Resilient Rhody: New State Climate Preparedness Strategy

Rhode Island released an 85-page climate-preparedness strategy – Resilient Rhody – which responds to changing weather and environmental conditions in Rhode Island caused by climate change.  The report offers recommendations and implementable actions to better prepare the state for these impacts.  Key areas include critical infrastructure and utilities, natural systems, emergency preparedness, and community health and resilience. An Executive Order signed by Governor Gina Raimondo on September 15, 2017 put into motion nine months of collaborative work among expert stakeholders on climate resilience and included state agency staff and statewide organization leaders.   The recommended climate resilience actions introduced throughout the…

Science Rising

Science Rising is a nationwide mobilization effort taking place throughout 2018 in the run-up to the midterm elections. It is not a one-day march—it is a series of local activities, events, and actions organized by many different groups.  Many activities are local events; others are online.  All activities are group-oriented, open to the public, and should have a way for participants to get involved in the issue being discussed. Fundraising may be a secondary aspect of an event but not the primary focus.  The shared goal is to ensure that science is front-and-center in the decision-making processes that affect us all—and…

New STEM Stamps

On April 6, 2018, four first-class stamps that pay tribute to the study of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) were released by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Each stamp features a collage of faces, symbols, drawings, and numbers that represent the complexity and interconnectedness of the STEM disciplines.  Baltimore artist Davide Plunkert worked with art director Antonio Alcala to create these stamps.  Read more.

Perceptions of Science in America

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has released Perceptions of Science in America: A Report from the Public Face of Science Initiative, the first in a three-year series that will examine the relationship between scientists and the public.   It compiles data from public opinion surveys on general attitudes about science such as confidence and trust in science and scientists. The goal of this report is to increase awareness among science communicators, advocates, and researchers so they can better understand their audiences when developing outreach programs, messaging strategies, and educational materials. By identifying gaps in the current understanding, this report…

Digitalization and the American Workforce

A new report, Digitalization and the American Workforce, has recently been released by the Brookings Institutions Metropolitan Policy Program.  Designed to track the spread of digital adoption, the report provides a detailed analysis of changes in the digital content of 545 occupations covering 90% of the workforce in all industries since 2001.  They found that 1) digitalization is vastly expanding the potential of the American economy, and generating opportunities and 2) digitalization won’t happen by itself but will require significant improvements in digital education and training. Read more.

Narragansett Watershed Counts

Watershed Counts is a collaborative initiative of 60 partners, facilitated by the URI Coastal Institute in its role as Chair of the Rhode Island Environmental Monitoring Collaborative and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, working together to evaluate the conditions and trends of the land and waters of the Narragansett Bay Region. Watershed Counts indicators consider the region’s interwoven economic and environmental assets. The 2017 Watershed Counts: Climate Change in Narragansett Bay highlights three climate change impacts on the economy, ecology, and coastal communities of Narragansett Bay.  Read more.

Senators Call Out Phony Science Materials Sent to Teachers Nationwide

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) along with Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) , and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to highlight bogus materials sent by the Heartland Institute to more than 300,000 public school science teachers across the country.  The materials which include an 11-minute DVD and 135-page book call into question the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change.  The Heartland Institute has a record of disseminating “alternate facts” including challenging the health risks of tobacco in the 1990s.  Read more. A PDF copy of Senator Whitehouse’s letter is available here.

National Grid Energy Saving School Fundraiser Program

National Grid’s Fundraiser Program enables schools to raise funds while teaching he community about energy efficiency and conservation.  Participation is easy and each school keeps 100% of the money collected through the fundraiser.  The program is targeted at grades K-8 but high schools and some youth organizations may also be eligible to participate.  For more information, contact Bonnie Devlin at 1-413-355-0079 or bonnie.a.devlin@lmco.com.  

Public Review Period for K-12 Computer Science Standards

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) invites teachers, curriculum supervisors, administrators, business leaders and the broad education and business communities to review the K-12 Computer Science (CS) Standards and offer feedback.   The CS standards include computer science learning objectives to guide/inform teachers and administrators in the design and implementation of CS activities integrated into existing curriculum and as stand-alone courses. The CSTA K-12 CS Standards were originally published in 2011 and scheduled for a routine revision in 2015-2016.  The public review period will open on February 16 and will close on March 3, 2016.  Read more

Bayer Facts of Science Education XVII

Conducted annually since 1995, the Bayer Facts of Science Education survey series gauges the public’s opinion on the state of science education in the United States, support for reform, and the recognition of the roles that science and science literacy play in everyday life. The surveys have polled a number of different audiences, including the nation’s Ph.D. scientists and science teachers; corporate CEOs of STEM companies and other business leaders; and deans of colleges and universities, as well as parents and the general public. The 2015 survey represents the 17th survey Bayer has commissioned during those 20 years.  To celebrate…