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Op-Ed: Underrepresented Groups Need Hand Up, Not Handout, in STEM Education

The U.S. News and World Report – Vince Bertram

“About 100 middle-school boys in the nation’s capital are set to take part in a new technology-education program in late June that will teach them, among other things, 3-D modeling and app development. In so doing, the black and Hispanic youths chosen for the Verizon Minority Male Makers Program will be exposed to future career opportunities in the technology sector, a field where minorities have traditionally been underrepresented.”(more)

Promising practices: Creating a STEM workforce for all

SmartBlog on Education – Melissa Greenwood

“The future is bright for careers in science, technology, engineering and math…Research shows STEM will continue permeating many areas of the future world of work, and we hope the culture is one in which individuals — regardless of socioeconomics, gender, skin color or disability — have equal opportunities for success. But there are roadblocks to participation for some groups…SmartBrief Education gathered a group of experts for the Equity in STEM: Taking the Challenge to Build an Inclusive Workforce event to discuss ways to remove some of these roadblocks and build inclusive pathways to STEM careers. The panelists highlighted strategies to help bridge the gap among underrepresented populations, including girls and individuals with disabilities…Keep reading for a deep dive into these — and other — ideas that businesses, educators and others can begin using today to help build the inclusive STEM workforce of tomorrow.”(more)

Balloon ‘spacecraft,’ prosthetic limb and subway vacuum wow White House Science Fair

The Washington Post – Moriah Balingit

“Obama hosted his final White House Science Fair on Wednesday, hobnobbing with young brainiacs and speaking of how their fearlessness and courage in attacking problems as diverse as subway trash and Ebola buoyed his optimism for the future…The science fair is one of the more visible parts of the administration’s broader effort to elevate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the nation’s schools…Jo Handelsman, associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the administration has worked to increase the recruitment of women and minorities into STEM fields, where they have been historically underrepresented…Handelsman said that if the nation fails to develop experts from traditionally underrepresented groups, there will be a critical shortage of STEM-trained workers.”(more)

How female science, math teachers influence whether young women major in STEM fields

Journalist’s Resource – Kelly Peaton

“Jobs in STEM fields often are high paying and in high demand, which is why government leaders have been pressing colleges and universities to produce more STEM graduates…the reality is that far fewer women and minorities enter careers in the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics…A January 2016 study published in Social Problems considers how teacher demographics could influence that effort…The authors state that female math and science teachers may help encourage interest among girls by pushing them to take risks and go against stereotypes and by raising their confidence in their abilities. They note the importance of focusing on students’ high school years to help boost the number of women entering STEM-related fields.”(more)

100Kin10 Looks to Increase US STEM Teaching Corps

Education News – Ina Krasteva

“In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama set an ambitious goal of preparing 100,000 STEM teachers by 2021. In January this year, the President announced a $4 billion “Computer Science for All” plan that aims to provide computer science education to all American kids and especially girls from minority groups. As a response, the education group 100Kin10, a coalition of tech companies, state agencies and foundations, has come together to support and foster science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education nationwide…However, the lack of enough STEM teachers is not the only problem that both government and non-profit sector need to solve.”(more)

Engineering Talent Hidden in Plain Sight

Change the Equation – Staff Writer

“As the nation kicks off Engineers Week, organizations across the country are celebrating the engineers who have made the world a safer, healthier, more prosperous, and more humane place to live. That is as it should be. It is just as important, however, to acknowledge how the nation is squandering talent that could engineer solutions to our most daunting global challenges. Much of our nation’s talent is hidden in plain sight: people of color who lack the opportunities to join the ranks of the nation’s leading innovators.”(more)