Posted by: Tom Ross | July 7, 2014

Summer Updates

 Click on the title above to view on the CTE Central Blog website.

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Several of the themes we’ve explored here have made the news again recently.

Here are a few blog updates.



Boomerang Kids

Last August we reported—in our blog Under the Dome—on the large number of Millennials who are living at home either because of the high cost of a higher education and the housing market or their inability to find a job.

Last week the New York Times reported in their article, “It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave,” that “one in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them.” (According the Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of kids living at home is almost twice that (36%).


For their personal stories on career goals, student debt, and the realities of living at home, check out this slide show. The amount of debt these student are carrying—nearly half of 25-year-olds owe over $20,000—is staggering.


A year ago we reported on the movement to teach every student how to code: Cracking the Code. This year, the New York Times reported about how coding has become a national movement, beginning with a story from Strawberry Point Elementary School in Mill Valley, CA.

“There’s a big demand for these skills in both the tech sector and across all sectors,” said Britt Neuhaus, the director of special projects at the office of innovation for New York City schools. Alana Aaron, a fifth-grade math and science teacher in Manhattan adds, “If my kids aren’t exposed to things like that, they could miss out on potential opportunities and careers.”

This story overlaps with our coverage of nontraditional careers.

Nontraditional Career Pathways

Since our blog The Career Path Less Traveled, Google announced it has created a $50 million initiative called “Made With Code” that will encourage girls to join the job force as coders. “Less than one percent of high school girls think of computer science as part of their future, even though it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S. today with a projected 4.2 million jobs by 2020, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics,” Martha Mendoza writes for the Associated Press.

girlswhocode2Girls Who Code

In addition, several articles and commercials have come out encouraging girls and young women to pursue their interests in STEM education despite societal cues to the contrary. You can watch both advertisements–from Verizon and Goldiebox (a toy company that makes engineering and construction kits for girls)–in this blog from Education Week. The University of Phoenix has a beautiful ad as well–it’s called Aim High.

The California Economic Summit reported a new program at California State University, Long Beach, called “Women-In-Engineering.” It is sponsoring two events: “Engineering Girls Internship” (website still in the works) and “Engineering Girls – It Takes A Village.” You can learn more about each in the CES article and at their sites.

WHwomenSTEMWomen in STEM

And Entrepreneur lays aside The 4 Biggest Myths Discouraging Women from Tech Careers. There are links here to other related articles as well.

Maker Movement

Finally, since our blog on the Maker Faire, a new controversy has arisen around how the maker movement fits in with the Common Core. Education Week’s Benjamin Herold interviewed the authors of a new book on the maker culture: “Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom,” Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager.


Do you see the rise of maker education and the advent of the Common Core State Standards as connected?

Stager: There are some overlapping interests between the Common Core and the maker movement, but [they are ultimately] incompatible. The standards are rooted in this idea of a centralized body of knowledge that all kids must comply with, which is in stark contradiction to the notion that learning is more fluid, more intimate, more personal.

You can read the article and interview in Education Week.



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