VOLUME NO. 1 | ISSUE NO. 2
An Independent Thinker
Unraveling a Mystery Navajo Weavers and STEM
Death of a Graveyard The Lt. Governor of North Carolina Brings New Life to Education
One Size Does Not Fit All One Manâ€™s Fashionable Life
CHANGING THE WORLD
© 2012 Lockheed Martin Corporation
THIS IS HOW How many careers have so great an impact? From the everyday objects we take for granted to the most dazzling technological wonders, engineering is everywhere. And everywhere they go, engineers make a difference in our world. That’s why the men and women of Lockheed Martin are proud to support STEM education and educators.
innovate + educate
VOLUME NO. 1 | ISSUE NO. 2 | APRIL 2012
www.innovate-educate.org P.O. Box 9919 Santa Fe, NM 87504 EDITOR
Jamai Blivin MANAGING & CREATIVE EDITOR
Amy Schilling DESIGN
Mary Sweitzer Design www.marysweitzerdesign.com
IN THIS ISSUE: Measuring Success with Might 10
email@example.com TITLE GRAPHIC
Incubox Creative www.incubox.com
FEATURES ROSS PEROT: AN INDEPENDENT THINKER | 8 Our Featured Interview with the Visionary Leader
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL | 10 A Fashionable New Way of Looking at the World
UNRAVELING A MYSTERY | 14 Navajo Weavers Use Advanced Math to Create Art All contents ÂŠ 2012 Innovate+Educate. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent from Innovate+Educate. Permission to reprint may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Publisher reserves the right to accept or reject all advertising material. Questions or comments not related to The Innovation Intake should be directed to email@example.com.
DEPARTMENTS LETTER FROM THE EDITOR | 5 CORPORATE HIGHLIGHT | 6 POLICY | 18 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | 21 BISEC | 23
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
L ETTER FROM T HE ED ITOR
Weaving Our Future
HAT DOES A GRAVEYARD HAVE TO DO with Navajo art, fashion and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education/workforce? I found myself trying to weave the answers together in my head to write this column, pondering the uniqueness of this second issue of The Innovation Intake. I think the answer came to me as I read ‘Unraveling a Mystery,’ the Navajo weaving article, for the third time (perhaps because I do come from Cherokee blood). While my great-greatgreat grandmother (full Cherokee) is in a graveyard somewhere, I believe that my ancestry has taught me to question whether we are really respecting the uniqueness of the individual, the mobility necessary of the people (in education and workforce), and the many non-traditional routes that citizens of the U.S. take to get to what they consider success (which ultimately is a “job” via degree, career pathway or a combination of the two). The use of the word graveyard by Lt. Governor Dalton (NC) definitely describes the desks lined up in a row in the “old school model.” That model is no longer working for close to 40% of students in the U.S. – thus our national dropout rate is higher than ever. And the story of Les Samuel shows that success can come through alternative pathways. While I agree with the most respected Mr. Perot that a good teacher can change someone’s life (I had one of those and he is right!), what happens if that teacher overlooks the student with dyslexia because he has way too much to deal with (No Child Left Behind, testing, reporting, English language learners, accountability) and the opportunity to be engaged is missed? Dr. Merrilea Mayo’s policy piece questions the idea of ‘STEM for all’ and how we are addressing it in our education system. While we are focusing on high-end courses, how many children are we really leaving behind? I don’t really want to count, but I know that Albuquerque Public Schools will soon have a dropout rate of over 50% (APS is the largest district in NM and accounts for 1/3 of all students). It is time for a system change . . . a complete overhaul. Let’s get all of the “wool” we have and weave a new rug. This old one can’t be cleaned. We could move furniture around but that won’t make the rug look any better. Let’s weave a new America . . . it is time for a SHIFT in thinking. Be a part of the solution at the U.S.News STEM Solutions Summit 2012, June 2729 with our partners U.S. News & World Report and STEMconnector.
Jamai Blivin, CEO, Innovate+Educate
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
CORPORAT E H IG H L IG H T
Battelle Memorial Institute Leadership in Education and Workforce
HE BATTELLE MEMORIAL Institute was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in 1929, the first year of the Great Depression. The key to success has been continual reinvention. The Institute was founded through the vision and last Will and Testament of Gordon Battelle, a pioneering leader in the early days of America’s steel industry. Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide. Battelle manages or co-manages seven national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom.
