California STEM Learning NetworkSTEMconnector
Subscribe to CSLNET Newsletter Subscribe to STEM Weekly Subscribe to STEM Daily Newsletter Subscribe to EdTech Newsletter
California STEM Weekly
May 23, 2014
Higher Education
UC president goes to Mexico to strengthen research ties (San Francisco Business Times)
University of California President Janet Napolitano is in Mexico this week meeting government officials and academics. Napolitano hopes to strengthen connections between the 10-campus UC system and Mexico. The University of California is signing a deal with the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology that covers research and training of graduate students, post-doctoral students and faculty. Napolitano hopes to set up a program for exchanges between UC campuses and Mexican universities and research centers. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also is in Mexico at the same event to kick of the Bilateral Forum for Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

College of Engineering gives cash awards to undergrads (UC-Davis)
The University of California, Davis, College of Engineering will give checks totaling $218,000 to some 70 undergraduate students at a ceremony on Tuesday, May 27, at 3 p.m. in the Alumni Center on campus. These scholar awards come from corporations including Chevron, Texas Instruments, Union Pacific, Phillips 66, Micron, Boeing, and Bushnell Outdoor Products, whose representatives take the opportunity to connect with students who have the potential to be future employees. Many of the companies will have representatives at the ceremony. The sponsors decide how much to allocate to each scholar award, and awards average about $3,000 each.

Cal Poly Engineering Students Helping Local Families in Need (KEYT)
Cal Poly�s industrial engineering students are spending their weekend on a home project they say is much more than a class project. Each year students Cal Poly Industrial engineering and manufacturing graduate students along with volunteers find a family in need of a home renovation project. Graduate student and project director Christina Boeryd said �Our client this year is a 34-year-old man who lives with his godparents. He was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and really needs a track system put into his room.� Boeryd said the students are also renovating the rest of the home to make sure their client and his godparents live comfortably.
Bay Area Maker Faire
Maker Faire 2014: Goofy, clever and irreverent event draws tens of thousands (San Jose Mercury News)
Amid the explosive, electronic mayhem of Saturday's Maker Faire, crowds flocked for a glimpse of the day's most silent and simple creation: Suzanne, the world record-holder paper airplane. Her stunning 227-foot flight in 2012, launched by a Cal quarterback, smashed the previous Guinness World Record by 19.5 feet, set by a paper javelin with wings. The graceful aircraft soared, slowed and stabilized to the cheers of admirers at the weekend event, a carnival of invention, art and engineering. The goofy, clever and irreverent Maker Faire, described as the greatest show (and tell) on Earth, drew crowds to the gates of the San Mateo Event Center as early as 7:30 a.m., hours in advance of its 10 a.m. start time. The DIY event, conceived in the Bay Area eight years ago, is now exported around the globe as "mini-Faires," from Anchorage to Wales. More than 1,000 "makers" contributed to this year's joyful and ear-splitting event, supported by hundreds of volunteers. Last year's crowd of 120,000 was sixfold the size of the first event in 2006. Make Magazine, based in Sebastopol, creates the Faire with help from sponsors such as Intel, Oracle, RadioShack and NASA.
Education K-12
Gene Haas Foundation Gives $10,000 for Scholarships to Rocklin High School, a member of the Sierra College STEM Collaborative (PRWEB)
Five Rocklin High School graduates will each benefit from $2,000 Machining Technology Scholarships from the Gene Haas Foundation to further their Advanced Manufacturing education. With support from the Sierra [STEM] Collaborative and other area businesses, Engineering Support Technology instructor Dan Frank has built a fully equipped lab with CNC machines, 3D printer, laser cutters and other industry standard equipment to provide hands-on experiences for future engineers and technicians. The scholarships will be presented to the Engineering Support Technology students on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 6 PM at the Rocklin High School gym.

