Minnesota is part of an event in support of evidence-based research in education and industry, pro-science programs, the health of citizens and the environment and quality science education. The march takes place on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 in Washington DC and around the country including 12 different sites in Minnesota. March for Science is a non-partisan, volunteer-based organization that is concerned by efforts to cut support to science, engineering, and higher education, issue gag orders against scientists, and continue to deny basic science as policy positions. The march has gained the endorsement of NSTA, MnSTA, SciMathMN and many science and STEM focused organizations. Details and updates are at this website (http://www.marchforsciencemn.com/) or Twitter @ScienceMarchMN.
The 8th annual SciMathMN STEM Day at the State Fair, Minnesota’s annual celebration of all things STEM will again open the Great Minnesota Get Together, Thursday, August 24, 2017. Past years have seen a broad variety of hands-on activities for fair goers in robotics, aeronautics and aerospace, programming, modern manufacturing, and a host of other STEM fields. The event attracts a wide variety of fair goers with a growing number of families coming the first day of the fair specifically to attend STEM Day. Groups wishing to apply to be an exhibitor can apply here. In considering your organizations application please consider the selection criteria.
First Priority will be given to organizations which meet the following criteria (listed in order of importance):
1. Organization’s mission and purpose pertain to and are based in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
2. Organizations that collaborate and share exhibit space with an outside organization or other departments or divisions within their overall institution
3. Organizations that provide a hands-on, STEM-based activity focused on children and youth
4. Organizations from outside the Twin Cities metro area
5. Organizations new to the STEM Day event
6. Demonstrated goals to target audience
7. Appropriateness of planned activity
8. Organization’s ability to underwrite their activity. Funds for direct exhibitor support are limited.
Other factors that will influence the committee’s decision:
1. Non-profits must be registered in the state of Minnesota.
2. For-profit companies and organizations are restricted from conducting commercial operations
3. Sponsorship of STEM Day.
4. Organizations have a mechanism for community engagement in STEM or volunteer service to the community in STEM activities.
5. Date of submission of the application.
The deadline for application submissions is May 13, 2017.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, 2015 science assessment scores were released today. The test assessed public and private school students in three areas, physical science, life science, and Earth science, as well as broader principals of science. Participation in the test is voluntary by student, school, district and state. These 2015 scores are compared to either or both 2009 and 2011 assessment scores. 15 states saw increased performance at both 4th and 8th grades over 2009. Overall the gap between Minnesota and the nation as a whole is narrowing at both the 4th and 8th grades.
Nationally 4th grade student’s achievement improved 4 points, from 150 to 154 on a 0-300 scale. This was deemed statistically significant. The test has three achievement levels, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. 38% of 4th grade students were deemed as meeting or exceeding the proficient level. The gap in performance between White and Black or Hispanic students narrowed due to a greater increase in achievement by Black and Hispanic students. The male-female gap in scores was a not significant 1 point.
At the 8th grade student’s achievement also improved 4 points, to 154. 34% of 8th graders scored at or above proficient. The White-Black and White-Hispanic achievement gaps slightly narrowed at this grade level as well, again due to stronger performance by Black and Hispanic students. This narrowing was not however statistically significant. The male-female gap in scores narrowed to 2 points over 2011 scores.
At the 12th grade student’s achievement score remained flat at 150 points. 12th grade student science course taking increased from 53% to 57% over 2009. The number of students reporting taking a class in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics since 8th grade increased 7% to 41% over 2009.
Minnesota public school results at the 4th grade were 4 points higher than the national average of public school students at 157. The 2015 average score was flat compared to the 2009 score. 43% of Minnesota students performed at or above the proficient level, flat from 2009. 80% scored at or above the NAEP basic level, not significantly different from 2009’s 81%. Black students average score was 41 points lower than their White peers; Hispanic students scores were 28 points lower. These differences were not significantly different from 2009. Students who qualified for free or reduced price lunch scored 29 points below those students whose families who are not eligible. This too was not significantly different from 2009. There was no statistical difference in scores between male and female 4th grade students.
