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Special 2017 STEMdaily Year-In-Review Edition & Happy New Year 2018 from STEMconnector! Untitled Document
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Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Million Women Mentors
STEMconnector’s Million Women Mentors Reaches 2 Million Pledges and Continues to Accelerate the Movement
STEMconnector’s Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative has reached two million pledges for mentoring relationships and is on target to reach its goal of three million by 2020. Additionally, there have been over 958,000 completed mentoring relationships as of this release. To build on this progress and enable the organization to reach its goal, MWM and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership announced a new partnership during the Million Women Mentors National Summit and Awards Ceremony on October 23-24 at the National Press Club. The partnership will leverage existing resources to expand Million Women Mentors’ presence to all 50 states, and add 1,032 organizations to the number of NGOs and non-profits currently providing mentoring services to youth and young career professionals through MWM, particularly women and girls, exponentially increasing engagement efforts and creating an effortless user experience for members.

University of Phoenix and PepsiCo Join Forces for Million Women Mentors Program to Help Reduce Gender Gap by Encouraging Women to Enter STEM-Related Fields
University of Phoenix® and PepsiCo announced cooperation on a mentorship program designed to encourage more women to enter STEM and finance workforces to help women bridge the gender gap and fill the growing number of open positions in STEM fields. Through the cooperation between PepsiCo and University of Phoenix, 48 female students from the University’s College of Information Systems and Technology and School of Business will be paired with PepsiCo IT and finance leaders to receive career advice and resources. The cooperation began last year through a pilot of the mentorship program that included 20 of the University’s top female students from the College of Information Systems and Technology who each completed 20 mentorship hours with PepsiCo IT employees.

Cherokee Nation supports Million Women Mentors mission
Cherokee Nation officials signed a proclamation Wednesday supporting the Million Women Mentors Native American Council’s promotion to increase opportunities for Native girls and women to study and enter STEM careers. As part of the proclamation and partnership with the Million Women Mentors, the tribe pledged to mentor at least 500 female students a year with their pursuit of STEM-related education and careers.

Roles and Opportunities of Women in the Insurance Industry Examined in Women in Insurance: Leading to Action White Paper
STEMconnector announced the release of its Women in Insurance White Paper at the Million Women Mentors National Summit and Awards Ceremony on October 24 at the National Press Club. The paper provides an overview of existing trends in the industry while highlighting innovative approaches currently underway at a number of leading insurance organizations and sharing critical opportunities for recruiting and nurturing top female talent. Women represent 60% of all insurance workers, but hold only 17% of board seats and 10% of top management positions. Additionally, the insurance industry demonstrates significant pay disparity, with women earning only 62 cents on the dollar compared to their male colleagues.

Governor Raimondo Kicks Off Million Women Mentors Rhode Island
Governor Gina M. Raimondo has officially kicked off Rhode Island’s participation in the national Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative almost a year ago! Raimondo has since served as honorary chair of the MWM-Rhode Island State Leadership Team. “I am honored to serve as Honorary Chairwoman of the State Leadership Team for Million Women Mentors,” said Raimondo. “Students who concentrate on STEM will be prepared to take their place in the high-growth, well-paying fields that increasingly drive the 21st century economy. It is critical that we provide Rhode Islanders with the skills they need to compete on an equal playing field. Through Million Women Mentors, we will ensure our girls get a fair shot.”

Day of Design
Day of Design: STEMconnector® Launches new Design Thinking Initiative Join the Movement
STEMconnector® launched its new Day of Design (DofD) initiative, recurring annually on National Manufacturing Day (MFG Day); October 6, 2017. Currently, 2.8 million students and counting in all 50 states will participate in a design thinking challenge that will provide them with the skills they need to prepare for the workforce of tomorrow. By introducing millions of students to design thinking, this effort will encourage thousands of young men and women to pursue careers related to STEM and place them right in the center of the manufacturing revolution taking place in the US and around the world.

Now on YouTube: Introduction to the Inaugural Day of Design Training Webinar to Help Teachers Prepare their Classrooms for October 6th!
To prepare teams for the inaugural Day of Design, we hosted a training webinar for the student teams! The Design Training Webinar helps teachers and all education facilitators to get prepared for these design challenges! Click the link to watch the video on YouTube!