A core aspect of Battelle’s mission is to ensure that each succeeding generation will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and power of imagination to transform the world and tackle the nation’s most important scientific and economic challenges. With that, Battelle’s outreach has become even more committed to leading and advancing education and innovation – with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning and workforce development. With the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Battelle is also proud to be part of the development of the Multi-state STEM Net-
work, and is committed to supporting the growth and success of this important effort by leadership at the state level. Partnerships between state STEM networks across the country will help each state access the best talent and educational materials, spread innovation and build the sustained public and private support necessary to meet the nation’s STEM education challenges. Join Battelle and states from across the U.S. as they formally launch the Multi-state network in Dallas, Texas on June 27-29, 2012. http://usnewsstemsolutions.com n
“All the residue of my estate . . . I give…for the foundation of a “Battelle Memorial Institute”. . . for the purpose of education in connection with and the encouragement of creative and research work and the making of discoveries and inventions….” © Ben French
—Gordon Battelle Last Will and Testament, November 24, 1920
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
CORPOR ATE HIGH L IGHT I N SI D E B ATT EL L E
A conversation with the Honorable Regina B. Schofield, Director of Corporate Engagement & Education, Battelle Corporation, March 5, 2012, Washington D.C.
JB: Did you ever think you’d be able to do this kind of work with a large corporation?
RS: My interest areas involve working with high-risk students and creating access for all children. The first question I asked Battelle when they recruited me was “will I be able to still work in these areas in a meaningful way?”, and fortunately, the answer was “yes”. Our team is working to address many of the issues I am passionate about.
Jamai: It’s great to be here today in our nation’s capital for the first ever STEM Stakeholder Summit with DC Public Schools. Battelle’s leadership with DCPS is such a great example of partnership.
Regina: It’s an exciting day to be able to bring over 140 attendees together, committed to engaging DCPS students to become our mathematicians, scientists, leaders and innovators for our country’s future. JB: Why are you personally committed to this?
RS: When I was growing up in the South, like all kids, I had dreams. Now I work for the world’s largest independent R&D organization – not bad for a girl from Mississippi! I believe all youth should be given the opportunity to follow a path that leads to careers that address our society’s most pressing science and technology challenges.
RS: There are many students in DCPS (from kindergarten through graduation) that I believe can get excited and engage with science, technology, engineering and math if they only have the opportunity and the exposure. As I ponder on how we can engage our DCPS children and youth to be our future innovators, I remind myself that just like the company I work for . . . we must remember that the road is not always straight . . . but that if we continue to push forward believing that these students are THE future…we will succeed. And, with the partnership of the other states working to share policies, practices, and programs, we are not starting from scratch. n The Honorable Regina B. Schofield is Director of Corporate Engagement & Education Outreach for Battelle. Prior to her position with Battelle, she was with Casey Family Programs and oversaw national public policy objectives in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Casey, Ms. Schofield was nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. Before her appointment as Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Schofield was Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
© Battelle Staff
JB: Why are you so passionate about the work specifically in DCPS in advancing a STEM agenda? .
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
FEATUR E D INT E RVI EW
Ross Perot: AN Interview by Jamai Blivin
HROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF SOME WONDERFUL PEOPLE, I had the opportunity to interview Ross Perot, an example of innovation, courage and disruption—traits rare and much needed today in the U.S. As I was completing my MBA in 1988, I had to write a paper on ‘innovators in business’ and I chose Mr. Perot, not only because he had just sold his controlling interest in EDS to General Motors for $2.4 billion but also because I had just read Ken Follett’s On Wings of Eagles and was inspired by the courage he demonstrated when rescuing his kidnapped employees in Iran. And of course, most of us know him for his political disruption, when in 1992 Mr. Perot ran for President as an Independent, becoming the first major ‘non-party’ candidate since 1912, winning nearly 19% of the popular vote. While few ever actually are recorded in “printed” history books (we can all put ourselves on Wikipedia), Ross Perot actually is; my son just learned about him in his AP history class in North Carolina. It is with gratitude and humility that I share our conversation and his wisdom with you. JB: What would you change about the education system today to make it more competitive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)?
