Why Aren’t More Women in Computer Science?

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By Suzanne Weston

Until 1984, growth of women entering professions including physical sciences, law, medicine, and computer science was steady, but then something changed. After the introduction of personal computers, the percentage of women in computer science flattened and then plunged, even though the number of professional women kept rising.

Initially, personal computers were toys used for playing simple games, marketed directly to boys and men. While both genders are equally talented in logic and problem solving, boys were given computers more often than girls. And boys were more comfortable when teachers started using computers in the classroom.

Teachers have a significant influence on students’ decisions to study computer science. Students who receive positive reinforcement are three times more likely to go into computer science, and the window for making this impact occurs before age 14. Therefore, children need exposure to computers at a young age.

Is it realistic for both women and men to enter computer science and related fields?

Yes. Harvey Mudd College demonstrated that women are as capable as men in computer science (CS). They introduced CS courses with different names: “Introductory Java” became “Creative Problem-Solving in Science and Engineering Using Computational Approaches,” and changing the course name reduced intimidation due to lack of prior exposure. Classes were structured to become collaborative and team-oriented (which appealed to women who found the stereotypical loner geek programmer unappealing). The percentage of women in CS increased from 10 percent to 50 percent. The solution was to create an environment where women can flourish.

Why aren’t more women in computer science?

Women think differently than men. Because women want to avoid mistakes, they may become frustrated when their code does not work. Because men see learning programming as a trial-and-error process, they don’t see code not running as a reflection of their skills. Adding check-points to affirm success can build women’s confidence.

Since socialization and collaboration are important to women when selecting careers, they may feel isolation until more women enter the field. Women need role models. Programs like Girls Who Code address this gap. They encourage girls to take advanced placement (AP) classes in high school, which positions them to study technical disciplines in college. Seventy percent of students who took the AP exam say they want to work in computer science; this shows the importance of early exposure in framing career aspirations.

Attracting women to technology is the first step toward developing women in CS. The second step is building an inclusive culture that offers career advancement and encourages them to remain in CS. Women leave technology companies at twice the rate of men. Early intervention and education will begin to close the gap between women and men in CS. Female students who have visible, female role models in CS careers and receive encouragement from parents and teachers can increase the likelihood that they pursue additional CS courses and degrees (2017 Gallup poll). To thrive in business, women need a collaborative culture with role models.

The hidden factor that’s keeping people out of STEM jobs

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Mans hand appearing to hold a 3-D image of a STEM collage

Job growth in STEM fields is currently outpacing overall job growth in America. That means that 2.4 million STEM jobs in the U.S. are going unfilled. But, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, universities are only expected to produce one-third of the graduates needed to fill those roles. That’s a vast gap in STEM talent. The leak in the pipeline happens to be in a place no one is talking about: in advanced math classes. Calculus, to be specific.

For thousands of students, calculus is a frustrating barrier to a STEM career. Roughly one-third of students fail or drop the course out of frustration. According to the National Institutes of Science, women are 1.5 times more likely to drop calculus, simply from a lack of confidence rather than ability. Yet nearly every STEM job requires at least one semester of it.

Unfortunately, there is no fast track to learn math, nor is there a shortcut to creating the logical connections in the brain that we acquire over a lifetime of problem-solving and critical thinking. Math skills can be developed if people are willing to spend the time and do the hard work.

The solution isn’t simple, but the use of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) can change the way people learn difficult subjects such as calculus. AI offers a range of applications for education and can be used to power more efficient, dynamic, and personalized learning.

For example, teachers face the challenge of providing personalized feedback at scale across a classroom or in multiple classes. When people have gaps in understanding, AI has shown the ability to identify patterns and offer the most relevant hints and instructional help. As students learn and progress, AI can adapt to each of their individual learning styles and preferences. Over time, AI may resemble the work of the best teachers, becoming a virtual aide for them to reach students in a different way both inside and outside the classroom, hopefully proving itself as an effective teaching tool.

