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Thursday, July 31, 2014

eGFI For Teachers: Video STEM Lessons from MIT


Written by Mary Lord
It began a decade ago as an early effort to bring educational technology into high school science and math classrooms. Today, MIT BLOSSOMS (for Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies), an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Learning International Networks Consortium, houses a video library with more than 100 free science, engineering, and math lessons, all taught by experts in the field – and searchable by national and state standards, grade level, and content.
Used in schools around the world, each 50-minute lesson includes video segments, a teacher’s guide, downloadable hand-outs, and a list of additional online resources. In between video clips, teachers lead students through a series of activities designed to spur problem solving and a gut sense of the subject.
Many of the videos have catchy titles, such as the mathematics lesson called Pythagoras and the Juice Seller, which presents a real-world problem that can be solved by using the formula for calculating the length of the sides of right triangles. A hands-on engineering lesson in Using Geometry to Design Simple Machines offers a fun, hands-on way to get students thinking in three dimensions.
As an article in Slate noted, MIT BLOSSOMS runs counter to current edu-tech thinking. For starters, lessons are teacher, not student, centered. Moreover, unlike many blended-learning models, students don’t move at their own pace. The activities are structured to encourage teams to arrive at the finish line at the same time.
Along with BLOSSOMS, MIT has several other useful STEM education offerings. The engineering school’s popular Ask An Engineer, for example, posts answers to dozens of questions posed by visitors to the site – including why birds can perch on high tension lines and not get electrocuted. And MIT EdX offers free online courses from circuits and electronics to introduction to philosophy.
Click here to read from this article's source.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FabFems: Find a Role Model or Be a Role Model!


FabFems are women from across the country representing a wide range of STEM careers. The FabFems Online Directory is available to young women, girl-serving STEM programs and other organizations interested in increasing STEM interest and career awareness. Visit the website to find role models for girls you're working with or, if you're a woman working in a STEM career, create your profile and become a FabFem yourself.

Click here to access the FabFems Online Directory!

ICYMI: Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM in Afterschool!


NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities promotes and supports the development, continuity and expansion of quality programs for children and youth during out-of-school time.

NJSACC knows that a lot of great things are being achieved through STEM education in afterschool programs, but we need to know more. Help us make a difference by pinpointing STEM activity taking place in your programs and let's find out what is being accomplished!

With that in mind, please take a moment and fill out our quick survey to express your interests in incorporating STEM into your programs or how you are currently implementing STEM.

We encourage as many programs to respond as possible, whether or not you have strong involvement with STEM.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Click here to access the survey and begin!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Join us Wed 7/30 for a FREE Training in the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale

Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale
Kelly Posner, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Suicide Risk Assessment

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
1:30pm - 4:00pm

Location: NJ Child Welfare Training Academy
30 Van Dyke Avenue, Auditorium
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Refreshments: No refreshments will be served.

Cost: No Cost – This training is funded by the Garret Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth Program.

Intended Audience: Service providers for youth and young adults (ages 10-24), including emergency services.

Registration is Required: Please fill out the attached registration form and email to: sainloke@ubhc.rutgers.edu to register. This training is didactic and experiential. Confirmation will be emailed to registrants. Without an email confirmation, you are not registered.

Special Needs: For special physical (ADA) accommodations, contact the TLC, 732-235-2810, to discuss possible provisions.

Program Goal: To train individuals to use the C-SSRS to identify at-risk youth who may have otherwise been missed and refer them to appropriate levels of care. This training aims to increase precision in identifying children, teens and young adults at risk for suicide using the C-SSRS. The ultimate goal is to save lives.

Click here to download this announcement (.doc)

Monday, July 28, 2014

ICYMI: The Heat Is On with July STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)

Click here to signup to receive future GSGSC newsletters!
Click here to read the latest GSGSC Newsletter now!

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:
  • Powerful Ad Shows What A Little Girl Hears When You Tell Her She's Pretty 
  • Full STEM Ahead is the #1 Resource for New Jersey STEM News - All Aboard! 
  • Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM in Afterschool!
  • Support STEM Education and Take the Dow Teacher Challenge by 7/30/14! 
  • Take Advantage of this Valuable FREE Resource: Is your program listed?
  • NIOST and NJSACC Offer A New and Incredible STEM Fellowship Opportunity! Apply by 7/31

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ick! World's largest aquatic insect specimen reportedly found in China


By Dylan Stableford

Ick!

What appears to be the world's largest flying aquatic insect was discovered earlier this month in China's Sichuan province, officials there say.

According to the Insect Museum of West China, an expedition to the outskirts of Chengdu in mid-July returned dobsonflies with 8.3-inch wingspans and "giant snake-like fangs." Previously, the largest-known aquatic insect was the South American helicopter damselfly, which had a wingspan measuring 7.5 inches.

That's nothing compared to the aquatic insects that were around 250 million years ago: giant dragonflies with wingspans up to 30 inches, the museum said.

Entomologists say the presence of the giant dobsonfly, native to China and Vietnam, is an indication of clean water nearby.

According to CNN, the aquatic critters are "highly sensitive to any changes in the water's pH as well as the presence of trace elements of pollutants." If the water is even "slightly contaminated, the giant dobsonfly will move on to seek cleaner waters."

Meanwhile, entomophobia sufferers aren't exactly thrilled with the latest discovery.

"No, I wasn’t planning on sleeping tonight anyway," Brian Ashcraft wrote on Kotaku Australia. "Or the rest of this month, for that matter."

