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Highlighting the ‘E’ in STEM education

The Hill – C.D. Mote Jr.

“If you’ve ever searched the internet, shopped online, gotten a medical image, used a smart phone, or played a video game, among many other things, you’ve benefited from the C++ programming language. Most people have never heard of the C++ programming they interact with everyday. Most don’t know the engineering behind how our increasingly technologically-dependent world works. When creating something is the question, engineering is the answer. We all enjoy the handiwork of those we celebrate during National Engineers Week (February 18-24 this year).” (more)

Building a future in science with construction-based toys

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Childhood play experiences strongly shape a person’s spatial skills, according to a new CIRES-led study — those skills can be critical to success in fields like science and engineering. Young adults who played with construction-based toys such as Legos, or with certain types of video games outperformed other peers in tests of spatial reasoning — like the skill needed to mentally rotate objects. And most notably, the new research found that gender differences in spatial skills disappear when the researchers considered the impact of childhood play.” (more)

Report: STEM Degrees Rise, but Disparities Remain

The U.S. News and World Report – Claire Hansen

“Despite modest gains in degree attainment in science, technology, engineering and math, women and minorities remain grossly underrepresented in the fields, according to a new report out Wednesday. Women are also less likely to enter STEM occupations after earning a STEM degree as are blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, according to the report, which was prepared by the RAND corporation and commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association with over 625 members in the oil and natural gas field. The report analyzes broad STEM degree attainment and employment trends, and pays specific attention those in the the oil and natural gas sector.”(more)

How to use engineering practices for more effective STEM learning

E-School News – PJ Boardman

“‘What if schools could offer a different approach to STEM education that provided students with truly immersive learning opportunities?” That question came to Ethan Berman, founder of i2 Learning, after the experience of his nine-year old daughter, who liked school but loved solving problems and making things with her own hands, especially, as she put it, “if it was something useful.” That was what inspired Berman to found Boston STEM Week, which just concluded its second successful year by replacing the usual curriculum for the more than 6,000 students and 300 teachers across 37 Boston middle schools. During this week, schools replace their usual curriculum with projects aimed at building lunar colonies, creating interactive monsters, designing digital games, and practicing surgical techniques.”(more)

Will the Evolution of STEM Education Produce a More Advanced Generation of EEs?

All About Circuits – Heather Hamilton-Post

“The need for additional applicants in STEM fields continues to rise, and students who begin these studies earlier are better equipped to fulfill these roles. From programming robots to working with satellites and remote vehicles, students are more interested than ever in STEM programs, which offer more real-world experience and interactivity than more traditional methods of education. And, as companies and researchers collaborate to meet the unique needs of STEM in the classroom, teachers are getting onboard, too.”(more)

The 25 highest-paying jobs in America

USA Today – Courtney Connley

“Students looking to bring home the best pay throughout their careers may want to consider careers in law, medicine or engineering. According to a report from job search platform Glassdoor, some of the best-compensated jobs in the U.S. are concentrated in those fields. To compile its list of highest-paying jobs in America, Glassdoor examined the job titles that received at least 100 salary reports over the past year and applied a statistical algorithm to estimate the annual base pay for each. C-suite level jobs were excluded from the list.”(more)