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How Failure, Big Brands and Men Can Help Close the Gender Gap in STEM

Pursuing a career in STEM can be a challenge for any student, but research suggests that the path for women in STEM can be particularly difficult. Thankfully, the call to support more women and girls as they pursue STEM is clear, and there are many organizations and initiatives that have joined the movement. Three recent articles highlight strategies for improving female engagement in STEM: Provide surmountable obstacles. In the Huffington Post, middle school science teacher Julie Rohl explains that she facilitates success in her female STEM ...

Lighting the Fire of American Ingenuity: The Need for More STEM Support

Change the Equation hosted their 2014 National STEM Summit, where United States Vice President Joe Biden delivered the keynote address to an audience comprised of America’s top business and thought leaders about the urgent need to improve STEM education in all of our schools. “In the next four years,” he said, “there will be over a million more jobs requiring science, technology, engineering, and math skills, but 15-year-olds in the United States rank 27th in Math, 20th in Science… out of 34 countries.” Furthermore, the percentage of female college ...

Catalysts for Improving our Classrooms

In the laboratory, a catalyst is defined as a “substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions than otherwise possible.”  And in the realm of education, a catalyst can act as an “agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.”  This is precisely what we need – a catalyst – to help improve our education system, improve student outcomes, and close the achievement gap. What can we do to solve these problems, and who is in the best position ...

PISA Results Show U.S. Education Needs More Work

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported this week that American students continue to lag behind in international rankings based on performance on an international assessment. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an initiative driven by the OECD to measure 15-year-old students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy. PISA also includes measures of general or cross-curricular competencies, such as problem solving.  2009 was the last time this assessment was administered, and those hoping the U.S. would fare better were met with a grim picture. This year’s results ...

Brains and Brawn – Secrets to Student Success

Let's face it – math and science are hard. It takes the right combination of support and resources to succeed in challenging STEM courses. New research suggests that students not only need those two ingredients, but they also require the "grit" and intellectual brawn to obtain academic achievement. What does having "grit" mean for a student? According to the research, grit is comprised of: •  Goal-directedness – Knowing where to go and how to get there. •  Motivation – Having a strong will to achieve identified goals. •  Self-control – Avoiding distractions ...

Preparing Students for the 'Knowledge Economy '

Article originially published in IDEAS LAB To combat the vast STEM achievement gap we must prepare and inspire all students for the knowledge economy because their careers will require STEM skills.  There are countless terms thrown around in discussions of the educational needs of the United States. Preparing students for the “knowledge economy” is a critical part of that discussion – but what exactly is the knowledge economy? In their paper entitled “The Knowledge Economy,” Stanford professors Walter W. Powell and Kaisa Snellman define it “as production and services based on knowledge-intensive ...

Lack of Support Causes Students to “Melt”

Here at NMSI, we have long been aware of the achievement gaps that are present in America’s school system, and we have highlighted time and again the need for support among minorities and other under-represented groups in STEM fields. And even though we have made great strides in alleviating these issues, the fact remains that there are still students out there who are not getting the support they need in order to become college and career ready, as evidenced by a new report from Harvard University. The report examines what ...

Where are all the Engineers? STEM Crisis Causing Major Shortage

As we are moving into the new school year, the conversations surrounding the Common Core State Standards and STEM education have grown increasingly vibrant, and rightfully so. America is still very much in a STEM crisis, and it is going to take some time to get out of it. Until that happens, the conversations must continue. To do so, Rigzone.com – the “gateway to the oil and gas industry” – recently posted an article by Robin Dupre, which explores the different facets of the STEM crisis – as highlighted ...

Teacher Training and AP Support Vital to Minority Success

A new report titled “The Road to Equity: Expanding AP Access and Success for African-American Students,” has been released by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which hopes to raise awareness of the incredibly wide achievement gap in American education by exploring the programs that are helping to close that gap in six urban school districts. “One of the greatest challenges in American public schools today is the inability of many high school graduates to do college-level work,” the report states. “Academic rigor, therefore, is a concept that has come ...

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