Torlakson Kicks Off 2016 STEM Symposium – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today kicked off California’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education symposium.

Torlakson, who started his public service career as a high school science teacher and coach, welcomed more than 3,000 teachers, parents, students, researchers, entrepreneurs and others to the two-day event at the Anaheim Convention Center.

“STEM education is a key pathway to success in 21st century careers and college, especially in the high-tech, international economy,” Torlakson said. “We want all of our students to get excited about STEM learning, dream big, and reach for the stars.”

The third annual event showcases the importance of STEM education. Speakers highlighted California’s Next Generation Science Standards, a revolutionary update in teaching California’s 6.2 million public school students about science.

Source: Torlakson Kicks Off 2016 STEM Symposium – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

UC Davis-sponsored camp teaches Benicia Middle School girls computing, tech and more – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Education plays a big role in determining students’ futures. As they move through their schooling, students take at least one class that inspires them to enter that field or influences what they want to do with their lives. Additionally, as technology becomes more omnipresent, more career opportunities open up for everybody.

Therefore, it has become expected for schools to inspire students—especially female students— to enter the fields they are most passionate about, not necessarily the ones society has traditionally suggested they take.This was the premise behind C-STEM GIRL (Girls in Robotic Leadership) Camp, a weeklong partnership between Benicia Unified School District and UC Davis, in which incoming seventh and eighth-grade girls learned about robotics and coding as well as leadership, public speaking and team building skills.

Source: UC Davis-sponsored camp teaches Benicia Middle School girls about importance of computing, tech and more

Bridging “opportunity gap,” Migrant Ed students go to STEM camp – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Brothers Jesus and Oscar Silva, seated at a table, closely eyed a computer program displayed on a laptop as Omena Mushale explained how their LEGO Mindstorms robot was meant to work.

Migrant Education students in Fairfield-Suisun Unified were in a classroom for high schoolers Monday at Anna Kyle Elementary in Fairfield where they participated in a two-week STEM camp specifically for students like them, sons and daughters of migrant workers who either follow seasonal plantings and harvests or move frequently within a certain geographic area, including a city or town, as they seek work.

source: Bridging “opportunity gap,” Migrant Ed students go to STEM camp – The Reporter

County high schoolers learn ABCs of solar energy and careers – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

An education program manager for a San Jose-based solar company said the Solar Energy Academy this week at Solano Community College is an opportunity for schools and businesses to collaborate to bring a work-based learning environment that high school students “can’t get in a classroom.”

Renee Solari — who smiled when noting her surname, coincidentally, means “sun” in Italian — said the students, some 40 mostly sophomores to seniors from Solano County school districts, including several from Vacaville Unified, are learning “21st-century skills” at the academy, co-sponsored by her firm, SunPower and the Northern California Career Pathways, a six-county consortium of school districts, community colleges and the Workforce Development Board.

Source: County high schoolers learn ABCs of solar energy and careers

Fairfield-Suisun School District STEM camp helps dreams take flight – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

With graduation season in the rear view mirror, the school year for the Fairfield-Suisun School District is over – but that doesn’t mean the learning has stopped.

A group of 40 sixth- and seventh-graders returned, Friday night, from a five-day Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics camp, which included a trip to Vacaville-based ICON Aircraft, the Senate and Assembly chambers at the State Capitol and culminated with a trip to Vandenberg Air Force Base outside of Lompoc in Southern California.

This was the inaugural year for the program, which was developed in part thanks to a pre-existing connection Superintendent Kris Corey had with staff at Vandenberg AFB.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District STEM camp helps dreams take flight

Officials post Solano County Science/STEM Fair winners – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The winners from the 4th Annual Solano County Science/STEM Fair have been announced, with Fairfield-area students earning high marks.

The fair took place April 15 at Vanden High School with students from Armijo and Vanden high schools, Grange Middle School, Bethany Lutheran School and Foxboro Elementary School participating.

There were 207 high school projects and 59 middle school projects entered this year, according to county schools officials. The fair was organized by Marilyn Lewis and Katy Green, science teachers at Vanden High.

Source: Good News: Officials post Solano County Science/STEM Fair winners

Science is cool at Solano County STEM Fair – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

President Obama vowed in his first term to make science “cool,” and he has made good on his word.

Consider that he decorated the Oval Office with patent models of well-known scientific inventions and, on Wednesday, hosted his sixth and final White House Science Fair, featuring the robots, spacecraft, toys made from 3-D printers, and other assorted flabbergasting gizmos cobbled together by more than 100 young students from across the nation.

