STEM & Sochi: the Science Behind the Winter Olympics

February 5, 2014

Like millions of spectators worldwide, we here at Change the Equation are sharing in the excitement of the XXII Olympic Winter Games, which officially kick off tomorrow in Sochi, Russia.  Once every four years, athletes from countries across the globe gather to compete for gold and glory in winter sports like alpine skiing, ice hockey, and curling.  And while the incredible feats of these Olympians may look natural and effortless, there are STEM principles at work behind every jump, spin, and skate (you had to know we’d manage to bring STE

Tags: science, video

STEM of the Union

January 29, 2014

No, that’s not a typo.  We definitely meant to say STEM of the Union.  But we’ll get to that in a minute.  President Obama’s State of the Union last night mentioned many of the things we all expected: the economy, defense, minimum wage, and getting Americans back to work. It’s that last point that particularly hit home with us. 

Tags: jobs & workforce

This Day in STEM: A Show about Nothing?

January 23, 2014

In this week's edition, rather than a scientific first or a technological discovery, we thought we'd recognize a different sort of notable event in STEM: on this day in 1991, famed TV comedy Seinfeld debuted on NBC. 

We know what you're thinking: Get out!  You might be surprised to learn that the notorious "show about nothing" actually explored many aspects of STEM, albeit veiled in memorable banter and situational hilarity. 

Tags: This Day in STEM, video

This Day in STEM: January 16

January 15, 2014

The Winter Olympics are just around the corner and, although the games date back to ancient times, one piece of modern technology has completely changed the way many athletes compete for glory.  On January 16, 1936, the

Tags: This Day in STEM, technology

Science S.O.S.!

January 7, 2014

With the New Year now upon us, it’s the perfect time to look inward and identify ways to improve, strive, and broaden, even in STEM.  In this spirit, Change the Equation is challenging states to make (and keep) a resolution: enrich the school days of U.S. students by encouraging schools to spend more time on science in 2014 and beyond.

Tags: science, Vital Signs, infographic, STEM & the states, Next Generation Science

This Day in STEM: December 19

December 19, 2013

Here at Change the Equation, we love space and we love trivia, which is why we were particularly drawn to this little tidbit . . . on December 19, 1958, the first radio broadcast from space brought a message from President Dwight Eisenhower to the Earth below. 

Tags: This Day in STEM, technology

Code Red: Where Are the Women in Computing?

December 9, 2013

Here at CTEq, we're issuing a "code red."

As STEM educators, students, and enthusiasts across the country begin  celebrating Computer Science Education  Week, we've taken a step back to examine the big picture with our newest Vital Signs brief, Half Empty: As Men Surge Back Into Computing, Women are Left Behind, and the outlook is alarming:

Graph of degrees/certificates to women

Tags: Vital Signs, computer science, women & girls, infographic

Common core: a solution for education stagnation

December 3, 2013

The results of a major international test of 15-year-olds came out this morning, and the U.S. doesn’t have much to brag about. In the Programme for International Assessment (PISA), our teens were only about average in reading and science, and they trailed the international average in math. Worse, the U.S. has just been treading water since 2003, while other countries, most notably in Asia, have shot ahead.  But the PISA report did point to one U.S. strategy that could vault us forward: Common Core State Standards.

Tags: Common Core, standards, STEM & the states

New Math Scores: Are We Losing Steam?

November 7, 2013

Results from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) came out today, and they tell a somewhat depressing story. The math scores of U.S. fourth and eighth graders rocketed upwards from at least 1990 until about 2005, when they began to level off. Why are our students losing steam? Perhaps the big reforms states launched more than 20 years ago have delivered all the results they can. The message here? It's time for another shock to the system.

Here's what the trend in 4th grade math scores looks like (and 8th grade is pretty similar):

Tags: math, standards, STEM & the states


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