Friday, March 29, 2013

Baltimore STEM Smart Workshop Resources

Resources related to the event are listed below.

1.       PLENARY PRESENTATION RECORDINGS: Recordings of the plenary presentations can be found at the following links:

·         STEM Smart: Lessons Learned From Successful Schools, Opening Remarks
·         What Everyone Should Know About Successful K-12 STEM Education
·         How Do We Make ALL Children Smart in STEM?
·         The Federal Role in Smart STEM

2.       BREAKOUT SESSION RESOURCES: The PowerPoints and handouts from the breakout sessions can be found on the Baltimore STEM Smart event page under the individual session titles in the agenda.  Visit our Resource page to read more about the resources, programs and projects represented at the Baltimore STEM Smart workshop, as well as past workshops.

3.       COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS BRIEF: In addition, attached is a brief on issues related to College and Career Readiness in STEM.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Young Scientists Challenge

Young Scientist Challenge Accepting Entries Through April 23
Don't let your students miss the chance to win $25,000!
There is only ONE MONTH LEFT to enter the 2013 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Encourage your students in grades 5-8 to create a 1-2 minute video showcasing their great idea to solve a real world problem. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. Ten national finalists will go on to work with 3M scientists to bring their innovative ideas to life and compete for $25,000! 
 All video entries must be submitted online no later than April 23, 2013.
Get Insider Tips from the 2012 Finalists!Join us for a special evening webinar to learn more about creating a winning video entry and get insider tips from previous finalists!
Two chances to join:

  • Thursday, April 4th @ 7pm ET - Register
  • Tuesday, April 16 @ 7pm ET - Register
Follow us on Facebook and @DE3MYSC on Twitter.

Cafe Scientifique - April 2

WHAT: Neuroweapons: Winning Minds and Hearts through Drugs, Bugs and Slugs

WHO: Presented by Prof. James Giordano, PhD, neuroscientist and neuroethicist, Senior Fellow and Director Center for Neurotechnology Studies (CNS), Potomac Institute for Policy Studies

ABOUT THE TOPIC: Learn about the ways in which a "neurowar" could be waged.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Café Scientifique events are held on the first Tuesday of each month unless otherwise noted.

WHERE: The atrium of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Building and The Front Page restaurant, near Ballston Metro. Located at 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203 on the ground floor of the National Science Foundation (NSF) building. Parking is available under the NSF building or at Ballston Common Mall.

HOW: Register online now
Café Scientifique is free and open to the public. Please come early to order table service and socialize. Special half-price burgers start at 5:30 p.m. Presentation begins at 6:15 p.m. followed by Q&A. No science background required – only an interest! Registration requested.

SUPPORT THIS CAFÉ: The Ballston Science and Technology Alliance, a nonprofit organization, is the sponsor of Café Scientifique Arlington. Since April 2006, the goal of Café Scientifique has been to make science more accessible and accountable by featuring speakers whose expertise spans the sciences and who can talk in plain English. Please go to and contribute. Help keep Café Scientifique open and free to all!

UPCOMING EVENTS: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 – Speaker and topic to be announced.

For more information, contact Kaye Breen at
Visit us at
Follow us on Twitter at
Find us on Facebook at
Read our blog at

Invite to the FIRST® Robotics Competition DC Regional

Invite to the FIRST® Robotics Competition DC Regional
This Friday March 29 - Saturday March 30
(Teams set up and test the robots on Thursday March 28)

If you have not seen a FIRST® Robotics competition, you are in for a treat.  There will be three teams (each with a robot) competing against three other teams.  There will be cheering, mascots, and that rare experience of a tech event imbedded in a sporting context.

It is a free and family-friendly event and open to the public, 9 - 5 PM both days.
At the Walter E Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW Washington, DC 20001

Info is on the link.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

C-Tech2 - Computers and Technology at Virginia Tech

June 30 - July 13, 2013

Whether or not you currently desire to be an engineer or scientist, this program can provide you with the technological tools and knowledge you will find useful for any career.

What is C-Tech2?

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering invites you to participate in a program called C-Tech2 - Computers and Technology at Virginia Tech. A primary focus of the program is to help develop and sustain the interests of women in engineering and the sciences. The program allows you to explore applications of engineering, math, and science in a way that is fun and exciting. You will spend the majority of your time involved in hands-on activities designed to increase your interest in and knowledge of applications of engineering, math, and science to real world situations. The target population for the program is rising junior and senior high school girls.

