This way, Valtrex helps to regulate the immune system within a short period of time and restrict possibilities of the infected cells After the purchase of Ventolin the situation was changed a lot.
The doctor prescribed me Flagyl. Zithromax without prescriptionPremarin works just fine for me. I used this pill for three months after a full hysterectomy at the age of 50.

STEMfest Speakers in the Spotlight: Dr. Bonnie Schmidt

From September 27th to October 3rd this year, Global STEM States will be hosting the 2nd International Festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEMfest) at Prairieland Park Trade and Convention Centre in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. STEMfest is a festival of many events and conferences happening over the course of one week and all in one venue! Over 1,200 delegates and 10,000 students will be visiting from 55 countries, and will be hearing some excellent speakers! Here on the blog, STEMconnector and Global STEM States will be previewing some of the excellent speakers slated to present at STEMfest this year.

For over 20 years, Dr. Schmidt has been encouraging Canadian school children to pursue an education in science, engineering and technology through “Let's Talk Science” - an award winning education and outreach program focused on learning and developing skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to Canadian youth. 

Back in 1991, while a Physiology PhD student at Western University, Dr. Schmidt felt the demand for members of the scientific community to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for science to the wider community. So, along with some friends she began volunteering in helping students who were having difficulty in subjects such as math or physics. 

Founded in 1993, Let's Talk Science continues to mobilize thousands of STEM university and college students and professionals to volunteer their time and share their passion for STEM subjects to Canadian youth. Let's Talk Science has since grown into a leading national organization, reaching over 3 million Canadians.
Dr. Schmidt has recently been being recognized "for her leadership in fostering science literacy among primary and secondary school students across Canada by becoming a Member of the Order of Canada - one of the country's highest honours. Through Let’s Talk Science, Dr. Schmidt’s award "recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation." 
Where can see Dr. Schmidt at STEMfest?



McGraw-Hill Education Files Registration Statement for Initial Public Offering

The following is a press release from McGraw-Hill.

McGraw-Hill Education, Inc., announced [September 4, 2015] that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of, these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful before registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
About McGraw-Hill Education
McGraw-Hill Education is a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that help students, parents, educators and professionals improve results. McGraw-Hill Education has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in nearly 60 languages. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Texas Instruments Foundation recognizes 18 local teachers for advancing student success in STEM subjects

This is a press release from the Texas Instruments Foundation

2015 Innovations in STEM Teaching Awards honor teachers in Dallas, Garland, Lancaster, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson school districts

