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National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation
P.O. Box 369, Cochranville, PA 19330
Phone: 610-593-8038 Fax: 610-593-7283
Email: NAPE@napequity.org
Funded by the National Science
Foundation HRD-0734056 and HRD-1203121

March 2010

NAPE PDI

NAPE's 2010 Professional Development Institute, "A New Decade for Equity," will be held in Arlington, VA, on April 12-15, 2010

THE PDI STARTS IN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS!

ADVOCACY DAY

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
After a morning of public policy briefings by our coalition partners, members of the Administration, staff of the House Education and Labor Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, you will have the afternoon available to visit the offices of your Senators and Representatives.
Learn more about how you can prepare for Advocacy Day

ARTICLES

U.S. Gets Poor Grades in Nurturing STEM Diversity

(Erik W. Robelen, Education Week)
The nation's K-12 education system gets an average grade of D for the job it does "engaging and nurturing" minorities to pursue careers in the STEM fields, and a D-plus for such performance with girls, based on results released today from a survey of female and minority chemists and chemical engineers. Those polled also believe science teachers play a larger role than parents and others in inspiring an interest in science, with 70 percent saying teachers have the most influence at the elementary level, and nearly 90 percent saying teachers have the most influence at the high school level.
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Purdue U and PBS TeacherLine Team on STEM Training for Educators

(Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology)
Purdue University is teaming up with PBS to educate elementary school teachers on how to teach engineering concepts to young students. The new course for preK-6 teachers is a joint effort of PBS TeacherLine, an online professional development program for educators, and Purdue's Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) within the School of Engineering Education. The goal of the effort is ultimately to interest students at an early age in the sciences and engineering.
Read More

For Minority Boys, a Chance to Get Hands-on STEM Exposure

(WJLA-TV, Washington, DC)
Minority boys at a Maryland elementary school are getting more exposure to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math through a program sponsored by the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Boys at William Beanes Elementary School practice hands-on learning by spending their Saturdays building balloon rockets and flying helicopters through the program, which has improved student test scores and will expand next year.
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Going from STEM to STEAM

(Joseph Piro, Education Week)
In the midst of all the STEM frenzy, we may want to do something riskier, and more imaginative, to save the country: turn STEM funding into STEAM funding. Inserting the letter A, for the arts, into the acronym could afford us even greater global advantage.
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America's Real Dream Team

(Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times)
Thomas Friedman reports on a dinner to celebrate the top 40 finalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search, which, through a national contest, identifies and honors the top math and science high school students in America, based on their solutions to scientific problems. Most finalists hailed from immigrant families, largely from Asia.
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Science Teachers Meet to Urge More Funding

(Elisa Lala, Philadelphia Inquirer)
More than 10,000 teachers are in Philadelphia to try to persuade the nation that science is important. The city was the site of the 58th annual National Conference on Science Education, with educators from as far away as China and Britain networking, sharing teaching secrets, and boasting about the role of science in the classroom.
Read More

Systems Engineer Deemed Best Job in America

(Chris Matyszczyk, CNET News)
If you're a systems engineer who wonders whether you've chosen the right profession, I bring you good news. Please take a deep breath, stand up, and be prepared to leap so high, you will touch the sky. Then you will, perhaps, want to touch the Skyy. For a survey has declared that systems engineer is the best job in America.
Read More

Computer Engineer Barbie: Geek Chic?

The latest Barbie doll, due for release in October, is a computer engineer with a binary number t-shirt and matching pink laptop and cell phone headset. Her occupation was chosen after Mattel conducted a vote of Barbie admirers. Whether you think she's "geek chic" or feel that her highly sexualized figure and clothing sends the wrong message, the fact is that Barbie has a big impact on girls. According to Mattel, 90% of girls ages 3-10 own at least one Barbie doll and BarbieGirls.com has 18 million registered users worldwide. Like it or not, Barbie is a popular culture icon and a role model for girls.
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Engineers Thinking Big--and Small-- for the Future

The theme of National Engineering Month 2010 is "design the future," and experts say the future is getting very big and very small. John McLaughlin is a professor of geomatics engineering at the University of New Brunswick. He sees engineers tackling massive-scale issues like smart continental power grids that would improve energy efficiency and prevent large-scale black outs. He also sees engineers going deeper into nanotechnology as they become the "doctors of the 21st century" in biomedicine and by designing better drugs and medical equipment.
Read More

Senior DHS Official Calls for Security Scholarships for Computer Science Students

(Ben Bain, Federal Computer Week)
Richard Marshall, director of global cybersecurity management in the Homeland Security Department's National Cybersecurity Division, said improving supply chain management and software assurance are keys to bolstering cybersecurity but, without boosting STEM education, computer security programs would fail.
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Stanford Seeks to Create New Breed 0f Engineer

(John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle)
Stanford is training a new type of engineer for a fast-changing world and James Plummer wants to get the word out that students needn't be a total techie to apply. "We're looking for kids who think of the world in terms of finding solutions to big problems, like global warming, international development, the environment," Plummer, dean of the School of Engineering, said in an interview. "We want to attract students ... who might have a wider world view" than those in the traditional math- and science-laden programs featured at the nation's top technical schools.
Read More