Video from last summer:

C-Tech2 2013 brochure

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Reading Connection Volunteers Focus on STEM

The Reading Connection promotes critical literacy in important populations in Arlington and Alexandria.  TRC coordinates volunteers who read aloud to children at shelters and community centers, donations that provide children with free, new books to keep, and  provides workshops for parents and family support workers.

On Tuesday, at a regular volunteer training program, TRC's excellent educators introduced STEM and STEM literacy strategies to nearly 30 volunteers.  TRC's Stephanie Berman led a discussion that resulted in a fascinating list of STEM phobias (pictured right).  Many ideas listed closely resemble phobias expressed by  elementary teachers and parents.

Then TRC's Eileen Hanning introduced definitions of STEM components that closely resembled those on the NSEN STEM definition page, and shared examples of very comfortable STEM connections and strategies for volunteers to consider in their planning.  Then, while exploring the many, many STEM-focused story books, the volunteers got to try many of the suggested activities.

Regular visitors will remember that a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute demonstrated that much of what has been perceived as a U.S. deficiency in international comparisons in Math and Science (TIMMS and PISA exams) is largely an result of socio-economic factors and access to books in early childhood.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

School Environmental Action Showcase - GMU


Wednesday, April 24, 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m
School Environmental Action Showcase
George Mason University, The Hub, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. 

Come see what Northern Virginia schools are doing to connect learning and nature and to green their facilities! Like last year’s inaugural Green Schools Expo, the School Environmental Action Showcase will provide a wonderful opportunity for students and teachers to show off their efforts and for schools, non-profits, parks, nature centers and environment-oriented businesses to learn about each other’s projects. Come and get inspired! Registration information for schools and exhibitors is available on the

Monday, March 18, 2013

High School Cybersecurity Fair and Expo


REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for Students, Adults and Volunteers for the High School Cybersecurity Fair and Expo in conjunction with the Annual Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition
WHO:  All high school students are encouraged to attend. Elementary & Middle school students are also invited. Parents, teachers and community members are invited to attend or volunteer.

WHAT:  Through speakers and demonstrations, participants will be immersed in an exciting learning environment with the goal of igniting interest in cybersecurity. The National CyberWatch Center partners, to include 2 and 4 year institutions with cybersecurity/information assurance programs and student organizations, and our sponsors will participate in an information fair for attendees to enjoy.

WHEN:  Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Speakers                        9:00-10:30
  • Fair and Expo             10:30-12:00
WHERE:  John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center

BACKGROUND:  While similar to other cyber defense competitions in many aspects, the Mid-Atlantic Regional CCDC, as part of the National CCDC, is unique in that it focuses on the operational aspects of managing and protecting an existing network infrastructure. The teams are physically co-located in the same building. Each team is given physically identical computer configurations at the start of the competition. Throughout the competition, the teams have to ensure the systems supply the specified services while under attack from a volunteer Red Team. In addition, the teams have to satisfy periodic "injects" that simulate business activities IT staff must deal with in the real world.

The High School Cybersecurity Fair and Expo, will allow students to see the CCDC in action, and will enable students to learn more about careers in cybersecurity, certificate and college options, scholarships, and admission processes.
***This event is FREE and open to the public***

For more information and to REGISTER, please visit

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Apply NOW for Summer Research Program for STEM Teachers at VT Center for Innovation-based Manufacturing

Virginia Tech’s Center for Innovation-based Manufacturing ( is hosting a summer research program for middle and high school STEM teachers that is sponsored by the National Science
Foundation. In this 5-week program (June 24 – July 26, 2013), teachers will work alongside faculty and students in Virginia Tech laboratories to explore cutting-edge topics in advanced manufacturing such as 3D Printing, robotic assembly, metal casting, and bio-manufacturing. In addition to research projects, participants will engage in weekly professional development activities to assist them in creating SOL-relevant curriculum that uses manufacturing as a context for teaching fundamental STEM concepts.

Participants will receive a $5,000 stipend, continuing education credit, allowances for meals and travel (and housing if need), and a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer for their classroom. Middle and high school teachers of science, technology, engineering, and math are encouraged to apply. No prior research experience is required. This is a great opportunity to see how the STEM principles you teach in the classroom are applied in university research and in the manufacturing industry.

Please see the “Research Experience for Teachers: Innovation-based Manufacturing” program website for more details on the program, stipend, and sample projects:

Please complete the online application ( by April 22, 2013.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by May 3, 2013.

