This week we read a lot about International Women’s Day, Sunday, March 8. The theme this year was, “Make It Happen.” In our first item, four women who made it happen all the way to Internet Society Hall of Fame discuss how to improve the climate for women in technical fields. For better or worse, the US News graduate school rankings are out, and some usual suspects top the engineering list. And graduate enrollment data show engineering blowing the doors off law school over the last ten years. It turns out that job opportunities and good pay in other fields are what was needed, not a bus full of JD’s going over a cliff.
- Four women luminaries from the tech world discuss how to make things better for girls and women in technical fields. Takeaway – more mentoring, less bullying.
- “Girls grow up. They go to college. They opt out of STEM majors.” Learned insecurities, teacher biases, few role models, hostile environments – it’s a witches’ brew.
- New York Urban League finds parents and communities are key to minorities’ success in science and engineering. And it helps if they go to HBCU’s.
- This ASEE video highlights six schools that have cracked the student retention code, with particular successes among under-represented groups.
- $50 million for diversity programs isn’t chopped liver, and Apple seems to be good at everything. But after Intel announced a $300 million program in January …
School ranking season is upon us. US News leads the way, of course. Elsewhere, math lessons fail Common Core standards, and graduate engineering enrollments are surging.
- Keeping up with US News rankings is like keeping up with the Kardashians – you know it’s trashy, but you can’t help looking. This year’s model has MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley at the top of the engineering list.
- Among the best colleges for the money are Harvey Mudd College, Cal Tech, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Colorado School of Mines, if you believe PayScale.
- Most K-8 math lessons do not align with Common Core standards, says a new group assessing curricula.
- Good prospects for jobs and pay prove appealing, as engineering graduate schools' enrollments are booming and law schools' are shrinking.
On the workplace beat, lots of attention goes to programs leading people to tech jobs.
- Arizona’s “STEM Pathways” puts community colleges at the center of a program linking high schools, universities, and employers. It helps identify, train, and place talent in STEM jobs.
- To much fanfare, the White House announced TechHire this week, a program to build pathways to tech jobs that connects training money and programs to 300 employers in 21 regions with 120,000 jobs in play.
- Once they get through, engineers can find the best work environments in these cities, says Forbes Magazine. Aerospace mecca Huntsville, AL, tops the list.
In the food-for-thought category, some of the smartest people in K-12 engineering reflect here on the natural fit between children’s natural impulses to build (and then break) things and the habits of mind that go into engineering work. It’s an older piece, but it holds up. Christine Cunningham from Engineering is Elementary, Leigh Abts of the University of Maryland, and others chime in.
What caught your eye this week? How do these items strike you? We welcome your thoughts and invite you to pass along this set of items to friends in the field who might be interested.
Eric Iversen is VP for Learning and Communications at Start Engineering. He has written and spoken widely on engineering education in the K-12 arena. You can write to him about this topic, especially when he gets stuff wrong, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow along on Twitter @StartEngNow.