- 1 ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)
- 1.1 (1) State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond Elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction
- 1.2 (2) State Board of Education Approves K-8 Instructional Materials for K-8 Science
- 1.3 (3) Update on the Implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards
- 1.4 (4) Resources Available from the California Career Resource Network
- 1.5 (5) Spring 2019 Schedule Now Set for Free Online Courses and Workshops to Review CSET Mathematics and Science Content
- 1.6 (6) WestEd Seeks Middle School Mathematics Teachers in Northern and Central California for a Paid Professional Development Opportunity
- 1.7 (7) No-Cost Energy Education Program for TK-8 Educators
- 1.8 (8) California Public Libraries: A Plethora of Free Resources
- 1.9 (9) Woodside Middle Schooler Recipient of Top Award in Broadcom MASTERS Competition
- 2 ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)
- 2.2 (1) #MySTEMspark – NSF’s Social Media Campaign: Share Your STEM Story
- 2.3 (2) Schools Throughout the World Participate in an Hour of Code During Computer Science Education Week
- 2.3.1 (2a) Computer Science Education Week Kick-Off Event, Featuring Melinda Gates, Code.org CEO/Founder Havi Pavlovi, and Microsoft President Brad Smith
- 2.3.2 (2b) Meet Code Creators
- 2.3.3 (2c) “Dive into Computer Science with Hour of Code!”
- 2.3.4 (2d) Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian: Studying [Computer Science] is “the most valuable thing you can do for your career”
- 2.3.5 (2e) Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
- 2.3.6 (2f) 10,000 Teachers Take on Computer Science
- 2.4 (3) White House Releases Charting a Course for Success: A Federal Strategy for STEM Education
- 2.4.1 (3a) National Experts: Forming STEM Ecosystems is Top Priority
- 2.4.2 (3b) NSF, NASA Announce Commitments to Support White House Strategic Plan on STEM Education
- 2.4.3 (3c) America Will Win the Global Competition for STEM Talent
- 2.4.4 (3d) “Trump Emphasizes Workforce Training in New Vision for STEM Education”
- 2.5 (4) Meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier Nominated to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
- 2.6 (5) U.S. Department of Education Exceeds Administration Promise to Invest $200 Million in STEM Education
- 2.7 (6) English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives
- 2.8 (7) Girl Scouts of the USA Introduces 30 New Badges to Power Girl Leadership [in STEM]
- 2.9 (8) STEMup4Youth: A Girl Scout Revolutionizes STEM Education in Southern California
- 2.10 (9) Entries are Invited for the “We Are Mathematics” Video Competition
- 2.11 STEM SNIPPETS
- 2.12 (1) Teacher Training in Educational Neuroscience Supported by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
- 2.13 (2) NASA Education
- 2.14 (3) Nominate an Inspiring Mathematics or Science Teacher
- 2.15 (4) And Finally…The PNC Christmas Price Index – Lessons on Economic Trends in the Price of the “12 Days of Christmas” Gifts
ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (CALIFORNIA FOCUS)
(1) State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond Elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction
After an extremely close race for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) position, (http://bit.ly/SSPI-ElectionResults), Marshall Tuck conceded victory to California State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond on November 17. (See http://bit.ly/ThurmondWins and http://bit.ly/EdSource-ThurmondWins) Thurmond currently chairs the Select Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education: https://www.assembly.ca.gov/sciencetechnologyengineeringandmath
On November 20, Thurmond named the current Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, Lupita Cortez Alcalá, as his chief deputy superintendent (http://bit.ly/LupitaCortezAlcalá). If approved by the State Board of Education, she would become the first Latina to hold this position, and Assemblyman Thurmond will be the state’s first Latino to hold the SSPI position.
(2) State Board of Education Approves K-8 Instructional Materials for K-8 Science
At its November 8 meeting, the California State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve 29 of the 34 instructional materials programs submitted by publishers for the 2018 Science Adoption of K-8 Instructional Materials. These programs were recommended by the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and will be available after publishers have addressed the edits and corrections identified by the IQC and approved by the SBE. A list of these programs is contained on http://bit.ly/SciencePrograms18). For more documents and details, please visit https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/sc/im/ and also see this SBE agenda item (automatic .doc download): http://bit.ly/Item6SciInstMat
While these materials were determined to be in alignment with the California standards and framework, districts have the right to select materials that are not on the State Board adopted list if they determine that this would be in the best interest of their students and pedagogical needs.