Source: Science is cool at Solano County STEM Fair

RoboDogs gear up for regional competitions – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For the RoboDogs, the Vacaville High robotics team, the road to the high school FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships is paved with days of hard work, trial and error, some deadline-related anxiety, high spirits, but mostly just plain old stick-to-itiveness.

After classes Thursday in the team’s epicenter, otherwise known as teacher and adviser Phil Jenschke’s classroom, which by any other terms is a seemingly order-amid-chaos industrial shop, it was enough for some two dozen students just to get ready for the Sacramento Regional contest. It begins Thursday and continues to March 27 at the University of California, Davis. Afterward, they will need to focus on another competition, March 31 to April 1, at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.

Source: RoboDogs gear up for regional competitions

Increasing Education Opportunities For Minorities In STEM – Forbes

By Maria Klawe

This summer I had the honor of attending an event that brought together educators and industry leaders involved in improving the state of STEM education in the U.S. During a panel discussion, I was asked whether I was encouraged or discouraged by where we are today in terms of diversity in STEM education. I am definitely encouraged, but we still have far to go to achieve equity in STEM education for minorities who have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields.

African-American, Latino and Native American students still lag far behind their white and Asian counterparts in terms of participation in math, science and engineering fields. While these underrepresented groups have made some modest gains over the last several decades, their progress has been extremely slow. Worse, over the last decade African Americans’ progress in attaining bachelor’s degrees in engineering, mathematics, computer science and physics has stalled or even reversed.

via Increasing Education Opportunities For Minorities In STEM – Forbes.

Solano College wins $1.1M federal grant – Daily Republic

By Kevin W. Green

Solano Community College announced Wednesday that it has been awarded a $1.1 million federal grant for support services of students in a curriculum that is based in science, technology, engineering and math.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services provides $220,000 per year for five years to provide support services to 140 low-income, first-generation community college students who are pursuing STEM-based degrees or certificates, the college said.

The TRIO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.

via Solano College wins $1.1M federal grant.

Solano Community College Awarded Grant To Serve STEM Students | Benicia, CA Patch

By Susan C. Schena

Solano Community College (SCC) was awarded a US Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) STEM grant in the amount of $220,000 per year for five years to provide support services to 140 low-income, first-generation community college students who are pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based degrees or certificates.

“This grant will allow the College to provide enhanced support services to STEM students to help them stay in school, maintain a higher grade point average, and graduate and transfer to four-year universities at a higher rate. And the beauty of this grant is that it complements our recently awarded $622,715 National Science Foundation grant in which we offer 25 to 35 scholarships per year to STEM students. Along with our new Biomanufacturing baccalaureate degree, Solano is a welcome home to high-achieving STEM students,” said Stan Arterberry, SCC’s Interim Superintendent-President.

via Solano Community College Awarded Grant To Serve STEM Students | Benicia, CA Patch.

STEM seminar fosters county teachers’ abilities to teach programming, robotics – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Math and science teaching in Solano County’s public schools will get a lot more engaging this fall when students return to their classes and discover their teachers know how to use computer programming and robotics as new ways to teach math and science.

The change in curriculum (how subjects are taught) comes as the result of a two-week summer seminar, formally called the Programming and Robotics Integrated with Science and Mathematics (PRISM) project, part of which included 60 hours of training at Solano County Office of Education offices in Fairfield, one of the project’s partners.

via STEM seminar fosters county teachers’ abilities to teach programming, robotics.

Solano Community College To Award 165 STEM Scholarships | Benicia, CA Patch

By Susan Schena

The National Science Foundation (NSF), the nation’s premier agency that sponsors STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) research and education activities in colleges and universities across the country, has granted Solano Community College $622,715 to award 165 scholarships to “academically talented and financially needy” students over a five-year period.

Solano Community College To Award 165 STEM Scholarships | Benicia, CA Patch.

Vallejo Scouting for Science STEM event Sunday – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

A simple family outing to a Bay Area science fair motivated one Vallejo woman to create her own closer to home.

That event — The Boy Scouts of America, Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council’s first ever STEM Activity Day — is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

At $5 per family of four, the event is open to everybody, and is being held at the Vallejo Veteran’s Hall on Admiral Callaghan Lane, organizer Melissa Edwards said.

