Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Elementary School Robotics today at Noon EST

Gear Up Free Webinar: Robotics Program Guide for Elementary Grades
December 17, 2013 @ 10:00AM (MST)

Robotics puts excitement into STEM education for students and educators. Join us for a free, information packed, 1-hour, robotics webinar to learn the necessary steps in planning and conducting your own elementary robotics program for grades 4 - 6. From a basic understanding of robotics through program implementation, receive step by step instructions on infusing robotics into your current curriculum.
Topics covered:
  • What is Robotics
  • Robotics Engineering Concepts
  • Computer Programming for Robotics
  • STEM Unit Plan Examples
  • How to Prepare Standards Based Content for Robotics
  • Where to Focus Your Instruction Time for Each Grade
  • Robotics Program Time-line Examples

Seating is limited; reserve your seat today!


Quick Overview
Subject: Robotics Program Guide for Elementary Grades
Grades: 4-6
Date: December 17, 2013
Time: 10:00AM (MST)
Duration: 60 Minutes

"The PCS Robotics and Engineering program has been so successful and well accepted by staff and students that we are expanding it this year to accommodate the high demand, and to also capitalize on the positive impact it is making."

- Carmen Rivera,
GEAR UP Program Director

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Good discussion of recent PISA scores

I'm usually disappointed at the superficial discussions of US rankings on TIMMS and PISA scores.  The scores certainly challenge our vision of American Exceptionalism, and it is difficult for many to accept that we might not be in the top 10 (or even top 20) rankings on these international Math or Science exams.

While I'm glad we consider these data, I like to point out that there are a lot of confounding variables and other considerations that are regularly overlooked:

  1. Nearly all of the countries outranking the U.S. are mono-cultural;
  2. Nearly all of the countries outranking the U.S. are less socio-economically diverse;
  3. Nearly all of the countries outranking the U.S. have kids in schools much longer each day;
  4. Some countries outranking the U.S. have kids in schools an extra 30 days per year;
  5. Few if any countries outranking the U.S. have as much religious influence on politics;
  6. Few if any countries outranking the U.S. have as much religious influence on school policy;
  7. Few if any countries outranking the U.S. have as as many religious leaders promoting anti-intellectualism; 
  8. Many of these countries outranking the U.S. send delegations to the U.S. to learn how to promote creativity and innovation; and
  9. Few if any countries outranking the U.S. combine sports with schools!

Fareed Zakaria leads one of the most thoughtful discussions I've heard recently.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Federal Legislative Updates from the STEM Education Coalition

Here is the latest update on recent Coalition’s activities and related policy developments in the STEM education world.  Follow us  @StemEdCoalition.

House Science Hearing Testimony on America COMPETES Act:  The November 11 hearing at House Science went smoothly by all accounts, with Executive Director James Brown testifying on behalf of the Coalition.   Roughly half the hearing focused on research issues, with the other half covered several STEM ed topics, along with a smattering of other issues.  It was well attended, with more than a dozen members making an appearance and a full audience.  The hearing also created a lot of chatter on Twitter and other social media for the Coalition as well.    Watch a webcast of the hearing here. 

It’s Computer Science Education Week:  Tens of thousands of schools are hosting Hour of Code events in their classrooms and President ObamaArne DuncanEric Cantor, and Newt Gingrich released videos to kickoff the week.  Find out more here. 

Update on House STEM Competition:  Before Thanksgiving, the House Administration Committee adopted a resolution to set the formal regulations that will govern the new House STEM Competition, which was established back in February in a vote of 411-0.  More details on the competition:

Bill for STEM experiences for underepresented students

Rep. Kennedy & Sen. Gillibrand plan to introduce a bill Tuesday that would create a Dept. of Ed grant program to increase STEM exposure and experiences to under-represented K-12 students.  They are seeking organizational support.  Attached is a section by section and a letter of support from MOS/NCTL. The final bill language will be out Tuesday

If your organization would like to support their efforts, just emailCaroline.Darmody@mail.house.gov in Rep. Kennedy’s office.