Women Opt out of Math/Science Careers Because of Family Demands

(ScienceDaily)
Women who are good at mathematics often do not choose careers in math-intensive fields, such as computer science, physics, technology, engineering, chemistry, and higher mathematics, because they want the flexibility to raise children, or because they prefer other fields of science that are less math-intensive, according to a new study. The study, an integrative analysis of 35 years of research on sex differences in math, offers explanations for why women are underrepresented in math-intensive science careers.
Read More

Physics Before Biology and Chemistry Equals Promising Results

(Stephanie Akin, NorthJersey.com)
A new way of teaching physics developed by a Bergen County, N.J. teacher could offer a solution to poor student performance in math and science.
Read More

Mentoring Seen as Particularly Important for Female Success in Tech Industry

(Summary from 3/3/10 ACTE Career Tech Update)
In an IT Business Edge blog, Ann All noted the recent BusinessWeek column from scholar and columnist Vivek Wadhwa in which he cites an analysis indicating "a dearth of women entrepreneurs." Wadhwa also "sees promise in female-led support networks and groups, including Women 2.0 and the Young Women Social Entrepreneurs." However, All wrote, those measures "won't provide much direct help with child care and other family-related issues."
Read More

NASA Launches Mission Simulator Website

(Doug Beizer, Federal Computer Week)
An interactive simulation website launched by NASA today enables anyone to experience space mission activities, such as docking the space shuttle at the International Space Station. The online Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) simulation is designed to be both educational and entertaining.
Article
Simulator Website

PUBLICATIONS

Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

(American Association of University Women)
In an era when women are increasingly prominent in medicine, law and business, why are there so few women scientists and engineers? This report presents in-depth yet accessible profiles of eight key research findings that point to environmental and social barriers - including stereotypes, gender bias and the climate of science and engineering departments in colleges and universities - that continue to block women's participation and progress in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Learn More

Race Matters

(Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed)
A constant theme of reports about math and science is that the United States will have a large enough supply of scientists only if it does a better job of attracting black and Latino scientists -- and not just relying on Asian American, white and foreign talent. Many of these reports note that large shares of black and Latino high school students don't receive the kind of preparation they should in math and science. A new study points to another factor: the role of black college instructors in encouraging black science students to persist as science majors. The study finds a statistically significant relationship between black students who plan to be a science major having at least one black science instructor as freshmen and then sticking to their plans.
Read Article
Read Study: The Effect of Instructor Race and Gender on Student Persistence in STEM Fields (Joshua Price, Cornell University)

Eyeballs in the Fridge Needed to Entice Early Interest in Science, Study Finds

(UVA Today)
A new study co-authored by a University of Virginia Curry School of Education professor finds that key experiences that sparked scientists' initial interest in the subject may come earlier than middle school, as previously reported.
Read More

Diversifying the STEM Pipeline: The Model Replication Institutions Program

(Institute for Higher Education Policy)
This report describes effective practices and policies that have enhanced and strengthened the STEM offerings at nine Minority Serving [postsecondary] Institutions. These institutions participate in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Model Replication Institutions (MRI) initiative, which builds on best practices in STEM undergraduate education identified previously by a NSF- and NASA-supported, 11-year-old program called the Model Institutions of Excellence (MIE).
Learn More

Study: Boys Trail Girls in Reading, Both Genders Even in Math

(CBS News)
Girls in the U.S. have closed the achievement gap in math, but boys still lag behind in reading, according to a new study. The Center on Education Policy found that girls generally achieved the same proficiency in math as boys at the elementary, middle and high school grade levels. Girls have traditionally trailed boys in that subject. However, the traditional gender gap in reading remains, with girls outperforming boys at the three main grade levels. In many states, the learning gap exceeded 10 percent.
Read Article
Read Report

RESOURCES

Trailblazing Black Female Scientist Encourages Women to Follow Suit: NPR interview with Shirley Jackson

American Honda Foundation Grants to K-12 schools, colleges, universities, trade schools, and other youth-focused nonprofit organizations for programs that benefit youth and scientific education.

SolidWorks: STEM Educators Grant will award SolidWorks Student Edition CAD software to individual U.S. educators.

U.S. DOLETA Community-Based Job Training Grants Program support workforce training for high-growth/high-demand industries through the national system of community, technical, and Tribal colleges.

Making Science Cool Videos from The After-School Corporation

SAVE THE DATE

Multinational Development of Women in Technology Annual Conference, Columbia, MD, April 29, 2010

USA Science & Engineering Festival: October 10-24, 2010, Washington, DC

DISCLAIMER

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material published in the NAPE Update are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NAPE. Furthermore, inclusion of a product, program, or practice in the NAPE Update does not imply its endorsement by NAPE.

MATERIALS USE POLICY

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Materials Use Policy

Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material contained in the resources sections on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NAPE Education Foundation or projects. Furthermore, inclusion of a product, program, or practice in the NAPE website does not imply its endorsement by the NAPE Education Foundation.