WNPR

Science

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s students are falling behind in science, technology, engineering and math. All this week WNPR is examining this problem, and its implications for our 21st century workforce. Today, Harriet Jones reports on efforts by employers to address the lack of STEM skills. 

Amy Loves Yah, Creative Commons

The idea of personalized medicine was a driving force behind the Human Genome Project. Now Connecticut might be in the driver’s seat.

Governor Malloy recently sealed the deal that will give Jackson Laboratories $291 million to build their new genomic research facility on the University of Connecticut campus in Farmington.

The Science Of Dust

Feb 13, 2012
Gilles San Martin/flickr creative commons

There was a time when nobody studied dust. In fact, two kinds of nobody studied two kinds of dust. Astronomers were annoyed by interstellar dust because it got in the way of what they were looking at. It took a long time for them to realize the dust itself was worth looking at.

Same goes for earthbound particulate dust. Dust might creep into a sample on a slide if somebody got sloppy. And that was a problem. Only recently did scientists start looking at the dust itself and even cataloging it in, off all things, a dust library.

Chion Wolf

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): Connecticut's strengths? Many of the state's employers don't think so anymore.

Listen for WNPR's week-long special investigation of STEM education:

Chion Wolf

The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest paid jobs require training in science, technology, engineering and math, also known as the STEM fields. But in Connecticut,  an estimated 1,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled because applicants lack the skills they need. 

Many middle and high school students seem to lose interest in studying STEM subjects. For our second report in a week-long series, we explore why.

16-year old Charlotte Harrison says she’s always liked math.  

Uma Ramiah

Connecticut’s unemployment rate is still over eight percent. And yet there are industries in the state that cannot find people to fill vacant jobs.

In his State of the State address last week, Governor Malloy told legislators that in many places, Conneticut’s schools are failing to teach students the kinds of skills and knowledge they need.  

A Yale University professor is among the members of a task force advising President Obama on how to produce college graduates with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on the recommendations of the task force, which were released Tuesday.

Diane Orson

Qualified students in a New Haven engineering and science magnet school will be able to attend the University of New Haven for half price or free, under a program announced on Monday. The goal is to encourage students to pursue serious study in the “STEM” areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

Speaking at Monday’s announcement, UNH President Steven Kaplan said America is lagging behind other developed nations in math and science.  

Chion Wolf

Pregnancy brings a rollercoaster of emotions for women and their partners.

Those 9 months bring parents anxiety, excitement, a sense of wonder, and joy. It's during the first trimester when mothers are first asked about whether they want to have genetic tests done to check on the baby's development.

How do parents decide if they want to undergo tests and what happens when results come back with news they weren't expecting?

Chion Wolf

From The Time Machine to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, many movies either focus on scientists or are rooted in science. As part of a national program, Hartford's Real Art Ways is trying to bring film and science even closer together.

monado, Flickr Creative Commons

If you're anything like me, your knowledge of neutrinos goes something like this:

  • They are extremely small. Smaller than other really small things.
     
  • John Updike wrote a poem about them.

There's something inherently funny about them. It might be their name. It might be something more than that. And then maybe you saw the coverage of the experiment in which neutrinos appeared to move faster than light.

CIMMYT/Flickr Creative Commons

Starting January 1, local police departments will be following a new protocol for sending evidence to the state crime lab. It's an attempt to reduce a massive backlog in the system. Mike Lawlor says it's a result of "The CSI Effect." "People have come to expect that forensic scientists can solve any crime based on evidence gathered from a crime scene. So the natural tendency is just to send up as much as you can find, and let them sort through it," Lawlor says. 

Gardener41, creative commons

Mark Demers is a Fairfield University Professor who just got a grant to study “chaos theory.” Could the gentle flap of a butterfly wing in China set off a tornado in Texas? He’ll study the evolution of systems that change over time and attempt to understand their stability and predictability.

Measuring The World

Nov 14, 2011
Chion Wolf

“A pint’s a pound, the world around.” Except...what’s a pint? And, for that matter, what’s a pound?

Here in America, we take for granted our feet, our inches, our Fahrenheit temperatures...we even watch our pounds.

But, leave this country, and it’s pretty clear we’re on an island - an island the rest of the world would measure in meters...an “international standard” that we’re still resistant to.

Ryan Wick (Flickr Creative Commons)

In a world where everything we do seems tied to science and technology, a quote like this is pretty scary:

Leon Botstein, the president of leading liberal arts college Bard, told the New York Times:

“The most terrifying problem in American university education is the profound lack of scientific literacy for the people we give diplomas to who are not scientists or engineers,”

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