- 1 ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)
- 1.1 (1) Print Version of the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools Now Available
- 1.2 (2) Upcoming Mathematics, Science, and Technology Conferences for Educators
- 1.3 (3) Free Webinar: “Developing Effective and Engaging Practice in STEM via University-Community Collaborations”
- 1.4 (4) California Educators in Science and Special Education Needed for Development of Assessment Items
- 1.5 (5) New High School Esports League in Orange County Aims to Help Prepare Students for STEM Careers
- 1.6 (6) Annual Report on Passing Rates of State Teaching Credentialing Tests
- 1.7 (7) CTC Discussion: Bridging Career Technical Education and Single Subject Credentials
- 2 ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)
- 2.1 (1) President Trump’s 2019 Budget Plan Includes Support for STEM and Career Technical Education but Recommends Eliminating Some Popular Education Programs
- 2.2 (2) Engineers Week Seeks to Inform and Inspire Students to Explore Engineering
- 2.3 (3) International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11)
- 2.4 (4) “Schools are Teaching 10 Million Girls to Code; Gender Equality is a Real Possibility” by Hadi Partovi
- 2.5 (6) Call for Proposals — Computer Science for All: Researcher Practitioner Partnerships
- 2.6 (7) “7 facts about the STEM workforce” by Nikki Graf, Richard Fry, and Cary Funk
- 2.7 (8) Countries with Greater Gender Equality have a Lower Percentage of Female STEM Graduates
- 2.8 (9) Mathematics Classroom Observation Protocol for Practices
- 3 STEM SNIPPETS
- 3.0.1 (1) 2018 Educational Calendar of Events
- 3.0.2 (2) 10 Big Insights on Teaching, Learning, and STEM Education: 100Kin10’s Trends Report for 2017
- 3.0.3 (3) NSF’s 10 Big Ideas
- 3.0.4 (4) “Students 3-D Print Their Math Homework” by Allison Mills
- 3.0.5 (5) “STEM, STEAM, and the Education in Between” by Sarah Woodhead
- 3.0.6 (6) “Tools Harvard Computer Science Students Use to Collaborate, Stay Organized” by Katrina Schwartz
- 3.0.7 (7) “It’s a Big World out There’: Teachers Take Math Outside the Classroom” by Carolyn Jones
ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)
(1) Print Version of the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools Now Available
The publications office of the California Department of Education, CDE Press, produces a number of useful resources for teachers, administrators, and parents. The Educational Resources Catalog, available athttp://bit.ly/CDE_ERCatalog, includes links to these resources.
Several print publications that may be of interest to COMET readers are the following:
- A Look at K-6 in California Public Schools: Transitioning to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics:http://bit.ly/Tr_ELA-M
- Executive Summary: Mathematics Framework:http://bit.ly/ExecSummMFr; also available online at http://bit.ly/MathFrmwkExecSumm
- Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools:http://bit.ly/NGSS-CA-hc; published on 25 January 2018.
(2) Upcoming Mathematics, Science, and Technology Conferences for Educators
- Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE)
Next year’s AMTE’s conference will be held on February 7-9 in Orlando, FL. Updates regarding AMTE’s Standards for Preparing Teachers of Mathematics were provided at AMTE’s 2018 conference last weekend in Houston and also at the recent California State University Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (CSU MTE-P) meeting in Long Beach. Visit https://amte.net/standards to learn more about these standards.
- California Mathematics Council (CMC) Central 2018 Symposium
This year’s symposium will be held on March 9-10 at the Tulare County Office of Education in Visalia. Visit http://cmc-math.org/cmccentral for details.
- CMC North Conference – 2018
This conference will be held on November 30-December 2 at Asilomar in Pacific Grove. If you wish to give a presentation, please see the invitation letter at http://bit.ly/CMCN18-Pres (proposal deadline:May 1).
