STEM Equity Pipeline News
High-Schoolers Help Elementary Students with Biology Lessons
North Carolina high-school biology students are helping teach first-graders about
birds, part of a series of hands-on lessons developed jointly by a first-grade and
high-school biology teacher. "I want to be a teacher, so this is helpful to have
this interaction with the kids," said junior Ashley Carter. "Also, when I was younger,
I liked having interaction with older kids."
U.S. middle-school math teachers are less knowledgeable about algebra, geometry
and other advanced math topics than teachers in countries where students score better
on international tests, according to a new Michigan State University study. U.S.
teachers-in-training studied just 43% of such topics while Taiwanese and Korean
future teachers on average covered 79% to 86%.
"Investigations" Inspire Seventh-Graders to Sample Science
Solving fictional cases is helping spark the interest of 100 Virginia seventh-graders
in science and biotechnology. Modeled on the popular "CSI" television series, the
program includes gifted students as well as those with special needs.
Encouraging Female Engineers
The Chantilly Academy is offering its first-ever, all-girls course in engineering,
and it’s proving both popular and practical. It’s attracted a talented and enthusiastic
group of students, received support from professionals and provided a potential,
new career path for many girls.
High school students in George Cachianes's biotech classes learn cutting-edge lab
techniques and sequence their own DNA. Enrollment in certain advanced math and science
classes rose significantly between 1997 and 2004, according to the National Science
Although 55% of the students at Provo, Utah-based Dixon Middle School qualify for
free or reduced-rate lunch, students in the school's eighth-grade geometry classes
have been performing above the state average on the Criterion Referenced Tests since
2004. The school attributes the success to various teaching techniques, including
requiring students to take lecture notes in math classes and administering review
Some students in Bob Fischer's math club at Honey Creek Middle School in Terre Haute,
Ind., show up as early as 6:30 a.m. to work on problems before the school day starts.
That may not add up, considering the math fears that many students harbor. But educators
say a new program provided by a math organization is breeding success that leaves
students eager to take on more math challenges.
(From CareerTech Update, 1/2/08)
Gordon R. Ultsch, Ph.D., a high school and college teacher of more than 30 years,
writes that the realization that the U.S. is falling behind other countries in the
teaching and learning of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
subjects makes the news, but is followed with little progress. Ultsch pointed out
that there are two reasons in particular for why the root causes of our lag in STEM
teaching have not been addressed: first, teachers are not required to hold advanced
degrees in the areas for which they were hired; and second, teachers' unions that
foster and reward mediocrity and insist that everyone be treated the same, regardless
(From CareerTech Update, 1/2/08)
More girls and women are getting involved—and succeeding—in math and science than
ever before. Yet persistent gaps between girls and boys in math and science standardized
test scores remain, as well as gaps, advocates say, in professional opportunities.
The gaps are narrowing, though, in part because of girls' increasing involvement
in math and science classes. According to Long Island Newsday, there is a growing
participation by girls in a number of science programs.
Girls can get more enthused about math when there's a club that encourages their
math understanding and appreciation. Get free materials from Mathcounts, a national
group promoting middle-school math achievement, for use in a club or as enrichment
This webpage provides lesson plan templates for preservice and inservice teachers
who are learning to teach math and/or working to improve their teaching of math.
A number of video-sharing web sites have cropped up online, designed to let scientists
broadcast themselves toiling in the laboratory or delivering lectures. Fans of the
niche sites say they help students and the general public understand the scientific
The goal of this practice guide is to formulate specific and coherent evidence-based
recommendations that educators can use to encourage girls in the fields of math
and science. The target audience is teachers and other school personnel with direct
contact with students, such as coaches, counselors, and principals.
SAVE THE DATE
On Saturday, January 12th, 2008, Microsoft is hosting the 1st Annual IGNITE Membership
Conference. Conference highlights include young women sharing their IGNITE experiences
and how these experiences have created new directions and opportunities in their
lives, teachers who have participated in IGNITE explain how the program has helped
their students, and women from Microsoft conveying their passion for IGNITE and
why they believe that it should be part of all school programs.
NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
On October 17th, the House Science and Technology (S&T) Committee held a hearing
on the subject of "Women in Academic Science and Engineering."
On October 18th, the Society of Women Engineers, along with its co-sponsors, held
a noontime Congressional briefing entitled, "The Leaky Science and Engineering Pipeline: How Can We Retain More
Women in Academia and Industry?"