The coronavirus pandemic and wildfires in the US west highlight the need for more scientific and print literacy in schools, write retired STEM teacher Andrew Zucker and author Pendred Noyce. In this article, they write about making STEM more relevant to students and address what they view as weaknesses in the Next Generation Science Standards, which they say should put a priority on critical thinking so that students can evaluate information they need to make future decisions.
Robotics students at an Alabama high school recently outfitted a motorized car for a toddler with limited mobility. Robbie Slater, the school's principal, said the project was an opportunity for students to apply their skills learned in the classroom in a real-world setting and help a child with disabilities.
The nuclear star cluster at the center of the Milky Way may have absorbed a smaller cluster or possibly another galaxy, studies in Astrophysical Journal Letters suggest. Astronomers looked at infrared wavelengths of a collection of red giants close to the Milky Way's center and found that some of them had fewer metals and moved differently, suggesting they had fallen in from farther away.
Researchers have narrowed down the date of the eruption of the Ilopango volcano in present-day El Salvador that is believed to have decimated Maya populations more than 1,000 years ago. Researchers used ice cores with material linked to the volcano found in Greenland and Antarctica, as well as a charred tree with remnants of volcanic material, to narrow the timeline to 431 CE, which coincides with an abrupt halt in ceramic production in the area, according to findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers observed how Asian kukri snakes use their large teeth to disembowel poisonous toads and dine on their organs while the toads were still alive, a behavior not witnessed before in snakes. It's possible the snakes have devised this method of eating to avoid the toads' toxic secretions, scientists say in Herpetozoa.
Alpena Community College in Michigan has grown its Early College Education Program to 180 students -- up from 35 when it launched seven years ago. About 41% of the college's students now are high-schoolers, who are earning college credits.
Framingham State University in Massachusetts will use a $40,000 state grant to expand participation in its Commonwealth Dual Enrollment program. The goal is to serve more high-schoolers, particularly expanding access for lower-income and first-generation college students.
Suncoast Technical College and the Florida Department of Education recently launched the "Get There" program to help raise awareness about the benefits of career and technical education programs. Kathy Hebda, chancellor of the Florida College System, said those who have lost their jobs, graduated high school or are interested in a career change should consider CTE.
General Motors is planning a $39 million investment in its Toledo, Ohio, transmission plant and a $32 million investment in a casting plant in Defiance, Ohio. About 240 jobs will be retained as a result of the new spending, which also shows GM's commitment to "its significant manufacturing presence in Ohio," said Phil Kienle, GM vice president of North American manufacturing and labor relations.
Allison Fundis, Dawn Wright and Carlie Wiener will be featured in an upcoming AltaSea webinar that will describe their contributions to the field of ocean science. The webinar is part of an event highlighting the importance of ocean education for students called The Blue Hour.
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