#IamaWomanInSTEM mentoring project at UK seeks volunteers

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The Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Project put out a call this morning via email asking for women who work in STEM to volunteer their time as mentors. Here’s the full email:

If you are a woman in a STEM-related career, you are invited to volunteer to serve as a mentor for a UK undergraduate woman who is majoring or minoring in a STEM discipline. The project, undertaken in partnership with the American Association of University Women’s Kentucky branch, is just now starting up here at UK.

This initiative is one that we hope will last a long time, but all we are asking for right now is that you consider being a mentor this coming Spring. This will entail some regular interactions with one or more undergraduate students (the timing to be determined in partnership with your mentee) and attendance at a monthly Meet-and-Greet with the #IamaWomanInSTEM steering team and visitors.

Our first Meet-and-Greet will be held in January 2016 at Maxwell Place with Dr. Mary Lynne Capilouto, former dean of Dentistry at the University of Alabama Birmingham and now at the University of Kentucky with her husband who is serving as UK’s President.

Please review the project summary and reply to Sue Scheff (suescheff@uky.edu) and Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth (dolph@uky.edu) to let us know by Friday, December 11th if you are interested in serving as a mentor this Spring (January through May) 2016.

Please volunteer your time if you can help with this outstanding project.

Episode 40: Entrepreneurship at WKU

Dr. Dawn Bolton and Dr. Whitney Peake
Dr. Dawn Bolton and Dr. Whitney Peake

If you’re a student who has entrepreneurial aspirations, WKU offers a vast array of resources to help you develop and grow your business: degree programs, pitch competitions, business plan development workshops, an entrepreneur speaker series, and much more! In this episode of the Innovation Update, Josh talks with Dr. Dawn Bolton and Dr. Whitney Peake of the WKU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation about the many avenues to entrepreneurial success available to WKU students.

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Mars Rover: High school students simulate Mars expeditions

Photo credit: Aprile Rickert
Photo credit: Aprile Rickert

From the News and Tribune: Sixteen-year-old Meghan Sturgeon already has a handle on what she wants to be when she grows up: an engineer.

Although her high school doesn’t offer much in the way of engineering exposure outside of some math and science classes that may be required for it, she got the opportunity —along with 44 other students from across Southern Indiana and parts of Kentucky — to get an up-close look at what engineering can be about Friday at Purdue Polytechnic Institute in New Albany.

“Purdue: Mission to Mars” was a daylong event which was part of the school’s K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) outreach program. The students were grouped according to complementary skills and tasked with using several of the disciplines to get Lego robots, in the style of Martian rovers, to navigate the surface of Mars, built by staff, faculty and students of the school.

Click here to read the full story.

 

Is STEM education being left behind?

Photo credit: Susan Walsh/AP
Photo credit: Susan Walsh/AP

Just last month, President Obama had this to say during the second annual White House Astronomy Night:

“Some of you might be on your way to Mars,” the president told the crowd of future astronauts and scientists. “America can do anything! We just gotta keep on encouraging every new generation to explore and invent and create and discover. We got to keep encouraging some young kid in Brooklyn or a budding rocket scientist in Alabama or that young girl who’s dreaming to become an astronaut.”

Then why, some would argue, is action not measuring up to words?

“People like to talk, but the actions don’t measure up to words,” says City College of New York physics professor Michael Lubell. He’s also a fellow at the American Physical Society, which has long sounded the alarm on the need to bolster physics, science and math education. “STEM today is the child left behind. And it’s being left behind at the juvenile level,” Lubell says.

Click here to read the full story from NPR.

Education secretary highlights importance of STEM

Arne_Duncan_at_National_Teacher_Hall_of_Fame,_Emporia_State_University,_Emporia,_KansasFrom Valley Central: U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the Rio Grande Valley to speak to students at Student Leadership Day at HESTEC in Edinburg.

Duncan highlighted the importance of STEM education and reminded students that technology helps mold the future.

“I want all of you to think not just about Apple products but creating Apple products and working for Apple, and think about all the great technology that you’re working on today and have found ways of enjoying. Think about creating all of that. And the jobs of the future, so many of them, not all of them, are in the STEM fields,” Duncan said.

Click here to read the full article.

Scientists Successfully Create Brain-to-Brain Link

brain-770044_1920Imagine a future where you could transmit a unique feeling, a hard-to-translate thought process, or precise motor movements via a neural pattern from your brain to someone else’s brain, sharing what can’t otherwise be easily communicated. This is the goal of new research conducted at the University of Washington (UW).

In the UW experiment, published in PLOS ONE, subjects played a 20 Questions–style game through a direct brain-to-brain connection, and accurately guessed what object was on the other person’s mind 72 percent of the time.

Click here to read the full article.

Water on Mars? NASA set for big announcement

From CNN: NASA says it has big news for us Monday. “Mars Mystery Solved,” the agency’s news release touts without offering even a hint as to what mystery they mean.

For those who just can’t wait, a little Googling may solve the puzzle — and it’s not Matt Damon, little green people, or any other clear indication of life. It appears to be a confirmation of periodically flowing water on the planet’s surface.

Click here to read more from this article.

Would virtual reality classrooms help STEM education?

16475420268_4b6528b0ca_bFrom the International Business Times: Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson made a play for Silicon Valley support Thursday by calling for more science and math education. Tech itself, he said, can be used to spur interest in those fields.

How so? Using “Internet-based virtual-reality classrooms where we can put the very best teachers in front of a million students,” Carson said in a prerecorded video message played at the CloudFlare Internet Summit.

Do you think this kind of high-tech classroom could boost STEM education?

Click here to read the full article.

Drones increasingly becoming common part of education

In this Aug. 25 photo, from left, fifth-grade students Parker League, Zane Flores and Brendan Albers reassemble their drone after it took a spill during an experiment at Whitetail Elementary in Gretna, Neb. (Megan Farmer/Omaha World-Herald via AP)
In this Aug. 25 photo, from left, fifth-grade students Parker League, Zane Flores and Brendan Albers reassemble their drone after it took a spill during an experiment at Whitetail Elementary in Gretna, Neb. (Megan Farmer/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

From the Omaha World-Leader: Ingraham is a technology specialist with Educational Service Unit 3, a political subdivision that provides technology support to 18 eastern Nebraska school districts.

The organization bought 25 drones, including the Phantom, as part of its mission to seek out emerging technologies that might be important to schools in the future, he said.

“It just seemed to be an incredibly compelling way of engaging students, specifically in STEM concepts — science, technology, engineering, math — that is so important for the future of our nation,” Ingraham said.

Click here to read the full story.

STEM Should Broaden, Not Narrow, the Curriculum

String MachineFrom Education Week: What we call a STEM shift—a movement toward comprehensive and fully integrated STEM education throughout a school or district—is the first real and promising development with the potential to re-envision educational orientation from the bottom up. A STEM shift encourages the reimagination of schools, from kindergarten through the 12th grade, including the way curriculum is designed, organized, and delivered. Done well, this includes the learning processes of inquiry, imagination, questioning, problem-solving, creativity, invention, and collaboration—and certainly learning, thinking, and writing.

Click here to read this full commentary.