STEM Roundup: Code.org Adds 10K More Teachers

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

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SEATTLE - Code.org is on a mission to get more kids learning about computer science, and so far, the Seattle-based non-profit has made significant progress. GeekWire.com reports that just a month after Code.org launched its free 20-hour “Hour of Code” initiative -- an intro to computer science course -- 10,000 teachers have signed up for program. Hadi Partovi, a Seattle entrepreneur who founded Code.org this past January with his brother, Ali, estimates that before Dec. 9, there were 13,000 teachers in the U.S. helping students learn about computer science. That means Code.org has almost doubled the amount of computer science learning in the country.

Cleveland Schools to Push for More Latino STEM Students

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland school district plans to try to boost the number of Spanish-speaking students at their technology and science high schools, under an agreement between the district and the U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights office. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the agreement requires the district to track the number of Hispanic students and others with limited English skills attending STEM programs across the district, and make specific efforts to encourage Hispanic students to use the district's specialized STEM programs. The district has almost 1,700 Latino high-school students, but only 130 attend STEM schools.

Organization for Women in STEM Fields Sets Up Job Board

HOUSTON -- Women of STEM, the leading job board for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professions has launched the Women of STEM Job Board. Digital Journal reports that employers who post jobs on the board now receive unprecedented reach to top professionals within the Women of STEM community and on the TheJobNetwork, the largest recruitment ad network of job sites in North America resulting in up to four times better response than the leading national job board. TheJobNetwork reaches over 100 million active and passive job seekers monthly across the Internet on local, niche, and vertical job sites, as well as on leading aggregator sites and social networks.

MIT Co-Sponsors $50,000 Competition to Promote Ideas, Diversity In STEM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A Massachusetts Institute of Technology competition for student programmers offering $50,000 in prizes will incorporate other disciplines and focus areas outside of STEM, including art, diversity and digital literacy, according to Signal Online. Organizers of the “Dream it. Code it. Win it” competition emphasize the event isn’t a “hack-a-thon,” but is intended to spotlight creative and flexible uses of code. The approach is meant to encourage student participation from underrepresented demographics -- particularly women, who comprise just 23 percent of workers in STEM fields. Entrants must be at least 18 and enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university and must enter the competition by the March 30 deadline.

Tech Girls Hopes to Reverse Decline of Females in STEM-related disciplines

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- Hungry to see more females in STEM careers, teacher Kim Wilkens took matters into her own hands: two years ago, she created Tech Girls, a company which offers STEM workshops to girls. According to the web site Charlottesville Tomorrow, Wilkins -- a former technology industry worker who later became a teacher -- in 2010 attended a conference where she learned that the number of women graduating from college with tech-related degrees was on the decline. “That really caused me to have concern, so I came up with this idea of Tech Girls to raise awareness about the issue, but also to provide resources and workshops and ways to work with girls that will engage their interests and keep them interested,” she said.

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