STEM Opportunities Act
Representative Joseph P. Kennedy and Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
To increase the participation of women, girls, and underrepresented minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, to encourage and support students from all economic backgrounds to pursue STEM career opportunities, and for other purposes. 

Section 1. Short Title.
STEM Opportunities Act

Section 2. Findings.
The makeup of the US STEM workforce does not reflect the diversity of our nation.  While STEM fields are projected to continue creating high-quality job opportunities and driving economic growth, many segments of the American workforce have subpar access to these opportunities and are underrepresented in the pipeline of STEM workers. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Carnevale study of median reported earnings by college major

from USA Today:

Georgetown findings determine college major has significant impact on future income.

Emily Atteberry, USATODAY  December 6, 2013
 To what extent does your college major dictate your future income? Very much so, according to recent research conducted by Anthony P. Carnevale, Jeff Strohl and Michelle Meltonan at Georgetown University.  

The team interviewed hundreds of full-time employees holding various bachelor 's degrees and calculated each area of study's median reported earnings.

The range of earnings is staggering. The highest-paid area of study—petroleum engineering—makes $91,000 (134%) more than the lowest-paid area, counseling psychology.

The researchers wrote that income isn't the only thing to consider when selecting a major, but hoped their research would help students make educated financial decisions.

Check out the team's entire findings here.

Top 10 highest-paid college majors
1. Petroleum Engineering: $120,000
2. Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration: $105,000
3. Mathematics and Computer Science: $98,000
4. Aerospace Engineering: $87,000
5. Chemical Engineering: $86,000
6. Electrical Engineering: $85,000
7. Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering: $82,000
8. Mechanical Engineering: $80,000
9. Metallurgical Engineering: $80,000
10. Mining and Mineral Engineering: $80,000

Top 10 lowest-paid college majors
1. Counseling Psychology: $29,000
2. Early Childhood Education: $36,000
3. Theology and Religious Vocations: $38,000
4. Human Services and Community Organization: $38,000
5. Social Work: $39,000
6. Drama and Theater Arts: $40,000
7. Studio Arts: $40,000
8. Communication Disorders Sciences and Service: $40,000
9. Visual and Performing Arts: $40,000
10. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs: $40,000

Monday, December 2, 2013

WP: German approach to technical apprenticeships in the US

from the November 28 Washington Post front page:

Recasting high school, German firms transplant apprentice model to U.S.

(Nanine Hartzenbusch/ For The Washinton Post ) - Baron Caber, left, a machinist, works with Hope Johnson, right, a third year apprentice at the Siemens plant in Charlotte, N.C. Johnson was offered a life-defining choice by Siemens, the German industrial conglomerate: drop everything, enroll in a European-style apprenticeship, and get a free technical education and a job in return.

CHARLOTTE — As a high school junior, Hope Johnson thought she had things figured out. She’d been hit with wanderlust during an academic trip to Brazil, set her sights on London’s Richmond University and hoped to pursue a career in diplomacy.
It was just the kind of white-collar job that would take her far from the confines of this Southern city and please her dad, an elevator repairman who wanted his daughter to graduate from a four-year college.
That was before the 16-year-old was offered a life-defining choice by Siemens, the German industrial conglomerate: Drop everything, enroll in a competitive European-style apprenticeship, and get a free technical education and a job in return.
Johnson opted for the job. The allure of traditional college life was strong, she said, “but you gotta pay the bills.”
Now, she’s learning to work with formless metal on a high-tech factory floor as part of a program that some see as an answer to one of the chief challenges facing the U.S. economy: Why, when so many people, particularly the young, are looking for work, do high-level manufacturing jobs at places like Siemens go unfilled? The country has the world’s most extensive and sophisticated system of higher education, yet top executives warn of a crisis in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines considered to be at the core of global economic competitiveness.
German companies such as Siemens in Charlotte or Wacker Chemical, which is building a working model of its polysilicon plant to train potential employees at Chattanooga State Community College, say German-style apprenticeship programs might help untie the knot.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fairfax County Resolution on Assessment

Agenda Item Details

Meeting:    Nov 18, 2013 - Regular Meeting No. 8
Category:   Meeting Opening - 7 p.m.
Subject:     Fairfax County School Board Resolution on State Assessment and
                 Accountability Reform
Type:        Action