Click here to read from this article's source.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

NIOST and NJSACC Offer A New and Incredible STEM Fellowship Opportunity! Apply by 7/31


National Afterschool Matters STEM Practitioner Fellowship
A collaborative effort between the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, the National Writing Project, and NJSACC: The Network for NJ's Afterschool Communities

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College and the National Writing Project (NWP), with generous funding support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, launched the National Afterschool Matters Initiative Practitioner Fellowship in September 2008. The first two participating cities were Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Writing Project, and the San Francisco Bay area through the Bay Area Writing Project.

We have also have or had Fellowships in Minneapolis, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and New York City. NIOST and NJSACC are excited to bring this opportunity to out-of-school-time (OST) practitioners  and classroom teachers in New Jersey. The fellowship is grounded in the inquiry-based, writing, and professional development approaches of the National Writing Project (NWP) and NIOST. This effective professional development model provides frequent and ongoing opportunities for educators in and out of school to write and to examine theory and practice together systematically. Educators who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other practitioners as well as partners in development and implementation of effective and quality practice. Research findings by the fellows will be presented at a research roundtable in the Fall of 2015, and fellows will be encouraged to submit papers for publication.

Participants in the Practitioner Fellowship are selected by application. Through the year-long course the Fellows will explore some of the issues emerging from recent studies that challenge the dichotomy of learning experiences as well as traditional structures of learning. Researchers and policy makers have increasingly questioned the split between in-school and out-of-school programs, calling for new policy and innovative thinking to bridge these divides. 
Click here to download the fellowship flyer
Click here to download the fellowship application

Those selected for the New Jersey STEM Practitioner Fellowship will:
  • Become part of a community of practitioners. Fellows work collaboratively to study effective practices and investigate the structures in which effective practice happens - at the program/classroom, activity, curriculum, and individual levels using their own Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics curricula as the objects of study.
  • Learn strategies to engage in program reflection and inquiry. Fellows learn approaches and strategies that will help them become better at program/classroom observation and analysis.
  • Improve programs and practice. Fellows identify and investigate effective instructional strategies and bring these strategies back to their classrooms and/or OST programs.
  • Collaborate to identify ways that schools and OST programs can better work together to support youth in STEM learning and engagement.
  • Engage in leadership activities to disseminate program/classroom improvement strategies. Fellows present their work to peers, administrators, parents and community members. They are encouraged to design and deliver workshops based on their work to share new expertise with others in the field.
  • Write a STEM-focused inquiry paper that intentionally brings the worlds of OST and the school classroom together as part of an article for professional journals.
Responsibilities of Fellows:
  • September 2014 to November 2014: twice monthly Saturday meetings at the NJSACC office in Westfield, NJ
  • December 2014 to May 2015: monthly meetings, one Saturday per month in Westfield, NJ
  • April or May 2015: a spring writing retreat, where rough drafts of STEM research articles will be completed. Location TBD.
  • October 2015: a formal Round Table Presentation of research to the broader community
Application Process:

Employer approval must be obtained (see Memorandum of Understanding). Please complete the Practitioner Fellowship application and return, along with the MOU, by Thursday, July 31st 2014 by e-mail, fax, or mail to:

National Institute on Out-of-School Time,
National Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship 
Wellesley College, Waban House
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
fax: 781-283-3657

For more general information contact Elizabeth Meister at: (781) 283-2607 or oremeister@wellesley.edu. If you have specific questions in regards to the New Jersey Fellowship please contact Mike MacEwan, Director of STEM Initiatives for NJSACC at: mmacewan@njsacc.org

To apply, request the National Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship application and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from mmacewan@njsacc.org, the NJSACC website at: www.NJSACC.org or on the NIOST website here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM in Afterschool!


NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities promotes and supports the development, continuity and expansion of quality programs for children and youth during out-of-school time.

NJSACC knows that a lot of great things are being achieved through STEM education in afterschool programs, but we need to know more. Help us make a difference by pinpointing STEM activity taking place in your programs and let's find out what is being accomplished!

With that in mind, please take a moment and fill out our quick survey to express your interests in incorporating STEM into your programs or how you are currently implementing STEM.

We encourage as many programs to respond as possible, whether or not you have strong involvement with STEM.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Click here to access the survey and begin!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden Visits UST Global’s STEM Initiative Step IT Up America in Detroit


DETROIT, Jul 21, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, July 18th, 2014, visited the Detroit center of LA-based UST Global’s ‘Step IT Up America, ’ a nationwide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative to educate and hire 5,000 minority women across the country by 2020.

Accompanying the Vice President was Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

The Detroit center currently trains 61 women in database management and other IT skills, preparing them for workforce development in the IT industry. UST plans to expand capacity to 100 students by the end of this year, serving a demographic that has been traditionally underrepresented in this growing and important field.

Vice President Joe Biden speaking at the event congratulated Sajan Pillai, CEO of UST Global on the ingenuity of Step IT Up America and said, “The President is determined as I am to have the best training workshops. We cant train and pray, we have to train and place.”

Thanking the Vice President, Sajan Pillai, CEO of UST Global said, “Vice President Joe Biden’s visit today is a huge boost of confidence to our program. This program started as an ambitious idea to fix some of the fundamental issues facing the technology industry, the lack of diversity and underrepresentation of women. Encouraged by this visit, we feel confident this program can grow bigger and women trained at STEP IT Up America will be welcomed at America’s large corporations.”

To date, Step IT Up America has successfully launched in five cities: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Los Angeles and Chicago. This program has already touched the lives of over 300 women, and by the end of 2014, ‘Step IT Up America’ will launch in 10 US cities across the country.

