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Competency in Computer Science: A Crucial Element of STEM Education

As the global economy grows ever more dependent on digital technologies, our nation’s competitiveness will depend on our ability to educate our students and our workforce in the fundamentals of science and technology. By 2018, STEM jobs are expected to increase 17% and more than 70% of these jobs will be in computer science (CS). Despite the increasing need for competency in STEM, 50% of U.S. schools still don’t have focused STEM programs and schools in 36 states do not grant graduation credit forcourses in CS. Many teachers have limited ...

More Coursework Alone Doesn’t Boost STEM Achievement

To better prepare students for college and careers in STEM, many states have upped their minimum course requirements in math and science. But a new report from ACT indicates that simply mandating more math and science courses cannot by itself improve student outcomes. The ACT researchers suggest that efforts need to be focused on early preparation to ensure that students have the skills they need to succeed in advanced coursework by the time they get to high school. Teachers also need to ensure that courses remain sufficiently rigorous to ...

The Reviews Are In: What Teachers Are Saying About NMSI Training (On Twitter!)

This summer, NMSI has trained nearly 4,000 math, science and English teachers in more than a dozen states across the nation. While we typically receive feedback on our trainings in the form of end-of-course surveys, we decided to also reach out on Twitter and ask our teachers directly about their training experiences. They responded with such excitement and enthusiasm that we couldn’t resist sharing their reactions. Alannah Grande kicked things off by sharing a picture of a 6th-10th grade English student activity that she and her fellow trainees got to ...

NMSI CEO Awarded 2014 McGraw Prize in Education

We are proud to announce that Sara Martinez Tucker, chief executive officer of NMSI, has been named a winner of the 2014 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. The prize, sponsored by the McGraw Hill Financial Research Foundation, recognizes outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to education innovation, and this year, focuses on those who have found ways to narrow achievement gaps across the educational spectrum. As the leader of NMSI, Tucker is working to improve teacher effectiveness and student performance in the critical subjects of science, math, technology ...

How Failure, Big Brands and Men Can Help Close the Gender Gap in STEM

Pursuing a career in STEM can be a challenge for any student, but research suggests that the path for women in STEM can be particularly difficult. Thankfully, the call to support more women and girls as they pursue STEM is clear, and there are many organizations and initiatives that have joined the movement. Three recent articles highlight strategies for improving female engagement in STEM: Provide surmountable obstacles. In the Huffington Post, middle school science teacher Julie Rohl explains that she facilitates success in her female STEM ...

From Creating to Coding: STEM in the Summertime

School may be out, but there are plenty of fun learning opportunities that teachers, parents, and students can take advantage of over the summer! Here are just a handful of awesome STEM initiatives and activities to keep minds sharp and ready to take on the new school year: Maker Camp 2014: The Maker movement is dedicated to inspiring young minds to engage with technology to reshape and enhance the world around them, and they’vepartnered with Google to make sure students can get involved no matter where ...

NMSI’s College Readiness Program Expands to Missouri School District

Thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), we are happy to announce that NMSI’s College Readiness Program is expanding for the first time to the state of Missouri. This summer, NMSI will train teachers from the Waynesville R-VI School District to begin implementing the three-year program to help raise the level of academic rigor in their classrooms and increase the number of students earning passing scores on their Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Waynesville School District will offer five new AP courses this fall, bringing ...

Professional Development and the Modern Teacher: Six Steps to School Success

“Before our very eyes, teaching in America is undergoing a revolution.” So opens a report by the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL), which examines just how much teaching has changed over the last twenty years and what teachers need to succeed in the modern classroom. In short, the report asserts that teachers simply need more time to collaborate with their peers. According to their research, teachers spend roughly 80% of their time in the classroom, leaving very little room for them to prepare outside of the classroom for ...

Lighting the Fire of American Ingenuity: The Need for More STEM Support

Change the Equation hosted their 2014 National STEM Summit, where United States Vice President Joe Biden delivered the keynote address to an audience comprised of America’s top business and thought leaders about the urgent need to improve STEM education in all of our schools. “In the next four years,” he said, “there will be over a million more jobs requiring science, technology, engineering, and math skills, but 15-year-olds in the United States rank 27th in Math, 20th in Science… out of 34 countries.” Furthermore, the percentage of female college ...

Achievement Gaps in America’s Schools: Why Education is a Civil Rights Issue

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the Education Writers Association’s 67th Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, where he asserted that despite the 60-year-old ruling of Brown v. Board of Education, there still exists a deep sense of inequality in America’s school system – specifically when it comes to preparing our minority and low in-come students for rigorous, high-level STEM and Advanced Placement (AP)* courses. In Secretary Duncan’s view, the achievement gap in STEM education is proof positive that “education is the civil rights issue of ...

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