(3) Update on the Implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards
URL (Agenda Item): http://bit.ly/Item7-NGSS-Impl (automatic .doc download)
Following approval of the science instructional materials at the 8 November 2018 State Board of Education meeting, Barbara Murchison, chair of the Educator Excellence and Equity Division at the California Department of Education (CDE), opened an update on the state’s Implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards. (COMET readers might find the video of this presentation of interest: http://bit.ly/Video-Item7 – Start-time: 05:48:03) Murchison noted that next spring, the first CAST (California Science Test) operational test would be administered, and the CAA (California Alternate Assessment) field test for science would be conducted.
Murchison noted that an important strategy for the CA NGSS Systems Implementation Plan was to “build coalitions to ensure a consistent message and to sustain momentum during CA NGSS implementation.” She identified three collaborative implementation efforts:
– CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative (2014-18; supported by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation)—See http://k12alliance.org/ca-ngss.php
– Statewide Science Collaboration Committee and Communities of Practice (statewide group of science leaders to design professional learning for educators within each of the 11 California County Superintendents Educational Services Association regions—see http://ccsesa.org/)
– The CA NGSS Collaborative (offers the 2-day CA NGSS Rollout Symposia; Rollout 5 will help districts decide the best instructional materials for their local context—see http://bit.ly/RevSciMat; in 2019, Rollout 6 will focus on the CA NGSS and environmental literacy).
Murchison then introduced the following five science education leaders who each gave a short presentation on their CA NGSS implementation work (challenges and ideas):
– Jill Grace: President, California Science Teachers Association and Regional Director, K–12 Alliance at WestEd
– Susheela Nath: Science Grant Project Director, Aspire Public Schools and Project Director, CA NGSS K–8 Early Implementation Initiative (http://k12alliance.org/ca-ngss.php)
– Debra Schneider: Director of Instructional Media Services and Curriculum, Tracy USD and Project Director, CA NGSS K–8 Early Implementation Initiative
– Marian Murphy-Shaw: Educational Services Director, Siskiyou COE
– Ramona Chang: Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Torrance USD
All speakers were quite excited about NGSS, expressing a newfound excitement about teaching science. There were challenges: it does take some time for teachers to make the necessary pedagogical shifts to implement NGSS, and it’s important to have a large and comprehensive plan for ongoing sustained support (and funding to support this plan). Despite the challenges, board members encouraged implementation leaders to focus on the highly positive aspects of NGSS.
Jill Grace described the upcoming toolkit for NGSS instructional material analysis that will be useful in helping districts work with teachers on curriculum development around NGSS. She discussed the underlying Theory of Change that guides the work, including building administrator and teacher leadership, changing teacher practice, increasing opportunities for student learning, and building a community of learners to share best practices locally, within the state, and nationally.
She also shared initial results from the NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative:
– Kids like learning science.
– NGSS helps students learn all subjects.
– NGSS helps teachers improve all instruction.
– Instruction with NGSS is doable, regardless of experience.
– Success requires professional learning for both teachers and administrators.
Debra Schneider discussed the strong support of the K-12 Alliance, including implementing lesson study and its positive impact on teaching and learning, extra support for middle school transition, and support for expanding efforts to high school.
Board member Bruce Holaday noted that “there are a lot of non-formal providers out there” and noted that the California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is very eager to partner with teachers of science (visit http://www.creec.org/). “I really hope that in the statewide implementation plan that there be sincere partnerships with non-formal providers.” He added, “I think it’s super important to emphasize to all teachers that it’s not just that students become more enthusiastic about learning other subjects because they were enthusiastic about science. It’s a fact that so many of the other standards through the other disciplines can be so easily and powerfully connected to work in NGSS and that this is not more work, but this is more effective work. That’s the paradigm shift, if you ask me, and that is something that I also think needs to be built into the vision and the plan.”
The Board’s student member, Gema Q. Cardenas, noted that she is excited and hopeful about the change in teaching science because her experience was simply science as memorization (e.g., the Periodic Table of the Elements). State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Tom Torlakson added that was so bored in his chemistry class (“It was all memorization. It wasn’t science.”) that he decided to become a science teacher to help change the way science was taught.
