Monday, February 29, 2016

STEAM: Robots mimicking Ewan Dobson

If you know Ewan Dobson, you already know how impressive it is to try this with robots.  If not, watch this video of him ( ) before you watch the video below.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

40% of College Students Change Majors

InformED Blog

So your son wants to be a lawyer? Your daughter a doctor? How about an engineer? Do they know what it means to do these jobs? Plenty of students enter college not knowing much about their dream careers. More than 40 percent of college students in public four-year institutions change their major, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Switching to another field can delay graduation, which can cost $9,000 extra a year at a four-year school.
There’s a good way for students in your family to find out if their skills and aspirations match what they want to do: high schoolcareer and technical education (CTE) classes cover 16 career clusters, including law, health care, and engineering.

See our companion infographic, The National Career Clusters® Framework, outlining all 16 career clusters and individual professions.

Supported by the federal government through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, CTE is an essential element of college and career readiness. While some middle schools offer CTE, it’s found mostly in high schools. Across the country, CTE students are being prepared for a multitude of college and career possibilities.
In Tennessee, where I directed CTE for the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, law program students are sworn in as officers of the

Visual Spatial Skills and STEM

Can Teaching Spatial Skills Help Bridge the STEM Gender Gap?

For all the emphasis placed on science, technology, engineering and math instruction, not much attention is given to a skill set that’s closely related with success in STEM: spatial skills.
The ability to mentally manipulate objects is key to success in many fields, including physics and engineering. Spatial skills are an early indicator of later achievement in mathematics, they “strongly predict” who will pursue STEM careers, and they aremore predictive of future creativity and innovation than math scores. In fact, a review of 50 years of research shows that spatial skills have a “robust influence” on STEM domains.
However, women generally score lower than men on tests of spatial reasoning — particularly measures of spatial visualization and mental rotation. Some researchers point to evolution as the culprit, while others

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

NVCC Open House for Career and Technical Education

NOVA || Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is hosting a college wide Career and Technical Education (CTE) Open House in the Ernst Center at the Annandale campus.  The goal is to highlight the CTE programs so high school students know what exciting educational opportunities are available across NOVA’s six campuses.  Invite any or all high school students to attend the CTE event on Friday March 4, 2016 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The following CTE Programs will be showcased at the event:

Fire Science
Political Science
Hospitality Management
Body Shop
Construction Management
Music Recording
Massage Therapy
Veterinary Science
Dental Hygiene

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Creative Graffiti Removal?

Maybe we need contests for creative approaches to graffiti removal.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Poll of Parents: STEM Careers - Yes! Teaching - Not so much.

THE News Update

  • by Dian Schaffhauser
  • Feb. 17, 2016
  • 1 min read
While 9 in 10 parents say they would encourage their kids to pursue a career in STEM, what they really mean is a career in engineering. What they definitely don't want is a child who decides to pursue STEM teaching. A new survey by Harris Poll of 644 parents of children under 18 living in the household found that only 9 percent said they would encourage their kids to become teachers of science, technology, engineering or math.
The poll was undertaken on behalf of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), a worldwide organization that promotes a "culture of quality" in manufacturing, government, healthcare and other segments through emphasis of disciplines such as Six Sigma, Lean and other quality methodologies.
The survey found that while 90 percent of parents said they would encourage pursuit of a STEM career, nearly as many (87 percent) said they would be "concerned" if the focus were in teaching of STEM subjects. Half of respondents said they'd prefer their children to pursue a job as an engineer; 41 percent suggested a career as a doctor; and 27 percent would advise computer/IT analyst.
ASQ itself also conducted a poll among K-12 educators. Even among that population of respondents, most — 74 percent — said they would push

Restructuring High School in Virginia

from the Washington Post:

Va.’s governor wants to remake high school education

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to redesign high school in the commonwealth, putting more emphasis on preparing teens for the workforce and creating more opportunities for them to get college credit while in high school.
McAuliffe (D) wants to give the Virginia Board of Education the authority to go back to the drawing board to determine what students need to know to be a part of the 21st-century workforce and decide the high school requirements from there. In January, he pushed a bill in the House and Senate to revamp those requirements.
The bills address the question, “What are the competencies that we need our graduates to have when they leave high school?” Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton said in a recent interview.
The governor’s push to revamp high school is one part of his education agenda for this legislative session. He also has ambitious plans to ramp up education spending, adding $1 billion overall to the state budget for K-12 education and higher education.
Holton said the new requirements will be more flexible and that students will have more opportunities to fulfill them outside of the classroom. The Board of Education is expected to work with the SOL Innovation Committee, a group appointed by Holton that has been examining the state curriculum and testing requirements and has urged the state to scale back standardized testing. Holton expects the new requirements to begin for the

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

APCYF Teen Conference - GMU Arlington

Arlington ALL IN Conference 2016

All In LogoA FREE Conference for Teens, Parents, and the Community to share ideas on
Mental Wellbeing & Healthy Relationships

Saturday, March 12, 2016

8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
George Mason University School of Law | Founder’s Hall
3551 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Early Childhood Education Outdoors - Film Screening

Mother Nature's Child 
Film Screening and Discussion

February 21, 2016 from 2-4pm
Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool, 4444 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22204
The Early Childhood Committee of NoVA Outside presents a film viewing and discussion for early childhood educators on Sunday, February 21, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. The fee is $7 for Mother Nature's Child film and discussion.