“I took my kids to the North Bay Science Discovery Day in Santa Rosa in October — a huge event with a committee that works on it year round,” Edwards said. “I lamented that we don’t have anything like this for the kids of Vallejo, so I decided to just do it myself — albeit on a smaller scale (at least initially).”

via Vallejo Scouting for Science STEM event Sunday.

Young girls learn that science is fun at Benicia event – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Natalie Kidder and Fary Koh say they believe the whole world would be better off with more women in the sciences, so they produce events like Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Day for girls in Benicia on Saturday.

The two women, who come at the issue from slightly different perspectives, teamed up for these events which give girls in grades 2 to 6 hands-on experience in several disciplines. Legos, which feature prominently in Koh’s Benicia business, BrickSpace, are used to teach engineering, for instance. Strawberries, meanwhile, were reduced to their basic DNA during another workshop elsewhere in the facility.

via Young girls learn that science is fun at Benicia event.

STEM grant attracts local math, science teachers – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math – just got a $1.8 million boost in Solano County schools.

The Solano County Office of Education received the grant to enhance STEM education through a partnership with the University of California, Davis Computing-STEM Center.

The grant will provide professional development over the next three years for up to 75 teachers in Solano and Contra Costa counties.The grant was awarded by the California Department of Education, through the California Math and Science Partnership, for teachers in grades fifth through 12th who teach math, science or math-based career technical education.

via STEM grant attracts local math, science teachers Daily Republic.

SCOE receives $1.8M to boost STEM know-how in grades 5-12 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Beginning this summer and for the next three years, some public school students in grades five through 12 in Solano and Contra Costa counties will learn a lot more about computer programming and robotics, thanks to a $1.8 million grant to boost teacher development.

Solano County Office of Education leaders on Wednesday announced it had received the money to enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education through an alliance with the UC Davis Computing-STEM Center. Through 2018, the money will provide professional development for some 60 to 75 teachers in the two counties.

In a press release, Sandy Jessop, an assistant superintendent at SCOE, said the California Department of Education awarded the grant through the California Math and Science Partnership (CaMSP) program.

The money will be used to give math, science or career-tech teachers more strategies to increase student engagement and achievement, noted Jessop.

via SCOE receives $1.8M to boost STEM know-how in grades 5-12.

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics – Science (CA Dept of Education)

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is used to identify individual subjects, a stand alone course, a sequence of courses, activities involving any of the four areas, a STEM-related course, or an interconnected or integrated program of study. A nationally agreed upon definition for STEM education is currently lacking. This page and the links on it provide information and resources for kindergarten through grade twelve STEM education.

3rd Annual California STEM SymposiumDesigning Our Future October 28-30, 2015, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

What’s New

  • Innovate A Blueprint for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in California Public Education (PDF)A report by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlaksons STEM Task Force
  • Women in Science and Tech Industries Profiled in State Agency Project news release
  • California State Library , keyword “California Women in STEM”

STEM Education Is

STEM education is a sequence of courses or program of study that prepares students, including underrepresented groups:

via Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics – Science (CA Dept of Education).

Vaca Peña leader lays out school data for trustees – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The main purpose of metadata is to ease the discovery of relevant information. It also helps to organize resources of all kinds.

That partial definition is one way to describe a detailed report from Vaca Peña Middle School Principal Jeff Crane, who, at Thursday’s Vacaville Unified trustees meeting, laid out an A-to-Z glimpse of the Keith Way campus in a numbers-filled presentation.

Speaking to the governing board in the Educational Services Center, he provided myriad telling sets of data in a 40-minute annual state-of-the-school report, called STAIR, for Student Achievement and Intervention Report.

Standing at the lectern, he touched on enrollment trends at the 850-student campus; student participation in honors classes, regular classes and extracurricular activities; professional development among educators; the number of students deemed proficient or advanced in math and English (including data about English language learners); interventions; and attendance, referral, suspensions and expulsion rates.

via Vaca Peña leader lays out school data for trustees.

Students sample industry choices during school career fair – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Nearly 1,000 students descended on the Fairfield High School gymnasium Wednesday with a single purpose in mind: To get a taste for possible careers.

They did so through the latest iteration of a relatively new career fair at the school. It’s a collaborative effort between the Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Club, Fairfield High and the Solano County Office of Education. It’s designed to serve as a way for students to explore various career paths in different industry sectors.

Students arrived in the gymnasium in three waves of approximately 300 students each.

via Students sample industry choices during school career fair Daily Republic.