In Klein ISD, Students Work To Prevent Flooding in Water Warriors Challenge [VIDEO] (KHOU)
How can we better pretect our homes from flood water? Hundreds of kids from Klein ISD got together for the Day of Design Water Warriors design challenge last Friday to figure that out, and their solutions are creative and from the heart. The student teams engaged in problem solving and critical thinking around an issue many of them were personally effected by from Hurricane Harvey. Watch the video from KHOU to see the students in action!

Day of Design Taps Credly to Issue Digital Badges that Recognize Achievements in STEM Fields
STEMconnector today announced a partnership with digital credential pioneer, Credly, that will bring digital badges to K-12 and collegiate students who complete challenges for the Day of Design. Launched with the National Association of Manufacturers and NSF, Day of Design will introduce a million students across the nation to design thinking through a series of challenges that cultivate skills necessary to pursue career opportunities in STEM-related fields. Participants who completed the Day of Design challenges were awarded digital badges, which can be shared on professional and social media platforms, as well as embedded into websites, email signatures and e-portfolios.

UI-developed STEM curriculum to be used in national teaching event (University of Iowa)
A curriculum developed at the University of Iowa that teaches STEM concepts to high school students was used during the Day of Design, a national STEM education program, held in October. Leslie Flynn, a clinical professor in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, will host the innovation challenge. Utilizing the STEM Innovator framework created at the UI, teams advance from idea generation to prototype formation to commercialization opportunities.

nfpNexus' Spectrum Innovates Collaborates with Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology to Participate in STEMconnector's Inaugural National Day of Design Challenge
Spectrum Innovates has created a neuro-diverse team of participants for this inaugural national event. The team consists of five high school-aged students on the autism spectrum (alumni of their "Maker" workshops), two students from a NYC independent school and three students from NEXUS' partner in the event, Vaughn College. Vaughn hosted the team and provided access to their amazing facilities for robotics, fabrication and 3D printing. Day of Design is a national movement that teaches creative problem solving across the entire student pipeline, K-12 and collegiate. The aim is to eliminate the STEM gap by teaching students how to be innovators and create change in their own communities.

Higher Education
Cornell Tech inaugurates Tata Innovation Center
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, announced Dec. 4 a $50 million investment in Cornell Tech. The investment includes a significant gift for the first phase of capital development on the Roosevelt Island campus, as well as support for collaborating on technology research and expanding K-12 digital literacy programs in New York City. In recognition of the gift, Cornell Tech has inaugurated the Tata Innovation Center on Roosevelt Island.

The Dassault Systèmes U.S. Foundation Provides Grant to Base 11 to Develop Engineering Talent
The Dassault Systèmes U.S. Foundation and Base 11 today announced a workforce development initiative focused on training the next generation of engineers with the skills most in-demand by aerospace, high tech and transportation industries. With a grant from The Foundation, the initiative will provide students with training in collaborative 3-D engineering design platforms used by many large employers including Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Tesla, Honda, HP and IBM. The initiative will be piloted this summer at the University of California, Irvine’s Samueli School of Engineering.

The Joys of Working in a Lab: Reflections on a Summer at the Kyoto University
For me, the most valuable part of Amgen Scholars Program was working in a laboratory. I met great people who made me feel appreciated and loved. In my host laboratory, I found the field that I am passionate about and where I really want to continue working in the future: microalgae research. I was surprised by the large number of species of microalgae in our lab and admired the research of other lab members. I also saw and used some technology for the first time such as the HPLC sequencing machine that my home university taught us about but did not have

K-12 Education
TCS & Discovery Education Launch #IgniteMyFuture!
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Discovery Education are proud to bring you Ignite My Future In School. This 5-year initiative provides middle school educators with standards-aligned, transdisciplinary resources designed to effectively engage classrooms with the foundations of computational thinking across core subject areas. Recognizing the importance of computational thinking as a foundational skill, Ignite My Future in School has a goal of engaging 20,000 teachers and one million U.S. students by 2021. As a first step towards this goal, TCS and Discovery Education also announced that 10 U.S. school systems – with more than 6,700 teachers and 194,000 students – joined the effort as early adopters of this transdisciplinary approach.