The film Mother Nature's Child explores nature's powerful role in children's health and development through the experience of toddlers, children in middle childhood, and adolescents. The film marks a moment in time when a living generation can still recall childhoods of free play outdoors; this will not be true for most children growing up today. The film asks the questions: Why do children need unstructured time outside? What is the place of risk-taking in healthy child development? How is play a form of learning? Why are teachers resistant to taking children outside? How can city kids connect with nature? What does it mean to educate the 'whole' child?

Register online.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Enhancing Employer - Community College Connections

Obama proposes incentive for better employer-community college relations

By Alex Boisjolie, The Gazette
Feb 8, 2016 at 8:44 pm Print View
CEDAR RAPIDS — In an attempt to make the bonds between business and community college even closer, President Barack Obama is set to propose Tuesday a plan to reward companies for donating equipment, helping establish curriculum and ultimately hiring graduates of the programs.
While the White House acknowledged that many of the president’s education proposals — like free community college education for qualifying students — have landed with a thud in Congress, it says this idea might get some legislative traction.
Details of the $2.5 billion tax credit program will be unveiled when Obama releases his final year 2017 federal budget proposal. But the plan appears to build on what has become an increasingly close relationship between community colleges and industries in training students to be better positioned for in-demand careers.
Some of what Obama envisions is already happening at

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

USSEF - April 17 and 17, 2016

The 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo will attract more than 350,000 K-12 students and parents, over 5,000 teachers and over 3,000 STEM professionals. The Festival brings attendees up close and personal with inspiring minds and personalities in STEM. Click here for more information on exhibiting, sponsoring, volunteering, and attending.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Jay Mathews - Education in US and Asia

Growing ties between U.S. and Asia are helping schools on both side of Pacific

I can’t think of an international development more helpful for American education than the growing ties between the United States and Asia — particularly with China, India and South Korea. We Americans see ourselves in economic competition with those countries, but in reality, our cultures are becoming interlocked in ways that help schools on both sides of the Pacific.
I learned this from education scholar Xu Zhao’s new book, “Competition and Compassion in Chinese Secondary Education,” based on research sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Zhao reveals that China and the United States are seeking a balance between mastering academics and preparing for life. The Chinese don’t appear to be doing any better at this than we are.
Many Americans assume that our students’ test scores look bad compared with China’s because that country’s government pushes students to study harder. Not so. Since the late 1990s, Chinese leaders

Johns Hopkins APL - March 6

Sunday, February 7, 2016

AAAS Family Science Days in the District - Feb 13, 14

Join AAAS for free, hands-on science fun for the entire family.

Explore interactive science exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have your questions answered by AAAS-member scientists.   Family Science Days is FREE at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on February 13-14, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as part of the AAAS Annual Meeting.

This free community science showcase features hands-on demos, shows, and other activities appropriate for K-12 children and their families. The event features a broad range of educators and scientists engaging the public in current science topics.

For more information and to pre-register for free, visit Contact with questions.

From left to right:
US astronauts Stephanie Wilson, Joan Higginbotham, Mae Jemison, Yvonne Cagle and fighter pilot Shawna Kimbrell

Friday, February 5, 2016

National Academies - STEM Out-of-School

Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in
Out-of-School Settings

Join your colleagues at this event highlighting the Board on Science Education's recent report Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings. This report identifies features of productive STEM programs and provides guidance on how to evaluate and sustain these programs.  The report draws from a wide range of research traditions illustrating that interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings.

February 12, 2016
9:00 AM - 12:30 PM EST


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Comparing our state's education programs to other countries

The metrics are what they are, but this is flattering for most of New England, Virginia, Iowa, Oregon, and also Minnesota, California, and Maryland; but not so much for the rest of the country.


More from

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

GMU Arlington: Nate Silver with Tyler Cowen

Tuesday, February 16 - "Conversations with Tyler: A Conversation with Nate Silver - 3:30pm-5:00pm -Founders Hall Auditorium 

Nate Silver (pictured),  today’s most influential statistician and founder of the award-winning data website FiveThirtyEight, will join Tyler Cowen for a wide-ranging, intellectual dialogue as part of the Conversations with Tyler series. Silver has been named one of the “World’s Most Influential People” by Time for his entrepreneurship in data journalism and astoundingly accurate method of predicting elections. Silver first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election when he correctly predicted the results of the presidential winner in 49 states. In 2012, he predicted all 50 states.

Learn more and reserve your seat. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Science Fair Season

Who hates science fairs more, parents or the students?  Teachers who integrate science fair projects within their day-to-day curricula have much greater outcomes in student success and student interest.  Those who expect everything to be done outside of class probably alienate nine potential scientists and engineers for each one they engage.