STEM Crisis or Not?

Posted by & filed under Careers.

In 2012, President Obama announced that our country needed to produce 1 million STEM professionals over the next 10 years to stay technologically competitive. A number of writers responded with data purporting a surplus of STEM workers. Who was right? Yi Xue and Richard Larson say all are right in their Monthly Labor Review paper,… Read more »

Pope Francis Weighs in on Environment

Posted by & filed under Engineering, Ethics, Pedagogy, Relevancy.

On May 24. 2015, Pope Francis issued, “Laudato Sí,” a 184-page encyclical letter calling upon Catholics to stop global warming and save the environment. The majority of American universities have probably noticed the letter, but not given it much thought. However, that’s not the case if you work at a Catholic university or college. The… Read more »

Math Help in Ireland

Posted by & filed under Associations, Math labs, Mathematics.

Lack of preparation in mathematics is often a stumbling block for STEM and other undergraduates, and apparently that is true in Ireland as well. Besides offering math courses with lectures and recitations, all Irish college and universities have mathematics support centres. A 2014 study of students who use the centres found positive impacts on the… Read more »

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL)

Posted by & filed under Associations, Programs.

I don’t know how I’ve missed Project Kaleidoscope until now. PKAL is a center of the Association of American Colleges and Universities that is dedicated to graduating more students from STEM disciplines. PKAL has been developing an institution-wide model for changing STEM education that is scalable and sustainable. This model is exciting to me because… Read more »

Participate Actively in STEM Retention

Posted by & filed under Active Learning, Material Selection.

Numerous educational papers and books identify active learning in the classroom as a way to retain STEM undergraduates. Librarians need not be left out of the action, even if they aren’t in the actual or virtual classroom. A common active learning activity that professors use is to divide a class into debate teams that read… Read more »

STEM Solutions Sponsored by U.S. News

Posted by & filed under Conferences, Presentations.

U.S. News and World Report held its fourth STEM Solutions Conference in San Diego over the summer. Leaders from industry, education, and government discussed how to attract and retain students and workers in STEM. You can attend too belatedly because U.S. News has posted speaker videos and daily recaps in the special report, STEM Solutions…. Read more »

Math Anxiety Is Catching

Posted by & filed under Math Anxiety, Mathematics, Parental Influence.

A common factor in STEM attrition of undergraduates is poor preparation in mathematics. That barrier to retention got a lot higher with the news that parents can pass math anxiety onto their children. The study published in Psychological Science reports that both a child’s achievement and attitude toward math are impacted. The highest negative impact… Read more »

Really “Doing” Science

Posted by & filed under Careers, Currency, Pedagogy.

A biting post was published on The National Science Teachers Association blog on recently. Professor of Science Education Robert Yager from the University of Iowa posted “Misconceptions about the ‘Doing’ of Science” and criticized science teachers for how slowly they are moving to effective science teaching strategies. In his list of criticisms, he mentioned lack… Read more »