “agreed to collaborate on a white paper with the goal of making clear to publishers, reviewers and educators what science teachers need with respect to curriculum materials” (http://bit.ly/2Bc2DKa).
CSTA notes that “this is the first time our states have collaborated to convey a common vision on an issue of great importance for the implementation of the NGSS.” For more information and to download the white paper, visit http://bit.ly/NGSS-WP
To view this paper together with CSTA’s letter to the State Board regarding Agenda Item 12, visit http://bit.ly/NSTA-IM-letter
California Science Test Blueprint Approved by State Board of Education
The State Board of Education approved the draft California Science Test (CAST) Blueprint at the Board’s November meeting (Agenda Item 7). Also approved were the general achievement level descriptors and score reporting structure for the CAST.
The CAST is part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System. The Pilot Test was administered in Spring 2017, and the Field Test will be administered in Spring 2018. Spring 2019 will be the first operational administration of the CAST.
The Introduction to the approved Blueprint contains an informative overview of the CAST (emphasis added below):
The CAST measures the full range of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS) and is administered to students in grades five and eight and once in high school (i.e., grade ten, eleven, or twelve).
The CAST blueprint documents how test forms for the CAST will be assembled, including rules for the assessment of the CA NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) and the integration of the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs). The CA NGSS are referred to as “three dimensional” (3D) because of the interrelationships of the DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs. The CAST is designed to reflect a commitment to the 3D approach in both the writing of test items, each of which is aligned to at least two of the three dimensions, and in the assembly of test forms…
The test includes three science content domains (Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Earth and Space Sciences) and one engineering domain (Engineering, Technology, and Application of Science). For scoring and reporting purposes, each of the three science content domains will constitute one third of the test (items written to assess PEs associated with Engineering, Technology, and Application of Science will be assigned to one of the three science content domains, depending upon the context of the stimulus).
The CAST is an untimed test (meaning that students should be allowed as much time as they need to complete it), and it is expected to take approximately two hours to administer all three segments… (For more information, visit http://bit.ly/CAST_Blueprint)
Commission Sets Passing Score Standards for Science Examinations (CSET)
At the October 2017 meeting of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), the passing score standards for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) Science-Related Examinations (CSET: Multiple Subject Subtest II and CSET: Science) were approved. The tests had been revised over the past year to include content revisions and new constructed-response tasks in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The names of two of the tests were modified: Biology/Life Science à Life Sciences; Earth and Planetary ScienceàEarth and Space Sciences (http://bit.ly/CTC-CSET_Science17).
As a result of the standard-setting, test scores were sent on November 17 to those who took the revised tests beginning 7 August 2017. For more information regarding the CSETs and other state tests, visit CTC’s new exams website portal at http://ctcexams.nesinc.com
Scorers Sought for the CSET and CBEST
Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s examinations contractor, is seeking educators who meet specified qualifications to serve as scorers for the CSET and the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). Scoring sessions ranging from one to four days are held year-round at Pearson’s Sacramento office. For more information about the tests and scorer qualifications, as well as to apply to serve as a scorer, please contact Geri Roubos at email@example.com or Carol Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Online CSET Courses/Workshops for Single Subject Mathematics and Science
This spring, the Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) at Fresno State (http://bit.ly/MSTI-Fresno) will again offer free, interactive, online reviews of the content assessed on the Single Subject science and mathematics CSET subtests in partnership with StudentNest.com. Archived presentations are available for all participants. Information can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/MSTI-CSET-Spring2018
Green Ribbon Schools Leadership Areas–Sustainability, Health/Wellness, and STEM
In its November 24 newsletter, the U.S. Department of Education invited nominations (schools, school districts, and/or postsecondary institutions) for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition for 2018 (see http://bit.ly/ED-GreenRibbon). According to the article, “nominees must demonstrate leadership in three broad areas: (1) reducing environmental impact and costs, (2) improving health and wellness, and (3) teaching environmental/sustainability education, including an emphasis on hands-on, place- and project-based learning; service learning; and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Each year, honorees are invited to Washington, D.C., for a ceremony to celebrate their success and share best practices.”
Highlights from the 2017 honorees (including 5 schools/districts in California) are included in this report: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/highlights-2017.pdf
Award applicants from California should visit http://bit.ly/CA-GRSA The application is due on 12 January 2018.
Newspapers in Education Programs Offer Resources Free of Charge to Teachers
Newspapers in Education (NIE) programs are effective ways to bring current STEM-related news and information into PK-12 classrooms. Newspapers throughout the nation offer this free service, which often includes a collection of useful online resources such as online lessons in addition to 24/7 access to a selected newspaper each semester.