Torlakson said that CDE would support the gathering and dissemination of best practices from throughout the state for NGSS implementation. He also asked Murchison how the NGSS and environmental literacy goals are being connected. She replied that the science standards document explicitly shows the linkages between the science standards and the environmental principles and concepts. Some of the 2017 CREEC monies are being used to support CA NGSS Collaborative efforts to help educators understand how the science standards support helping students become environmentally literate. (Climate change and related negative impacts were topics raised at a number of times during the State Board meeting, particularly during the opportunity for General Public Comment. The initial day of this meeting occurred the day of the devastating Camp Fire in Butte County, which was referred to by Superintendent Torlakson in his closing remarks.)
Board member Karen Valdes stressed the importance of TOSAs (Teachers on Special Assignment) for teacher (and administrator) coaching and support for NGSS implementation–building teachers’ knowledge of content and management capacity. She also noted that the Common Core’s Mathematical Practices and the NGSS Practices are quite similar, so it’s important to show teachers the alignment and support integration.
Board member Trish Boyd Williams ended the discussion with an admonition for the next SSPI and governor to support funding for science instructional materials and professional learning. “California should be first in the nation in science.”
(4) Resources Available from the California Career Resource Network
During her comprehensive update on Career Technical Education in California at the September 7 State Board of Education meeting (http://bit.ly/CTE-Item10; video: http://bit.ly/CTE-SBE), Donna Wyatt (Director of the California Department of Education’s Career and College Transition Division–https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/di/or/scald.asp) shared the website of the California Career Resource Network (CalCRN) program: http://www.californiacareers.info/
This website contains Career and College Readiness Lesson Plans for students in grades 5-12, “teaching students to explore potential life and work goals, identify a broad range of careers and occupations, and build awareness of the array of postsecondary education and training options available to them.” Also included on this website is CalCRN’s free mobile app, Career Surfer (http://bit.ly/CareerSurfer), that contains information on over 900 occupations detailed on the California Career Zone (www.cacareerzone.org), which is a virtual counselor for career and college exploration and planning resources.
(5) Spring 2019 Schedule Now Set for Free Online Courses and Workshops to Review CSET Mathematics and Science Content
The Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI) at Fresno State offers free online courses and workshops reviewing the content included on the CSET subtests for Single Subject Mathematics and Science. All sessions are live and interactive, and participants receive a link to the archived recordings for personal review.
Beginning in February 2019, courses are being offered for Mathematics Subtests I and II, and Saturday workshops are being held for all areas of science. The science workshop schedule for June and July 2019 is also currently available.
Please visit http://bit.ly/MSTI-CSET-Spring2019 for more information. (Also note that there is one more CSET Science workshop being held this semester. The Chemistry and Earth/Space Sciences workshop will be held on December 8. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/MSTI-CSET-Fall2018).
(6) WestEd Seeks Middle School Mathematics Teachers in Northern and Central California for a Paid Professional Development Opportunity
Source: Angela Knotts, Research Associate, WestEd STEM Program
WestEd, a non-profit research and services agency, is seeking 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math teachers in Northern and Central California public schools to participate in a paid online professional development study during February and March of 2019. The goal of this National Science Foundation-funded project, “Video in the Middle” (VIM), is to create and test a collection of online professional development modules focusing on algebra for middle school grades and determine how useful they are for teachers. All modules and other study activities are completed online, and teachers can work at their own pace. No travel or classroom/student-based activities are required. (Teachers do not currently need to be teaching algebra to be eligible to participate.)
The VIM study builds on the work of the Video Cases for Mathematics Professional Development Project, which developed a series of face-to-face professional development materials using video cases. These materials, Learning and Teaching Linear Functions (LTLF), were designed to enable teachers to deepen their understanding of ways to conceptualize and represent algebra content within their teaching practice. Like the LTLF materials, the VIM modules focus on research-backed strategies for teaching algebraic thinking such as connecting expressions and equations to geometry, using color to highlight connections between different representations, examining multiple strategies and alternative solution methods, and probing student thinking through strategic questioning.
