Tag Archives: STEM

Memo #1 from Mobile Learning Week 2015

Paris, France
February 23, 2015
According to Dr. Patience Stephens, Director/Special Advisor on Education for UN-Women, it is no longer appropriate or tolerable to do a minimalist job of providing girls and women with the tools they need to improve their lives – most notably with a second-class education. What a true statement – so obvious, but still not reality, especially not in many places around the globe.  With that inspiration and a call to more fully examine how mobile devices in particular can enable and empower change for girls and women, this year’s Mobile Learning Week 2015 was off to a great start.  Today was the workshop day of the weeklong event and I was honored to be chosen from a field of 70 proposals to lead one of the 12 workshops today.  Additionally, our good friend, Dr. Kari Stubbs, Vice President of Innovation and Learning at BrainPOP asked me to participate in her workshop to provide Speak Up research support.  It was a fun and exciting day examining the intersections of STEM, digital learning, games, coding, mobile devices – and girls!  I am excited to share with you 2 big takeaways based upon the workshops today that I hope may lead to deeper discussions on these important issues in your schools, districts, organizations and communities. If they do, I would love to hear back from you!
Take-away #1:  The morning workshop was led by the BrainPOP team and focused on girls’ interest in playing learning games, creating their own games, and learning how to code using mobile devices. Speak Up data provided the contextual background for many of the learning experiences within this workshop.  What I especially liked was the high level of audience participation and interactivity within the workshop.  Participants had multiple opportunities to play different kinds of games and even try their hand at coding.  While playing learning games is always fun, the play/learn experiences was grounded in examining the content through the lens of gender-sensitivity.  While it may seem easy to identify Game X as a “boy-oriented” game and Game Y as “girl-focused,” the audience quickly realized that those superficial stereotypes were inconclusive.  Using a guide developed by Project Tomorrow for this workshop, the participants had a chance to do a deeper dive as game and content evaluators and in the process, learned a lot of about their own biases and potential blindness to gender issues in digital content, games and other instructional materials.  The guide is available with other workshop materials at http://www.tomorrow.org/UNESCOworkshop.html.   We already know that the inclusion of mobile devices increases student engagement in learning. But what if we could prove that using mobile devices helps create more gender-responsive, transformative learning environments for all students?    We have much more work to do in this arena but I was excited to see the level of interest in this topic amongst the Mobile Learning Week attendees.
Take-away #2:  In the afternoon workshop, the focus was on how to design, implement and evaluate a gender-sensitive mobile learning project.  I led this workshop with support this time from Dr. Stubbs. Based upon Project Tomorrow research in this area, we shared a new way of thinking about the evolution of a mobile planning project from a gender-sensitivity perspective, starting from the identification of your project purpose through the synthesis of research data to share with stakeholders.  But first we had to review what we meant by gender-sensitivity.  A simplified version is basically becoming more aware of gender norms, roles and relationships and how those inherent or un-intended biases or opinions influences students’ learning. The real goal here is to develop new mobile learning projects that recognize gender issues and then, strategically and deliberately create ways to minimize the impact of any gender-blind or unequal priorities or values. As you might imagine these workshop topics instigated new questions and ideas about understanding and identifying gender-sensitivity.  Several points that the audience made on this topic intrigued me; I need to do more thinking on several of the points raised. However, several questions came up as to whether the goal of gender-sensitivity was to right the wrongs of the past in terms of unequal learning opportunities for girls, or to aim for how gender issues can be mitigated to the point of truly equal education for all genders. Both approaches are important to consider especially because in some communities, there is an emerging “boy crisis” where male students are feeling like second class citizens in their schools and that perception is affecting their school performance.  Sound familiar?  So, how do we really design, implement and evaluate new mobile learning projects that enable girls to reach for the stars in educational opportunities while not dashing the dreams and aspirations of their brothers?   I have a few suggestions.  Check out the PowerPoint from today’s workshop.  Spoiler alert – the powerpoint includes brand new data findings from Speak Up 2014. Review, enjoy and pass it on: http://www.tomorrow.org/UNESCOworkshop.html.
Tuesday is the first day of the two day Mobile Learning Symposium.  The Symposium includes inspiring keynotes and plenary sessions – and a myriad of small, TedTalk like sessions on all kinds of topics related to girls, women and mobile learning.  It is going to be a full day.  Be part of the experience by following me on Twitter (@JulieEvans_PT).  I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow my new learnings from this event in our Memo #2 from Mobile Learning Week 2015!

