Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Penguin Research

Advancing STEM Education through Penguin Research [Dispatches from Antarctica]

Adelie penguin mating pairs work together. (Photo: Courtesy of Jean Pennycook, NSF)

This is the 34th entry in the Armed with Science series, Dispatches from Antarctica. The series features Air Force Lt. Col. Ed Vaughan’s first-hand experiences on OPERATION: DEEP FREEZE, the Defense Department’s support of National Science Foundation research in Antarctica.
10 November 2010, Cape Royds, Antarctica: Penguins Marching into Your Classroom, Part 2

Jean Pennycook’s National Science Foundation-funded educational outreach, reflected on her site, supports student learning across a wide spectrum of disciplines. Paramount among these is STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). STEM fields of study are those academic and professional disciplines considered foundational in any advanced society. According to the NSF, the strength of a nation’s STEM workforce is often viewed as an indicator of a nation’s ability to sustain itself.

The NSF is the only American federal agency whose mission includes support for all STEM fields. To get a handle on STEM trends, it is informative to look at the NSF strategic plan and the fields it supports. These fields include, but are not limited to, biological sciences, computer and information science and engineering, education and human resources, environmental research, geosciences, math and physical sciences, social, behavioral, and economic sciences, cyber-infrastructure, and polar programs. {continued}

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