StarStuff, StarWars, StarPupils

A friend recently posted a picture of her boy, reading. He was invited by the movie “Star Wars” to read. I loved it seeing that science fiction, the story, has become of interest to students. The Challenger Center , NASA and The Planetary Society have resources to share.

I would start using the Star Wars coding. This is the link, with choices of language and maybe later a bunch of video films. It is fun to build your own game.

The Challenger Center is located in various geographical areas. The curriculum is awesome. I like to teach the curriculum pieces that feature Mars. The movie, The Martian is of interest too, to build on interest. In case you have not seen it , this is a quick synopsis.

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission. It’s a story.

Build your own Moon

An online game that allows players to build their own moon and sculpt its features has won big praise in science art competition.

The game, called “Selene: A Lunar Construction GaME,” measures how and when players learn as they discover more about how the Earth’s moon formed and, by extension, the solar system. It received an honorable mention in the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, the journal Science announced today (Jan. 31).

As players experiment with the game, they learn more about one of the easiest heavenly bodies they can study, Selene developers said.

Here is the game.

http://selene.cet.edu/default.aspx?page=Selene

Group Activities?

As the students explores there are these other sets of information. The Mars Survival Kit 

The kit is for lower grades, …and then there is Marsville . This was so fascinating , a principal who was not in love with hands on science, .. could not resist and joined us in exploring building Marsville. What is Marsville?

Marsville (Grades 5-6) challenges students to create a colony of habitats as they prepare for a simulated mission to Mars.  Academic content including mathematics, science, engineering, communication and the arts is incorporated into a series of individual and group activities as students work through a series of tasks to solve specific biological and social problems in order to design life support systems.

marsville_pic_11

A Marsville Village.

This is project based learning. You can add it as a special activity to your curriculum.I like the innovation , the problem solving and the building of habitats. I taught it as a Gifted and Talented unit, but the students decided to share it with the neighborhood. It is a fun  learning activity.315827867_432c1f761b_o

During Marsville Link-Up Day, problem-solving and critical thinking skills are emphasized during the final culminating activity where students physically create their Marsville Habitat.  The crews convene at “Mars” (hosting NJ colleges and/or schools) wearing their uniforms and packing lunches according to specific guidelines.  Teams work within their habitat to cooperatively erect their “bubble” which is made of construction plastic and duct tape and inflated by the air pressure from a floor fan.  Team members share their life systems with other team members within their habitat along with solutions to a crisis to their colony and then, complete a Celestial Questial traveling to other habitats to learn how those life systems operate.  Finally, the teams end the day completing their mission logs and receiving “Astronaut-Candidate” certificates of recognition for their efforts.

If this seems too daunting to you , and you just want to please and have an individual student learn. You can have a student construct a moon habitat.

If you never studied space science education, you can start with students here.

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Mars City Alpha is a upper grade event that is great to do, if you have a class to do it with.

 

Ways to Integrate The Topic Of Mars In Your Classroom ( from NASA)

Use a Mars Mission as a Current Event
Typically, the information sources for current events are printed materials, television, radio, and the Web. Occasionally, teachers are able to schedule presentations by people familiar with or involved in an event, and sometimes students can conduct interviews with such people. Formats to share information include bulletin boards, oral reports, student reports, and current event notebooks. Each of these methods involves students in different ways and at different levels of intensity. Below are several ways the Pathfinder mission could be used in a current events context:

  • The mission’s data and images will be used for decades by scientists researching Mars. Check newspapers and magazines for articles on the science resulting from their work.
  • There is an enormous amount of information about the mission the Pathfinder Web site, everything from the people involved to the current weather conditions on Mars to the latest results based on Pathfinder data and images to the latest images themselves. The Web site will also link you to other sites related to the mission.
  • Shows about Mars air on television or radio, and NASA’s cable and satellite channel, NASA Select, has frequent updates about its various missions. Students can take notes on a show and prepare a report based on the information presented.
  • A bulletin board is a convenient way to organize and prominently display information. You might organize a bulletin board by topics such as:
Mars Pathfinder
Life on Mars
Robotics
Mars Global Surveyor
Water on Mars
Questions About Mars
Other Space Missions
Human Missions to Mars
Future Missions to Mars

 

SOURCE: http://mars.nasa.gov/education/modules/webpages/integrationideas.htm

 

I have done all of these things.So can you!!

I was a Challenger Center Teacher.

My last visit was to the Manea Kea Visitor Center.

