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Friday, May 30, 2014

May Flowers Bloom with Fantastic STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)

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The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Their primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls. Contact Mike MacEwan for more information how you can become involved.

In their latest issue, the Garden State Girls STEP Collaborative Project spotlights:
  • Feminine Norms: A Key to Improving STEM Outcomes
    Blog: May 12-16th - Webinar: May 20th
  • NIOST and NJSACC Offer A New and Incredible STEM Fellowship Opportunity!
  • Full STEM Ahead Offers the Latest in New Jersey STEM News!
  • Take Advantage of this Valuable FREE Resource: Is your program listed?
  • BE UNLIMITED | Encouraging All That Young People Can Be, Do And Achieve
  • Ruiz bill encouraging student interest in 'STEM' fields advances

MythBuster Kari Byron helping White House tout science


Written by Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Fourth-annual science fair is dedicated to getting girls into STEM subjects. Who better to help than the famous MythBuster?

Among the geek-girls set, there are few bigger stars than MythBuster Kari Byron. So when the White House was looking for someone to help promote its fourth-annual science fair, dedicated this year to getting girls excited about science, technology, engineering, and math, Byron was a perfect partner.

Starting Tuesday, the White House will open its science fair, and Byron will be hosting the event live at whitehouse.gov/science-fair. She also lent a hand by appearing in a video promoting the fair (embedded above). Byron joins the likes of other big science names like Bill Nye and Levar Burton in helping the Obama administration advance its STEM education efforts.

"Hosted by President Obama, the Fair will feature innovative projects, designs, and experiments from students all across America," the White House wrote in a blog post. "With students from a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions, this year's fair will also include a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work."

The White House also recently invited a Girl Scout troop, just one of several groups of "stellar STEM females who are packing up their inventions and research projects" and bringing them to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Byron is no newbie when it comes to pushing STEM to kids, and especially to girls. In 2010, she signed up with the Science Channel on "Head Rush," a show that touted the exciting side of science for an audience of children.

The White House, meanwhile, has been putting an increased emphasis on promoting STEM initiatives. In February, it announced the first-ever White House Maker Faire, which will take place later this year.

Correction, 12:16 p.m. PT: This will be the fourth annual White House Science Fair, not the third.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Friday, May 16, 2014

BE UNLIMITED | Encouraging All That Young People Can Be, Do And Achieve


At Be Unlimited, the mission is to develop the mindset, life skills, and tools essential for young people to confidently reach their highest potential, make a difference in their communities, and positively impact the world around them.

Be Unlimited is committed to producing educational media that can be used to promote critical thinking skills, personal growth, and well-being among young people. When properly used as a learning tool, media can also provide a means for self-awareness and reflection so vital to the healthy development of adolescent lives.

Click here to learn more about Be Unlimited and The SPE@K Project!

Jersey City students work to save reservoir's aquatic life


About 15 students from 5th to 8th grade gathered at Jersey City's reservoir, located at 199 Reservoir Avenue, to work on ways to fight an invasive plant species and aerate the reservoir's water on May 10, 2014.

By Jonathan Lin/The Jersey Journal

Tackling an invasive plant species and reviving aquatic life were the projects of the day for a group of Jersey City students who were up early Saturday morning at the city’s reservoir.

About 15 students — mostly 7th graders and one 5th grader from School 28, St. Nicholas School and School 4 — arrived at 8 a.m. at the reservoir with weed-cutting tools, measuring tape, rubber wading outfits and other equipment to perform their work.

Nestled deep in a maze of phragmites, an invasive plant species at the reservoir, Kaylee Hutchinson, 13, a 7th grader at School 28, tried to clear a one meter by one meter patch with some other students.

“We’re trying to see if we can control how much they grow,” she said, as she wrestled with the tall, stiff reeds.

Joel Naatus, the 7th-grade science teacher supervising the students, said the students would be tracking the rate of growth of the phragmites to determine the best time to cut them.

