ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Survey: Young Adults Are Unaware Of Cybersecurity Profession.

CSO Magazine  (10/1, Gonsalves) reports that a survey, commissioned by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) with Raytheon, of millennials aged 18 to 26 found an “information gap” between the awareness of the importance of Internet security and the cybersecurity profession. According to the study, young adults are aware of and understand “the importance of protecting themselves online,” and polls suggest that most of them “take steps to do so;” however, the study also showed that over 60 percent of the 1,000 young adults surveyed were “unaware of the cybersecurity profession and what the job entailed.” Jeff Jacoby, program engineering director of cybersecurity at Raytheon, highlighted the importance of developing programs in schools and having curriculum in place that can help provide the skills needs to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals.

The study is also highlighted by Politico  (10/1, Kopan) in its “Morning Cybersecurity” briefing.

Higher Education

Massachusetts Campaign Seeks To Boost Low-Income, STEM College Graduation.

The Boston Globe  (10/1, Rocheleau) reports, “A group of leading education officials and organizations in Massachusetts,” is launching the College Success Campaign, which seeks to build political support for “doubling the number of low-income students graduating from college” an the number of students with degrees in STEM fields.

West Virginia Program Encourages Graduating After Four Years.

The AP  (10/2) reports West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission is promoting the 15 to Finish initiative, which “encourages students to take 15 credit hours each semester” and graduate after four years.

In Appeal To Young Voters, Sen. Landrieu Touts Bills On College Costs.

The AP  (10/1, Deslatte) reports that, as part of an effort to appeal to young voters, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) made several appearances in Louisiana in which she described her support for bills that would “double the maximum Pell Grant award available” and allow refinancing of student loans. She framed them “as an effort to grow middle-income voters.” In a “tough bid for a fourth term,” the senator also urged “the typically low-turnout group to show up to the polls” in

Standardized Test, Public Results By School, Major Urged.

Thomas K. Lindsay, deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President George W. Bush, writes in an op-ed on The Hill  (10/2, Lindsay, Contributor) “Pundits Blog” about a recent study that found under half of college graduates got full-time jobs that pay at least $30,000 annually. The study found that post-college success was associated with student’s major, their school’s selectivity, and their performance on the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). Lindsay suggests that K-12 education that rewards “participation” and grade inflation in college are creating “unrealistic expectations” in students of their future prospects. He hails attempts to use the CLA to create public databases showing “which majors and which universities significantly increase students’ capacities to think critically, engage in complex reasoning and write clearly — and which do not.”

From ASEE
Video Interviews – Leaders at NSF and the Navy Discuss the Future of Engineering
Watch interviews with NSF Assistant Director for Engineering Pramod Khargonekar, who talks about exciting NSF projects and opportunities for ASEE members, and Rear Admiral David Johnson, who discusses the importance of technology to the U.S. Navy and where naval research is headed.

ASEE Perks
ASEE launches “ASEE Perks” a new collection of discounted products and services, only for members.

Advances in Engineering Education – New Issue; Call for Papers
AEE released its Fall 2014 issue. In addition, AEE has put out a call for papers on flipped classrooms in STEM. Read more.

ASEE Members on Networking and Peer Learning
Watch the short video

Research and Development

Carnegie Mellon To Lead Education Research Project.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  (10/2, Chute) reports that Carnegie Mellon University has announced that under a grant from the National Science Foundation, it will be “the leader in a five-year, $5 million project focusing on the science of education.” The article explains that the program “will create LearnSphere, which will store data on learning, including more than 550 data sets from interactive tutoring systems, educational games and massively open online courses.” The data from the research will allow educators to “better design courses.”

Workforce

Union Members Upset Boeing Is Shifting Jobs After Obtaining Incentives.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek  (10/1, Bachman) reports that Boeing union members, including Ray Goforth, executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), are questioning why Washington State officials did not “tie employment” in the state to the “most lucrative package of tax incentives in U.S. history” they agreed to last year in order to keep 777X production in the state. Union members are upset by the fact that Boeing is shifting about 2,000 defense-sector jobs to other states. Alex Pietsch, director of Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Office of Aerospace, defended the deal, noting that the value of the incentives are “theoretical,” and were offered to 450 eligible aerospace businesses, which made it difficult “to create some sort of a job target at a single company.”