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Internet of Things? Some Are Waiting for Access to the Internet , the Tools and Well Trained Teachers

I always smile when a reporter says, in education we have too many tools , too much of the Internet and we should cut back and enjoy our real lives. Now the report is that STEM initiatives are harmful and of course we are excluding the arts.

Most of what minorities claim in technology has to do with the arts.

What we are they talking about?

Superhero kid. Girl power concept

Our minority students have to be Super students to be successful.

I doubt that most minority community schools have truly embedded STEM into their learning landscapes.That is where I work , and these are my constituents.

If we had sufficient STEM and Computational resources and training available, why is Silicon Valley having so much trouble hiring minority workers? We who are minorities know. There are researchers who know , but it is probably news to many reporters that there are people still waiting to be on the internet ( get access) , waiting to have teachers who are schooled in using the Internet in school and who don’t have the tools. Some think that mobile devices equalize. I think a mobile device is better than nothing.

Jesse Jackson is taking on the President, saying that he is responsible for the lack of diversity. Read my lips.

We have an education problem.

NCLB decimated the layer of science learning for more than a decade simply because it was not tested. Math , the real math that scientists use? Not taught . The skills that students need to be active in STEM and working in Silicon Valley were simply not taught in many cases because of the emphasis on testing in many schools, particularly those with challenging  minority enrollments,poverty as a problem and a weak teacher base. We know that the best of teachers are not often based in the places of most need.Every Job in America, Mapped

Here is a map to show where the jobs are in America. ( Present Jobs)

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2015/08/11/every-job-in-america-mapped/?SiteID=cbaolcompromotion_aug_11Map of Jobs in America

We know that the present jobs are not the jobs of the future. Years after the invention of the Internet there are people still out of the loop for the use of technology. What jobs are they being prepared for? A week of code will not do it. Actually , workshops are a tease, and unless instruction is sustained, posters and contests don’t do much for those who are limited in access (or who have no access).

Explore it.

It is different in different places.The elements are similar. Here is the research.

 A Vignette

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the US Census Bureau and Intel’s own internal numbers, Intel  determined the market availability of men, women, African American, Hispanic, and Native American candidates, and how its workforce measured up to those numbers. According to the company’s report, it did fairly well: for instance, Intel has 19.4 percent female representation where market availability is at 22.7 percent; 3.3 percent of its workforce is African American where there is 4.5 percent availability of candidates in the market.

In other words, the main limiting factor on the presence of diverse groups in Intel’s workforce is not Intel’s policies but availability of candidates with the right skills in the workforce as a whole.

Intel is not alone.

Remember my discussion about running to catch up? We are still asking for access , well trained teachers and tools. We are not all on the Internet and the Internet of Things is becoming a discussion point.

There is a lot of research to share the difficulties that those who are not on the Internet are having.

For many of us, a life without Internet might be hard to imagine. Yet, 15 percent of U.S. adults say they never go online, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

The survey, published in late July, found that the offline population has been shrinking significantly since 2000, when Pew began collecting data on Internet use. Back then, 48 percent of American adults weren’t online. However, in the past couple years, the size of this group hasn’t changed too much.

In the graph below, you can see that the downward trend has flattened recently:

“We’ve seen slow but steady adoption progress among a lot of demographic groups that have historically used the Internet in low numbers, such as older adults, or those with low income and education levels,” Aaron Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, told the Huffington Post in an email. “With that said, there are definitely still disparities around this issue and Internet usage overall really hasn’t changed measurably in the last two years.”

In fact, the latest Pew survey reveals that Internet non-adoption is still largely consistent with a series of factors such as age, education, household income and race and ethnicity. The chart below breaks down the demographics of non-users based on these different metrics:

Who's Not Online?

Seniors make up the majority of Internet hold-outs by age group: About 39 percent of adults 65 and older aren’t online, compared with only 3 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds. In addition, people who lack a high school education, or whose household income is less than $30,000 per year, are also more likely to stay offline.

The Pew survey also indicated that digital gaps among different racial groups are narrowing. Back in 2000, the Internet population was more homogenous than today: 72 percent of Asian-Americans were online, compared to 53 percent of White people, 46 percent of Hispanics and 38 percent of African-Americans. Over the past 15 years, African-Americans have have seen the fastest growth, with Internet usage rates now approaching that of whites.

SOURCE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/internet-access-americans_55c8b719e4b0923c12bd69fe

I have personal experience with helping with STEM, Broadening Engagement in Supercomputing and Coding, as well as ESRI.