U.S. students slowly improving in math and science

Last month, the Pew Research Center released data showing that although U.S. students are slowly improving in math and science, they still are behind in the subjects when compared to other countries.

Only 29% of Americans rated their country’s K-12 STEM education as above average; scientists were even more critical, with only 16% of American Association of the Advancement of Science members calling K-12 STEM education above average. Despite these low percentages, U.S. students are slowly improving in math and science, scoring higher on national assessments than they did two decades ago. However, the U.S. still has more work to do when compared internationally, as they still rank in the middle and behind several other nations.
Among these cross-national assessments is the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures reading ability, math and science literacy, and other skills every three years; in 2012, the U.S. placed 35th out of 64 countries in math, and 27th in science (see below photo). Another assessment is the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which tests students every four years, placed the U.S. in the top ten countries

STEM_pisa
Interested in reading more? Check out the original article, “U.S. students improving – slowly – in math and science, but still lagging internationally” by Drew Desilver and check out the Pew Research Center’s official website. You can learn more about the most recent PISA results by reading our old blog post, “PISA Results
Here at Project Tomorrow, our vision is to ensure that today’s students are well prepared to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens of the world.  We believe that by supporting the innovative uses of science, math and technology resources in our K-12 schools and communities, students will develop the critical thinking, problem solving and creativity skills needed to compete and thrive in the 21st century. You can learn more about us and our various programs at http://www.tomorrow.org/

Exciting STEM opportunity for high school students

To encourage more students to purse the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Edwards Lifesciences Foundation is sponsoring two scholarships for high school students (incoming juniors and seniors) to participate in the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology at UCI’s CardioStart program.

This six-week program will take place between July 6 and August 14, 2015 and teaches students to explore the worlds of cells and tissue biology beyond the textbook through hands-on, bench top and research projects. Please see the above flyer and visit http://cardiovascular.eng.uci.edu/cardiostart to learn more.

Students 16 and over with a minimum GPA of 3.0 may apply by emailing cardio@uci.edu and requesting an application form. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 2, 2015.

Reminder: Free seminars for Southern California Educators this month!

The Tiger Woods Learning Center, Discovery Cube and PITSCO are collaborating together to offer two FREE seminars for Southern California Educators this January, 2015.
On Wednesday, January 21st, a Mathematics and Engineering Seminar will be offered for 6th – 10th grade teachers. In this seminar, educators have the opportunity to assume the role of students and participate in fun mathematics and engineering activities.
 
On Thursday, January 22nd, a STEM Seminar will be offered for 4th – 6th grade teachers. In this seminar, educators will have the opportunity to learn about high quality STEM experiences by engaging in the same activities their students will experience in their classrooms.

 

These FREE seminars enable teachers to learn more effectively by engaging them in the same activities their students will experience in their classrooms. Workshops will focus directly on STEM connections that teachers will lead their students through. Teachers will experience a blend of pedagogy and hands-on application to build their confidence in delivering powerful STEM activities to their students.

Click here to register for the Mathematics and Engineering Seminar
Click here to register for the STEM Seminar

Free seminars for Southern California Educators in January 2015

The Tiger Woods Learning Center, Discovery Cube and PITSCO are collaborating together to offer two FREE seminars for Southern California Educators this January, 2015.
On Wednesday, Jan. 21st, a Mathematics and Engineering Seminar will be offered for 6th – 10th grade teachers. In this seminar, educators have the opportunity to assume the role of students and participate in fun mathematics and engineering activities.
 