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Fun with STEM! Apes Misbehavin': A Zoologist Explains What Would Happen If Big-Screen Animals Attacked


By Ethan Alter

If the $73 million haul that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes pulled in over its opening weekend is any indication, there’s still a healthy public appetite for watching an Earth overrun by ape-kind. But what would an actual Planet of the Apes look like? And how could non-Charlton Heston humans even hope to fight back? For the answers, we turned to animal expert Jeff Musial, who has brought his expertise and menagerie of critters to such programs as Today and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. One note: Like all card-carrying animal lovers, Musial wants to make it clear that he’s firmly against hurting or killing any and all of our two-, four-, or eight-legged friends. But in the event that mankind really was facing extinction thanks to any of the following creatures, he’s willing to offer some tactical advice:

Creature: Apes

Film: Planet of the Apes Series (1968-2014)

What Happens in the Movie(s): Apes with heightened intelligence challenge mankind’s hold on the planet, eventually supplanting humans as Earth’s dominant species.

What Would Actually Happen: "It depends on what apes we’re talking about. Chimps, for example, are as strong as six men—they’re very powerful and very smart. Chimps like to remove faces, fingers, and male genitalia, so they can definitely put a hurting on you. I’ve seen one chimp that was under a year old bounce a guy’s head off the ground like a basketball! So full-grown chimps capable of using weapons and machinery? That would be a scary thing. And the movies actually make chimps seem more laid back than they actually are; real chimps are nowhere near as calm as they are in the Planet of the Apes films.”

Our Best Defense: "First and foremost, don’t let them out of their cages! But the Planet of the Apes is funny in that they show apes teaming up [to take over the world], and a lot of apes would not team up together; chimps and gorillas wouldn’t get along, and orangutans wouldn’t either. Instead of the Planet of the Apes, it would be the Planet of the Chimps, the Planet of the Gorillas, and the Planet of the Orangutans. So I’d recommend pitting ‘em against each other and then build an underground shelter to live in, with a backup stash of hand grenades for combat.”

Click here to read more from this article's source.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Heat Is On with July STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)

Click here to signup to receive future GSGSC newsletters!
Click here to read the latest GSGSC Newsletter now!

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:
  • Powerful Ad Shows What A Little Girl Hears When You Tell Her She's Pretty 
  • Full STEM Ahead is the #1 Resource for New Jersey STEM News - All Aboard! 
  • Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM in Afterschool!
  • Support STEM Education and Take the Dow Teacher Challenge by 7/30/14! 
  • Take Advantage of this Valuable FREE Resource: Is your program listed?
  • NIOST and NJSACC Offer A New and Incredible STEM Fellowship Opportunity! Apply by 7/31

High school students get hands dirty with science at Rutgers Summer Science Program

 click here to watch
PISCATAWAY July 9, 2014 - A group of high school students are getting a chance to show off their science skills this summer.

About 65 teens from across New Jersey are taking part in the Rutgers Summer Science Program this week.

The program, sponsored by Samsung, gives students hands-on lessons in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math.

On Wednesday, they mapped trees downed during Sandy to help track the development of the forest.

Organizers say it's a great way to introduce the kids to different science fields. "A lot of our kids come in thinking about medical sciences as a potential career path and we are here to show them [that there] are dozens of STEM-related fields they could become a part of that would welcome them," says Janice McDonnell, a science agent with 4-H Youth Development at Rutgers University.

Scientists and grad students from Rutgers help to mentor the students during the project.

Click here to watch the video.

Survey finds that STEM education doesn't always equal STEM job


By Meg Fry

It's been commonly reported that the United States needs more students and workers in STEM-related fields — science, technology, engineering and math — to maintain economic growth.

But the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday that it may be time to reconsider the notion now that 74 percent of people who have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field are not working in their desired professions.

According to the 2012 American Community Survey, only 50 percent of engineering, computer, math and statistics majors; 26 percent of physical science majors; 15 percent of biology, environmental studies or agriculture majors; 10 percent of psychology majors; and 7 percent of social science majors in the U.S. found jobs in their chosen fields.

That means that even though unemployment among graduates with STEM degrees is considerably lower than the broader U.S. workforce — 3.6 percent vs 6.1 percent — those graduates are not putting their specialized education to proper use.

And according to a 2013 article written by Hal Salzman, professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University, twice as many STEM students currently graduate every year as are able to find jobs in their field.

“Engineering has the highest rate at which graduates move into STEM occupations, but even here the supply is over 50 percent higher than the demand,” Salzman states in the article. “Information technology — the industry most vocal about its inability to find enough workers — hires only two-thirds of each year’s graduating class of bachelor’s degree computer scientists.”

But according to the New Jersey 2014 STEM Report card, published as part of the Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America’s State Innovation Vital Signs series, 269,000 STEM-related jobs will be available in 2018, and during the next decade, the overall U.S. demand for scientists and engineers is expected to increase at four times the rate for all other occupations.

For the undeterred or optimistic, here is a list of the top 10 highest-paying STEM jobs in the U.S. this year:

1. Petroleum engineers (more than 43,000 workers, making an average of $60/hr).

2. Architectural and engineering managers (198,000, $60/hr)

3. Computer and information systems managers (356,000, $55/hr)

4. Natural Sciences managers (50,000, $55/hr)

5. Physicists (19,000, $50/hr)

6. Aerospace engineers (83,000, $50/hr)

7. Mathematicians (4,100, $50/hr)

8. Computer hardware engineers (86,000, $45/hr)

9. Nuclear engineers (27,000, $45/hr)

10. Astronomers (2,500, $45/hr)

And the job market depends on how you look it at — on one hand, you may want to look at jobs with smaller numbers of employees because there may be more opportunity; on the other hand, there may not be enough demand and therefore less jobs to apply to. But either way, here are the top five STEM jobs in the U.S. with both the highest and lowest amount of employees in 2014:

LOWEST

1. Mathematical technicians, 1,449.

2. Astronomers, 2,563

3. Agricultural engineers, 2,892

4. Epidemiologists, 5,429

5. Industrial-organizational psychologists, 5,534

HIGHEST

1. Accountants and auditors, 1,683,255

2. Construction managers, 469,314

3. Computer and information systems managers, 356,688

4. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists, 345,044

5. Civil engineers, 306,325

However, if you are a woman or a minority in the U.S., the statistics also work against you.

