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Senators Call Out Phony Science Materials Sent to Teachers Nationwide

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) along with Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) , and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to highlight bogus materials sent by the Heartland Institute to more than 300,000 public school science teachers across the country.  The materials which include an 11-minute DVD and 135-page book call into question the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change.  The Heartland Institute has a record of disseminating “alternate facts” including challenging the health risks of tobacco in the 1990s.  Read more. A PDF copy of Senator Whitehouse’s letter is available here.

Nat Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Snapshot Report – Science and Engineering Degree Completion by Gender

From 2006 to 2016, degree completion in the “hard sciences” increased in prevalence for both genders. Excluding social sciences and psychology, the percentage of bachelor’s degrees accounted for by S&E disciplines increased five percentage points for men, and two percentage points for women. Read more.

Joan Ganz Cooney Center

STEM Starts Early

STEM Starts Early: Grounding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education in Early Childhood,” published by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and New America and supported by a National Science Foundation grant reports that children who engage in scientific activities at an early age (between birth and age 8) develop positive attitudes toward science, build up their STEM vocabularies and do better at problem solving, meeting challenges and acquiring new skills.  Along with their findings, researchers offer several recommendations including engaging parents, supporting teacher professional development, and increasing resources.  Full Report

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K-12 Computer Science Framework

The Association for Computing Machinery, Code.org, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative have collaborated with states, districts, and the computer science education community to develop conceptual guidelines for computer science education. The K–12 Computer Science Framework comes at a time when education systems are adapting to a 21st century vision of students who are not just computer users but also computationally literate creators who are proficient in the concepts and practices of computer science. States, districts, and organizations can use the framework to inform the development of standards and curriculum, build capacity for teaching…

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ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has released  an updated version of the Standards for Students.  These standards emphasize the skills and qualities  needed to engage and thrive in a connected, digital world.  The standards focus on transformative learning with technology with students as empowered learners, digital citizens, knowledge constructors, innovative designers, computational thinkers, creative communicators, and global collaborators.  Read more.

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Congressional App Challenge

From July 18 through November 2, 2016, students in Rhode Island are invited to design an app for mobile, tablet, or personal computers on a platform of their choice and submit them via the Congressional App Challenge website.  Established in 2013, the Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide event open to all students who have not yet graduated high school. The competition encourages students to get involved in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Students are allowed to compete individually or in teams of up to four people. In addition to submitting an app for the Congressional App…

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America’s Advanced Industries: New Trends

The Brookings Institution just released a new advanced industries trend report.   Focused on the progress of the nation’s R&D- and STEM-worked intensive advanced sector, the new analysis benchmarks the 50 states and some 250-metros on the nature and diversity of their “advanced industry” output and employment growth over the last two years.  The report details the state of the nation’s high-value economy.  Read more:

National PTA

Increasing Students’ Access to Opportunities in STEM by Effectively Engaging Families

National PTA released a white paper that focuses on the essential role of family engagement in increasing students’ access to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) especially among girls and underrepresented youth.  This paper is part of National PTA’s new STEM + Families initiative.  Read more.

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National Grid Energy Saving School Fundraiser Program

National Grid’s Fundraiser Program enables schools to raise funds while teaching he community about energy efficiency and conservation.  Participation is easy and each school keeps 100% of the money collected through the fundraiser.  The program is targeted at grades K-8 but high schools and some youth organizations may also be eligible to participate.  For more information, contact Bonnie Devlin at 1-413-355-0079 or bonnie.a.devlin@lmco.com.  

US Department of Education

2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection

The 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) is a survey of all public schools and school districts in the United States. The CRDC measures student access to courses, programs, instructional and other staff, and resources — as well as school climate factors, such as student discipline and bullying and harassment — that impact education equity and opportunity for students. The U.S. Department of Education will release additional data highlights on key topics later in 2016.  Read more.