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Instagram of the Day

USGS Hovercraft — Many kids, even a lot of adults, love the idea of driving a hovercraft around! But this hovercraft is vital to the safety of USGS scientists in the field taking measurements in frozen, and partially frozen, rivers. Hovercrafts, like this one, allow our hydrographers to access rivers with unsafe ice conditions more easily.

In this shot, we see Nick Stasulis from our Maine office piloting the hovercraft on the Kennebec River near Richmond, Maine.


Chrysler Group Engineer Receives 2014 Black Engineer of the Year "Visionary Award"

Chrysler Group Engineer Receives 2014 Black Engineer of the Year "Visionary Award" (via PR Newswire)

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Chrysler Group Head of Fastener Engineering honored during 28th annual event Award recognizes leaders "whose lifetime performance marks a career that affects the careers of many others" Chrysler Group…


‘Sneak Peak Friday’ Gives Busy STEM Fans an Exciting Preview of Exhibits Set for USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo!

This post is part of our ongoing series highlighting awesome events going on at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, taking place April 26th & 27th at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Learn more here:

With busy schedules, sometimes it’s hard to fit even the most exciting STEM education event in the country into your plans.  Which is why the Festival Expo has introduced “Sneak Peek Friday,” a special event on April 25 to give school groups, homeschoolers and military families a chance to preview and experience the Expo’s more than 3,000 exhibits from across the nation before they open to the general public the weekend of April 26-27. As testament to the demand for this special event (presented by the Department of Defense – Celebrating Diversity in STEM!), Sneak Peak Friday preregistration has already topped 30K, more than double from last year, so sign up today!

Sneak Peak Friday: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 9:00am to 3:00pm - Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC

Presented by the Department of Defense - Celebrating Diversity in STEM! - See more at:

The Creator of C++, Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, and the Chair of the ISO C++ Committee, Herb Sutter, Team Up to Educate C++ Developers at EE Live! 2014

The Creator of C++, Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, and the Chair of the ISO C++ Committee, Herb Sutter, Team Up to Educate C++ Developers at EE Live! 2014 (via PR Newswire)

Learn Key C++ Standards, Programming and Concepts from Prominent C++ Experts Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup + Herb Sutter to Educate C++ Developers at EE Live! 2014. (PRNewsFoto/UBM Tech) SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- UBM Tech's EE Live! 2014,…


Helping Hollywood Get the Science Right: At the USA Science & Engineering Festival, Meet the STEM Experts Who Are Making it Happen!

This post is part of our ongoing series highlighting awesome events going on at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, taking place April 26th & 27th at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Learn more here:

Why is it so important to get the science correct in TV and film? You’ll get the answers straight from the scientists and physicians who are serving as advisors to some the hottest TV shows today. Don’t miss the action when the Festival convenes the “Getting the Science Right in Hollywood” panel discussion next April in Washington, DC, featuring: noted transplantation cardiologist and computer scientist John Sotos, who serves as a medical technical advisor to House, MD and science advisor to the Dr. Who spinoff, Torchwood: Miracle Day; particle physicist David Saltzberg, the science advisor to the popular CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, and organic chemist Donna Nelson, science consultant for AMC‘s Breaking Bad series.

Learn More about this 2014 Stage Show: Getting the Science Right in Hollywood

Why is it so important to get the science correct in TV and film? Ask that question to organic chemist Donna Nelson, particle physicist David Saltzberg, and physician John Sotos and you'll get valuable insight into why they serve as science advisers to some of the hottest science/medical TV shows on the air today.
Meet these science celebrities and hear their viewpoints as they participate in the "Getting the Science Right in Hollywood" discussion panel scheduled for the USA Science & Engineering Festival's finale Expo in 2014.
John Sotos, M.D. – He’s both a physician (who wrote the definitive book on mysterious medical diagnoses) and a noted computer scientist – which makes him admirably suited for his role as medical technical advisor to the hit TV series, House, MD, and science advisor to the sci-fi show, Torchwood: Miracle Day.
Donna Nelson, professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma, serves as science advisor to AMC's popular show,"Breaking Bad". She was selected for the program after reading an article in Chemical and Engineering News about how the show's producer was seeking ongoing chemistry advice involving the program's main character, Walt (an organic chemistry high school teacher). Says Nancy: "I thought, 'I can do this!' Chemists and other scientists are always complaining about poor, inaccurate science that appears in movies and television shows. This is an opportunity to do something about it."
David Saltzberg, a world-renowned particle physicists at the University of California, Los Angeles, serves as science consultant for CBS TV's "The Big Bang Theory", which boasts 12 million viewers each week. David is known for his attention to getting the science right without detracting from the mood and direction of the sitcom. In enhancing the show's script, he says: "I often choose something new, so people can learn about recent science discoveries." For example, he adds, "I've put in references to the CERN super-collider and to recent discoveries relating to dark matter."

