• May 04, 2016


With all the emphasis lately on STEM-related fields as viable career paths it’s worth noting that, with regard to preparing young people for the future, the United States military is among the most effective training grounds, turning out large numbers of disciplined, well-trained professionals each and every year.

With that in mind, we’re happy to report that Discovery Education has teamed-up with the United States Navy to offer Navy Stem, a collection of free, online-based interactive lesson plans specifically designed for grades 9 through 12. From the physics of flight to the engineering of future ships, it’s an engaging and valuable resource with an emphasis on careers.

Lesson plans are geared to Common Core Math, Next Generations Science, and ISTE Standards.

Check it out for yourself on the official Navy STEM website.

And to help us keep you informed about other great free educational programs and resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow us on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Image: Discovery Education

Summer Learning for Teachers

  • Mar 30, 2016

Discovery Education

Teachers, have you got any plans for this summer? I sure hope so, because you deserve it. And as you make those plans you might want to consider spending some time between excursions connecting with other teachers, and being inspired, by taking advantage of Discovery Education in Action‘s free Webinar series—a great way to recharge your batteries and transform your teaching.

From Discovery’s catalogue: “Join us as we step into Discovery Educators’ classrooms from around globe. In this series you’ll hear practical tips and see strategies for integrating Discovery Education into your teaching. Listen, connect, and be inspired as our Community shares ways they are transforming teaching and learning.”

You’ll find more information about these Discovery Education in Action Webinars on the Discovery website, but in order to give you some idea of what’s available, here’s a breakdown:

  • May 31  STEM
  • June 21  Collaborative Projects
  • July 26  Top 10 Takeaways from DEN Summer Institute 2016 (DEN Summer Institute is a weeklong residential-style event, being held this July in Chicago, focused on professional learning, leadership, and networking. For info on attending, visit DEN online).
  • August 30  Back-to-School

There will also be a series of live Day of Discovery events held in various cities throughout the summer. Visit Discovery online for more information on those opportunities.

So, have a great summer! And to help us keep you informed about great free educational programs and resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow us on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Introduce Your Students to a Top Young Scientist!

  • Feb 25, 2016


Hannah Herbst was in the 7th grade, just beginning to realize her love for science and engineering, when a letter from her 9-year-old Ethiopian pen pal changed her life.

The younger girl described what it was like to live with no access to lights, a steady flow of fresh water, and other basic necessities, and Hannah was moved. As she said in a blog post, “I recognized that her situation was not unique and believed that I could use the skills I acquired to take action in an attempt to mitigate the global energy crisis.”

Inspired by a science teacher, Hannah set to work creating an energy probe prototype designed to offer a stable power source to developing countries via untapped energy from ocean currents—a brilliant accomplishment that won Hannah the title of America’s 2015 Top Young Scientist.

And seeing Hannah in action (video, below), you’ve got to believe she’s only getting started.

Do you think that meeting Hannah might change the lives of your students? Find out for yourself by signing-up for a free, live online event on Tuesday, March 8th at 1pm ET, wherein Hannah will share her unique invention, talk about her experiences in the challenge, and answer questions from students.

For more information, visit the Young Scientist Challenge website.

And to learn about other great free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow us on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Registration is now open for the 2016 Young Scientist Challenge!

  • Dec 22, 2015


Parents and teachers, please help us inspire the next generation of scientists by encouraging your students to consider the 2016 3M/Discovery Education Young Scientist Challenge.

The annual competition, which was founded in 1999, has introduced the world to a slew of promising young minds—kids who, because of participation in this contest, have learned that working hard to apply what they’ve learned really can set a boundless course for their lives.

The contest is open to all students in grades 5-8, and what they’d be vying for is the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” and a grand prize of $25,000!

Who knows? It may be your encouragement that changes a kid’s life forever.

Registration is open until 8:00 PM ET on April 20, 2016. For more information visit the official Challenge web site.

And to find out about other great opportunities and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Follow the Money

  • Oct 22, 2015


According to the Council for Economic Education, only 43% of American 12th grade students tested at or above proficient on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) economics assessment, and U.S. teenagers fall somewhere around the middle of the pack globally when it comes to financial literacy.

It doesn’t take an economist to point out that such numbers will only trend downward if uninterrupted, as acknowledged even by the White House last spring when President Obama officially proclaimed April, 2015 to be National Financial Capability Month.