Fairfax County School Board

     WHEREAS, in recent years the proliferation of high stakes standardized testing and the increasing role played by those test scores in key educational policy decisions, while well intentioned, has resulted in a narrowing of the instructional mission of schools, and caused a focus on compliance rather than on fostering a love of learning and instilling a culture of constant instructional improvement; and

     WHEREAS, Virginia’s students must currently take thirty-four criterion-referenced Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments between grades three and eleven, greatly increasing the amount of time spent by students and teachers on taking and managing assessments rather than on learning and teaching, with little evidence that students are better prepared to succeed in college and in their chosen careers by having taken such a volume of tests; little research to verify the usefulness and accuracy of Virginia’s method of relying upon SOL test results to measure growth in student achievement; and little research to verify that Virginia’s method of measuring student growth provides a valid and reliable indicator of teacher, principal and superintendent performance; and

     WHEREAS, the current Standards of Learning and their associated assessments are still largely focused on information recall and do not adequately address the acquisition and mastery of the skills required for students to be successful in the 21st Century such as innovation, literacy, collaboration, critical analysis, creative thinking, problem solving, and communication; and

     WHEREAS, what occurs in classrooms every day should be student-centered and result in learning at a deep and meaningful level with opportunities for students to cultivate their unique individual talents, provide options for students that are designed to respect how they learn best, and embrace the concept that students can be both consumers and creators of knowledge;  as opposed to the superficial level of learning that results from the current over-emphasis on that which can be easily measured by standardized tests; and

     WHEREAS, we recognize the need for and support accountability and transparency in public schools, but believe that such accountability should be designed to appropriately assess the achievement of all students, provide educationally-valuable information, recognize the roles of students, parents, teachers and schools in those results, and which can be leveraged to improve educational policy and practice;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Fairfax County School Board calls on the Virginia General Assembly and Virginia Board of Education to reexamine Virginia’s public school assessments and the system of accountability for which they form the basis to ensure that the state’s assessment system provides educationally-valuable information, is reliable, valid, fair, and nonintrusive on the learning process and allows for the measurement of the acquisition and mastery of “21st Century Skills;” and

     ALSO, BE IT RESOLVED that such a reexamination to improve the current accountability and assessment system should potentially include a consideration of the use of statistically valid sampling techniques as utilized by assessments such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), opportunities to allow students to forgo standardized assessments in certain years based on previous high achievement levels, and expanded use of internationally benchmarked assessments as a substitute for SOL assessments.

Motion & Voting

adopt the Fairfax County School Board resolution on state assessment and accountability reform

Motion by Ryan McElveen, second by Theodore Velkoff.
Final Resolution: Motion Carries
Yes: Jane K Strauss, Sandra S Evans, Elizabeth Schultz, Ryan McElveen, Kathy L Smith, Tamara D Kaufax - Vice Chairman, Ilryong Moon - Chairman, Megan McLaughlin, Patricia Hynes, Patricia S Reed, Theodore Velkoff, Daniel G Storck

Monday, November 18, 2013

Excella and WIT present she++

from Kara Redmann of Excella via Mary Van Dyke:
Did you know that only 18% of undergraduate degrees in computer science go to women? This is contributing to a growing skills shortage, as we lose young women who could be the programmers, technical architects, and data designers of tomorrow.
she++ is a documentary by two Stanford computer science undergraduates that investigates this critical issue. The documentary has been screened in 13 countries and covered in magazines like Forbes- and now Excella and WIT are bringing it to DC.
Join Excella Consulting and Women in Technology (WITon Thursday, December 12thfrom 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM for a screening of the she++ documentary and a panel discussion with local industry leaders.
This event is free to all attendees and will be held at the Navy League Building in Arlington. Food and refreshments will be provided. 
To sign up, please visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6587185449/eorg
Our list of panelists includes:
  • Dr. Erin Fitzgerald - Director of the Minerva Research Initiative in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Hoover - Chief Technology Officer for the Alexandria City Public Schools.
  • Angela Drummond - Founder and CEO of SiloSmashers, a federal strategy and management consulting firm.
  • Dr. Jan Plane - Senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland.
Additional panelists will be announced on the Eventbrite signup page as they are confirmed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mary Ellen Henderson First LEGO League Tournament

