Raising the bar for STEM education comes through practice, competition and a culture shift to help prepare the next generation of defense leaders. It’s less about how many hours of STEM courses or what is the right age to engage kids in STEM and more of a focus on how to create access to opportunities in a way that they can connect with for the long term.
The Alamo Chapter recently awarded a $1,000 STEM Teaching Tools Grant to Amanda Pelletier of Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School in Texas. She began the school year with a brand-new class and curriculum, Earth and science, but budget restraints meant that Pelletier had to spend her own money to build the program. She believes in sharing science with young people, so she set aside funds for the new class.
“Teachers don’t make a whole lot of money, but I really do believe in this program and getting the students interested in STEM,” Pelletier said.
Entering its sixth year, Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States. Last year, Giving Tuesday broke a record with $168 million in charitable donations worldwide. The day dedicated to philanthropy is quickly emerging as a national ritual after the well-recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
It was through a scholarship awarded by AFCEA International that some California elementary school students got up close and personal with the intricate workmanship of the intrepid Albert Tangemann.
In 1922, Tangemann used scrap metal from World War II battleships to create a first-of-its-kind spiral staircase that provided access to the bottom of California’s Moaning Cavern. Ninety-two years later, one teacher’s AFCEA scholarship meant that 84 students from Sonora Elementary School could glean insights into how far construction technology has come and what allows speleologists to study deep, dark cavern secrets.
I wrote about STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—being a critical element of national security (CENS) in July 2015. At the time, 8.5 million STEM jobs already were on the market, with the number growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 9 million additional STEM graduates will be needed by 2022.
So, how is the nation going to meet this CENS need that crosses nominal disciplines such as the economy, power, water, transportation and defense?
Shopping for good is made easy by the AFCEA Educational Foundation and the CauseNetwork, which offer consumers access to discounts at more than 1,000 retailers that donate a portion of each purchase to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Shop for STEM allows anyone to register and shop from a range of retailers, from small businesses to giants such as Amazon.com, Target and Wal-Mart. Simply visit shopforstem.org, and sign up quickly and easily with your email address.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is now accepting applications for its engineering scholars competition, which will provide $192,000 in college scholarships this year to promising high school seniors graduating from Maryland schools interested in studying engineering, according to a news release. Additionally, the company will award 26 scholarships to students who live near company campuses in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Utah and Virginia.
It can be easy to forget that AFCEA is more than a professional association—AFCEA is a community. When the southeastern United States was pummeled by Hurricane Matthew in October, the AFCEA Educational Foundation and the North Carolina and South Carolina Low Country chapters were able to provide assistance to local schools in the hardest-hit areas.
For many people in the U.S., the end of Thanksgiving marks the start of a whirlwind shopping season. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, the search is on for the perfect gifts. But the holidays also bring about a season of charitable giving and a day known as Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday, celebrated on Tuesday, November 29, is a global movement fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Using the hashtag #GivingTuesday, nonprofits around the world will raise funds and awareness for their causes. The event encourages participants to find a way to give back with their time, donations or the power of their voices.
Notes from scholarship and grant recipients are constant reminders of the importance of corporate, member and chapter contributions to the individuals the AFCEA Educational Foundation serves. The foundation provides potential benefactors with the facts; the beneficiaries of their generosity tell the story.
Much attention has been focused on recent achievements by women who crack or break traditional glass ceilings. In its recent series on Women in STEM, SIGNAL has highlighted many of these achievements.
For 10 weeks, we have addressed the issue of women in STEM and why many leave the field after working so hard to earn their college degrees. For 10 weeks, we've run features on prominent women who stuck with their careers in science, technology, engineering and math, despite some hurdles. For 10 weeks, salient points have reverberated as leaders talk about the sexual harassment, the pay gap, waning student interest and the need for mentors. But we're not done talking about it. Next month, AFCEA International hosts its first Women in STEM panel at TechNet Augusta to tackle the issue. You should join us.
Employers today face a scarcity of qualified candidates for coveted jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM—jobs widely regarded as vital to U.S. economic and military strength. One key reason for the lack of skilled workers is gender inequities, which share as much of the blame for the dearth of diversity in these fields.
For some women, following the dream of a computer-programming career takes a pretty indirect route. Consider Mylene Frances Lee, who landed at ASM Research despite earning a seemingly unrelated degree in family life and child development. But maybe that is not such a bad background for someone who ended up working with a bunch of screen junkies.
Lee considered many careers. A native of the Philippines, she always was interested in computers. But when the time came to choose a major, she discovered that the University of the Philippines’ engineering college, although open to all, was entirely male. Instead, she decided to major in accounting.
As the U.S. Cyber Command recruits 6,200 cyber warriors for teams positioned around the world, it must deliberately work to develop a new generation of cyber-minded warfighters rather than simply repurpose existing service members to meet its goal. The nation may not be prepared to defend cyberspace unless it emphasizes key skills early in students’ educational development. Many of these efforts must begin locally, and some military forces already are working in that direction.
Many people received cellphones, video games, computers and a wide variety of electronic devices during the holidays. Rather than stockpile your old electronics, consider donating them to benefit the AFCEA Educational Foundation. Not only is this an easy way to clear your e-clutter, but you also can reap a tax benefit.
BridgePhase LLC, a small business provider of information technology consulting and professional services, will sponsor an annual scholarship for one science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate student, beginning in 2016. The $3,000 award will recognize a student enrolled or enrolling in a STEM graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. academic institution. Selection for this program will be competitive and based on a candidate’s overall undergraduate and/or graduate academic performance.
As dependence on technology grows, the need for experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) increases. Equally important are ongoing discussions on whether academic institutions in the United States are turning out enough qualified graduates in the STEM disciplines. According to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic and Statistics Administration, STEM workers drive innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, companies and industries. However, U.S. businesses continually voice concerns about the quality and availability of STEM workers.
If you’re like most consumers, shopping on the Internet has become a common occurrence. In 2014, more than 1.12 billion people worldwide shopped online; in the U.S. alone, 196.6 million shoppers took to the Web, according to online statistics portal Statista. Internet shopping is expected to continue its exponential rise during the next five years. As Dr. Vince Patton, executive director for the AFCEA Educational Foundation, puts it, “Online shopping is no longer the wave of the future. It’s here now and has become a new normal.”