Real-world STEM adventures inspire millions of girls through the power of media
The magic of life unfolds, but for adolescents Mimi, Izzie and Quinn, watching a monarch butterfly emerge from its cocoon and spread its wings is more than a fascinating moment--cameras are rolling!
With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Richard Hudson and his team at Twin Cities Public Television are putting middle school girls in front of a national audience on the PBS series "SciGirls." This is the first television science series designed specifically for girls, ages 8 to 12, to inspire and empower them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Each episode features different girls doing their own science investigations and engineering projects, accompanied by two animated characters. In the new season, premiering in April 2015, the SciGirls work together as citizen scientists and share their findings with professional scientists.
The approach of the show is based on gender research and best practices for STEM education for girls. The innovative format of the show also forges a unique link to the website, which is an integral part of the TV show.
The show features mentor Kelly Nail working with the girls. She is part of another NSF-funded project, Driven to Discover, a University of Minnesota effort designed to engage 12-to-14-year-old youth and their adult mentors in authentic research.
A girl makes her own scribbling machine at the San Francisco Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio.
The Tinkering Studio is an immersive, active, creative place where museum visitors can investigate scientific phenomena as well as create something that fully represents their ideas. Visitors are invited to explore a curiosity-driven exhibit, chat with a featured artist or investigate a range of phenomena with staff artists, scientists, educators and others by participating in a collaborative activity. A large, eclectic assortment of materials, tools and technologies are provided for people to use as they explore and create.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports tinkerers, do-it-yourself engineers and inventors known as the "maker movement," an independent-minded community of people who create do-it-yourself tech solutions. "Makers" are youth, entrepreneurs and others across the country who use scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills to empower themselves by designing and making just about anything.
In this day and age, we and our gadgets are limited by the archaic ways we store our power. Tech guru Brad Templeton explains that a breakthrough in battery technology would spark an exciting wave of innovation and enable the future of computing to be realized.
A practical introduction to game design and game design concepts, emphasizing the basic tools of game design: paper and digital prototyping, design iteration, and user testing
About this Course
An introduction to the basic methods of game design. This course includes defining and analyzing games and their mechanics, and understanding how mechanics affect gameplay and player experiences. Practical assignments include creating both paper and digital prototypes, using user testing to find points of failure and iterative design processes to revise and improve overall gameplay.
Week 0 of this course is a 'ramp-up' week for participants to introduce themselves to one another and become familiar with the forums and other course platform features.
This course is part of the EdTechX series from the MIT Education Arcade.Check out the other course modules to further build your understanding of the use and design of technologies for learning.
Project-based learning (PBL) can be the platform for deep immersion in interesting problems or topics, but it can also be wildly unwieldy. With the mix of learners and the resource limitations in a typical classroom (namely time), what are the secret ingredients for designing meaningful and manageable project-based learning?
The top 10 solar states, according to Solar Power Rocks, may just surprise you. New York comes in at #1, followed by Massachusetts.
The clean energy sector has been on an economic roller coaster the past several years, but despite entrenched interests, questions about efficiency and costs, renewables are on the upswing in the U.S.
That includes solar power, which is experiencing a surge in installations large and small—witnessSolarCity’s success in recent years. Of course, the regulatory environment has a lot to do with how solar is spread.
So to that end, the writers at Solar Power Rocks, a clearinghouse of solar information from rebates to technology, recently ranked the U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The top 10 solar states may just surprise you—unless you live there and you have seen what is going on in your local community.....read more
There's no substitute for hands-on experience, but for most students, real world tools can be cost prohibitive. That's why we created the GitHub Student Developer Pack with some of our partners and friends: to give students free access to the best developer tools in one place so they can learn by doing.
More than 100,000 students have already taken advantage of free access to GitHub, collectively pushing code more than 50,000 times per day. With the GitHub Student Developer Pack, students now have free access to an entire suite of useful developer tools, including:
Atom — atom.io A hackable text editor for the 21st CenturyOpen Source by GitHub, free for everyone
Bitnami — bitnami.com Install cloud applications in a single clickBusiness 3 plan (normally $49/month) for one year
Crowdflower — crowdflower.com Crowdsourcing and data enrichment platformAccess to the Crowdflower platform (normally $2,500/month) and $50 in worker credit
DigitalOcean — digitalocean.com Simple cloud hosting, built for developers$100 in platform credit
DNSimple — dnsimple.com Simple DNS management with one-click services and a robust APIBronze hosted DNS plan (normally $3/month) for two years
GitHub — github.com Powerful collaboration, code review, and code managementMicro account (normally $7/month) with five private repositories while you're a student
HackHands — hackhands.com Live programming help available 24/7$25 in platform credit
Namecheap — namecheap.com Domain name registration and SSL certificatesOne year free domain name registration on the .me TLD (normally 8.99/year) and one year free SSL certificate (normally $9/year)
Orchestrate — orchestrate.io Database API that includes search, time-series events, geolocation and graph queriesDeveloper account (normally $49/month) while you're a student
Screenhero — screenhero.com Screen sharing for collaboration in teamsIndividual account (normally $9.99/month) while you're a student
SendGrid — sendgrid.com Email infrastructure as a serviceStudent plan (normally $4.95/month) for one year
Stripe — stripe.com Web and mobile payments, built for developersWaived transaction fees on first $1,000 in revenue processed
Travis CI — travis-ci.com Continuous integration platform for open source and private projectsPrivate builds (normally $69/month) while you're a student
Unreal Engine — unrealengine.com A complete suite of game development tools made by game developers, for game developersUnreal Engine (normally $19/month) while you're a student
Get your pack
If you're a student aged 13+ and enrolled in degree or diploma granting course of study, the GitHub Student Developer Pack is for you. All you need is a one of the following:
School-issued email address Valid student identification card Other official proof of enrollment (enrollment letter, transcript, etc) Get your GitHub Student Developer Pack
If you're already using GitHub with a student account, you've automatically been given access to the developer pack. You can access all the offers at https://education.github.com/pack.