RP: The public education system in the nation is broken. We have to start educating our children, beginning as young as possible, in arithmetic and reading. Once we’ve done that, we can start teaching them about STEM and STEM subjects. I think the best way to make that happen is to tie our subjects to interesting concepts and projects for our children and teachers. A good example is what I helped with in Texarkana 8
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
when Texas A&M and the Texarkana school system built an elementary school building focused on engineering. Much of the building is physically transparent, where the children can actually see plumbing, structural frames, wiring and so forth. But first and before they can do anything else they have to learn their numbers and to be able to read. JB: Do you believe the STEM issue is a matter of national security? What can employers do to address this challenge?
RP: Of course it’s an issue of national security. It’s the real issue of national
security. All the ships and airplanes are nothing unless they’re developed by and in the hands of bright and capable Americans with great knowledge of Science, Technology and Math. In addition, if we are not leaders in technology, this country will be weak economically and vulnerable to our enemies. JB: How can we motivate communities across America to address the STEM challenge?
STEM teaching and learning. My wish is that the Museum will spark an interest in our young people to pursue careers which lead to a lifetime of excellence in STEM. JB: Ken Follett’s book, On Wings of Eagles demonstrates one of your leadership principles of “not leaving team members behind.” The rescue of your employees from Iran inspired me to write my final MBA paper on the book in 1988. If you
believe significant numbers of American students are being left behind, what advice would you give our education leaders to change their course?
RP: Make sure that we have the finest teachers in the world teaching our children in year-round schools. Then make our teachers quit teaching so that students can just pass a test. Teach all our children to learn and they won’t be left behind. That’s one you can quit worrying about. n
RP: Carefully and over and over explain that if we don’t get after this in our education programs across the nation, it won’t be long before we’re members of the third- world community and then it won’t matter. JB: Many of our veterans possess STEM skills. What initiatives are you engaged in to assist employment of our country’s armed forces veterans?
RP: I do have a reverence for the men and women who have served our country so bravely. And yes, some of those possess, as you put it, STEM skills. But every employer of every line of work should consider hiring our veterans if their skills match the employer’s needs. They’re our finest and at the very least we owe them a chance to prove themselves in gainful employment. JB: The Perot Museum of Nature & Science is opening at the end of this year. In what ways do you see the Perot Museum improving STEM education in the DFW region?
RP: A focus of the Museum is its education programs for children and youngsters, to draw attention to various careers and projects which require
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
ONE SIZE a former fashion mogul suggests we look at the world in new ways to find solutions
O BE HONEST, as an executive coach, I work with some pretty brilliant and successful people. Do they ask me if I have any college degrees? No. I tell them that I don’t have anything beyond high school. But, what I do have is work experience. And throughout my early career, as hard as I worked to build a successful international fashion business, I didn’t put nearly as much time into my work as I did into protecting my secret. I started trying to outrun my secret in 1967. It was Old Town Chicago. It was near the original Playboy mansion and I was the original cool boy of fashion, at least that’s what I thought. My friends and I loved walking along Well Street watching the hippies. The sounds of Led Zeppelin filtered out of storefronts, creating the perfect sound track for all the VW bugs, wide leg trousers and polyester. One afternoon we were standing in front of a clothing store called The Garment District (they had a juke box) and I felt a tap on my shoulder that would change my life. It was two of the three owners of the store asking me if I would work for them. They didn’t ask my friends, only me. To this day I do not know why they chose me. I like to think it had something to do with Mr. Weaver, my grade school teacher and my first coach. Mr. Weaver wore ties, drove a red convertible and took pride in his work. Mr. Weaver taught me how to be
a gentleman. I was still in high school and living in the suburbs, so my first reaction to taking the job was “no,” but I desperately wanted to get out of my house and away from everyone who knew I was terrible in school. So at 16 I left home, got an apartment in the city and started working after school and on weekends. And thus launched what would become a long career in the fashion world. I believe one of the major reasons I thrived in fashion is because I see things in pictures. I see it done. The way I see the world is paint by numbers and then all I do is find the pieces that will fit in each spot to achieve the vision of it ‘done.’ My wife, Lisa, calls me “the man with the plan.” But I did not begin my life or my career with this confidence or understanding of how it was a benefit to see the world in pictures. I grew up in an educational system that told me I was stupid. But I always knew I wasn’t stupid. I always knew I was pretty darn smart, it’s just that I couldn’t do anything to support that. I got terrible grades. Of course, what we know now but didn’t have an understanding of then, is that these failing grades was my dyslexia screaming. So I grew up in shame and believed I had to do whatever it took to hide this secret. My work, fortunately, came relatively easy for me, but protecting the secret of my dyslexia was a full-time job. The first thing I’d do when I woke up was think about everything I had throughout the day so I could be
BY LES SAMUEL 10 t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
I grew up in an educational system that told me I was stupid. But I always knew I wasn’t stupid. I always knew I was pretty darn smart, it’s just that I couldn’t do anything to support that. —Les Samuel
Les Samuel’s 5th grade report card, 1962. “E” stands for “failure.” The last two rows are for Arithmetic and Science.