Meanwhile, two other teams of students were wading out into the reservoir water in rubber outfits. One team focused on collecting algae samples, while another team worked on rigging a raft with a new solar-powered aerator.

“We’re preventing a massive die-off of aquatic life,” said Rahul Gupta, 14, an 8th grader at School 28. “Our aerator helps provide more oxygen to the fish so they can breathe.”

Naatus — who was named Jersey City’s teacher of the year in February — has been working with his students to restore the reservoir since 2011.

“We’re trying to have different themes for every Saturday,” he said. “It’s good for other kids in the community to come see what we’re doing.”

Saturday’s event marked the first of a series of summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) events designed to introduce children between the ages of 10 to 14 to topics such as solar aerators, water ecology, history of our drinking water and adventure walks.

The series of events is sponsored by School 28’s Project Reservoir and the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rutgers marine science educators win statewide 4-H award


C. Sage Lichtenwalner and Carrie Ferraro of the Rutgers Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences were recently recognized by the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents with the 4-H Educator of the Year Award for their significant contributions to the 4-H program / Courtesy of Jeannette Rea-Keywood

Two Rutgers Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences employees have been recognized by the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents for their efforts to promote education.

The 4-H Educator of the Year Award is given to individuals or groups in recognition of their professional education support of the NJ 4-H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, according to a news release.

Carrie Ferraro of Highland Park develops and conducts many programs for K-12 students, teachers, scientists and adult learners as part of her efforts as the program coordinator for the Marine Science Education and Public Outreach group at the institute. Currently, she also is funded through National Science Foundation for work with the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence Networked Ocean World. Ferraro has supported 4-H in a number of ways, including assisting with the 4-H Climate and Environmental Change Teen Summit, 4-H Rutgers Science Saturdays and the 4-H Summer Science program. While these initiatives are not part of her ongoing work, she volunteers and supports these programs because of her dedication to STEM education and promoting Rutgers Universit, according to the news release.

C. Sage Lichtenwalner of Roselle Park is a research coordinator for the institute and funded by NSF to develop software solutions for the Ocean Observing Initiative Education and Public Engagement program. He dedicates his time to 4-H by offering technical advice and support. He built the 4-H Science website, assists with webinars, programs, and professional development programs that involve technology.

The New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents is dedicated to encourage, support and provide resources to 4-H youth development professionals in pursuing opportunities, networking and collaborating with other professionals in providing current programming for youth. The 4-H Educator of the Year is one tool the association and 4-H staff use to reach those objectives, according to a news relesae.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Cooperative Extension. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis.

For more information about the New Jersey 4-H Program, administered by Rutgers Cooperative Extension, visit: http://nj4_h.rutgers.edu.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cape May County Students Make Strides in Sustainability


PETERSBURG -- Students at Upper Township Middle School in Petersburg are thinking about the future - theirs and their schools. Classes are taking on eco-projects to make their school more environmentally friendly and a better place to learn.

Upper Township Middle School participates in National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program. This internationally acclaimed program which provides free resources and support to schools working towards sustainability has been gaining in popularity in the Garden State. The program, in just one year, has grown from 43 to 114 schools in New Jersey.

Through the program, Upper Township Middle School is taking lessons beyond classroom walls to engage in project based learning. Students have been transplanting native shrubs around the schools and planting pollinator gardens to increase biodiversity, creating rain gardens to conserve water and maintaining trails on the school property for outdoor learning. The school has also been focusing on reducing waste by composting food waste from the cafeteria for use in the school garden which grows carrots, peas, kale, tomatoes and onions that students share with classmates and parents to encourage healthy eating.

Teacher, Paul Ludgate says, “The Eco-schools program benefits our school by offering teachers suggested pathways to successfully address ecological topics with their students. Our students have developed spaces for outdoor classrooms - courtyards planted with native shrubs and small trees, trails that lead to vernal streams, pink lady slipper orchids, raised bed gardens, and a beach plum orchard. They are drawn to the beauty of the gardens. Hands-on learning is a very effective method of instruction and all learners can benefit from the aesthetic and practical enhancements of these newly imagined learning spaces.”