The Mary Ellen Henderson First LEGO League tournament took place this weekend in Falls Church, with over 400 participants. 
The Wolfbots from Arlington's Williamsburg Middle School pictured below were 5th out of 24 in the robotics competition (second overall in the 7th-8th grade age group)and received the Judges Award.  Coach Robb Dudek is also Arlington's lead teacher in VEX Robotics.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hoffman-Boston's Stargazing Event

One of the most ambitious STEM schools in our area, Hoffman-Boston Elementary School in Arlington, held a Stargazing event on November 7 for the school community.  The night began with a dinner in the cafeteria, then a welcome from Principal Kimberley Graves and Links representatives Jackie Bolden and Marion Spraggins.

NASA Administrator and Retired Marine Corps Major General Frank Bolden Jr. and Deputy Director Colleen Hartman made remarks to those present.

After additional comments from Goddard Astronomy Club President Joe Novotka, the participants rotated through great Astronomy-based experiences inside and out.  Members of the NOVA Astronomy Club were in the small field beside the school to take advantage of the clear sky for viewing the moon and nearby galaxies.

Astronomy Club members welcomed visitors to take photos with their smartphones through the many telescopes available.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Real World Design Challenge on Precision Agriculture

Sign your team up for the 2013-2014 Real World Design Challenge on Precision Agriculture! 

Precision Agriculture Challenge:

This year's challenge will be focused on the design and implementation of a UAS to support precision agriculture, specifically the monitoring and assessment of crop conditions to achieve increased yield. The teams will employ a systems engineering design and integration approach and support their work with a business case. Students will learn engineering principle through a inquiry-based approach in a highly interactive and experiential setting.

The Challenge details are now posted on www.realworlddesignchallenge.org and on the Getting Started Page.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Arlington's Taylor Elementary is recognized for Arts integration

21st Century Curriculum | October 2013 Digital Edition

For These Schools, Adding Arts to STEM Boosts Curriculum

Adding the arts to a STEM curriculum engages students who might otherwise have been left behind
This article originally appeared in T.H.E. Journal's October 2013 digital edition.
painting of a leaf & a bug
A STEAM project at Taylor Elementary was painting the life cycle of flowers in the style of Georgia O'Keefe.
Say you're the principal of a school that has been hit by an F5 tornado. No one is hurt, thank goodness, but teachers, students, and staff must move to a temporary school while your damaged school is repaired. Do you try to simply achieve a sense of normalcy during two years of displacement?
Many principals would. And who would blame them? But Deron Cameron, principal of University Place Elementary School in Tuscaloosa, AL, saw the calamity caused by the April 2011 twister as an opportunity to do more. Armed with grants and donations from around the country, Cameron was determined to not only bring back some of the students his school had lost when the school moved, but to turn the misfortune into an advantage. "We met last year as a faculty and said, 'When we go back into our building, we don't want to do the same-old-same-old. We need to research some practices so it can be a win-win for our students,'" Cameron says.
After investigating a handful of educational approaches that ranged from Montessori to STEM, Cameron and his faculty settled on STEAM, a curriculum based on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics--plus the arts. "We liked the arts in STEAM," Cameron says. "Our students have great creativity. We saw that the creativity of STEAM would add another facet."
Other schools are taking up the STEAM approach, even without the hardship of displacement and rebuilding. They come to STEAM because they believe the arts are important, or because they want to reach all of their students, not just the ones who thrive on straight academics.
Jeremy Ferrara, who teaches fourth grade at Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, VA, says that his "aha moment" came one Saturday a couple of years ago, when he watched a student from his class creating scenery for a school musical. "This kid wasn't very strong academically," Ferrara says. "I watched him working on the set for two hours, while he measured the cardboard and lined up the pieces. I didn't talk to him, I just watched. He was completely into it. And in the end, everything came out perfectly symmetrical. It just opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn't reaching this kid the right way."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Integrating Science (Fiction) into Art