Clockwise top left: Les Samuel and his wife Lisa 2012; Workers for Freedom Fall Collection 1997; Les and his father 1978; Les, (midddle) two brothers and his grandmother 1970; Les (lower center) and track team, c. 1966.
completely prepared in advance, no matter if it was a meeting, a presentation, a report, etc. because I couldn’t be put on the spot. I was always strategically working. I was on the chess team in high school. Then I fell in love with backgammon. Why? Because it was visual, strategic thinking—moves now and moves ahead. And that’s how I operated so it made great sense to me. It wasn’t until about 1999, after 30 years building an internationally successful business where I managed budgets, orders, multiple collections and international manufacturing that I started to see my dyslexia as a gift. I never felt I could afford the time because I had to stay ahead of everything. But in 1999, I sold my business and went through a divorce, so suddenly I had time in front of me. I could no longer run from myself. People can look at dyslexia now and say that it can bring really positive gifts with different ways of looking at and visualizing the world. But the system at that time didn’t have any alternative pathways for non-traditional learners. The word dyslexia didn’t even exist! Now if children are having difficulty learning in certain ways, they will test for various learning disorders. My experience is a great metaphor for the new challenges students face today. It’s no longer dyslexia because as a society we’ve acknowledged that and created a system to support it. As alternative as my path was, it was still straighter than what many students today face trying to find ways to learn in a system that perhaps doesn’t
or can’t recognize undiagnosed issues. And as a result, our students are dropping out of high school around the same age as when I entered the workforce – 16 – but the opportunities to build a long, successful career by starting work at an early age are much fewer than in the 1960’s when a college degree wasn’t a requirement for a career pathway. I didn’t know I had graduated high school until 2006 when I was helping my mother move and found my diploma in a closet. I was 55 years old. Don’t get me wrong, I knew I had finished high school, but I had moved out of my parent’s house when I was 16 and never really looked back so when they mailed my diploma to my father, I was already building a career. Today, I work as an executive coach with top CEOs, most of whom have advanced degrees, but they turn to me for guidance and business advice. Ironically, I believe so much of my success has to do with my dyslexia and the way I see the world. If we could all start to look at the world’s issues in new ways, maybe upside down, maybe backwards, we could stop talking about things as broken and people as failures and begin to diagnose the source of the challenges in order to create a whole new picture of success for our nation’s citizens. n Les Samuel is a nationally recognized executive coach and owner of BusinessWise, Inc., working with CEOs and top executives in major corporations across the country.
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
Unraveling AMY SCHILLING LOOKS FOR ANSWERS ON THE OLD SANTA FE TRAIL WITH THE HELP OF ART EXPERT HENRY C. MONAHAN
AMY: Henry, Iâ€™m laughing about us having this conversation today because when I first approached you about trying to help me understand the relationship between Navajo weaving and STEM, you looked at me like I had four heads.
HENRY: Well, once you told me what STEM stands for, it made perfect sense. AMY: Whew! I read that Spanish historical records have references to Navajo weaving as early as 1540. Do you know the Navajo story of how weaving was introduced?
HENRY: The Navajo are originally from Canada, they speak Athabaskan as do the Apache, and both groups migrated to the Southwest from the North. These migrating groups became very resourceful, as they had to in order to survive. There is some debate on whether the Navajo could weave before their arrival in the Southwest, I do not believe they had that knowl-
edge, I think historians will tell you they learned it from the Pueblo groups. Now, if you ask the Navajo, they will tell you that it was Spider Boy who brought the first loom, creating it from the elements of sun, lightning and rain and then Spiderwoman came and taught them how to weave. I do know that at the time of the Spanish arrival, the Navajo were already considered the finest weavers in the region, and their textiles were the most prized. Originally the Pueblos wove native cotton, but with the introduction of Churro sheep by the Spanish in the late 16th century, wool quickly became the fiber of choice. AMY: What was it about the wool that they preferred?
