Did You Know?

Newspaper

Gender Stereotypes in Dallas Schools

Did you know that last week Dallas public schools bussed thousands of boys to a movie screening of "Red Tails" -- which tells the story of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen pilots, who during World War II became the first black aviators to serve in the U.S. Military -- but excluded girls? A spokesman for the Dallas Independent School District said officials took only boys to see "Red Tails" because space at the movie theater was limited; leaders of the district also "thought boys would enjoy the movie more than girls." Some female students were shown a different movie instead, "Akeelah and the Bee," about an 11-year-old girl who competes in a national spelling bee.

Ana Rios, 11, a fifth-grader at Nathan Adams Elementary School in Dallas, said she wanted to see "Red Tails" – especially since she had already seen "Akeelah and the Bee." She planned to watch the movie on her own. "We are learning African-American history, and it would be a great movie to see," she said.

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TechSpark Connects Startups with College Students

Did you know about TechSpark, a new program at Carnegie Mellon University? It's a networking event that aims to connect college students and alumni with jobs and internships at local startups. As "startup ecosystems" pop up in regions outside of Silicon Valley, a growing number of universities are working to meet the hiring demands of local companies by providing them with better access to tech talent. Have you reached out to the universities near you? How do you connect with graduates?

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How to Explain the Value of Gender Diversity

Did you know that many people miss the point of gender diversity because they misunderstand its value? If you're thinking about gender diversity as an argument for “equal value” or “sameness” you might miss the fact that the real value in gender diversity is to capitalize on our very differences.
"Gender diversity means that companies have the benefit of a multitude of viewpoints and ways of solving problems and a wealth of critical insight to draw from as they approach 21st century complexity in a diverse, global marketplace," says Barbara Annis. Her concept of "gender intelligence" means regarding the presence or absence of diversity not as a measurable number but as an index of value. “Especially in finance and technology, companies were saying ‘we’ve got one woman or we’ve got five women,' but they weren’t saying 'we need their perspective.'"

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6 key skills new IT grads are lacking

Did you know that Computerworld magazine talked with IT managers and found that there are some essential skills they think recent IT graduates are lacking? The six skills they mention are a knowledge of business basics, experience With systems integration, emerging technologies expertise, tech "basics" (troubleshooting, command prompts, etc.), familiarity with legacy systems, and the ability to work on a team. One manager acknowledges that "It's a horrible thing to say, but there's just not enough time [in college to learn] all the skills that people need to be successful. We are expecting more and more, and universities are supplying more, but we're asking for still more." Does your school teach these skills? How do you manage the responsibility of educator vs. employer to get new grads up to speed?

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PCAST Report Supports New Approach to STEM Education 

Did you know that the PCAST report is out? "Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics" has just been released by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The report bursts with recommendations that support your work as an NCWIT member and in your own organization, including: adopt evidence-based teaching methods; diversify and broaden pathways to STEM degrees; and focus on the "underrepresented majority" (women and members of underrepresented groups now constitute approximately 70% of college students while comprising a minority of students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees.)
 
Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT's radar this week that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.