Category: Education Issues

Ed Abeyta on the Importance of STEAM Education

ed abeytaUCTV’s recently launched STEAM Channel is a platform for all things science, technology, engineering, arts and math. We sat down with the channel’s founding partner and director of K-16 Programs at UC San Diego Extension, Ed Abeyta, to learn more about the STEAM movement and how it impacts students, educators and parents.

UCTV: How did you get involved in the world of STEAM?

Ed Abeyta: STEAM became the framework for the creation of our K-16 division in 2010. It was inspired by Harvey White, co-founder of Qualcomm Inc., who believed the Arts (the creative skills) plus STEM are key for industry success. “STEM education is necessary but it is not sufficient – we must have STEAM education – our future is at risk otherwise.”

UCTV: Why STEAM and not STEM?

EA: STEM is based on skills generally using the left half of the brain and thus is logic driven. Much research and data shows that activities like Arts, which uses the right side of the brain supports and fosters creativity, which is essential to innovation. Clearly the combination of superior STEM education combined with Arts education (STEAM) should provide us with the education system that offers us the best chance for regaining the innovation leadership essential to the new economy.

UCTV: Why is STEAM so important for today’s students and teachers?

EA: There seems to be consensus that for the US to replace the lost jobs from the industrial sector we must create the new industries that will drive the future economies of the world – and that requires innovation. So we need to focus on examining some of the difference between what and how we “teach” today and what we need to change to effectively “teach” innovation. The underlying need is to refocus the system to teach innovation – not just facts.

UCTV: How is STEAM changing the way we think about education?

EA: STEAM is not about adding to the acronym, but instead adding to the relevancy of learning. As Vince Bertram, President and CEO, Project Lead The Way, Inc., noted “It’s about showing students how concepts relate to real-world situations and providing them with hands-on projects and problems that help them apply concepts in a new context. It’s about nurturing students’ curiosity and helping them develop creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills.”

UCTV: Why should universities help lead the charge for STEAM in K-12?

EA: The core disciplines are beginning to merge. Visual Arts, Computer Science, and Engineering are working more closely to utilize expertise in each of their domains to solve problems. This mindset showcases what awaits the next generation at post-secondary institutions like UC San Diego.

UCTV: How can parents involve their children in STEAM education?

EA: At its heart, STEAM is about solving real-world problems. The world is going to need more and more graduates with the skills to identify problems, visualize solutions, design prototypes and implement solutions. Parents should seek every learning opportunity that incorporates practice based learning and challenge their children to continually think out of the box.

UCTV: What can viewers expect from the STEAM Channel in the coming months?

EA: The STEAM Channel will begin showcasing how STEAM is connected to research, policy, education, and industry. We will also seek to provide programming resources to enable parents, mentors and teachers to utilize our programming as a teaching platform.

Visit The STEAM Channel today!

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Achieving Equality for Women with Mary Ann Mason

Conversations with History welcomes UC Berkeley’s Professor Mary Ann Mason to discuss her career as a university official, historian, and lawyer, as well as the changing role of women in academia and society.

Mason says moving to Berkeley at the end of the 60’s raised her awareness of issues, particularly the women’s rights movement, which was just beginning to gain momentum.

She was teaching history at a small college in Oakland when she joined the women’s consciousness raising movement. They held a gathering of women teaching history at four year colleges and they realized what a small group they were. There were only eight of them, in all of California. As for the UCs at the time, Mason reports that there were only 1.3 women historians for each campus.

Throughout her time in Berkeley, Mason watched the equality of women improve. When she got hired as a professor by UC Berkeley in 1989, about 15 percent of the faculty were women, which she reports is a huge improvement from just 2 percent in 1972.

Hear how these cultural and structural changes came about in “Achieving Equality for Women with Mary Ann Mason.”

Be sure to see what other programs are available in the Conversations with History series!

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Ensuring Transfer Success 2013 – California DREAMin’

AB 540 is a California state law passed in 2001 that allows qualified undocumented students to pay in-state tuition instead of out-of-state tuition at California’s public higher education institutions. The California DREAM act passed in 2011 allows these applicants to apply for state funded and non state funded financial aid. Though these laws ease the financial burden on students, ensuring access to these benefits is not always a straightforward process.

Transfer professionals are here to help. Listen in as they share insights into how to apply and qualify these programs and more. Watch “Ensuring Transfer Success 2013 – California DREAMin’” or check out assist.org for more online student-transfer information.

Check out our other programs designed to help you apply for college!

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The Importance of Mentoring Women and Minority Faculty

Ever since the late 1970’s women have outnumbered men in college enrollments. That number has been steadily increasing to reach a male to female ratio of 43.6 to 56.4 in public universities and a nearly 40-60 split in private universities, based on 2008 enrollment data from the Digest of Education Statistics.

If women have consistently outnumbered men in college student populations for decades, why are the faculties of colleges dominated by men?

Dr. Shirley Malcom, head of Education and Human Resources, American Association for the Advancement of Science visits the University of California Office of the President to give a lecture in part with UC ADVANCE PAID, a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), that enables campuses to recruit, retain and advance more women and underrepresented minority women faculty in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Watch as Dr. Malcom discusses “The Importance of Mentoring Women and Minority Faculty at Every Career Stage,” making the case that universities need to have a faculty that reflects the student population, meaning that they should be as diverse as the student body they teach.

Be sure to catch other videos in the series, Mentoring Faculty in an Inclusive Climate: Supporting Women and URM STEM Faculty at UC.

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Hilda Solis and the Value of Higher Education

Hilda Solis was the first Latina to serve as Secretary of Labor and that is just one of her many “firsts.”

She was the first member in her family to go to college, earning degrees from California State Polytechnic University and University of Southern California. She was the first Latina elected into the California State Senate in 1994 and was re-elected in 1998. Solis was the first Latina to become a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee in congress and her nomination as Secretary of Labor made her the first Latina to serve in the U.S. cabinet.

Solis’ triumph for Latin’s across the nation made her an ideal candidate to speak at this Helen Edison Lecture in honor of Cesar Chavez at UC San Diego. In “A Look at What Cesar Chavez Symbolizes in the 21st Century with Hilda Solis,” Solis discusses the importance of higher education in the creation of a diverse and skilled workforce.

Click here for more videos of Helen Edison Lectures and don’t forget to check out our other videos on Economy and Labor Issues.

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