Leading STEM Education 0rganizations Urge President Biden to Advance Study in STEM Subjects
Over 100 leading local, state, and national STEM organizations have signed a letter to President Biden asking him to “to highlight the critical role that learning in the STEM subjects plays in advancing our country’s technological leadership and economic future”. The letter, addressed to Biden and sent to Kei Koizumi, Chief of Staff at the Office of Science and Technology, highlights the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education and particularly the way longstanding gaps in educational attainment have become more visible and exacerbated. SciMathMN was one of the signatories.
See more and read the letter at the STEM Education Coalition website.
Minnesota Compass refurbishes and refocuses STEM project
Minnesota Compass, the Wilder Foundation project collecting and reporting data on Minnesota, has updated its website and refocused its STEM project. The project focuses on measures of access through building interest, identity, and achievement. The website measures emphasize necessary STEM competencies needed in each domain for success for students.
The Compass website identifies three key questions that they hope to answer:
- How does Minnesota fare on key measures of STEM success, from PreK to mid-career?
- Are we making progress over time?
- What strategies can stakeholders employ to ensure that all Minnesotans have access to a high-quality STEM education?
The project, supported by Boston Scientific, tracks 15 key measures, includes a comprehensive list of STEM occupations and fields of study leading to those occupations.
Interest in STEM in Minnesota largely matches interest in the country. 31% of 8th grade students report to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) that they engage in science outside their school.
On identity early project data finds that 55% of Minnesota fifth graders meet national standards. Higher income 8th grade students show a greater interest in considering careers that involve science than lower income students, 47% versus 37%. Reflecting’s Minnesota’s persistent racial disparities in education there is a 4.5% gap between white high school graduates (39.6) compared to students of color (35.1%).
When looking at achievement the site relies initially on student performance on 5th grade Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment science tests and 8th grade math tests. In both cases performance has been generally flat, down only slightly, since 2012. In that same time however high school graduates interested in STEM careers has dropped dramatically, from 48% to 35%.
The refurbished Minnesota Compass STEM project provides a data-rich tool to explore key dimensions of ensuring that Minnesota students have access to STEMA opportunities and Minnesota’s communities access to career ready workers.
Joint SciMathMN and The Works Museum conference announce keynote speaker for December 3rd conference
Team discount provided for groups of three or more
Please join SciMathMN and The Works Museum at Transcending Boundaries: Connecting School, Career and Communities Through STEM Tuesday, December 3rd at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center in St. Paul. There you will connect with Minnesota’s STEM educators, nonprofit providers, and business representatives to consider the role of STEM education in providing inclusive environments, adequate resources, and career-connected learning that prepare the next generation for the future.
Transcending boundaries will look at creating partnerships that enrich Minnesota’s STEM learning ecosystem by connecting in, out, and after-school time; formal and informal settings; and educational and workplace environments. The conference will also explore transcending boundaries between disciplines by engaging youth in authentic, human-centered learning that blends knowledge and practices from STEM subjects with arts, humanities, and other areas—and ensures that STEM learning is accessible and relevant for all.
The days keynote speaker is Dr. Jayshree Seth, 3M Corporate Scientist and Chief Science Advocate, will provide an overview of the 3M State of Science Index, a global survey of more than 14,000 people in 14 countries to uncover what people think of science and how they perceive its impact on their daily lives. Many of the survey findings highlight the importance of reducing real and perceived barriers to science appreciation and STEM education—in order to ensure that we have a healthy pipeline of future scientists and engineers to solve tomorrow’s challenges. Jayshree will share her personal journey as she explores ways we can advocate for science and promote STEM awareness, equity, and access for all.
Breakfast, lunch and cookie break included in registration. You can register here.
The 2017, 2nd Biennial Joint Conference of SciMathMN and Ignite Afterschool was a great success.
Here is a recap of some of the conference highlights – 2017 Conference Summary.
Deb Morrison was a Keynote Speaker for the Fall 2017 Conference
Presentation: Equity Research in Practice: Exploring Options for Closing Opportunity Gaps in STEM Learning
University of Washington Professor Deb Morrison was a keynote speaker at the Capturing Imaginations Building Skills conference. Morrison focused on closing equity gaps in STEM education. Improving equity within STEM teaching and learning is a central goal of recent policy conversations and reform. Both K-12 and informal STEM educators in Minnesota and nationally have long worked towards closing the STEM learning experience opportunity gaps that exist between students with varied lived experiences. In this presentation, Dr. Morrison defined the inequities found in our current terrain and explored research on practical solutions both informal and formal educators can use to disrupt cycles of inequity. A central focus of her work at the Institute of Science and Math Education is the way in which STEM instruction integrates students’ interests and supports expansions of identity development. Dr. Morrison addressed generalized approaches used across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as highlighted some specific to science learning. You can learn more about Morrison’s work here.
Myah Walker was another amazing Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Conference
Presentation: Creating a Path for our Youth: It Takes a Village
How did a young black girl from suburban Minnesota become an auditor of poultry farms in rural America? Exposure, expectations, encouragement and exploration. These are 4 key concepts in the formula for Ms. Walker’s success in the field of agriculture, but she didn’t get there alone. In this presentation, Ms. Walker shared her experiences taking you on her non-traditional STEM career journey to becoming a quality manager for a poultry company. Ms. Walker also addressed how exposure, expectations, encouragement and exploration, initiated by many individuals along her path, helped her to get to where she is today.
2017 STEM Day at the Fair
STEM Day 2017 was another great success. Over 13,000 Fair goers came through Dan Patch Park throughout the day. There they experimented with building design, learned to code, played with robots, explored energy from citrus fruit, and marveled at just what can be done with science, engineering, technology, and math. Governor Dayton proclaimed the day STEM Day at the Fair day in Minnesota, and Senator Franken stopped by to meet exhibitors and Fair goers.
WCCO brought turned many young people into meteorologist with their green screen, while the Raptor Center brought their magnificent birds. We honored the states Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching nominees, watched the University of Minnesota’s Physics Force do amazing things with 55 gallon drums, and laughed at Real Sciences jokes.
Many thanks to our sponsors for making STEM Day at the Fair happen. Platinum: 3M, Boston Scientific, and Smiths Medical. Silver: Seagate Technology and Orbital ATK. T-shirt sponsor: MTS Systems, tote bags sponsored by MnDOT. Planning for next years STEM Day at the Fair will begin after the new year.