Friday, January 29, 2016

Science Fair Judges needed in Alexandria - February 3

Due to snow, the Alexandria City Public Schools Science Fair will now take place on Wednesday, February 3, 2016.

Wednesday , February 3, 2015
T.C. Williams High School
3330 King St, Alexandria, VA 22302

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.          Judge Registration, Dinner, Instructions
7:00 – 9:30 p.m.          Project Judging/Scoring

We are still looking for additional judges. If you know someone that is interested in helping us, please send them this online form to sign up:

GMU Arlington: Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza

Friday, February 5 

Energy and Sustainability Extravaganza - Founders Hall, Arlington Campus - Auditorium and Multipurpose Room, 11:30 pm - 5:00 pm.   

Please join the Association of Energy Engineers - National Capital Chapter, Leaders in Energy, Mason's Center for Energy Science and Policy and Arlington Green for a Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership lunch and panel discussion (11:30 am to 1:45 pm), followed by a showcase on Mason's clean energy and sustainability research, education and activities (2-5 pm).

These events will feature community energy leaders, as well as faculty and staff from across the university, to discuss current campus-level to global scale energy and sustainability issues. Click here to register and get additional information. (A Professional Networking Mixer will be held off campus at The Arlington Hilton Garden Inn 6:00 pm -8:00 pm with Arlington Green Drinks. The featured speaker will be Annette Osso, Managing Director of Resilient Virginia.)

More Math in Nature.

Pidgonacci sequence.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New film CodeGirl by award-winning director Lesley Chilcott

The movie is available in the short term at

CodeGirl Official Trailer:

The movie website is here:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

20-somethings and 30-somethings R U Ready magazine Spotlight

Career and Technical Education Spotlight Referral Request for the R U “College & Career” Ready? Magazine

The Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE), in partnership with Virginia Business Publications, LLC, is seeking CTE program completers to showcase in the 2017 edition of the R U “College & Career” Ready? Magazine.  The magazine features former students in their 20s and 30s with relevant work experience in their careers.  The R U “College & Career” Ready? Magazine is a career resource designed especially for teenagers and distributed annually to tenth-grade students in Virginia public schools.

Individuals will be selected to represent each of the 16 career clusters and 79 related pathways.  Selection considerations will include diverse representation by gender, race/ethnicity, and statewide regional locations.  Once selections are made, a representative from Virginia Business Publications, LLC, will contact these individuals for a brief interview and to arrange for a photograph.

Under a separate cover, CTE and school counseling administrators will receive the Web-based CTE Spotlight Referral Questionnaire to distribute to their schools.  The completed referrals are due to the Virginia Department of Education by April 11, 2016. Contact your school!

If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Acuff, specialist for marketing and related clusters, Office of Career and Technical Education, or by telephone at (804) 225-3119.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

STEAM matters: When artists aren't so good with human anatomy.

Where Art is necessary in STEM

Often, activities described as STEAM are really only Art (and that's okay), but there are also many circumstances in exploring technical subjects where artistry is critical.  One of these circumstances is in revealing and distinguishing soft tissue in medical or health-related contexts.

Most anyone who has looked at exposed tissue will report that everything is similar in color, whether a cadaver (everything is gray) or fresh meat (everything is red). Artists with a solid understanding of human anatomy can accomplish things that photography cannot.  Consider the following stretching illustrations from

Forearm Extensor Stretch

Muscles Highlighted: Forearm Extensor. Start by packing your shoulder down and back, then externally rotate the shoulder for the optimal position to stretch the forearm muscle. Once in this position apply pressure to your opposing hand to begin the stretch.  You can progress this stretch by touching the tips of your fingers together in a tea cup shape.


STEM Essay Contest for high school women

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia
Department of Education

Governor McAuliffe and Virginia Council on Women Announce the 5th Annual STEM Essay Contest

Governor Terence R. McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women have announced the 5th Annual STEM essay Contest.   The Council will award five scholarships (one in each of five regions) to a female junior or senior who will be pursuing a STEM education at an institution of higher education. Essays will be judged by a panel of Council members and women who hold a degree in or work in STEM fields.

I encourage you to share this opportunity with principals, teachers, parents and students in your school divisions.  The Council will award five $5,000 scholarships to female junior or senior high school students who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education. One scholarship will be awarded in each of five geographic regions across the state. Additional scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.

The STEM Essay Contest was launched in 2012 with 170 young ladies from across the Commonwealth submitting essays focusing on the student’s vision for a future STEM education or career.  Last year, the Council received 381 essay submissions and distributed $33,000 in scholarships to five girls.