I most recently trained with ESRI to be able to participate in helping education communities to use EdConnect.

It is an initiative that the President backs.

child Head

EDUCATION

“If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible — from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.”

—President Barack Obama

http://www.esri.com/connected

I trained to be a mentor and disseminator of the program. It’s free.I was told that there is not time to learn it ( there is an online course) that teachers have testing to deal with and so there is no time. A dear friend of mine told me that the computers are needed for testing and so that during most testing times, computers are not available. * Sadly , in low performing schools, there is the pre testing, the preparation for testing , and then the testing. You know it is an important problem because of the cheating problems. One principal actually killed herself based on concerns about testing.

Are you listening?

So people are talking about the Internet of things. We are not even at the Internet. So sad.

Minority students are makers. We always have been. We are good in the arts. Making the future is harder. People who have what they need rarely consider what minority students in poor schools are having to do to make a future.

NASA used to be our engine of opportunity. The press does not report on NASA as in the past, and schools don’t give permission. They have outstanding programs. Some of us have been trained in several NASA programs. It is where lots of us learned astronomy, physics, and astrophysics. Programs are outstanding, I love NASA Quest, the Challenger Center see these resources, Fly By Math, and Hubble Astronomy, IE Amazing Space.

But wait, there is more. Geography!! We talk about the world without studying it in most cases.Do we really want to throw away the fabulous resources of the National Geographic in STEM? Or not use the vast resources of the National Geographic Society? STEAM included?

How do you become an engineer if you don’t get an introduction? Just saying. We have a problem in education.

childStudy: Most K-12 schools lack engineering-centered education

Can you hear me? STEM is still needed.

Internet of Things? Well it is here. Let’s hope that some synergy happens.

Too Much Tech? Really ? Got Tech??? Sort Of…

Girls learn ... we can do technology, science and math with good teachers.

There was a New York Times article that spoke of too much tech in children’s life.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/opinion/can-students-have-too-much-tech.html
It requires a careful reading. There are some very good points in the article but what is too much tech?
What is not spoken of is too little training by teachers who use what technology is available for them to use in the schools.What is not shared is that the IT person sometimes becomes just another administrator instead of a helping hand. Another layer of administration in some schools.

Many people have never achieve access, gotten adequate technology, and /or learned to integrate technology, never mind flipping the classroom.

COMPUTATIONAL THINKING

This is from a supercomputing model at TACC

If you think you can compete with visual media. think again

GOT THIS TECH?

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Many schools do not teach geography. The resources of National Geography are vast and that means content. It’s free.There are alliances, there are projects like BioBlitz, and interactive mapping.

OK Glass!!

OK Glass!!

MapMaker Interactive

http://mapmaker.education.nationalgeographic.com/?ar_a=1&b=1&ls=000000000000

An interactive mapping experience with rich layers of information on the physical Earth, oceans, culture, and more.

http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/?ar_a=1

GOT SCIENCE ON A SPHERE?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Esrl4_072009.jpg

Have You Got This Tech? Cyberlearning?

The NSF 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase: Improving Science, Math, Engineering Computer Science, and Technology K-12 showcases cutting-edge NSF-funded work to improve teaching and learning, and will allow colleagues affiliated with MSPnet, CADRE, CIRCL, CAISE, STELAR, CS10Kcommunity, and ARC to view, discuss, and comment on each others’ work.

It will also allow each project to disseminate their work to the public at large, helping NSF achieve its goal of broad dissemination of innovative work. All videos and discussions will be archived for future access.

The 2015 Teacher and Learning Video Showcase is available from the
http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com

112 (3-minute) videos from innovative project work conducted by researchers in multiple NSF programs.
http://resourcecenters2015.videohall.com
Over 260 presenters and co-presenters have submitted 112 videos

Do You Know Supercomputing? Most teachers don’t..Some have resources that have been developed for their use in Cyberlearning and in various programs from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

GOT SUPERCOMPUTING? Visualization and Modeling? Big Data?

IMG_0078

Some of us were lucky enough to be a part of the Christa McAuliffe Institute, i.e. there were two groups of us who worked together through the NEA. We seized the ideas of minority technology, and attempted to share what we knew about technology teacher to teacher and region to region. We were minority, male and mostly female and we did workshops and initiatives all over the USA.

The five first chosen were called Christa McAuliffe Educators and we were trained, given professional development with the latest of tools and the best of professors over many months.( Chris Dede and Seymour Papert. and there were others).Yvonne Andres shared Fred Mail, and we also learned from NASA and the National Center for Supercomputing. It was radical at the time.
We did some special programs with the NSF and learned about their outreach as well.