Join the pack
If your company produces developer tools and wants to be included in the pack, pass us a note.
AP Computer Science Principles is a new computer science course designed to give students foundational computing skills, an understanding of the real-world impact of computing applications, and programming literacy. Leading computer scientists and educators, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), agreed that such a course was needed to increase the number of students interested in and prepared for success in computer science and other STEM fields.
AP Computer Science Principles is designed to introduce a wider range of students to the central tenets of computer science. The course was developed and piloted in collaboration with leading high school and higher education computer science educators to reflect the latest scholarship in the field. Learn more about institutions that have supported the development of the new Computer Science Principles course.
The new course will launch in the fall of 2016, with the first AP Computer Science Principles Exam administration taking place in May 2017.
Overview of Curriculum
AP Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. The course will introduce students to creative aspects of programming, using abstractions and algorithms, working with large data sets, understandings of the Internet and issues of cybersecurity, and impacts of computing that affect different populations. AP Computer Science Principles will give students the opportunity to use current technologies to solve problems and create meaningful computational artifacts. Together, these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum that aims to broaden participation in computer science.
The AP Computer Science Principles Curriculum Framework (.pdf/1.42MB) focuses on the innovative aspects of computing as well as the computational thinking practices that help students see how computing is relevant to many areas of their everyday lives.
Computational Thinking Practices
Connecting computingCreating computational artifactsAbstractingAnalyzing problems and artifactsCommunicatingCollaborating
CreativityAbstractionData and InformationAlgorithmsProgrammingThe InternetGlobal Impact
AP Computer Science Principles will encourage students to be both analytical and creative in their thinking, and to collaborate with their peers to investigate solutions to real-world issues using computing. Students who succeed in AP Computer Science Principles will be better prepared in college and career, with a thorough grasp of computing foundations and concepts.
Overview of Assessments
The AP Computer Science Principles assessment consists of two parts: a through-course assessment and the end-of-course AP Exam. Both of these will measure student achievement of the course learning objectives. For the through-course assessment, students will upload digital artifacts and written responses via a Web-based digital application.
AP Computer Science Principles students will receive a final exam score of 1-5 based on two through-course performance tasks submitted online during the school year and a multiple-choice written exam administered during the AP Exam administration in May.
The two performance tasks, focusing on computing innovations and programming, will not change from year to year. Rather, the tasks are designed to give students broad latitude in personally selecting the focus and topics for their engagement in these tasks. Draft versions of pilot performance tasks can be found on the Computer Science Principles Pilot Teacher Community.
On both the through-course assessment and the AP Computer Science Principles Exam, students will be asked to apply their understanding of the course learning objectives, including the essential knowledge statements and computational thinking practices.
Two AP Computer Science Courses
When AP Computer Science Principles launches in the 2016-17 academic year, AP will have two computer science offerings, and students can take either course in any order. Currently one of the fastest growing AP courses, the AP Computer Science A course and exam continues to focus on computing skills related to programming in Java. The new AP Computer Science Principles course will complement AP Computer Science A as it aims to broaden participation in the study of computer science.
CodeEd teaches computer science to girls from underserved communities, starting in middle-school. We partner with schools and programs serving low-income girls and provide them with volunteer teachers, computer science course offerings, and computers.
The cherry-sized fruits of a tree species in Thailand are eaten by large animals, including bears. Credit and Larger Version
November 12, 2014
The elephant has long been an important spiritual, cultural and national symbol in Thailand. At the beginning of the 20th century, its numbers exceeded 100,000.
Today, those numbers have plunged to 2,000. Elephants, as well as other large, charismatic animals such as tigers, monkeys and civet cats, are under attack from hunters and poachers.
Overhunting of animals affects entire forest
While the loss of these animals is concerning for species conservation, now researchers at the University of Florida have shown that overhunting can have widespread effects on the forest itself.
Overhunting leads to the extinction of a dominant tree species,Miliusa horsfieldii, or the Miliusa beech, with likely cascading effects on other forest biota.
The scientists report their results in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Co-authors of the paper are Trevor Caughlin and Jeremy Lichstein of the University of Florida and Doug Levey, formerly of the University of Florida and now a program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Environmental Biology.
Other co-authors are researchers at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi in Thailand, Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the Royal Thai Forest Department.
