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MdBio Foundation launches STEM "serious game" initiative

MdBio Foundation launches STEM "serious game" initiative

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Published by Henry Fawell

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Published by: Henry Fawell on Jul 09, 2012
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07/09/2012

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012 
 
U.S. News STEM Solutions Summit
 
 
Right now in the United States, there are 3 million unfilled jobs requiringworkers adept in science, technology, engineering and math. Due to adomestic shortage of such workers, businesses too often either leavepositions unfilled, negatively affecting productivity, or are forced to hirequalified candidates from overseas. That's why so many of them,including Fortune 500 companies AT&T, Boeing, and Dell, are lining upto support the conference designed to find solutions to the STEM jobscrisis, U.S. News STEM Solutions 2012: A Leadership Summit. Takingplace in Dallas June 27-29, this first-ever conference of its kind willbring together on a national stage several of the major players with aninvestment in the future of a robust STEM workforce. Hundreds ofbusiness executives, HR managers, educators, policymakers,government officials, technology experts, philanthropists, communityleaders and association chiefs will gather to develop best practices andthe next steps for building the pipeline from competitive STEM workersto available jobs.
 
U.S. News & World Report is pleased to announce the inagurualrecipients of the U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame Awards.The five honorees were selected from an impressive field of nomineesby a distinguished committee of industry, academic, and nonprofitleaders in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields(STEM). The Hall of Fame Awards ceremony is the capstone of theU.S. News STEM Solutions 2012 Summit (which takes place in Dallasfrom June 27-29), an unprecedented gathering of business executives,educators, HR managers, philanthropists, policymakers, andtechnology companies united in one critical objective: creating anational consensus on the development of a STEMworkforce.
Industry
 
 
BAE Systems is proud to announce a partnership with Northern VirginiaCommunity College (NOVA) to support Science, Technology,Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs. As part of thepartnership, BAE Systems will sponsor NOVA's Geospatial LeadersSummer Program. The program, which runs from June 22 to July 20, isdesigned to introduce at-risk students from Northern Virginia high
Stay Connected
 
STEMconnector
TM
 
As America faces a shortageof STEM professionalsentering the workforce,STEMconnector is proud tounveil the cover of its 100Women Leaders in STEMspecial publication. This oneof a kind piece honors thecareers and initiatives of onehundred women acrossindustries. With this,STEMconnector aims toadvance the cause of moregirls and women pursuing aSTEM career as ourCountry´s economy reliesmore than ever on a preparedSTEM workforce. Thepublication will be presentedfor the first time at the USNews STEM Solutions
 
schools to Geospatial Intelligence studies and help them understand acollege education and fulfilling career is within their grasp. BAESystems volunteers will act as mentors throughout the program,helping students develop invaluable skills such as resume building,networking, and job interviewing techniques. "This program opensstudents' minds to new possibilities, educating them about excitingcareer opportunities in our field," said Jordan Becker, vice presidentand general manager of BAE Systems' GEOINT-ISR business.
Entrepreneurship
 
 
DreamBox is a K-5 adaptive math product widely used in USelementary schools. Adaptive means that the program captures everydecision a student makes while working in the software and adjusts thestudent's learning path in real time, maintaining just the right degree ofdifficulty and no gaps in understanding. DreamBox builds conceptualunderstanding and fluency with a combination of rigorous math,motivating environment, and adaptive experience. The company hastaken its own unique adaptive pathway to edtech success. It wasstarted by a couple of Seattle software entrepreneurs in 2008 with aninitial focus on the consumer space. They built a great engine but themarketing never gained much traction with parents. DreamBox did gaintraction with Rocketship Education, powering the learning labs of thehigh performing network beginning with the 2009-10 schoolyear.
Non-Profits
 
 
Daniil Popov had the federal administrators in stitches. Sitting in aconference room in the shadow of the White House last month, the 19-year-old described his first day at Vancouver's Frito-Lay plant tocomedic effect. Popov went to Washington, D.C., with severalrepresentatives of a Vancouver program that seeks to encourage low-income high school students to go into science or engineering fields.He was one of four students from around the country who shared theircareer development experience with officials from the federal labor andeducation departments. The career program is run by nConnect, anonprofit that received money from the Southwest WashingtonWorkforce Development Council to connect students with Clark Countyemployers.
Foundations
 
