PG&E offers STEM scholarships – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Twenty $10,000 scholarships and 20 scholarships worth $2,500 are being offered to students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math.

The scholarships are being offered by the Pacific Gas & Electric company and its foundation.

Applications are open to graduating high school seniors, current college students, veterans and adults returning to school who are PG&E customers at the time of application. Applicants must plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study for the entire 2020-21 academic year and be seeking their first undergraduate degree at an accredited four-year institution in California.

Source: PG&E offers STEM scholarships

Vacaville district, county schools office, UC Davis team for virtual GIRL camp – Daily Republic

An effort to teach young girls about robotics shifted gears last week when a group of middle schoolers took part in a virtual camp that aims in part to close the gender gap in science-based career fields.

The Solano County Office of Education, in partnership with Vacaville School District and UC Davis Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program, piloted a five-day virtual Girls in Robotics Leadership Camp for middle school girls.

In-person GIRL Camps, offered in previous years, were paused this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Vacaville district, county schools office, UC Davis team for virtual GIRL camp

Schools Are Closed. But STEM Learning Doesn’t Stop – US Black Engineer

By Lango Deen

In the wake of coronavirus quarantines and stay-at-home orders, many schools and colleges have canceled summer academies. Career-exploration camps help young people to harness the power of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and gain valuable skills as they learn about some of the most in-demand careers.

For example, the Central Virginia Community Community College (CVCC) Summer Academy for middle and high school students included mechatronics and the art of engineering. Scheduled to take place in June, registrants for the workforce development programs are now being contacted by phone concerning refunds, according to a CVCC announcement.

The New Jersy Institute of Technology’s Center for Pre-College Programs also canceled STEM and computer science course sessions held every Saturday through May. The ACT/SAT Preparation Program was postponed and a Pi Day event for parents and students was also canceled.

Source: Schools Are Closed. But STEM Learning Doesn’t Stop – US Black Engineer

Soroptimist event raises over $14,000 for C-STEM Camps for girls – Daily Republic

Soroptimist’s 5th annual “Mardi Gras Madness” fundraiser, held at Green Valley Country Club February 22nd, was a resounding success, club president Jessica Grech reports. This year, in addition to raffle, silent, and live auctions, the club launched a Fund-the-Need appeal to help underwrite C-STEM (Computing, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) camps for girls to be conducted during summer 2020 via a partnership between UC Davis and the Solano County Office of Education. Over $14,000 was raised as auctioneer Joe Gates pounded his gavel time and time again, with attendees raising their hands to support the cause.

Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County Superintendent of Schools, remarked, “We are overwhelmed by the generosity and giving spirit of Soroptimist International of Central Solano County. The money raised will help Solano County Office of Education expand from four to eight ‘Girls In Robotics Leadership’ Camps this summer. They have allowed us to connect with more young women who may not ordinarily be able to attend a week-long C-STEM camp, and we are so grateful for their ongoing partnership.”

Source: Good News: Soroptimist event raises over $14,000 for C-STEM Camps for girls

How the Gender Gap in STEM Might Get its Start in Elementary School | MindShift

By Matthew Barnum

On average, girls do as well as boys on elementary- and middle-school math tests. But by the time students enter the workforce, a big gender gap has emerged, with men earning nearly 80 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science.

A new study offers evidence that the disparity might be getting its start in elementary school classrooms.

The paper offers data from a single district, but the pattern it uncovers is striking. Girls are less likely to be nominated for, selected for, and continue in the district’s advanced math program. Despite their comparable math scores, the program loses girls at every step — a phenomenon that could contribute to fewer women entering math-focused fields later in life.

Source: How the Gender Gap in STEM Might Get its Start in Elementary School | MindShift | KQED News

C-STEM Center honors Solano schools chief’s work – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson has been named a C-STEM Administrator of the Year by the University of California, Davis C-STEM Center.

C-STEM stands for computing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“I’m truly honored by the award from UC Davis, but I do not do this work alone. I have a team of amazing educators behind me, creating, planning and implementing programs for students,” Estrella-Henderson said in a statement released Tuesday by her office.

Source: C-STEM Center honors Solano schools chief’s work

33 states adopted 57 computer science ed policies since 2018 | Education Dive

By Naaz Modan

As there is a national push for increased computer science literacy, many states are requiring high schools to offer courses in the subject, with some districts even making computer science a requirement for graduation. Some states are even requiring elementary and middle schools to offer computer science, the report says.

Georgia is among those phasing in the change through an incremental approach over the course of six years. The state has put in place benchmarks to see the plan through:

Source: 33 states adopted 57 computer science ed policies since 2018 | Education Dive

Rotary scholars sign contracts to help in college journey – Daily Republic

Nine students from the Fairfield Police Activities League on Tuesday were promised financial and mentoring support as they launch their college educations at Solano Community College.