- CMC South Conference
The 2018 CMC South conference will be held in Palm Springs on November 2-3. The speaker proposal portal (http://bit.ly/CMCS18-Spkr) opened today and will accept proposals until March 31. More information will be available on http://www.cmc-south.org/conference.html Currently on this webpage is a link to the CMC South 2017 conference agenda, which includes links to speaker handouts and presentation files: http://bit.ly/CMCS17Sessions
- California Science Teachers Association
The 2018 California Science Education Conference will be held in Pasadena on November 30-December 2. Proposals to speak at this conference are being accepted at http://bit.ly/cascience18sp
- California STEAM Symposium
The 2018 STEAM Symposium will be held in Long Beach on October 28-29. More information will be available here: https://www.stemcalifornia.org/ Note: Collaboration in Common (https://collaborationincommon.org/) has collected and made available over 100 presentations from the 2017 STEAM Symposium. These are available at http://bit.ly/CIC-STEAM17 (Click on the first slide of a presentation of interest, and scroll through the rest of the slides in the presentation.)
- Computer Using Educators (CUE)
CUE’s Spring 2018 conference will be held in Palm Springs on March 14-17: http://spring.cue.org/ Note: For a limited time, you can join CUE free of charge! For more information about CUE, visithttp://bit.ly/JoinCUEfree or http://www.cue.org/
- International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
ISTE’s 2018 conference will be held in Chicago on June 24-27: https://conference.iste.org/2018/
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
The 2018 NCTM annual conference will be held on April 25-29 in Washington, D.C. This conference is preceded by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics’ conference on April 23-25 in Washington—see http://bit.ly/NCSM18DC Note: The 2019 NCTM conference will be held on April 3-6 in San Diego. Visit http://www.nctm.org/conferencespd/ to learn more.
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Visit http://www.nsta.org/conferences/ to view a list of NSTA-sponsored conferences and other events. This year’s conference will be held on March 14-15 in Atlanta, GA. (Note: The 2019 STEM Forum and Expo will be held in San Francisco on July 24-26.)
- TODOS: Mathematics for All
The TODOS: Mathematics for All 2018 conference will be held in Scottsdale, AZ, on June 21-23. The theme is “It’s ALL about ALL Students Learning Quality Mathematics: Advocating for Equity and Social Justice.” A preconference, Leading for Social Justice in Mathematics Education, will be held on June 21. For more information, visit www.todos-math.org and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
(3) Free Webinar: “Developing Effective and Engaging Practice in STEM via University-Community Collaborations”
On February 23 from 9:30-11:00 a.m., science education faculty from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) join with representatives of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Long Beach, the California Science Center, and the Columbia Memorial Space Center to present a free webinar entitled “Developing Effective and Engaging Practice in STEM via University-Community Collaborations.”
Chaired by CSULB science educator Jim Kisiel, the discussion will focus on the Developing Effective and Engaging Practices (DEEP) project, which was designed to explore new ways to provide pre-service teachers with opportunities to engage youth in STEM learning.
Visit www.csulb.edu/scied/deep for more information and to register for this webinar.
(4) California Educators in Science and Special Education Needed for Development of Assessment Items
Source: CAASPP Update – 7 February 2018
The California Department of Education is seeking the assistance of California educators with experience in science and special education for the continuing development of assessment items for the California Alternate Assessment (CAA) for Science. The Item Review Workshop will take place on May 15-17 in Sacramento. Participants will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on performance tasks for the 2019 field test of the CAA for Science. For further information about this and other future item writing/review opportunities, please complete the online application available at http://bit.ly/ETS-CR-App
(5) New High School Esports League in Orange County Aims to Help Prepare Students for STEM Careers
Esports is a fast-growing pastime, with millions viewing live-streamed competitive video games on Twitch (www.twitch.tv/). Now esports is being used in the academic arena, with the new Orange County High School Esports League attracting 38 teams from 25 local high schools.
“The idea for the Esports League came from key STEM educators who said, ‘If kids are spending this much time on games outside of school, what could be accomplished if we connect academic content with their gameplay?’” said Al Mijares, Superintendent of the Orange County Department of Education. “It’s an incredible opportunity to build on existing interest while introducing them to 21st-century skills and careers.”
