STEM Career Opportunities and Workforce Development

Dinosaurs - an ancient bridge to new learning

30 middle school teachers from 20 Eastern Montana schools are participants in the ITEST Paleo Exploration Project, created in partnership between the University of Montana and Fort Peck Paleontology.  As part of this project, teachers go through several 2-day intensive trainings on using GPS units and GIS software; over summer, they will bring students to one of two summer institutes where they will do real, scientific work on fossil material that they (teachers and students) might find.

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Spatial Analysis of Fossil Sites in the Northern Plains: A Unique Model for Teacher Education

Understanding science and technology is key to our next generation’s success. Conveying the excitement of science and effectively melding it with technology in both field and classroom settings can be a challenge for many K–12 educators. Middle school is a critical juncture in a child’s educational experience, when interest in science and technology is budding. If this interest is captured, it can lead to a lifetime of learning and, for some, a rewarding profession.

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Teen girls discover digital technology as ‘COMPUGIRLS’

Dr. Kimberly Scott is the principal investigator and creator of a National Science Foundation-funded ITEST project COMPUGIRLS, an innovative technology program designed to teach girls of color how to use technology to bring about social change. She was concerned with the low participation of young women from higher needs school districts in STEM, so Scott developed COMPUGIRLS from a program she initiated at Hofstra University in New York.

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Seen in NY: Bridging the Gap at the Central Park Zoo

ITEST project Bridging the Gap was profiled in this video article by the New Learning Times (Columbia University).

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Changing the High School Culture to Promote Interest in IT Careers

Interviews with high achieving middle school girls enrolled in a math and technology summer program showed that one fourth of the girls were interested in careers in IT. The girls were interviewed four years later when they were in high school. We found that all of them were still interested in math and most of them were taking, or had taken, advanced math courses. However, only several were taking or had taken a computer science course and only one girl expressed interest in pursuing a career in IT.

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Bridging Barriers: Using Technology to Attract, Retain, and Mentor the Engineering Workforce of Tomorrow

Today’s technology-based global economy places a high premium on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Educators committed to increasing the interest and achievement of females in engineering struggle to find appropriate resources. The Gender and Science Digital Library (GSDL) from Education Development Center, Inc., (EDC) is a unique on-line collection of exemplary resources aimed at encouraging girls and women to pursue science and engineering education and careers.

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Building a Foundation for Tomorrow: Skill Standards for Information Technology

Building a Foundation for Tomorrow: Skill Standards for Information Technology, is a cooperative effort of the NorthWest Center for Emerging Technologies, the Regional Advanced Technology Education Consortium, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the Washington Software and Digital Media Alliance (WSDMA), and the Society for Information Management (SIM).

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Encouraging Girls in Math and Science

Developed by a panel of experts, this practice guide brings together evidence and expertise to provide educators with specific and coherent evidence-based recommendations on how to encourage girls in the fields of math and science. The objective is to provide teachers with specific recommendations that can be carried out in the classroom without requiring systemic change. Other school personnel having direct contact with students, such as coaches, counselors, and principals may also find the guide useful.

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STEM

A 2011 report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that 65 percent of Bachelor’s degrees in STEM (science, engineering, technology and mathematics) occupations earn more than Master’s degrees in non-STEM occupations. Similarly, 47 percent of Bachelor’s degrees in STEM occupations earn more than PhDs in non-STEM occupations.

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The science of learning

The ITEST Research Study, Predicting STEM Career Choice from Computational Indicators of Student Engagement within Middle School Mathematics Classes, is featured in August 2014 Scientific American article, "The Science of Learning."  The article details efforts to bring more rigorous science to classrooms and research that is showing that our intuitions about education may be wrong. 

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