More than a year ago, I formed a team of data scientists, engineers, and learning specialists to figure out how we can use AI to solve some of the world’s most intractable learning challenges. We considered tackling a number of hard subjects, such as algebra or the English language, where advanced AI techniques would allow us to deliver individualized learning experiences. This would be a first for education and a really impactful application of AI for good.

We kept coming back to calculus because of the frustration it causes for students and its potential to make a massive difference in the STEM economy. We also knew that if we could crack the code on the most difficult math discipline first, we could scale the technology across nearly any subject where people struggle to learn. The result was Aida Calculus, the first AI-powered mobile calculus tutor.

At the outset of our project, we knew some key things about how people learn math, and that learning pedagogy and cognitive science would prove critical to the application of AI. For example, students have a lower mental load if they can work on a math problem by hand on paper. We also realized that calculus learners understand math better if they know how it is applied in real-life situations.

This is where the application of AI techniques, including deep learning, computer vision, and reinforcement learning, can help. AI has the ability for personalized instruction, to measure effectiveness, as well as provide one-on-one tutoring. When faced with a difficult equation, a student would just have to take a picture of their handwritten work. AI can recognize handwriting, analyze the problem, provide step-by-step instruction, and offer examples of real-world utilization while adapting to each student.

When all of this works well, it feels like magic. It’s also a way we can show people the beauty and joy of math in our world. The goal is to engage anyone—student or adult—who is curious about how to apply math in their daily lives. By making calculus relevant and relatable we can begin to instill the confidence people need to take on STEM careers.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

T.D. Jakes Launches Foundation To Bring Greater Diversity And Inclusion To The STEAM Workforce

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African American collge students taking notes in a lecture

Globally recognized entrepreneur and faith leader T.D. Jakes announced the launch of his new nonprofit organization, the T.D. Jakes Foundation, which focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education, workforce preparedness and job training. The foundation’s goal is to increase diversity and inclusion, and gender equity, and connect corporations to new, highly skilled pools of talent amid increasing global competition.

With the launch of his eponymous foundation, Jakes is building on his many decades of work serving the Dallas community through programs like the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative (T.O.R.I.), which has received federal, state, city and community awards for its success in preparing former inmates convicted of non-violent crimes for the workforce, and a leadership conference focused on female empowerment. He plans to tap into his many connections in the business world to help level the playing field for women and people of color who have traditionally been underrepresented in high-paying, in-demand STEAM fields.

“Throughout my life, I’ve had the great fortune to work closely with so many different communities,” said Jakes, who will serve as Chairman of the Board. “I hope that, through this foundation, I can build bonds and create connections between businesses and people from different backgrounds—so that every person—regardless of age, race, gender or ethnicity—can achieve their full potential. This isn’t just about creating opportunity for tomorrow, next week or next month. This is about creating generational change—work that will continue for decades to come.”

To serve people of all ages and provide businesses with a trusted voice within new communities, the T.D. Jakes Foundation will focus on three core areas:

  • Business Partnerships—Connect global businesses with the talent and resources to succeed in a highly competitive environment.
  • Workforce Readiness—Provide people with the skills to compete in a rapidly changing workforce both by reskilling the existing workforce and developing the future workforce though programs like STEAMLife, a summer camp program that exposes students, ages 5 to 16, to hands-on projects.
  • Community Building—Create Dream Centers to bring people together to provide a wealth of services, education and life skills, including financial literacy, apprenticeships and more.

“Increasing diversity and inclusion, and gender equity, in the workforce isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s a business imperative,” said Hattie Hill, President and Chief Executive Officer of the T.D. Jakes Foundation. “For companies to win the war for talent, they must bring in people with new and different perspectives. In 30-plus years of global experience, I’ve seen that a business’ competitiveness is directly linked to its culture and people.”

The T.D. Jakes Foundation’s focus on STEAM education and training is designed to level the playing field in science, technology, engineering, arts and math occupations, fields where women and people of color have been historically underrepresented. According to the Pew Research Center, women in computer occupations have declined since 1990, from 32% to 25%. African American and Latino workers represent approximately 29% of the working population but comprise only 16% of the advanced manufacturing and 12% of the engineering workforces.

