Each year, two Lasker Awards go to leading medical researchers, with a third category that’s more of a wild card. This year it went to a veteran biochemist for his powerful work in STEM education.
In its latest move to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has put nearly $90 million up for grabs for colleges and universities interested in laying the groundwork for the next generation — and the generation after that — of scientists.
Chris Siefert has long been the force behind community development projects in Pittsburgh. From his post at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, he has commissioned sculptures for local parks and started a campaign to brighten up his city's north side. Now, with the support of the Noyce Foundation, he's jumping on a new initiative that will help him add a hands-on science education program to the arts- and culture-focused offerings at his workplace.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is looking for a few good mentors. The institute, which has claimed the mantle of the United States' most generous private funder of science education programs, is on the hunt for its latest crop of HHMI Professors. Launched in 2002, the program is aimed at encouraging scientists to integrate education in their work.
The foundation for Jody Hartigan’s career as a science teacher at St. Patrick Catholic School in Louisville, Kentucky, was laid at an early age. She fell in love with the profession as a kindergartner, and today she has earned a reputation as a passionate educator who loves watching kids mature in the classroom.
When the Research Corporation for Science Advancement decided in 1994 to launch its Cottrell Scholar Awards program, the goal was to unite the research and teaching functions that had grown so disconnected at Ph.D.-granting institutions. The program has now taken on a life of its own.
The Keck Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to support the Summer Math and Science Honors program, otherwise known as SMASH. The program searches for high-achieving students from low-income households in the Los Angeles area. These kids join the program for three years, spending five weeks each summer studying a STEM subject in a college setting while living in dorms at UCLA or the University of Southern California.
It can be easy these days to imagine that Bill Gates is no longer much of a computer buff. After all, the guy is busy saving the world from any number of dreaded diseases like malaria and polo. Also, Gates has been out of Microsoft for years.
This remarkable character was recently rediscovered and became a favorite topic of a web comic, The Oatmeal. The creator of The Oatmeal, Matt Inman, discovered that the site of one of Tesla's old laboratories was for sale and proposed the idea of buying the site and building a museum. (The idea is explained here.)
While the Seattle-based Inman is not your usual wealthy philanthropist, The Oatmeal has been hugely successful, with 2012 revenues of $500,000. And that doesn't include Inman's book deal.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced their list of 13 Senior International Research Scholar (SIRS) award recipients who will receive a total of $6.5 million to continue their work based on their previous contributions to "research in the biological sciences." The first round of SIRS awards come from countries ranging from Canada to South Africa, and they study immune response, parasitic diseases, and a slew of various sub-fields in genetics.
The Alcoa Foundation granted $30,000 to a summer program called OPTIONS, designed to expose kids in grades 8 through 12 the vocational possibilities in the fields of engineering and computer science. The money will subsidize scholarships for these middle and high school students who finish the OPTIONS program and go on to attend The University of Evansville.
It's about time someone re-evaluated how much students actually learn by dropping expensive laboratory glassware on the floor and cutting frogs open. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) gave $1.4 million to Mississippi's Millsaps College this week to overhaul their science curriculum, according to New-medical.net. The new program will attempt to get more kids interested in pre-medical education and other types of scientific training.