Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Conference: Celebrate Science Inside & Out – October 16-18 Richmond

Conference: Celebrate Science Inside & Out – October 16-18, 2014 
(early-bird registration closes September 5, 2014) – Richmond, VA – 

Librarians, parents, and children are invited to learn more about the importance of science and literacy, discover outstanding science children’s books, and meet the authors. The sessions for the conference will focus around three strands: Watershed Science, Partnerships and Collaborations, and Integrating Science with Other Disciplines. For more information and to register, visit

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Annual Virginia Science Festival – October 4-11 Blacksburg, Roanoke

First Annual Virginia Science Festival – October 4-11, 2014 

This STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) festival focuses on providing organizations, museums, and groups with the opportunity to receive free state-wide advertising for events, and also to promote opportunities in a given area.

Events should be submitted by the end of August at

Monday, August 11, 2014

CyberPatriot Names 2014 Coach and Mentor of the Year

Per Dick Davies of the Through the Browser blog:

CyberPatriot Names Winners of 2014 Coach of the Year, Mentor of the Year

Arlington, Va. -- The Air Force Association's CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program on Monday announced the winners of its coach and mentor of the year. Kenneth Steffey of Winter Park, Fla. (Coach of the Year) and Ron Woerner of Bellevue, Neb. (Mentor of the Year) were recognized for their work during CyberPatriot VI National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. Both will be honored at the Air Force Association Convention Awards dinner in September at National Harbor. 

Verizon Commercial - Girls in STEM

Thursday, August 7, 2014

STEM in Agriculture: September 22 and 23 - Georgetown University

Integrating STEM Learning in Communities 
September 22-23, 2014
Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, DC 20007

Individual - $360
Team of 3 or more people - $330 per perso

Deepening STEM Learning through Agriculture

Understanding the connection between science and agriculture is critical today and will become more so as we look ahead to the challenges related to feeding 9 billion people in 2050.

Agriscience encompasses everything from animal nutrition, plant fertilization and spacing, pest management, and handling of food and fiber products between farms and the consumers. How do we translate this tangible application to the classroom?

With the help of Murray State University and DelCastle Technical High School, the Harnessing the Power of Agriculture with STEM pathway takes an issues-based approach to understanding the ways agriscience deepens student understanding of STEM content using relevant, real-world examples.

Come engage in teaching and learning best practices that excite students and demonstrate the relevance of agriscience now and in the future. Problem-solving and inquiry-based activities provide a structure for learning and teaching content including: biofuels, crop management, biodiversity, conservation, nutrition, and genetics.

Join us at the Next Steps Institute!

NASA Goddard iConference - Thursday at 1pm

The 2014 Goddard Office of Education Summer iConference features NASA grant teams that will present the success of their work to the world. Three grant teams were selected by an esteemed group of NASA panelists including engineers, educators and mission directorate education and public outreach personnel. The iConference will be held on Aug. 5, 6 and 7, with each day dedicated to highlighting one of the three selected grant teams with a live presentation broadcast. Don't miss an opportunity to hear all about the sustained success of these NASA grant teams and their work!     Register to view the broadcasts by emailing Jordan Snyder, NASA Goddard's Office of Education.
To join as a Participant, use this link and type in your name on the sign in page.

RealWorld-InWorld NASA Design Challenge

RealWorld-InWorld banner
Team Members
  • Shelley D. Spears, Principal Investigator
  • Sharon Bowers, Program Manager and Sr. STEM Education Specialist
  • Jim Egenrieder, STEM Education Specialist
  • Shannon Versytnen, Project Coordinator
  • Jan Brown, Collaborator, USA TODAY Education
  • Julie Fletcher, Collaborator, LearniT-TeachiT
  • Scientists, engineers and education and public outreach team members from the James Webb Space Telescope mission (NASA Goddard)
Description of Presentation
Jim Egenrieder presents the success of the RealWorld-InWorld Engineering Design Challenges, developed and led by the Center for Integrative STEM Education at the National Institute of Aerospace.  These challenges provide secondary students with authentic, NASA space exploration inspired challenges that emphasize science and engineering practices through problem and project based learning and team competition.  The challenges align with Next Generation Science Standards' Practices that describe behaviors in which scientists engage as they investigate the natural world and the key set of engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems. RW-IW strengthens and improves student and teacher understanding of the connection between science and the engineering design process through “RealWorld” and “InWorld” (aka virtual world) teaching and learning experiences.
Watch Live Presentation (Aug. 7, 2014, 1 p.m. EDT)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Lego's Female Scientist Figures

From ABC News:

LEGO Launches Collection of Female Scientist Figurines

PHOTO: New Lego set, Research Institute.

When a 7-year-old girl wrote a stern letter to Lego earlier this year to express her discontent with the Danish toy company's offering of female figurines, she set in motion an effort to do something about it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Internet of Things DC

Bringing Internet of Things technologies to school kids

The Idea

Establish a program for DC-area schools that lets teams of school kids create and operate connected devices that measure data about their environment and share that data with other teams doing the same thing.


The emerging Internet of Things has the potential to change the way things work in personal, commercial, urban and industrial settings. There are 10 billion connected devices today and that number is expected to skyrocket over the next 10 years. The technology is advancing rapidly and the ideal time to start learning is during the formative years of aspiring science and technology students.
Besides learning about the basic technologies, there are surrounding topics and issues in cybersecurity (what can go wrong and how can we avoid it) and data privacy (where does our data go, who can see it, and what are they using it for?) that are important to understand as the world becomes more and more connected.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gingrich: Get schools out of the 1890s

From CNN Opinion

Get schools out of the 1890s

By Newt Gingrich
updated 7:41 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014

(CNN) -- If, as the popular saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, the people who run our public schools fit that description. For several generations now, schools have been failing students the same ways over and over and expecting a different result.

Teachers lecture, students sit and some listen. Class happens at the same time, with the same material, and at the same pace for everyone. This is an 1890s model of education -- teaching to the "average" student, rather than the individual.

In an age when most information and knowledge is transmitted digitally and is increasingly personalized—think about how Netflix, Pandora, Twitter and Facebook work— we should be able to do much better than that.

Pioneering projects like Khan Academy, Udacity and Coursera are pointing toward a future of learning that is more like Netflix than the chalk-and-textbook system we have today. Each of them is using technology to help students learn at their own pace, on their own path, and toward their own goals.

As Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun told me in an interview for my book "Breakout," "I think we found the magic formula. That may sound pretentious, but the magic formula for me is high-quality education at scale. I think we owe students a personalized, high-quality experience."

New resources like Khan Academy have enabled creative teachers to integrate digital learning into the classroom and to coach students to offer better, more personalized instruction.

This "blended learning"—having some teaching done by a teacher and some through digital learning systems—is a revolutionary concept that when effectively implemented has led to impressive learning gains, especially among students who have traditionally underperformed. Now this model is getting a boost from a forward-thinking leader in Congress.

This week, Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, introduced legislation to set up five state pilot programs to implement this new instructional method
Her idea is to harness the extraordinary progress that charter schools, along with other innovative public and Catholic schools, have had by combining teachers with personalized digital learning systems.