TiViTz Named a Microsoft Education U.S. Public Sector Partner of the Year
TiViTz, a math and strategy game for students, was named the 2017 Microsoft U.S. Public Sector Education Mobility Partner of the Year. The company was chosen from more than 100 organizations across the public sector division for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of education technology. Siobhan Mullen, CEO of SAS Games, Inc., the parent company of TiViTz said, “We are honored to be recognized by Microsoft as their Education Mobility Partner of the Year. By working together, we have been able to implement gamification programs that dramatically improve math competency in classrooms. We look forward to what this incredibly rewarding partnership will bring to STEM education in the future.”

From drones to DIY labs, summer camps keep students learning
Students across the U.S. are spending their summer breaks experimenting with cutting-edge technologies and exploring new industries, all while sharpening their skills in STEM. BP proudly supported a number of STEM programs and summer camps in Houston, Chicago and South Carolina, where students got an up-close look at everything from high-flying drones to 3-D printing — and learned how these innovations are being used to solve real-world energy challenges. BP co-sponsored a free weeklong camp at Rice University where middle school students explored the engineering and science of drone technology and how it can help solve real-world challenges.

NSTA Releases 2nd Annual ‘Best STEM Books for K-12’ List!
For the second year in a row, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) released a list of the “Best STEM Books for K-12” in conjunction with the Children’s Book Council. The list is selected by volunteer educators from a book review panel appointed by NSTA, and it provides recommendations for the best STEM trade books available for students from kindergarten through high school. The book review panel finalized on 22 STEM books from 359 submissions, and the list was chosen for its ability to inspire STEM learning for K-12 students, with topics ranging from the origins of chocolate to the hazards of fracking.

NMSI Names Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. as CEO
Veteran astronaut and STEM education advocate Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. was named the new chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative. “High-quality STEM learning for all students, particularly those from underserved and underrepresented communities, has never been more critical,” Dr. Harris said. “NMSI has done tremendous work in the past 10 years and has positioned itself to improve the education of many more students in the coming years.” Dr. Harris is a founding member of the NMSI board and has served in that role for 10 years. He succeeds Matthew Randazzo, who recently was named president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. Randazzo will assume this role in mid-2018 and will remain a NMSI board member.

Former Football Player turned Full-Time Mathematician, John Urschel, kicks-off the #GenSTEM contest to get kids pumped up to go back to school
To get more students excited about STEM subjects as they head back to school, Texas Instruments (TI) teamed up with newly-retired Baltimore Raven John Urschel to kick-off the #GenSTEM contest. The goal is to show today’s generation of STEM students (#GenSTEM) that whatever they are in to, whether it’s cooking or fashion or football, STEM is in it too. The 6’3, 305-pound former lineman recently did the unexpected by hanging up his football cleats to focus on his growing family and mathematics full-time. “I will always remember and cherish my days playing football, but I’m looking forward to focusing fully on pursuing my doctoral degree at MIT and being the best mathematician I can be,” said Urschel.

4-H and Google Team Up to Bring Computer Science Education to Kids Across the Country
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that in just three years there will be 1.4 million computer science-related jobs, and only 400,000 qualified job candidates. In response, 4-H, America's largest youth development organization, and Google are coming together for a first-of-its-kind computer science (CS) collaboration that will teach kids both technical skills like coding, and essential skills students will need in the future like, teamwork and resilience. But the program isn't just about programming computers, it's about helping students learn skills they'll need to approach problems in a fundamentally different way across every discipline from business to engineering to the arts.

Diversity in STEM
Girl Scouts Announces Pledge To Bring 2.5M Girls Into STEM Pipeline By 2025
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced a groundbreaking national initiative to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing millions of girls into the STEM pipeline over the next eight years. Building on GSUSA’s existing efforts, the Girl Scout STEM Pledge seeks to raise $70 million, impacting 2.5 million girls by 2025. GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo broke the news in front of thousands of business leaders during her keynote interview with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual gathering and the largest software conference in the world. Acevedo’s participation is part of Girl Scouts of the USA’s selection as a “Trailblazer” and nonprofit of choice at this year’s conference.