HENRY: Wool was more durable, warmer, and because it came from sheep, the Navajo were not tied down to fields where the cotton would be grown. They were constantly on the move and could take the sheep with them wherever they wentâ€Śmobility, mobility, mobility.
All rug images courtesy of Shiprock Gallery. Visit: www.shiprocksantafe.com for their full product catalog of textiles, jewelry, pottery and much more. 14 t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e 16 14 t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
g a Mystery
AMY: That’s how we are today with all of our technology – always need to be mobile! Today collectors use these textiles mainly as wall hangings and area rugs— can you tell us how the Navajo originally used their weavings?
HENRY: Navajo textiles were originally woven as blankets. Chief ’s blankets and serapes were two of the most prized and popular types of blankets. In a nutshell, a chief’s blanket is wider than long and has wide alternating bands of brown and ivory, with small indigo bands. Later the chief’s blanket developed variations including 1st phase, and Ute 1st phase, 2nd phase, and finally 3rd phase each with design differences while maintaining the background of wide alternating bands of ivory and brown. Serapes, which were favored by the Navajo themselves, were longer than wide and very often had a red background with ivory and indigo diamonds, triangles, and serrated designs. These highly prized blankets were equally important as trade items as they were as functional blankets . . . they were always very expensive and only the most prestigious individuals could afford to own them. AMY: One of the things that amazed me when I first learned about the actual process is that the weavers keep count of the stitches in their head! Some of these designs are incredibly complicated and can be very large in size! Can you talk about this process in more detail and the sophisticated STEM skills needed to create such beautiful works of art?
HENRY: Cultural perspective is unique to all traditional cultures. Weaving was what they did and learned from a mother, 16
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
grandmother, sister, whomever—it was part of who they were and what they did. There is no doubt that the skill set you are referencing is indeed present, but the perspective is different. There is a Navajo term, “Hozho” that means harmony and balance, a very important concept for the finished product. As westerners/Americans, we tend to compartmentalize our lives, behaviors, tasks, whatever. Their lives, I think, are more fluid, more whole if you will. It is more like the finished product as opposed to the sum of the parts. AMY: This is such an amazing perspective and you’re absolutely RIGHT! I was so focused on this single idea of the weavers being brilliant mathematicians (which they are), I forgot to consider ALL the skills involved and that transcending this compar tmentalization is what elevates it to art. Thank you! Now, I have to ‘represent’: Women and minorities have always been underrepresented in STEM fields, but I’ve heard that the Navajo weavers are mainly women. Is that true?
HENRY: Historically women were almost exclusively the weavers. In the late 19th century, a “medicine man” Hosteen Klah, began engaging in an otherwise female - dominated art form. Still today, women make up the vast majority of weavers. AMY: So it’s fair to say that some of the first STEM pioneers in North America were women (laughing)?
HENRY: (smiling) Sure.
AMY: Living in Santa Fe, NM I’ve seen some antique weavings from the 1800s sell for as much as $150,000. As an art dealer and expert, what criteria do you use to judge the value of a textile?
HENRY: The most important criteria I use to judge the value of a Navajo textile are age, yarns (materials), condition, size and last but definitely not least aesthetics. I mention aesthetics last only because if the first ones I mentioned don’t pass the test, than I won’t even bother to analyze the balance of design, or the proportions, or consistency of color, etc. Remember I usually concentrate on antique examples. AMY: So condition can be more important then aesthetics when measuring value?
HENRY: Absolutely. If it’s stained and/or unraveling, it’s not going to have market value, but it can still be beautiful. AMY: So when and how were Navajo textiles ‘discovered’ by non-Native Americans and recognized as art?
HENRY: At the end of the 19th century, as American institutions began purchasing material culture for their collections. The Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and even the Fred Harvey Company were all collecting Navajo blankets by the 1890s if not earlier. Even today, Classic-period Navajo blankets are one of the 10 or so true icons of antique Native American art, extremely desirable for institutions as well as private collectors.
AMY: Okay Henry, one last question and it’s something I struggle with because I know I’m too close to the issue. There’s debate in the STEM world that the acronym STEM doesn’t resonate with people. Given your expertise in the art world, do you think there is any value in rethinking how we describe this work and the use/need for STEM skills across multiple disciplines?