Being involved in transformational education through NASA

We never mentioned the word Supercomputing, we just did it.

At the time there were many NASA programs . We had people who demonstrated astronomy from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Young Astronaut Program.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html

Challenger Center for Space Science Education is a nonprofit educational organization with its headquarters in Washington, DC. It was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.

The organization offers dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities to students around the world. These programs equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skills that will help better our national social and economic well-being.http://www.challenger.org

There was also Space Camp . If you look at the information in the link even back then there was awesome tech.

Space Camp was the brainchild of rocket scientist, Dr. Wernher von Braun. Von Braun led propulsion activities that launched the Apollo-era U.S. manned space program and envisioned an aggressive schedule for America’s space-bound pioneers. Von Braun, then director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, reasoned there should be an experience for young people who were excited about space. Under the guidance of Edward O. Buckbee, the first director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Space Camp was born.

Camps are available for fourth grade through high school-age students. Additional programs are offered for trainees who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing and those who have other special needs. Space Camp programs are also available for adults, educators, corporate groups and families. Family programs may include children as young as seven years old. I can’t really list all of the programs then or now. Space Centers helped us to find all of the projects that were available. Some teachers did Moonbase America, and others did project based NASA projects. We learned about raising food in space, basil, tomatoes, and thinking about ways to raise tilapia.

Being a Science Teacher with Outside Resources.. Try these NASA resources !!
We created an institute at Stanford where we invited teachers who applied to share their technology. We also presented our special projects. It was a sharing of the best of the best. We created more ways in which to do STEM which was called at the time SMET.

That is one level of technology. Have you considered that there was a synergy of space and Star Wars? The movie propelled a lot to be interested in Science Fiction. The force of interest drove many students to robotics.

Many Children Have Parents to Share New Ways of Learning with Them

This is from Family Days at AAAS.

George Lucas also pioneered Edutopia.Technology Integration examples were shared to help us all
explore new tools and strategies for empowering students to fully participate in a connected, techology-rich society. But this is the problem. At the time we talked of the digital divide. That was before a lot of people had access, tools, training, and/or permission to use technology in schools.

There was not BYOT Bring your own technology , and even with the tools we had there was a content divide. I know that in rural, distant , urban and some tribal areas we have a bigger divide.

Some people are not at the level that we think. There is a lot of tech, but it is not in all schools.

About Being the Best Teacher You Can Be…. Choose NASA .. the educational resources are great! You will leave dullness behind!!

5206_137672091326_268879_nI love teaching.

How can you fulfill this ? I am a Challenger Center Fellow and a Christa McAuliffe Educator. I went to minority schools. I did not have science in the elementary school. But I had NASA. Courses and workshops. So wonderful.

There are people who have given me immense gifts in the way of mentoring.NASA gave me the universe and project based learning  and the ideas about ecology. I loved learning and helping teachers to learn within the educational groups of NASA. The learning started with projects and went on to large and interesting project based learning, some of these are old, Moon Base America, The Challenger Center Initiative and the online NASA resources. I loved most the programs on Mars. I also use museums to teach with. They have a bigger budget than I have.

What an investment in teachers! You can find resources here. http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html If you ever do any of the projects and are truly interested, there is much, much more and it is not at costs.


The Challenger Center is a little different but the project based learning is outstanding. You need not go to the Challenger Center, but it would be for kids, a life changing experience. There are lots of teachers who have been prohibited from this type of learning called project based learning  because it is not regurgitative test measured information. Project based learning? I loved wearing an astronaut suit and sharing information with students. I felt as if I was sharing , teaching and giving information to the children that was awesome. Here are some teacher resources. Now there is a different way of being involved.

Challenger Center for Space Science Education offers dynamic, hands-on exploration and discovery opportunities to students around the world. These programs equip students with the knowledge, confidence, and skills that will help better our national social and economic well-being. But the center also offers courses and learning experiences for teachers. There is support and there are resources. There is a cost to some programs.