To learn more about the philosophy behind the VIM modules, please visit the study’s NSF page:
http://bit.ly/NSF-VIM During the eight-week study, participants can earn up to $500 for completing the following activities:
– A short online assessment before and after the study (one hour each)
– Four online “Video in the Middle” modules (about 2 hours each)
– Eight weekly teacher logs/surveys (about 10 minutes per week)
About 10% of the participants will be randomly selected by researchers to participate in a classroom observation and pre-/post-observation interview with a WestEd researcher (1.5 hours).
Teachers interested in participating or in learning more can find additional information as well as an online consent form at the link below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VIM1920Consent
The consent form will ask you to confirm that you’ll be teaching 6-8th grade math in a public Northern or Central California school in February and March 2019, indicate that you understand each of the study requirements above, and provide your name, email address, phone number, school, district, and electronic signature.
For more information about the Video in the Middle study, please contact Angela Knotts at (650) 381-6408 or email@example.com
If you are interested in participating, please complete the online consent form by the deadline, December 21.
(7) No-Cost Energy Education Program for TK-8 Educators
URL (TEC): http://energycoalition.org/
URL (PEAK): http://peakstudents.org/
PEAK is a free TK-8th-grade STEM education and training program for classroom and afterschool educators that is sponsored by the Energy Coalition. Free in-person and online professional development and materials are offered to support hands-on science education and increase confidence around subject matter and standards. The curriculum provides schools with avenues to save energy and water on campus through student-led actions.
Project Coordinator Rachael Van Schoik stated, “At PEAK, we believe energy is everything, and we work to create tools to make science fun and relevant in classrooms. We’ve served over a quarter of a million students through comprehensive, career-focused, standards-based STEM programming. Our materials are easy to use and built by credentialed educators, approved and recommended by districts and County Offices of Education, and peer-reviewed by partners like the Smithsonian Science Education Center.
“Through the Field Educator program, we also support early career professionals, either high school level volunteers or university students in STEM or education fields. We train and empower Field Educators to bring PEAK lessons and materials into classrooms, so they feel prepared to teach hands-on STEM to K-8 classrooms while getting course credit and on-the-job experience.”
Visit the websites above for additional information. Contact Van Schoik at (510) 444-5066 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about upcoming training opportunities, materials, and more.
(8) California Public Libraries: A Plethora of Free Resources
The services provided by the California State Library and regional libraries are extensive. From makerspaces to free educational movie nights, the libraries provide a wealth of information and experiences that are accessible free of charge to those who have a library card. Those who have not visited a library recently might be surprised at the offerings both on site and online.
Visit http://bit.ly/LibraryServicesPublic to view resources offered at the California State Library. Many of these resources are available to the public throughout the state via Interlibrary Loan. California State government officials and employees (including University of California and California State University faculty) can access the California State Library catalogs and online resources/services online if they have a State Library Card. See http://bit.ly/Library-StateEmpl for more information.
Visit http://bit.ly/LibraryK-12Online for information about California’s K-12 Online Content Project. Beginning this school year, California began offering content from three online library databases for free individual use by every K-12 student and all public schools in the state. (The website describes how school districts and charter schools can obtain access.)
These databases–Encyclopedia Britannica, ProQuest and TeachingBooks.net– “provide teachers, school librarians and students with a massive amount of digital information: books, scientific research, newspaper articles, photos, videos and more,” all aligned with the state’s content standards. All of these materials have been curated and vetted for accuracy, making these resources a valuable learning tool.
Visit https://vimeo.com/285938090 for an instructive video about STEM Resources in Britannica School. Additional instructional videos can be found under the “Webinar Recordings and Other Online Training” dropdown tab (http://bit.ly/LibraryK-12Online).
(9) Woodside Middle Schooler Recipient of Top Award in Broadcom MASTERS Competition
On October 23, Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced that Georgia Hutchinson, 14, of Woodside, California, was the recipient of the prestigious $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, the top award in the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars), the nation’s premier science and engineering competition for middle school students.
Finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from among the Top 300 MASTERS and a record 2,537 applicants. Thirty finalists, including Georgia, took home more than $100,000 in awards. They were honored during an awards ceremony for their achievements in STEM together with their demonstration of 21st century skills including critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaborative skills and team work in a series of hands-on challenges.