District explores changing Antioch middle school to STEAM-based K-8 campus (Contra Costa Times)
Antioch school district officials are exploring turning Black Diamond Middle into a K-8 campus that focuses on a so-called STEAM concept that combines a math and science curriculum with the arts. STEAM is an educational concept that emphasizes hands-on, real-world experience and open-ended problem solving, with a focus on [STEM], while adding music and the arts. The goal is to engage students by sparking their interest. Hilary Dito, STEAM coordinator with the Contra Costa Office of Education, said several elementary and middle schools have woven together various components of sciences and the arts, but none has a full-fledged STEAM program.
Women in STEM
For Aspiring Female Engineers, A Square Meal Of Code (TechCrunch)
Last year, high school student Michelle Nguyen had all but given up her hope of becoming an engineer. A Senior at Mission High School in San Francisco (which did not offer a computer science class), she thought she had to be smarter, more privileged, and be a male to be successful in computer science. �I thought I had to be a guy to be an engineer,� she told me as she was siting in the Square offices nearby her home in the Tenderloin, only days away from taking the AP Computer Science test. he was reading TechCrunch last fall when she came across an article about payments company Square�s High School Code Camp, a 9-month long program that taught students from local San Francisco high schools how to program in Java; and gave them the opportunity to take the AP CS exam in May.
STEM Competitions
Congrats to the 3rd Annual CITRIS @ UC Merced Mobile App Challenge Winners! (CITRIS)
The UC Merced Mobile App Challenge finals were held on Friday, May 16th. Congratulations to the finalists! Meet the winners! Crowd Favorite: Music Notes is an on the go music editing application designed for professional and amateur musicians. Taking inspiration from the concept of a notepad, it allows you to compose and play music quickly on your phone wherever you are. Team Members: Andrew Ibarra, Chris Chew, Connor Kanazawa, Robert Wang.

Triangle students compete in global robotics event (Washington Post)
Like many fifth-graders, Gavin Cook and Haynes Davis like to play video games. Unlike many fifth-graders, the boys used Xbox and PlayStation 3 to conduct a scientific experiment that would help them build a more efficient robot � determining which buttons they could push faster, the ones on the top of the controller or the ones on the sides. Hours of research, construction and computer programming won the boys and the rest of their Triangle Elementary School robotics team a trip to California for the world championships of VEX IQ robotics.
STEM Food & Ag
California Drought Expected to Cost at Least $1.7 Billion and 14,500 Jobs (Mashable)
With the entire state of California mired in a severe drought � and no rain in sight � a new study reveals that the drought will cost the agriculture industry $1.7 billion and trigger the loss of 14,500 jobs. The study by UC Davis' Center for Watershed Sciences, with funding from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, paints a bleak picture of what the drought has done to California�s rich agriculture. California is the country's largest agricultural state, typically generating about $45 billion in annual revenue. �These estimates will help the state better understand the economic impacts of the drought and target its drought relief, � Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said in a release. �The research confirms where emergency drought assistance will be needed most.�

Stay Connected

STEM ConnectorSTEM BlogFacebookTwitterLinkedInTumblr
Mind Research Institute Board Names Co-Founder Matthew Peterson CEO
The nonprofit MIND Research Institute�s board of directors named Matthew Peterson, Ph.D., its new chief executive officer. Ted Smith, the high-tech business leader and entrepreneur who has led the organization for more than a decade, is retiring as CEO and chairman at the age of 84. Smith will remain chairman until a new one is elected, and then continue as a member of the board. Peterson co-founded MIND Research Institute in 1998, along with Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., and Mark Bodner, Ph.D. from the University of California. Peterson, who as a child struggled with traditional language-based instruction due to dyslexia, created MIND Research�s ST Math� software to enable students to learn math through his unique non-language-based visual approach.

Rob Denson (President, DMACC & Chair, STEM Higher Education Council): Roll Call Begins for STEM Higher Ed Council
In February 2014, STEMconnector� and I announced an initiative that would focus on the STEM pipeline-to-jobs, from the perspective of higher education. The vision of this new initiative, the STEM Higher Education Council, was simple: to be the higher education leadership forum of choice to meet America�s need for STEM talent through education, training and partnerships with business and industry. From now until mid-July, we will announce another vital member of the STEM Higher Education Council, leading up to and surpassing our STEM Higher Education Council Google Hangouts On Air Town Hall on June 11, 2014.

NASA Signs Agreement with Citizen Scientists Attempting to Communicate with Old Spacecraft
NASA has given a green light to a group of citizen scientists attempting to breathe new scientific life into a more than 35-year old agency spacecraft. The agency has signed a Non-Reimbursable Space Act Agreement (NRSAA) with Skycorp, Inc., in Los Gatos, California, allowing the company to attempt to contact, and possibly command and control, NASA�s International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft as part of the company�s ISEE-3 Reboot Project.