HENRY: Here is a perfect example of how we as a society compartmentalize our world. We choose to include some things while ignoring other things, not necessarily ignoring them but categorizing them differently, emphasizing differences instead of commonalities. We do it over and over again, race, age, religion, politics, sex, economics, etc., etc. I am a firm believer in the more information the better, the more experiences we can draw from, the better decisions we can make, the more beneficial for all. n Henry C. Monahan is the Director of Morning Star Gallery, a premiere gallery dealing in antique Native American art as well as Modern Masters of native American art and New Mexican antiques. He studied anthropology at Colorado State University and moved to Santa Fe in 1989 to continue his career in the mecca of this important area of American art. His specialties include Plains beadwork, Pueblo pottery and Southwestern textiles. Mr. Monahan regularly consults for private collectors, institutions, publications and colleagues. Visit Morning Star Gallery at: www.morningstargallery.com
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
Skills vs. Content: Blowing Education Wide Open By Merrilea J. Mayo, PhD
BOUT 5% OF THE U.S. workforce labors in STEM occupations; 80% of these workers are in IT or Engineering.i This means we are teaching Chemistry, Physics, and Biology to 100% of U.S. students for the benefit of the less than 1% who will ever need this content knowledge. If we are truly determined to teach only content, we should be replacing all our physics, biology, and chemistry classes with Computer Science and Intro to Engineering classes, because four times as many (4% vs <1%) of the U.S. population will work in those fields. But there is an even better way: teach skills. The best of what science and engineering have to offer is a way of looking at the world that is different from, and complementary to, the humanities. Scientists will argue until they are blue that their toolset and skills are indispensable for nearly any job, and even for everyday life. But that is not what is taught. Nor is it what we measure. For some incomprehensible reason, we are caught in an 18th century compulsion to acquire specialized knowledge, as if knowledge were still only available in the private libraries of the very rich or on manuscripts in monasteries. This is what we test for. At the same time, every 21st century survey of employers (e.g., Refs, ii, iii) bemoans lack of skills, not lack of knowledge. For our STEM workforce needs and our 18
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
public literacy needs, we need a common skills core, not a common content core. What are the STEM-specific foundational skills? The National Academies report, National Science Education Standards,iv strongly recommends science education be considered the development of inquiry skills. It briefly alludes to the fact that engineering has a primary skill set as well, namely design. Each of the above skills can be subdivided into component sub-skills; these sub-skills are sufficiently well-defined as to be testable. For example, The National Science Education Standardsv breaks down inquiry into the following skills: Making observations Posing questions n Examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known n Planning investigations n Reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence n Using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data n Proposing answers, explanations, and predictions n Communicating the results n n
Tests to see whether people can make observations already exist – note the observation test offered by ACT/WorkKeys® (which, by the way, is a key skill in over
640 classes of jobs that have been skillprofiledvi ). Similarly, the Educational Testing Service developed a prototype test that addresses the third bullet in the above list, extracting information from written resources.vii The ETS exam accomplishes this by tracking people’s use of search terms and hyperlinks as they try to find information necessary to solve a problem. From the relevance of the search terms and the sequence of hyperlinks used, it is possible to determine, for example, if the individual is randomly searching, just hoping something useful will show up, or whether she is engaged in purposeful hypothesis-driven search and therefore is likely to arrive at a relevant answer far more quickly. The latter approach generates a higher test score for “extracting information from written resources.” What is interesting about a skills framework is that most skills are universal; they are content- and job-agnostic. After having experts profile 16,000 different jobs, ACT found nearly 100% contained 3 or more of the following 5 skills: observation, listening, reading, applied math, locating information (literacy in charts, graphs, & diagrams).viii, ix, x Learning a few key skills prepares you for any job, not just the <1% we are currently steering our youth towards. Teaching and testing via a skills framework blows open education. If the high stakes tests become skill-centered,
ABOUT 5% OF THE U.S. WORKFORCE LABORS IN STEM OCCUPATIONS; 80% OF THESE WORKERS ARE IN I.T. OR ENGINEERING. THIS MEANS WE ARE TEACHING CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS AND BIOLOGY TO 100% OF U.S. STUDENTS FOR THE BENEFIT OF LESS THAN 1% WHO WILL EVER NEED THIS CONTENT KNOWLEDGE.