Georgia developed a more efficient and cost-effective solar power system which relies on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to determine where the sun will be at any date and time. She built a computer model to illustrate how electricity from solar panels pointed at those spots would compare to electricity produced by fixed-position panels and created a computer program to control her tracker’s motor and the position of the solar panels.
For more information on this competition and the winners, visit http://bit.ly/BroadcomMastersSolar
ARTICLES & ANNOUNCEMENTS (NATIONAL FOCUS)
What sparked your curiosity or interest in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics? The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites you to share your story (text, photo, and/or short video) through December 7 via Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #MySTEMspark (and tag NSF: @nsf).
NSF director France Córdova shares her story on http://bit.ly/Cordova-Spark She concludes by asking readers to “encourage your peers to share their STEM spark moment by tagging them and telling them you want to hear theirs. If you don’t have a Twitter account and would like participate, please email us at email@example.com, and we will be delighted to share your story.”
San Diego State University physics graduate Ellen Ochoa (http://bit.ly/NASA-Ochoa) earned her master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She was the first Hispanic woman to fly in space and has flown on four missions, as well as served as director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa tweeted, “I discovered #MySTEMspark in math classes: learning that calculus is the language of physics, and that lenses perform 2-D spatial Fourier transforms. Couldn’t have guessed that would land me in the astronaut corps! Credit to all who encouraged me!!”
(2) Schools Throughout the World Participate in an Hour of Code During Computer Science Education Week
This week (December 3-9) is Computer Science Education Week (https://csedweek.org), held annually during the week of pioneering programmer Grace Hopper’s birthday (December 9, 1906). During this week, schools are encouraged to implement an Hour of Code to introduce students of all ages to coding and computer science. Visit https://hourofcode.com/us/learn for a wide variety of one-hour tutorials/activities from the Hour of Code website (main: https://hourofcode.com/us).
(2a) Computer Science Education Week Kick-Off Event, Featuring Melinda Gates, Code.org CEO/Founder Havi Pavlovi, and Microsoft President Brad Smith
URL: http://bit.ly/CSEDWeekKickoff2018 (click on the “play” button to start the video)
The archived video starts at 08:40 and includes presentations by Havi Pavlovi, Founder and CEO of code.org; Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (interesting interview by a middle school student; starts at 12:22); Jake Baskin, President of the Computer Science Teachers Association 2018 Computer Science Champion Awards Seaside High School; Alice Steinglass, President of Code.org (updates on national support for computer science); and Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.
Brad Smith (Havi Pavlovi’s next-door neighbor) stated, “This is such an important event and such a critical week…It really connects the demands of the world and the needs of the country with opportunities for young people. The world is changing. Already half of the jobs in the United States require that someone go to work possessing digital skills. And that number is going to grow. It’s going to reach 77% in the next decade… Just in the past year, 33 states have passed some type of laws to advance computer science; 19 of those states have put funding behind the laws…We need to keep expanding farther each year, so Microsoft is putting another $10 million into the fuel tank of code.org..but it’s the teachers who are going to make a difference in the lives of generations of students.”
(2b) Meet Code Creators
“In partnership with Code.org, Skype in the Classroom is hosting a week of free 30-minute classroom broadcasts and live Q&A with professionals who use code to create amazing things.” Each of the broadcasts is archived on this page for future viewing. Topics include “Animation: How Computer Science Powers Movies” by a Pixar engineer (Thursday) and “How AI and Machine Learning Helps Our Planet” by a Microsoft engineer and scientist (Friday).
(2c) “Dive into Computer Science with Hour of Code!”
by Kristin Oropeza
(2d) Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian: Studying [Computer Science] is “the most valuable thing you can do for your career”
by Kathleen Elkins
(2e) Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
The Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. It is produced by AnitaB.org and presented in partnership with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). GHC 18 was held in Houston, TX, and GHC 19 will be held on 2-4 October 2019 in Orlando, FL. To view videos of some of the sessions from GHC 18, visit https://ghc.anitab.org/ghc-18-livestream/
(2f) 10,000 Teachers Take on Computer Science
Code.org sponsored week-long local and national summer workshops for teachers to learn more about computer science. Visit the website above to learn more and for links to opportunities for free computer science professional learning opportunities throughout the school year.
