Wanted: hackers. Reward: the best may get a spot at CMU (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

by STEMconnector


A friend named Robin has disappeared and a trail of computer puzzles are the only clues. Since the end of March, more than 15,000 middle and high school students have been racing to help the fictional Robin, through the largest hacking competition of its kind, run by Carnegie Mellon University. The winner, or winning team, receives a $5,000 prize and …


U.S. accuses Google of underpaying female workers (USA Today)

by STEMconnector


Government investigators looking into how Google pays its employees have accused the tech giant of shortchanging women doing similar work to men. A U.S. Department of Labor official disclosed the agency’s allegations during a Friday court hearing in San Francisco. “We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,” Janette Wipper, a Labor Department regional director, …


California is getting so much power from solar that wholesale electricity prices are turning negative (Quartz)

by STEMconnector


The extraordinary success of solar power in some pockets of the world that combine sunshine with high investment in the technology mean that governments and energy companies are having radically to rethink the way they manage—and charge for—electricity. California is one such a place. On March 11, it passed a milestone on the route to powering the whole state sustainably. …


Common (and Avoidable) Legal Pitfalls for Coding Bootcamps and Alternative Education Providers (EdSurge)

by STEMconnector


The rapid growth of accelerated learning programs providing training to aspiring high-tech professionals—the best known being the “coding academies” or “bootcamps”—have recently been the subject of both optimism and skepticism. The attraction of these alternative learning providers is straightforward: in a relatively short period (months, not years) an individual can gain marketable skills. Given the high cost of traditional higher …


An Uber model for manufacturing is ready to upend the industry (Quartz)

by STEMconnector


Nazareth Ekmekjian was on a tight deadline, and news from the machine shops wasn’t good. A designer for Boston-based Piaggio Fast Forward, a transportation and robotics subsidiary of Piaggio Group, Ekmekjian needed a prototype of a component made within a week and a half. But every shop he contacted said it would take at least two. Finally, Ekmekjian found a …


East Baton Rouge seeking millions for ‘great’ programs at four failing schools (The Advocate)

by STEMconnector


The East Baton Rouge Parish school system is seeking up to $15 million in federal money to create STEM-themed magnet programs at Belaire High School and three schools that feed into it. The school system, the second largest in Louisiana, has 21 schools already offering magnet programs, the best known at Baton Rouge Magnet High. On April 20, the School …


Discovery World planning $18 million expansion, renovation (Milwaukee Business Journal)

by STEMconnector


Discovery World is planning an $18 million expansion and renovation project at its downtown Milwaukee lakefront facility, the organization said. The project, which is being funded through private contributions, will add 20,000 square feet of public space to the science and technology museum. Discovery World is calling it a “major investment,” and it “estimates that the changes will enable the …


Science Education Center receives award for community outreach programming (Georgia College)

by STEMconnector


Science Education Center Director Dr. Catrena Lisse recently received the Society for Science & the Public Community Innovation Award for the Center’s STEMing into the Community initiative. The program began in summer 2015 to spark students’ curiosity in STEM-related fields and features hands-on experiments and take-home activities. “We’re bringing the fun to them,” said Lisse.  “What better way to introduce …


Underwater robots turn science into a competitive sport (Press of Atlantic City)

by STEMconnector


Every Saturday, about 30 students arrive bright and early at the Martin Luther King Jr. School in Atlantic City, lured by the challenge of turning a pile of PVC pipes into a competitive underwater robot. “Some them are already here by the time we get here, and then they don’t want to go home,” Principal Jodi Burroughs said. The National …


Houston High School Solar Car Race Team’s Sundancer Featured in Big-Screen IMAX Film Dream Big: Engineering Our World (Mississippi Works)

by STEMconnector


The Houston High School Solar Car Race Team from Houston, Mississippi, traveled to Washington, D.C., recently for the premier of the IMAX film Dream Big: Engineering Our World. The team and its solar car Sundancer, a 16-foot-long vehicle engineered by the students, are featured in the film. Additionally, Sundancer was displayed at the Smithsonian Institute, showcasing the team’s innovation and …


Duke, Piedmont plan $5M in community college grants (Charlotte Business Journal)

by STEMconnector


Duke Energy and its Piedmont Natural Gas subsidiary are offering $5 million worth of grants to N.C. community colleges to foster apprenticeship programs. Duke (NYSE:DUK) spokeswoman Meredith Archie says the grants will be for a maximum of $200,000. Applications for the grants open June 1, and the grants will be awarded over the next few years. Archie says the first …


Udacity self-driving taxi spinoff Voyage takes aim at Uber (Reuters)

by STEMconnector


Silicon Valley online education start-up Udacity is spinning out its school for driverless car engineers to develop self-driving taxis, taking aim at the likes of Uber Technologies Inc, the company said on Thursday. Udacity was co-founded by Sebastian Thrun, who was also the co-founder of the Google X research lab that led development of Google’s self-driving car. The new company, …


For horseshoe bats, wiggling ears and nose makes biosonar more informative (ScienMag)

by STEMconnector


Humans, and most other mammals, have just four muscles joining their ears to their head. Bats have more than 20, and they use them to execute a precise series of wiggles, swivels, and twitches. “In one-tenth of a second, three times as fast as you can blink your eyes, the bats can change the shape of their ears,” said Rolf …


Career Academy robotics team at state Friday and Saturday (Dalton Daily Citizen)

by STEMconnector


For the second year in a row, the Career Blazers Fighting Mongooses from the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy are headed to the state robotics championship. The event is in Athens Friday and Saturday. The team finished second last month at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Peachtree District Qualifier at the Dalton Convention Center. …



Want to Break Stereotypes in STEM and Computing? Take a Look at Computer History (EdSurge)

by STEMconnector


The history of computers is not just an intriguing account of amazing innovations. More importantly, it is the story of the people who helped us get there. These stories teach us lessons that go far beyond computing—tales of determination, persistence and overcoming the odds. By sharing this history with our students we can help break the stereotypes about gender and …


Bergen Champion Scientist Given The Key To The County (Ridgewood Patch)

by STEMconnector


Indrani Das was given the key to Bergen County Wednesday for winning the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science competition last month. Das, of Oradell, received the top award at the Regeneron Science Talent Search for developing a new approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries. She developed a new way to possibly repair neurons using RNA molecules.


College readiness program aims to boost AP scores (EdSource)

by STEMconnector


With less than a third of the combined students at two high schools scoring high enough to earn college credit on Advanced Placement tests in English, math and science, the Oakland Unified School District was a perfect candidate for a national program that aims to help students – especially low-income, African-American and Latino teens – improve their performance on AP tests. …


More than 1,500 compete in FIRST robotics competition at UC Irvine (OC Register)

by STEMconnector


Over 1,500 high school students from across Southern California, as well as Switzerland and Turkey, took part in the FIRST Robotics Competition this past weekend to demonstrate their science, mathematics and technology skills. Fifty-two teams of students and their professional mentors competed in the March 31-April 1 regional qualifier at UC Irvine’s Bren Events Center to earn a spot at …