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Philadelphia Honors Teacher with STEM Education Center

The Donald McKinney Center for STEM Education was launched last month in Philadelphia, in honor of 30-year high school chemistry teacher Donald McKinney. McKinney is recognized as a tireless educator, teaching at Radnor High School, creating the Ed Fund’s Math and Science Coalition, and infusing “his love of science, passion for education, phenomenal work ethic, and ability to connect people, disciplines, and agencies.” His influence will continue to benefit those receiving an education in Philadelphia public schools. The career of McKinney and the Ed Fund’s new center are described in Philadephia Education Fund to launch center for STEM education, by Philadelphia Public Schools. Benefits of the center include increased “access to and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] for all Philadelphia K-12 students” as well as providing for expansion of the STEM...

STEM Scholars turn to a future of gender equality in Geneva

During the final meeting of a program created by U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren to champion the pursuit of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) based careers, nineteen local high school students were given an important lesson courtesy of an all-female panel on how to succeed in male-driven professions by conquering the gender obstacle. The students in the program, including ten women and nine men, won their place in Hultgren’s inaugural STEM scholars program based on personal commitment to STEM-related subjects including math, robotics and computer programming. The program offered students weekly tours to local STEM-oriented businesses for insight into the running of those businesses and the potential for career opportunities in the future. On July 10th, the program’s students were awarded graduation certificates during a ceremony at FONA International in...

Grants Available from the National Science Foundation for K thru 12 STEM Education

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is expected to award $10-20 million in multi year grants in 2017 for the promotion of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in schools Pre K through 12th grade. The motivation for awarding these grants is simple; to help fuel the need for more children and young people interested in STEM related careers. STEM has a role in almost everything today, from cars, computers, cell phones, and even home thermostats. The program that helps to oversee the creation and distribution for the grants is Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) and NSF describes them as “…a research and development program that supports projects to promote PreK-12 student interests and capacities to participate in the STEM and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future.” They do this by helping them obtain...

Changing Needs in Technical Education

The ever changing technological landscape in the United States creates equally dynamic shifts in the need for technical skills in the workplace. In the article Career Education Needs New Supports, Skill Focus, National Report Says, Education Week reveals a Bill working it’s way through the U.S. Congress to give States more flexibility to target grant money as needed by local labor needs. As the marketplace accounts for the need for technical careers that do not require a four-year degree, school and adult education also need to be able to provide the necessary training and adapt to the needs for flexibility in career guidance. Technology is reducing the need for manual labor while increasing the need for technical skills requiring high levels of knowledge. The report stated, demand for education and students is challenging in that it can be difficult to identify “viable career options...

GM looking to help bridge the gender gap in STEM education

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, announced earlier this month that the company will give $850,000 to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. Barra is focusing on four non-profits that specifically work with young women and minorities. These four programs are Black Girls Code, Institute of Play, Code.org, and Digital Promise. All four companies are well established and promote diversity in STEM education. Barra believes that the future of automakers depends heavily on a deep and diverse pool of skilled engineers. Not only is General Motors interested in helping to ensure a brighter future for these students, but with the rise of automated cars and related technology, the automotive industry needs STEM-skilled employees more than ever, to push forward automotive innovation. While there have been leaps and bounds made in technological advancements,...

U.S. Military Making a Difference in STEM Education

The need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) employees are growing at a much faster pace than the education system is producing candidates. This discrepancy brings a consistent warning from employers in the United States, including the Armed Forces, about the ability to meet demand. Armed Forces programs seek to expand STEM education in the U.S., including a concerted effort to reach schools and students who often lack access to these opportunities. The gap between STEM graduates and the needs of the workforce is rapidly widening. In fact, according to data from nonprofit code.org, in the country, there were over 600,000 open computing jobs, with only 43,000 students entering the workforce the previous year with those skills and education. And the number of new STEM jobs could be as high as 1 million by 2020. The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is a...

RoboKind Co-Founder Brings Robots4STEM to Dallas New Tech July Event

Richard Margolin, co-founder of RoboKind, took to the stage last Tuesday at the July Dallas New Tech showcase to introduce the company’s newest product for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The presentation established the importance of RoboKind’s Robots4STEM program by illustrating the current climate of STEM education. According to Margolin, “Over the last two decades, every STEM area we’ve increased engagement in the number of classes kids are taking except computer science. That’s actually decreased in the last two decades,” continued Margolin. “It’s not just we’re doing worse than in other areas, we’re doing worse than we were two decades ago.” With this dire portrait in mind, RoboKind has taken initiative to increase student interest in STEM courses by addressing the issue of how the material is taught. Margolin elaborates on seeing traditional...

Robots 4 Stem Camp July-August

Have a child (or know of one) from fourth to eighth grade who’s interested in robots and STEM but not sure where to go to help expand their interest? In Temple, Texas Robots 4 Stem Camp can help provide more information for both interested children and their parents on July 5-14, July 17-28, and July 31 to August 11. The camp is sponsored by The Learning Research Center, a business opened by Cindy Swain and her husband. When speaking about the camp to she stated, “This is a pilot here in Texas. Both my husband and I have a background in education. We’ve been looking for this kind of opportunity to go with our testing center.” The Robots 4 Stem Camp range in cost from $320 for a half day in the first half of July, and $640 for a full day, to $400 for a half day in August and $800 for a full day in the second July session. All of these sessions break down to about $10/hour, and with the...

RoboKind in the running for the Technology Inventor Award at Tech Titan 2017

Tech Titan is a yearly gala in North Texas held to help recognize applicants who have contributed greatly to the technology field in the past year. This year, Robokind’s founder and Chief Technology Officer, Richard Margolin is a finalist in the Technology Inventor category. Previous winners in this category have ranged from Texas Instruments to The University of Texas at Arlington. Posting on Twitter Mr. Margolin stated, “I’m honored to be a finalist for technology inventor.” If he is chosen as the winner a profile will be featured in the Dallas Business Journal and he will be recognized as one of the top contributors for technology in the North Texas area.  Part of what makes Robokind and their founder so inspirational and unique is their Robots4Autism program. This program uses a robot, Milo, to help educate children with autism. There are several unique hurdles that...

‘Hour of Code’ Sees More Girls Interested in STEM

An hour can be used for many things, cleaning, cooking, and work. For “Hour of Code” that hour is used to help teach younger people to become aware of coding, how it works, and some of the opportunities that this skill set presents. The Hour of Code study, completed in December of 2016, surveyed students from 563 classrooms that completed one of two Hour of Code activities. It looked at their feelings about the field before and after completing the activities, as stated above. To help solicit participation in the study teachers were offered $10 gift cards if their classroom participated. The statements that the participants were asked to comment on were: I like computer science. I think computer science is interesting. I have the ability to learn computer science. I am better at computer science than most kids at my school. Of the 8,000+ students that completed the activities and the...

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