In California, sample NIE websites include the following:
Supporting Student Success is Theme of California State University Graduation Initiative Symposium
California State University (CSU) campuses are focused on developing and implementing plans to support student success as part of the system’s Graduation Initiative 2025, an “ambitious initiative to increase graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps” (http://bit.ly/CSUGradInitiative2025).
On October 11-12, the CSU sponsored a symposium focused on evidence-based strategies to support student success. Archived video files are available at http://bit.ly/GI2025S Presentation files are available at http://bit.ly/SSS17Materials Among the presentations are “Let Icarus Fly: Multiple Measures in Assessment and the Reimagination of Student Capacity” and “Proven Pedagogical Strategies for Academic Success: Math and Science.”
Update on Policy Changes and Professional Development Opportunities by California State University Designed to Improve Student Graduation Rates, With an Emphasis on Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
Vince Stewart, Executive Director of the California STEM Network, hosted a conference call on November 21 for Network members during which Zee Cline and Nathan Evans of the CSU Chancellor’s Office (CO) provided an overview and update of Executive Order (EO) 1100 (“CSU General Education Breadth Requirements”; http://bit.ly/CSU-EO1100) and EO 1110 (“Assessment of Academic Preparation and Placement in First-Year General Education Written Communication and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Courses”; http://bit.ly/CSU-EO1110). Aspects of the Quantitative Reasoning Task Force (QRTF) report (http://bit.ly/QRTF-1Sept2017) were also addressed, including the recommendation to “improve access to quantitative reasoning classes relevant to a student’s major, interests and career; and raise the CSU system-wide expectation for quantitative reasoning in high school from three to four years of coursework.”
This conference call was the latest in a number of outreach efforts by the CSU Chancellor’s Office to share information and field questions about policy changes related to the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025
In opening the conversation, Evans drew attention to four documents:
– FAQ for EO 1100: http://bit.ly/EO1100-FAQ
– FAQ for EO 1110: http://bit.ly/EO1110FAQ-Aug17
– Research findings on the impact of the Early Assessment Program (EAP) and Early Start Program (ESP) (http://bit.ly/CSU-BOT-Mar17; Agenda Item 3—last 10 pages of document)
– “Academic Preparation & General Education Policy Updates”
The latter document includes a link to a webpage on “Executive Orders 1100 and 1110 Policy Changes”: http://bit.ly/1100-1110-PolicyChanges This webpage contains links to the EO FAQs, presentation slides and archived webcast from the informational webinar held by the CSU Chancellor’s Office on September 29, and summaries of the feedback/questions received from those consulted regarding the EOs. Also included on this page is a link to mathematics/quantitative reasoning-specific FAQ related to EO 1100: http://bit.ly/EO1100MathFAQ
COMET readers who are interested in learning more about policy implications of Executive Orders 1100 and 1110 may wish to (a) watch the archived Student Success Policy Summary and Q&A webinar held on September 29, (b) view the related slides, and (c) read the updated FAQ for EO 1100 and 1110 (based on the questions received during the webinar):
– Webinar: http://bit.ly/2jjLZkw
– Compilation of Webcast Resources: http://calstate.edu/app/policywebcast/
– Presentation Slides: http://bit.ly/2BRQNRP
– Math/Quantitative Reasoning Website: http://calstate.edu/app/mathqr/
– FAQ for both EO 1100 and 1110: http://calstate.edu/app/documents/eo-1100-1110-faq.pdf
In addition to these policy changes, Cline emphasizes that faculty professional learning and curricular modifications are vital components in supporting student success and degree completion (c.f., http://bit.ly/2kfP3us). During the November 21 webinar, Cline shared more information about the webinars and meetings held to date (see http://bit.ly/2iL1duQ for a list and links to archived webcasts). Currently-planned professional development opportunities in Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning are available at http://bit.ly/2AqiYLk. A workshop on November 16-17 was facilitated by the University of Texas at Austin Dana Center and featured examples of co-requisite mathematics approaches. Mathematics faculty who participated worked on revising syllabi for courses in college algebra, statistics, quantitative reasoning, and pre-calculus/calculus courses.
