Tag: STEM

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Wilfried Schmid, Dwight Parker Robinson Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, who played a major role in drafting the 2000 Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework and served on the U.S. National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) in 2008. Dr. Schmid shares how he became interested in mathematics, and how it was taught and encouraged in the German schools he attended. He also talks about his academic career at Harvard, his teaching experiences there and at other elite universities, and the wide disparities in the level of academic math preparation between students from America and other countries. Professor Schmid explains how he became interested in K-12 mathematics, and his work with education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky in drafting Massachusetts’ nation-leading math standards. They discuss the “math wars” that occurred across American K-12 education, and why, even after the landmark NMAP report, this country continues to struggle with teaching students basic mathematics.

Stories of the Week: In Texas, teachers who choose to resign during the school year are being stripped of their professional certification. US News & World Report’s annual ranking of top high schools is out, and the latest list features several from Massachusetts, including Boston’s exam and charter public schools, as well as wealthy suburban districts.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” host Gerard Robinson talks with Nancy Poon Lue, incoming Senior Director at the Valhalla Foundation, where she will be leading their K-12 math funding initiatives. Nancy shares her recent work with the EF+Math Program, some of the challenges America has faced in ensuring students have a strong grounding in math and science, and the kinds of results she aims to achieve for kids in all ZIP codes. They discuss the realities of K-12 education before COVID-19, with declining NAEP scores and persistent achievement gaps, and what can be done to address COVID-19-related learning loss, especially in STEM. Nancy offers thoughts on America’s competitiveness with high-performing countries in the STEM fields that drive the global economy. Lastly, they delve into teacher preparation in STEM fields, and how education schools and state departments of education can help address the country’s ongoing STEM deficits.

Story of the Week: Schools in all but two states — New Hampshire and New Mexico — are experiencing a shortage of special education teachers to meet demand as students return to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Farouk El-Baz, retired research professor and director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. They discuss his remarkable, varied, and pioneering career in the sciences, surveying both the heavens and the Earth, and key teachers and scientists who have influenced him. Dr. El-Baz shares what it was like serving as supervisor of Lunar Science Planning for NASA’s Apollo program, and working on the world-changing project of putting a human on the Moon. He describes what the Apollo program needed to know beforehand to map the Moon in order to select the landing site, and the key scientific facts about the Moon that NASA needed to gather to ensure the mission’s ultimate success.

In the second phase of his career in science, Dr. El Baz used remote sensing and space images to explore for groundwater in the largest deserts on Earth. He explains how surveying the Moon informed this work, and the most significant and surprising discoveries he has made with remote sensing. Lastly, they talk about the mathematical and scientific background knowledge that best prepares students for careers in STEM fields.

Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss how universities and the scientific community are being pressured to alter the gender and racial balance in STEM disciplines—science, technology, engineering, and math—and the implications for America’s future.

For decades, multiculturalism, quotas, and identity politics have been pervasive in humanities departments at most major universities—but not in scientific fields. Now that’s changing, as the identity-politics obsession has penetrated STEM programs, and administrators, professors, and other officials attempt to increase the number of women and minorities in the field, by almost any means necessary. As Mac Donald writes, this pressure is “changing how science is taught and how scientific qualifications are evaluated. The results will be disastrous for scientific innovation and for American competitiveness.”

In this episode of the “New Skills Marketplace” podcast, Andy Smarick (AEI) and John Bailey (AEI) sit down with Liz Simon from General Assembly to talk about coding bootcamps and their role in closing the skills gap. Liz first outlines how General Assembly is providing pathways for nontraditional learners to reskill [7:55]. She then describes how General Assembly developed a framework to assess student outcomes and measure program quality [16:49]. Next, Liz offers her viewpoint on the Educational Quality through Innovation Partnerships pilot, Title IV expansion, and the future of workforce development [21:38]. Finally, Andy and John reflect on their conversation with Liz [34:11].

My first post: STEM vs. STEAM

 

I’ve been inspired to make my first post (after lurking since almost the inception of Ricochet) by comments made by James on the flagship podcast relating to STEM vs. STEAM. Since this is a subject close to my heart I had to drop the headphones right away and start writing this post.

For those not familiar with the acronyms; STEM is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and is a catch-all term for the practice of, or education in, any of those fields. STEAM is a more recent innovation on that theme. The ‘A’ refers to Arts.

Member Post

 

European Space Agency scientist and British Physicist Matt Taylor is part of the Rosetta team that just landed a probe on a comet. When he showed up to the office for the landing on Wednesday, he was wearing an absurd Hawaiian/bowling shirt with, uh, sexy cartoon women all over it (no word yet on whether Kim […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Member Post

 

I hire people for well-paying jobs.  These are jobs that require college degrees, preferably advanced ones.   Naturally the first place I look is Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc., right?  Wrong.  I am more interested in skill-set, experience, and personality than alma mater.    Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.