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Online Career Development Conference Introduced by Society of Women Engineers

 
The Society of Women Engineers is proud to present its first Online Career Development Conference March 13-14, 2014. Featuring an array of accomplished speakers, the event brings together distinguished presenters to share their thoughts on how women can take control of their careers.
 
"We listened to the needs of our 26,000 members worldwide and worked to attract the brightest leaders in career development," said Peter Finn, SWE's deputy executive director and chief learning officer. "The online format means regardless of schedule or location, attendees can take advantage of this slate of speakers' perspective on professional advancement."
 
Developed for women three to 15 years into their careers, the summit is designed to help engineers remain competitive in the marketplace by continuously honing their professional and technical skills. Each of the four to five daily sessions range from 30 to 60 minutes and are crafted to help women achieve their career goals while maintaining work/life balance. Topics include:
 
.       Understanding emotional intelligence and its impact in the workplace
.       Being an authentic leader
.       Proactive approaches to career planning and transitions
.       Communicating effectively
.       Developing your brand
.       Negotiating your compensation
.       Engaging with community and professional organizations
 
The conference is made possible through the generous contributions of Gold-Level Sponsor Ingersoll Rand, along with Silver-Level Sponsor URS Corporation. For complete details and registration options, visit this link.
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USA Science & Engineering Festival Garners Allies in the Halls of Congress

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: blog.stemconnector.org/usa-science-engineering-festival.

The importance of inspiring America's youth to develop a passion for and careers in STEM is something that should concern us all – regardless of conventional geographic and political differences and boundaries. This is why the Festival established its Honorary Congressional Host Committee, which aids in forming non-partisan allies in the Festival’s mission to inspire young learners in the sciences, and to ensure the nation’s future global competitiveness.  U.S. Congressional representatives that have signed on to the Committee include: Susan Davis (CA);  Richard Hanna (NY); Mike Honda (CA); Joseph P. Kennedy, III (MA); Ann McLane Kuster (NH); Patrick E. Murphy (FL); Marc Veasey, (TX), and Jim Moran (VA).

Complete List: Honorary Congressional Host Committee - Past and Present Members.

Innovative Partnerships Build Advanced Manufacturing Pathways

This is a guest blog post via Karen Fraser-Middleton of the League for Innovation in the Community College. Read Karen's full post and more at their blog!
 
The energy and passion is palatable to anyone who tours Sacramento Hacker Lab, a place where entrepreneurs, hobbyists, students, artists, retirees, and corporate employees mix, inspire, and produce in incubator offices and hands-on fabricating space. Models, custom parts, video game characters, and aquaponics system components are being made on a professional level 3D printer thanks to the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technology (CACT), based in Rocklin, CA.
 
The Sierra Community College District covers Placer, Nevada, and parts of Sacramento County, and stretches from Roseville, where companies such as Hewlett Packard are located, over 50 mostly rural miles to Lake Tahoe. The CACT serves the Sacramento Metropolitan region and Northern California.
 
Working with Sacramento Hacker Lab is just one of many Sierra College partnerships that are spurring innovation, encouraging entrepreneurship, preparing students, and meeting workforce demand in the advanced manufacturing sector in Northern California. Carol Pepper-Kittredge, CACT Director, Sierra College, credits building customer-driven relationships with college faculty, high school teachers, manufacturing companies, and regional organizations. “Working collaboratively, we’ve found customized sustainable solutions to developing an advanced manufacturing workforce in Northern California,” said Pepper-Kittredge.
 
“This is not a cookie-cutter approach,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “We listen keenly to the needs of industry and educators to bring a network of resources to the table to transform education and prepare students for engineering and design, and manufacturing and product development pathways.”
 
The Sierra College CACT and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Collaborative are funded through the Workforce and Economic Development program of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. In addition, Sierra College has benefited from National Science Foundation funding. The CACT also provides training to manufacturers and businesses in process improvement, lean manufacturing methods, project management, and many other business skills.
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National Inventors Hall of Fame Announces 2014 Inductees

National Inventors Hall of Fame Announces 2014 Inductees (via PR Newswire)

-Special Ceremony Planned to Honor the Great Minds who Gave Us the 3D Printer, and Many Other Advancements in Medicine, Science, Technology, and Engineering- ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), in…

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Fourth Meeting of STEM Innovation Task Force Focuses on STEM 2.0

March 4, 2014, Santa Clara, CA | STEMconnector®’s STEM Innovation Task Force (SITF) convened its fourth general meeting on Thursday February 27th, and Friday February 28th in Santa Clara, CA. The meeting was hosted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global leader in information technology (IT) services and business process consulting, at its Silicon Valley Customer Collaboration Center. Currently, Balaji Ganapathy, director of Workforce Development, Tata Consultancy Services serves as the co-chair of the SITF. 

