Science for Life

  • Sep 21, 2016

Decoding Cancer

It’s entirely possible that the next big breakthrough in the fight against cancer will be made by someone who is currently sitting in a high-school classroom, enthralled by science and wondering what their role will be in the world of tomorrow.

Our friends at Discovery Education may well have been thinking that very thought when they teamed-up with a group of recognized experts and college educators to create Decoding Cancer, a set of standards-aligned classroom resources designed to facilitate meaningful discussion among students and teachers in grades 9 through 12.

The resources—which include interactive lessons and teacher guides; a section on careers; and (coming soon) a virtual lab!—are available free to any school or educator who’d like to use them in the classroom.

Joining Discovery in this effort are the Val Skinner Foundation, and the LIFE Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in collaboration with the Rutgers School of Public Health. The group’s mission statement describes Decoding Cancer as “an innovative and interactive high school biology and genetics education program featuring the BioCONECT (Biology of Cancer, Online Education Connecting Teens) curriculum,” adding that the program “enhances science literacy and increases cancer education and awareness among youth.”

Check it out for yourself. Visit the Decoding Cancer website today.

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

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

Generation STEM

  • May 26, 2016

Obama Science

Earlier this month, President Obama invited students across the country to share their thoughts on science, technology, and innovation. What’s noteworthy about this is that the idea itself was born in April at the 6th White House Science Fair, when 9-year-old inventor Jacob Leggette told the President that he should have a kid science advisor.

Kudos to Jacob for knowing how to make the most of an opportunity, and congratulations to students everywhere who, as a result of Jacob’s initiative, will now have an opportunity to make their voices heard at the highest levels of the STEM frontier.

Watch the video below for more on this great story, and please encourage your students to take part. The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 17, 2016 at 11:59 pm ET.

Learn more at whitehouse.gov.

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

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

Image and video: The White House

NAVY STEM CLASSROOM RESOURCES

  • May 04, 2016

Navy STEM

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

Introduce Your Students to a Top Young Scientist!

  • Feb 25, 2016

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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

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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

Capture

A Writing Contest for Young Space Enthusiasts

  • Dec 18, 2015

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As I write this, the unmanned Cassini spacecraft is headed for Saturn en route to a scheduled close flyby of the ocean-bearing moon Enceladus on December 19th—a mission that will garner invaluable geological data about a world far, far away.

Just think about that for a moment. Scientific exploration of alien worlds via technology that was science fiction not all that long ago.

It’s a stunning moment in human achievement, not to mention STEM advocacy, but moreover it’s a golden opportunity to ignite the imaginations of those very people who may one day take the exploration even further: your students. Which is why we bring you news today of the Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest.

NASA Education invites students in grades 5-12 to pen a 500-word essay on the Cassini Mission for a chance to win once-in-a-lifetime recognition and a very special opportunity for their fellow students!

The winning essays and their student authors will be featured on NASA’a web site. In addition, winning schools will be guaranteed participation in a teleconference or video conference with Cassini scientists!

The contest meets U.S. National English and Science Education Standards. Deadline for submission is Friday, February 26, 2016. For more information visit the official contest 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

Note: Watch the video below for a compelling overview of the Cassini Mission.

Explore a New World of Learning

  • Oct 16, 2015

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Mars is everywhere these days, figuratively speaking. From breathtaking imagery captured by the Curiosity Rover, and growing excitement over possible evidence for Martian water, to NASA’s recent announcement of 3-part plan to put people on Mars within two decades, it’s safe to say that the red planet is having a moment.

Heck, it’s even co-starring in a hit movie with Matt Damon!

All this excitement presents teachers with a golden opportunity—a chance to present real-world  STEM application to young people who are watching scientific history play out before their eyes. Luckily, our friends at NASA Education are ready to help educators make the most of this opportunity with an exhaustive online collection of Mars-related STEM resources they call the Mars Survival Kit.

Well organized and easy to navigate, the site offers standards-based classroom projects and lesson plans for students in kindergarten through high school. And it’s all free of charge.

Check out the Mars Survival Kit for yourself.

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

Note: NASA TV is channel 346 in your DIRECTV SCHOOL CHOICE programming package.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

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Share Your Passion for Math and Science and You Could Win a College Education!

  • Sep 17, 2015

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The Breakthrough Junior Challenge—presented by the Breakthrough Prize and Khan Academy—invites students 13 through 18 to submit a 10-minute video that illustrates a challenging concept or theory of mathematics, life sciences, or physics in an engaging, illuminating, and creative way. Make the best video and you’ll win a $250,000 post-secondary scholarship! Seriously.

That’s an amazing prize, and an amazing opportunity. And there are also prizes available for participating teachers and schools.

The deadline for submission is October 7, 2015—so get busy!

To learn more, check out the video below. Then visit the Breakthrough Junior Challenge.

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

Space Station STEM Ed

  • Sep 03, 2015

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One does not have to be a rocket scientist in order to recognize that space travel is probably the greatest commercial there is for STEM. I mean, talk about an education taking you places!

But what really sells the point is the fact that it is nearly impossible to discuss any aspect of space travel without at least touching on the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics involved—real-world application of STEM principles by ordinary people who once sat in classrooms just like yours.

And are not so ordinary anymore.

That’s the kind of big-picture thinking that can inspire students, and, fortunately, NASA Education is in the business of thinking big.

Which brings us to STEM on Station, NASA Education’s out-of-this-world educational web site celebrating the year-long mission to the International Space Station. Informative, timely, and easy to use, the site is packed with free learning resources, including a large collection of STEM-based lesson plans for grades K-12.

As with space itself, there is lots to discover. So visit STEM on Station today.

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

Note: NASA TV is channel 346 in your DIRECTV SCHOOL CHOICE programming package.

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

 

Enter to Win Cool Contests for Earth Science Week 2015!

  • Jul 27, 2015

Earth Science

In celebration of Earth Science Week 2015, teachers and students K-12 are invited to take part in essay, photography and visual arts competitions, courtesy of the American Geosciences Institute.

A big thank you to our friends at NASA Education for making us aware of these opportunities to explore science through art, and maybe win a prize!

The deadline for submission to all three contests is October 16, 2015:

PHOTOGRAPHY
Open to: All educators and students
Theme: “Earth Systems Interacting”
Photographs should show at least one Earth system affecting another Earth system in your community. Pictured (right) is last year’s winning photo, from Eva Jasinski, depicting the influence of Earth systems upon one another and the theme “Connections in My Community”.
Official contest site

VISUAL ARTS
Open to: Students K-5
Theme: “Picturing Earth Systems”
Submit an original 2-D visual arts project that shows how land, water, air and living things affect each other.
Official contest site

ESSAY
Open to: Students grades 6-9
Theme: “Earth System Visualization Today”
In 300 words or less, explain one way that geoscientists’ use of cutting-edge visualization is advancing Earth science today.
Official contest site

Now get busy!

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

—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio

Earth Science