Once registered, Eco-Schools can earn awards that recognize their progress towards any of ten sustainability pathways laid out by the program including energy and water conservation, sustainable foods and reducing consumption and waste. Eco-Schools awards provide excellent opportunities for schools to share their efforts with the community and to improve student learning.

“Through Eco-Schools USA, we help educators create authentic learning experiences for students that will resonate with them far beyond the classroom. We know it’s working when we see how excited students get about science and math as these topics comes to life in their environment.” says Jennifer Dowd, Eco-Schools NJ Coordinator, New Jersey Audubon.

Students who are exposed to programs such as Eco-Schools that incorporate good STEM education see the world in a holistic way, gain skills in the process of inquiry, and become better problem-solvers and inventors who can utilize their knowledge of math, science and technology to design and engineer innovative solutions.

Curtis Fisher, northeast regional executive director, National Wildlife Federation says, “Eco-Schools USA gets students excited about science, math, and art and demonstrates how they can use these skills to make their schools better places to learn and their world a better place to live. Thanks to support from PSE&G, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Horizon Foundation, and Spencer Savings Bank we now have a staff person on the ground to support our schools and help them reach their goals.”

Upper Township Middle School and other Cape May County schools have the distinct advantage being located near three New Jersey Audubon sites in the county; including two Cape May Bird Observatories and the Nature Center of Cape May which specializes in working with children, families, and schools. The center provides outreach programs at local schools or field trip experiences at the center and in other natural habitats throughout the county. Cape May County boasts two more Eco-Schools including; Ocean City’s Intermediate School, and the Richard M. Teitelman Middle School in Cape May.

About Eco-Schools:

Eco-Schools is an international program in 58 countries. The program is hosted by the National Wildlife Federation in the United States and coordinated by New Jersey Audubon in New Jersey. Eco-Schools USA helps schools to integrate sustainability principles for increased student achievement, financial savings and healthier environments. The program provides free guidance, resources, and support for individual schools and districts. Eco-Schools USA in New Jersey directly supports the Sustainable Jersey for Schools point-based system. For more information: www.eco-schoolsusa.org

About National Wildlife Federation:

National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization inspiring people to protect wildlife for our children’s future. NWF focuses its education and policy work on connecting children to nature for a nation of happier, healthier kids. NWF’s state affiliate is NJ Audubon. For more information: www.nwf.org.

About NJ Audubon and the Nature Center of Cape May:

The New Jersey Audubon Society is a privately supported, not-for profit, statewide membership organization that fosters environmental awareness and a conservation ethic among New Jersey's citizens; protects New Jersey's birds, mammals, other animals, and plants, especially endangered and threatened species; and promotes preservation of New Jersey's valuable natural habitats. For more information, visit: www.njaudubon.org. Schools interested in participating in the Nature Center of Cape May programs should contact Gretchen Whitman at: gretchen.whitman@njaudubon.org or by phone at 609-898-8848.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Ruiz bill encouraging student interest in 'STEM' fields advances


By Trish Graber

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz that would broaden access and encourage student interest in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a program that would award grants to eligible school districts in the state to fund innovation designed to elevate these subjects was approved today by the Senate.

“In the coming years, New Jersey will experience an increased demand for workers that are skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We have to ensure that our residents are prepared for employment in these sectors and are able to compete for the positions with their counterparts in states across the county and around the globe,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Expanding STEM programs in our school districts and encouraging more students to study these subjects will ensure that our students are better equipped for employment in a high-tech, 21st Century economy.”