Cline stated that the CSU Center for the Advancement of Instruction in Quantitative Reasoning, which she co-directs, co-facilitated the November workshop and will be convening a meeting of the directors of the California Mathematics Readiness Challenge Initiative (CMRCI) grants this month. The CMRCI provided funds to five sites to “provide in-depth professional learning opportunities in mathematics for collaborative teams of secondary mathematics educators, their school-site administrator, and faculty from their partner institution(s) of higher education to support the implementation and evaluation of grade 12 experiences that are designed to prepare pupils for placement into college-level courses in mathematics” (see https://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ps/itqsahe.asp). Cline said that she plans to meet with the CISC Mathematics Subcommittee (http://ccsesa.org/committees/cisc/slcl-subcommittee-leads-co-leads/math/) and facilitate opportunities for county offices of education to work with the teams who have developed the CMRCI courses. A broader priority is to support effective and timely communication between the CSU and county offices of education.
Two FAQs from http://calstate.edu/app/documents/eo-1100-1110-faq.pdf that may be of interest are the following:
- Under the new executive order, what will be the CSU policy on the assessment and placement of first-year students?
Executive Order 1110 calls for the broadest utilization of multiple measures in assessing academic readiness and determining course placement for first-year students [on CSU campuses]. Measures may include high school English and mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses completed and grades earned; high school grade point averages; grades in collegiate courses; ACT, SAT and/or SAT subject test scores; Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores; or Smarter Balanced Assessment/Early Assessment Program scores…. High school grades, when used as one of multiple measures, are shown to be a stronger predictor of how likely students are to achieve course outcomes over an academic term if given the opportunity.
- Why are changes to high school quantitative reasoning requirements not included in Executive Order 1110?
Although the CSU promotes four years of high school mathematics/quantitative reasoning, any changes to high school requirements for admission consideration call for coordination with the University of California and the California Department of Education and would culminate in a change to California Administrative Code (Title 5). Therefore, it would be presumptive and not appropriate to include it in the executive order. The CSU admission criteria have not changed. Although the CSU encourages high school students to take four years of mathematics/quantitative reasoning, the a-g requirements have not changed. [See page 20 of the QRTF report for the recommendation of a senior year of mathematics/quantitative reasoning: http://bit.ly/QRTF-1Sept2017]
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns pertaining to the executive orders or related mathematics/quantitative reasoning policies/efforts in the CSU system, you are invited to direct them to Zee Cline at email@example.com
New Website for the California Mathematics Project and COMET
The California Mathematics Project (CMP) unveiled its new website last month. Please note that while the main URL for the CMP is still the same (http://www.cmpso.org), COMET’s URL is now https://cmpso.org/comet/. All archives from 2000-2017 are included, as well as a search feature for the archives.
ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)
International Space Station: Notifications for Viewing Opportunities
NASA’s website contains a feature that displays upcoming dates, times, and locations of the International Space Station (ISS) when it is visible from a given city. You can also register to receive “Spot the Station” alerts (email or text message) when the ISS is flying overhead. Visit http://bit.ly/SpotSpaceStation for details.
For more ISS-related news (research, podcasts, crew information, pictures of California wildfires, etc.), visit http://bit.ly/ISS-MainPage
Solar System Ambassador: “Volunteers Bringing the Solar System to the Public”
“The Solar System Ambassadors program is a public engagement effort that works with motivated volunteers across the nation to communicate the science and excitement of NASA’s space exploration missions and discoveries to the people in their communities. We engage the nation in NASA’s missions.
“To arrange for a Solar System Ambassador event, visit the Directory, select your state or territory and review the Ambassadors’ biographies and previous events. Then click the link to contact an Ambassador directly by email. Ambassadors can also be found via last name.”
Visit this page to view a list of Ambassadors in California: http://bit.ly/NASA_Ambassadors_CA
“The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers”
In October, a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) press release announced that there was growing evidence for the existence of a ninth planet (http://bit.ly/PlanetNine10-4-17). The CalTech scientists who have been studying “Planet Nine” were profiled on The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers, which is “an Emmy-nominated web series and website from PBS’s NOVA. This is where you can learn about cutting-edge science and engineering, the amazing people who do that work, and the things they do when their lab coats come off–win beauty pageants, wrestle professionally, become rock stars and magicians, etc.”
Visit http://bit.ly/SecretLives1 to see photos and vocations/avocations of the wide variety of individuals interviewed (visit http://bit.ly/SecretLivesTopics to peruse by topic).
NOVA also recognizes a video web series called “What the Physics?!” (explorations of surprising or interesting topics in physics) and other physics videos produced by Greg Kestin. These are available at http://bit.ly/WhatThePhysics
White House Directs the Department of Education to Support High-Quality STEM Education, With a Particular Focus on Computer Science
…Recognizing the importance of expanding access to high-quality STEM and Computer Science education, particularly among historically underserved groups, this Presidential Memorandum directs the Secretary of Education [(Betsy DeVos)] to:
– Establish high-quality STEM education, with a particular focus on Computer Science, as one of the Department of Education’s priorities.