Celebrating its first anniversary, the SITF met to discuss its achievements for 2013 and further its action plan for its signature program “STEM 2.0” and the STEM Career Accelerator Day, held March 18, 2014. 
 
The first action of 2014 was convening the ‘Global War for Talent’ Summit on January 14th in Washington, DC. The summit featured a number of high-level speakers from the industry, education, and non-profit sectors to discuss topics such as changing global demographics, pace of technology growth, and the skills gap; and sub-topics of the future of human capital development, STEM education, and making the connection between business and academia.
 
The major project for the STEM Innovation Task Force in 2014 will be “STEM 2.0”. This initiative is focused on identifying the critical career capabilities that students need (in addition to a traditional STEM education, also referred to as STEM 1.0) for unlocking successful STEM careers in the future. The SITF has decided to focus on Digital Fluency, Innovation Excellence, and Life Skills as the three critical capability platforms; as well as two parallel platforms that align these capabilities with Industry demands for career & job readiness and the Education system for engagement & delivery channels.  The STEM 2.0 initiative will link to the STEM Food & Ag Council to ensure that specific capabilities in the food and agriculture industry are being developed for the future. The STEM Innovation Task Force will convene expert roundtables, Town Hall Conference Calls, and develop and release a white paper series highlighting major recommendations for government and the private sector to bridge the gap between current education and the STEM capabilities needed to succeed in tomorrow’s new economy.
 
On March 18th the STEM Innovation Task Force in partnership with its member companies and organizations will convene its first annual STEM Career Accelerator Day (#STEMCAD14) across seven different locations in the United States. The aim of this event is to encourage high school students to pursue STEM majors and careers through an engaging visit to a major STEM facility, direct interaction with STEM professionals, and hands-on learning activities. The event will also involve their teachers and parents to enable crucial conversations on STEM careers. The following organizations will be hosting a STEM Career Accelerator Day Event:
 
Arizona State University/Honeywell/Tata Consultancy Services: Mesa, AZ
PepsiCo
Frito-Lay Campus: Plano, TX
Quaker Campus: Barrington, IL
Beverages Campus: Valhalla, NY
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Greenbelt, MD
Spark 101/Teach For America: Virtual 
 
About the STEM Innovation Task Force (SITF):
STEMconnector’s SITF comprised of 29 industry, government, education, and non-profit leaders. The SITF has a grand vision of “Accelerating sustainable STEM careers and wealth through innovation science and excellence in tomorrow’s new economy.” The task force will accomplish their agenda of developing STEM human capital through a number of high powered working groups that focus on certain priority areas of STEM innovation.

Matthew Alford of the University of Washington and Jennifer Isenhart of Wide Eye Productions named winners of Ocean 180 Video Challenge! (Press Release)

Videos highlighting research in physical oceanography, marine chemistry, and marine biology claim top prizes. Winners selected by over 30,000 middle school students for excellent communication of science

MELBOURNE, FL- What does a scientist look like? What does a scientist actually do? For some, the idea of science might conjure memories from high school physics or maybe someone in glasses and a lab coat. Recently, ocean scientists from around the US set out to show the public who they really are, the work they conduct, and why their research is important to scientists and non-scientists alike.

Using 3 minute videos, ocean scientists explored a piece of their own recently published research, highlighting its significance and purpose. To determine who was best at engaging and explaining these new discoveries, the Ocean 180 Video Challenge looked to a group of potential future scientists: middle school students.
 
A team of nearly 31,000 middle school students from around the world joined forces last month to determine the winners of the Ocean 180 Video Challenge. Viewing each of the finalists, students were asked to evaluate the films for their clarity and message. They were also asked to consider which videos made them excited about the scientists’ research.
 
Alyson Tockstein led her students in the judging process at Talcott Mountain Academy in Avon, CT. “It showed them the variety of disciplines of study inside marine science,“ explained Alyson. “ It showed them the connections between technology and math and science in a way that they haven’t really been exposed to before.”
 