The U.S. Census Bureau found that men continue to dominate STEM regardless of the intensified focus on recruiting women and minorities into related majors: about 86 percent of engineers and 74 percent of computer professionals are men, whereas women represent 63 percent of social scientists, 47 percent of life scientists and 45 percent of mathematicians.

But in his 2013 article, Hal Salzman gives some good news:

“The extensive STEM enhancement programs funded by the National Science Foundation and other government and nongovernmental foundations and organizations appear to have raised the general level of STEM education across a wide range of disciplines (for example, half of all college STEM credit hours are taken by non-STEM majors) and significantly increased STEM studies among underrepresented minorities and women.”

For an effective visual representation of this demographic representation in STEM careers, visit the Census Bureau’s website.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Join us this morning for the 5th Annual Camp Day at MSG! Wed July 16, 2014 - 11am



To help celebrate Camp Day 2014, bring your campers to Madison Square Garden this summer and enjoy the fun and excitement of a liberty game! This year, Camp Day will be held on Wednesday, July 16th. The game will start at 11 am (doors open at 10 am).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

STEM program keeps inner-city New Jersey students involved in science


By Carlos Avila, The Trentonian

TRENTON — Careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are some of the most coveted and in-demand professional fields for young people. But many inner-city students and other underrepresented groups have little access to the education and training necessary to excel in those fields.

Company’s like Samsung are changing that and creating opportunities for students to tap into the potential of STEM fields.

On Wednesday, Samsung announced that the company has awarded 63 scholarships to New Jersey high school students to serve as Samsung Scholars at the Rutgers Summer Science Program in July, which provides participants with week-long science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) immersion sessions. Two former Summer Science Program attendees received the first Samsung STEM College Scholarship which grants $2,500 to New Jersey students pursuing undergraduate degrees in STEM fields.

“This is a great opportunity. We have met many very nice people and engage in very interesting activities,” said Akil Roberts from Trenton who is working on a music and video game app.

This is the second year that Samsung has provided scholarships for under-served high school students to continue learning science, technology, engineering and math subjects during the summer. This marks the first year that Samsung offered Rutgers Summer Science Program graduates a college scholarship to help continue their education beyond high school.

“Through the Rutgers Summer Science Program and Samsung STEM College Scholarships, we hope to help foster student engagement and passion in STEM across New Jersey,” said Ann Woo, director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics North America.

All of the scholarship recipients are from Mercer, Passaic, Middlesex, Essex and Union counties, and were chosen for their passion for STEM beyond the traditional school year, as well as their commitment to help improve learning among their peers across New Jersey. To qualify for a Samsung STEM College Scholarship, applicants must have previously attended the Rutgers Summer Science Program, been accepted at a four year higher education institution and plan to major in a STEM field.

Ten Mercer County students are part of the program.

“I found out about the program from my advisor who knew I was into science, math and technology,” said Zaire Bellamy who is also part of the award winning TCHS Inspirational Choir.

The 2014 Summer Science Program curriculum centers on biotechnology, biomedical engineering, environmental science, exercise physiology, mobile app development and marine science. Classes are taught by Rutgers University professors, with the support of graduate students. During the program, students live in Rutgers dorms and use Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets, donated by Samsung, to collect and process data from lessons, share real-time updates and capture photos and videos from the program.

Upon completion of the Summer Science Program, the Samsung Scholars will share lessons from the program with high school students across New Jersey, which they hope will help increase academic awareness and interest in STEM subjects among teenagers.

The Rutgers Summer Science Program is a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow initiative, which aims to engage students across the country in active, hands-on STEM learning. Since 2004, Samsung has provided more than $15 million in technology to more than 750 public schools in the United States.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Can Teachers Learn Grit?


By Betsy Aronson

This post was originally published on the TNTP Blog.

Training new teachers is about skill-building: Our Fast Start training for Teaching Fellows focuses on giving first-year teachers the chance to learn the skills they’ll need to be successful in their classrooms, and then to practice those skills until they master them. We think it’s the right approach. But to learn so many challenging new skills quickly, new teachers also need the right mindset, one that lets them take constructive feedback and translate it into improved practice. The path to excellence in the classroom involves plenty of stumbles. Which raises a key question—can a growth mindset be taught?

So our ears perked up when we heard about a recent study by Claire Robertson-Kraft and Angela Duckworth, linking “grit”—defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals—with increased effectiveness and retention for first-year teachers.

Conversation around “character education” often includes questions of how we can support students to develop grit and why it’s important to do so, particularly in high-poverty schools. But the concept of cultivating grit in teachers is a new one for many of us. Duckworth’s study made me wonder: How can we use what we know about grit to inform how we select, train and coach new teachers?

I will describe a teacher I’ll call Elyse. She struggled with classroom management at the beginning of the year—her directions weren’t clear, and she hadn’t established a strong presence in her classroom. Elyse was tired and frustrated, but she didn’t dwell on it. Instead, she invited colleagues into her classroom, then requested their feedback. She told her principal she wanted additional support. Setbacks did not deter her. She continued to stand in front of her class, trying new strategies until they worked. When they didn’t, she looked for new ones. She always believed her performance—and her students’—was mutable, and that when she faced adversity in her classroom, there were ways to push beyond it.