Integrating Art into STEM (for STEAM) always seemed less tangible to me than integrating STEM into Art (you pick the acronym or initialism). But I think that inviting students to re-create famous paintings with new features is a brilliant way to acknowledge polymathy and overlapping interests.

from Alice's Blog on My Modern Met

Star Wars Characters Invade Thomas Kinkade Paintings

What do you get when you mix the idyllic pastel paintings by Thomas Kinkade with characters from Star Wars? Something hilariously original! Artist Jeff Bennett recently created an awesome series called War on Kinkade that shows what happens when stormtroopers, AT-ATs, and Imperial Star Destroyers attack the incredibly sweet American scenes Kinkade is famous for, which include beautiful gardens, streams, stone cottages and bridges.

You've just got to love Technabob's description of these, "It’s as if the Empire has invaded a quiet Christmas village and turned it into an Imperial base."

You couldn't go into a mall in America without seeing a Thomas Kinkade painting sold somewhere. The recently deceased painter was claimed to be "America's most-collected living artist" before his death, with an estimated 1 in every 20 American homes owning a copy of one of his paintings.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Math and the Power of Myth

from Quartz, thanks to Steven N.

     power of myth

There’s one key difference between kids who excel at math and those who don’t

“I’m just not a math person.”

We hear it all the time. And we’ve had enough. Because we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children—the myth of inborn genetic math ability.

Is math ability genetic? Sure, to some degree. Terence Tao, UCLA’s famous virtuoso mathematician, publishes dozens of papers in top journals every year, and is sought out by researchers around the world to help with the hardest parts of their theories. Essentially none of us could ever be as good at math as Terence Tao, no matter how hard we tried or how well we were taught. But here’s the thing: We don’t have to! For high school math, inborn talent is just much less important than hard work, preparation, and self-confidence.

How do we know this? First of all, both of us have taught math for many years—as professors, teaching assistants, and private tutors. Again and again, we have seen the following pattern repeat itself:

Different kids with different levels of preparation come into a math class. Some of these kids have parents who have drilled them on math from a young age, while others never had that kind of parental input.
  1. On the first few tests, the well-prepared kids get perfect scores, while the unprepared kids get only what they could figure out by winging it—maybe 80 or 85%, a solid B.
  2. The unprepared kids, not realizing that the top scorers were well-prepared, assume that genetic ability was what determined the performance differences. Deciding that they “just aren’t math people,” they don’t try hard in future classes, and fall further behind.
  3. The well-prepared kids, not realizing that the B students were simply unprepared, assume that they are “math people,” and work hard in the future, cementing their advantage.
Thus, people’s belief that math ability can’t change becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Energy Journey Game this Weekend


Energy Journey Game

October 26, 2013
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Gunston Middle School
2700 S Lang Street
Arlington, Virginia 22206
Join us on Saturday, October 26 and be a player (or volunteer) in our life-size energy board game! Challenge yourself on everyday actions that have an energy impact as you journey down a path of decisions and chance! Open to all ages. The Game takes about an hour play. Come play anytime between 1pm and 4pm.

TechShop is Coming to Crystal City

Connie J. Zheng
North of Nine Communications
(415) 268-4821

TechShop to Begin Construction on D.C. Area Location in Fall 2013
New “maker space” in Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood to be an innovation hub for the region
MENLO PARK, Calif. , October 22, 2013 -- TechShop, a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) creative workshop and fabrication studio, today announced that construction on a Washington, D.C. area facility will begin later this year. The new location in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Va. is made possible by a continued partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The Crystal City location is targeted to open to the public in the first quarter of 2014.

“TechShop energizes local communities and economies because our members have the passion to actually build their dreams, whether they’re personal projects or startups. And we’re very excited to activate the makers of Crystal City and the larger Washington area,” said Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop. “We’re pleased to work with our government and development partners who made it possible to bring the tools of innovation to the people around our nation’s capital, and especially the programs designed to help men and women who have served in our armed forces.”

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Academy for female programmers: a model for our region?