According to a 2011 STEM jobs report by the George Washington University Center on Education and the Workforce, New Jersey will demand a total of 248,250 STEM jobs by 2018, up from 223,190 in 2008. The National Science Board’s 2010 Science and Engineering Indicators report found that only 5% of American graduates major in engineering, compared to 20% total in Asia and about 33% in China. Other studies have shown that the United States ranks last or next to last in 12th grade mathematics and science scores.

The bill (S-225) would establish a four-year “New Jersey Innovation Inspiration School Grant Pilot Program” within the Department of Education. Under the pilot program, grants would be awarded to school districts to support non-traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching methods for students in grades 9 through 12, support the participation of students in nonprofit STEM competitions, foster innovation and broaden interest in careers in STEM fields, and encourage collaboration among students, engineers, and professional mentors.

Through the pilot program, the commissioner of Department of Education would award a total of six one-time, up-front grants of up to $150,000 each. Two grants would be awarded to districts located in each of the northern, central and southern regions of the state. In awarding the grants, the commissioner would have to give priority to applications from districts that intend to target activities in a rural or urban school, a low-performing school, or a school or school district that serves low-income students. The districts would be permitted to use the grant funds for a period of up to four years.

The bill would also establish the “Innovation Inspiration School Grant Fund” within the Department of Education to provide grants to school districts under the pilot program. A school district that receives a grant would have to provide district matching funds in an amount equal to 25% of the grant amount. In addition, the district would have to secure matching funds or in-kind contributions from corporate donors or other private sector donors in an amount equal to 25% of the grant amount.

“We are lagging behind other nations when it comes to math and science education while other countries push ahead,” said Senator Ruiz. “Expanding offerings in our high schools and encouraging student collaboration with professionals in the field will go a long way to help prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow that we know are in these critical areas.”

The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 37-1. It next heads to the Assembly for consideration.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Students design and build solar powered cars for upcoming race competition


By Hunterdon County Democrat

Students at seven Hunterdon elementary and middle schools are busy working, in teams, to design and build model solar powered racing cars in preparation for a Junior Solar Sprints (JSS) race competition scheduled for this Friday, May 16.

The event will be held at Kingwood Township School. Teams from Califon Public School, Clinton Public School, East Amwell Township School, Alexandria Middle School, High Bridge Middle School, and Frenchtown Elementary School will compete.

The teams, comprised of three to four students each, spend months brainstorming and collaborating to transform a few components including a motor, wheels, axles and a solar panel into a unique and functioning model racing car. On race day, teams compete by racing their cars down four parallel 66-foot-long tracks. The teams continue to race, through an elimination process, until the final speed competition winner is determined.

In addition to the Speed competition, entries are evaluated by a panel of judges in the categories of engineering, craftsmanship, best use of recycled materials and documentation portfolio. Team scores are totaled and winners are revealed at an awards presentation at the conclusion of the race. Division winners will advance to the Inter-County Final race on May 28 at Ridgedale Middle School, Florham Park.

Making science come alive and fun is how one middle school student describes Junior Solar Sprints. “It’s more than crossing the finish line. It’s our team working together, building our model car and then competing against other schools on race day. It’s awesome,” she shared.

“We’re thrilled that this year’s Junior Solar Sprint Division 5 race has attracted the largest participation we’ve had in both size and scope,” commented John F. Ciaffone, TransOptions President. It’s grown over nine percent to include 4,529 students on 1,120 teams from 61 schools in Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties. That’s a tangible endorsement for environmental education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education,” he adds.

Now in its 13th year, JSS is an environmental education program that aligns with STEM education which is growing in importance nation-wide. The Division 5 race will be hosted by HART Commuter Information Services, a Hunterdon based non profit organization promoting sustainable transportation and TransOptions, a non-profit delivering programs and services for commuters, employers and communities in Warren, Sussex and Morris counties.

“HART is very pleased to partner with TransOptions to expand the JSS program into Hunterdon County this year, says Tara Shepherd executive director of HART Commuter Information Services. “JSS engages students in a way that is interactive, allowing them to see the viability of alternative energy firsthand,” she adds.

