Thursday, April 25, 2013

Middle School Girls Summer Cyber Camp


Northern Virginia Community College 
Alexandria Campus

Room 477 in the Bisdorf Building

NVCC Women in Information Technology Group
Science and Technology (SAT) Division 

Monday, August 12-August 16, 2013 
8:00am - 2:00 pm

Registration Deadline: June 1, 2013
  • The program is open to all middle school aged girls and is limited to the first 20 students registered.
  • Students must provide their own transportation and lunch.
  • All NVCC policies will be strictly enforced.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vex Robotics Camp in Arlington

NOVA VEX Robotics   July 8-19, 2013 (Monday - Friday, 1230pm to 430pm)

Arlington Career Center Summer STEM Programs

  Please call 703-228-5731 to enroll.


This camp is ideal for middle and high school students new to VEX robotics, as well as students who may have already participated on a team but would like to increase their programming and building skills.

VEX Robotics projects encourage teamwork, leadership and STEM problem solving among groups.

VEX also provides flexibility in meeting every student's interest and ability.  

The VEX platform is affordable, and is expanding rapidly throughout middle schools, high schools and university labs around the globe.

Robotics hobbyists also appreciate the advanced capabilities of the VEX System.

This program is supported by NOVA SySTEMic Solutions, which currently has a team competing at the national level.      

Instructor:  Robb Dudek   

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Local primary school participates in CubeSat

from ARLnow:

Elementary Students to Build, Launch Satellite

by Katie Pyzyk | April 18, 2013 at 11:00 am | 490 views | 13 Comments and 16 Reactions
A CubeSat device (photo via Wikipedia)(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School (STM) are taking part in what has been dubbed “Mission Possible.” It’s a rare opportunity build a satellite and launch it into orbit.
According to an article published this week by, students will get assistance from a NASA Mission Manager in building a CubeSat, which is a miniature satellite used for space research. The satellite will collect data to be used for school research in math and science.
STM computer teacher Melissa Pore is helping to manage the project. She said yesterday was the official kick off and construction should begin in about two weeks.
“The really unique part about it is making the projects tie in to what’s already expected in the classroom, and giving that real world simulation for the kids,” Pore said. “Every student will have a part and will touch a piece of the hardware, whether they’re screwing in a bolt or putting together an onboard camera, they will all have a part.”
One of the things the satellite is expected to do is to take wide angle photos of small asteroids, of Earth and of St. Thomas More Cathedral School.
More than 60 high schools and universities participate in the CubeSat program, but STM would be the country’s first Pre-K through 8th grade elementary school to participate. The goal is to launch the CubeSat in late 2014.
STM received a donation of $10,000 to assist with the satellite launch from ATK Space Systems. The school has also received equipment such as solar panels and cameras from space industry donors. Anyone interested in donating additional resources or time to the project should contact Melissa Pore at
CubeSat photo via Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Natural History Museum seeks Adult and Teen Volunteers


Woman working in the Forensic Anthropology Lab
Thank you for your interest in volunteering in the Office of Education and Outreach at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. 

Mars Presentation - May 7 in Ballston

WHAT: Mars — Got Life?

WHO: Presented by Dr. Jim Green, Planetary Science Division Director, NASA

ABOUT THE TOPIC: The planet Mars has captured our imagination for millennium but it has only been relatively recent that we have been able to unlock some of its real secrets. In the last 50 years, there have been 40 missions to Mars with over 60% failing to accomplish their science objectives. Starting in 2000, NASA embarked on a "follow the water" strategy for a string of tremendously successful missions of Mars orbiters, landers and rovers. These missions have made measurements that clearly show that Mars held a significant amount of water in its distant past. Even today we have indications that Mars holds significant water reserves below its surface. On Earth, where there is water, there is life. With the successful landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, we start a new era of missions that involve "seeking the signs of life." Curiosity is working flawlessly and has started on a two-year mission that will investigate the question of whether Mars was ever habitable. As we look further into the future, the ultimate goal of NASA’s human exploration program is Mars and that will require an integrated approach of science and engineering with great challenges ahead.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 7, 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, June 4, 2013 – "How to live on Mars" presented by Douglas Gage, XPM Technologies.

For more information, contact Kaye Breen at
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Post: Bush, Obama focus on standardized testing leads to ‘opt-out’ parents’ movement

from today's Washington Post:

A decade into the school accountability movement, pockets of resistance to standardized testing are sprouting up around the country, with parents and students opting out of the high-stakes tests used to evaluate schools and teachers.
From Seattle, where 600 high school students refused to take a standardized test in January, to Texas, where 86 percent of school districts say the tests are “strangling our public schools,” anti-testing groups argue that bubble exams have proliferated beyond reason, delivering more angst than benefits.
“Over the last couple of years, they’ve turned this one test into the all and everything,” said Cindy Hamilton, a 50-year-old mother of three in Florida who founded Opt Out Orlando in response to the annual Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which starts again Monday. Her group is one of dozens of new organizations opposed to such testing.
The opt-out movement is nascent but growing, propelled by parents, students and some educators using social media to swap tips on ways to spurn the tests. They argue that the exams cause stress for young children, narrow classroom curricula, and, in the worst scenarios, have led to cheating because of the stakes involved — teacher compensation and job security.
Standardized testing is one of the most controversial aspects of the accountability movement that began in earnest in 2002 when President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act.
That law required public schools for the first time to test students annually in grades three through eight and once in high school. Schools were required to show steadily improving scores until all students tested proficient in math and reading by 2014, or face escalating sanctions. Civil rights groups, progressives and conservatives united behind the idea that testing would hold schools accountable for educating all students.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Math Workshop (grades 6-14) in Arlington - April 13

Math Workshop from The A+ Club

April 13, 2013
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Arlington Central Library
1015 N Quincy Street
Arlington, Virginia 22201
Learn how to learn math! Featuring Award-winning high school math teacher, Okera Hawkins, who will review math learning strategies, study techniques, and identifying math needs. Join our 30-minute presentation, and then work individually with Okera and our A+ Club college-student tutors who will review individual skill levels, identify needs and strategies for student success in math.
Aimed at middle, high school and lower-level college math, however students and families of all levels are welcome.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April NASA Innovations in Climate Change Workshop Series


April 9th, 11th, April 16th & 18th
from 4:00 – 5:20 p.m. (EST)
Join us for the NASA Innovations in Climate Education (NICE)
Teacher Professional Development Workshop Series

From greenhouse effect to Earth’s rising temperatures and resulting impacts on plants, bugs and birds, increase your understanding of these timely topics and more at the NICE Teacher Professional Development Workshop.   This workshop is a four-part series featuring climate literacy content and classroom resources from NASA and NICE Earth Systems Scientists.  The content will be geared toward the 5-9 grade band.

Go to on the day of each session to watch the webcast. Once there you will click on the DLiNfo Channel tab on the left side of the screen to access the live broadcast of the event.