$10 Million to Advance – STEM Education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Action Center (HB 139)
The STEM Action Center initiative, with its Board, will use the substantial funds appropriated to create a STEM Action Center to help teachers adopt STEM best practices. The STEM Action Center’s primary goal is to support teacher professional development and excite students with STEM opportunities, by providing effective STEM education/digital learning tools to public K-12 classrooms.
Stronger math and science skills are a must for tomorrow’s technology workforce. The STEM Action Center will help our students be much better prepared to fill the “hot STEM jobs” with thousands of openings now and in the future.
As our #1 legislative priority, UTC provided strong industry engagement through committee testimonies, Calls to Action and key lobbying support in order to ensure the passage of this critical bill. Other community partners joined with us.
This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation with substantial new funding to pass the 2013 session and will change the course of Utah’s education going forward to prepare our ample workforce to compete globally for jobs today and tomorrow. It was an historic feat for industry, government and education to come together on this important economic development issue.
Aligning Education and Economic Goals Education Task Force (SB 169)
This bill creates the Education Task Force, which will focus on aligning both public and higher education with the state’s workforce needs and economic development goals. The 14 members of the Task Force (leadership including chairs of education legislative committees) will create a comprehensive plan for K-20 public education. They’ll make recommendations on public education and higher education issues and help legislators better understand where over 100 education bills fit annually.
This significant alignment of appropriators will help support a successful educational system focused on student achievement and industry needs! UTC’s high-priority support of this bill is in line with our passion for further fueling Utah’s industry growth by addressing this serious talent shortage.
Improvements to the School Grading System School Grading Amendments (SB 271)
This substantially improves the original bill passed by President Wayne Niederhauser in the 2011 Session, which was UTC’s top initiative as a result of Governor Jeb Bush’s strong endorsement that this one initiative has made a significant improvement in Florida’s workforce over the past decade.
With a letter grade (A-F) given to all 1,100 Utah schools, the criteria and procedures for determining school grades include calculation of learning growth and measuring high school students’ college and career readiness; these will be modified by this bill.
Increased High School Rigor – Quality Workforce is a top UTC priority via the K-12 Pipeline
UTC was the sole organization to strongly advocate this crucial change in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, which enhances the rigor of Utah high school students by one additional required year of math, science and language arts. After six years of deliberation and with significant persuasion from UTC, the State Board of Education passed this unanimously (2006).
School Grading System – The Transparency Act (SB 59)
UTC was the strongest advocacy group that championed this bill, which gives every school a letter grade for students’ quality of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and preparedness. The goal is to better prepare the underserved students so that they can successfully compete in the global economy for the high-demand jobs in our “hot” technology companies (2011).
Statewide Online Education Bill (SB 65)
A bill that was almost vetoed, but then brought back to life by UTC, makes available highly-qualified online a la carte courses for the state’s high schools. Following Harvard’s Clayton Christensen’s disruptive model, this innovation ensures high-quality offerings from a spectrum of approved providers to meet the varying needs of children (2011).
December 2011 National Governor's Association's STEM recommendations
Explore Utah Science
FIRST - What is FIRST (PDF)
The Innovation In Take (Online Issue)
STEM Action Center
Why More Girls Should Study Computer Science
University of Utah - The Center for Science and Mathematics Education e-Newsletter - Intersections
UEN (Utah Education Network) STEM Website
Utah Futures - HigherEdUtah
Utah System of Higher Education
Utah Women in STEM
NSTA Competitions for Teachers and Students
ExploraVision is a competition that encourages K-12 students of all interest, skill and ability levels to create and explore a vision of a future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. Teams of two to four students research scientific principles and current technologies as the basis for deigning innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years. Students compete for up to $240,000 in savings bonds (maturity value) for college and cool gifts from Toshiba. First- and second-place teams also receive an expenses-paid trip with their families, mentor and coach to Washington, D.C. for a gala awards weekend in June 2014.
Applications are now being accepted; the deadline for applications is January 30, 2014. For more information about the program or to learn how to apply, visit the competition website.
eCYBERMISSION is a free, online collaborative learning competition for students in grades six through nine offered by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). Sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by NSTA, eCYBERMISSION is one of several science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The competition challenges students to think about real-world applications of STEM by working in teams to identify a problem in their community and use the scientific practices or the engineering design process to find a solution. Students compete for state, regional and national awards, with potential winning of up to $8,000 (maturity value) in U.S. savings bonds.
Registration for the competition is now open. Students registered by November 1st will receive a Free STEM Research Kit. All registered teachers will receive an eCYBERMISSION Starter Kit, which includes lessons, resources and tools available to introduce the competition in the classroom. To learn more about the eCYBERMISSION program and to register, click here or contact eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
America’s Home Energy Education Challenge
America’s Home Energy Education Challenge (AHEEC) is a national student competition, created to help families save money by saving energy at home. AHEEC engages students in elementary and middle schools to make smarter energy choices that reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels and put money back in their parents’ pockets. This initiative aims to educate America's youth about the benefits of energy efficiency, motivate students to play a more active role in how their families use energy, and help families across the country reduce their energy bills. Participating schools and organizations compete for more than $50,000 in prizes that will be distributed at the regional and national levels of the competition.
Official registration for the Challenge ends November 15, 2013. To register to join America's Home Energy Education Challenge or to find more information about the competition click here.
Shell Science Lab Challenge
The Shell Science Lab Challenge, sponsored by Shell Oil Company (Shell) and administered by NSTA, encourages teachers (grades 6-12) in the U.S. and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win up to $93,000 in prizes, including a grand prize school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000.
The deadline for submissions is December 20, 2013. For more information about the Challenge or to download an application, click here.
The DuPont Challenge© Science Essay Competition
The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition is a student competition that invites seventh through 12th grade students to write a 700 to 1,000-word science essay in one of the four categories:
• Together, we can feed the world.
• Together, we can build a secure energy future.
• Together, we can protect people and the environment.
• Together, we can be innovative anywhere.
Developed in collaboration with The Walt Disney World Resort, NASA and NSTA, the competition offers young students the opportunity to explore science, develop new skills and gain confidence in communicating scientific ideas. Created to honor the Challenger astronauts, students can win savings bonds up to $5,000, and a trip to Walt Disney World and to the Kennedy Space Center. Teachers win too! Along with the trips with their students, teachers can also win $500 grants. To learn more about the competition, check out the website.
Future Jobs are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
Utah Affordable Colleges Online