As Elyse’s coach, I know she’ll use tough feedback to drive her growth. So her natural grit has affected how we work together, too. In our model, teachers get active coaching in their classrooms to help them implement new skills effectively. With Elyse, I can get past nice. I can give her direct feedback about her performance, and then we can spend our time focusing on what she needs to do differently to get better results from her students.

While she once struggled to make sure she had 100 percent of her students on task, now Elyse scans her room while she teaches, making sure all the students are with her. When she sees one whose attention is wandering, she gives a quick hand signal or calls their name, refocusing them quickly without losing track of her lesson. I didn’t know Elyse before she became a Teaching Fellow, but I suspect that she’s exhibited grit in other areas of her life too—and she’s grown from coaching partly because she’s been able to draw on that capacity.

Can you bottle this kind of persistence? Probably not. But it’s worth exploring whether there are ways to capitalize on the perseverance that we all have already—to become “grittier.” Research on fostering grit in students, for example, suggests that children should be praised for qualities they can control—like working hard toward a goal—rather than those they can’t, like intelligence. And activities that require ongoing reflection and revision are known to promote grit in students.

Surely, school leaders, coaches and peer mentors can use similar strategies to foster grit among new and developing teachers, too. Structures for giving teachers direct feedback from multiple sources, paired with guidelines for what actionable feedback looks like, are a promising start. Low-stakes opportunities to try (and sometimes fail) at new skills before standing in front of students—as our Fellows do in pre-service training—are valuable, too.

Even if we can’t manufacture grit out of nothing, identifying the seeds of “grittiness” in teacher candidates could help us recognize those who, like Elyse, will be successful in challenging classroom environments—who will be able to problem-solve creatively, face setbacks and approach teaching as a constant learning process.

It’s important to understand what grit is not. As grit has become more widely discussed in education circles, some have portrayed it as promoting indifference to student frustration or struggle. That’s not how we see it. Grit is using perseverance again and again to develop toward long-term goals, and it’s a strategy that might become a trait over time. Teachers and students alike can leverage grit to sustain their effort toward long-term goals, even when frustration or failure arises.

Our new approach to selecting and training first-year teachers opens the door for seeing these capacities in novice teachers early on. In the new model, not all teacher candidates who are accepted into pre-service training end up in the classroom. Instead, we’re relying on the pre-service training as part of the selection process; candidates who might seem weaker on paper have the chance to show great capacity for growth in the pre-service training, or vice versa. By being more flexible with our initial acceptance criteria, and then setting a high bar for successful completion of training, we have the opportunity to view prospective teachers in action and get a sense of how successfully they’re able to implement constructive feedback.

Clearly, some teachers, like Elyse, bring more natural grit than others. But as we prepare new teachers for the realities of the classroom and coach them through their first year and beyond, it’s worth considering how we can identify signs of grit early on, and then foster it and use it to drive their growth.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Join us Wed 7/30 for a FREE Training in the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale

Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale
Kelly Posner, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Suicide Risk Assessment

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
1:30pm - 4:00pm

Location: NJ Child Welfare Training Academy
30 Van Dyke Avenue, Auditorium
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Refreshments: No refreshments will be served.

Cost: No Cost – This training is funded by the Garret Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth Program.

Intended Audience: Service providers for youth and young adults (ages 10-24), including emergency services.

Registration is Required: Please fill out the attached registration form and email to: sainloke@ubhc.rutgers.edu to register. This training is didactic and experiential. Confirmation will be emailed to registrants. Without an email confirmation, you are not registered.

Special Needs: For special physical (ADA) accommodations, contact the TLC, 732-235-2810, to discuss possible provisions.

Program Goal: To train individuals to use the C-SSRS to identify at-risk youth who may have otherwise been missed and refer them to appropriate levels of care. This training aims to increase precision in identifying children, teens and young adults at risk for suicide using the C-SSRS. The ultimate goal is to save lives.

Click here to download this announcement (.doc)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Samsung Scholarships Support Careers in Stem and Provide a College Life Experience to New Jersey High School Students


Teens from Mercer, Passaic, Middlesex, Essex and Union Counties Awarded Grants


Samsung has announced that the company has awarded 63 scholarships to New Jersey high school students to serve as Samsung Scholars at the Rutgers Summer Science Program in July, which provides participants with week-long science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) immersion sessions. Further, two former Summer Science Program attendees received the first Samsung STEM College Scholarship which grants $2,500 to New Jersey students pursuing undergraduate degrees in STEM fields.

This is the second year that Samsung has provided scholarships for under-served high school students to continue learning science, technology, engineering and math subjects during the summer. This also marks the first year that Samsung offered Rutgers Summer Science Program graduates a college scholarship to help continue their education beyond high school. With Samsung’s support, STEM College Scholarship recipient Aliya Blackwood will major in computer and electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, and recipient Michael Scott will study nursing at the University of Virginia.

“As the largest electronics company in the world, Samsung is made up of employees who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math. We know that we must work today to build the workforce of the future, and ensure that tomorrow’s leaders are interested in and excel in these topics,” said Ann Woo, director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics North America. “Through the Rutgers Summer Science Program and Samsung STEM College Scholarships, we hope to help foster student engagement and passion in STEM across New Jersey.”

All of the scholarship recipients are from Mercer, Passaic, Middlesex, Essex and Union counties, and were chosen for their passion for STEM beyond the traditional school year, as well as their commitment to help improve learning among their peers across New Jersey. To qualify for a Samsung STEM College Scholarship, applicants must have previously attended the Rutgers Summer Science Program, been accepted at a four year higher education institution and plan to major in a STEM field.