After 5 weeks of classroom viewing, deliberation, discussion and voting, the three winners emerged. The top film, Wavechasers and the Samoan Passage, was singled out for its educational value, creativity, and the excitement the scientists shared with students. Hundreds of classrooms participating commented on the top video’s ability to make them “more interested in science” and “excited by research”. One judging classroom explained the video grabbed their attention “by the mystery of something so significant and would be unknown if people were not researching it.”
 
How a microscopic team alters the course of carbon in the Atlantic Ocean, from Laurence Yeung of UCLA and Meg Rosenbaum of the California Institute of Technology took the second prize, while Bite Size: Bull shark predation of tarpon from Neil Hammerschlag of the University of Miami and Gareth Burghes of Lagomorph Films claimed third place honors. An honorable mention was awarded to Joseph Pawlik of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington for his video abstract Sponges of the Caribbean: What ecological factors most affect them?
 
Each of the top three teams received a portion of the $6,000 cash prize, but many of the finalists saw value beyond the financial reward. Laurence Yeung explained “It was a chance to make a new video for an audience we hadn't targeted before, using a storytelling style we hadn't used before. It was an experiment.”
 
Sponsored by the Florida Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE Florida) and funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Ocean 180 Video Challenge was designed to inspire scientists to communicate the meaning and significance of scientific research with a broader audience.
 
The importance of creating effective communication skills in science fields is steadily increasing and many national organizations, including the National Science Foundation, have emphasized the importance of scientists engaging the public and making their research accessible to non-scientists. 
 
“Scientists receive extensive training in how to do science, but often lack training in how to share science with others –especially the people who support and fund the research,” said Richard Tankersley, Florida Tech professor of biological sciences and member of the Ocean 180 Steering Committee. “Ocean 180 is a wonderful opportunity for scientists to practice and hone their communication skills and broaden the impact and accessibility of their research.”
 
Finalists in the Ocean 180 Video Challenge had their videos viewed by thousands of classrooms around the world, exposing diverse and new audiences to their research. Students also provided scientists with feedback on how to improve their video storytelling and technical skills and ways to make science more relatable to the public. 
 
For some middle school students, and budding scientists, sharing science might be the best part of Ocean 180. As one student judge explained, “It’s not very good to keep information that’s valuable to the world cooped up in a little box. You need to open the box and let everybody see it so they’re more aware of the environment and what’s in it.”
 
 
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ACM Urges States to Expand Computer Science Education to Prepare K-12 Students for 21st Century Workforce Needs

 
New Report Presents Recommendations and Initiatives to Address CS Education Challenges
 
NEW YORK, NY - March 5, 2014 | Citing the rapid growth of computing jobs in virtually every industry sector in the United States, ACM today issued a report urging states to provide more opportunities for students to gain the skills and knowledge needed to compete for these high-wage positions.  The report “Rebooting the Pathway to Success: Preparing Students for Computing Workforce Needs in the United States” calls on education and business leaders and public policy officials in every state to take immediate action aimed at filling the pipeline of qualified students pursuing computing and related degrees, and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.  The report provides recommendations to help these leaders join together to create a comprehensive plan that addresses K-12 computer science education and that aligns state policy, programs, and resources to implement these efforts. 
 
“By 2020, one of every two jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be in computing,” said Bobby Schnabel, chair of ACM’s Education Policy Committee.  “This concentration of computing positions in STEM makes it imperative for K-12 students in academic and career technical education programs to gain more opportunities to learn computer science.”
 
ACM CEO and Executive Director John White said that despite national calls for improved STEM education, computer science is largely omitted from these reforms.  “A key factor in the limited access to K-12 computer science programs is the notion that computer science is not considered part of the ‘core’ subjects that students are expected to learn.  We need to expose all students to computer science so they learn the vital skills that are increasingly relevant to a broad range of well-paying occupations,” he said.
 
To remedy this dilemma, the report recommends that states or localities adopt a clear definition of rigorous computer science that is grounded in the K-12 Computer Science Standards developed by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).
 
The ACM report calls on colleges and universities to play a role in in expanding opportunities for computer science education by recognizing rigorous computer science courses in their admissions requirements.  Higher education institutions can also reduce barriers to degree completion by adopting system-wide agreements that allow students to transfer course credits to fulfill their computing degrees efficiently.
 
