Please enjoy this week's STEM Ed update.
Top Story:
Here's What the $400-Billion Federal Spending Deal Means for Higher Ed
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Soon after the federal government shut down, at the stroke of midnight on Friday, Congress passed and President Trump signed a two-year, bipartisan budget deal that not only keeps the government running until late March but also provides more funding for higher-education programs. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 includes $4 billion for "student-centered programs that aid college completion and affordability," according to an outline of the agreement. Details about what that actually means are few and far between, but the measure covers "programs that help police officers, teachers, and firefighters." The bill also provides $100 million in relief for institutions in Puerto Rico.Continue reading here.  
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Latest STEM Education News
Solving Bottlenecks in STEM Employment
Real Clear Education
In December of 2017, the U.S. economy added 148,000 new jobs, closing the year out with 2.1 million more employees on the payroll. Healthy job gains, however, mask the fact that filling vacancies for high-skilled specialists like radiologists and engineers is still rather difficult. Solving these bottlenecks can help boost labor productivity and compensation going forward. Continue reading here.
A Triumphant First Launch for Elon Musk's Giant Rocket
The Atlantic 
Seven years ago, the Falcon Heavy was a model rocket, sitting on a table in a conference room in Washington, D.C., in front of some reporters and a couple empty seats. On Tuesday, the rocket dreamed up by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stood 230 feet tall, on the famed launchpad at Kennedy Space Center where the Saturn V flew the first humans to the moon. An estimated 100,000 people traveled here to watch the Falcon Heavy power up and rise into the sky. Continue reading here. 
Nintendo's Labo Cardboard STEM Toys Are a Recycling Bin Full of Fun
Popular Science 
When you're a kid, all it takes to make a fishing pole out of cardboard is the discarded tube from some holiday wrapping paper and an active imagination fueled by an irresponsibly large bowl of sugary breakfast cereal. But yesterday, I put 45 minutes into building Nintendo's version of the cardboard fishing pole and there was still a surprising amount of work to do. The project is part of Nintendo's new product called Labo. It's one of a handful of different paper craft-style objects designed to interact with dedicated Switch games. The process of building the controller is now part of the game experience, which I got to try along with some other media people yesterday. The result: It's really fun. Read more here.  
STEM in the States:
Math for America Los Angeles Improves Math Education From The Ground Up
Improving mathematics education in the K-12 public school system continues to be one of the greatest challenges facing the country today. Despite numerous studies, calls to action and increased federal funding, the truth is we are still failing to provide adequate mathematics education to our children-many of whom have developed math anxiety and doubt their ability to excel. What we have seen from years of research is that teacher quality has a strong impact on student success. So, if we want our students to excel in mathematics, we need to find ways to improve teachers' subject matter knowledge and effectiveness. Continue reading here.
Around the Community:
Diversity in STEM Symposium Draws Attention to Efforts for Diversification
NC State Technician   
The College of Sciences held its first Diversity in STEM Symposium: Making Space for Ourselves and Others, exemplifying minority research and accomplishments within science, technology, engineering and math fields. The event took place in Talley Student Union Monday, and was sponsored by Baden Aniline and Soda Factory (BASF), one of the world's largest chemical companies.
The symposium is part of an ongoing initiative to increase and celebrate all kinds of diversity in STEM at NC State. Tammy Nunn-Haynie, the diversity programs consultant for BASF, summed up the purpose of the symposium in her welcome presentation. Read more here.  
Mobile STEM Lab Travels to Area High Schools
News Channel Nebraska 
Local organizations have teamed up to create a collection of "maker spaces" to engage students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  Drawing inspiration from Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and working with Chad Johnson, representatives from Becton Dickinson (BD), Custer Public Power District (CPPD), and the CAPABLE program teamed up to produce a trailer full of STEM stations. One of the goals of the mobile STEM lab is to expose students to the skills necessary for manufacturing jobs and other career fields. Continue reading here.  
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February 12, 2018
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