Sponsors help provide the Junior Solar Sprint program free of charge to students, schools, teachers and school districts. HART and TransOptions gratefully acknowledge the Alcoa Foundation as the primary sponsor this year along with PSE&G, Thorlabs, Pitsco, FirstEnergy Foundation and the New Jersey Herald.

For more information, contact Nathan Charron, Environmental Education Coordinator, nathan@harttma.com or call 908-788-5553, ext 17.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How Failure in the Classroom Is More Instructive Than Success


By Anne Sobel

"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work."
—Thomas Edison

There’s no shortage of inspirational quotes on failure, but have you ever noticed that they never come from an anonymous source? A good failure quote has staying power only if someone with grand achievements says it. Americans love a nice, meaty failure—as long as it ends with success.

That contradiction is hurting our higher-­education system. As teachers and administrators, we know from our own life experience that learning from failure will take you further than an outstanding GPA. We also know that those who make great strides fail time and again before accomplishing their goal, and that sometimes those failures simply end in failure. Unfortunately, we still work from a grading scale that supports only success.

Angela Lee Duckworth, a developmental psychologist and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has declared "grit," as a personality trait, a greater determinant of a student’s future success than IQ or socioeconomic status. Grit is passion coupled with the tenacity to overcome obstacles or challenges. Duckworth notes that grit is a character trait that can be learned over time, but only if students see the relationship between practice and failure, not just the end result of a fruitful venture.

"When experts are doing the kind of practice that makes them better," she says, "they are frequently failing, frequently confused, not necessarily seeing gain for what will feel like a very long time."

Duckworth’s findings directly correlate with Tony Wagner’s theories on innovators. In his 2012 book, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, he highlights several traits of an innovative thinker, including being willing to experiment, taking calculated risks, and tolerating failure. Some of America’s most dynamic innovators of the past two decades experienced routine failure, he notes. Unfortunately, because traditional academic settings often penalize failure and discourage risk, many of those innovators had to leave college to achieve their goals. From a young age, students quickly discover that "knowing the right answer is far more important than asking a thoughtful question."

So how can we give our students permission to fail while maintaining a high standard in the classroom, teaching our subject, and encouraging our students to get good grades? Here are five suggestions drawn from my experiences as a film-production professor that might spark ideas for your own classroom:

Create an ethos. Establish at the start of the term that a certain amount of "failure" is encouraged. On the first day of class, I like to read relevant quotes, play TED Talks, and share anecdotes about personal failure. I let students know that this is a safe space for them to push boundaries. I back this up by supporting students despite the mistakes they make throughout the semester, using discretion when students are trying and failing versus when they lack commitment. I refresh these rituals (readings, anecdotes, inspirational talks) at midterms and finals, when I also allow time for reflection.

Find new definitions of success. In-class assignments are a great way to create controlled failure scenarios, in which you can establish unique criteria for success. For example, I have a three-week assignment I call the "full crew film." Students have four hours to film one page of a script, each week shooting from a new script and exchanging crew positions. Each film is only one minute long, and while students turn in a final product, that is not what their grades are based upon. Instead, I evaluate how well they prepare and organize for the shoot and, most important, how they work as a team—supporting each other, solving problems, and keeping a positive attitude during stressful moments.

When I started doing the exercise, I would get upset at students if they ignored my instruction to get the whole script in three to five shots. But as I’ve gained experience, I’ve come to see that the value of this assignment is not in getting it "right" or "wrong." Now when students come in with a 10-page shot list, I patiently watch time slip away and let them realize that they won’t get all their shots. The only real way to fail at this assignment is by refusing to adapt.