On Thursday, Jan. 22nd, a STEM Seminar will be offered for 4th – 6thgrade teachers. In this seminar, educators will have the opportunity to learn about high quality STEM experiences by engaging in the same activities their students will experience in their classrooms.

 

These FREE seminars enable teachers to learn more effectively by engaging them in the same activities their students will experience in their classrooms. Workshops will focus directly on STEM connections that teachers will lead their students through. Teachers will experience a blend of pedagogy and hands-on application to build their confidence in delivering powerful STEM activities to their students.

Click here to register for the Mathematics and Engineering Seminar
Click here to register for the STEM Seminar

The 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science is TOMORROW!

Our 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science takes place tomorrow, October 25th at Edwards Lifesciences. All students in Orange County, CA are invited to attend the summit and learn about different careers in STEM. This free half-day event includes a student presentation, panel discussions from industry leaders and a diverse group of engineers, tabletop exhibits to introduce students to local opportunities and college programs, and breakout sessions led by business and education leaders.

We are proud to announce this year’s highly distinguished list of speakers and panelists for the 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit! Check out the list below: 

Anton Anderson from IT Consulting
Ashaunta Anderson from the University of California, Riverside/RAND
Jim Aralis from Microsemi
Celeste Bonyuet from Edwards Lifesciences
Carmella Cassetta from Advancing Women in Technology
John Chamberlain from Emulex Corporation
Amy Choi from Railpros
Corporal Decasanova from the United States Colonial Marine Corps
Jess Gillespe from Astronics Corporation
Christy Haley-Stover from Advancing Women in Technology
Matt Hannus from Sleepy Giant
Ed Hernandez from Tustin High School
Kim Homa from Kaiser Permanente
Kevin Hostert from the Municipal Water District of Orange County
David Johnson from Astronics Corporation
Joanna Laird from the University of California, Irvine
Mark Mathews from Airwolf 3D
Tim McCan from Impact Fire Services
Stacy McGoldrick from Cal Poly Pomona
Susan Medley from the University of California, Irvine
Octavie Ramsey from Southern California Edison
Nayssan Safavian from Project Tomorrow and the University of California, Irvine
Shawna Shaffner from CAA Planning
Karen Thomas from LPA, Inc.
JJ Wang from Boeing
Jimmy Zhong from NASA
 
Click here to learn more about the Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science. We look forward to seeing you there!

Youth Leadership Summit registration deadline has been EXTENDED!

REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MONDAY, OCTOBER 20TH!

Don’t miss out on this exciting and unique experience for Orange County high school and community college students* to attend our 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science – for free!

  • Our summit is held on Saturday, October 25th at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine from 8:45am-2:00pm.
  • Students will get the opportunity to hear from professionals in STEM fields from all over Orange County about their careers, connect with local colleges, and network with students from other schools!
  • Registration is FREE for all students, so register TODAY!
To register, please go to our website: http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/youthLeadershipSummit.html
*Please note that this event has opened up to community college students in addition to high school students. The website may not be updated to reflect this new and exciting addition.

Today is the last day to register for the 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit!

REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS TODAY!

Don’t miss out on this exciting and unique experience for Orange County high school and community college students* to attend our 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science – for free!

  • Our summit is held on Saturday, October 25th at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine from 8:45am-2:00pm.
  • Students will get the opportunity to hear from professionals in STEM fields from all over Orange County about their careers, connect with local colleges, and network with students from other schools!
  • Registration is FREE for all students, so register TODAY!
To register, please go to our website: http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/youthLeadershipSummit.html
*Please note that this event has opened up to community college students in addition to high school students. The website may not be updated to reflect this new and exciting addition.