The inaugural season features Riot Games’ popular League of Legends. Competition began last week and will conclude with the finals in April, which will be played at the Santa Ana Esports Arena. All matches are streamed live on Twitch.tv.
Educational elements are incorporated through weekly team meetings and practices. Weekend workshops offer deep-dives into specific STEM and social emotional elements. These workshops are open to all students regardless of their own or their school’s participation in the High School League. Workshop instructors range from high school teachers and professors at UC Irvine to college esports program directors to highly ranked League of Legends players and a personal athletic trainer.
Constance Steinkuehler, professor of informatics at UC Irvine, is leading curriculum development and related research. She said, “The League has been carefully constructed with an academic framework incorporating STEM, ELA, and social emotional learning, as well as Career Technical Education. It’s relevant, forward leaning, and tied to future careers both inside and outside the tech industry.”
“Online platforms like esports are the new social gathering places for kids,” said Gerald Solomon, executive director of the Samueli Foundation, which is supporting this season of the Orange County High School Esports League, as well as the associated research and curriculum development. “We believe the platform can be leveraged for an even greater benefit, to help them grow their STEM interests and develop valued skills that will be needed for success in the future workforce.”
Learn more at www.ochighschoolesports.org
(a) Kennedy Center Expo Showcases Educational Games
On January 8, the 5th annual Department of Education (ED) Games Expo was held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. The event was a collaborative effort between ED’s Institute of Education Sciences and the Kennedy Center’s Education team. The event showcased more than 100 learning games for ages 5-18. Most were developed with funding from 17 different government programs within and outside ED. The games covered topics across STEM, reading, social studies, and social development. Many incorporated emerging technologies (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality, and maker spaces with 3D printing stations), as well as engaging approaches to learning, such as narrative adventures and puzzle games.
Visit the website above to read more and to access links to sample projects using emerging technologies. Also visit http://bit.ly/ED-GamesVR for links to the 11 virtual reality exhibits at the expo. Additional games and technologies showcased at the event can be found here: https://ies.ed.gov/sbir/EdGamesExpo.asp
(6) Annual Report on Passing Rates of State Teaching Credentialing Tests
At last Friday’s meeting of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), first-time passing rates, cumulative passing rates (examinees who eventually passed), and other figures regarding Commission-approved teacher credentialing exams (e.g., CBEST, CSET, RICA) were shared.
In the report (located at http://bit.ly/PassRates-CTC18), Table 12 contains the annual and cumulative passing rates for the first two CSET: Mathematics and CSET: Science subtests (leading to a Foundational-Level Credential) for the years 2003-2017. The most recent (September 2016-July 2017) passing rate for the first two mathematics subtests was 45.2%; the passing rate for the first two science subtests was 59.8%.
Consultant Mike Taylor pointed out Table 14, which contains the annual and cumulative passing rates for CSET: Mathematics, with the figures separated by number of self-reported semester credit hours of mathematics that test takers had earned as undergraduates. The cumulative passing rates for those who reported 24 or fewer credit hours of mathematics was 58.0%. For those who reported 25 or more semester hours, the passing rate was 70.1%.
For 2012-2017, the overall first-time CBEST-Mathematics passing rate was 78.9 percent, and the overall cumulative CBEST-Mathematics passing rate was 86.0 percent.
For more information, including the demographics of test-takers, please visit http://bit.ly/PassRates-CTC18
Reminder: The Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative’s free online mathematics content review for CSET: Mathematics Subtest II began this week. Visit http://bit.ly/MSTI-CSET-Spring2018 for the workshop dates, times, and registration information.
(7) CTC Discussion: Bridging Career Technical Education and Single Subject Credentials
At the February 8 meeting of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), Professional Services Division consultants Bob Loux and Jake Shuler presented an information item in which they provided “an update on staff conversations with stakeholders regarding credentialing in the area of Career Technical Education (CTE).”