“I have always been interested in science and participating in the Summer Science Program has taught me that science, technology, engineering and math can revolutionize the world we live in,” Scott said. “In the fall, I will start at the University of Virginia as a full-time student, where I plan to major in nursing. I am confident that the skills I gained as a Samsung Scholar in the Rutgers Summer Science Program will prepare me for the challenges that lay ahead.”

The 2014 Summer Science Program curriculum centers on biotechnology, biomedical engineering, environmental science, exercise physiology, mobile app development and marine science. Classes are taught by Rutgers University professors, with the support of graduate students. During the program, students live in Rutgers dorms and use Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets, donated by Samsung, to collect and process data from lessons, share real-time updates and capture photos and videos from the program.

“The Rutgers Summer Science Program offers an incredibly unique experience for high school students in three regards: to experience how science content and technology are integrated in the process of science, to be challenged to use science practices to tackle real world relevant science questions, and to broaden their perspectives of what it means to be a scientist and different ways to pursue science,” said Kristin Hunter-Thomson, SET program coordinator for the 4-H Youth Development Department at Rutgers Cooperative Extension. “In this program, the students are doing and being scientists by jumping into the science, aided by state-of-the art Samsung technology, rather than just being talked at about science."

Upon completion of the Summer Science Program, the Samsung Scholars will share lessons from the program with high school students across New Jersey, which will help increase academic awareness and interest in STEM subjects among teenagers.

The Rutgers Summer Science Program is a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow initiative, which aims to engage students across the country in active, hands-on STEM learning. Since 2004, Samsung has provided more than $15 million in technology to more than 750 public schools in the United States.

About Samsung Electronics North America

Samsung Electronics North America (NAHQ), based in Ridgefield Park, NJ, is an arm of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. The company markets a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics, information systems, and home appliance products, as well as oversees all of Samsung’s North American brand management including Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC and Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, Samsung is one of the most decorated brands in the electronics industry. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com . You can also Fan Samsung on www.facebook.com/SamsungUSA or follow Samsung via Twitter @SamsungTweets.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, tablets, personal computers, cameras, home appliances, printers, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 286,000 people across 80 countries with annual sales of US$216.7 billion. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.

SOURCE: Samsung Electronics North America

Samsung Electronics North America
Danielle Meister Cohen, 201-329-7554
d2.cohen@sea.samsung.com
or
Edelman
Elizabeth Banta, 212-704-4510
elizabeth.banta@edelman.com

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Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM in Afterschool!


NJSACC: The Statewide Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities promotes and supports the development, continuity and expansion of quality programs for children and youth during out-of-school time.

NJSACC knows that a lot of great things are being achieved through STEM education in afterschool programs, but we need to know more. Help us make a difference by pinpointing STEM activity taking place in your programs and let's find out what is being accomplished!

With that in mind, please take a moment and fill out our quick survey to express your interests in incorporating STEM into your programs or how you are currently implementing STEM.

We encourage as many programs to respond as possible, whether or not you have strong involvement with STEM.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Click here to access the survey and begin!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Printeer Makes 3D Printing More Accessible To Kids And Classrooms


By Luke Villapaz

A California startup has developed a prototype and is more than halfway to the funding goal for its new 3D printer aimed at young learners.

The Printeer, with its transparent exterior revealing colorful internal workings, aims to make the growing hobby of 3D printing more accessible to students from kindergarten through high school. According to Mission Street Manufacturing, the Santa Barbara, California, startup behind Printeer, the 3D printer doesn’t require a computer or complicated computer-aided design (CAD) software to design 3D objects:
“Traditional 3D printers require the user to jump through many hoops to design and make something ready for 3D printing. Our software performs these tedious steps for you in the cloud,” Mission St. said in the description of Printeer’s Kickstarter.
Using the power of simplified iPad software and Wi-Fi, Printeer enables kids to design and print objects they designed and created with ease, ending up with a plastic final product.

While the Printeer's simple iPad software makes it suitable for children and educational settings, it can be used by a broader audience. Those already familiar with 3D design and printing can continue to use 3D printing files created from third-party CAD software with Printeer.

According to its Kickstarter page, the Printeer currently has 86 backers that have pledged nearly $28,000 to the project, well over 50 percent of its goal of $50,000.

Startups such as Mission Street Manufacturing and Makerbot have been at the forefront of making 3D printing more accessible to various audiences, and the idea of children printing their own playthings and treats has some kid-focused companies salivating. Toymaker Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) and confectionary giant Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY), for instance, who have established partnerships and made investments with 3D printing company 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE:DDD), to develop new products and toys powered by 3D printing.

“We believe 3D printing offers endless potential to bring incredible new play experiences for kids,” Hasbro President & CEO Brian Goldner said in a press release from February, when Hasbro and 3D Systems first announced their partnership.

Hershey also partnered with 3D Systems to create new edible confectionaries such as chocolate through the use of 3D printing technology.

While Mission St. Manufacturing may soon have to compete with 3D printing offerings from Hasbro and Hershey, introducing the Printeer in schools may be its best course of action. At the price of $549 (according to currently available Kickstarter pledge options), kids probably won’t be smashing their piggy banks to get their own Printeer. But that may be just the price point needed to get schools to affordably introduce 3D printing to students.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Things you love are Made with Code


By Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

Miral is a hip hop dancer and choreographer who lights up stages across the country. Danielle is a cinematographer at Pixar, helping to bring beloved characters like Nemo and Merida to life. Erica is a humanitarian fighting malaria around the world.

These are all women with cool, amazing jobs. But, more important, they’re all women who use computer science, and an ability to code, to do those cool, amazing jobs. They couldn’t do what they do without having learned not just to use technology, but to build it themselves. Unfortunately, there are far too few women like them and far too few young girls following their paths. In fact, fewer than one percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science.