Examples of current computing education initiatives across the country are included in the report, providing potential models and inspiration for policymakers to adapt as they develop their own computer science education and computing workforce development plans.  The report includes an overview of each initiative’s approach for increasing access to computer science in K-12 as well as plans to address diversity issues. 
 
The report presents the results of a study conducted by the ACM Education Policy Committee.  The study, based on data gathered from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, was designed to assess the national computing workforce landscape, and to determine how well states are preparing K‑12 students with the computing skills necessary for their future careers. 
 
About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery www.acm.org, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence.  ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. 
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The Future Has Arrived: Discover at the Festival Expo How Biotechnology is Changing 21st Century Medicine!

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: blog.stemconnector.org/usa-science-engineering-festival.

No longer the  stuff of science fiction, biotechnology is changing 21st century medicine forever. With new knowledge and technologies, doctors and researchers are finding ways to increasingly craft better therapies tailored to an individual’s genome and microbiology. At the Festival Expo next April, learn from leaders in the field how scientists are transforming one-size-fits- all medicine to treatments customized just for you. In a panel presentation moderated by New York Times columnist Carl Zimmer (who is author of such bestsellers as ‘A Planet of Viruses’, ‘Parasite Rex’ and ‘The Tangled Bank’), you’ll also meet Kim Popovits, who as a cancer patient and CEO and President of Genomic Health, is at the forefront of the personalized medicine movement, working to develop treatments as unique as patients themselves. 

Learn more about this #SciFest 2014 Stage Show: The Tech of You: Inside the Personalized Medicine Revolution

National 4-H Council Trustees Present Congressional Testimony on the Importance of 4-H, Agriculture and Food Security

Chevy Chase, MD (March 4, 2014) | National 4-H Council Trustee Tess Hammock, Forsyth, Georgia, testified before members of Congress today on the importance of agriculture and engaging young people to help meet food security demands of the future. Hammock reminded committee members that food production must double by 2050 to respond to projected population growth, and recommended engaging more young people in agriculture education and careers to help meet the increased demand. 

An agricultural communications major at the University of Georgia, Hammock’s testimony was part of a larger hearing of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture on the importance of Cooperative Extension. The purpose of the hearing was to review the 100 years since the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 was signed into law establishing the Cooperative Extension System. 
 
Cooperative Extension and the nation’s land-grant colleges and universities provide a network of professional educators in every county in America to improve their surrounding communities through programs and resources focused on agriculture, home economics, economic development, environmental health and youth development.
 
“The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established an invaluable partnership through the national Cooperative Extension Service between land-grant colleges conducting research and the farmer who was able to apply that information to improve his farming system, thereby improving lives and leading our nation into an agricultural revolution,” said Congressman Austin Scott, (R-GA), chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture. “I thank each of our witnesses for providing their valuable testimony today and look forward to further evaluation of the state of the Cooperative Extension Service to ensure a successful model of Cooperative Extension education for many years to come.”
 
Hammock joined fellow National 4-H Council Trustee Delbert Foster, acting vice president, Land-Grant Services, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina at the hearing. 
 
“As Cooperative Extension continues, in the future, the focus will be to address emerging and critical issues that are impacting families, youth communities and agriculture producers,” said Foster. “Cooperative Extension, with the research base at the land-grant universities, is in a unique position to respond to the challenges and issues.”
 
Hammock represented 4-H, which is the youth development program of Cooperative Extension and the largest youth development organization in the nation. During her testimony, Hammock discussed the impact that 4-H has had in developing her as a youth leader, sparking her interest in public speaking and preparing her to pursue a career in agricultural communications. Hammock is a Presidential Leadership Scholar at the University of Georgia and a five-time Master Georgia 4-H'er. During her seven-year 4-H career, Hammock served on the 2011-2012 Georgia 4-H State Board of Directors and won state and national honors in public speaking, communications and the arts, and Leadership in Action.
 
“I am deeply grateful for the leadership skills I acquired in 4-H and the amazing adults who believed in me, including my county extension agent and state program leaders,” said Tess Hammock, National 4-H Council Youth Trustee. “4-H taught me that being a leader begins with confidence. Without mentors and 4-H youth leaders, my life would have been very different,” added Hammock.
 
Hammock emphasized that 4-H'ers are tackling issues that matter most in the areas of science, healthy living and food security.  
 