From last month on GeekWire, a model for our area?

Hey, lady coders: Ada Developers Academy wants to turn you into an all-star programmer — for free!

Ada Developers Academy (Ada) is offering up a free, intensive 24-week class designed to teach women everything from Ruby on Rails to HTML/CSS to JavaScript. Once instruction is completed, students will be placed in a six-month apprenticeship with a local tech company to apply their newly-learned skills.

Elise Worthy, a Seattle-based developer, is Ada’s program manager and said she’s passionate about helping more women learn how to code.   “We’re really excited about our first class,” she said. “We’ll be directly addressing the gender imbalance in software as well as the pay gap in Seattle.”
Elise Worthy, Ada Developers Academy Program Manager.
Elise Worthy
Ada Developers Academy Program Manager.

Operating as a non-profit project of the Technology Alliance, the academy has already raised a good chunk of money from the Washington State’s Department of Commerce and local sponsors. But it is looking to bring in an additional $35,000 through an IndieGoGo campaign to cover costs like classroom rent and supplies.

Ada, named after one of the first programmers ever and Geek Madness participant Ada Lovelace, will still launch if the IndieGoGo doesn’t reach its goal. However, the program may be delayed and/or admit fewer students. The first cohort is expected to be around 15-to-20 programmers, but Ada wants to eventually graduate 80-to-100 per year.

If you’re interested in Ada, head here to apply. You must be a woman, not have prior programming experience and own a Mac laptop. Applications (were) accepted through Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. PST.

Reach staff reporter Taylor Soper at taylor@geekwire.com or on Twitter @Taylor_Soper. Follow us on Twitter @GeekWire.

AIA/NDIA DC STEM Call-to-Action Forum

471A - AIA/NDIA DC STEM Call-to-Action Forum

AIA/NDIA DC STEM Call-to-Action Forum October 28-29, 2013 Washington, DC www.ndia.org/meetings/471A

Mr. Mike Hydeck, Anchor, WUSA*9 and Mr. Jim Dinegar, President and CEO, Greater Washington Board of Trade are confirmed to speak at the upcoming AIA/NDIA DC STEM Call-to-Action Forum being held October 28-29, 2013 at the Patton Boggs facility in Washington, DC.

To view the full agenda, please visit www.ndia.org/meetings/471A and click the agenda tab.

The primary purpose of our quarterly meetings is to engage in local dialogues about how we can increase the quality of STEM education; the quantity of STEM educated graduates that are eligible for employment in the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industries; and the amount and effectiveness of engagement by A&D employers, working in partnership with others in their communities.

Don't miss your opportunity to hear from other top industry executives and educators on STEM in the D.C. area and around the country. Register today!

To register, please visit www.ndia.org/meetings/471A.

Book Release next Wednesday

Register at this online form

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ireland-Based Game-Making Competetion welcoming Northern Virginia students

October 21: Deadline for Individual Registration (flexible)

We’d love to have some participants from the US take part in this challenge. I’ve attached the poster for This Is Not A Game (www.thisisnotagame.org). The basic idea is for kids between the ages of 14-18 to create games with a social conscience. We are using ocean awareness as our main theme.   

The kids will form teams (or be assigned teams) with 2 – 5 team members. We’ll webcast a launch event in Dublin, Ireland on October 29 that will give an overview of the project and deadlines. We’ll also have a number of guest speakers (including Tierney) to talk about the importance of the marine topics as well as using creative forms to highlight important issues.

The kids will be given workshops on the following platforms: Gamemaker (for windows), Game Salad (for Mac), and Project Anarchy (more advanced – for mobile). If the kids want to program on another platform, that’s absolutely fine. We will be pitching this at all skill levels and for kids with a variety of interests including:
  • computer programming (to write the code for the game using provided software or software of your choosing)
  • art (to choose the visual design of the game)
  • marine sciences (to create the story of the game)
  • marketing (to help create a trailer and other marketing material for the game)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

2013 Girls Rock: Emerging Young Leaders Empowerment

2013 Girls Rock: Emerging Young Leaders Empowerment Conference

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Xi Zeta Omega Chapter

Saturday, November 16, 2013 from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Washington, DC


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gunston MS (Arlington) Ecosystems Project

Reposted from the Green STEM Learning Blog by Mary Van Dyke:

Learning from Trees:Gunston Middle School Tree Ecosystems Project and Project Learning Tree Webinar

 Here is a Arlington Public Schools GreenScene film of the three-day Tree Ecosystem Study I co-facilitated with Luz Chamorro at Gunston Middle School in September as a catalyst for student stewardship projects.
The movie shows Day 3 where classes are going out to look at three stations to evaluate the ecosystems of trees on the hillside.