Louisiana Tech Hosts CSC Workshops That Aim To Improve High-Tech Workforce.

The Shreveport (LA) Times  (10/1) highlights the CSC strategic curriculum workshops that were hosted last week by the faculty from Louisiana Tech University’s cyber engineering, computer science, and computer information systems programs, and research and development group. CSC’s vice president of Enterprise Services John DeSimone commented on how important it is for CSC to build its relationship with the faculty, noting that these workshops were not a short-term effort. He also noted that the workshops have already led to a number of action plans that “will lead to innovative and responsive curricula that will begin providing new opportunities for Louisiana Tech graduates while building a pipeline for talent for CSC.”

Engineering and Public Policy

GOP Developing Plan To Force Decision On Keystone Next Year.

Reuters  (10/1, Becker, Gardner) reports that if the GOP takes the majority in the Senate in November, they plan to push through legislation to force the President to approve or disapprove the Keystone XL pipeline project. The measure could come as a stand-alone bill or be attached to vital legislation. Republicans argue that they have the votes to pass the legislation, and the only holdup is the reticence of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow a vote.

Ethanol Industry Resisting Efforts To Improve Tank Car Safety.

McClatchy  (10/1, Tate, Subscription Publication) reports that an analysis by the Federal Railroad Administration found that tank cars carrying ethanol were 150% more likely explode than those carrying crude oil. However, the Renewable Fuels Association blames track defects for the explosions and is pushing back against new standards for tank car design currently in the works at DOT, saying the benefits to justify the cost. The group filed comments on the rulemaking, arguing that ethanol is not as volatile as crude and shouldn’t be treated the same. However, McClatchy notes that derailments involving ethanol led to the original push to improve tank car design.

Elementary/Secondary Education

Surveys Find Teachers Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes, Males Lead More In STEM.

The Huffington Post  (10/2, Klein) reports a National Education Association survey, conducted with the American Association of University Women and Tufts University, describes a nationwide trend of boys disproportionately taking leadership positions in science and math classes. The surveys included 40,000 middle and high school educators, and examined how teachers perpetuate gender stereotypes. Teachers used predominately gender-neutral language when describing ideal leaders, but listed more masculine attributes; teachers with diversity training or less experience gravitated toward gender-neutral terms. The repo teachers pigeonholed a fictitious student depending on gender. The article closes citing other research with similar findings in academia and the professional world.

New York State School District Wins Award For New STEM Program.

The Saratogian (NY)  (10/1, Grey) reports Saratoga Springs is one of three New York districts to win the third annual $5,000 Be the Change for Kids Innovation Award, given to schools with novel STEM programs. Saratoga was selected for its Educating Young Engineers program, held Saturdays for elementary students, teaching basic engineering concepts and helping bring such content into the regular curriculum. The article goes on to detail EYE’s history and projects, including regional praise and aspirations to make the club a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Career Channeling Education Model Aims To Stem Disconnect In Arizona.

USA Today  (10/1, Wagner) reports on former Buisnessweek journalist and Harvard education graduate Bill Symonds, who is leading an Arizona initiative to refocus education to meet industry demands rather than simply pushing students toward arbitrary college educations. The article provides unemployment and dropout statistics illustrating the disconnect between education and employment demands, echoing Symonds’ demands for career counseling as early as elementary school, high schools to offer multiple college and technical tracks, and school collaboration with businesses to provide hands-on experiences. This fall, Symonds will open the Global Pathways Institute at Arizona State University’s SkySong campus to engage disconnected youth, with backing from the Arizona Governor’s Office, the state Department of Education and a variety of business and industry groups.

Researchers Develop App To Teach Kindergartners Coding.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution  (10/2) reports researchers in Massachusetts have created a computer coding app called Scratch Jr that teaches students as young as 5 to program computers. Children can use the app to put programming blocks together to create interactive stories of games. Tufts University used a National Science Foundation grant to develop the app.

Wednesday’s Lead Stories

 

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