 
In response to the declining state of science education in America,MdBio Foundation, Inc. today announced it will provide scienceteachers and students nationwide with an innovative and immersiveeducational video game platform free of charge beginning in 2013. Theonline platform, called MdBioSphere(TM), seeks to advance studentcomprehension in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)and revitalize student interest in science-related careers through theuse of innovative gaming technology. The serious game is beingSummit to be held in Dallas,TX on June 27, 28 and 29th.The 100 Women in STEMlaunch reception will takeplace at 5:00PM on June 28th. To view the full details andRSVP, gotowww.STEMconnector.org/1
 
On next Tuesday, June 19that 10 a.m., the NationalAssessment Governing Boardwill hold a panel discussingThe Nation's Report Card'srecent findings on hands-onlearning by students in 4th,8th, and 12th grade. Previousresults from The Nation'sReport Card have shown thatstudents who performedhands-on-tasks (HOTs)almost every day werescoring higher onassessments than studentswho did not perform thesetasks. The panel will reviewthe results and learn howthese students performcomplex tasks with skillslearned from theirexperiments.
 
Udacity is a relatively newcompany with the mission of"democratizing education."They offer free online collegelevel courses to students of allages. Currently, thesecourses are mainly focusedon computer science andmathematics, but newsubjects and courses arebeing added. Students watchlectures online created by aprofessor according to a
 
developed by Hunt Valley, Md.-based BreakAway, Ltd., and will bepreviewed at the BIO International Convention (June 18-21, 2012,Booth 0753 in the Maryland Pavilion) in Boston. "The Foundationbelieves that creating a globally-competitive U.S. workforce begins inthe classroom," said J.J. Finkelstein, chairman of the MdBioFoundation.
 
The Heinz Endowments awarded $1 million to Community College ofAllegheny County to help enhance math education at CCAC. CCACannounced the award today. The grant will provide resources to helpincrease the completion rate in remedial courses. According to CCAC,65 percent of its entering students are placed into remedial mathcourses. In addition to professional development for faculty, the grantwill pay for drop-in "Math Cafes" which will offer extra math help outsideof class, including making math faculty and tutors available during theday, evening and weekend. Various computer-assisted math activitiesalso will be available at thecafes.
Reports
 
 
One of the most often-cited reasons for the STEM achievement gap isa lack of skilled and trained STEM teachers. The greatest percentageof under-qualified teachers at the K-12 level is found in STEMdisciplines - 40 percent of high school math teachers and 20 percent ofscience teachers in high needs areas lack a higher education degree inthe subject they instruct. The recruitment of highly qualified teachersinto the STEM teaching workforce has received a tremendous amountof attention in the past few years. And groups-from Teach for Americato the New York City Teaching Fellows- have demonstrated that ournation's very best students are willing to become teachers. But onceteachers are in the classroom, they often experience poor workplaceconditions, lack of support from peers and school leadership, and paythat does not reflect their qualifications or amount of work. Withoutsolving the retention crisis, America has little chance of making a dentin the educationcrisis.
Viewpoints
 
 
Did you have a special chemistry teacher who helped light a spark (andI don't mean a Bunsen burner) that led to a career in science? Or abaseball coach who said your knack for calculating batting averagescould be an asset in math class? If so, you're one of the lucky few whowas encouraged at an early age in one the STEM fields of science,technology, engineering, and mathematics. Teenagers are ofteninsecure about their math and science skills or discouraged by peerpressure from pursuing STEM fields; especially women and minorities.National Science Foundation data shows that the science andengineering workforce is largely white and male; Blacks and Hispanicsare only 7 percent of the workforce. There's a shortage of qualified U.S.curriculum. Accompanyingthese lectures are quizzes,tests, and homework that thestudent must complete beforea deadline. At the end of thecourse, students whocompleted all of the work willrecieve a certificate signed bythe instructor signifying thatthey have completed thecourse.
 

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