The state currently has a critical shortage of teachers holding a CTE credential, which requires a legislated number of hours of industry experience, but does not require a bachelor’s degree or a Multiple or Single Subject teaching credential. In addition to the CTE teacher shortage challenge, there is sometimes a course assignment problem for those who do hold a CTE credential. For example, “CTE credential holders teaching a mathematics-credit bearing course who do not hold an authorization in mathematics would be considered misassigned, even if that course is offered in a CTE program.” The development of possible pathways to bridge the CTE credential and the Single Subject credential has been an important area of discussion among staff and CTE stakeholders for over a year.
Loux and Shuler reviewed the four recommendations that were presented to the Commission last February. Among the recommendations discussed were the following:
1B: “Allow a CTE teacher who has a job offer as a single subject teacher and has completed all prerequisites to be an intern (bachelor’s, basic skills, subject matter verification and fingerprint clearance) to begin teaching in that subject area. The teacher could earn the preliminary single subject credential through the Intern Early Completion Option (ECO). In an Intern ECO, if the candidate passes the TPA on the first attempt they would not be required to complete any of the other teacher preparation course work.”
- “Institutions could be encouraged to offer the CTE Foundations course to their current Single Subject credential candidates, which would enable the Single Subject candidates that had the required industry experience to be eligible for their Preliminary CTE credential and understand how CTE fits into the high school curriculum.”
It was noted that these recommendations could be “readily implemented by the Commission,” if it chose to do so.
An additional option was recommended for consideration:
“The Commission could develop a CTE Added Authorization which could be added to a general education teaching credential based on a minimum of 500 hours of industry experience. While the teacher holds the authorization, he or she would be required to complete the CTE Foundations course and accrue an additional 500 hours of industry experience within two or three years. In addition, each teacher would need to be aware of the safety requirements for the industry sector prior to starting in the classroom. To address concerns about adequate experience in the industry sector, an individual holding the Added Authorization would be limited to teaching the introductory or exploratory courses in CTE Pathways but not a capstone CTE course. The capstone course could only be taught by a teacher with a full CTE credential. A teacher could continue to teach on the CTE Added Authorization or, if the individual accrued sufficient hours of industry experience, he or she could apply for the full CTE credential.”
Commission Chair Linda Darling-Hammond spoke at some length regarding the recommendations and the challenge of determining how best to structure credential requirements to prepare instructors to equip students for current and especially future jobs, many of which require advanced technologies. A competency-based system was discussed in concept (vis-à-vis the currently required 3000 industry hours for the credential), as were short- and long-term solutions to the CTE credential shortage.
COMET readers who are interested in this topic are encouraged to watch the entire discussion on the archived video available at http://bit.ly/Feb82018CTC (approximately 4:26-5:33).
ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)
(1) President Trump’s 2019 Budget Plan Includes Support for STEM and Career Technical Education but Recommends Eliminating Some Popular Education Programs
President Trump released his Fiscal Year 2019 budget plan on Monday (12 February 2018). In his three-page “Letter to Congress” that prefaced the proposal, he wrote the following:
“The Budget takes important steps to expand opportunities for Americans to access affordable, employment-relevant education that puts them on the path to a well-paying job and, ultimately, a fulfilling career. The Budget promotes formal apprenticeships, an evidence-based system that allows individuals to ‘earn-while they learn.’ The Budget also makes important investments in …STEM education in K-12 schools, and supports career and technical education in high schools and postsecondary institutions” (p. 3)… In the main body of the budget proposal, more detail is provided:
Workforce: In today’s rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever to prepare workers to fill both existing and newly created jobs and to prepare workers for the jobs of the future. The U.S. education system must provide access to affordable and quality education and training that includes career and vocational tracks. The Budget supports reforms to programs that would help students graduate with the skills necessary to secure high-paying jobs in today’s workforce and contribute to the Nation’s robust economy. [p. 42]