At the 8th grade level Minnesota students scored 9 points higher than the national average at 162. This was not statistically different over 2009 results. 45% performed at or above the proficient level and while this was above both 2009 and 2011 levels that was not found to be significantly different. 76% of students scored at or above the basic level, not statistically different than 2009 or 2011. Black students average score was 43 points lower than their White peers; Hispanic students scores were 32 points lower. These differences were not significantly different from 2009. Students who qualified for free or reduced price lunch scored 31 points below those students whose families who are not eligible. This performance gap was wider than in 2009 when the gap was 26 points. There was no statistical difference in scores between male and female 8th grade students.
State level data was not available for 12th grade results.
White Minnesota 4th grade students scored at the national average of their peers. Hispanic students, those reporting two or more races, and those eligible for free or reduced price lunch also scored at the national average of their peers. Black, Asian, and American Indian and Alaska Native students all scored below their national peers.
White Minnesota 8th grade students scored 5 points above their national peers; Black, Hispanic, and Asian students all scored below their national peers. American Indian and Alaska Native students in Minnesota scored above their national peers. Students eligible for free or reduced price lunches scored above their national peers.
An interactive map of NAEP results can be found at the link.
The Great Lakes Aquarium, part of the network of STEM education resources in Northeast Minnesota, is hosting an all-day educator conference Saturday, November 12, designed to showcase regional learning resources and create community around Lake Superior
The Teaching with Lake Superior conference offers an opportunity to connect, explore and network while learning new ways to bring STEM and the implemantation of the Next Generation Science Standards to life with your students.
Conference registration is $20.
- Hands-on Demonstrations
- 21 sessions woth regional experts
- 7 CEUs
- Aquarium Admission and Parking
- Coffee and Snacks
- Access to FREE Teaching Kits for Grades K-12
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education and Development is holding a free early mathematics conference for childcare providers and classroom teachers Thursday, November 17. The conference keynote is by UCLA Professor Meghan Franke, on developing children’s partial understanding. Her presentation will be followed by workshops exploring the role of counting collections, mth in children’s books, working with families to strengthen math skills, and the role that math plays in developing a child’s executive functioning. More can be found on CEED’s website.
SciMathMN is currently assessing funding needs for both for maintenance and expansion of the content and features of the MN STEM Teacher Center, home of the MN Math and Science frameworks (www.scimathmn.org/stemtc). We are also considering the needs the Center will have when the Minnesota science and mathematics standards are reviewed and revised in the next few years, which will likely result in the need for significant changes to the content on the site and opportunities for enhancing the site.
So, who are the local users of the STEM Teacher Center website? Obviously the STEM TC is visited by folks from all over the world. But through the use of Google Analytics, we can track where the traffic comes from over time and dig into the patterns that we find in hopes of improving the experience for users. Our analysis shows that traffic typically mirrors school calendars, with site visits dropping during the summer months and on weekends. Interestingly though, there is a marked increase in page visits on Sunday evenings during the school year as teachers prepare for the upcoming school week.
The image below is a screenshot of the traffic pattern for MN visitors for one month from August 6, 2016 to September 6, 2016, just as the school year is beginning. In the image you will see cities around that state where visits originated, and the size of the dot reflects the number of visits from that city.
If anyone has a passion for data and would be interested in helping SciMathMN track and analyze the STEM TC site use, please consider joining us. You can contact committee chair Mike Lindstrom at email@example.com.
The agenda for the October 6-7 forum, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, focused on building STEM pathways from pre-K through college, has been released. The forum aims to bring together perspectives from the private and public sector on Minnesota’s changing demographics and workforce development. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate on envisioning pathways for Minnesotans, connecting education and industry, and developing a statewide perspective on these challenges.
The opening keynote on October 6 will be provided by Dr. John Olson, , Vice President & General Manager, Polaris Defense and a Director of AirSpace Minnesota. The luncheon keynote will be Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder & CEO, Cirrus Aircraft. Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith has been invited to provide the breakfast keynote on the second day of the conference. A full conference agenda and registration information can be found at AirSpaceMN website. Early bird registration ends September 30.