Arizona PSM Initiative

The science of business; the business of science.

ITIF report challenges conventional thinking on STEM education

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[Source: The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation] – Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  That adage might be apt for so much of the prevailing thinking on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.  While we know that U.S. students are lagging in these areas compared to students in many other countries and that the United States is at risk for losing its innovation edge in critical industries, we seem determined to devote even more resources to the same formulas for STEM education that have been in place for close to 40 years.   

In a provocative new report, ITIF President Rob Atkinson and education expert Dr. Merrilea Mayo challenge our assumptions about STEM education and argue that reforms are urgently needed to transform STEM education from high school to graduate school.

Written by JWM

December 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

A Master’s for science professionals sweeps U.S. schools (including Arizona)

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[Source: Joseph Rosenbloom, New York Times] – A curiosity tucked away in a handful of university catalogs a decade ago, the professional science master’s degree is emerging from the shadows at a number of college campuses.  The degree, which a few universities quietly pioneered in the mid-1990s, combines graduate studies in science or mathematics and business management courses.  In 2008, 58 universities were offering the professional science master’s degree, or P.S.M., according to the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington.  By the start of this academic year, the number had nearly doubled to 103, and is set to climb further.

The number is certain to grow because the professional science master’s degree is being adopted by at least six state university systems. In addition, in February, the first P.S.M. program in Europe was created at the Open University in Milton Keynes, northwest of London.  Advocates of the degree say it will become a fixture at many more universities because it promises to satisfy the work force requirements of increasingly technological economies in the United States and abroad…

Also propelling the P.S.M. movement is the statewide introduction of programs by public university systems, under way in Arizona, California, Oregon, North Carolina, Florida, and New York.  Policy makers in the six states are investing in P.S.M. expansion as the kind of work-force-development catalyst that they see as key to economic revival.  Read the full article here.

Written by JWM

December 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

ASU celebrates first graduates of PSM in Nanoscience program

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Andrew Walker and Dr. John Venables

[Source: Arizona State University] — As of December 2010, Arizona State University is proud to have its first nine graduates in the PSM in Nanoscience degree program.  Our first graduate, Andrew Walker, graduated in May 2010, and is shown in the picture enjoying the end of Semester celebration with Program Director Dr. John Venables.

The first four graduates are featured on the next page of this drop down menu.  The most recent five graduates will soon be transferred the that page, but until then, they can be seen celebrating their success on the Recent Graduates page.

Written by JWM

December 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Arizona high school students primed for success in STEM

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Blake Francis (right), a senior at Red Mountain H.S., came out of his shell and learned to communicate with all types of students as a result of his participation in the Prime the Pipeline project.

[Source: Arizona State University] — After nearly three years, a successful grant-funded after-school program for high school students across Arizona is receiving recognition from the state and funds to expand the program to younger students.

In fall 2007, ASU’s Carole Greenes and colleagues received a $1.35 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund a three-year project to increase the number of students who enroll in and complete college majors in preparation for careers in the STEM sectors: science, technology, engineering and math.

“The intent of the ‘Prime the Pipeline Project (P3): Putting Knowledge to Work’ is to increase high school students’ interest and achievement in STEM fields, as well as to update mathematics and science high school teachers’ knowledge of those subjects,” said Greenes, professor and associate vice provost of STEM education.  Read the full article here.

A new model Master’s

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[Source: Journal of Physics, December 2010; originally appearing in Physics World, June 2010] – Students torn between the worlds of business and physics may soon have fresh options thanks to a novel hybrid course gaining popularity in the U.S.  In this report, Margaret Harris examines the rise of the professional science Master’s degree.

Written by JWM

December 12, 2010 at 8:00 am

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APS Foundation supports Navajo Scholars Program STEM initiative

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[Source: PR Newswire] — The American Indian College Fund received a grant of $100,000 from the APS Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Arizona Public Service, a leading producer of electric power in the southwest.  The donation established the Arizona Public Service Navajo Scholars Program, which will provide scholarship support to students studying for a degree in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields (STEM) at Dine College, Navajo Technical College and colleges within the New Mexico and Arizona state university system.

A portion of the grant will be used for the 2011 American Indian Student Summer Leadership Training, a week-long program to be held at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This training will provide opportunities for leadership development, career development, and networking for the selected scholars.

“Education continues to be the principle focus for the APS Foundation,” said Mark Schiavoni, the APS Senior Vice President of Fossil Generation, and a member of the APS Foundation board of directors.  “The Foundation is committed to providing opportunities for students to pursue their higher education dreams and will continue to support the Navajo Nation by empowering the future leaders of our communities.”  Read the full press release here.

Paid internships offered to future science educators‎

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[Source: PR Log] — Arizona Science Center is proud to partner with The Arizona State University Science Teachers for Arizona Recruitment and Retention initiative (STARR) Noyce Scholarship Program to offer paid internships for those with an interest in teaching science.  A total of ten $1,000 stipends will be awarded from January to May 2011. Applications are due by January 14, 2011 with preference given to early applicants.

The ASU STARR Noyce Scholarship Paid Intern Program is part of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and is intended for students aged 18 years and older who have an interest in pursuing a career in science education. Selected candidates will be required to participate in a three hour orientation and tour, become proficient in at least three tabletop activities and two galleries, and commit to volunteering 125 hours of their time at Arizona Science Center. Possible duties include the development of a demonstration or tabletop activity, presenting on-stage demos, curriculum creation, and serving as a teaching assistant in class or camp. Read the full press release here.

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