(3) White House Releases Charting a Course for Success: A Federal Strategy for STEM Education
Yesterday (4 December 2018) the White House released a five-year strategic plan for STEM education that is intended to serve as a “North Star” for intersegmental efforts leading to international leadership in STEM literacy, innovation, and employment. The plan was developed by the National Science and Technology Council Committee on STEM Education and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) after over a year of extensive communication with leaders from such organizations as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and STEM Learning Ecosystems, as well as STEM education specialists from all 50 states who attended a State-Federal STEM Education Summit in June 2018.
Charting a Course for Success: A Federal Strategy for STEM Education is available online at http://bit.ly/ChartingCourseSuccessSTEM The plan it outlines is “based on a vision for a future where all Americans will have lifelong access to high-quality STEM education…and strengthens the Federal commitment to equity and diversity, to evidence-based practice, and to engagement with the national STEM community through a nationwide collaboration with learners, families, educators, communities, and employers.”
The vision for STEM engagement and leadership “will be achieved by pursuing three aspirational goals:
– Build Strong Foundations for STEM Literacy by ensuring that every American has the opportunity to master basic STEM concepts, including computational thinking, and to become digitally literate…
– Increase Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM and provide all Americans with lifelong access to high-quality STEM education, especially those historically underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields and employment…
– Prepare the STEM Workforce for the Future—both college-educated STEM practitioners and those working in skilled trades that do not require a four-year degree—by creating authentic learning experiences that encourage and prepare learners to pursue STEM careers…
“The Federal strategy is built on four pathways representing a cross-cutting set of approaches, each with a specific set of objectives and priority Federal actions for achieving these goals.
Develop and Enrich Strategic Partnerships. This pathway focuses on strengthening existing relationships and developing new connections between educational institutions, employers, and their communities. That means bringing together schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums, and other community resources to build STEM ecosystems that broaden and enrich each learner’s educational and career journey. It also means engaging learners in work-based learning experiences with local employers, internships, apprenticeships, and research experiences…
Engage Students where Disciplines Converge. This pathway seeks to make STEM learning more meaningful and inspiring to students by focusing on complex real-world problems and challenges that require initiative and creativity. It promotes innovation and entrepreneurship by engaging learners in transdisciplinary activities such as project-based learning, science fairs, robotics clubs, invention challenges, or gaming workshops that require participants to identify and solve problems using knowledge and methods from across disciplines. It seeks to help students challenged in mathematics—frequently a barrier to STEM careers—by using innovative, tailored instructional methods. Another objective is teaching learners to tackle problems using multiple disciplines; for example, learning data science by combining basic mathematics, statistics, and computer science to study a societal problem. Such activities help to create a STEM-literate population and prepare Americans for the rapidly evolving workplace.
Build Computational Literacy. … This pathway seeks to advance computational thinking as a critical skill for today’s world. Computational thinking, including computer science, is not just about using computing devices effectively; more broadly, it means solving complex problems with data, a skill that can be learned at an early age…
Operate with Transparency and Accountability. This pathway commits the Federal Government to open, evidence-based practices and decision-making in STEM programs, investments, and activities. Complementary practices by other STEM stakeholders will facilitate the entire ecosystem to collectively monitor progress towards achieving the shared national goals of this strategic plan…”
A table on page vii of the report includes the strategic plan’s educational objectives and pathways, along with the Federal departments and independent agencies that currently plan to support each as budgets and approvals allow.
Informative articles on this report and its background include the following:
(3a) National Experts: Forming STEM Ecosystems is Top Priority
Source: Business Wire – 4 December 2018
(3b) NSF, NASA Announce Commitments to Support White House Strategic Plan on STEM Education
Source: National Science Foundation – 4 December 2018
URL (NASA Office of STEM Engagement): https://www.nasa.gov/education/overview/
(3c) America Will Win the Global Competition for STEM Talent
Source: Office of Science and Technology Policy
(3d) “Trump Emphasizes Workforce Training in New Vision for STEM Education”
by Jeffrey Mervis
Source: Science Magazine – 3 December 2018
(4) Meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier Nominated to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
On July 31, President Trump nominated Kelvin Droegemeier to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and on September 5, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation unanimously and enthusiastically approved Droegemeier, whose confirmation is still awaiting Senate floor action.