The students signed contracts as part of the fifth annual Rotary Success Scholars program during a ceremony held at The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Suisun City.

“These are nine students who would absolutely not be able to go to college otherwise,” Tara Dacus, a member of the Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Club and one of the three founders of the scholars program, said in an interview.

Source: Rotary scholars sign contracts to help in college journey – Daily Republic

Robots invade Solano County Fair – Times Herald

By John Glidden

While families meandered around enjoying the sights and sounds of the Solano County Fair, a group of girls were making robots dance on Saturday.

With just a few clicks on the laptop, mini robots, best described as over sized lint rollers attached to two giant wheels, move about a table, “dancing” front and back, side to side.

Representing the Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp, the middle and high school students showed off their coding skills while Lilibeth Pinpin looked on like a proud mother.

Pinpin is the director of innovative programs & student success for the Solano County Office of Education. The county office of education in partnership with UC Davis C-STEM (Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) hosted the five-day camp in the month of June.

Source: Robots invade Solano County Fair – Times Herald

Middle school girls learn STEM skills – The Reporter

Some kids go to summer camp to learn campfire songs or go canoeing on a lake, and others go to camp to build robots. For the next few weeks, girls throughout Solano County will be doing the latter.

The Solano County Office of Education, in conjunction with the University of California, Davis’ C-STEM program, is hosting a series of Girls In Robotics Leadership camps throughout the county aimed to teach middle and high school girls skills in technology, engineering, robotics, computing and other growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and potentially inspire them to enter these career paths.

The first camp for middle schoolers opened on Monday at the Center for Freedom and Flight in Vacaville and was sponsored through a $5,000 grant from Genentech. Program Coordinator Lillibeth Pinpin said the camp was largely intended to teach robotics and coding skills to ensure that anyone can enter the fields that require them.

Source: Middle school girls learn STEM

Will science, engineering fair yield tomorrow’s scientists? – Times-Herald

By Richard Bammer

The numbers of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, have taken a quantum jump.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2010 and 2020 employment in science and engineering will grow by nearly 19 percent, compared to 14 percent for all other occupations.

And, as widely reported in the media, this rapid growth has created a STEM worker shortage in the United States.To address this shortage, the Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) has joined widespread educator efforts to boost interest in STEM among students.

Source: Will science, engineering fair yield tomorrow’s scientists? – Times-Herald

Vanden, Caliber students top Solano Science Fair competitions – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Vanden High sophomore Mayah Gantt was the overall Senior Division winner and Ryan Menefee, a student at Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy in Vallejo, was the Junior Division winner at the recent Solano County Science and Engineering Fair.

Gantt was also first in the Earth Science category, while Menefee was first in the Physical Science category. There was a Life Science category as well.

First-place winners are eligible to enter the California State Science and Engineering Fair that takes place April 29-30 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Source: Vanden, Caliber students top Solano Science Fair competitions

Winners Of Solano County Science, Engineering Fair Announced | Benicia, CA Patch

By Maggie Avants

The 2019 Solano County Science and Engineering Fair was held Friday, March 29 in Fairfield. In hosting the annual event, the Solano County Office of Education aims to do its part in addressing a worker shortage in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“It was an excellent opportunity for our middle and high school students to apply science and engineering skills to investigate problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and develop conclusions,” said Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson. “We are confident this event inspired students to consider a career in science, engineering or a related field.”

Source: Winners Of Solano County Science, Engineering Fair Announced | Benicia, CA Patch

How ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Primes Students for Interdisciplinary Learning, Including STEM | MindShift

By Paul Darvasi

A group of Grade 9 students in Texas who substantially outperformed their district on a statewide standardized test all had one surprising thing in common: they all were members of the school’s Dungeons & Dragons club.

A coincidence? Otherwise, how does a fantasy role-playing game produce improved test scores? The obvious explanation is that the club draws the bright kids who are already academically inclined. But many of the kids in the club at the Title I school had histories of struggling with academics.

For Kade Wells, the teacher who runs the club at Davis Ninth Grade School outside Houston, the answer is simple: “Playing Dungeons & Dragons makes you smarter.”

Source: How ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Primes Students for Interdisciplinary Learning, Including STEM | MindShift | KQED News

Students showcase scientific chops at Solano science fair – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Students from across Solano County completed their participation in a two-day science showcase Friday that saw projects from elementary schoolchildren to high schoolers take over the gym at Vanden High School.

The annual Solano County Science/STEM Fair opens the door for qualifying students to enter the California State Science Fair next month at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Solano County’s science fair was open to sixth- through 12th-graders.