Girls Who Code CEO encourages girls to become coders; Wal-Mart pledges $250,000 to the effort (Talk Business)
Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, encouraged nearly 300 middle school-aged girls to pursue careers in technology. On Wednesday (Sept. 6), Wal-Mart announced a multi-year sponsorship and a $250,000 gift to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology by encouraging girls to join the engineering field. Saujani and Arkansas Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin spoke to the girls from 14 Northwest Arkansas schools about opportunities for women in STEM in an event at the David Glass Technology Center in Bentonville. Saujani also took part in the diversity and inclusion summit Wal-Mart hosted for its employees later in the day.

How Verizon Reaches #GirlsInSTEM in Rural Communities: A Q&A w/ Justina Nixon-Saintil
This summer, Verizon Innovative Learning launches its first program addressing the need for more girls, especially those in rural America, to be prepared for the STEM careers of the future. In partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), more than 300 girls across three states will learn the fundamentals of augmented reality, coding, 3D design, entrepreneurship and design thinking principles. Through this experience, Verizon Innovative Learning hopes to give the participating girls a glimpse into a world that they may have never thought of before. To get a better idea of what’s happening on the ground, we asked Justina Nixon-Saintil, Director of Education for the Verizon Foundation.

Women in STEM: Share Your Road
Everyone has a story about how they got to where they are today and every story holds lessons to learn from. That's why AT&T is collaborating with career exploration organization Roadtrip Nation: to share the stories of women who have challenged the statistics and followed their aspirations to create fulfilling careers in STEM. With Roadtrip Nation's "Share Your Road" tool, you can share the steps you've taken to get where you are today and help young people find their way.

STEM Competitions
US2020 Announces National STEM Coalition Challenge
US2020 has announced the launch of the STEM Coalition Challenge, a call to action for nonprofit organizations, school districts, universities, businesses, and public offices to increase the quantity and quality of STEM volunteerism and maker-centered learning across the country. The challenge will expand the US2020 Learning Network to a total of 16 locations, reaching more than 25,000 children within the first year of programming. Winners will receive two years’ worth of financial, consulting, and staff support valued at $1 million.

3M and Discovery Education Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Young Scientist Challenge, Awards America’s Top Scientist with $25,000 Prize
3M and Discovery Education have named 11-year-old Gitanjali Rao from Lone Tree, Colo., the winner of the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist). Gitanjali is working to develop Tethys, a sensor-based device that can detect lead in water faster than other current techniques. Rather than using expensive equipment for testing, Gitanjali’s cost-effective approach to water safety uses a mobile app that populates the water’s status almost immediately. Tethys is designed to be portable and easy to use, allowing individuals to test water safety whenever needed.

Regeneron Science Talent Search Announces 300 U.S. High School STEM Scholars
300 high school seniors have been named scholars in the newly re-named Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program founded and produced by Society for Science & the Public. The biotechnology firm is taking over as the lead sponsor of the prestigious STEM competition after Intel famously dropped out. And Regeneron isn’t just keeping the Science Talent Search alive, it’s also doubling the overall award amount to $3.1 million. The top award has been increased to $250,000, and it has also doubled the awards for the top 300 young scholars and their schools to $2,000 each in an effort to get more young people involved with the competition.

Iridescent Launches The Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge
Iridescent, a global STEM education nonprofit, introduces a unique educational initiative: The Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge. This initiative will empower young people and their families to learn together about artificial intelligence (AI) technology in a project-driven, hands-on way. The Curiosity Machine AI Family Challenge will feature an integrated educational program, curriculum, and competitions to help underserved students and their families understand core concepts of artificial intelligence and apply AI tools to create social good in their communities.

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Happy New Year!
Happy New Year from the STEMconnector team! 2017 was certainly a turbulent time for all of America, including deep impacts on the STEM community and to the very belief in science itself. But here at STEMconnector, we remain optimistic about the future. After reading through these incredible STEM stories from 2017 in this special year-in-review edition of STEMdaily, we think you will be hopeful too! Thank you to our loyal STEMdaily readers and cheers to more STEM news in 2018!

Leslie Cruz Reflects on Early STEM Lessons & Looks to 2018 and #TheStateOfSTEM
It’s been 6 months since I joined STEMconnector, and I continue to be energized by the passion and impact of the extensive STEM community and the potential of our collective efforts. Through the conversations I've had with this incredible community, we’ve identified two major principles guiding STEMconnector’s work. First, that no one sector has a monopoly on the STEM talent pipeline — partnership across boardrooms, classrooms & community is key to continued progress. Second, that sustainable and positive change happens locally in communities and can be accelerated through shared mission and approach. I’m excited to announce a new project that embodies those principles. With a planned release in March 2018, the “State of STEM” report will take a broad look at the many organizations, systems, challenges, and opportunities in STEM nationwide, informed by qualitative and quantitative research across sectors.

