STEM Roundup: Brought to You by the Letters STEM

A roundup of recent science, technology, engineering and math-related education and employment news.

Abby Cadabby and Elmo are the newest role models for STEM, thanks to a new Sesame Workshop program.
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GM’s Engineering VP: Industry Must Fix ‘Leaky Pipeline’

DETROIT -- General Motors’ top engineer believes the biggest challenge of the nation’s auto industry is “stopping the leaky pipeline” that drains the best and brightest minds away from STEM-related fields. John Calabrese, who rose through the ranks to become GM’s engineering vice president, said in a recent interview his company and other American car manufacturers must develop a pool of highly-skilled and creative innovators to carry it into the rapidly evolving future. “To achieve this, we need to give [promising] students experiences, not just equations, and show them how exciting engineering and math-based science can be when you apply basic principles,” Calabrese, who helps lead GM’s outreach and education team, said. “My goal is to ignite the interest and advocacy of the entire ecosystem of support, which consists of government officials, educators, communities, parents and industry members. This issue is not fiscal, it is focus and alignment based. If we could combine the energy and interest in making positive strides in STEM education, we could truly make a difference.”

NASA Gives Lift to Team of Minority Students

NASA will send 14 groups of minority students and their experiments on a plane that NASA uses to train some of its astronauts for missions in space, Mashable reported. The plane -- nicknamed the “Vomit Comet” -- climbs to low gravity, then dives back toward Earth so quickly that the weight of everything onboard will double, a roller coaster-like motion that will happen 30 times during the flight. The kids’ experiments range from researching how to improve bone density in astronauts to testing whether video games can combat space traveler boredom, and they come from a host of universities across the country as a part of NASA's 2014 Minority University Research and Education Program.

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