On Day 1 students drew their Favorite Tree and we learned about products from trees, Goods from the Woods and also recapped Tree Biology - how a tree works inside and out.

Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP)

Keeping STEM Talent in Virginia

The Virginia Commonwealth
STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP)

With an increasing demand for skilled STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workers in Virginia, the development of efficient pathways between undergraduate students pursuing STEM degrees and industry has become an urgent need. With support from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) in partnership with Virginia’s Regional Technology Councils, and in collaboration with Virginia companies, Virginia colleges, and community colleges, has created the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP). CSIIP links undergraduate STEM students to paid summer internship positions with companies throughout Virginia.
This program offers a one-stop, centralized, online internship application system that provides Virginia's undergraduate STEM majors the ability to search and apply for STEM-related (summer/fall/spring) paid internship opportunities with participating Virginia-based companies that can search our database of prescreened student applications for specific skills, experience, educational background, interests and desired work locations to find the best possible candidates for their paid summer internships. Companies select students, make offers, and employ interns directly.  

Important Internship Highlights

There is no cost for students or companies to utilize this online service.
Please use the appropriate link StudentsCompanies or Colleges for program access.
CSIIP has the strong support of the Center for Innovative Technology and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Virtual field trip at the Autodesk Gallery

   PLTW - Project Lead The Way

Virtual field trip TOMORROW.  Join Discovery Education for a virtual field trip at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. Explore the world of innovative design: http://bit.ly/1cs4d7R

U.S. adults lag most countries in literacy, math and computer skills

We regularly hear elected officials and broadcast journalists misrepresent international comparisons in math and science with complete disregard for all confounding variables, but this article also identifies the real culprit, highlighted by Layton in a previous article:  achievement gaps.

From today's Washington Post:

Policymakers and politicians who wring their hands about the mediocre performance of U.S. students on international math and reading tests have another worry: The nation’s grown-ups aren’t doing much better.
A first-ever comparison of adults in the United States and those in other democracies found that Americans were below average when it comes to skills needed to compete in the global economy.
The survey, released Tuesday, measured the literacy, math and computer skills of about 5,000 U.S. adults between ages 16 and 65, and compared them with similar samples of adults from 21 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC).

Cyber Education Symposium in Arlington, VA - November 19-20, 2013

The Cyber Education Symposium, will take an interdisciplinary approach to cyber education, forcing leaders and educators to understand what is taking place rather than specializing in only one area of security.  The Symposium offers a rare opportunity for the brightest minds in government (.gov), the private sector (.com), and the educational community (.edu) to convene and discuss the best practices and solutions for cybersecurity education.  

The Symposium website is here http://ncsi.com/ces/2013/index.php, and you can find  the agenda herehttp://ncsi.com/ces/2013/agenda.php.

Attendees will:
  • Gain a better understanding of how to provide cyber training to their workforce, and actually how to start that training
  • Discover the best practices, models and approaches for effective, affordable, and sustainable training
  • Hear directly from leaders in government, industry, and academia on the latest trends and challenges in the cybersecurity education and training market
  • Gather best practices covering cybersecurity program creation, financing, and performance
  • Gain a better understanding of the methods and strategies other nations are using to successfully train and educate the next generation of cyber leaders
  • Examine the State of Art in key academic areas – including curricula development, and pedagogy
  • Obtain information on different types of certifications to determine which ones add the greatest value to the workforce
  • Learn about Government programs and initiatives aimed at solving the gap of skilled cybersecurity personnel 

Current Speakers include: