K - 12 Working Group (STEM)
The Automation Federation and FIRST® Announce Strategic Alliance to Promote STEM Education
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA (13 July 2011) &madsh; The Automation Federation (AF) announces its strategic alliance with FIRST®(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to promote the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for students in kindergarten through high school (K-12) through after-school participation in the FIRST robotics programs.
The alliance seeks to increase the number of young people, teams, and adult volunteers participating in FIRST's robotics initiatives and programs, to give students a greater awareness of the world of automation.
AF, the "Voice of Automation," is a key catalyst in the development of the next generation of automation professionals.
The AAES K-12 Working Group on K-12 Education has recently had a changed in its co-chairmanship. Since its inception the working group has been co-chaired by Dr. Ralph Wyndrum and Leslie Payne. Dr. Ralph Wyndrum is now steeping down from this leadership role but not leaving the arena of K-12 Education and Outreach. Under Ralph's leadership, the working group has held three forums which focused on ways of identifying and maximizing collaboration of programs sponsored by member societies whose mission's center on the improvement of K-12 education and outreach and explored methods to leverage research produced by leading organizations on this topic, more specifically how to advance the findings presented in NAE's Changing the Conversation. Before stepping down, Ralph helped to set into motion a survey of its member societies to indentify needs and directions. Dr. Ralph Wyndrum has been an inspirational, visionary leader and we thank him for all of what he has accomplished.
Dr. Oscar Barton, Jr. will now co-chair the working group with Leslie Payne. Dr. Barton currently serves as a Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering Department at the United States Naval Academy. Among others, Dr. Barton is serves on the ASME's Committee of Engineering Accreditation and as a program evaluator for ABET, Inc.
The AAES K-12 Working Group was established to provide a forum for networking, information sharing and collaboration among AAES Society members with regard to K-12 Educational Outreach and STEM education issues. The working group began facilitating regular workshops in 2009, with the aim of expanding the engineering community's discussion about the Changing the Conversation (CTC) Report released by the National Academy of Engineering in 2008.
These workshops have resulted in:
- better awareness about member societies' educational outreach programs
- demonstrated progress in programming that is aligned with the findings of the CTC report
- opportunities to expand collaborative projects with the goal of maximizing their success.
Plans for the next forum are underway, and will reflect the engineering community's evolving engagement in K-12 educational outreach and increased participation in STEM education advocacy.
USA Today (7/14, Davidson) reports, "Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields pay an average 26% more than other occupations and grew three times faster the past decade, according to a Commerce Department study to be released today." The Obama Administration "is citing the report partly to put numbers behind its push to invest more to increase jobs in so-called STEM fields."