Since then, financial literacy has become more and more a subject of national conversation, and if your school would like to have a voice in this conversation we know a good place for you to begin.

Econ Essentials is a free, web-based interactive resource from Discovery Education and the CME Group designed to help students in grades 9 through 12 gain a solid understanding of economic principles. Currently there are two core learning modules available on the site—both aligned with high school economics standards—as well as a more advanced section exploring investment concepts such as futures, hedging, and speculation.

It’s all very practical, even challenging, and a welcome real-world approach to what many students might otherwise view as dry material.

See for yourself. Check out Econ Essentials today.

And to learn about other great free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Celebrate National Energy Star Day with a Live Virtual Event in Your Classroom!

  • Oct 06, 2015


DIRECTV has partnered with Discovery Education to bring you and your students a live virtual discussion on the global importance of energy efficiency with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The event will come your way LIVE from Washington, DC on October 27th at 1pm EST, and is recommended for students in grades 6 through 8.

There will be downloadable classroom activities available to prepare your class for the discussion, and your students may even submit questions for Administrator McCarthy in advance!

Virtual field trips and events like this are a fun and easy way enhance your students’ educational experience. There’s no cost to participate, and the technical requirements are minimal—all you need is an internet-connected computer and a way to share with students (for example, a projector and speakers).

To learn more, and to register your class, visit the event’s official web site.

And to find out about other great free educational resources and programs, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


An Egg-cellent Opportunity for Learning

  • Sep 24, 2015

Egg Farm 1

Note: If you missed this LIVE virtual field trip, you’ll be happy to know it’s been archived online along with all related classroom materials. You’ll find it here.

Virtual field trips are a growing trend these days, offering tech-savvy teachers a hassle-free way to show students the world outside their classrooms. In fact, so popular are these on-screen excursions that more and more organizations have been stepping-up to make them available, often at no cost.

For example, on October 15th, 2015, Discovery Education and the Good Egg Project will present a LIVE virtual field trip to Creighton Brothers Farms in Warsaw, Indiana for an on-site lesson in nutrition, sustainability, and the farm-to-table process, as well as the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem, and the importance of high-quality animal husbandry.

The technical requirements for this trip are simple, and there are downloadable lesson plans and teacher guides available for grades K-8!

To learn more, and to register your class, visit The Good Egg Project Education Station.

And to find out about other great free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Egg Farm 2

DIRECTV Math Achievement Award Winner Olu Akinrimisi — a City Year Tutor and Mentor — Believes That Hard Work and Relationships Have Been His Keys to Success

  • Jul 10, 2015

Olu's Photo1

One thing all of our 2015 DIRECTV Math Achievement Award winners have in common—aside from the fact that they’re all really good at math—is a passion for public service. That’s why they became AmeriCorps Members, devoting a year of their lives to service as tutors and mentors to struggling students in high-poverty communities.

Each year, we profile these outstanding young adults because they are role models for us all, recognizing their responsibility to help others and share the important skills and lessons they’ve learned in life.

This week, we’d like you to meet 2015 DIRECTV Math Achievement Award winner Olu Akinrimisi (right).

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to become a Corps Member.

Well, I was born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised Long Beach, California. My parents moved to states as an act of selflessness. They sacrificed their passions to make sure their children had opportunity to achieve greatness. Moreover, I attended the University of California, San Diego, and from my experience there I was truly able to see the effect service can have on a community. After graduation, I wanted to make a large impact on under-served communities, and serving as a Corps Member was my opportunity.

Where did you serve, and what were some of the highlights and notable challenges you faced as a tutor and mentor at this school?

I served at Lee Mathson Institute of Technology in San Jose, California. The school had about 400 students, from grades 6 to 8. Lee Mathson is predominantly Latino/Latina, with very few Blacks and Asians. Serving for the Lee Mathson community was challenging. The students were faced with many obstacles such as drugs, sex, violence, discrimination, finance, and I can go on. All of these factors were a hindrance to their learning process and it was hard for me to not blame this unjust world for making my student fall behind.

What math concept or unit was the most challenging for your students to grasp, and how did you overcome this?

The most challenging topic was adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers. This is a topic a lot of the middle school students were suppose know before coming into middle school, however a lot of the students I tutored had no clue. I always took it back to the basics of simply adding and subtracting positive integers. Then I would relate it to money, because they loved money. I even made games where they had to use monopoly cash to invest and borrow. Relating math to reality really helped the students have a better grasp of the material.