Former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra talked about his book, Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government, which explores how the nation can harness technology and develop policies to spur innovation in both government and the private sector.
Raspberry Pi owners will soon be able to turn the single-board computer into a homemade tablet.
Speaking to TechCrunch, the organisation's founder, Eben Upton, said: "The whole time we’ve been doing Raspberry Pi we’ve been saying 'yeah the display accessory is coming, yeah the display accessory is coming' — and the display accessory is finally coming."
The peripheral has a 7in touchscreen panel - the same size as the Kindle Fire HDX and Asus Memo Pad 7 - but, in Upton's words, is "very thick". He said it should be on the market either by the end of this year or at the beginning of next.
However, the Raspberry Pi and new screen can also be embedded into other hardware, offering the opportunity to create a touchscreen laptop or hybrid.
It's been a busy few months for the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
In June, the organisation released the Raspberry Pi Model B+, which has twice the USB ports of its predecessor, the Model B, and is more energy efficient.
This was followed up in September by the introduction of a new, HTML5-optimised browser, which Upton described as a viable alternative to traditional desktop browsers.
As for what's coming next, Upton said the company will soon be following up the now discontinued Raspberry Pi Model A with the Model A+, although no official release date or specifications have yet been revealed.
The STEM-Works team developed a Web portal that supports volunteers that are working in their local communities to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in our nation's youth. We are also bringing those people together as a virtual community that we will ultimately serve. If you would like to help us build STEM-Works through donations, partnerships, quality content or just have an idea you would like to share, please contact us. Through our STEM endeavors over the last few years, we have also been lucky to connect with many individuals in this vibrant community. We have talked with you face-to-face during our CSI programs and conference participation, interacted with you online through our Kids Ahead and STEM-Works websites and have become "friends" and "followers" through our social media accounts. After connecting with so many wonderful people, we really wanted to have a platform to better engage with you and to share exciting STEM content, ideas, and people. The STEM-Works blog was implemented in May 2013 to serve as a unifying platform for our audience, follwers and friends.MissionThe STEM-Works program supports volunteers that are working in their local communities to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in our nation. We believe that there are many grass-roots efforts by individuals and small groups across the nation to help kids gain confidence in their STEM skills by providing them with inspiring experiences. Giving those volunteers the tools that they need to be successful is the primary focus of the STEM-Works program. STEM-Works is a sister program to Kids Ahead, which is designed for middle school children. The STEM-Works program is sponsored by the Department of Defense and Southern Methodist University. Our program is designed to help STEM professionals, club leaders and teachers find activities, projects and events that allow them to teach STEM skills to young people. By providing those volunteers access to quality material on exciting subjects like Robotics, Wind Energy and Forensics, we hope they will help young people gain confidence and interests in STEM fields. The same material is available for parents and teachers and will include group activities as well as individual projects.Goals
Develop a virtual community in support of our mission. That community consists of people like you. We hope that you will join our community, tell others about us, and contribute what you know to this effort.
Create a virtual environment where volunteers will find the tools they need to inspire, teach and have fun with young people. By aggregating information that is currently found in many places, in addition to providing new content, we believe we can provide high quality projects, activities and events for volunteers working with middle school children.
Support STEM professionals working in the Department of Defense by focusing on their geographic regions like Washington, DC area, Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Seattle, Washington area, and Albuquerque, New Mexico area.
If your school doesn’t already collect your smartphones before you go to class, we’re certain that it will start doing so after seeing this new mobile app. Per Engadget, an app called PhotoMath is every math teacher’s worst nightmare come to life as it will solve equations for you just by using your smartphone’s camera. MORE GREAT APPS: This brilliant app will send you a photo of the person who stole your smartphone As you can see in the video posted below, the app uses your camera to scan the p
I love stories that have unexpected beginnings. Alexandra Diracles and Melissa Halfon met at Startup Weekend EDU in New York City this past January. They left with a first place winning prototype and the start of Vidcode, an online interactive software that brings the power of hacking videos with code to teens. Girls can upload Instagram videos, learn to program video effects and share the final creations with their friends. Coding meets social.
Alexandra and Melissa are connecting the dots between girls, videos, friends, fun and coding. Or as 13-year-old Lily said, “I now know that I can actually use code for something that I’m interested in.” Finding an interest is always a good place to start.
Denise: What needs to be fixed in the world?
Melissa: My first job as a computer programmer began with a grueling hiring process. Amongst a large pool of applicants, I spent two months learning an arcane programming language and waited as the group got whittled down to a single remaining candidate. I was awarded the position and as a result, marched into the first day of work full of confidence. That is, until my new boss approached my desk. He stood over me and said, “I hope you can do the job. I’m still not sure you’re a hacker.” I paused, slightly perplexed as I thought I was given the job based on technical merit, and asked, “Why not?” He responded, “Because you don’t look like one.”
These are the kinds of perceptions that often go unspoken, but silently permeate the field of technology and girls’ opinions of it. These are the pervasive tones in the workplace and classrooms that break their confidence and deter them from pursuing certain paths completely. These are the opinions that need adjusting so the world can be reframed for the girls of tomorrow.