Education / training

  • STEM educationSoftware enables computers to translate words to math

    If Johnny has five apples and seven oranges, and he wants to share them with three of his friends, can a computer understand the text to figure out how many pieces of fruit each person gets? Thanks to new software developed at the University of Illinois, machines now can learn to understand mathematical reasoning expressed in language, which could greatly improve search engines and access to data as well as boost mathematics education.

  • STEM educationImproving chemistry teaching throughout North America

    The Dow Chemical Company and the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) are partnering to invigorate chemistry education and support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in the nation’s schools. Dow and AACT will work together to convene a series of teacher summits and create more than 750 lesson plans, multimedia resources, demonstrations, and other high-quality chemistry teaching materials for use in K–12 classrooms. The work will be supported by a $1 million contribution from Dow to the AACT spread over a four year period.

  • Cybersecurity researchU Wisconsin, shedding 1960s anti-classified research image, launches cybersecurity center

    A new cybersecurity research center being built in partnership with private firms and the University of Wisconsin(UW) system aims to attract high-tech research dollars to the state, but administrators must balance the secrecy required for classified research with the openness which is the foundation of academic science. The state legislature passed a 2014 law allowing UW to accept contract for classified work partly in hopes that the school system will lose the perception of being an anti-classified-research environment, a perception dating back to campus protests against military research in the 1960s.

  • Cybersecurity educationUniversities adding cybersecurity programs to their curricula to meet growing demand

    The cyberattacks of recent years have not only increased the demand for employees who understand the field of information assurance and cybersecurity, they have also created a demand in cybersecurity education. Universities across the country are adding cybersecurity concentrations to their curricula to train students who will later help secure network systems.

  • STEM educationConsistency, collaboration needed for effective implementation of science teaching standards

    A new report just released today by the National Research Council offers guidance to district and school leaders and teachers on necessary steps for putting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into practice over the next decade and beyond. The report’s recommendations are informed by research findings that emphasize that science and engineering involve both knowing and doing; that developing rich, conceptual understanding is more productive for future learning than simply memorizing discrete facts; and learning experiences should be designed with coherent progressions over multiple years.

  • STEM educationColleges, labs develop STEM core curriculum

    The success of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Engineering Technology Program to educate veterans for technical careers has inspired a statewide push to create an educational core curriculum to prepare junior college students for technical jobs at California’s national labs. The core curriculum being designed by a consortium of community colleges, national labs, and nonprofit educational institutes emphasizes a heavy focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses to prepare women, minorities, veterans, and other underserved populations for high-paying jobs as technologists.

  • STEM educationN.M. Electric Car Challenge encourages students’ interests in STEM

    Aspiring automotive engineers from twenty-seven middle schools across New Mexico competed in the New Mexico Electric Car Challenge on 22 November at the Highland High School gymnasium in Albuquerque. The goals of the challenge are to present science and math concepts to students in a fun and exciting way, encourage team building, stimulate creative thinking, and develop students’ writing and presentation skills. The New Mexico Electric Car Challenge is a result of the collaboration and commitment of several partners to advance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs and opportunities for schoolchildren.

  • STEM educationNew, updated resource on STEM education, workforce

    It just became a lot easier for educators, students, parents, policymakers and business leaders to learn more about national trends in education and jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The National Science Board (NSB) last month released an interactive, online resource featuring new and updated data and graphics about STEM education and workforce in the United States and providing facts on topics such as student proficiency, college degrees in STEM fields, and jobs in science-related occupations.

  • School shootingSchools review lockdown protocols for active shooter scenarios

    Schools across the country are reviewing their lockdown protocols for active shooter scenarios. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ortiz Middle School is encouraging educators to not only gather students within their care to safety, but if necessary to fight off an attacker if the situation permits. On 9 October, school principal Steve Baca ordered a lockdown after a security guard discovered a gun in a student’s backpack. Immediately, English teacher Alexandra Robertson locked students in her classroom, got them to help barricade the door, and she was prepared to use any object including books and chairs to fed off anyone who might try to enter the classroom.

  • IslamTensions over Islam find their way to U.S. campuses

    University of Central Florida(UCF) professor Dr. Jonathan Matusitz is facing backlash from some groups which claim that his class on terrorism and communication is based on a biased view and a hatred of Islam. Students at the University of California-Berkeleybegan to protest the university’s selection of television personality Bill Maher as the mid-year commencement speaker on 20 December, describing his comments on Islam as racist, divisive, and offensive to many students. UCF says it stands behind Matusitz, and UC-Berkeley says Maher’s invitation stands.

  • EducationRose State College launches new Homeland Security Institute

    Rose State College in Oklahoma has announced the establishment of a Homeland Security Institute. The Institute, the first educational program of its kind in Oklahoma, will provide education and training in domestic and foreign terrorism prevention, emergency command procedures, and management of natural and manmade disasters. The counterterrorism educational phase will begin January 2015 with the launching of four online classes.

  • CybersecurityNew cyber initiative to put Israel’s Beer-Sheva region on the world’s cyber map

    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a central component of the new CyberSpark initiative, an ecosystem with all the components which will allow it to attain a position of global leadership in the cyber field. The CyberSpark initiative is the only complex of its type in the world – a government-academic-industry partnership which includes Fortune 500 companies and cyber-incubators, academic researchers and educational facilities, as well as national government and security agencies. The CyberSpark Industry Initiative will serve as a coordinating body for joint cyber industry activities with government agencies, the Israel Defense Force (IDF), and academia.

  • STEM educationProject gets community college students on the STEM path

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is supporting a program — currently involving thirty-two schools, soon to be thirty-even — to bring undergraduate research into the science curricula of community colleges. The Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) “is the first large scale effort working to integrate undergraduate research at community colleges, institutions that serve as the entryway into higher education for many students, particularly first generation college students and students underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines,” says the NSF’s V. Celeste Carter.

  • Visa controlU.S. student visa program fails to monitor participating schools: Lawmaker

    The number of student visa holders in U.S. colleges grew from 110,000 in 2001 to 524,000 in 2012. Today, more than 9,000 schools in the United States participate in the student visa enrollment program. The list includes reputable universities, but it also includes trade schools such as massage and beauty schools. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has introduced legislation to better monitor schools which attract foreign applicants. “It’s time to close the loopholes and clamp down on schools that have a poor track record with regard to foreign students,” Grassley said.

  • STEM educationKickstarter-funded video game teaches kids how to code

    Computer scientists have successfully funded on Kickstarter a new and improved version of CodeSpells, a first-person player game they developed that teaches players how to code. The game’s previous iteration has been in use in dozens of schools throughout the world for more than a year. The researchers have been using the game as a platform to learn about the best ways to teach children how to code.