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SHEC Member Profile: Dr. Jim Catanzaro of Chattanooga State

The STEM Higher Ed Council (SHEC) is proud to announce Dr. Jim Catanzaro, President of Chattanooga State Community College, will be a member of the Council.  
For thirty-five years Dr. Jim Catanzaro has been known nationally as a leader in the community college movement – for five years as a community college president in California, for six years in Ohio, three in Illinois, and now for over twenty-four years in Tennessee.  Previously, President Catanzaro was the Human Resources Director for a 7,000 employee-manufacturing firm in California.
Dr. Catanzaro holds the Ph.D. degree from Claremont Graduate University in Philosophy of Religion.  He studied leadership at The Wharton School and at the University of Texas at Austin.  His “Second Generation” online course, Religions of the World as Practiced in America, has been selected by the Monterey Institute Hewlett Foundation Study for inclusion in the Institute’s National Repository of America’s best web-based courses. 
President Catanzaro is author of several books.  His most recent focuses on achieving well-being: Spiritual Surfing: Riding Life’s Turbulent Waves to Victory.  He has hosted a weekly television interview program aired principally on PBS affiliates since the 1980’s; he represents higher education on the board of the prestigious National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts; he is a consultant with the Higher Education Research and Development Institute; and he has served on the boards of over 25 community organizations in Chattanooga.
In a statement regarding the STEM Higher Education Council, President Catanzaro remarked, "Pushing STEM education and innovation forward is critical to our national future.  As a college with a strong STEM focus including an onsite STEM high school, being part of the Higher Education Council's cutting edge work is an imperative."

Indiana Science Teacher Receives 2014 Shell Science Teaching Award

This is a press release from NSTA & Shell Oil Company

Kristen Poindexter Wins $10,000 Cash Prize for Positive Impact on Her Students, School and Community through Exemplary Classroom Science Teaching

2014 Shell Science Teaching Award Winner Kristen Poindexter receiving her award at the NSTA National Conference in Boston. Also pictured: Karen Labat, diversity manager for Shell, and Bill Badders, NSTA retiring president. (Photo: Business Wire)

ARLINGTON, Va. - (BUSINESS WIRE) | Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association announced that Kristen Poindexter, a kindergarten educator and science coach at Spring Mill Elementary School in Indianapolis, Ind. is the recipient of the 2014 Shell Science Teaching Award. Poindexter received her award in April at a special banquet and ceremony at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Boston.

“Science education combines the use of observation, intuition, experimentation and analysis – all necessary skills for independent and critical thinkers,” said Dr. Frazier Wilson, Vice President, Shell Oil Company Foundation and Director, Social Investment, Shell Oil Company. “As our society becomes increasingly dependent on technology, these skills create the foundation for science careers, as well as scientific thinking, to bear on issues that impact all citizens. As Shell celebrates the 23nd anniversary of the Shell Science Teaching Award, we salute Kristen Poindexter for inspiring the next generation of science innovators that will help meet future global energy needs.”

Poindexter has earned numerous awards and accolades for giving her young students several unique learning experiences in science and opportunities to present what they have learned to adults. Her students serve as citizen scientists when they study and track the migration of monarch butterflies and report their findings. They study and grow plants and do hands-on activities in their classroom greenhouse, which Poindexter purchased using grant funding she obtained. Her students also have lessons in an outdoor science lab and contribute to a compost box in their classroom.

In a unit based on “The Three Little Pigs,” students actually test the materials mentioned in the story to determine which would be the best to use to build a sturdy house—not just in their area, but also around the world. They also visit Habitat for Humanity to learn about home construction in their community.

A popular presenter at education conferences, Poindexter has served as a coach and mentor in her district, her state, and around the country. She collaborates with district directors to develop science curriculum and create and deliver professional development experiences for teachers. The professional development videos she has helped to produce have been used in workshops in her state and viewed by many teachers online as well.

“I am inspired by the skill, enthusiasm and passion demonstrated by Ms. Poindexter. She is a shining example of excellence in science education,” said NSTA Retiring President Bill Badders. “On behalf of NSTA, I offer my congratulations and thanks to Ms. Poindexter for her hard work and commitment to her students.”

Poindexter received the Shell Science Teaching Award for her positive impact on her students, school and community through exemplary classroom science teaching. She received a $10,000 cash prize from Shell and an all-expense paid trip to attend the NSTA National Conference.
In addition to Poindexter, two finalists were selected. Shawndra Fordham, a science teacher at Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo. and Jose Rivas, as science teacher at Lennox Math, Science and Technology Academy in Lennox, Calif., received all-expense paid trips to attend the conference and were recognized for their achievements at the awards banquet and ceremony in Boston.
For more information about the Shell Science Teaching Award and the NSTA Teacher Awards program, please go to
About NSTA
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 55,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
About Shell Oil Company
Shell’s commitment to community and social responsibility has been in place for more than 50 years. During this time, we have contributed more than a billion dollars to support community, health and welfare, environmental, arts and cultural activities, various educational initiatives, including minority education, and diversity and inclusiveness programs in Houston and the U.S.