Supports Career and Technical Education (CTE). As part of the Administration’s commitment to supporting the Nation’s workforce, the Budget maintains $1.1 billion in funding for CTE. This investment recognizes that students should have access to a full menu of postsecondary educational options including certificate programs, community colleges, and apprenticeships. At the secondary and postsecondary levels, CTE prepares students with the skills necessary to succeed in a broad array of careers and provides an alternate pathway to a traditional four-year degree. The Administration also looks forward to working with the Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Act. The Administration’s principles for Perkins reauthorization include ensuring that CTE programs prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields and other high-demand areas; promoting partnerships between schools, businesses, and other community organizations; and expanding access to apprenticeship and other work-based learning [p. 42]…
Promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education. Consistent with the 2017 Presidential Memorandum on STEM education, the Budget provides a path forward to direct at least $200 million to STEM education. [This would presumably provide increased funding for the Education Innovation and Research grant program: http://bit.ly/EdInRes] Supporting STEM education is imperative to better equip America’s young people with the relevant knowledge and skills that would enable them to secure high‑paying, stable jobs throughout their careers. As the role of technology grows in driving the American economy, many jobs will increasingly require skills in STEM. The Budget supports STEM education through a variety of programs including those that test and replicate what works in education and a new, $20 million grant program for STEM-focused career and technical education programs [p. 43].
There was a quotation on this page of the Budget Proposal that appeared in the Presidential Memorandum to the Secretary of Education on 25 September 2017:
“As part of my Administration’s commitment to supporting American workers and increasing economic growth and prosperity, it is critical that we educate and train our future workforce to compete and excel in lucrative and important STEM fields.” (To read the entire memorandum, “Increasing Access to High-Quality STEM Education,” please visit http://bit.ly/IncAccHQSTEM)
While STEM education is supported in the budget proposal, the following are examples of the approximately $3.6 billion in programs that are recommended for elimination from the Education Department budget (see http://bit.ly/BudgS-R18):
– 21st Century Community Learning Centers (“Enables communities to establish or expand centers that provide additional student learning opportunities through before- and after-school programs, and summer school programs, aimed at improving student academic outcomes” – page 22)
– Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants program (“Provides funding to school districts for activities that support well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students, and the effective use of technology” – page 32)
– Supporting Effective Instruction (SEI) State Grants (These are Title II State grants that primarily support teacher professional development – page 33)
– Four competitive grant programs intended to increase the number of effective teachers in K-12 schools: (1) Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED), (2) Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grants (TSLIG), (3) School Leader Recruitment and Support (SLRS), and (4) Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP).
On a related note, “the Budget proposes to terminate the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Office of Education, and prioritize NASA funding toward supporting an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners. The Office of Education provides grants to colleges and universities as well as informal education institutions such as museums and science centers” (page 91).
(a) “In Her Words: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Assesses a Year on the Job” by Erica L. Green
Source: The New York Times – 9 February 2018
The New York Times reports that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been granted permission to donate her salary to four charities, including Dreams Soar, “which supports girls in aviation and science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.” Each charity would receive approximately $50,000.
The article also provides “five takeaways from a question-and-answer session Ms. DeVos conducted with a group of reporters about her first year in office.” Below is one of the five:
“5. She plans to push experiential and personalized learning in K-12 and higher education this year. Ms. DeVos has already begun stumping for initiatives that would give students different pathways to the work force, a mission President Trump has thrown his weight behind in calling for more ‘vocational schools.’
“Ms. DeVos said too many students were being steered toward a traditional college degree.
‘I think personalized learning, competency, mastery, that’s a big shift from where education has been,’ she said. ‘But it’s absolutely where most of education has to go.’” Visit http://bit.ly/NYT-BDeVos0218 to read the article in its entirety.
(2) Engineers Week Seeks to Inform and Inspire Students to Explore Engineering
The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) launched Engineers Week (EWeek) in 1951. EWeek seeks to raise awareness of the field of engineering and contributions of engineers, as well as to stress the importance of a high level of STEM literacy among students of all ages. EWeek is being celebrated next week (February 18-24) throughout the nation.