It’s a competition based on the quality of experiments presented through exhibits, according to event organizers. The event is designed to stimulate an active interest in science, provide a quality educational experience, and to give public recognition to talented students for the work they have done in the field of science.

Source: Students showcase scientific chops at Solano science fair

6 middle school girls to share STEM camp experiences at AAUW dinner – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Six middle school girls, including two from Benicia, will share their experiences of attending a weeklong science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) camp this past summer during the Benicia-Vallejo American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) potluck dinner on Tuesday.

The girls’ experience was part of Tech Trek 2017, a summer camp founded by AAUW of California member Marie Wolbach to provide middle school girls with a camp featuring science, technology, engineering and math-based activities and inspire them to pursue one of those fields. The goal is to make those fields more accessible to middle school girls since that is typically the age when girls lose interest in those areas, according to AAUW research.“We all know about the lack of women that are in STEM careers and professions,” Christine Dunn, the Tech Trek coordinator for Benicia-Vallejo AAUW, said. “We are trying to rectify that. We want to get girls interested in this kind of career early on. I think there’s been a lot of research that shows that girls in middle school drop off, lose interest in the sciences and mathematics, and we want to encourage them to stay in it.”

Source: 6 middle school girls to share STEM camp experiences at AAUW dinner

It’s Not Students We Need To Educate About STEM Careers, It’s Their Teachers – Forbes

By Nick Morrison

The shortage of STEM graduates is often laid at the door of students making their high school subject choices, but perhaps it’s not students we need to educate about STEM careers, it’s their teachers.

More than a quarter of male teachers – and one in six female teachers – believe STEM careers are more suited to boys than girls, according to a new survey.

And this attitude rubs off on students, with twice as many girls as boys believing that STEM careers are not for them.

The shortage of students graduating in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects has been a persistent story in recent years, with one report claiming an annual shortfall of 40,000 skilled STEM workers in the U.K. alone.

Source: It’s Not Students We Need To Educate About STEM Careers, It’s Their Teachers

Science fun for kids at the county fair – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

County fairs are more than arts and crafts, cooking and art competitions, animal and livestock displays, horse racing and demolition derbies, midway carnivals and heart-stopping foods, main stage entertainment of aging rockers and rappers and small-stage magic acts.

Today, kids passing through fairgrounds turnstiles are versed in Digital Age technology and want a chance to exercise their knowledge and have fun while, perhaps, continuing to prepare for their future education and job prospects.

To that end, the Solano County Office of Education will host a free, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) event Wednesday through Aug. 6 at the Solano County Fair, 900 Fairgrounds Drive, in Vallejo.

The interactive SCOE event will be at the agency’s STEAM booth in McCormack Hall, open from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6.

Source: Science fun for kids at the county fair

Torlakson Visits Local Summer Learning Program – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today toured the Summer Learning program at Robla Elementary School in the Robla School District to voice his opposition to proposed federal budget cuts that would harm this program and many others in California and the nation.

President Trump has proposed eliminating all funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers. These centers run After School, Summer Learning, and other Expanded Learning programs.

Nationally, his proposed cuts would remove $1.2 billion in funding. In California, the proposed cuts would take away $137 million of the total of $730 million spent on Expanded Learning programs, or about 18 percent of the total budget.

“Today we are shining a light on the wonderful Summer Learning and After School programs that engage, teach, and inspire 860,000 students in California each year,” Torlakson said. “President Trump’s proposed budget cuts could devastate Summer Learning and After School programs. These proposed cuts are short-sighted, counterproductive, and just wrong. As leaders, we should be searching for ways to help our students thrive, rather than blocking proven paths to success.”

Source: Torlakson Visits Local Summer Learning Program – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

4 Tools to Boost Communication Skills in the STEM Classroom | MindShift

By Danny Wagner

Healthy communication is vital to thriving workplace communities, and it’s essential for effective collaborative classrooms as well. Knowing when and how to express yourself, recognizing nonverbal cues, and being able to discern what’s important when someone speaks can be key factors in building interpersonal relationships. By practicing communication skills, students will get better at asking for help and expressing what they need, and over time they will develop the skills and confidence to tell you more clearly what they’ve learned in class.

In STEM fields, empathetic communication is a fundamental ingredient for success. Whether you’re a healthcare professional or a programmer, you must be able to take highly technical knowledge and describe it in a clear and simple way for others. If students learn to express ideas in a persuasive way and respond gracefully to reactions to their opinions, they’ll be able to promote innovation and social change through fields like bioengineering or video game design. You may not be able to see the outcomes of bolstering students’ communication right away, but the transfer to real-world situations will one day be undeniable.

Source: 4 Tools to Boost Communication Skills in the STEM Classroom | MindShift | KQED News

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