Our <a href="/teacher_resources/nitrogen_main.html">Traveling Nitrogen Game</a> makes a fun activity for students to learn about the <a href="/earth/Life/nitrogen_cycle.html">nitrogen cycle</a>.  The activity includes a student worksheet ("Traveling Nitrogen Passport"), 11 reservoir signs, and stamps.  The activity is available in our <a href="/php/teacher_resources/activity.php#8">Classroom Activities section</a>, including a free html version, and a pdf version free for  <a href="/new_membership_services.html">Windows to the Universe subscribers</a>.  The Traveling Nitrogen Game Kit is available in our <a href="/store/home.php">online store</a>, including laminated signs and a set of 11 dice.<p><small><em></em></small></p>

A unique and proven teaching model – Challenger Learning Centers – gives students the chance to become astronauts and engineers and solve real-world problems as they share the thrill of discovery on missions through the Solar System. Using space simulation and role-playing strategies, students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate the skills needed for future success. Learning Centers reach into communities around the globe, engaging more than 400,000 middle school-age students and 40,000 educators each year.

Challenger Center’s teaching model is an effective approach to strengthen knowledge and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The McLain 2011 report examined two decades of evaluations from students who experienced a Challenger Learning Center mission, and the findings indicate overall positive gains by students. The study also recognized the psychological nature of career-choice, decision-making embedded in Challenger Center’s model. It found the hands-on simulation experiences are important contributors to that process, perhaps more than any other single experience that might be remembered as extraordinary in a young person’s exposure to STEM. In some cases it is a hard sell to the administrators. They often do not understand this kind of project or are worried about NCLB stats and so well, you are not allowed to do this project based learning. Not on the test they say. In this project you develop sophisticated knowledge that the general public may not know.

We in a 5th grade classroom, knew about the Horsehead Nebulae before the public saw it months later. It helps to talk to astronauts and scientist who care about their subjects.Horsehead Nebula

An assortment of containers and science equipment on a table
The STS-118 crew transported plant growth chambers, seeds and watering devices like these to the space station for an in-orbit experiment.

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With these kinds of experiences, the imagination of children and critical thinking skills are challenged. It is not just the technology, it is the creation of the learning landscape to enhance learning.

It enhances discovery through simulation and exploration of new concepts

Explore this NASA program it is free.. and excellent..

Artists concept of 2 people sitting in a spacecraft on Mars

We connect individuals to new people and ideas and expand content beyond what was previously available.

It promotes equity by providing a diverse array of resources and experiences to those who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

It allows teachers to adapt to and to accommodate different learning styles through modularized , self -paced , just in time learning and non threatening learning

I was challenged to learn new science to be able to teach it well. It was supported with great curriculum and posters and resources.There is also this website

Windows to the Universe  What is different about this web site is that it is on three different levels and it is rich in resources.

If your principal will not let you teach during the school day. Do this.. it is fun!!!

Vic and I took this course, it is great!
Cut a pound cake in half, and what do you have? It is still pound cake, but in two pieces instead of one. What if you keep slicing and dicing the pound cake all the way down to single crumbs? No matter how many times the pound cake is cut, it’s still pound cake.

Three training participants look at materials about the solar systemAfterschool Universe training sessions are offered throughout the year at locations across the United States. Image Credit: NASA

What does pound cake have to do with the universe? Just like the chemical elements that are the building blocks for all the matter in the universe, pound cake retains its identity no matter how many times it’s divided. Pound cake also plays a key role in an activity that’s part of Afterschool Universe, a NASA-sponsored astronomy program for middle school students.

Afterschool Universe is targeted for settings outside the normal school day. The program consists of 12 standalone sessions in which students explore basic astronomy concepts.

“We saw a need for the program because existing astronomy education materials covering such topics were mostly aimed at high school students. Middle school students were fascinated by these concepts but had few options to learn more about them,” said Anita Krishnamurthi, the program’s project lead. “There’s a great potential to engage students and adults in astronomy in the afterschool setting.”

Each session usually begins with a brief introductory discussion facilitated by the program leader, followed by a hands-on activity in which students participate individually or in groups. A session typically runs about 45-60 minutes and culminates with a wrap-up discussion focusing on what was learned through the activity.

In most cases, program leaders must undergo training before they can run the program or train others to do so. Information sessions and training workshops are offered at various locations across the country, including at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Four training participants look at a light through cardboard tubesHands-on activities play a role in each of the 12 Afterschool Universe sessions. Image Credit: NASA

Upon completion of training, program leaders receive a NASA certificate, a comprehensive program manual, downloadable files, worksheets and evaluation forms, posters, and a kit of materials that are only available from specialized suppliers. Program leaders are responsible for obtaining the basic materials needed to implement the program. NASA encourages leaders to partner with a local scientist.

