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National Academies Seeks Comments on Indicators for Undergrad STEM Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NAS) Board on Science Education (BSE) seeks comments on its draft report, Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education. An expert panel, the Committee on Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education, was convened to develop national indicators for monitoring the quality of undergraduate STEM. The Committee proposes “a conceptual framework of goals and objectives for improving the quality of undergraduate STEM.” A two-phase study, the Committee now seeks input as it prepares to develop indicators. A series of questions for consideration can be accessed on BSE’s website. In addition, a one-day public meeting is planned for October 6, 2016 to allow the Committee to obtain additional input. Input received will inform the second phase of the study, which includes development of “a report which includes the committee’s conceptual framework for an indicator system, a brief review of existing approaches to monitoring STEM in higher education, descriptions of key constructs that need to be measured, a set of indicators and potential data sources.” Further, the Committee is also asked to specify additional areas of research needed to develop appropriate measures. The deadline to provide feedback to the Committee is October 14.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

More than 300 Social Science Students Selected as NSF Graduate Research Fellows

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced the 2,000 winners of the annual Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program competition. Among the 2016 winners are 311 social and behavioral science researchers from across the U.S. The GRF program provides three years of financial support over a five-year fellowship period for graduate study that leads to a master’s or doctoral research degree in a STEM field, including social science. It is one of NSF’s flagship programs aimed at fostering the next generation of the STEM workforce and ensuring diversity within the workforce.

The 2,000 awardees were chosen from about 17,000 total applications. The winners in the social and behavioral sciences come from the following disciplines and fields of study: psychology (136), archeology/anthropology (57), economics (31), sociology (30), political science (20), geography (14), linguistics (8), history/American studies (3), international relations (3), law and social science (2), communication (2), urban and regional planning (2), decision making/risk analysis (1), peace studies (1), and natural resources (1).

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 5), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

COSSA Comments on NSF Reauthorization; Senate Seeks Input on STEM Workforce

As previously reported, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee spent the summer engaging with scientific stakeholders to inform possible reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act, or legislation authorizing the National Science Foundation (NSF). In July, the Committee put out a request for input on the topic of “Maximizing the Impact of Basic Research.” COSSA submitted detailed comments to the Committee on August 14.

The Committee is now seeking input on the topic of “Building a STEM Workforce.” Interested parties are invited to comment on any/all of the following questions:

  1. How does the availability of STEM graduates affect corporate decision-making about where to conduct research and manufacture goods?
  2. To maximize the use of limited resources, how can the Federal Government, in coordination with the private sector and academia, best prioritize STEM education investments and help respond to shifting academic and private sector workforce needs?
  3. What factors should Federal agencies consider to measure the impact and success of the Federal STEM education portfolio and to decide whether to expand, modify, or replace individual programs, given limited resources?
  4. How can Federal agencies best identify and encourage implementation of promising, research-driven STEM education teaching models and best practices?
  5. What actions can the Federal Government, private sector, and academia pursue to broaden STEM participation and provide education and research opportunities to students from all backgrounds?

Comments can be sent directly to the Commerce Committee at SciencePolicy@commerce.senate.gov. No deadline has been given for this round of comments.

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Posted in Issue 16 (September 8), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

National Science Board Launches New STEM Education Resource

On October 28, the National Science Board released a new online resource, STEM Education Resource, where the public can access data on the STEM workforce, including college degrees in STEM fields and jobs in science-related occupations. The interactive tool provides data points, graphics, maps, and other resources to allow users to learn about national trends in STEM, connecting them to the data in the 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators produced by the National Science Board.

Check out the tool here.

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Posted in Issue 20 (November 3), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

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