Launch of STEM Jobs® magazine Connects Students’ Passions to Real Jobs

Launch of STEM Jobs® magazine Connects Students’ Passions to Real Jobs

Jan. 30, 2014 (Pittsburgh, PA) | Victory Media announces the launch of STEM Jobs® magazine, a national digital and print publication that encourages high school and college students, especially women and minorities, to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers. The company launched its web and mobile site in 2013 at
U.S. students falling further behind in math and science is a serious indicator of the country becoming less economically competitive in the global marketplace. Until now, a critical piece has been missing in the STEM conversation…making the connection between education and employment.
STEM Jobs® fills that void with a voice and a brand that makes those careers exciting and tangible for students. “On one hand, we have stubbornly high unemployment in this country, and on the other, we have employers who have tons of unfilled technical jobs.  The solution to this ‘skills gap’ is to encourage our young people to pursue STEM education,” said Jolene Jeffries, Chair of the STEM Jobs® Council and former Director of Employment at Union Pacific Railroad and VP of Strategic Partnerships for the Direct Employers Association.
The premier issue highlights the science behind making our Olympic athletes more competitive at Sochi. Additional features include articles on teen cancer researcher Jack Andraka, careers at Google, ALCOA, Pfizer, Chevron, Fedex, education at California University of PA, Project Lead the Way and the U.S. Navy. Upcoming issues tie technical skills to great jobs at companies like ESPN, Cirque du Soleil and National Geographic. “By reflecting our tagline, Do What You Love, STEM Jobs® will make these fields ‘cool’ in the cafeteria.” said Daniel Nichols, STEM Jobs® president and former executive at the U.S. Department of Labor.
STEM Jobs® magazine is distributed digitally to over 600,000 students and 20,000 teachers in coordination with a classroom publication reaching 15,000 schools in all 50 states across the US and has a print circulation of 200,000. Go to to sign up for a free, digital subscription and for first notice of the extensive digital tools aimed at helping students explore STEM careers planned for release later this year.
About STEM Jobs 
STEM Jobs encourages all students to pursue STEM careers through an engaging media platform (digital and print magazine,, and social media) and assessment tools



Congressional High School App Contest

This year marks the first annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, the “House App Contest.”  This new competition is designed to engage student’s creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields.  Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is a nationwide event that allows high school students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.  Throughout the completion period, participating students will be provided opportunities to engage with various STEM educational partners located within the community to mentor and assist them with their app development.  
The “House App Challenge” is open to all high school students in participating districts. Students entering the competition must submit their app’s source code online during the Competition Submission Period between 12 PM Eastern Standard Time on FEBRUARY 1ST, 2014, and 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time on APRIL 30TH, 2014, as well as provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.
Can I Participate?
  1. Members of Congress must opt-in for their district to participate in this competition. If a Member does not opt-in, constituents in their district will be ineligible to participate. Find out if I am eligible.
  2. The Competition is open only to high school students who reside in a participating district or who are eligible to attend public high school in that district. Individuals submitting on behalf of teams must meet the eligibility requirements for individual Contestants
To Register
To enter, the student must register for the House Student App Challenge under their participating Member of Congress’ profile and register on during the Competition Submission Period. All entries must be an original in concept, design and execution.
  1. Register for the House Student App Challenge
  2. Register at

Encourage your member of Congress to participate today!


Business Partnerships Help Michigan Science Center







Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) and other new/existing business partnerships continue to bolster confidence in the stability of the Michigan Science Center.  MiSci, formerly the Detroit Science Center, opened its doors in December 2012 with the help of several major donors.  Ford Motor Company Fund made an initial $200,000 donation at the time.  DTE Energy Foundation also made a contribution in 2012, totalling $250,000.  

Both companies are continuing their support of MiSci as they seek to raise awareness and interest in STEM education.  “The science center is an educational gem that attracts and inspires thousands of Southeastern Michigan families every year,” said Fred Shell, chair of the DTE Energy Foundation and vice president of DTE Energy’s Corporate and Government Affairs group.  “The Foundation’s contribution is part of DTE Energy’s broader support of STEM education initiatives preparing the future workforce of our state.”  "Michigan Science Center is a great place for students and families to explore how science and technology impacts and improves our lives," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. "At Ford we understand that our future depends on engaging and effective educational opportunities for the next generation."

Recently DTE announced that it would commit to donating $1 million over five years, and Ford continues to contribute in its pledge of $400,000 over three years.  

Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center has stated that "These contributions enable us to continue to reach out and provide children and their families with unique science experiences that encourage a greater interest in STEM education – an integral component to boosting Detroit's and Michigan's economies."

In a city in the midst of bankruptcy the Michigan Science Center is a shining light, a light powered by the charitable contributions of community-minded corporations in the Metro-Detroit region.

About The Michigan Science Center
The Michigan Science Center is a hands-on museum that inspires children and their families to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Science Center features five theaters, including Michigan's largest screen at the Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systemes Planetarium; the Toyota Engineering Theater; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the Chrysler Science Stage; a 9,800 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; Kids Town just for pint-size scientists; and education and outreach programs.
For more information, please call 313.577.8400 or visit the website, .