The manual provides background information and detailed descriptions of how to conduct each session, including listings of objectives, concepts addressed and materials needed. No activities require use of a computer, though the manual gives suggestions for optional Web-based activities.

Afterschool Universe, funded entirely by several grants for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate including the Chandra Mission, was developed by the education and public outreach team in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Related Resources
Afterschool Universe   → 
Beyond Einstein   → 
Imagine the Universe   → 

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What Science Pipeline? Making Sense of STEM Offerings! Part One

Family Outreach Days at AAAS Family Days  - Teragrid Booth

Students explore visualizations of the oil spill.

We all know that many students are not anywhere near talented teachers who can give them the information they need to be curious, understanding, interested and involved in the STEM initiatives. For many there is no pipeline, no indepth knowledge of any of the subjects that will create workforce, or future readiness for careers.

As a career STEM teacher, I was teaching science, math, problem solving, engineering and the use of technology early, i caught a lot of flack.  There were helpful groups of people and organizations that  reached out to me, to others and who helped us to become the teachers that need to be STEM educated. There were these teachers an d we were ridiculed during the Bush administration for teaching science. It was the bottom of the needs totem pole for M. Spellings. So we were not groomed, by our school systems or regarded in a good light. Political winds blew us away.

There was

NASA has many resources that a teacher can personalize and share with no cost.

Astronomy , space science education, the Chalenger Center Programs, so many offerings

,  NASA’s Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources.

›  Find Materials Now

We meet the world on the news , but do students know where in the world the news is coming from?

The National Geographic Society and its Outreach to Teachers

Community, Education, and Student Outreach, http://www.informationweek.com/news/231003049

education.nationalgeographic.com  

Most remarkable in the way of transformational and experiential teaching was the experience offered by the National Geographic. It was not just an experience for me. There are Alliance groups within the Geographic. There are opportunities. I had a month of involvement in all things geographic. What they have to offer changes as the programs expand. There is a section on education, there are special programs, , there are lesson plans and there are mentorships to be had in the AAGE.

National Geography Standards

The first ever national geography standardsGeography for Life, were published in 1994 and are being voluntarily adopted around the country. These geography standards are benchmarks against which the content of geography courses can be measured. Standards will affect the education of all children in the United States, and they should be part of the program of instruction of schools in your community. Copies of Geography for Life are available for purchase from the NCGE store.

The Geography Standards Framework consists of two levels. At the first level, the subject matter of geography is divided into six essential elements. By essential we mean that each piece is central and necessary; we must look at the world in this way. By element we mean that each piece is a building block for the whole. At the second level, each essential element contains a number of geography standards, and each geography standard contains a set of related ideas and approaches to the subject matter of geography.

National Geography Standards

The first ever national geography standards, Geography for Life, were published in 1994 and are being voluntarily adopted around the country. These geography standards are benchmarks against which the content of geography courses can be measured. Standards will affect the education of all children in the United States, and they should be part of the program of instruction of schools in your community. Copies of Geography for Life are available for purchase from the NCGE store.

The Geography Standards Framework consists of two levels. At the first level, the subject matter of geography is divided into six essential elements. By essential we mean that each piece is central and necessary; we must look at the world in this way. By element we mean that each piece is a building block for the whole. At the second level, each essential element contains a number of geography standards, and each geography standard contains a set of related ideas and approaches to the subject matter of geography.

 Earthwatch Education

Earthwatch fellowships enable critical partners to participate in research expeditions worldwide. Each year, Earthwatch’s Fellowship Programs enable hundreds of studentsteachersconservation professionals, and corporate employees to join expeditions at little or no out-of-pocket expense. Earthwatch Fellows are emissaries of the Earthwatch mission, sharing their experiences and new knowledge with thousands of students, teachers, and colleagues upon their return.

Educator Fellowships

Summer Fellowships
Get out of the classroom and head into the field to learn about cutting edge research and conservation efforts, to develop professional skills, and to make a difference for our shared environment! As a summer educator fellow, you’ll spend 1-2 weeks of your summer recess on an Earthwatch expedition alongside a diverse team of volunteers led by prominent field researchers. After your expedition, you’ll bring the world back into your classroom and to your students as you’ve never done before.

Learn more about our Summer Fellowship program.

Live From the Field
Live From the Field educator fellows join Earthwatch research teams during a brief portion (7 to 10 days) of their school year and share their experiences with classrooms at home using blogs containing, photos, videos, lessons, and activities. Live From the Field educator fellows also connect with students through live video and phone conferencing at scheduled times during their expedition.

