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This tech academy is using project-based learning to close the STEM gap

E-School News – Laura Devaney

“Across the country, more and more schools are implementing project-based learning and forging partnerships with businesses to help students build real-world skills to succeed in college and the workforce. Take Chicago’s Chicago Tech Academy High School for example. While ChiTech, as the school is known, aims to help students become leaders, it also seeks to increase the number of minority and low-income students pursuing STEM in college and the workforce. Since 2009, the school’s graduation and college enrollment rates have steadily increased. School leaders focus on closing the technology gender gap by teaching female students to code and build websites and apps.”(more)

5 ways to increase engagement and close the academic achievement gap

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“For years, most in education circles have been acutely aware of a “boy crisis” in education — though around the world, girls are less likely to enter school, boys are significantly more likely to be held back, suspended, fail or drop out than their female counterparts and are more likely to be labeled as special needs — a truth that has remained for decades. When the conversation is disaggregated by race, the outcomes are even more disparate for black and Latino young males. Lora A. Adams-King, superintendent of the Farrell Area School District in Farrell, PA, said the issue “is not that they dislike school or don’t have the ability to learn. The issue is that they [don’t] feel like school [is] relevant to them. They [don’t] feel like their teachers connected with them” or like they were connected to the school environment overall.”(more)

Why Your Child Has No Willpower

Lifzette – Jennifer Fallon

“Too many American children are lethargic. They lack what it takes to succeed — and they don’t seem to care. This dearth of motivation shows up in numerous ways — at school, in their television viewing habits, in their eating habits, and in their fitness (or lack thereof). More than 40 percent of our students are perpetually disengaged during school, according to a report from the National Research Council, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. More than a quarter of students never graduate high school. The average American child watches 35 hours of television a week (as much as a full-time job in France). And childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in the last 30 years, from 5 percent to 21 percent.”(more) Wants Mandatory Computer Science Classes in Schools

Fortune – Kia Kokalitcheva

“To music artist, technology can change the world. On Tuesday,, the former Black Eyed Peas singer whose legal name is William Adams, dropped by the Apple Store in San Francisco’s Union Square for a screening of the music video for a new version of the group’s 2003 hit Where Is the Love? He was joined by Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts, and discussed why the proceeds from the song would go toward education programs and initiatives through Adams’ foundation. Specifically, Adams highlighted the importance of making computer science classes available more broadly in schools, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods.”(more)

SAT scores: California lags nation

The East Bay Times – Sharon Noguchi

“California’s Class of 2016 scored lower than the national average on SAT reading and math tests, although state students outperformed their national peers in writing, just-released scores show. But the scores released late Monday may represent more than the state’s periodic fluctuation in national comparisons of reading and math. California’s sinking scores may reflect the SAT’s increasing democratization, with more students at differing levels of preparation taking the exam. California saw a 1.6 percent increase in the number of seniors taking the test to nearly 241,600 students. According to the College Board, the private group that runs the test, the increase is due to districts like West Contra Costa and San Jose Unified, which offer students the opportunity to take the test on a school day and cover the fees — about $50 per student.”(more)

How STEM Skills Are the Next Great Equalizer

Fortune – Tim Bajarin

“I grew up in the age of Sputnik and the “space race.” Like most of the youth of my generation, we were challenged in school to “beat the Russians” to space, driven by President John F. Kennedy’s promise to have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. As I reread that speech, delivered on Sept. 12, 1962, I’m struck by how much Kennedy focused on the role technology played in history, and the President’s vision of how it could impact our future…Kennedy’s speech became the rallying cry for my generation. Tens of thousands of students took his challenge seriously. This gave us the engineers, scientists, mathematicians and educators who not only delivered on the promise of putting a man on the moon, but also helped create the core technology enabling modern tools from the Internet to advances in healthcare.”(more)