to advance education and workforce. Previously, Dr. Mayo was the Director of Future of Learning Initiatives at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. From 2001-2006, Dr. Mayo was director of the Government-University-Industry Roundtable (GUIRR) of the National Academies. Portions of this essay were taken from the ITIF report by Robert D. Atkinson and Merrilea J. Mayo, Refueling the U.S. Innovation Economy: Fresh Approaches to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, Washington DC: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 2010. Available at http://www.itif.org/publications/refueling-us-innovation-economy-fresh-approaches-stem-education i
teachers would receive credit for innovative, integrative approaches, such as teaching mathematical modeling of demographic shifts in social studies class or stressing oral communication skills (formerly relegated to the debate elective) in science class. The assessments will show visible skill improvements regardless of the content vehicle through which they are taught. All students require STEM skills. They could now get them without necessarily taking STEM classes. While the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which authored the National Science Education Standards, strongly recommended inquiry be the focal point of science instruction, the NAS fell short of the mark by not giving any means by which to measure student progress in developing inquiry skills. And, since what is measured is what is delivered, it is no surprise that we have failed as a society to deliver inquiry-based science education.
We recommend, therefore, that the NAS work with a testing organization such as ACT or ETS to develop an explicit test of a student’s progress in developing inquiry skills, using the above list of steps as a starting point for conceptualizing the test content. The National Academy of Engineering should do the same for all the subcomponents of the skill design. Once these high stakes tests are in place, federal and state funding for STEM curricula and STEM schools could be tied to the recipient institution’s public posting of aggregate student scores on these tests. Restructuring college admission criteria, particularly in STEM disciplines, around the STEM skills test scores would also motivate the adoption of these tests by high schools. n Dr. Merrilea J. Mayo is the founder of Mayo Enterprises, LLC. Dr. Mayo is a recognized expert in STEM education, workforce development and data
Robert D. Atkinson and Merrilea J. Mayo, “Refueling the U.S. Innovation Economy: Fresh Approaches to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education,” Washington DC: Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 2010. Available at http://www.itif.org/ publications/refueling-us-innovation-economy-fresh-ap proaches-stem-education . ii Are They Really Ready to Work? New York: The Conference Board, 2006. Available at http://www.p21.org/documents/FINAL_REPORT_PDF09-29-06.pdf iii P21 Framework Definitions. Tucson, AZ: Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009. available at http://www.p21.org/documents/P21_Framework_Definitions.pdf iv http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=4962 v http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=4962 vi http://act.org/workkeys/charts/observ.html vii http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid =2007466 part of the 2003 NAEP Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments (TRE) Study viii ACT, WorkKeys Occupational Opportunities. Iowa City, IA: ACT, 2009. Also available at http://www.papartners.org/Occupational-Oppbrochure.pdf ix ACT, WorkKeys Occupational Opportunities. Iowa City, IA: ACT, 2009. Also available at http://www.papartners.org/Occupational-Oppbrochure.pdf x Job Center of Wisconsin, “Build a Quality Workforce,” http://www.wisconsinjobcenter.org/ncrc/
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
EDUC ATI ON A ND ECONOMI C D EVE LOPME NT
Death of a Graveyard Lt. Governor Walter Dalton brings new life to education in North Carolina
OST OF US WENT TO school with what I call the “graveyard method”—students lined up in desks and expected to be quiet. That might have worked out pretty well in the 20th century. Not anymore. Like many states, North Carolina is undergoing a change that requires a renewed dedication to education and training. Jobs in the 21st century require much more skill, knowledge, and training than the manufacturing and farming jobs of the past. As the economy transforms, so must our schools. In reforming education, a top goal should be aligning education and workforce development so that students are prepared for higher education or skilled jobs. As lieutenant governor, I worked to create the Joining Our Business and Schools (JOBS) Commission, which is establishing innovative high schools to further unite the goals of education with economic development. We’ve opened schools focused on language and global studies near our largest military community and are preparing to open a bioscience/agribusiness school in a rural part of the state.
Almost 2/3 of all jobs will require post-secondary credentials, almost half will require STEM skills.