This is an issue that hits home for me. My school-age daughter instinctively knows how to play games, watch videos and chat with friends online. She understands technology. And she likes using technology. But, she never expressed any interest in creating it herself.

So, I decided to launch a campaign at home — connecting my daughter to coding resources, increasing my encouragement and introducing her to other girls interested in computer science. It wasn’t always easy, but it’s already showing results. She recently started learning basic computer languages and using code to do projects at home.

Today, we’re attempting to solve this issue on a much larger scale. Along with Chelsea Clinton, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab, National Center for Women & Information Technology, SevenTeen, TechCrunch and more, Google is launching Made with Code, an initiative to inspire girls to code. The program includes:

Cool introductory Blockly-based coding projects, like designing a bracelet 3D-printed by Shapeways, learning to create animated GIFs and building beats for a music track.

Collaborations with organizations like Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls, Inc. to introduce Made with Code to girls in their networks, encouraging them to complete their first coding experience.

A commitment of $50 million to support programs that can help get more females into computer science, like rewarding teachers who support girls who take CS courses on Codecademy or Khan Academy.

We’ve also posted videos about women who are using code in their dream jobs, like Miral, Danielle, Erica and other inspirational girl coders — like Brittany Wenger, who is using code to fight cancer. And, we’ve developed a few steps parents can take at home to get their daughters excited about computer science. Read more about the initiative here.

Nowadays, coding isn’t just a skill useful for working at a tech company; engineering isn’t just for engineers. Interior design. Medicine. Architecture. Music. No matter what a girl dreams of doing, learning how to code will help her get there. Their future — our future — is made with code. Let’s do what we can to make sure that future is as bright as possible.

Click here to read from this blog article's source.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: US need not lose its edge in science


By Stephen Shankland

The famed astrophysicist says there's a reason some chemical elements are named for places in the US -- and that we don't have to leave those glory days in the past.

CANNES, France -- The US today is sacrificing its scientific excellence just as the Arabic world did a millennium earlier, but it's not too late for the country to make science a cultural priority.

That's what famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson told advertising and marketing specialists at the Cannes Lions conference here. That audience may have been a bit removed from the science types for whom Tyson has long been a celebrity, but his fame, cemented this year with the popular TV series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," transcends those cultural boundaries. Tyson groupies descended upon the stage to get autographs and ask questions, and the audience lauded his speech Thursday with a standing ovation.

In particular for a large swath of students in the audience, Tyson is becoming something of a hero, and they're receptive to his attempts to encourage STEM programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

"Investments in those areas can transform a complacent country into an innovation nation," Tyson said. It's an edge the US is losing as Europe and Japan produce ever-larger fractions of the world's published, peer-reviewed scientific papers, with China growing fast, too, he said.

The US gained prominence in the 20th century with a massive push behind scientific research -- a capability that, among other things, meant only five years separated the discovery of plutonium in 1940 and its use as a weapon at the end of World War II in 1945.

"The US valued research in physics, driven by war," Tyson said. The names of other transuranic chemical elements reflect the US prowess: californium, berkelium, and americium. "When you discover something, you get you name it. It displays for you your imprint on the history of knowledge, thought, and innovation."

A country's cultural priorities show in the names lionized on its currency, and Tyson showed off a dozen examples of countries praising their native scientists like Nikola Tesla, Guglielmo Marconi, Alexander Volta, Charles Darwin -- and in Israel's case of Albert Einstein, the native scientists of other countries, too.

"Somebody's caring about the discoveries this man made enough to share it," he said. "It's a natural part of being alive. These are the things that affect your culture. Whole countries can be given to problem-solving."

One cultural shift a thousand years ago turned the huge Islamic region of the world from the scientific center of the world to a backwater. From about 800 to 1100 in the Islamic world was "one of the most intellectually fertile periods in the history of the human species," Tyson said, producing among other things algebra and the Arabic numerals in use globally today.

But a Muslim cleric, Hamid al-Ghazali, undid that with Islamic conclusions that "manipulating numbers is outside of your spiritual responsibilities and that all the events around you are the will of Allah," Tyson said. The casualties were mathematics and curiosity about how the universe works. If you're content with an explanation that the world works the way it does because God made it that way "you'll not be the one who discovers gravity," he said.

That Islamic legacy persists. There are only about 15 million Jews in the world, but they have received 25 percent of science Nobel prizes. Islamic scientists have won just 3 of the 609 science Nobel prizes so far issued, even though they account for about 2 billion of the world's 7 billion people.

"I lie awake at night asking how myself how many secrets of the universe lay undiscovered because 2 billion people are not participating in that exercise," Tyson said. "What problems are not being addressed because of the intellectual power not being applied to that?"

Now the US risks following down that path because of underinvestment in science ever since Western nations came out on top after the Cold War. "When the [Berlin] Wall came down, science got viewed as a luxury," he said.

"I do know in the US we're losing it. There's something going on," he said. "When I think of the major contributions the US made to our civilization and culture in the 20th century -- I now see this: a headline that says, 'Half the schools in the district are below average.' This is the country I hail from."

Tyson has some shreds of optimism. His own show has helped, he thinks.

As evidence, he pointed to a tweet by @Foodmancing that arrived five minutes before the first episode of the TV show: "Shhhh @neiltyson is about to crack a knowledge egg on your ass #cosmos."

"It was science literacy reaching into the vernacular," Tyson said. "People felt compelled to comment in their own way."

Click here to read from this article's source.

Powerful Ad Shows What A Little Girl Hears When You Tell Her She's Pretty


By Caroline Bologna

A new Verizon commercial cites a sad statistic by the National Science Foundation: 66 percent of 4th grade girls say they like science and math, but only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female.