STEMconnector celebrated its 6th Anniversary in November of 2017!

Leslie Cruz Named New CEO of STEMconnector in June!
Leslie Cruz was named the new CEO for STEMconnector in June of 2017. The announcement was made by Dale E. Jones, President and CEO of Diversified Search, the parent firm of STEMconnector. “Leslie is a perfect fit for STEMconnector and its team because both exhibit the same qualities: a dynamic sense of the marketplace and a passion for bringing innovation and growth to jobs and business,” Jones said. “We are delighted to welcome Leslie into this critical role. At the same time, we want to honor the immeasurable impact that Edie Fraser has had as STEMconnector’s Founder and CEO for the past six years. We are thrilled that she will remain with us in the new role as Chairman, where she will continue to bring her deep experience and wisdom to our thriving STEM business.”

100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM
The newest version of 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM was released in 2017! Click the link to access the digital copy plus the entire 100 Leaders series!

Young-In Moon (Intern, STEMconnector): Student Panelists Set The Tone at #GSTS2017
The Global STEM Talent Summit (#GSTS2017) kicked off on April 27th, 2017 with STEM Higher Education Council’s very own student panel, representing the STEM workforce of not just tomorrow, but today as well. Most of the audience, which was made up of 50 strategic partners representing more than six million employees, hire more than 100 STEM professionals a year. It was evident that the audience was eager to listen to what these students had to say for the future of their companies and the future of STEM.

Diversity in Technology: A Workshop for Leaders Promoting Corporate Diversity
On August 23rd, TCS and STEMConnector convened business leaders at a roundtable to look at diversity from a holistic perspective of equity and access in K-12 education, early careers, retention and growth within companies. The objective was to help advance the field of diversity and inclusion, specifically focusing on technology, skills and jobs. Over 55 diversity leaders participated in the discussions, including representatives from Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, Google, Indeed, KPMG, McKesson, Smithfield Foods, UN Women and the New York City Mayor’s Office on Workforce Development.

Meet Danielle Olson: A Gique Advancing the Case for STEAM Education
What is a Gique? It’s a cross between “geek” and “chic”, a maker and creative problem-solver whose interdisciplinary interests turn STEM into STEAM. Meet Danielle Olson, researcher and PhD student at MIT and proud founder of Gique, a nonprofit that provides transformational, culturally situated STEAM learning for underserved youth. Olson offers STEMConnector her insights and experience as an engineer, a dancer, a dreamer and pioneer in STEAM education, as well as research on how the arts are leveling the educational playing field in STEM.

A Parent’s Perspective: How Science Helped My Son Find Himself
My son, Marco, has grown up trying to make sense of his identity. He embodies a blend of many great interests and qualities. He’s from a multiracial background. He loves sports just as much as he loves science–two interests he always feared were mutually exclusive. While his family has always supported his interests and encouraged him to explore his vibrant and diverse background, I have noticed that it has been in the company of like-minded peers that Marco has truly flourished. Thankfully, he has found an incredible group of friends in STEM programs through the Army Educational Outreach Programs (AEOP).

Securing our Future through the Cybersecurity Workforce: a Q&A with PLTW’s David Greer
With cyberattacks on the rise, and the fact that they impact all industries, it’s no surprise that jobs in cybersecurity are sorely needed. Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is one group who is implementing cybersecurity and computer science education early, and we met up with David Greer– PLTW’s newly-hired Senior VP & Chief Program Officer- to talk about their programs!

Leslie Rubio: Lessons Learned: Creating a STEM Classroom of Excellence
I love STEM, and I want my students to love it as well. I worried, however, that I wasn’t doing enough in my daily lessons to inspire them to pursue these fields in college or careers. As a fourth grade math and science teacher, I work very hard to follow our district’s pacing guide requirements and cover all of the standards in order to prepare students for state testing in the spring. For this reason, I decided to pursue a National Certificate for STEM Teaching through the National Institute for STEM Education.
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