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The Innovation Collaborative is conducting a national study that will help outline effective practices for sciences, technology, engineering, arts/humanities, and math (STEAM). The first national study of its kind, your participation as out-of-school time educator could help determine what constitute an effective STEAM program in a broad range of out-of-school settings and provide the foundational research base for the out-of-school STEAM movement.


Women outperform men in many of the underlying skills that lead to job success — skills commonly referred to as noncognitive because, like emotional IQ, creativity, and conscientiousness, they are not clearly predicted by test results. The demand for soft skills, as they are also known, was borne out in a 2017 Harvard study that found that “social skill-intensive occupations” — including teaching and some computer science and health care jobs — had increased by 12 percent since 1980 and enjoyed higher wage growth. Positions that demanded lots of brain power but little social aptitude had declined. The huge rise over the past century in the number and percentage of women who work in the U.S., highlighted by more recent nationwide efforts to steer young females toward traditionally male-dominated STEM careers, would appear to give women at least an equal shot at great jobs. But it has not turned out that way — at least not yet.


The week of February 25 to March 3, 2019 is National Leap Into Science Week, the annual celebration of Leap Into Science, a national program with a mission to integrate open-ended science activities with children’s books and literacy efforts in libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs. Interested educators from out-of-school time spaces are encouraged to sign up for curriculum and facilitation strategy trainings. No trainings in your state? You can also sign up as a leader to kick start the effort in your state. This is a great opportunity for afterschool and summer learning programs to brush up on their STEM education skills and meet a national network of educators interested in bringing STEM learning and literacy outside of the classroom.


Career and technical education (CTE) is a critical strategy for preparing youth and adults for future education and workforce opportunities. CTE allows students to combine learning with real-world experiences—and develop crucial academic, technical, and employability skills. CTE can also help address the increasing skills gap—a disparity between the skills job-seekers offer and the skills that employers need. States and regions, school districts, and individual institutions are creating innovative CTE programs that pave the way for students and adults to successfully continue their education and obtain high-wage, high-demand careers. Nationwide, AIR is supporting organizations large and small to strengthen CTE through rigorous research, evaluation, and technical assistance.


Michael B. Jordan and his Outlier Society production company continue to make waves and set the bar in the industry when it comes to advocacy and representation. It is launching the Outlier Fellowship, an initiative he announced Wednesday during the Obama Foundation’s MBK Rising!, a national event in Oakland that gathers My Brother’s Keeper Alliance leaders, practitioners, and youth who are working to help young men of color achieve their dreams. The initiative, which comes during Black History Month, is an internship and mentorship program providing access, opportunity and community to underrepresented young people entering media, arts and entertainment.


While classrooms in New York and elsewhere have increasingly focused on preparing children for jobs in a tech economy, the recently opened school, Brooklyn STEAM Center, has taken it one step further by locating itself next to companies where students might actually work. It is one of only a handful of programs in the country that are situated in a workplace. “Our ambition is that it will be a next-generation model for career and technical schools here in New York City,” said David Ehrenberg, the president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. The Navy Yard already has an on-site job center, but Ehrenberg said the school will help ensure that more local residents have the necessary technical skills and training for the jobs being created there. The program offers students a chance to show what they can do. “Instead of learning on paper — and maybe you forget it, and maybe you don’t — you put your hands into the work,” Jordan Gomes, 16, said.


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