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California STEM Weekly
April 17, 2014
State Assembly
Legislation Seeks UC and CSU Guidelines Allowing Computer Science Courses to Meet Admissions Requirements � SB 1200 (California Newswire)
A bill to allow high school advanced computer science courses to be counted towards core college admissions requirements was approved today by the Senate Education Committee. The bill, SB 1200, by State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) calls on the UC and CSU to provide guidelines for high school computer science courses that would satisfy a math subject matter requirement for undergraduate admissions. The bill will now go to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. California is driving the digital age and is the world leader in computing, information technology, the new �ap� economy and advanced technology. By the year 2018, California will need to fill half a million computing-related jobs.
Edison International Awards $1.2 Million in Scholarships to Edison Scholars (Edison International)
Congratulations to 30 high school seniors across Southern California Edison�s (SCE) service territory who have been named 2014 Edison Scholars, each winning a $40,000 scholarship offered by Edison International, parent company of SCE. The scholars live in or attend public or private high schools in SCE�s service area and plan to pursue college studies in [STEM]. Under the $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program, each student will be awarded a scholarship valued at $40,000 and paid over four years. Recipients may also be eligible for summer internships at SCE after completing their second year of college. More than 1,400 students applied for the scholarships, a 92 percent increase over the previous school year.

High school field trip to Silicon Valley benefits students and tech industry (San Jose Mercury News)

Juan Rico wanted a computer in the worst way when he was 12 years old. "When I asked my mom for a computer, she said we didn't have enough money," the high school senior from a Central Valley farm town said Wednesday. "So I asked her if she could help me build one. And she said, 'yes!'" Juan, now in high school, has been hooked on high tech ever since, so much so that he hopped on a bus this week with about 40 low-income and working-class students on a field trip to KLA-Tencor Corp. The Milpitas company makes machines that inspect microchips for defects. "It's like trying to find a dime on the planet Earth," company vice president John Kent explained before the kids filed in. "We're going to show them what it's like to work inside a high-tech company and solve problems."
LA Hacks hackathon draws hordes of young developers to UCLA (LA Times)
The basketball court at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion was teeming with young hackers this weekend as students descended on the school for the second annual LA Hacks event. More than 4,000 registered for the 36-hour hackathon, which drew developers from colleges including Stanford, UC Berkeley, USC, UC Davis and Harvard. The event kicked off Friday night with a "mystery keynote" -- Snapchat co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel. During his address, Spiegel shared some words of wisdom on finding success. Registration and food were free thanks to a hefty lineup of corporate sponsors including Cisco, Flipboard, Yelp, Whisper, Quixey, Uber and Citrix. Students from across the state were bused in on Friday.
Education K-12
Schools tap into tech with iPads (La Canada Valley Sun)
On Tuesday morning, while their fellow schoolmates played outside during recess, a class of Palm Crest Elementary School first-graders was engaged in a different sort of play. They were playing with iPads � frolicking through desktop apps that allowed them to squash bugs, recycle cans and solve mazes with the simple tap and swipe of a fingertip � in the school's newly opened iPad Learning Lab. That lab is one of three built at La Ca�ada Unified's elementary schools with funding from the La Ca�ada Flintridge Educational Foundation. A combined $330,000 raised in two year's of LCFEF Spring Gala paddle pledge sessions helped furnish each lab with 38 iPads.

Hart Middle School plans launch of engineering academy (Pleasanton Weekly)

Hart Middle School will host an open house April 29 in preparation for its launch of an engineering academy in the 2014-15 school year. The program is a national nonprofit called Project Lead the Way (PLTW), which will include a project-based engineering/STEM curriculum. Students will learn how to use professional grade design tools for real-life applications, including design, modeling, automation and robotics. Students also will make us of use AutoDesk Inventor software to sketch, design and solid-model parts and assemblies, as well as animate and test them using the software.