I joyously participated with other teachers in Earthwatch Outreach.  It was fun to be an Earthwatch fellow. Working with a scientist in the field using technology to share the archeological findings was hard work, but rewarding. I learned the culture of the island, the history of Mallorca, I learned about archeological excavation , and how we could use technology to map the site and the finds. Many teachers have been Earthwatch Fellows. The experience can be a life -changing event. Who knew about the other history I learned so much about . The cultures of the Med were unknown to me. Dr. William Waldron was the PI at the time. I participated in a further grant, we mapped the Mongoose popution of St. Martins .. and then volunteered to do Turtle nests , at night , another project. Nothing in a textbook can match the experience. Nothing!

K-12 classroom educators of any subject(s) from public or private schools nationwide are eligible to apply for Earthwatch fellowships. The strongest applicants are those who are passionate about teaching, excited about making a difference with their time and talents, and committed to engaging their communities using their knowledge, passion, and energy.

A starting point is the Education Department of the National Geographic. I don’t remember why I knew about them, or what I saw that made me apply to a summer institute.

, NSTA and their workshops, NCTM and their initiatives , Shodor.org and their free resources, the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4H and the SET program, the Exploratorium, and wait there are more, but I won’t name them all.

There is a digital divide, and there are resources everywhere, if teachers can access them, but given the state of broadband, in many areas that are rural and distant , the people who are concerned about STEM , are creating a false illusion that teachers create the problem.

There is also the knowledge that we in the classrooms have a mandated methodology which we can tweak but the management, ie the school boards and policy people make most of the decisions. So, what ‘s a teacher to do? Stay tuned. The age of Sputnik is over!!

The age of Transformation , has begun in Education.

http://chronicle.com/article/A-Size-That-Fits-All-for-the/128421/

Exploring the Teragrid

Outreach to the public sharing research = Oil Spill simulation

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

By Hal Salzman and B. Lindsay Lowell
The strength and size of the nation’s science-and-engineering work force are the subject of much concern, following the Obama administration’s education initiatives; international testing that shows students in Shanghai at the top of the world; and, last year, an update of the influential report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.” That report finds the deterioration of America’s competitiveness so severe that it is likened to a Category 5 hurricane. It calls for the United States to create a “New Sputnik” education initiative and expand our science-and-engineering work force. It reinforces a common worry over American students’ lackluster international standing compared with those in several Asian nations and in a handful of small European nations.

We believe that those concerns are overstating and misidentifying America’s challenges in science and engineering, and that they are missing the real opportunities for improving the nation’s education and work force. As we examined the evidence, several points became clear: The United States needs to improve education broadly rather than expand particular fields of study; look inward rather than abroad for exemplary educational models, in light of the limits of international comparisons; and focus on the core lessons about improving the lowest-performing group of students. There is actually no compelling evidence that, over all, the educational pipeline is failing to meet demand.
Our recent analysis of Department of Education data for three decades followed students from high school to the job market. We found little in the way of overall change in students’ pursuit of science-and-engineering studies or their entry into those careers over the past 30 years. We found that while a steady proportion of college students graduated in science and engineering, no more than half of them landed jobs in a formally defined core science or engineering occupation.
So, given a steady supply, why do companies report difficulty in finding ideal workers? Listen carefully and it sounds as if the employers would like entry-level workers to have skills not typical of newly graduated students. Leading engineering companies seek technologists with a depth of skill in a technical area combined with a broad education across technical fields, business, and the social sciences. Colleges find it difficult to develop all of that in only four years. So the hiring difficulty may reflect problems with pedagogy, the structure of higher education, the unwillingness of some employers to train new workers, and a lack of collaboration between academe and industry. It does not, however, indicate a loss of student interest or a shrinking pool of science-and-engineering graduates.
Nevertheless, some policy makers and industry leaders believe that to meet the demands of our knowledge economy, more such education is needed. They even think it is preferable to other fields of study. While acknowledging the value of science-and-engineering knowledge, we find that it is but one of many forms of valuable knowledge. Moreover, the science-and-engineering managers we interviewed expressed dissatisfaction with the “soft” communication, or teamwork, skills of their new engineers. And changes in hiring patterns suggest that the nation’s economic future depends on developing a balanced portfolio of well-educated workers across the spectrum of skills, knowledge, and disciplines.