People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.

The video depicts one girl's development from toddler to teenager. She wanders curiously through nature, examines the plants and animals around her, creates an astronomy project, and builds a rocket with her older brother. But all along the way, she hears many all-too-common refrains from her parents: "Who's my pretty girl?" "Don't get your dress dirty," "You don't want to mess with that," and "Be careful with that. Why don't you hand that to your brother?" These statements are subtle, but the ad suggests that they can ultimately discourage girls from pursuing traditionally male-dominated STEM subjects in school.

According to AdWeek, the powerful commercial is the result of a partnership between Verizon and Makers and is narrated by Girls Who Code founder, Reshma Saujani.

The video ends with a thought-provoking question: Isn't it time we told her she's pretty brilliant, too?



It sure is.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the National Science Foundation.

Click here to read from this article's source.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Kevlar Inventor Stephanie Kwolek Dead at 90


By Alyssa Newcomb

As one of the few pioneering female chemists in the 1960s, Stephanie Kwolek invented the flexible, tougher than steel fibers that were used to create life-saving body armor for law enforcement and soldiers.

Kwolek died this week at the age of 90, her co-workers at DuPont, the chemical company where Kwolek worked, confirmed to ABC News.

"She leaves a wonderful legacy of thousands of lives saved and countless injuries prevented by products made possible by her discovery," DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said in a statement.

In 1965, Kwolek devised a liquid crystal solution that could be cold-spun. Nearly half a century later, her discovery and legacy have endured through a variety of goods ranging from bulletproof vests to sports rackets and smartphones.

Earlier this week, the one millionth vest using the latest Kevlar technology was sold, according to DuPont, showing just how important Kwolek's discovery remains, even half a century after she did what researchers had long struggled to do.

Kevlar has been used to make sporting goods "lighter, stronger and safer," according to DuPont. It can be found in motorcycle components and clothing, as well as skis, racquets, canoes and kayaks.

The durable, flexible material has also been integrated into personal electronics, such as the Motorola DROID RAZR, which is made with Kevlar unibody design

Kevlar's resistance to chemicals and extreme temperatures makes it ideal for personal electronics, according to DuPont's website.

Goodyear has used the material to create a tire with Kevlar reinforced sidewalls that DuPont said can increase puncture resistance by 35 percent.

Kwolek, who aspired to be a fashion designer before she discovered a love of chemistry, served as a mentor for other female scientists throughout her career. She also participated in programs aimed to introduce children to science.

Kullman remembered her as a "creative and determined chemist and a true pioneer for women in science."

A Catholic Mass to celebrate Kwolek's life is scheduled for June 28, according to the Associated Press.

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It's time for a 21st-century workplace that works for all Americans



The modern family looks different than it ever has before. In 63 percent of families with children, all parents work. 32 percent of families with children are single-parent families. And yet, most moms and dads don't have access to paid leave or flexible workplaces. On average, women are still earning 77 cents to every dollar a man doing the same work earns.

It's time for workplace policies that give all workers the best chance to succeed at work and at home.

On June 23, we hosted a national conversation about how we can build 21st-century workplaces that help the modern American family succeed. Visit: WorkingFamiliesSummit.org to learn more.

Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The 12-Year-Old Who Designed A Low-Cost Braille Printer From Legos


By Shreya Pareek

What were you doing when you were 12? Playing your favourite video game? Finishing your homework? Going on a vacation with family? Shubham Banerjee, a 12-year-old seventh grader from California has invented a low-cost Braille printer to help the visually impaired. All he needed was some Legos and support from the family.

“I think I am doing something that can actually help people,” Banerjee says. It all started when a flyer asking for donations for visually impaired landed on the Banerjee family’s doorsteps. Shubham started thinking about the difficulties faced by visually impaired people, and a little bit of Google-ing revealed that a Braille printer costs a whopping $2000.

Banerjee was surprised and thought to do something about it. “I wanted to do something for others, but didn’t know much about Braille,” he says.

Picture Source

Being a Lego lover since childhood, he came up with an idea to put his toys to a better use. A month of mix and match and experiments, and he managed to design a Braille printer with the help of his $350 toy set. Banerjee proudly named this invention as “Braigo” which is a mash up of Braille and Lego.

“I didn’t know if it was possible but I wanted to at least give it a try,” Banerjee says. He worked around 7 failed models before finally coming up with the right prototype.

How it works?

Introduced in a science fair, Braigo has captured attention across the globe. The simple technique and the low-cost are the USPs of the prototype.

Push up pins act as the print head and push Braille characters onto the paper. A controller helps to scroll and choose the required alphabet. Banerjee used a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 set and a modified Robot model to make a functional printer. Braigo takes 5-7 seconds to print one letter.

Here is a demo of Braigo to understand the machine better:




Picture Source

Many companies like Lego and National Instruments have contacted him but right now Banerjee is only focusing on improving the device and enhancing the prototype to make it easier to use.

“My dad mentioned to me yesterday night, not to jump off the gun if I have to execute my vision of a sub $150 Braille printer. I need to make the prototype first and show everyone that it is possible. If I go to the crowd for funding, then it is a big responsibility because people will entrust me with their own hard earned money to support me. I agreed that over summer I will work on making the prototype ready and show it to all of you. I don’t know if it will be feasible but I will try,” he said on his Facebook page.

Currently a biology student, Banerjee loves to play guitar in his free time and wants to be a neurosurgeon when he grows up. You can know more about his work through his Facebook Page.

Banerjee, through his simple innovation proved that one does not need money to do something. A dedicated mind can do wonders. The Braille printer is an exceptional example of the wonders the younger generation can do.

Click here to read from this article's source.