Give feedback first. We often expect students to know exactly what to do when they turn in papers or projects, and we downgrade them if they don’t. Amy Smith is the visionary professor behind MIT’s experiential-learning class sequence D-Lab (Development Through Dialogue, Design, and Dissemination). She based the program on the philosophy that students need to engage in vital projects and get real feedback on those projects, because too often students don’t get meaningful feedback on their work. When we hand back assignments, even if we offer feedback, the comments are inert because students are unlikely to go back and revise their work—and that is when the real learning happens. When students have a chance to refine their work on the basis of feedback, it creates a deeper experience with the material.

Build it into your grading. Classes that are project-based can easily build "failure" into their grading. For my film-production classes, I grade on story, cinematography, editing, and sound design—all traditional markers of a good film. However, I also created a category called "Execution vs. Level of Difficulty." I tell students that if they attempt a challenging project, I will take that into consideration when I grade, even if the film falls short of their vision. Conversely, if they decide to create a simple project, then my expectations are much higher for the final product.

I’ve had many students take on impressive projects that involve finding vintage cars, a large cast, or unique locations. Sometimes that means turning in a less-polished project by the deadline, or having those elements upend the project entirely. A grading category that takes difficulty into consideration offers a safety net that gives students the confidence to take calculated risks.

Reflect on failure. One of my favorite classes was an informal session in which students who had just wrapped production on their senior theses talked about their successes and failures on set. We laughed at their big mistakes and brilliant moments alike, discussing what they would do differently next time. Students were encouraged by the hard work and dedication their classmates showed, and they took away valuable knowledge from some of the best problem-solving stories. Moreover, they were relieved to know that they weren’t the only ones who had made mistakes.

Duckworth encourages teachers to "reward kids for the struggle," and so throughout the conversation I made sure to let my students know how proud I was of their work, whether the stories they shared were of success or of failure.

There is a popular meme called "Famous Failures," featuring quotations on overcoming rejection, failure, and loss from Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, the Beatles, Oprah, and Albert Einstein. The message is familiar: Abundant success lies on the other end of failure. Could guiding our students through their own failures inspire the next groundbreaking physicist, talk-show star, or iPhone inventor? Possible … but not likely. Even if the results end up being a little less grandiose, I think they are just as important. Learning to fail could help our students become more resilient, self-aware, innovative, and compassionate. Not bad for a bunch of "failures."

Click here to read from this article's source.

Lawrence Township Education Foundation awards spring grants to fund more than 20 new programs


By Nora Carnevale

The Lawrence Township Education Foundation recently announced its award of $62,000 to support more than 20 new programs throughout Lawrence Township Public Schools. The foundation presents awards in response to teacher requests in the fall and spring of each academic year. The grants provide funding for projects and programs that would normally be outside the regular budget.

Elementary school grants will be provided for several new programs. All district elementary schools will receive financial support for a program for first graders to receive enhanced outdoor learning experiences through observation and discovery. A ceramic frieze will be created at Eldridge Park Elementary School, and Slackwood School will receive sensory equipment to enhance the autistic support program.

“Children with autism and sensory disorders can benefit from certain types of equipment that stimulate the fundamental senses, such as a weighted snake tool that has been used. It organizes the student’s sensory system. Sensory stimulation tools help to increase balance, sensory integration and focus attention,” Ivy Cohen, executive director of the Lawrence Township Education Foundation, said.

Hands-on learning kits will be implemented for second- and third-grade students at Lawrenceville Elementary School, and Ben Franklin Elementary School students will benefit from non-fiction leveled reading books and interactive math software.

A major highlight of the grants is the addition of 3D printers at Lawrence Intermediate School and Lawrence Middle School. At LIS, students will have access to a 3D printer and the technology lab will feature Minecraft EDU.

“The Minecraft EDU program for fifth graders is a huge thing. It is such a popular game among that age group, and it really has an educational component,” Cohen said. “It has everything from architecture to math to science.”

LMS students will be able to use the 3D printer in their technology lab to explore careers relating to science, technology, engineering and math, or as the district refers to it, “STEM.”

“The kids are super excited about the 3D printers. We are excited to be able to implement them. They see them on TV and hear about them but to have them in the building and really see how they work is very exciting to them,” Cohen said.