DiscoverE is the umbrella organization that supports efforts of thousands of volunteers for a variety of engineering outreach efforts, including Engineers Week and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (22 February 2018). To learn more about these efforts and more, visit http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/engineers-week and http://www.discovere.org/our-programs/girl-day
In an informational video about EWeek 2018 (http://bit.ly/EWeekVideo18), female engineers discuss (a) the positive impact that even one hour of volunteer work in schools has on children’s perceptions of engineers and their desire to major in engineering, (b) how teachers can connect with engineers, (c) this year’s Engineers Week theme (Engineers: Inspiring Wonder), and (d) the various resources available on the http://discovere.org website.
These resources include online training videos such as “Bringing Engineering to Life in Middle School” and “Discover Engineering Careers” (created by engineering students), “How-to for Engineers Week for Educators” (visit http://www.discovere.org/online-training), as well as hundreds of activities searchable by lesson length, grade level, type, and more (see http://www.discovere.org/our-activities). Links to resources that address questions such as “What is engineering” and “What do engineers do?” can be found at http://www.discovere.org/discover-engineering.
For more information about EWeek and related outreach efforts, visit http://bit.ly/NEW-Feb18
(3) International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11)
URL (UN): http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/
URL (UNESCO): https://en.unesco.org/women-and-girls-in-science and
In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted a 15-year 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda) and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all” (http://bit.ly/UN-SustGoals).
Among the 17 Goals was gender equality, and two months after the adoption of the Agenda and Goals, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that established an annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science“ [on February 11] to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology communities” (http://bit.ly/2Eu1T18).
In a message delivered last Friday (http://bit.ly/2BtVlAV), Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) António Guterres stated, “Both girls and boys have the potential to pursue their ambitions in science and mathematics, in school and at work…We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators. Women and girls need this, and the world needs this, if we are to achieve our ambitions for sustainable development on a healthy planet…”
Guterres, who studies physics and electrical engineering in college, continued that “full and equal access to and participation in science, technology and innovation for women and girls of all ages is imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.”
Guterres stressed that it’s important to make “concerted, concrete efforts to overcome stereotypes and biases.” This was a theme reiterated in a joint statement by the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: “It is difficult for girls to believe in themselves as scientists, explorers, innovators, engineers and inventors when the images they see on social media, in textbooks and in advertising reflect narrow and limiting gender roles” (http://bit.ly/2F5SBJx).
(a) “Charts of the Week: Advancing Women and Girls in Science” by Chris McKenna
Source: Brookings Now – 9 February 2018
(b) Women in Science Interactive
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics (http://uis.unesco.org/)
Just 28% of researchers are women. Explore the data to see where they work and their fields of research in countries around the world. [Suggestions: Try to “Map View” in addition to the “Petri Dish” view, and try the “Breakdown by Field” and “Breakdown by Sector” tabs after selecting a country of interest.]
(c) Twitter Hashtag Links for International Day of Women and Girls in Science
(4) “Schools are Teaching 10 Million Girls to Code; Gender Equality is a Real Possibility” by Hadi Partovi
The following is part of a guest blog by Code.org founder/CEO Hadi Partovi for Education for Global Development (World Bank). To read the entire post, which includes statistics on the growing number and percentage of girls taking the AP Computer Science Exam and participating in Code.org’s Hour of Code), please visit http://bit.ly/2F5CgVi.
…For the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we celebrate the progress made towards reducing the gender gap in computer science, and we urge schools worldwide to help balance the scales in this critical 21st century subject.
As the founder of Code.org, I’m often asked whether every child needs to “code.” First of all, it’s critical to broaden the conversation to all of computer science, which includes not only coding, but also computational thinking, data science, machine learning, cyber security, networking, robotics, and many other areas of study. In the 21st century, a basic background in this subject is just as foundational as learning biology, chemistry, or math. Not every child will choose to study computer science, but they should all have the option to.