Do you have a favorite classroom anecdote from your time with City Year?

One of my students had always been labeled as the troubled child, so teachers never really gave the student any academic attention. During our first math session the student refused to work and said, “I’m stupid, I can’t do this.” For the next five sessions or so we did nothing related to math and just worked on our relationship and getting to know each other. Once we got back into math the student trusted me and their skills improved.

Have math concepts always come easily to you, or did you struggle with the subject? Was there a teacher or mentor in your past that influenced your ability to inspire math achievement?

Math has always been a subject that I was fond of. During grade school I always achieved in math. However once I started high school, I noticed my natural talent for math wasn’t there anymore. That was when I really had to rely on hard work and effort. My 10th grade math teacher made sure to always challenge me even as I struggled. From that point I learned that struggling was good and it only meant that I was learning. From then on math only got harder, but stuck with the idea of hard work and was able to do well in it.

What advice do you have for teachers, mentors and other Corps Members that work with struggling students?

I believe it is critical to establish a connection with students, get to know them and let them get to know you. Then, work your way into tackling their struggle with math. Also, try to make the learning interactive and real-life based, because the students are more likely to retain the new information being learned.

DIRECTV is committed to supporting (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning at K-12 schools, with a strong focus on math as the foundation for organized thinking and problem-solving. What are your thoughts on the importance of STEM subjects, and especially math, for today’s students and their futures?

I believe learning STEM subject is very important, not only to all students but especially for boy and girls of color. In STEM, people of color are a minority, due to many reasons such as social status, lack of educational resources, social environment, and etc. Furthermore, with our world moving toward high-tech it is important to get people into those fields, which means getting more students into college, which also means doing well in subjects such as math. Math is important because it is a critical building block into the world STEM.

 And what about your future? What are your plans?

I will be starting my first year of medical school at the University of California, San Diego. Also, I am in the PRIME-HEq program, which is an inclusive group that will be trained to identify the health disparities within communities in California. Finally, as a physician I want to specialize in pediatrics and work in under-served communities.

Outstanding. Thanks, Olu!

NOTE: For more information on City Year, visit the organization’s official web site.

And be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.

 —Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


3M and Discovery Education announce finalists in the the 2015 Young Scientist Challenge

  • Jun 26, 2015


We continue to be impressed with the caliber of kids making names for themselves in the Discovery Education/3M Young Scientist Challenge. The annual contest, open to students grades 5-8, launched in 1999 and has introduced the world to a slew of promising young minds.

And as I’ve stated before in this space, what impresses me most about these kidsbeyond the confidence, intelligence and applied knowledge they displayis how nearly all of them seem to have been moved to action by a desire to solve some real-world problem.

For example, among this year’s top-10 projects are efforts to:

-help senior citizens safely navigate stairs

-help reduce stress among those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and among their caregivers as well

-help people suffering with allergies

-help reduce the number of auto accidents caused by substance abuse

Help. Help. Help. What a marvelous approach to employing one’s gifts.

And they’re all still just kids.

Each of the finalists will spend the summer being mentored by a 3M scientist. In October, they’ll travel to 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota to compete for the grand prize of $25,000 and the title America’s Top Young Scientist.

But you can meet them now by visiting the official Challenge web site.

And for more news about education events and free educational resources, be sure to bookmark this site and follow DIRECTV Goes to School on Twitter.


—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio


Take Your Class On a Virtual Field Trip with President Obama, This Thursday!

  • Apr 28, 2015


Teachers, we’re thrilled to share with you the opportunity for you and your class to participate in Read to Discover A World of Infinite Possibilities, a unique Virtual Field Trip that Discovery Education is hosting in collaboration with the White House and President Obama, this Thursday, April 30th at 10:40am.

Broadcast LIVE from Washington, D.C., President Obama will connect with thousands of students nationwide to highlight the importance of reading and expanding digital literacy. It should be an incredible event, as the President shares his own love of reading and thoughts about how digital content and technology open up a world of learning.

This virtual field trip is the latest event in Discovery Education’s “Of the People: Live from the White House” Virtual Field Trip series, which transports students behind the scenes to learn about the people, places and issues that shape our world. 

Register your class today. It’s free!