• Video games for STEM skills, diversity in middle schools

    An interdisciplinary team of researchers is launching an initiative which will use a custom-designed video game to boost computational thinking in middle school science classrooms. The goal is not only to improve educational outcomes, but also to foster gender and racial diversity in computer science and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

  • Cornell students hope to make the first CubeSat to orbit the moon

    Cislunar Explorers, a team of Cornell graduate and undergraduate students guided by Mason Peck, a former senior official at NASA, is attempting to boldly go where no CubeSat team has gone before: around the moon. The group attempting to make a first-ever moon orbit with a satellite no bigger than a cereal box, made entirely with off-the-shelf materials, and which uses water as a propellant. The Cislunar Explorers take part in NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, which is offering a total of $5.5 million to teams that meet the challenge objectives: designing, building, and delivering flight-worthy, small satellites capable of advanced operations near and beyond the moon.

  • Training future problem solvers at DHS Centers of Excellence

    DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) says that focusing on the future does not just mean focusing on the technology, research, and development. Focusing on the future also includes the specialized research and education programs at the university-based DHS Centers of Excellence (COEs). It is this approach that has led S&T’s Office of University Programs (OUP), which manages the COEs, to offer grants, internships, and summer research experiences to help undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates gain real-world exposure to homeland security challenges both in the field and in the lab.

  • Teaching the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

    In 2003, I founded Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) with a group of students, with the simple goal of attracting more engineering students to our cybersecurity lab at NYU. Today, with as many as 20,000 students from around the globe participating, CSAW is the largest student-run cybersecurity event in the world. The ability quickly to adapt as new threats are perceived is a top priority for security personnel. That’s a key element of all CSAW competitions – the idea that successful cybersecurity is not limited to mastering what’s known. Rather, students and professionals alike must constantly push their abilities to intercept future threats in an ever-evolving field. The competitors in the CSAW-sponsored games and competitions, which take place in educational settings in the United States and around the world, will — not long from now — be the protectors of our most sensitive personal and national data. We need them to be prepared.

  • Do teachers’ climate change beliefs influence students? The answer is yes and no

    A study of middle school science classes explored whether teachers’ beliefs about climate change influenced students’ perceptions. “The answer is yes and no,” says the study’s author. “While students generally mirror a teacher’s belief that global warming is happening, when it comes to the cause of climate change, students reason for themselves and reach different conclusions than their teachers do.”

  • Virginia Tech’s Thinkabit Lab: Hands-on STEM learning for students, training for teachers

    Virginia Tech and Qualcomm Inc. begin a multiyear collaboration this fall with the launch of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church. The Thinkabit Lab offers both teachers and students an engaging learning environment — part lab, makerspace, and classroom – aiming to foster creativity, collaboration, and the critical skills.

  • GW Program on Extremism expands research, expertise

    Since its launch in June 2015, the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism has contributed research and analysis on violent and non-violent extremism. GW notes the program’s report ISIS in America: From Retweets to Raqqa has been used by policymakers and law enforcement as a trusted source. Now in its second year, program leadership says they will continue to grow as a leading resource of expertise and research on extremism by expanding with new initiatives and hires.

  • Nuclear forensics summer program trains students for a future in nuclear security

    A sure sign of summer is the return of interns to the Lawrence Livermore campus. Students interact with premier researchers and access equipment and facilities not available anywhere else, while scientists lay groundwork for advancing their fields. LLNL runs an eight-week summer internship for students interested in nuclear science and its range of specialties — nuclear forensics, environmental radiochemistry, nuclear physics, and beyond. Together, these disciplines support the laboratory’s nuclear security mission through analysis of nuclear processes and properties.

  • French schools to hold security drills, including mock terrorist attacks

    As part of the French government’s bolstering of security measures in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks, French schools, beginning with the new school year, will now conduct three security drills a year – including at least one drill in which a mock assailants enter the school building.

  • Increasing the number of American engineers, scientists

    Over the past several years, the U.S. has ranked low among other nations in numbers of students proficient in math and science, as well as skilled workers in those fields. According to researchers, American students are perfectly capable and interested in entering those fields, but are not being encouraged to pursue a STEM career. The researchers identifies factors that could lead more young students to successful careers in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

  • Climate change already accelerating sea level rise

    Greenhouse gases are already having an accelerating effect on sea level rise, but the impact has so far been masked by the cataclysmic 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, according to a new study. Satellite observations, which began in 1993, indicate that the rate of sea level rise has held fairly steady at about three millimeters per year. But the expected acceleration due to climate change is likely hidden in the satellite record because of a happenstance of timing: The record began soon after the Pinatubo eruption, which temporarily cooled the planet, causing sea levels to drop.

  • Texas, UT ask judge to throw out lawsuit challenging campus carry

    The Texas Attorney General’s Office and University of Texas at Austin on Monday asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit brought by three UT-Austin professors seeking to keep guns out of their classrooms despite the state’s new campus carry law. Three professors have argued that the law, which went into effect 1 August, will stifle discussion in their classrooms. The professors say they fear that guns present during class discussions will cause people to censor themselves out of concerns for their safety.

  • $40 million funding opportunity for homeland security quantitative analysis COE

    DHS S&T the other day announced a $40 million funding opportunity for an institution to lead a new DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Homeland Security Quantitative Analysis. This new COE will conduct end user-focused research to enhance the application of analytic tools that support real-time decision making and address homeland security-related threats and hazards.

  • Battelle awards over $300,000 to boost STEM education

    Battelle — operator of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory — has boosted a network of STEM education organizations, awarding over $300,000 in grants to benefit K-12 schools, higher education institutions, community partnerships, and other non-profit organizations.

  • New UAlbany undergrad major in emergency preparedness, homeland security, cybersecurity

    The University of Albany’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity has received approval from the New York State Education Department to establish the bachelor’s degree program in emergency preparedness, homeland security, and cybersecurity at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year. The college is the first stand-alone academic institution in the United States dedicated to emergency preparedness, homeland security, and cybersecurity.