Is your institution supporting #BlackGirlMagic in STEM?

The need for more scientists and engineers is a persistent issue plaguing industries throughout the United States, but efforts to prioritize STEM in schools might be falling short when it comes to representation of people of color, according to a University of Missouri researcher.

The National Science Foundation reports that women of color constitute fewer than 1 in 10 employed scientists and engineers. And the women of color who are in STEM aren’t necessarily seeing their identities reflected and incorporated in STEM fields.

“Imagine walking into a lab or a classroom and seeing pictures of people on the walls that are nothing like you,” says Terrell Morton, the Preparing Future Faculty postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri. “People have a very narrow view of what science looks like, and right now, its older white men wearing goggles and holding beakers. When a young woman of color sees those images in a learning environment, it can make her feel unwelcome because there is nothing in that image that represents her.”…Read More

First-of-its-kind gene editing curriculum emerges at community college

A $1 million NSF grant has paved the way for what may be the first-ever community college to include gene editing curriculum technology.

In partnership with Christiana Care’s Gene Editing Institute, Delaware Technical Community College (Del Tech) has developed a unique curriculum that will include gene editing in two courses in the biological sciences program.

As part of the NSF grant, Del Tech also will hold a series of workshops to teach gene editing techniques to community college faculty across the U.S. The workshops will help faculty develop their own gene editing curriculum.…Read More

This new program preps STEM grads for jobs

Many employers of STEM professionals are requiring new hires to communicate their research to the general public. However, most schools and graduate programs do not provide communication training to STEM students.

Now, a multi-disciplinary research team from the University of Missouri (MU) has found that after completing a science communication training program, STEM graduates are more likely to be successful in communicating their research to the general public.

“Science foundations and STEM researchers might find it difficult to get funding if they have difficulties explaining what their research is about and how it will make a difference,” said Shelly Rodgers, professor of strategic communication and senior research advisor for the Health Communication Research Center at MU. “We’ve found that in order to advance society’s understanding of science, you have to work to improve how you communicate science to a wide audience in a way they will understand.”…Read More

To build next-gen STEM leaders, universities and industry must collaborate

As more industries become reliant on tech-savvy talent, the disconnect between students’ STEM education and hiring managers’ expectations is becoming increasingly challenging. As companies continue to evolve their hiring requirements to include more of these in-demand skills, creating opportunities to help all students be prepared to fill these roles is imperative. There are many ways in which educators and business leaders can partner to improve outcomes for our students, but what’s important is that we do so now.

This was the subject of a panel at the recent SXSW EDU event in Austin, Texas, which I was fortunate to moderate. As the president of FIRST, a global nonprofit that inspires K-12 students to build a lifelong love of learning and engagement in STEM through robotics challenges, I get to witness the intelligence, drive, and creativity our kids bring to the table every day. With help from Erica Fessia, Qualcomm’s director of community engagement, and Jay Flores, Rockwell Automation’s global STEM ambassador, our SXSW EDU panel took a look at the current professional landscape, the skills students will need to fill the jobs of tomorrow, and how we as business leaders can help get them there. While our conversation focused on K-12, the same takeaways are applicable to university leaders.

Teach students to adapt to a fast-changing world.…Read More

Personalized text messages help students stay on STEM path

Students at four U.S. community colleges are sticking with sometimes-demanding STEM courses with a little encouragement from personalized text messages that encourage them to complete classes.

The joint initiative from Jobs for the Future (JFF) and Persistence Plus sends students personalized text messages that “nudge” students to focus on college completion and STEM success.

This past summer, a randomized trial with close to 2,000 students showed that the STEM students who received the nudges returned for the 2017 fall semester at a rate 10 percentage points higher than a control group of students who did not receive nudges.…Read More

Undergraduate STEM education must improve–here’s how to do it

STEM fields are essential for the nation’s economic health and global success, but some troubling trends point to the need to monitor undergraduate STEM education with a critical eye, according to a new report.

Undergraduate STEM education plays a central role in building a robust STEM workforce, according to the National Academies of Sciences, which summarizes a committee’s recommendations around bolstering STEM education.

Scientists’ earnings have stagnated since the 1960s, recent science doctorates have had trouble obtaining academic positions, and U.S. science faces increased foreign competition for global research. Those three trends could knock the U.S. out of its dominant position in science. They also could slow economic growth that is fueled by technological innovation, according to the report.…Read More

Do women in STEM experience hostile work environments?

Women in STEM jobs are more likely to experience hostile work environments, including discrimination and sexual harassment, according to a new nationally-representative Pew Research Center study.

Research in the study reveals that gender “is perceived as more of an impediment than an advantage to career success.”

Women in three particular groups are more likely to see workplace inequities: women who are employed in STEM settings where men outnumber women, women who work in computer jobs, and women who hold postgraduate degrees.…Read More

The top 7 programming languages to learn in 2018

Software development is a dynamic field. New programming languages, frameworks, and technologies can emerge, become popular, and then fade away in the course of a few years. Developers need to constantly be learning new skills to stay relevant. At Coding Dojo, we’re continually evaluating which programming languages are in high demand from employers so we can prepare our students to enter the job market. There are many ways to measure a programming language’s popularity, but we believe examining job demand is most useful because it shows developers how to improve their career prospects.

To accomplish that, we analyzed data from job website on 25 programming languages, stacks, and frameworks to determine the top seven most in-demand coding languages as we move into 2018. This analysis is based on the number of job postings for each language. Some languages like Swift and Ruby didn’t make the top seven because they have lower job demand, even though developers love them. You can read the results of similar analysis from 2016 and 2017 on our blog.

Here’s our list, in order from most to least in-demand.…Read More

This state has a MASSive demand for computer science skills

Got great computer science skills? You might want to move to Massachusetts, where, according to a new report, 23 percent of jobs involve computer science skills, compared to the national average of less than 18 percent.

The report from Achieve and Burning Glass Technologies analyzes the demand for technology jobs in Massachusetts, and the trends illustrated in the report show the importance of increasing the supply of people with computer science knowledge and skills in Massachusetts, particularly in the Boston area.

According to the research, jobs requiring computer science skills include programmers who develop new software, IT staff who manage technology systems, and analysts who use quantitative software tools to make data-based decisions. Among these jobs, Massachusetts employers are having a hard time finding qualified candidates; nine of the top 10 technology occupations identified in the report take longer than average to fill in the Commonwealth.…Read More