“Food security is an issue that is important to me and is the reason I am pursuing my undergraduate degree in agricultural communications,” said Hammock. “Agriculture touches every person on the planet, every day. It has been part of our story since the beginning of time, and it is vital to our very existence. Agriculture has an important story to tell and I want to be one of the voices telling that story.” 
 
In addition to Foster and Hammock, other witnesses included:
Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
Dr. A. Scott Reed, vice provost, University Outreach and Engagement & director, Oregon State University Extension Service, Corvallis, Oregon
Dr. L. Washington Lyons, executive administrator, Association of Extension Administrators, North Carolina A&T State University 
 
About 4-H
4-H is a community of seven million young people around the world learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In the United States, 4-H programs are implemented by 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension through more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, 4-H programs operate through independent, country-led organizations in more than 50 countries. 
 
Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.
 
Media Contact: Kate Caskin, kcaskin@4-H.org
 
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Carnegie Science Center is Finalist for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

This is a press release from The Carnegie Science Center
Science Center One of 30 Finalists in Prestigious National Honor
 
PITTSBURGH, March 3, 2014 – The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced that Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh is a National Medal for Museum and Library Service finalist. The National Medal, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, is celebrating its 20th year of saluting institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
 
Medal finalists are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach.
 
“We are tremendously gratified to be recognized for our work in supporting science education in the Pittsburgh region,” said Carnegie Science Center Co-Director Ann Metzger. “We’re very proud of our efforts to be a leader in STEM education, to raise public awareness about in-demand careers through our math + science = success™ campaign, and the recent launch of our resource portal, STEMisphere.org. It’s wonderful to have our team acknowledged for their great work.”
 
“Carnegie Science Center has been serving this community for 22 years,” says Ron Baillie, the Science Center’s other co-director. “We continue to innovate new ways to bring science to the people in our region and beyond. Our Science on the Road outreach program reaches 150,000 students a year, most of whom might never have the opportunity to visit the Science Center. We’re always looking for new ways to get kids from underserved populations interested in and access to science education. Being named as a National Medal finalist shows that those at the top of science education in this country value our efforts.”
 
Carnegie Science Center is one of 30 finalists selected from among more than 100 nominations nationwide. Finalists are chosen based on their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited Carnegie Science Center to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page and to visit the IMLS Facebook page to learn more about how these institutions make an impact. 
 
National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners will be announced this spring. Carnegie Science Center previously won the IMLS medal in 2003.
 
Among the achievements illustrating Carnegie Science Center’s community service:  
  • The Science Center is the region’s largest provider of informal science learning opportunities, with nearly 550,000 visitors onsite annually; its educational programming serves more than 220,000 people onsite and in schools and communities across five states (western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, northern West Virginia, northern Maryland, and southwestern New York).
  • Carnegie Science Center plays an essential role in developing the next generation workforce with the STEM skills to meet the needs of local industry. Its Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development leverages the Science Center’s role as convener and builds on the successful foundation of its STEM programming for even greater impact in the community. In October 2012, Carnegie Science Center’s STEM Center won international recognition when it received the Leading Edge Award for Business Practice from the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). 
  • Carnegie Science Center collaborates with more than 100 community partners to develop and implement programs like SciTech Days, ChemFest, and Engineer the Future, which feature hands-on exhibits by corporations and universities, as well as interaction with scientists and professionals. Student competitions like Future City and the Chain Reaction Contraption Contest engage volunteer engineers and STEM professionals to help students develop their months-long projects. The Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF) coordinated by Carnegie Science Center since its inception is one of the nation’s oldest and most-respected; more than 1,000 students participate annually and compete for more than $1 million in cash prizes and scholarships. Based on the strength of PRSEF, Pittsburgh was chosen as  one of three cities to host the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair over the next decade.
  • To increase participation of underrepresented audiences in STEM, special programs for girls feature hands-on activities and interaction with female STEM professional role models. The Science Center actively raises funds from corporations and foundations to permit students from underserved schools to participate in the Science Center’s STEM programs; currently more than one third of the participants in the Science Center’s STEM programs are from underserved schools.
  • Recognizing the importance of reaching early learners, Carnegie Science Center provides pre-K science program in more than 100 Head Start classrooms in Pittsburgh, 30 in Westmoreland County, and 18 in Indiana County. In addition, CSC contributes content to all 1,200 Pre-K classrooms throughout West Virginia.
To learn more about Carnegie Science Center’s programs and events, visit CarnegieScienceCenter.org or call 412.237.3400.
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