Finally, some industry lobbying groups and high-tech companies seek to augment the supply of domestic workers by importing foreign labor on temporary visas. But this confuses the purpose of those programs with the country’s immigration policy for citizens-in-waiting. Immigration policy is driven by a long-term vision and a wide range of social and political objectives. The original intent of temporary-visa programs, on the other hand, was to meet short-term, not structural, labor shortages. Ensuring that labor markets are not distorted by short-term visas, which in their current form lead to a number of labor-market and social problems, is not anti-immigrant, and does not undermine the strength of U.S. science and engineering. In fact, raising the numbers of temporary visas for foreign workers during cyclical talent shortages can distort labor markets and discourage domestic students from careers in engineering and the sciences.

While we do not maintain that our study, or any one study, is definitive, we do believe that influential groups should consider new evidence in their quest to advance science, technology, and economic growth. When we look at the past three decades, the data support a far more favorable set of conclusions on student performance and supply than those promulgated by critics of the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) pipeline. At the same time, our research supports the widely recognized fact that women and minorities are the most likely future source of STEM workers, and, discouragingly, that where the education system is most clearly failing is precisely for those populations. Of course, focusing on the big picture leaves out clear-cut examples of unfilled shortages of workers in esoteric but crucial occupations.
The classic tried and true formulation is that supply follows demand or, less sanguinely, that depressed wages and discouraged workers result if supply outstrips demand. To avoid those problems, a number of demand-side policies should receive support from all quarters. These policies include stable and increasing government financing for research, reinvigoration of lagging private-sector investments in research, tax breaks and other incentives for research-and-development activities, and the creation of an environment that encourages entrepreneurship. In terms of education, however, the evidence clearly points to improving basic education for low-performing students, schools, and populations—not an attempt to artificially inflate the number of science-and-engineering degrees awarded.
Hal Salzman is a professor of public policy at Rutgers University at New Brunswick. B. Lindsay Lowell is director of policy studies at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.

THE JACK  kENT COOKE FOUNDATION

No Gifted Child Left Behind?  First, the good news: It turns out, millions of kids from low-income families are acing standardized tests. Now, the bad news…http://www.jkcf.org/news-knowledge

With the tests we find that there are many who have the capacity to learn, to create to innovate, but, sadly nothing happens.  Download the report, here is the summary.

Today in America, there are millions of students who are
overcoming challenging socioeconomic circumstances
to excel academically. They defy the stereotype that poverty
precludes high academic performance and that lowerincome
and low academic achievement are inextricably
linked. They demonstrate that economically disadvantaged
children can learn at the highest levels and provide hope
to other lower-income students seeking to follow the
same path.
Sadly, from the time they enter grade school through
their postsecondary education, these students lose more
educational ground and excel less frequently than their
higher-income peers. Despite this tremendous loss
in achievement, these remarkable young people are
hidden from public view and absent from public policy
debates. Instead of being recognized for their excellence
and encouraged to strengthen their achievement, highachieving
lower-income students enter what we call the
“achievement trap” —
educators, policymakers, and the
public assume they can fend for themselves when the facts
show otherwise.
Very little is known about high-achieving students
from lower-income families — defined in this report as
students who score in the top 25 percent on nationally
normed standardized tests and whose family incomes
(adjusted for family size) are below the national median.
We set out to change that fact and to focus public attention
on this extraordinary group of students who can help
reset our sights from standards of proficiency to standards
of excellence.
This report chronicles the experiences of highachieving
lower-income students during elementary
school, high school, college, and graduate school. In
some respects, our findings are quite hopeful. There
are millions of high-achieving lower-income students
in urban, suburban, and rural communities all across
America; they reflect the racial, ethnic, and gender composition
of our nation’s schools; they drop out of high
school at remarkably low rates; and more than 90 percent
of them enter college.
But there is also cause for alarm. There are far fewer
lower-income students achieving at the highest levels than
there should be, they disproportionately fall out of the
high-achieving group during elementary and high school,
they rarely rise into the ranks of high achievers during
those periods, and, perhaps most disturbingly, far too few
ever graduate from college or go on to graduate school.
Unless something is done, many more of America’s brightest
lower-income students will meet this same educational
fate, robbing them of opportunity and our nation of a
valuable resource.
This report discusses new and original research on
this extraordinary population of students. Our findings
come from three federal databases that during the past 20
years have tracked students in elementary and high school,
college, and graduate school. The following principal
findings about high-achieving lower-income students are
important for policymakers, educators, business leaders,
the media, and civic leaders to understand and explore as
schools, communities, states, and the nation consider ways
to ensure that all children succeed: