STEM Roundup: Engineering Jobs in High Demand

A roundup of recent science, technology, engineering and mathematics news.

Many engineering programs are turning to experiential and student-centered learning to retain more students.
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Study: Engineering Grads to Remain In High Demand for Foreseeable Future

HOUSTON -- Engineering positions of all kinds are expected to increase over the next 12 months, with the sector anticipated to remain the number one in-demand job for 2014. According to the Houston Chronicle, a perceived talent gap in engineering is one reason these positions are likely to remain a high priority through the current financial year and beyond, with the energy industry in particular offering opportunities for the right people. Engineering resources have, in recent years, become more stretched as the baby boomer generation either reaches or takes retirement, with professional engineers needed more than ever before.

Report: Mass. Isn’t Producing Enough STEM Grads for Workforce

QUINCY, Mass. - By 2020, Massachusetts’ public universities are projected to produce 73,000 fewer graduates with degrees in health care, business and finance, and science and math-related fields than will be needed to fill good-paying, in-demand jobs, according to a new report by the state Department of Higher Education. The Quincy, Mass., Patriot-Ledger reports that at community colleges, where workers hit hard by the Great Recession are most likely to turn for retraining, the projections aren’t much better – 4,000 fewer degrees in health care and fields related to science, technology, engineering and math than will be needed. But community colleges, a state university and even vocational high schools south of Boston say they’re updating programs and offering new support systems to try to bridge the gap between students’ qualifications and what the job market demands.

‘Science Guy’ To Debate Creationist at Creation Museum

LOUISVILLE - Bill Nye, a.k.a. "The Science Guy," is set to visit Kentucky next month for a debate on science and creationism with the man who founded the Creation Museum. Museum founder Ken Ham wrote on his Facebook page that the museum will host Nye, the former host of a popular youth science show, on Feb. 4. Nye has been critical of creationists for their opposition to evolution and for asserting that the Old Testament is a literal account of the earth's beginning. Last year in an online video that drew nearly 6 million views, Nye said teaching creationism was bad for children; the video prompted a response video from the Creation Museum, and Ham later challenged Nye to a debate.

Philadelphia Program Encourages Students to Give STEM a Chance

PHILADELPHIA -- As a high school senior, Zuliesuivie Ball had excellent grades, a strong feminist attitude and a passion for writing -- but not for computer science. A Saturday workshop on Java programming, sponsored by Pennsylvania Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) changed all that, according to a report in Philly.com. “I actually ended up growing to like it and what they were teaching, and became a part of it," said Ball, now a freshman at Temple University. She credits MESA USA, an organization founded in the 1970s and has helped millions of low-income students go on to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through challenging courses, mentors and training. Hosted by Temple, the initiative offers free Saturday classes, a two-week summer camp and support to after-school clubs in a variety of technology-based subjects. It focuses on African-American and Latino students, who are underrepresented in high-paying STEM jobs.

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