What we’ve heard most from employers is the need for skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In fact, almost 2/3 of all jobs will require post-secondary credentials, almost half will require STEM skills. Last summer, we cut the ribbon on a new STEM high school in partnership with North Carolina State University’s renowned engineering program. The school will allow students to earn both a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit at the conclusion of the five-year program and will work with area engineering and energy firms to help students develop skills in these crucial industries. The JOBS Commission also successfully pushed the passage of the first statewide STEM education plan. Going even further, North Carolina just launched a new statewide STEM Learning Network in partnership with our public schools, community colleges, public universities, and private businesses to harness our state’s vast STEM resources and make them accessible to advance STEM education for all North Carolina students. All of these initiatives share one thing in common: innovation. I visited a STEM school not too long ago where I asked a young student what he wanted to do when he grew up and his response was, “I want to be a rocket
scientist.” That’s dreaming big and that’s what North Carolina needs. We’re declaring the graveyard method dead. n Walter Dalton, the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina has a passion for pairing education and innovation, pushing legislation to reduce class size, bringing accountability back to the classroom and increasing teacher pay. He also authored the Innovative Education Act and created North Carolina's early college system, which was recently named one of the top 50 innovative programs by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Prior to his election as Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Dalton served six terms in the North Carolina Senate.
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
www.dol.gov/SummerJobs/ A new call-to-action for businesses, non-profits, and government to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. Today, there are more than 6 million young adults out of school and out of work, and they have talents and aspirations just like young people from every generation. Today, employers face a skills gap that makes it difficult to find people with the skills they need. We can solve both of these challenges by providing training and other pathways to employment for these young people so that they become a new source of skilled and diverse talent.
Join with employers across the country that are providing opportunities for these young adults through a range of programs including job shadowing, mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, summer jobs and year round employment.
To make a committment, please go to:
STEM and Workforce: Strengthening Our Supply Chain By Susan Lavrakas
USAN LAVRAKAS interviews Ed Swallow, Chair of the STEM Workforce Division of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and Vice President of Business Development – Civil Systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.
help students understand what it takes to get a security clearance. 3 Hold local STEM workshops at quarterly meetings hosted in conjunction with NDIA chapters around the country. 4 Provide mentorships and internships for promising high school students.
SL: How are NDIA local chapters already involved in supporting STEM education?
SL: What is NDIA’s approach to addressing the STEM workforce issue?
ES: We view this as a supply chain problem and have a four-pronged strategy to address it. We need to intervene at each point in the supply chain where critical actions can influence the outcome: 1 Engage many associations in the Business and Industry STEM Education Coalition (BISEC), a dynamic affiliation of dozens of industry associations that represent employers of STEM professionals who have pledged to work together. One of BISEC’s goals is to double the number of STEM graduates in 10 years. Another is to achieve meaningful industry engagement in all 50 states. 2 Work with parents and schools to
ES: All chapters that want Model Chapter designation are required to have a STEM-focused effort and a STEM committee. There are currently more than a dozen model chapters, all of which are involved in building STEM networks, presenting scholarships, and creating mentorships and internships. SL: What are the objectives of the state meetings, and who should attend?
ES: The purpose for holding state meetings is to foster regional and statewide communication and identify opportunities for multi-industry collaboration and alignment to cultivate the 21st century workforce. Our objectives are: 1 To identify STEM education, skills and competency goals and determine effective ways of partnering with elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. 2 To develop a unified STEM message from industry in the state to educators, parents, students. 3 To identify best practices and implement
methods to nurture, emulate or replicate and connect high payoff programs through collaboration in a state STEM network.
We welcome attendance by: 1 Aerospace and defense company representatives with workforce development or community relations responsibilities. 2 Members of other industries with a stake in STEM education and workforce preparation. 3 STEM educators, school administrators and district supervisors. 4 Members of the academic community involved in STEM. 5 State and local education, workforce development, and economic development officials. 6 Members of the philanthropic community focused on education and workforce. 7 STEM program providers. 8 Other participants in the state’s STEM initiatives.
SL: How can other industry organizations and other stakeholders become involved?
ES: Show up! Come to our meetings, call your local NDIA chapter, join BISEC, assign someone to come to the BISEC planning meetings. We welcome your active participation. n Susan Lavrakas is Drector, Workforce, at the Aerospace Industries Association. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
t h e i n n o vat i o n i n ta k e
Published on Apr 19, 2012
Published on Apr 19, 2012
The April 2012 issue of The Innovation Intake featuring Ross Perot, Les Samuel, Jamai Blivin, Merrilea Mayo and more.