January 13, 2021
STEM Career SmartBrief
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21st-Century Skills
Engineering professor inspired by "Black Panther"
Boseman (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
The late actor Chadwick Boseman and his starring roles as "Black Panther" in Hollywood movies have provided much-needed representation, writes Karl Zelik, an assistant professor of engineering at Vanderbilt University. Zelik, who identifies as Black, addresses issues of diversity in STEM and cites the character's supersuit as a source of inspiration for products developed by his lab.
Full Story: The Conversation (1/8) 
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Gender Equity in STEM
STEM outreach programs often fail to bridge the gender equity gap in science, technology and related fields because participants have little long-term support, says Technovation founder Tara Chklovski. Technovation is combating that problem through a mentorship program that pairs each participant with an adult role model who can help them envision a future in STEM.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (1/11) 
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Girls need to see women who are working in STEM fields, says naturalist Susie Spikol. In 2017, Spikol started Lab Girls, a program to introduce female students in grades 5 through 12 to women in STEM professions, such as Mirka Zapletal, director of education at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, who recently met via Zoom with a group of Lab Girls participants.
Full Story: Monadnock Ledger-Transcript (Peterborough, N.H.) (1/12) 
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Research & Funding
Chemical manufacturer Henkel and unnamed US manufacturers are among industrial companies using wrist-worn devices from Kinexon that help track worker movements and ensure social distancing. The wristbands emit ultra-broadband signals and issue a warning when wearers are within six feet of each other for more than five seconds.
Full Story: The New York Times (1/12) 
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Nebraska Extension precision agriculture engineer Joe Luck and his team are developing advanced technology for field spraying nozzles that would allow farmers to minimize wind-driven drift. The nozzles would allow farmers in the field to tailor nozzle performance based on factors like wind while sticking to application guidelines and maintaining droplet size, he said.
Full Story: Farm Progress (1/12) 
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Business & Industry
China's newest bullet train is designed to operate in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. The train is capable of speeds of up to 217 mph with cold-resistant features including chromium-molybdenum alloy bolts, silicone sealing strips and stainless-steel pipes incorporating heating devices.
Full Story: CNN (1/12) 
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Upcoming ACTE Webinar: "Starting Early -- Introducing Career Development in the Early Grades"
Elementary- and middle-level programs are where student career development begins. They are important linkages for leaders to think about related to CTE pathways. This webinar, happening on Jan. 19, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST -- part of ACTE's Student Career Development Series sponsored by Xello -- will explore how to introduce career development at earlier ages and stages to ensure effective academic and career development in high school. Register today.
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New hybrid work-based learning conference
Learn about best practices in work-based learning from across the country at ACTE's National & Iowa's Annual Hybrid Work-based Learning Conference, which will offer on-site and online programming. Interested in presenting? Submit your presentation proposal by Feb. 5 for consideration. Learn more and register.
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Editor's Note
STEM SmartBrief will not publish Jan. 18
In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, STEM SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Jan. 18. Publication will resume Wednesday, Jan. 20.
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