Throwback Thursday: Project Tomorrow’s 4th Annual Youth Leadership Summit

 

Happy Throwback Thursday! In honor of our 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit next Saturday, we’re looking back at last year’s Youth Leadership Summit. Check out our summary of the event from last year:

On October 19th, 2013, Project Tomorrow held its fourth annual Leading the Way: Youth Leadership Summit for Math and Science, at Edwards Lifesciences Worldwide Headquarters in Irvine, California. With over 200 students, parents, and community leaders in attendance, the event provided an opportunity for students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and to learn about how math and science proficiency is increasingly a critical skill for current and future jobs. 

This conference-style event kicked off with a student presentation of OC business trends, followed by a panel discussion from industry leaders. Students then attended career-specific breakout sessions of their choice led by local business and education leaders, a panel discussion featuring a diverse group of engineers, and tabletop exhibits introducing attendees to local STEM college programs. This free, half-day event included continental breakfast and a networking lunch and concluded with a student raffle featuring gifts from local businesses.

Last year’s summit had 200 student & parent participants, 37 high schools in attendance, 21 career professionals, 8 local colleges, 14 STEM fields (including zoology, surgery, engineering, gaming technology, and more), 23 raffle prizes, and 20 hardworking volunteers! What will this year bring?

Our 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit takes place on October 25th and runs from 8:45am to 2pm. All students in Orange County, CA are invited to attend the summit and learn about different careers in STEM. This free half-day event includes a student presentation, panel discussions from industry leaders and a diverse group of engineers, tabletop exhibits to introduce students to local opportunities and college programs, and breakout sessions led by business and education leaders throughout the region. Opportunities like these are just what students need to get exposure to these types of careers!

The deadline to register is TOMORROW – click here to register and participate in this year’s summit!

Project Tomorrow event: “Leading the Way: Youth Leadership Summit for Math & Science”

The “Leading the Way: Youth Leadership Summit for Math & Science” is a unique opportunity for Orange County’s high school students to share their ideas on how to improve math and science education and to learn about how math and science proficiency is a critical skill for many current and future jobs in Orange County. This interactive, half-day summit empowers students to explore careers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and provide these students with valuable information about the workforce development trends in the county and what they need to do to be well prepared for the jobs of the future. Additionally, through working group discussions, we capture the students’ ideas on how to improve K-12 math and science education and thus, Orange County’s economic future.
Click here to register – the registration deadline is this Friday!

Who will be attending this year’s Summit?
This year’s Youth Leadership Summit will host 200 of Orange County’s best and brightest high school students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math, and serve as representatives from their high schools.
The Summit will also include:
  • A special presentation by a panel of student leaders, on the latest workforce trends in Orange County. 
  • Panel discussion with representatives from a diversified set of OC companies on the role of math and science in their industry, and their expectations for employees in the future. Break out sessions and tabletop exhibits to introduce students to local STEM career opportunities and college programs. 
Why a Youth Leadership Summit?
Statewide, California reports that in 2020, the number of jobs requiring a college degree will outstrip the number of jobs which do not, with most of those jobs being STEM-related. Additionally, 45% of today’s current science and engineering workforce will retire within the next few years. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that science and math proficiency are the new “must-haves” for jobs outside of the usual STEM fields including positions in the hospitality, construction and services sectors. To be prepared to join the new OC workforce, today’s students must receive a world-class science and math education, and understand what is needed both in terms of skill development and educational attainment to compete for these new careers.
How to get involved!
Participation by the invited high school students is 100% underwritten through corporate sponsorship funds provided by our Summit sponsors and includes a specially prepared packet of information and resources for the students, continental breakfast and lunch. 
Other interested participants can register to attend at www.tomorrow.org. The registration fee for the Summit is $25. For information about the Summit, sponsorship opportunities or to discuss ways for your company or organization to be involved, please contact Meg Lewis (mlewis@tomorrow.org or 949-609-4660 x12).