Computing occupations are the fastest-growing, best-paying, and now the largest sector of all new wages in the U.S., yet women comprise only 26 percent of the tech workforce, and under 20 percent of computer science students in the education pipeline. This trend is common in most developed countries. And regardless of the career opportunities, a student can benefit from learning how to design an algorithm, or how the Internet works, regardless of whether she wants to grow up to be a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher, a farmer, a scientist, or a coder…
(a) “Coding has no Gender” by Kate Kahle and Lauren Biron
Source: CERN – 9 February 2018
With 11 February marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, female physicists, engineers and computer scientists from CERN and from Fermilab share their experiences of building a career in science…
A few highlighted quotations from the interviewed women appear below:
– Evangelia Gousiou: “Nothing beats the rush you get when something that you designed works for the first time….“I would recommend engineering professions for their intellectual challenge and the empowerment that they bring…”
– Jeny Teheran: “What I love the most is to work with teams around the world.”
– Sofia Vallecorsa: “Technology is part of society, so learning computing can be empowering”
– Sima Baymani – “You can work all over the world, because programming is the same everywhere. If you value freedom and flexibility then programming is something for you – it’s really something that anyone can pursue if they want to.”
Please visit http://bit.ly/CERN-CodingNoGender to read more and to watch the short video interviews of these female scientists and engineers.
(5) Proven Strategies to Prepare Students for Computer Science Careers
Source: STEMConnector (https://www.stemconnector.com)
(6) Call for Proposals — Computer Science for All: Researcher Practitioner Partnerships
Source: National Science Foundation – 12 February 2018
The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued an updated Request for Proposals for its Computer Science for All Researcher Practitioner Partnership (CSforAll:RPP) program. “This program aims to provide all U.S. students the opportunity to participate in computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) education in their schools at the preK-12 levels. With this solicitation, NSF focuses on researcher-practitioner partnerships that foster the research and development needed to bring CS and CT to all schools. Specifically, this solicitation aims to provide high school teachers with the preparation, professional development (PD) and ongoing support that they need to teach rigorous computer science courses; preK-8 teachers with the instructional materials and preparation they need to integrate CS and CT into their teaching; and schools and districts the resources needed to define and evaluate multi-grade pathways in CS and CT.” Two dozen proposals are expected to be funded. For more information, visithttp://bit.ly/CSforAll-RPP
(7) “7 facts about the STEM workforce” by Nikki Graf, Richard Fry, and Cary Funk
Source: Pew Research Center – 9 January 2018
A new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data takes a broad-based look at the STEM workforce from 1990 to 2016 based on an analysis of adults ages 25 and older working in any of 74 occupations (http://pewrsr.ch/2Cmh7mJ). These include computer, math, engineering and architecture occupations, physical scientists, life scientists and health-related occupations such as health care practitioners and technicians… [Below are the first five of the 7 findings reported in this article. Visit http://pewrsr.ch/2oam6lB to learn more about these and other findings.]
- STEM workers enjoy a pay advantage compared with non-STEM workers with similar levels of education.
- While STEM workers tend to be highly educated, roughly a third have not completed a bachelor’s or higher-level degree.
- About half of workers with college training in a STEM field are working in a non-STEM job..Among workers ages 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree, one-in-three (33%) have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field of study. But only about half (52%) of these STEM-trained workers are employed in a STEM occupation. [A more fine-grained look at this data was then presented in the article:]
Among non-STEM occupations, management, business and finance jobs attract a substantial share of college graduates with STEM training (17%), particularly those who majored in engineering. Roughly a quarter (24%) of engineering majors are in a managerial, business or finance job.
Overall, among adults with a STEM college major, women are more likely than men to work in a STEM occupation (56% vs. 49%). This difference is driven mainly by college graduates with a health professions major (such as nursing or pharmacy), most of whom are women.