Please direct questions to Dr. Chris Williams:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Award Results from the Northern Virginia Regional Science Fair

Results of Students Competing from Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church Schools:

  •  Society and Organization Awards: This is the list of awards from Societies and Organizations, current as of Friday, March 8. The Science Office is still waiting to hear from several groups on the prizes they plan to offer.  We expect a final update of this list within a week.  
  • Students nominated to participate in the  Broadcom MASTERS  program (Grades 7 & 8)

2013 Northern Virginia Regional Science and Engineering Fair Abstracts
Please note that the abstracts were pulled from the students' online registration forms and they have not been edited by the Science office.  For team projects, only one abstract is included.

Friday, March 8, 2013

GEMS Club featured in today's Post

Reposted from Kid's Post:

GEMS club helps girls get excited about science and math

Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post - Jason Cawrse shows how new locks on the Panama Canal will work. Inside the model are aluminum-foil boats made by GEMS girls at an engineering event last month at the National Building Museum.

Malavika Nair was in her element. She had shaped one piece of paper to hold 1,500 times its weight. She had dipped her hand into a bucket of water to test water pressure. Now, she was trying out software that lets kids design a virtual bridge.
This wasn’t homework or even an extra-credit assignment. Malavika and dozens of schoolmates from McNair Elementary in Herndon had come to Washington early one Saturday morning for Discover Engineering Family Day.

“This is one of the best field trips I’ve ever been on,” the sixth-grader said.
Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS), the after-school club that brought Malavika to the event at the National Building Museum, was the reason behind her excitement.
“I started liking math and science after I got into GEMS,” said Malavika, who joined last fall.
Photo: (From Elizabeth Vandenburg) - Dr. Cady Coleman, retired NASA astronaut, speaks to attendees at the Girls in STEM event held last April at the White House
That comment got a smile from club organizer Laura Reasoner Jones, who started GEMS nearly 20 years ago after looking for math and science activities for her own daughter.
“When we started, I had to recruit people,” Jones said. Now, the club holds a lottery because there is space for only 50 fourth- and fifth-graders, and more than 50 sign up. (Jones started a separate group, Junior GEMS, for third- and fourth-graders four years ago.)
Word has also spread beyond McNair. Thirty other Fairfax County elementary and middle schools have clubs. Prince George’s County has a few. So does Atlanta, Georgia.
Jones credits the group’s popularity to the hands-on activities and group projects related to science, technology, engineering and math — STEM, for short.
“We always do things that are not related to science tests or math tests,” said Jones, who is a technology support teacher at McNair. “We always do things that are a little wacko.”
GEMS members are quick to share their favorite club activities: dropping eggs off a ladder in student-designed protective containers and building a tower of pasta that could support a marshmallow.
“We used pipe cleaners to make a cube, and put it in dish soap,” said Isha Kanshal, 11. “It made square bubbles.”
Isha said the girls always form a hypothesis — what they think is going to happen — before they experiment. She said she doesn’t worry if the results are different from the hypothesis.
“Then you learn something,” she said with a shrug.
The atmosphere at weekly club meetings is part of the reason GEMS members are willing to try things that don’t always work, Jones said.
“There’s very little of the pressure of competition,” she said.
Jones said she hopes the interest in GEMS will lead to more young women choosing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. A 2009 survey by the Census Bureau, the government office that counts people and their jobs, found that women made up about half of all working people, but most were not in math and science careers. Women filled only 24 percent of those jobs.
“It has to connect to a career,” Jones said of club activities. “We want them to think, ‘This is fun. I could do this.’ ”
McNair’s GEMS members are already thinking in that direction. In a small group at the Building Museum, there was a future chemist, a future engineer and a girl debating between two careers.
“I want to become a zoologist,” said Shristi Nadkarni, 9, a first-year Junior GEMS member. She paused to consider her options but didn’t stray far from her original plan. “But if not, a biologist.”
— Christina Barron

Environmental Education "EE Week" Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors Case Studies

In celebration of EE Week's 2013 theme, Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors, EE Week highlights organizations and schools from around the country that are using technology tools to engage students in STEM learing outdoors. 


Using Tech to Connect Inner City Youth with Endangered Species

Spending sunny afternoons after school exploring the local zoo and encountering dozens of endangered species face-to-face all while using a smart phone doesn't resemble a typical after-school program on the surface. However, students in Chicago did just that and more in a pilot program marking a unique collaboration between mobile learning initiatives and conservation education. Read more...

