STEM Education News
August 22, 2012
In This Issue:
- Triangle Coalition to Join STEMconnector in Celebrating 100 Women Leaders in STEM
- Moms Night Out for STEM: A Strategy to Engage Parents – Free Webinar
- NAS Workshop on Developing Assessments Based on the New Framework for K-12 Science Education
- Governing Board Requests Videos to Promote Power of Science; Seeking Nominees for 2013 Board Positions
- Change the Equation’s State STEM Data to Focus Advocacy Efforts
- Federal Government Encouraging Time Off for STEM Activities
- New STEM Education Releases from National Academies Press
Triangle Coalition Joins STEMconnector in Celebrating 100 Women Leaders in STEM
In recognition of women role models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEMconnector recently published its first inaugural edition of 100 Women Leaders in STEM. The heroines included in the publication share stories about their commitment to serving as mentors and sponsors of those who are next in the STEM jobs pipeline. 100 Women Leaders in STEM showcases the careers and initiatives of more than one hundred women leaders who are active role models for the underrepresented segment of women in America’s growing shortage of STEM professionals.
On October 2, 2012, Triangle Coalitions members and attendees of the 12th Annual STEM Education Conference will join STEMconnector for two special events honoring the 100 Women. First, the four featured female Senators, Kristen Gillibrand, Kay Hagan, Jeanne Shaheen, and Maria Cantwell, will host a special Senate celebration from 4:00-5:00 pm on Capitol Hill. An evening reception, hosted by Bloomberg Government, will follow from 5:30-7:00 pm at Bloomberg’s office. Triangle Coalition’s conference attendees are invited to join the celebrations and may RSVP when registering for the conference.
Moms Night Out for STEM: A Strategy to Engage Parents – Free Webinar
Moms Night Out for STEM is a program launched in 2010 to help engage parents, especially moms, in developing the interest and motivation in children to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is currently a statewide celebratory evening of hands-on and informative explorations at multiple sites across Iowa.
On Tuesday, August 28, at 1:00 pm EST, the STEM Equity Pipeline will host a free webinar on Moms Night Out for STEM. Participants will learn about a strategy to unite the assets of communities in engaging youth and parents in STEM, as well as to include parents in understanding STEM. Triangle Coalition Board Member Jeff Weld is one of the presenters.
Jeffery Weld, PhD. – Executive Director of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and Director of the inter-university collaborative, Iowa Mathematics & Science Education Partnership (IMSEP) and Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Jeff serves on several state and national boards including the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation and the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education.
Linda Bisgaard – Director of Advocacy and Collaborations for Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. She is responsible for representing the Girl Scout council as the thought leader as well as the voice for and of girls with policy makers and community leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. Linda has been a member of the State Leadership STEM Team for Iowa since 2008 which was provided for through a grant from NAPE. Most recently, Linda has been involved with the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council serving on a work-study group focused on STEM for Highly Able, Underrepresented, and Nontraditional persons.
NAS Workshop on Developing Assessments Based on the New Framework for K-12 Science Education
On September 13, a committee of the National Academies, Board on Testing and Assessment (BOTA) will hold a workshop on developing assessments to meet the goals of the newly released Framework for K-12 Science Education. During the workshop, the Committee on Developing Assessments for K-12 Science Proficiency will explore strategies for assessing science practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas as described in the framework.
The overall goals for the workshop are to: (1) consider the measurement challenges posed by the Framework; (2) explore a variety of strategies for gathering assessment information, including classroom-based, end-of-course assessments as well as end-of-year, summative assessments; and (3) discuss methods for combining/integrating information from different types of assessments. Sessions will focus on methods for developing and implementing performance-based and technology enhanced assessment tasks. The workshop will be structured so that the committee can explore ideas with and receive feedback from the participants.
The workshop will be held at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, DC from 9:00 am- 5:00 pm. Register for this event soon as space will be limited.
This study is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. More information about the project.
Governing Board Requests Videos to Promote Power of Science; Seeking Nominees for 2013 Board Positions
Science Videos Wanted
In an effort to encourage further engagement with important results from recent nationwide science assessments, the National Assessment Governing Board, an independent, bipartisan board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, or The Nation’s Report Card), is launching a special campaign to collect user-generated videos spotlighting “science in action.”
The goal is to get teachers, parents, students, and education leaders to submit brief, minimally produced videos in which they talk about a particular science project, activity, or experiment that brought science to life for them by September 17, 2012.
Once all submissions have been reviewed and edited, the Governing Board will use these powerful testimonials in a variety of ways. The goal is to draw attention to science education practices in the United States, as well as emphasize the importance of measuring students’ scientific academic progress.
Triangle Coalition members can assist the Governing Board with this campaign by reaching out to their members and partners to distribute this instructional flier. To submit videos and learn more about this campaign, please review the flier or visit www.govboardvideo.org.
Now Seeking Governing Board Nominees
The National Assessment Governing Board is seeking nominations of qualified individuals to serve on the Board. Governing Board members play an important role in determining how the United States measures student achievement, lending their unique perspectives to the national conversation on education.
New Governing Board members will help lead several groundbreaking efforts, including research studies on students’ academic preparedness for college and job training, parent engagement initiatives, innovative computer-based assessments, and studies linking NAEP with the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
For 2013, the Governing Board seeks nominations for five positions in these four categories:
- Elementary school principal
- Testing and measurement expert
- Democratic state legislator*
- General public representative (2 positions)
*The Board also has a Republican state legislator among its members.
For more information, visit the Governing Board’s website.
Change the Equation’s State STEM Data to Focus Advocacy Efforts
On September 12, Change the Equation will release its 2012 Vital Signs, the second edition of state-by-state reports on the condition of STEM learning in the United States. The results will be unveiled during a special STEM Salon at Microsoft’s Washington, DC office.
Linda Rosen, CEO of Change the Equation says, “Vital Signs will provide business, education, state and policy leaders with a comprehensive and reliable set of indicators to promote STEM learning and high expectations for all students. There’s nothing else like them in the field. For all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we crunch the numbers to lay out the condition of state performance and offer insights into STEM challenges.”
The Vital Signs are intended to focus and fuel nationwide advocacy efforts for STEM learning. Triangle Coalition will use this data on October 1-2 at the 12th Annual STEM Education Conference. Attendees will receive copies of their state data to reference during appointments with members of Congress. Prior to going to the Hill, coaches will guide attendees on developing impactful advocacy messages as well as strategies to apply at the state and district level upon returning home.
Change the Equation has already applied some of the Vital Signs data in recent targeted briefs:
- All Over the Map, which revealed for the first time how low many states set the bar on their science tests
- STEM Help Wanted, which found that, even through the economic downturn, STEM skills have remained in high demand in every state
- Lost Opportunity, just released last month, which found that few students participate in out-of-school STEM programs
OPM Encouraging Time Off for STEM Activities; John Berry Comments
ExecutiveGov – August 17, 2012
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will start allowing federal workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related fields to take time off to volunteer in STEM-related activities outside of work. In a recent letter to chief human capital officers, OPM Director John Berry wrote STEM is a functional area included in the agency’s skills gap closure initiative, part of the federal government’s cross agency priority goals.
OPM, the Office of Science Technology and Policy and the Chief Human Capital Officers Council are jointly working on a strategy to address STEM skill gaps in the federal workforce, Berry wrote.
In February, OPM announced an initiative calling on federal employees to support a Defense Department STEM program, where students receive information on federal careers and internships in STEM fields.
Agencies are directed to review how they can arrange alternative work schedules for STEM workers to perform volunteer service. Annual leave, leave without pay, credit hours under flexible work schedules, compensatory time off and limited amount of excused absence are potential options for STEM workers, according to Berry.
New STEM Education Releases from National Academies Press
Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape
The National Research Council (NRC) and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) have released a new report, Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit. Based on a national summit that was supported by the National Science Foundation and organized by the NRC and the NAE, the report highlights the importance of community colleges, especially in emerging areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and preparation of the STEM workforce.
Community colleges are also essential in accommodating growing numbers of students and in retraining displaced workers in skills needed in the new economy. Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape looks at the changing and evolving relationships between community colleges and four-year institutions, with a focus on partnerships and articulation processes that can facilitate student success in STEM; expanding participation of students from historically underrepresented populations in undergraduate STEM education; and how subjects, such as mathematics, can serve as gateways or barriers to college completion.
Preparing Female Scientists and Engineers
From Science to Business: Preparing Female Scientists and Engineers for Successful Transitions into Entrepreneurship is the summary of an August 2009 workshop that assesses the current status of women undertaking entrepreneurial activity in technical fields, to better understand the nature of the barriers they encounter, and to identify what it takes for women scientists and engineers to succeed as entrepreneurs. This report focuses on women’s career transitions from academic science and engineering to entrepreneurship, with a goal of identifying knowledge gaps in women’s skills as well as experiences crucial to future success in business and critical for achieving leadership positions in entrepreneurial organizations.
From Science to Business makes the case that in addition to educating women scientists and engineers in rigorous problem solving, it is equally important to provide exposure and training to impart the skills that will enable more women to move from the role of expert to that of leader in dynamic new business enterprises. This book will be of interest to professionals in both academia and industry, graduate and post-graduate students, and organizations that advocate for a stronger economy.