– Establish a goal of devoting at least $200 million per year in grant funds towards this priority.
– Explore administrative actions that will add or increase focus on Computer Science in existing K-12 and post-secondary programs.
Internet Association Members & Other Businesses, Individuals Commit More Than $300 Million to K-12 Computer Science Education Programs
The Horizon Report: 2017 K-12 Edition (Focus on Emerging Technologies for Gr. K-12)
“The NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K–12 Edition examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in schools…Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six developments in educational technology profiled in this report are poised to impact teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in K-12 education. The three sections of this report constitute a reference and technology planning guide for educators, school education leaders, administrators, policymakers, and technologists.” COMET readers are encouraged to peruse this report, available in its entirety at http://bit.ly/HorizonReport2017
Cracking the Code: The Next Generation of Women in STEM
“What drives a six year old girl’s belief that she may not be as smart as the boys, and what can be done to break that debilitating pattern? What role can games–from blocks to video and storytelling–play in instilling confidence in growing minds? Why are some computer science programs attracting and graduating far greater numbers of women than others?…
“In this Atlantic forum, we brought together educators, thought leaders, students and creators re-thinking from the ground up what it means to raise and become a woman in STEM.”
Full session videos from the Forum can be watched online at http://bit.ly/TheAtln-CrackingTheCode
“7 Ways to Get More Girls and Women into STEM (and Encourage Them to Stay)” by Dian Schaffhauser – 2 October 2017
Source: Campus Technology
This article provides an overview of topics discussed at the Cracking the Code Forum.
Call for Papers: Inaugural Issue of the Journal of Computer Science Integration [in K-12 Education]
The Journal of Computer Science Integration invites the submission of manuscripts which inform the integration of computer science, formally or informally, in K-12 education. Empirical studies examining innovative curriculum and/or pedagogical approaches to transforming K-12 computer science education into a more effective pipeline into STEM careers are of particular interest.
For more information on this open access, peer-reviewed journal, visit https://inspire.redlands.edu/jcsi/
STEM for All Video Showcase
Joni Falk shared the following: “If you are engaged in a federally-funded project to improve STEM and computer science education, we invite you to submit a video to the [STEM for All Video] Showcase and discuss it with researchers, practitioners, policy makers and the general public during an interactive week long event. We invite videos that address any of the following:
– Partnerships that advance education
– Broadening participation and access to high quality STEM experiences
– Innovative practices transforming education
– Research informing STEM learning and teaching
Register to be a Presenter: January 15 – February 15, 2018
Video Submission Deadline: April 25, 2018
Interactive Event (to which all are invited): May 14 – 21, 2018
“If you are not intending to present a video this year, please also save the dates anyway! We invite your participation viewing the videos, discussing them with presenters and voting for your favorites.”
For more information and to sign up for updates, visit http://bit.ly/STEM4All-VideoShowcase
* Note: Last year’s online video showcase attracted tens of thousands of participants. It allowed presenters to learn about the current work being conducted by colleagues funded in different programs at NSF and beyond. View these videos here (searchable by area, such as mathematics): http://bit.ly/VideoShowcase2017
“U.S. Ranks No. 13 in New Collaborative Problem-solving Test” by Jill Barshay
Source: Hechinger Report – 27 November 2017
COMET readers are also encouraged to watch the video about the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) 2015 Collaborative Problem Solving results: http://bit.ly/PISA2015ResultsVideo (A podcast is also available at http://bit.ly/PISA15-CPS-Podcast)
Repeal of High School Exit Exam (AB 830)
This bill officially eliminated the high school exit examination (English language arts and mathematics) and “removed it as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation or a condition of graduation from high school.”
“’Sustainable Robots’ Face Off at the World Robotic Olympiad” by Debbie Ponchner
Source: Scientific American – 18 November 2017
2,500 youngsters from 66 countries brought to Costa Rica robots designed to solve sustainability challenges…
“STEM on Wheels: Bringing Inspiration, Innovation and Creativity to Students” by Angie Marcos
CSU Dominguez Hills’s four new mobile Fab Labs are making science relevant and fun for students of all ages–and delivering unique STEM experiences straight to local classrooms…
Call for Papers: 15th International Conference–The Mathematics Education for the Future Project (Ireland, 4-9 August 2019)
The PNC Christmas Price Index – Lessons on Economic Trends in the Price of the “12 Days of Christmas” Gifts