DALLAS, Sept. 3, 2015 (PRNewswire) | The Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN), Foundation presented its Innovations in STEM Teaching Awards yesterday to 18 teachers from six local school districts during a ceremony at TI's Dallas headquarters. This year, the program was expanded to include teachers from the Garland and Lancaster independent school districts (ISDs) along with those from the Dallas, Mesquite, Plano and Richardson ISDs.
The awards program, now in its ninth year, honors local secondary math and science teachers who consistently demonstrate quality instruction and build student achievement in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. Each honoree receives $10,000, of which $5,000 is directly awarded to the teacher. The other $5,000 is to be used at his or her discretion for professional development or instructional technology. The grants are awarded through the independent foundations that support each district.
To date, the TI Foundation has invested more than $1 million in the STEM Awards to recognize and help retain 122 excellent teachers in North Texas school districts. 
"These teachers are true STEM champions, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to honor them," said Ann Pomykal, TI Foundation director of major education gifts. "The work they do is essential to preparing future innovators, discoverers and explorers."
"A key strategy to improving student achievement in math and science is teacher effectiveness. That is why we focus our support on this area, with a special emphasis on reaching girls and minorities who are underrepresented in STEM careers," she said. "As STEM-related jobs become a larger pillar of the U.S. economy, we rely on teachers like those we are honoring today to make STEM subjects interesting and accessible to all students."
Principals nominate teachers for the STEM awards based on criteria, such as demonstrating and documenting teaching effectiveness, establishing classroom innovation, participating in education activities outside the classroom, and encouraging curiosity and increasing interest in STEM subjects among students. Teams within each district review the applications and make classroom observations. After a detailed selection process, the winners were announced.
The 2015 TI Foundation STEM Award recipients are:
Dallas ISD
Robert Allison, Bryan Adams High School, teaches pre-calculus and calculus for 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Mr. Allison offers a rigorous curriculum that encourages students to push themselves to a level they may not realize they can reach.
Maya Brown, Samuell High School, teaches aquatic science to 12th graders. Ms. Brown draws real world correlations between what they are learning and how it connects to their world.
Dee Coyle, Lang Middle School, teaches touch system data entry for 7th and 8th grades. Ms. Coyle integrates math and science into her computer keyboarding classes.
Felicia Cummings, Zan Holmes Middle School, teaches 6th grade science. Ms. Cummings encourages students to be curious and inquire about the world around them. She uses her students' data to plan lessons that challenge their thinking and problem-solving skills.
Joseph Ibarra, Irma Rangel All Girls High School, teaches statistics, calculus and algebra II for 9th through 12th grades. Mr. Ibarra hopes that all his students will use math to invent something that will transform humanity in a positive way forever. He is focused on preparing his students for success in rigorous college coursework.
Travis Smith, Trinidad Garza Early College, teaches pre-calculus and calculus for grades 11 and 12. Mr. Smith believes that even the most dejected "I HATE MATH" student can be successful if the math is made accessible and if the teacher is enthusiastic.
Brandi Stennis, J.F. Kimball High School, teaches biotechnical engineering to 10th and 11th graders. Ms. Stennis works to tie what they are learning to something in their lives.
Garland ISD
Creighton Bryan taught engineering and robotics at South Garland High School. His competition teams have qualified for the national level eight consecutive years and have also placed in the top 10 nationally in several categories.
Erik Bushland, Sachse High School, teaches Career Technology Education. His passion for helping students become technology leaders inspires Mr. Bushland to consistently implement innovative programs in his classroom to engage his students.
Gye Kraemer, Hudson Middle School, teaches science and robotics. Mr. Kraemer started a program to make obscure STEM concepts a hands-on reality. His afterschool robotics club quickly blossomed, leading to the creation of a highly sought after robotics class.
Lancaster ISD
Nicholas Keith, George Washington Carver 6th grade STEM Learning Center, taught integrated STEM classes. In the coming year, he will be a blended learning STEM specialist for K-12, working with teachers and students.  Mr. Keith was named "teacher of the year" at the campus and district levels for both elementary and secondary schools.
Mesquite ISD
Patricia Oliver, West Mesquite High School, teaches chemistry and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) for 10th and 11th grades. Ms. Oliver meets the varying needs of her students by differentiating her lessons, infusing technology and relating difficult concepts to everyday situations that students can understand. She encourages students to be free thinkers.
Kristi Hernandez, Agnew Middle School, teaches 8th grade science and Gifted & Talented. Ms. Hernandez builds relationships with her students by incorporating technology and hands-on activities into her daily lessons.
Plano ISD
David Carroll, Plano West Senior High School, teaches AP physics for 11th grade. A former Plano ISD student, he returned to the district in 1990 as a teacher and seems to work magic in his classroom. He administers two physics websites, authored instructional materials and developed a Physics Olympics competition.
Nona Gill, Shepton High School, teaches geometry, "Introduction to Engineering Design" and "Principles of Engineering" to the 9th and 10th grades. When you walk into Ms. Gill's classroom you might encounter students racing robots or creating surgical arms. Ms. Gill is passionate about encouraging students to pursue STEM related careers, making an effort to reach students who are underrepresented in these fields.
Eric McDaniels, Frankford Middle School, teaches 6th grade math. Mr. McDaniels' students learn to be fearless in their attempts to understand mathematical concepts. He encourages constant reflection and celebrates not only among students who get the right answer but also with students who discover where they missed a step in problem solving.
Richardson ISD
Carrie Galvin, L.V. Berkner High School, teaches honors anatomy & physiology and biology. The 'ah-ha moment' is Ms. Galvin's favorite moment in teaching – that's when she knows her job has been done. Ms. Galvin was an early adopter of using technology for student learning.
Mark Mester, Richardson High School, teaches automotive technology to grades 9 through 12. Whether a student advances to state in an automotive contest or lands a job in the automotive industry, student success is what motivates Mr. Mester. He implements the latest technology and incorporates problem solving skills to teach his students how to use their skills in the workforce.
The Innovations in STEM Teaching Awards are one of many initiatives of the TI Foundation, which has led and supported innovative education programs for decades. Education is the Foundation's primary philanthropic focus, with grants specifically enhancing STEM education and supporting effective teaching.
Innovation and technology changes have led to demand for STEM competencies beyond traditional STEM occupations – skills necessary for innovation are scattered across a wider swath of the economy.
"These teachers are undoubtedly equipping students with the skills they need to take advantage of these opportunities," Pomykal said.
About the Texas Instruments Foundation 
The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates. Committed to supporting educational excellence, the foundation works to create measurable, replicable programs and initiatives. The focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve STEM education and increase the percentage of high school graduates who are math and science capable. More information can be found at

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Honor Two Young Women of Distinction at Annual Luncheon

This is a press release from Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX)

Girls Who Code CEO slated as luncheon keynote speaker

DALLAS (August 31, 2015) | Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) today announces Devin Bray and Sruthi Tummala as the Girl Scouts who will be honored as the Young Women of Distinction at the AT&T sponsored Women of Distinction Luncheon at 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 14 at The Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.
Bray and Tummala will receive recognition for their outstanding commitment to community service and leadership. With the luncheon chaired by Katherine Coker, this year’s keynote speaker is Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code, which is a nonprofit committed to inspire and equip girls with the computer skills and drive to pursue career opportunities in the growing IT industry.
Funds raised during the luncheon help provide leadership programming to more than 26,600 girls in Northeast Texas in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), financial literacy, healthy living, and outdoor leadership.
About the Honorees
A senior at Denton Guyer High School, Devin Bray has been a Girl Scout in Troop 317 since kindergarten. Her Girl Scout adventures include camping experiences, lots of cookie booths, numerous service projects, and even a trip to the Birthplace of Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia, during the Girl Scout Centennial in 2012. Along with growing up as a Girl Scout, Devin spent 12 years as a competitive gymnast and competed in livestock shows where she showed pigs and lambs. Devin lives in Corinth, Texas with her parents, Don and Denise, and her younger sister Dixen, who is also a sister in Girl Scouting. Devin plans to major in chemistry in college with hopes of becoming a hospital pharmacist after professional school.
Sruthi Tummala has been a Juliette Girl Scout member since 2012 and is a senior at Ursuline Academy in Dallas. She earned her Girl Scout Gold Award which involved exciting fourth graders about math and science; and also recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her outstanding commitment to community service. Sruthi is the president and founder of the National Science Honor Society and Entrepreneurship Club at Ursuline has been published in several anthologies and online magazines for her poetry and short story works. Sruthi is a recognized equestrian and is a 2015 Team National Finalist for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. She was awarded “best lawyer” in the 2015 Mock Trial Regional Competition.
“Devin and Sruthi are two extraordinary young women who have made significant impacts on their communities,” said Jennifer Bartkowski, chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. “It is remarkable to experience the level maturity, leadership and dedication these young ladies have shown through their extensive community involvement and academic success. They are exemplary Girl Scouts who have put into practice the courage, confidence and character we strive for and definitely have made the world a better place.”
For more information about becoming a sponsor, purchasing tickets or a table at the event, please contact Aisha McClendon at or visit
About Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas
Girl Scouts is the premier leadership organization and is the largest pipeline for female leadership. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 26,600 girls and 12,500 adults in 32 northeast Texas counties. For information on how to join, volunteer, donate or reconnect to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, call (800) 442-2260 or visit  

Speakers in the Spotlight: Meet Dr. Joe Schwarcz at this year's STEMfest!

From September 27th to October 3rd this year, Global STEM States will be hosting the 2nd International Festival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEMfest) at Prairieland Park Trade and Convention Centre in Saskatoon, SK, Canada. STEMfest is a festival of many events and conferences happening over the course of one week and all in one venue! Over 1,200 delegates and 10,000 students will be visiting from 55 countries, and will be hearing some excellent speakers! Here on the blog, STEMconnector and Global STEM States will be previewing some of the excellent speakers slated to present at STEMfest this year.
First up is Dr. Joe Schwarcz, the Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. Dr. Joe is dedicated to demystifying science and separating sense from nonsense. He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging. Professor Schwarcz has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. He is the only non-American ever to win the American Chemical Society’s prestigious Grady-Stack Award for demystifying chemistry. He hosts "The Dr. Joe Show" on Montreal radio, has appeared hundreds of times on television and is the author of 14 best sellers. Also an amateur conjurer, Dr. Joe often spices up his presentations with a little magic. 
Where can see Dr. Joe at STEMfest?

For more details about STEMfest:


New Online Marketplace Helps Teachers Share and Sell Educational Content Worldwide


TES Global recently launched a web platform for teachers to sell content they have created to other teachers,

"I've always had textbooks in the classroom, but they've never served me or my students very well. While I want to monetize my resources, I also want my content to reach and help as many students as possible," said San Francisco teacher and resource author Charles Snyder. "TES gives teachers worldwide a way to both earn money and earn the professional respect they deserve."

There are several key reasons teachers might find TES to be beneficial to their classrooms:

  • Entrepreneurial freedom - Teachers can choose to make their content available for free or for a set price.
  • Recognition - Teachers receive 100% of proceeds from all resources sold to U.S teachers.
  • Massive community - TES supports 7.3 million members worldwide, including 1.8 million U.S. teachers, and welcomes between 20 and 30,000 new members each month globally.
  • Authors' shops - Teachers can promote themselves and their content through the authors' shop with a bio and links to social profiles.
  • Business support - TES' expert team of content analysts, who are all former classroom teachers, give personalized guidance and support to help authors reach their entrepreneurial goals.

In my opinion... Its about time teachers have a marketplace to sell their ideas if they want!

TES Global is a digital education business committed to supporting teaching and learning. Understanding that great teachers are the key to educational success, They develop tools that help a global community of 7.3 million teachers collaborate and share world-class resources, including, Wikispaces and Blendspace. Beyond K-12 education, they provide the world's most respected higher education data and analysis, connecting students with the best possible education opportunities. Our innovation program, TES Labs, ensures that cutting edge startups are interacting with teachers to ensure their products meet and exceed their needs. 


Join the STEMconnector Team! We're Seeking a Business Development & Client Services Intern!

Are you passionate about the future of our country and the future of our workforce?  Do you want to join a team of dynamic professionals that share your passion?  Do you want to be a part of a group that is helping improve the quality of our science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce? Then apply to join the STEMconnector® team!  
As the “one-stop shop” for all things STEM, we are committed to connecting entities working in the field of STEM and are looking for dynamic, motivated, and intellectually curious interns to join our team. We are currently looking for interns to join our team for Fall 2015 in the areas of: business development, client services, marketing, communications, and research. 
Job Description:
By joining the STEMconnector® team as an intern you become part of a passionate, driven, and intelligent group of people whom you will work with side-by-side. We pride ourselves in the care and level of responsibility we give our interns as we know they are an integral part of our organization. Depending on whom you report into, responsibilities vary, however all interns have the following core responsibilities:
  • Conducting research and preparing reports of findings
  • Development of sales and marketing materials
  • Content management and updates of STEMconnector® website and client database 
  • Outreach to clients via phone and email for various assignments 
  • Assistance and support in organizing, preparing, and executing various events
  • General administrative support
  • Pursuing or completed undergraduate or graduate degree
  • Demonstrated research and writing ability, plus excellent communications skills
  • Professional demeanor and ability to work in a team environment 
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Willingness to learn CRM database ( and/or Constant Contact 
Compensation and Hours:
  • Minimum of 30 hours per week (with flexible in scheduling but they  must fall within 8:30-5:00, hours will be set upon start date) 
  • 3 month commitment (with some flexibility)
  • Transportation stipend of $150 on an as needed basis 

If interested, please send resumes to David Poole- Manager, Executive Initiatives. (


New Smithsonian Web Series Helps Teachers Get in Back-to-School Spirit

This is a Q&A with Dr. Marjee Chmiel, Associate Director for Curriculum and Communications for Smithsonian Institution

As teachers prepare to greet classrooms full of new faces in the coming weeks, many may turn to professional development opportunities to refresh and strengthen their skills for the year ahead. Recognizing the challenges of traditional professional development tools, which often require significant investments of both time and money, the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) launched “Good Thinking!: The Science of Teaching Science” in June — a free, engaging and entertaining web series designed to support science educators. The series addresses the need for accessible professional development tools that help teachers break down barriers to understanding scientific principles and enhance their classroom skills.

A first-of-its-kind series, Good Thinking! comprises short, animated videos that explore pedagogical ideas across a range of subject-matter topics such as natural selection, energy, and the water cycle as well as cognitive research findings on topics like student motivation, the myths of learning styles and left- and right-brained people. Good Thinking! shines a light on the pedagogical challenges teachers face, and provides solid, science-based ideas that keep their teaching on track. The series enhances K-8 science education and deepens understanding of STEM topics, for teachers and students alike.

We sat down with Dr. Marjee Chmiel, Associate Director for Curriculum and Communications for Smithsonian Institution, for a Q&A about the Good Thinking! series:

What is the role of the Smithsonian Science Education Center within the Smithsonian Institution?

The SSEC is a rather unique unit within the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian Institution encompasses 19 museums, the National Zoo, 9 research centers, and a variety of culture and education centers. The SSEC is the only unit that focuses exclusively on supporting K-12 teachers and students in school-based learning (as opposed to museum or informal education). We have a national and international reach, and work intensively in a variety of regions to advance our mission of transforming science education.

Our main areas of support are curriculum development (standards-based activity sequences, teacher guides, and materials kits), professional development (opportunities for teachers to advance their knowledge and practice), and leadership development (cultivating sustainable teams of local education leaders including administrators, teachers, local businesses, and parents to be advocates for inquiry-based science).

What were some of the primary catalysts that drove the creation of the Good Thinking! series and who is the target audience?

Through an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the Department of Education, we had the opportunity to work closely with a diverse group of elementary teachers as they learned to implement an inquiry-based curriculum and engaged in professional development. The PD experiences were rich and transformative, but required teachers to be in a particular place at a particular time. We saw an opportunity to create a durable, on-demand PD resource to supplement these experiences on an as-needed basis and to reach broader audiences.

How can your target audience best use the resources you have created?

Our target audience is anyone who teaches science to K-12 students, especially those that feel underprepared to tackle a particular subject area or who want to advance their teaching practice. Knowing how pressed educators are for time, we created the series with flexibility in mind — teachers can watch them alone on their own time, or in groups or as part of PLC meetings or PD sessions. 

Who else is part of the Good Thinking! team, and how have they contributed to the project?

As you can see on our credits page, this project was very much a team effort, including a deep bench of subject matter experts, science writers, artists, TV writers, voice actors, and more!

The core team members were:

Marjee Chmiel (SSEC) Assoc. Dir. of Curriculum and Communication – Marjee developed the initial concept for the series and oversaw the development of the content and creative direction. Marjee’s dissertation was a content analysis of science video on the web, where she saw a need for robust video that blended science and pedagogy. Her idea was to smash really rigorous content into a format that is fun, flexible, accessible, and durable. Throughout the process she pushed equally hard for accuracy and hilarity.

Jean Flanagan (SSEC) Science Education Research Specialist – Jean worked closely with Marjee to develop the subject matter direction for the series. In a prior research position she had already amassed a deep knowledge of student misconceptions and education research. Starting there, she pored over countless additional journal articles, spanning multiple fields of science, educational psychology, neuroscience, and pedagogy to distill key findings that would be relevant and actionable for K-12 science teachers. She served as a key editor and reviewer at every stage of the project.

Nate Fedrizzi (SSEC) Series Coordinator – Nate worked closely with Marjee and Jean to implement and manage the project. With a strong background in science and video production, Nate had a hand in nearly every aspect of the series, from working with the actors in the recording studio to writing content and wrangling contractors. His attention to detail is a little mind-blowing. He served as a key editor and reviewer at every stage of the project, and is currently an active freelancer in the field of science media production.

Leigh Hallisey (FableVision) Creative Director – Leigh had perhaps the most difficult job: taking the lead on turning science education content into a colorful, hilarious world of characters with personalities and stories. It’s crazy difficult to put your creative ideas out there and let an entire team of (very intense) people pick them apart. But Leigh stuck it out, pushed us to take risks, and ultimately gave the series its special sauce.

Danielle Gillis (FableVision) Producer – The project most certainly would have sunk without Danielle. A large team of academics and creatives is like a giant herd of cats, so you can imagine what it would take to never miss a significant deadline. Whatever that is, Danielle has it! She also came to the project with a deep knowledge of the animation industry and a wonderful network to draw on that immeasurably strengthened the project.

What are some of the major pedagogical ideas covered in the series?

Each episode covers some fairly nuanced interactions of subject matter and pedagogy, but some of the most essential ideas that we hope people come away with are:

  • Science education practices have been and are being studied empirically. The findings from this research should inform classroom practice.
  • Students often begin their studies holding alternative or piecemeal mental models of many scientific concepts.
  • Effective teachers listen to these ideas and work with them to help students build a more complete and scientific understanding, rather than assuming students’ minds are “blank slates” to be filled with new knowledge.
  • Science is best learned through practice, not solely reading “about” results of science that has already been done. This doesn’t mean that students are making new discoveries, but rather that their path to understanding important science concepts should, to a degree, parallel the work of scientists as they construct an understanding based on evidence.  

Can you describe the research that occurred, leading to your choice to cover these ideas/topics?

We were already familiar with the research on common student misconceptions, and we built on that knowledge by combing through the peer-review science education literature, looking specifically for topics that both were well-studied and had actionable advice for teachers.

What is the future of the Good Thinking! series, and similar projects at the SSEC?

We are currently working to develop discussion guides and larger PD modules that incorporate analysis of the videos, and we’re always on the lookout for funders for a “season 2”! We’re keeping an ever-growing wish-list of topics for new videos.

If someone wants to learn more about the Good Thinking! series, what should they do?

Check out our website to see the references for each episode, and blog posts about the development of the series and characters.

New episodes will be debuting throughout the fall semester, so subscribe to our YouTube channel (or check us out on PBS LearningMedia) to catch them all!

Good Thinking! Introduction

In Case You Missed It: STEM Town Hall - Leveraging Game-Based Learning to Increase STEM Engagement

Click Here to Watch
Leveraging Game-Based Learning to Increase STEM Engagement
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM EDT

STEMconnector®in collaboration with MIND Research Institute, hosted a STEM Town Hall on August 25th entitled "Leveraging Game-Based Learning to Increase STEM Engagement."

For this event, we looked beyond the achievement gap and into the "experience gap" where too many students are lacking the rich mathematical experiences that lead to deeper mathematical understanding and greater joy in the learning process. In a STEM-focused world, students of all backgrounds need these experiences to see themselves as capable mathematical thinkers and problem solvers.


Game-based learning is widely used in classrooms to engage students while fostering deeper learning that meets educational goals. The Town Hall saw an authority on game-based learning, a professional game designer, educators , a corporate supporter, and students discuss their experiences building their own math games and getting hands-on with learning.



Eileen Buckley

US Corporate Responsibility Senior Manager


Eileen Buckley leads PwC's youth education efforts as part of the firm's Corporate Responsibility team. Her responsibilities include overseeing Earn Your Future, a $190 million, multi-year commitment to education that incorporates student and educator outreach, research, and collaboration with select nonprofit organizations, including the MIND Research Institute, with a focus on innovation and impact. Eileen is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.S., Psychology) and Vanderbilt University (M.Ed., Organizational and Community Development).


Shannon Duncan

6th Grade Math and Science Teacher
McPherson Magnet School, Orange County, Ca.


Shannon Duncan is a 6th grade math and science teacher at McPherson Magnet School in California's Orange Unified School District. There, she uses a BOYD (Bring Your Own Device) policy to incorporate academic rigor with game-based learning in fun and engaging ways in her classroom. Previously, as a teacher in Lynwood, California, Shannon led her class of inner-city students to participate in the Lego Mindstorms Robotics program. A U.S. Army veteran, Shannon has a master's degree in multicultural education with an emphasis in critical pedagogy.
Past National K-12 Game-a-thon winner
7th Grade Student, Nj.
Kedar and Uma
Programming Enthusiasts
Nazareth, Pa.
Kedar is a six-year-old programming enthusiast from Nazareth, Pa. who enjoys making games and stories inScratch. He was featured as a young Maker for his invention of an interactive book called "Codeylocks and the 3 Bears" that teaches young kids to use puzzle-like pieces to learn coding without a computer. This year, he entered MIND Research Institute's Game-a-thon with the JiJi Multipli-Cake Dance, which adds music to math. Kedar's mom, Uma, started Little Code Ninja with her son to share insights with fellow programming enthusiasts. She previously ran the Quality & Program Management Office for a leading healthcare company and implemented Six Sigma, Lean, Agile & Scrum methodologies in a mentorship and coaching role to cross-cultural/functional teams.


Nigel Nisbet

Vice President of Content Creation
MIND Research Institute


Nigel Nisbet is vice president of content creation at MIND Research Institute. Previously, he was a mathematics specialist for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he designed and delivered professional development programs and implemented the transition to Response to Intervention (RTI) programming. Before that, Nigel taught high school mathematics, Advanced Placement (AP) Physics, and AP Computer Science, where he integrated technology into the classroom and utilized project-based learning to engage students' critical thinking skills. Nigel received his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Queen Mary University of London and his master's degree in educational administration at California State University, Northridge.


Becky Renegar

Gifted Intervention Specialist

Piqua Central Intermediate School, Piqua, Oh.


Becky Renegar is a Gifted Intervention Speciliast for students who are identified as gifted in math at Piqua Central Intermediate School in Piqua, Ohio. This is her thirteenth year of working with gifted students. She has a Masters of Arts in Gifted Education and is currently the Teacher Division Chair for the Ohio Association for Gifted Children. Becky uses game-based learning and technology in her classroom to meet the academic and creative needs of her students. She has had students participate in the Game-a-thon for the past two years and had three teams that placed in the top five last year.


Greg Toppo

National K-12 Education Reporter
USA Today
Greg Toppo is USA Today's national K-12 education reporter. His new book, The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter, was published in 2015 by Palgrave/MacMillan. He was a 2010 Spencer Fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and in 2011 he co-led the team that investigated cheating in the nation's public schools, most prominently in Washington, D.C. A graduate of St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Greg taught in both public and private schools for eight years before moving into journalism.



Back-to-school boost: Duke Energy awards $3 million in education grants

This is a press release from Duke Energy Foundation

More than 50 NC schools and organizations to receive support

RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 27, 2015 (PRNewswire) | Students and teachers are getting a back-to-school boost through grants totaling $3 million to more than 50 schools and educational organizations in North Carolina.
The grants, from the Duke Energy Foundation, will enhance programs and initiatives focused on childhood reading proficiency, along with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
"It is essential that our children are well-equipped with the basic skills needed to thrive in the classroom and in life," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's incoming North Carolina president. "We're proud to support these organizations and their efforts to give our students the best chance for success – from kindergarten through high school."
The Duke Energy Foundation awarded $865,000 to childhood literacy programs aimed at closing the achievement gap and ending the cycle of poverty that often separates low-income students from their peers.
The remaining $2.17 million supports STEM initiatives that provide real-world relevancy and engaging experiences to prepare students to enter math and engineering career fields.
"Duke Energy recognizes that a deep foundation in science and mathematics for all students is essential for our state's competitive edge," said Tony Habit, president of NC New Schools/Breakthrough Learning. "We value our partnership with Duke Energy to support our teachers and provide them the resources they need to build their knowledge and skills in delivering high-quality STEM education. The generous investment by Duke Energy over the years represents a promise of a bright future for North Carolina students."
"Communities In Schools of North Carolina has had a long-standing partnership with public schools all across our state to bring dynamic wraparound services into schools to drive strong student outcomes in attendance, behavior and coursework – the best predictors of student success," said Dr. Eric Hall, president and CEO of Communities In Schools of North Carolina. "Thanks to a grant from Duke Energy, CISNC is closing the summer reading gap for students living in poverty in Western North Carolina. Also, at the beginning of the school year, we will launch a reading program in Eastern North Carolina using technology to propel reading success in the elementary setting. Together, CISNC and Duke Energy are working to change the picture of education for students all across North Carolina."
"Duke Energy is helping to build the next generation of scientists, engineers, doctors, and innovators in our state," said Tim Hurley, Teach For America-Charlotte executive director. "Thanks to their support, we've been able to increase the number of STEM teachers we bring to North Carolina, thereby helping to address a serious gap in STEM educational opportunity, particularly in our rural communities. These talented educators spark imagination, curiosity and creativity in their students, all while preparing them to be the leaders on which our shared future depends."
Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. Duke Energy has long been committed to supporting the communities where its customers and employees live and work, and will continue to build on this legacy. For more information, visit
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