Who is eligible?
  • Junior or Senior high school girls
  • Must be residents of Virginia
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
Deadline: Entries must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on February 8, 2016.
This year’s winners will be notified by March 28, 2016 at an awards presentation and reception held at Capitol Square in Richmond.  For more information about this scholarship program please visit:

Saturday, January 16, 2016

New Workforce Education Support

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
 By GRAHAM MOOMAW Richmond Times-Dispatch

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced a series of legislative proposals Tuesday that he said would enable high schools and colleges to better prepare students for in-demand jobs after graduation.
Among the proposals, announced one day before the start of the 2016 legislative session, is a requirement that the Virginia Board of Education establish new standards for high school students that would emphasize early college courses, occupational credentials and hands-on experiences.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Additional Stock Market Game Resources (Teacher Pilot Project)

Logo depicting and apple for a teacher     The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has created a new instructional resource to be used by classroom teachers who are willing to then provide feedback to the FDIC as they prepare next version of curriculum. The FDIC may also be able to provide workshops for teachers on how to use these materials. See FDIC’s announcement and additional information below and the attachments: 

A new Money Smart curriculum series for young people is now available from the FDIC. Four grade-specific, instructor-led products were launched in April 2015 for Grades Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Each curriculum includes an educator guide, teacher presentation slides, a student guide (for Grades 3-12), and a parent/caregiver guide. These standards-aligned curriculums can easily be incorporated into subjects such as mathematics and social studies.

They can be downloaded free of charge from, part of a Web site that the FDIC and CFPB developed to support classroom instruction about money. Also available on the site are three new videos that illustrate practical ways teachers can integrate core financial education lessons into the classroom. The FDIC is eager for educators to share thoughts on how teachers can be prepared to use the curricula with confidence.  Contact the FDIC at

Stock Market Game Resources

Economics and Finance are important examples of applied mathematics, and often overlooked as STEM.

      Register Now for the Spring Stock Market GameTM  and Free Workshops and Webinars!
January 2016 Stock Market Game™ Workshops and Webinars will introduce teachers to this engaging and meaningful learning tool and prepare students to participate in the Spring SMG program, which begins February 1st. The Stock Market Game™ is an online education program used to help teach mathematics, social studies, business, economics, and language skills while focusing on the importance of long-term saving and investment. Students in grades 4-12 participate in teams and manage a simulated investment portfolio. Click here or below to register NOW for a January 2016 SMG workshop! Visit for more information. *No prior knowledge of the stock market is necessary!

Stock Market GameTM: Tour the Teacher Support Center
Don’t reinvent the wheel! Take a tour of the three sections of the Teacher Support Center found on Understanding SMG,Manage Student Portfolios and In the Classroom. The tour

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Science Superheroes Competition

The National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative have launched a competition called “Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes”. They’re asking high school students to design nanotechnology-enabled gear for an original superhero. Submissions include a brief technical description of their gear and either a video or comic showing their superhero using that gear, by Feb 2, 2016.
Three semi-finalists win a trip to the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival April 16-17, 2016 in Washington, D.C., where they will present their entry and compete for cash prizes.  Details on the competition can be found on the Generation Nano: Small Science Superheroes webpage.
Please join NSF and NNI in promoting the Generation Nano Competition by encouraging any

Monday, January 4, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Regional Robotics - January 16 - Alexandria

Visitors are welcome (and encouraged).  Volunteers are also needed (no prior experience required).  The volunteer sign-up link is

Tentative Schedule:

7:00 am - 8:30 am .:. Team arrival and Check-in
8:00 am - 10:00 am .:. Practice and inspection
10:00 am - 10:40 am .:. Opening Ceremony and Driver's meeting
11:00 am - 12:45 pm .:. Qualification Matches (3 per team)
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm .:. Lunch (visit our concession stand)
1:30 pm - 3:10 pm .:. Qualification Matches (3 per team)
3:20 pm - 3:50 pm .:. Alliance Selection
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm .:. Elimination Rounds
5:30 pm - 5:50 pm .:. Awards and Closing Ceremony

All times are subject to change!

Nothing But Net Mid-Atlantic Regional VEX Robotics Competition @ USPTO
Venue:United States Patent and Trade Office - Madison Building
Address:600 Dulaney Street
Country:United States
Zip/Postal Code:22314
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Alexandria Science Fair Judges Needed - January 13

George Washington Middle School near the Braddock Road Metro stop needs science fair judges at 6pm on Wednesday, January 13.  

Contact the school at (703) 706-4500

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Praise for young learners

Carol Dweck's thoughts on how we praise young learners are particularly important for those who demonstrate early proficiency in STEM habits of mind.