Droegemeier is a research meteorologist currently serving as the Oklahoma Secretary of Science and Technology and as Vice President for Research at the University of Oklahoma. He is known for his research in predicting the development of extreme weather events.
To view his vita, visit http://bit.ly/DroegemeierBio
(5) U.S. Department of Education Exceeds Administration Promise to Invest $200 Million in STEM Education
In November, the U.S. Department of Education announced a commitment of $279 million in STEM discretionary grant funding for the current fiscal year.
“It’s important that all students have access to a high-quality STEM education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said. “These discretionary grant programs and this Administration’s increased focus on STEM will help ensure our nation’s students are exposed to STEM early in their lifelong education journeys and will have the tools needed for success in the 21st century economy.”
Visit the website above to view the ten programs and initiatives that are being supported with these funds and to read about a recently-released data story on Algebra I access and enrollment rates in the nation’s schools.
(6) English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives
English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools, and Lives examines the research on learning, teaching, and assessment of English Learners (ELs) in STEM subjects and provides guidance on how to improve learning outcomes in STEM for these students. The report considers the complex social and academic use of language delineated in the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, the diversity of the population of ELs, and the integration of English as a second language instruction with core instructional programs in STEM.
This comprehensive 290-page book is published by the National Academies Press and is available for free download from http://bit.ly/ELsSTEM
(7) Girl Scouts of the USA Introduces 30 New Badges to Power Girl Leadership [in STEM]
Girl Scouts of the USA rolled out 30 new badges and two new Journeys (http://bit.ly/GS-New), exclusively for girls ages 5–18… The new programming will prepare girls to address some of society’s most pressing needs through hands-on learning in cybersecurity, environmental advocacy, mechanical engineering, robotics, computer science, and space exploration. (Also see http://bit.ly/GS-STEM-Badge)
(8) STEMup4Youth: A Girl Scout Revolutionizes STEM Education in Southern California
For her Girl Scouts of Orange County Gold Award project, Sharleen Loh, from Girl Scouts of Orange County…partnered with over 40 different organizations, including six Boys and Girls Clubs, over 20 county and city libraries/bookmobiles, three Title I elementary schools, California State University, World Vision, the county fair, children’s festivals, STEM expos, and a children’s learning center… She has developed over 100 hands-on STEM activities and mobilized over 140 volunteers from 15 different schools to bring weekly STEM programs to underserved children. She has built an organization, STEMup4Youth, that now has more than 40 partners around Southern California, reaching out to over 5,000 children and engaging more than 140 volunteers from 10 local schools… [Loh is now studying at Harvard University.]
(9) Entries are Invited for the “We Are Mathematics” Video Competition
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is sponsoring a “We Are Mathematics” Video Competition next spring to excite viewers to pursue careers or further study in the mathematical sciences and to bring mathematics to life.
NSF invites anyone whose work is currently supported by NSF or who has been supported in the past by NSF to submit a short video (up to 3 minutes) that showcases this work in a way that is exciting and accessible to a broad audience.
Prizes of $3000 will be awarded in several categories. The deadline for submission of the videos is 15 February 2019.
For any questions about the competition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Teacher Training in Educational Neuroscience Supported by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
(1a) “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Pledges $1 Million to Train Teachers About Neuroscience”
by Kevin Mahnken
Source: The 74 – 28 November 2018
(1b) “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Wants Teachers to Learn Brain Science”
by Sarah Schwartz
Source: Education Week – 14 November 2018
(2) NASA Education
This website includes links to educational resources for teachers of all levels, as well as information about internships, fellowships, career exploration, and more.
(3) Nominate an Inspiring Mathematics or Science Teacher
Source: Better Together: California Teachers Summit; #BetterTogetherCA
The California Teachers Summit website includes a page where dozens of educators are profiled who are inspiring teachers and who also frequently share best teaching practices with their colleagues across the state. The page also contains a link to a form for additional teacher nominations.
(4) And Finally…The PNC Christmas Price Index – Lessons on Economic Trends in the Price of the “12 Days of Christmas” Gifts
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Carol Fry Bohlin, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator (M.A. in Education-C&I)
Director, Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)
Reporter/Editor, California Online Mathematics Education Times (COMET)
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