QR_Codes_1QR Codes in the Garden: Using Technology to Open Horizons Outdoors

Gardeners and environmental educators are exploring how to use the technology of QR Codes and cell phone apps to expand horizons while enjoying nature outdoors. You can put QR Codes on plant labels and outdoor signs to link to changeable online information including videos, text, images and sound. Read more...

i-Tree_1How Much is that Tree? Using the i-Tree Design Tool to Calculate the Ecological & Monetary Benefits of Trees

You can promote active appreciation and stewardship of the environment by identifying and mapping trees, and using online software tools such as i-Tree Design which can calculate the dollar ecological value of individual trees in your schoolyard, campus or neighborhood. Read more...

Technology with Nature Camp

The summer months can be a bit of a bore for many kids once school has closed down for the year and the August heat begins to scorch the air.  However, during the summer of 2012, several kids involved in the EAST program at Sonora Elementary set out to marry their love of nature and interest in technology to make a positive change in their community. Read more...
More case studies coming soon!

Do you have a case study to share with EE Week? Send it to for the chance to get your story featured on!

Milton Chen to Keynote at George Mason on June 5, 2013

Dr. Milton Chen is senior fellow and executive director, emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), a non-profit operating foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area that utilizes its multimedia website,, and documentary films to communicate a new vision for 21st Century schools. 

Dr. Milton Chen will discuss how school systems are reinventing themselves, focusing on their growing edges of innovation in districts, states, and nations. These Edges are redefining the nature of “school” as it was known in the 20th Century and include 1) the Thinking Edge, 2) the Curriculum Edge, 3) the Technology Edge, 4) the Time/Place Edge, 5) the Co-Teaching Edge, and 6) the Youth Edge.

Registration is FREE and begins on March 8, 2013 

To register visit

Thursday, March 7, 2013

NASA and Lockheed Martin Engineering Design Challenge for Students

WASHINGTON -- NASA and Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., will involve students in the flight test of NASA's Orion spacecraft through an Exploration Design Challenge to be unveiled in Houston on Monday, March 11.

Two-time space shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin, now NASA's associate administrator for education, will announce details of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) challenge at 11:30 a.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. CDT) in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Marillyn Hewson, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin, will speak.
Lockheed Martin is NASA's prime contractor for Orion, which is being built to take people farther than they have ever traveled into space.

The event also will be broadcast on NASA Television and the agency's website. Media representatives who wish to attend must register no later than 5 p.m. CST, Friday, March 8 with Brandi Dean at

After the Exploration Design Challenge kickoff, at 11:30 a.m. CDT, NASA will host a Google+ hangout with Melvin and fellow astronaut Rex Walheim, who will be inside a mockup of the Orion spacecraft discussing its capabilities and answering questions about the future of exploration. To join the Google+ hangout, visit:

The Exploration Design Challenge was developed under a Space Act Agreement between NASA and Lockheed Martin, with support from the National Institute of Aerospace Center for Integrative STEM Education in Hampton, Va.

For more information about NASA's education programs, visit:

For more information about Orion, visit:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Apply now for VA STEAM Academy Summer Camp for rising 6th-8th graders

The VA STEAM Academy is pleased to announce its free, one-week, residential summer camp for rising 6th - 8th graders who have interest and ability in math, encryption or physics.

Summer STEAM will be held July 7-13, 2013 on the campus of Old Dominion University. Students will be drawn from across the Commonwealth of Virginia. There are 50 seats available.
Please visit our website at and click on Summer STEAM for camp description and application.

Applications are due by March 15.
Judy K. Stewart, PhD and M. Caroline Martin, RN, MHA
Co-founders, Virginia STEAM Academy, Inc.


Friday, March 1, 2013

STEM Competitions in Every House District

Legislative Update from the Traingle Coalition:
House Approves New Congressional STEM Competition
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives almost unanimously passed a resolution, H.Res.77, to establish an annual STEM competition among students in each Congressional district. Sponsored by Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), the Academic Competition Resolution of 2013 was supported by 18 cosponsors and approved by a bi-partisan vote of 411-3. The resolution cited the necessity of STEM fields to ensuring a strong, growing economy and a skilled workforce. With less than one-third of U.S eighth graders demonstrating proficiency in science and mathematics, this competition is designed to encourage students in the study of STEM subjects and motivate them to pursue related fields as careers. Due to the increasing need for more computer scientists, the competition will initially focus on encouraging students in computer science by challenging them to develop software apps. Full article

A case for teaching and learning programming

When I was in 5th grade (1973/1974), I wrote a program in FORTRAN to calculate the ages of all my classmates to the exact minute.  It changed my life.