About the T.D. Jakes Foundation
The T.D. Jakes Foundation is committed to building bridges to opportunity in the United States and around the world. For 40 years, T.D. Jakes has connected diverse communities across socio-economic divides. With the launch of his eponymous foundation, Chairman Jakes is harnessing decades of resources and connections to prepare people for success in the 21st-century workforce, lift underserved populations and connect corporations to new, highly skilled pools of talent amid increasing global competition.

SOURCE The T.D. Jakes Foundation

Diversity in Tech is More Important Now Than Ever — Here’s How I’m Helping Make it More Inclusive

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Fatim Mbaye pictured sitting on short wall outside of her Qualcomm office

In celebration of Black History Month and International Women’s Day, Qualcomm is proud to feature Fatim Mbaye, who has been extremely influential in recruiting and empowering African and African American employees.

Fatim Mbaye, a program manager based in San Diego, has always been an advocate for diversity in the tech industry, which gets a bad rap for being very white, very male and very unable to reconcile its shortcomings.

But at Qualcomm, she has found an entire community dedicated to representing, recruiting and supporting African and African American employees.

And from attending her first event with the group, she’s understood the diversity and inclusion work being done at Qualcomm is the real deal.

Qualcomm is Hiring! Browse Opportunities.

“Leadership at Qualcomm is investing more and more in our diversity initiatives. I believe that’s a good reflection of the evolving and progressive culture,” Mbaye shared. “I am most proud of our efforts in recruiting black talent. With Qualcomm’s buy-in, we have been able to attend conferences and bring in interns and new hires.”

We spoke to Mbaye about how her work with Qualcomm’s African and African American Diversity Group (QAAAD) has made her everyday work feel more meaningful, how the group is approaching intersectionality in tech and how Qualcomm’s support has made their campaigns feel worthwhile. She also shared her best advice for women who want to do inclusion work within their organizations — and spoke to the recruiting event that she was able to participate in years after it supplied her an early-career internship.

How long have you been in your current role and what were you doing previously?
I have been in a Program Management role at Qualcomm for four and a half years. Prior to that, I was a Program Manager at Texas Instruments for supporting new product development of high-performance analog products.

How and why did you first get involved with Qualcomm’s black affinity group? Did the group draw you to Qualcomm?
I was not recruited by QAAAD, but I looked for them as soon as I joined Qualcomm! I have always been an advocate for diversity and was an active member of the Black Employee Initiative, as well as Women’s Initiative, at my former employer. Once I reached out to QAAAD, the group was getting ready for their main annual recruiting trip at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) convention and I volunteered to join them.

NSBE holds a special part in my heart because I was very involved as a university student and was the secretary of my school’s chapter while completing my graduate studies. I actually got my first internship through a NSBE conference! I was so excited to go full circle and talk to candidates at the Qualcomm booth, hopefully opening the doors to their first job or internship.

I came back from that trip feeling like a part of the QAAAD family and accepted the invitation to be part of the Operating Council. I’ve been serving on the board ever since.

What have been the benefits of getting involved with your affinity group? Who have you met? How have they helped you in your professional journey?
There are so many benefits! From networking with peers and senior management to making an impact in our local community through event sponsorships to hosting middle and high school minority students and inspiring them to pursue STEM to being part of a mentorship program. Ultimately, there’s a feeling that there are others around you with a shared experience.

What has the affinity group accomplished that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of our efforts in recruiting black talent. With Qualcomm’s buy-in, we have been able to attend conferences and bring in interns and new hires. And with the support of our Diversity and Inclusion team, the Qualcomm University recruiting team added two new universities that are historically black to their list of targeted campuses for their annual recruiting campaigns. We are already seeing an increase in our numbers.

What’s the #1 thing you think you colleagues should know — but probably don’t know — about the group?
The talent is there — we need to go to it. Diversity in a technology field is very important and QAAAD can be a powerful tool to help attract black talent. With the emergence of AI, it is even more important to ensure that all voices are at the table to come up with better solutions and counteract unconscious bias.

How does the black affinity group engage with or collaborate with other affinity groups? How has this intersectionality created value at Qualcomm?
One of our goals this year is to collaborate more with other diversity groups and I am looking forward to it. Our first effort of synergy will be with the women affinity group, Qwomen. We are co-sponsoring a symposium organized by the San Diego Commission on the Status of Women and Girls on human trafficking. The topic is very timely and both organizations want to raise awareness within our community. The event will be held on the Qualcomm campus and is open to the public.

How are your company’s affinity groups reflective of the overall culture at Qualcomm?
I’ve personally noted that leadership at Qualcomm is investing more and more in our diversity initiatives. I believe that’s a good reflection of the evolving and progressive culture at Qualcomm.

What is your advice for women who want to make the company they work for more inclusive?
It starts with women! We need to be more supportive of each other and mentor and sponsor our junior colleagues. In addition, we need to recruit more male allies, as this cannot be done without their support. As a longer-term strategy, there is power in numbers; we need more women to pursue engineering and STEM in general. So, let us inspire all young girls through mentoring and school visits to show them that the possibilities are endless. I truly believe in reaching out to the youth because representation matters and can make a difference in what someone can dare to dream of.

Fairygodboss is proud to partner with Qualcomm.Find a job there today!

SACNAS will be hosting the 2020 National Diversity in STEM Conference coming to Long Beach, CA

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SACNAS Partner Reception

The Society for Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans (SACNAS) is excited to be hosting the 2020 National Diversity in STEM Conference in Long Beach, CA on February 25! Come learn about partnership opportunities and ways to optimize your presence.

Your partnership is critical to the conference success and engaging diverse students and professionals in STEM.

We anticipate 5000+ attendees and are developing the partnership advisory group consisting of local and regionally based institutions and companies to help guide programming.

In addition, we have developed a cultural advisory committee to ensure that we take into consideration the cultural context of the region. Our goal is to continue to serve as a bridge for academia, government, and industry in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion.

For more information, visit sacnas.org

How to Bridge the Skills Gap in the Age of AI

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puzzles connecting that say bridge the gap

AI and intelligent automation are rapidly changing the face of our workforce. Over the next three years, as many as 120 million workers may need to be retrained or re-skilled as a result of AI, according to a new IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study.

In addition, only 41 percent of CEOs surveyed say that they have the people, skills and resources required to execute their business strategies according to the study, which includes input from more than 5,000 global executives in 48 countries.

It takes time to close a skills gap, although training has increased by more than 10 times, according to the research. For example, in 2014 it took three days on average—in 2018, it took 36 days. And while new skills requirements are rapidly emerging, other skills are becoming obsolete.

“Organizations are facing mounting concerns over the widening skills gap and tightened labor markets,” said Amy Wright, managing partner, IBM Talent & Transformation. “Yet while executives recognize the severity of the problem, half of those surveyed admit that they do not have any skills development strategies in place to address their largest gaps.”

Wright says new strategies are emerging to help companies re-skill their people and build a culture of continuous learning that’s required to succeed in the era of AI.

In 2016, executives ranked technical core capabilities for STEM, basic computer and software/application skills, as the top two most critical skills for employees. In 2018, the top two skills sought were behavioral skills—willingness to be flexible, agile, and adaptable to change–as well as time management skills and the ability to prioritize.

In contrast, ethics and integrity was the skill named most critical in a survey of consumers in U.S. cities including Atlanta, Austin, Baton Rouge, Boston, Chicago, Raleigh, and San Francisco, according to an IBM poll conducted by Morning Consult.

The recommendation to closing the skills gap focuses on re-skilling our workforce through development that’s personalized to the individual and built on data. This means creating educational journeys for employees that are personalized to their current experience level, skills, job role and career aspirations.

To fuel those journeys, companies should take advantage of partners to expand their access to content, leverage innovative learning technologies, and even share skilled talent across organizational boundaries.

For example, the IBM Garage helps companies digitally reinvent, while creating cultures of open collaboration and continuous learning. In environments designed to be a break from the everyday, traditional silos and barriers are eliminated — employees are encouraged to learn by doing, fail fast and iterate often, inspiring organizational change and buy-in.

True culture change is now driven by new skills and expertise in business created by the advent of intelligent workflows demanding new ways of working in every industry. Business leaders must create dynamic and flexible organizations and teams to enable the ongoing reinvention of work and skills.

To underscore the critical role human resources plays in this journey, IBM is collaborating with the Josh Bersin Academy, the world’s first global development academy for human resources and talent professionals looking to create new strategic agendas in business. The Academy will soon launch its newest program, HR in the Age of AI, which was created with input from IBM subject matter experts. The program focuses on how HR teams can use AI to transform the way they work. According to Josh Bersin, global independent analyst and founder of the Josh Bersin Academy, “AI is hands down the biggest challenge facing HR leaders today.”

Source: IBM

What is malware and why should I be concerned?

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Young people watching a live streaming on social media

In the era of Social media, our privacy and online safety becomes increasingly important. We’re sharing our lives online; however, we should also know how much is too much and how to save our private data from unwanted intrusion.

The point is, our private information is valuable to cybercriminals who use it to deprive us of our hard-earned money and even ruin our reputation by stealing our identity. Leaving our data “up for grabs” means we might have a difficult time applying for a home loan or even get a passport.

With this being said, it’s essential to know what kinds of dangers lurk around, being able to recognize it and protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.

That’s why we decided to explain thoroughly what is malware, what types of it exist, and how to ensure our data, privacy, and devices are safe.

What is Malware, and why is it so important?

“Malware” refers to malicious software, used to describe any software (or code for that matter) made to inflict damage on mobile and desktop devices by exploiting those devices or data they carry, without the consent of their owners. Malware is usually made to achieve some financial gain – whether it’s about seeking victim’s financial data, holding a computer for ransom, or taking it over in order to rent it out for malicious purposes to others. Without exception, every type of Malware involves some form of payment to the cybercriminal.

There are plenty of ways we can “adopt” Malware on our computers or mobile devices. Some of them include opening the attachment of the “infected” person, clicking on the link which automatically downloads a virus, or even clicking on an ad banner on a website.

He loves me; he loves me NOT.

It’s hard to talk about Malware without mentioning the ILOVEYOU virus, which caused immense damage in 2009. Considered as the most destructive virus of all time, the ILOVEYOU virus used to rename all files in the affected device with “Iloveyou” until the system crashed. Fast-forward to the present day; there’s an increased number of hackers using destructive Malware (Between 2017 and 2018, there was a total increase of 25 percent only) for malicious acts.

Is there a reason to be afraid?

For the ones wondering if they should be afraid of Malware, the answer is a loud: YES! Technology advanced so much that we’re basically carrying small computers in our pockets – in fact, more and more cyber attacks are connected to mobile devices. What’s more, it’s so easy to lose all our important data: text messages, apps we download and failing to update our OS is all the ways we become prone to cyber-attacks. It’s scary and devastating to know someone could ruin our reputation and finances with one single click.

Knowledge is the key.

Now when we have a clear picture of what Malware is, we should get familiar with different types of it. Then, armed with knowledge, we will be able to protect ourselves and our data from malicious cyber intruders. There are six types of malware: spyware, adware, scareware, ransomware, worms, and trojans. Now, we’re going to go through them and offer you a complete overview.

Spyware is not here to harm our computers but follow our every move instead. It attaches itself to executable files and once it is downloaded it completely takes over the control. It can track anything from passwords to financial data.

Adware presents itself in a form of pop-ads or unclosable windows. Luckily, adware doesn’t steal our data, but it tries to make us click on fraudulent ads. Furthermore, it can slow down our computer severely by taking our bandwidth.

Scareware looks and feels like adware, but its main goal is to make us buy software we don’t need by scaring us. Usually, scareware ads tell us our computer has a virus and we need to buy software to get rid of it.

Ransomware resembles hacker moves we’re used to seeing in the movies. Once is on our computer it encrypts our files and holds our information hostage until we pay them a fee to decrypt it.

Worms resemble viruses, however, they don’t need human intervention to get transmitted to another computer. Instead, they use security flaws to do it.

Trojans are designed to allow hackers to take over our computers. Usually, they are downloaded from rogue websites.

We should learn how to protect ourselves.

Now when we know what are the types of malware out there, we will know how to recognize it and protect our precious data and valuable info from cybercriminals. To avoid malware, we should make sure we’re not downloading and running any program from popup windows. Furthermore, we should check our OS is updated and be careful not to open any email attachments from unknown people. Other ways include avoiding the use of public WiFi networks, sharing data while connected on public WiFi and avoid opening emails and attachments from untrusted sources.

NMSI and UNCF to Launch STEM Teacher Preparation Program with HBCUs in Six States and the District of Columbia

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Focused young African female college student working on a laptop on some stairs on campus preparing for an exam

The National Math and Science Initiative has received a planning grant from the Fund II Foundation to design UTeach STEM teacher preparation programs at up to 15 historically black colleges and universities in six states and the District of Columbia. The Dallas-based non-profit has partnered with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) to support the universities as they design their programs.

“NMSI and UNCF are nationally recognized leaders in the advancement of American education,” said Fund II Foundation Board President Robert F. Smith. “I look forward to supporting them to develop strong programs that meet the unique needs of students at HBCUs. I’m also excited to see how this new work allows more young people to reach their highest potential in their personal lives, professions and communities.”

NMSI, UNCF and the UTeach Institute are working with academic leaders at potential program schools. Those institutions include Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Claflin University Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T University, Prairie View A&M University, South Carolina State University, Spelman College, Talladega College, Tougaloo College and Tuskegee University. The institutions that move forward with the program will work with the program team to design their new STEM teacher preparation programs.

The new programs will be based on UTeach, a renowned university-based STEM teacher preparation program founded at The University of Texas at Austin. Since 2009, NMSI has worked with the UTeach Institute to expand the program, which provides math and science undergraduates at 45 universities with teaching skills, classroom experience and continuing support in their early teaching careers.

UTeach teachers average longer classroom careers than graduates of other teacher preparation programs, and nearly 70 percent of UTeach graduates teach in Title 1 schools. Based on standardized testing, their students perform as if they had almost six extra months of science and four extra months of math instruction.

“Addressing STEM teacher shortages and ensuring that all students benefit from teachers of diverse backgrounds is critical and core to NMSI’s mission,” said NMSI CEO Bernard A. Harris, Jr. “Expanding the UTeach program to HBCUs will benefit students across the nation.”

The initiative comes just after passage of the FUTURE Act, providing permanent federal funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions and providing significant STEM-focused funding for those schools.

“As a two-time graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, a professor of 40 years at Bennett College for Women, and the author of the FUTURE Act, which guarantees permanent federal funding for HBCUs to prepare the next generation of diverse STEM professionals, I applaud this effort from the private sector to supplement that effort,” said U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC). “In 2017, when my office introduced the HBCU Partnership Challenge, my hope was to encourage the private sector and non-profits to view HBCUs as key to accomplishing industry diversity goals, particularly in our STEM fields. Through this STEM teacher diversity initiative, we are seeing an example of true private investment and engagement with these producers of top diverse talent. I commend Robert Smith, the Fund II Foundation, NMSI and UNCF for their efforts in diversifying our workforce by helping prepare our diverse leaders of tomorrow.”

A 2017 study from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics found that having at least one African American teacher in third through fifth grades increased African American students’ interest in attending college by 29 percent and reduced the probability of dropping out of high school for male African American students from very low-income families by 39 percent.

“Research clearly shows the powerful impact black teachers have on black students. HBCUs already are punching above their weight in the production of STEM graduates – generating 24 percent of the STEM bachelor’s degrees earned annually by African Americans,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “The nation continues to have incredible need for math and science teachers of color, and students of color deserve to have educators who look like them.”

ABOUT NMSI
Founded in 2007, NMSI’s mission is to advance STEM education to ensure all students, especially those furthest from opportunity, thrive and reach their highest potential as problem solvers and lifelong learners. The nonprofit organization helps develop new STEM teachers through its Teacher Pathways programs, and supports schools, teachers and AP students through Laying the Foundation, the College Readiness Program and other research-based programs. Learn more at nms.org.

ABOUT UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization and for 75 years, it has supported private HBCUs and hundreds of thousands of deserving students, strengthened its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocated for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Learn more at UNCF.org.

About Fund II Foundation
Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501(c)3 public charities in five areas: 1) preserving the cultural richness of the African-American experience; 2) safeguarding human dignity by giving voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights; 3) conserving the environment, promoting the benefits of the great outdoors to people of all ages and backgrounds; 4) affording music education to nourish both talent and the soul; and 5) sustaining the American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and innovation. For more information, visit: fund2foundation.org | @Fund2F

About the UTeach Institute
The UTeach Institute works to improve secondary STEM teaching and learning through national expansion of the UTeach secondary STEM teacher preparation program to colleges and universities. Over a decade, the Institute has developed and employs a comprehensive approach to successful program development in higher education settings and serves as the national hub to a networked community of 45 universities implementing UTeach programs.

Christina Koch returns to Earth after a record 328 days in space

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Chrsitina Koch touches down on earth wearing her spacesuit and smiling while two men help her balance

After 328 days in space, NASA astronaut Christina Koch is back on Earth. She returns holding the record for the longest stay in space by a woman, and she has earned bragging rights for another major milestone: she and fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir completed the first all-female spacewalk during Koch’s extended stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Koch, along with European astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, left ISS at 12:50AM ET. Around 4AM ET, their Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft touched down in Kazakhstan, and they were taken to a nearby medical tent to restore their balance in gravity.

Koch’s record-breaking stay was her first journey to space. In the 11 months that she was aboard the ISS, she orbited Earth 5,248 times, traveling 139 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 291 trips to the Moon and back. She conducted and supported more than 210 investigations, and perhaps most importantly, participated as a research subject. NASA will study Koch to help determine the long-term effects of spaceflight on the human body. Those findings could be vital for NASA’s return to the Moon and eventually Mars.

Prior to Koch’s extended flight, Peggy Whitson held the record for longest female spaceflight for her 288-day mission from 2016-2017. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly still holds the US record for staying in space 340 consecutive days, and Russia’s Valeri Polyakov spent 437 days in orbit.

Continue on to Engadget to read the complete article.

TransparentBusiness Offers Emergency Preparedness Solution to Countries and Corporations Which Act on World Health Organization’s Recommendation

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woman on a laptop working remotely

With the outbreak of coronavirus crippling the Chinese economy and potentially triggering economic fears globally, more companies are striving to heed the World Health Organizations (WHO) advice to focus on preparedness, rather than panic.

TransparentBusiness, a company offering a solution to help companies allow their employees to work remotely, announces its decision to provide a 75% discount on its software to national and state governments for the duration of WHO-declared Public Health Emergency.

Remote work, which TransparentBusiness facilitates, used to be a matter of convenience and financial savings. In China, it has become a matter of containing the epidemic, making it a matter of life and death. Tens of millions of Chinese residents who can work from home using TransparentBusiness are instead required to commute to offices and congregate there for a large part of the day, which unnecessarily increases the speed of the virus spreading in commuter trains and buses and in offices. Conversely, reducing the number of commuters and office workers slows down the rate of the spread of the virus, which matters greatly given the exponential nature of virus propagation. For example, 2^10 = 1024, whereas 3^10 = 59,049, 57 times more.

TransparentBusiness is even more needed in the cities where all transportation is banned. China has imposed a transport ban around the epicenter of a deadly virus, restricting the movement of some 41 million people in 13 cities as authorities scramble to control the disease. Shutting down productive work in the city for an indefinite period of time is devastating to the national economy, businesses, and individuals. For businesses in such cities, TransparentBusiness would be the way to coordinate the efficient work of home-based professionals.

Around the world, many businesses are looking for a way to continue their productivity, and yet reduce the threat of their employees becoming infected and TransparentBusiness offers free consultations to corporate Emergency Preparedness executives.

TransparentBusiness, provides the solution that will allow a business to remain productive and profitable, while protecting their employees from the virus risks.

“We have developed the perfect solution that companies need in order to minimize the damage inflicted by coronavirus and similar health emergencies,” explains Alex Konanykhin, co-founder and chief executive officer of TransparentBusiness. “The goal is for companies to be able to allow their employees to work remotely in a productive fashion.”

In addition to reducing the risks of spreading viruses, there are additional benefits to allowing employees to work remotely. These include improving employee retention rates, saving commute time, offering a better work-life balance, increased productivity, lower costs, and having access to a large pool of talent. Working remotely allows more flexibility, as well as prevents people from unnecessary distractions in the workplace. While many companies are aware of some of the benefits of allowing their employees to work remotely, they are hesitant to allow it because they feel there is no accountability. That’s where TransparentBusiness comes in, providing the solution to that problem by making remote work easy to monitor and coordinate.

About TransparentBusiness
Designated by Citigroup as the Top People Management Solution, TransparentBusiness offers full transparency and real-time coordination, boosts productivity, and eliminates overbilling. For more information about the software, visit the site: transparentbusiness.com/.

Source:
XINHUANNet. WHO praises China’s effective control measures, calls for world preparedness, not panic WHO praises China’s effective control measures, calls for world preparedness, not panic.

3M and Discovery Education Search for America’s Next Top Young Scientist in 2020 Premier Middle School Science Competition

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Group Of Teenage Students Collaborating On Project In STEM Class

Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, recently announced the opening of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist). The annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge recruits students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, the $25,000 grand prize and earn the title of America’s Top Young Scientist. Competition entries are accepted at Young Scientist Lab until the April 21, 2020 deadline.

The nation’s premier middle school science competition enters its thirteenth year of fostering a new generation of students who are inspired to improve the world through science and innovation. Each year, the program recognizes 10 finalists and up to 50 state merit winners nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems. Previous challenge finalists have collaborated with 3M scientists to create solutions to a wide variety of real-world problems, including water conservation, noise pollution, energy consumption and public transportation efficiency. Last year’s winner, 14-year old Kara Fan, invented a first aid liquid bandage to reduce antibiotic overuse.

It’s easy for students to enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge – it only takes an idea to get started and no prototypes or fancy labs are required. Students are invited to create a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind an idea aimed at solving a problem that positively impacts them, their school, family or community. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. Entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills.

In June 2020, ten finalists will be chosen to participate in an exclusive summer mentorship program, where they will work closely with and learn from a 3M scientist. Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2020.

“At 3M, we are passionate about the application of science to improve our everyday lives.  The Young Scientist Challenge and its summer mentorship program is a unique, immersive experience for students to explore innovation and nurture their ideas from concept to working prototype,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president, corporate affairs at 3M. “Year after year, it’s a true to pleasure to work alongside young leaders as they imagine and discover what is possible through the power of science.”

Since its inception, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists to give them real-world insights and delivered science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. 3M Young Scientist Challenge learning resources, including classroom interactives and family activities, are available at no cost at YoungScientistLab.com

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with 3M and power a program that shines light upon the innate curiosities and wonder of young scientists,” said Lori McFarling, president of Corporate Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “As we collectively embrace unknowns of the future ahead, we look to our youngest leaders to inspire change for the betterment of our world – and ultimately open our eyes to the change that can result from student innovation, commitment and passion for innovation.”

To learn more about the challenge and submit entries, please visit YoungScientistLab.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education through social media on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest @DiscoveryEd.

 

About 3M:

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $33 billion in sales, our 93,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at 3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.

About Discovery Education:

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, immersive STEM experiences and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the U.K. and reach over 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.