But, 38% of women and 53% of men with a college major in computers or computer science are employed in a computer occupation. And women with a college degree in engineering are less likely than men who majored in these fields to be working in an engineering job (24% vs. 30%). These differences in retention within a field of study for women in computer and engineering occupations are in keeping with other studies showing a “leaky pipeline” for women in STEM
- STEM training in college is associated with higher earnings, whether working in a STEM occupation or not.
- The share of women varies widely across STEM job type
Women comprise three-quarters of health care practitioners and technicians, the largest occupational cluster classified as STEM in this analysis, with 9.0 million workers – 6.7 million of whom are women.
And women’s gains since 1990 in the life sciences (up from 34% to 47%) have brought them roughly on par with their share in the total workforce (47%), a milestone reached in math occupations (46%) as well.
Women remain underrepresented in engineering (14%), computer (25%) and physical science (39%) occupations.
(8) Countries with Greater Gender Equality have a Lower Percentage of Female STEM Graduates
Source: ScienceDaily – 14 February 2018
This recent article summarizes the research contained in Gijsbert Stoet and David C. Geary’s article, “The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education,” published in Psychological Science (DOI: 10.1177/0956797617741719). Geary stated, “Although countries with greater gender equality tend to be those where women are actively encouraged to participate in STEM, they lose more girls from an academic STEM track who might otherwise choose it, based on their personal academic strengths. Broader economic factors appear to contribute to the higher participation of women in STEM in countries with low gender equality and the lower participation in gender-equal countries.” Access the links above for more details about this research.
(9) Mathematics Classroom Observation Protocol for Practices
Jim Gleason, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Alabama, and his coauthors Stefanie D. Livers (Missouri State University) and Jeremy Zelkowski (University of Alabama) developed the Mathematics Classroom Observation Protocol for Practices (MCOP^2), an instrument that is being used in K-16 mathematics classrooms “to measure the degree of alignment of the mathematics classroom with the various standards set out by the corresponding national organization that focus on conceptual understanding in the mathematics classroom” (e.g., Common Core State Standards in Mathematics: Standards for Mathematical Practice; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): Process Standards). Visit http://bit.ly/MCOP2-OP to view the instrument with protocol descriptors.
This week, an Appendix of Operationalized Terms was added to the observation protocol: http://bit.ly/MCOP2-OP-App
For more information about the instrument and its usage, please visit http://jgleason.people.ua.edu/mcop2.html
(1) 2018 Educational Calendar of Events
Source: California Department of Education
The master calendar for the California Department of Education is located at http://bit.ly/CDE-Cal18 It contains a great number of annotated events (e.g., for April 1, the notation is “The California Department of Education encourages you to recognize April as Mathematics Awareness Month”). As a side note, for today, the calendar includes the following: “California Education Code Section 37221: February 15,…known as ‘Susan B. Anthony Day’ on which day schools shall include exercises and instruction on the political and economic status of women in the United States and the contributions of Susan B. Anthony thereto.”
(2) 10 Big Insights on Teaching, Learning, and STEM Education: 100Kin10’s Trends Report for 2017
(3) NSF’s 10 Big Ideas
(4) “Students 3-D Print Their Math Homework” by Allison Mills
Source: Michigan Tech News – 10 January 2018
(5) “STEM, STEAM, and the Education in Between” by Sarah Woodhead
Source: Insights – DLR Group
In this interview, reporter Sarah Woodhead discusses the “state of STEM and what we can expect in the future” with STEMConnector’s Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Ted Wells. (For information on STEMConnector, visit https://www.stemconnector.com/)
(6) “Tools Harvard Computer Science Students Use to Collaborate, Stay Organized” by Katrina Schwartz
Source: MindShift – 10 December 2017
Teachers of all subjects and at all levels may find this collection of collaboration and productivity tools useful. Gradescope, Asana, Slack, PleaseBringIt, Slido, Piazza, ZipGrade, GoSoapbox, and other tools are discussed in the article.
(7) “It’s a Big World out There’: Teachers Take Math Outside the Classroom” by Carolyn Jones
Source: EdSource – 4 February 2018
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Carol Fry Bohlin, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator (M.A. in Education-C&I)
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