Cohen said she believes the district will keep taking steps forward in terms of the technology it makes available to students.

“I think kids are starting earlier and earlier. They are exposed to so many things at such young ages, then teachers have these ideas and they ask us for the money. We make sure that what we are giving aligns nicely with the curriculum, and that the school has the tools to implement it, such as hardware, software and licensing,” she said.

Another highlight of the many new programs being implemented as a result of the grants is an artist-in-residence program with the Philadelphia Shakespeare Company at Lawrence High School.

“The English department has a challenge of teaching Shakespeare to modern students. The early English barrier can inhibit the students from fully appreciating and understanding it,” Cohen said. “The artists will engage students in in-depth activities exploring and expanding their understanding.”

A complete list of the grants can be found at: www.ltefnj.org.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

'So much more than a picture': Teens create 'Love Your Selfie' videos


Seventy-eight percent of teen girls, ages 16-17, have negative thoughts about their appearance, according to the recent TODAY/AOL Body Image Survey. With that in mind, TODAY found three groups of teens working to change the way they see themselves: The Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls Inc., (both are partners with Dove in its self-esteem project, which has reached 13 million people) and REbeL, a grassroots organization started in Kansas in 2008.

The girls were paired with filmmakers who are part of a mentoring program supported by Dove at the Sundance Institute. They were asked to create a 15-second public service announcement, telling us what "Love Your Selfie" means to them. All the girls’ spots will be featured as part of NBCUniversal’s award-winning “The More You Know” campaign across its digital platforms including themoreyouknow.com, the NBC YouTube page under The More You Know playlist, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest. [Dove is sponsoring "Love Your Selfie" week on TODAY]


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
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Feminine Norms: A Key to Improving STEM Outcomes - Blog: May 12-16th - Webinar: May 20th



Join our May webinar presenter, Riki Wilchins, on a NAPE Blog to discuss and share ideas about "Feminine Norms: A Key to Improving STEM Outcomes." On May 12, Riki will begin the blog by posting in the Blog section on the NAPE homepage some ideas or questions for discussion. The blog will be active from May 12 to 16.

Then register for the webinar on May 20 to learn more and continue the discussion!

Date and Time
Blog: May 12-16, 2014
Webinar: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 2PM ET, 1PM CT, 12AM MT, 11AM PT

Title
Feminine Norms: A Key to Improving STEM Outcomes

Goals
  • Understand gender concepts and terms
  • Be familiar with the research on gender norms and STEM
  • Appreciate how feminine norms can impact STEM attrition during adolescent and teenage years.
  • Understand what Motorola Solutions Foundation and TrueChild are doing around feminine norms and STEM

Resources
Online research clearinghouse is at: www.truechild.org/STEMresearch
The white paper report is at: www.truechild.org/STEM

Registration
Click here to register for the webinar

Monday, May 5, 2014

Judge Engineering Evaluations, Posters & ROV Missions in Pool on Sat 5/10


Marine Advanced Technology Education MATE) PA Regional ROV Challenge
Visit www.marinetech.org for details!
Click here to download the Judges Sign-up Form

The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center provides the marine technical workforce with appropriately educated workers, using marine technology to create interest in and improve STEM education.

This program brings together students interested in STEM careers from NY to VA. For their annual challenge, we need god judges!

Please find and download the MATE PA Regional Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Challenge flyers and judging form. We'd appreciate any judges to score student posters, presentations, technical reports or observe on the pool deck through cameras the remotely operated vehicles in the water.

Additional information at www.marinetech.org or MATE Rov's on YouTube.

WHEN: SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014

WHERE: ROWAN UNIVERSITY
Rowan Hall
300 N. Campus Dr.
(intersection-Joseph L. Bowe Blvd.)
Glassboro, NJ

Contact: Velda Morris, Regional Coordinator via e-mail at: vmvrobot@gmail.com