Foothill College
 
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STEM Education

STEM education is the foundation of a workforce capable of both innovation and scale in a global economy. Science and technology played a key role in the manufacturing and economic dominance of the Unites States in the 20th Century. In the 21st century, engineering and advanced manufacturing are leading economic development in Asia, and especially China and South Korea. In fields from electronics, data storage, software and telecommunications, to transportation, advanced materials, and energy, America faces competitive challenges from all segments of the innovation value chain. While the US essentially invented computer and biotechnology we have fallen behind in our ability to:

  • develop and scale new solutions in emerging technology
  • inspire a generation of young adults to pursue careers as scientists and engineers in fields that define our economic strength

The answer to these challenges lies in both a science literate and engaged society and a workforce competent in science, engineering, and advanced manufacturing. Foothill College’s STEM program addresses both these needs through a combination of:

  • advanced pedagogy in mathematics and science
  • relevant and appealing curriculum
  • partnerships with academia, government, and industry to provide opportunities from faculty development to curriculum support and internships for students

Situated at the heart of Silicon Valley, Foothill is also at ground zero for the challenge of developing a science literate and engaged society, and a new generation of workforce primed for global challenges from technology to medicine and health to food and water security, resource depletion, and climate change. Never before has there been a call to action to develop a workforce with a STEM foundation.

Foothill College’s approach to STEM includes:

  • The Science and Learning Institute (SLI)
  • key programs within our STEM instruction including
    • NSF funded programs in STEM and nanotechnology
    • an energy program focused on workforce development in clean technology
    • a campus-wide sustainability program, with integrated curriculum from environment and biology to economics and sociology to environmental chemistry and earth science.

Foothill believes that sustainability and STEM go hand in hand and are developing these as both bottom-up and top-down approaches to science literacy.

Interviews

President Judy Miner is a key member of the Science and Learning Institute at the national level, where she serves on the planning committee for the National Academy of Sciences 2011 invitation-only Science Education Summit, and the STEM Higher Education Working Group under the auspices of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Judy Miner is a member/author of the PCAST report for President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Judy Miner was interviewed by The Educated Guess blogger John Fensterwaldon about the impact of continued budget cuts on community colleges ability to serve students.

Foothill College President Judy Miner on the impact of budget cuts
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0naAv-I864)
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