ACT Report Reveals New STEM Gap: Untapped Pool of STEM-Interested Students

This is a press release from ACT

A new report from ACT reveals an untapped pool of students who have an interest in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) but are not planning to pursue a STEM career as they prepare for the future. The data point to a gap between interests and intentions that, if addressed, could help put more students on the path to STEM careers.

“The good news is that student interest in STEM is high overall,” said Jon Erickson, ACT president of education and career solutions. “The bad news is that a sizable number of students may not be connecting the dots between their innate interests and a potential STEM-related career.”

The ACT national and state report series, The Condition of STEM 2013, examines the expressed and measured interests of high school graduates in the class of 2013 who took the ACT® college readiness exam. Expressed interest is when students say they intend to pursue a particular major or occupation. Measured interest, in contrast, is derived from students’ responses to the ACT Interest Inventory, a battery of questions that measures preferences for different types of work tasks.

A total of 48 percent of the ACT-tested 2013 graduates had expressed and/or measured interest in STEM, including 16 percent who had both. Twenty-three percent had only expressed interest, planning to pursue a STEM career even though their inventory results suggest that other fields may be better aligned to their interests. But nearly one out of every 10 graduates (9 percent) had only measured interest in STEM; they had no plans to pursue a STEM major or career despite their innate interest.

“Nothing is more costly to the nation than untapped potential, and that’s why we must do more to ensure that all students understand the career opportunities that match their interests, particularly those that exist in important STEM fields,” said Erickson. “If we can identify students earlier and then keep them engaged, they may be more likely to choose a STEM career.”

ACT’s report also points to a gap between STEM interest and preparation. Around half or more of the 2013 ACT-tested graduates planning to pursue STEM majors and careers were not ready to succeed in first-year math or science coursework in college. Readiness was significantly higher, however, among students with both expressed and measured interest than among those with only expressed interest.

“Early assessment and intervention are extremely important in helping students get on track for college and career success, and that’s particularly true in the areas of math and science, where so many of our students are falling behind,” said Erickson. “That’s one reason why we’ve built STEM scores and benchmarks into our new ACT Aspire™ system and why we’re committed to keeping science tests in the ACT and ACT Aspire assessments.”

Selecting a career that matches interests can help students succeed. Previous ACT research has shown that when students’ interests are aligned with their chosen college majors, they are more likely to remain in their major, persist in college and complete their degree in a timely manner.

“The findings in this new report are supported by those in our recent College Choice Report, which showed that a surprising number of students are planning to pursue majors or careers that don’t match their interests,” said Wayne Camara, ACT senior vice president of research. “If we encourage young students who are interested in STEM to consider related careers, I believe both they and U.S. employers will benefit.”

A number of national reports have pointed to a need for more workers in STEM fields. A recent report from the Bayer Corporation’s Facts of Science Education survey suggests Fortune 1000 companies are struggling to fill STEM positions due to a shortage of qualified candidates. And a 2012 report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology concluded that the need for STEM professionals will significantly outweigh the availability of those workers over the next decade if current trends continue.

“This report gives educators, business leaders and policymakers access to important new information regarding the condition of STEM education in our country,” said Lisa Brady Gill, executive director of education policy and advocacy for Texas Instruments. “We feel it provides much-needed insight that will help us as we work together towards real and meaningful change in this area.”

The STEM job outlook is strong, and STEM occupations tend to be high paying, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the recently released U.S. News & World Report 100 Best Jobs of 2014, more than half of the top 50 jobs are STEM related.

The Condition of STEM 2013 reports for the nation and for each state can be accessed for free on ACT’s website at

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ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as the nation’s leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality achievement assessments grounded in more than 50 years of research and experience. ACT offers a uniquely integrated set of solutions that help people succeed from kindergarten through career, providing insights that unlock potential. To learn more about ACT, go to


John Holdren to Deliver X-STEM Symposium Opening Address at USA Science & Engineering Festival!

This post is part of our ongoing series highlighting awesome events going on at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, taking place April 26th & 27th at Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Learn more here:

One sure way to inspire and motivate young learners in STEM is to bring them up close and personal with some of nation’s most exciting and influential figures in high-tech.  Be there April 24 in Washington, DC when this unforgettable symposium, presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune, does just that from the start by kicking off the event with words from John Holdren, Ph.D., President Obama’s Science Advisor. Dr. Holdren will deliver the opening address at the symposium where more than 65 of the most inspiring innovators in STEM will be gathered all day for engaging workshops, live demonstrations and other interaction with middle school through high school students, teachers and others. Tickets are on sale now!

X-STEM - presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune - is an Extreme STEM symposium for elementary through high school students featuring interactive presentations and workshops by an exclusive group of visionaries who aim to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). These top STEM role models and industry leaders are sure to ignite your students’ curiosity through storytelling and live demonstrations.
This all day event will feature multiple presentation sessions covering a wide array of subject areas including space exploration, storm chasing, oceanography, the science of social networks, the physics of superheroes, mathematical puzzles and much, much more! Student attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on multiple engaging presentations, live demonstrations and hands-on workshops.
Don't miss this truly unique educational opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the nation's most noted STEM professionals representing top universities, corporations, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies.


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