Ed News: How P-16 Education Can Increase Women In STEM Fields

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This week in education news, the majority of the nation’s seniors will graduate having never taken physics; report finds teacher shortage and lack of supplies delay rollout of the new science standards in California; new study shows women dominate the education workforce, but still earn less than men; California science teachers wins $20,000 science lab makeover; and the House Education Committee voted to introduce a concurrent resolution repeating its earlier call for deleting portions of Idaho’s proposed new school science standards.

One Reason Students Aren’t Prepared For STEM Careers? No Physics In High School

Nationwide, ninth-graders don’t usually take physics. In fact, the majority of the nation’s seniors will graduate having never taken physics at all. And Sarita’s students, Spanish-speaking Latinos attending a high-poverty school, are an even unlikelier bunch to catch in a physics lab. Physics is widely considered to be a building block for a range of STEM disciplines— science, technology, engineering and math — and taking the course in high school is strongly correlated with getting a degree in a STEM field. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.

When Teachers Have A Fear Of Math, Their Pupils Can Absorb The Wrong Lesson

Often said in jest, the phrase “I’m not a math person” can provoke more than just laughter, particularly if said around students. To Erin Maloney, it can send the message that there are some people gifted in arithmetic skills and those that will never be — and that’s the wrong note to ever send to a child. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Teacher Shortage, Lack Of Supplies Hinder Rollout Of New Science Standards, Report Finds

Most teachers are embracing California’s new science standards, but the rollout has been hampered by teacher shortages, lackluster elementary science education, lack of supplies and other obstacles, according to a new report. Read the article featured in EdSource.

How P-16 Education Can Increase Women In STEM Fields

Data show only 29% of the science and engineering workforce is comprised of women. And with the onus resting on the shoulders of higher education leaders to provide graduates for gaps in the workforce, as well as significant ROI for students — barriers in the pathway create not only moral challenges, but economic ones. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.

Even In Female-Dominated Education Workforce, Women Earn Less Than Men

Women dominate the education workforce, yet they can’t count on equal pay for equal work, a new study shows. Despite many school districts’ use of apparently neutral uniform salary schedules, females in the education workforce are typically paid less than males for similar roles, according to an analysis of educators’ salaries and pension benefits in Illinois by the nonprofit Bellwether Education Partners. Read the article featured in Education Week.

Finally, Enough Beakers For Everyone: Oakland Teacher Wins Grant For State-Of-The-Art Science Lab

Last fall, Oakland science teacher Lauren Brown tried to teach a lesson on exothermic chemical reactions by having her 7th-graders mix hydrogen peroxide, yeast and warm water. The results? Not quite the multi-colored explosion that was promised in the textbook. It was more like a dull fizzle. Read the article featured in EdSource.

Eye On Boise: Amid Confusion, House Panel Tries Again To Delete Part Of School Science Standards

Amid much confusion, the House Education Committee voted along party lines to introduce a concurrent resolution repeating its earlier call for deleting portions of Idaho’s proposed new school science standards, even though the Senate Education Committee already has voted to approve the standards – which means they’ll take effect. Read the article featured in The Spokesman-Review.

STEM Is Losing Male LGBQ Undergrads

It’s no secret that STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields have a problem retaining women and racial minorities. Now, a new study provides quantitative evidence that the same problem applies to some sexual minorities—a group that anecdotally has been known to experience challenges in STEM but has eluded thorough examination owing to a lack of data. But there’s a twist: Retention is lower for men who identify as LGBQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer), while LGBQ women are actually more likely to persist in STEM than their heterosexual peers. Read the article featured in Science magazine.

Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.

The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs (CLPA) team strives to keep NSTA members, teachers, science education leaders, and the general public informed about NSTA programs, products, and services and key science education issues and legislation. In the association’s role as the national voice for science education, its CLPA team actively promotes NSTA’s positions on science education issues and communicates key NSTA messages to essential audiences.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.


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