At an East San Jose high school, students react to new Common Core test (EdSource)

The students in John Daniels� U.S. history class at James Lick High School in East San Jose are a smidgen of the tens of thousands of juniors who are taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field test this spring. And their views of the new test on the Common Core State Standards are but a snapshot of many that the creators of the test and the state Department of Education will receive over the next two months. But what they said last week, representative or not, would probably please the creators of the new assessment. As Glenn VanderZee, James Lick�s principal, observed, most of them �got it.�
STEM Events
Next Generation Science Standards State Rollout Symposium (California Classroom Science)
On 4/28-29 at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton, K-12 Alliance/WestEd, California Science Project, California Science Teachers Association, Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee, and the California Department of Education Presents: Next Generation Science Standards State Rollout Symposium #1. Join science leaders at the first of a series of statewide professional learning symposia exploring the philosophy, design, and initial implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). AUDIENCE: Grades K-12 Teachers & Administrators. We encourage district teams of 4-6 people, including at least 1 administrator and 3 teacher-leader representatives.
Higher Education
STEM Collaborative Teaches Critical Thinking (Rocklin Today)
At the final session of the Sierra College STEM Collaborative ACTivATE nine-month professional development program on teaching applied critical thinking, Sierra College and high school instructors reported that their students are better prepared for employment because critical thinking has been explicitly incorporated into classroom instruction. With guidance from Northwestern University's Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, and the Sierra College STEM Collaborative, 11 instructors participated. They modified their teaching methods to include more inquiry-based learning, require deeper levels of thinking, use specific work-based examples, encourage exploration rather than giving them the process through lecture, and ask students to make predictions, generate ideas, identify evidence and reflect on results.
STEM Food & Ag
Are America's future farmers in the inner city? (BBC)
Buena Park, California, is a sea of concrete. The closest thing to a farm here is Knott's Berry Farm, a popular amusement park where a farm once stood many decades ago. But venture to the back of Buena Park High School's campus and you'll find pigs, chickens and steers, as well as students like sophomore Nathan Talavera driving a tractor. He had no experience with farming when a friend told him about the agriculture programme at Buena Park High. It's part of an outreach effort by the FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, to encourage minority and immigrant students to consider careers in farming.

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Bayer USA Foundation Awards $600,000 to California State University East Bay
The Bayer USA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bayer Corporation, announced today it is awarding a new, three-year $600,000 grant to California State University�s groundbreaking Institute for STEM Education on the Hayward, Calif., campus. This marks the second grant by Bayer to the Institute. It builds on the first $540,000 grant given by the Bayer USA Foundation in 2011 to help establish the Institute as a center that addresses regional STEM education opportunities and challenges and encourages more underrepresented students to become the Bay Area�s STEM workforce of tomorrow. The Institute has emerged as a �backbone organization� that brings diverse stakeholders together to improve and advocate for comprehensive STEM education programs in California schools.

Pearson Launches Free Virtual Nerd Mobile Math App, Putting High Quality Tutorials at Students� Fingertips

At the 2014 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Conference, Pearson unveiled Virtual Nerd Mobile Math, a free math app that provides on-the-go access to a video library of more than 1,500 high quality math tutorials. Now available on the App Store, Virtual Nerd Mobile Math�s interactive tutorials, aligned to the Common Core and other rigorous standards, review fundamental math concepts for middle and high school students. Virtual Nerd�s on-screen instructors provide clear and approachable explanations; students and teachers can mark �favorite� videos so that they can instantly return to them in the future. In addition, schools using Pearson's Common Core math programs, Pearson High School Mathematics Common Core �2015, Pearson Integrated High School Mathematics Common Core � 2014, and digits �2015, can search the app by the program's table of contents.

ICYMI: Video from STEM 2.0: Elevating Essential Career Capabilities for Tomorrow's STEM Workforce Town Hall!

Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our April 8th Town Hall, STEM 2.0 Elevating Essential Career Capabilities for Tomorrow�s STEM Workforce! We would also like to thank our wonderful speakers who are doing excellent work to make STEM 2.0 a reality. If you happened to miss the STEM 2.0 Town Hall, you can watch the full recording below or on our STEMconnector�s YouTube page and review the presentation slides on our website. The STEM Innovation Task Force is working towards a STEM 2.0 magazine to be released in early June. Please continue to follow the conversation on social media using #STEM2pt0 and look for more updates in STEMdaily!