Children's Science Center Launches Operation Firefly

This is a press release from The Children’s Science Center

Summer Program Encourages Young Citizen Scientists to Help Track Firefly Population in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia | A summertime tradition of chasing after fireflies in your backyard takes on scientific importance this summer as the Children’s Science Center announces the launch of Operation Firefly. Operation Firefly is a summer program that invites children and families to become Citizen Scientists to help track fireflies throughout Northern Virginia. The Children’s Science Center, in partnership with the Museum of Science, Boston, and researchers at Tufts University and Fitchburg State College, have teamed up to help observe and track firefly populations in our local area. The researchers say that with the data collected from programs like Operation Firefly, they can learn more about the geographic distribution of fireflies as well as how fireflies may be affected by human-made light, pesticides in lawns and other environmental factors.  
"The goal of Operation Firefly is to provide a seasonal educational program that brings families together and encourages children to learn through hands-on activity, think critically, and play outside," said Children’s Science Center Executive Director Nene Spivy. "The Children's Science Center is dedicated to sparking children’s interest in science and this program is a great way to foster the natural scientist in all of them.”
Your Young Scientist’s Summer Assignment
Anyone can participate in Operation Firefly by visiting and registering on the Children’s Science Center Operation Firefly website: The program runs now through July 31, 2014. Participants are asked to observe fireflies for 10 minutes each week, record their observations and upload the information.  All of our Citizen Scientists will earn a certificate of participation.
About Operation Firefly
The Children’s Science Center’s Operation Firefly is a part of the Firefly Watch Citizen Science program launched in May 2008 by the Museum of Science, Boston. In November 2008, the site won an MITX award in the education and learning category. For more information about fireflies and the importance of this project you can go to:
Operation Firefly Finale! 
All area children and families, including our Operation Firefly Citizen Scientists, are invited to the Operation Firefly Finale in early August. At the Operation Firefly Finale, children and families can see firefly data, hear from scientists, participate in hands-on activities and generally have a fun time at this free, family event. Our website will have more details and location soon.
About The Children’s Science Center
The Children’s Science Center is an interactive museum for children being planned for the Dulles region of Northern Virginia that will offer hands-on exhibits, activities and programs focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Currently in our first phase, Museum Without Walls, we bring hands-on science activities to thousands of children in our area, allowing us to fulfill our mission before our doors open, to instill a love of learning STEM in all children by providing unique opportunities to explore, create, and be inspired. Phase II is a 5,400-square-foot hands-on, interactive exploration center, called The Lab, located at the Fair Oaks Mall, followed by phase III, a 53,000-square-foot world-class children’s science museum located at the Kincora development in Dulles, Virginia.
The Children’s Science Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. The Children's Science Center is grateful for the support of its founding partner, the Junior League of Northern Virginia. Learn more: Follow us on Twitter @ChildSci and Facebook /ChildrensScienceCenter.

SHEC Member Profile: Dr. Walter A. Hill of Tuskegee University

The STEM Higher Ed Council (SHEC) is proud to announce Dr. Walter A. Hill, Provost of Tuskegee University will be a member of the Council.

In addition to serving as Provost, Walter A. Hill is also the Vice President of Academic Affairs; Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences; and Director of the 1890 Land Grant Research and Extension at Tuskegee University. He has been a faculty member and Dean/Director for 36 and 27 years, respectively. He co-founded the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center, Black Belt Family Farm Market & Innovation Center, Alabama Land Grant Alliance, and Professional Agricultural Workers Journal. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Societies.  Walter is chair-elect of the Agricultural Heads Section of APLU and chair of the 1890 Council of Deans. Walter received his PhD in Agronomy from the University of Illinois, Master’s degrees from the University of Arizona and University of Chicago and B.S. in Chemistry from Lake Forest College.

In a statement regarding joining SHEC, Dr. Hill remarked, "Change and innovative approaches will be needed in order to produce the nutritious, safe,  acceptable and accessible foods required in the United States and across the globe for the rapidly growing world population. Most critical will be how and by whom land, water, seeds, pests, and food processing and distribution will be managed. Multiple approaches and diverse participants are needed. Innovative small, medium  and large farmers, motivated agricultural workers and technicians and creative STEM food and agricultural scientists and professionals must be well prepared to work together and facilitate balance and sustainability throughout the global food system. During this 150th birth-year anniversary of George Washington Carver I look forward to joining STEMconnector on this important journey."

NASA Goddard Hosts Summer Internships for About 500 U.S. Students

NASA Goddard Hosts Summer Internships for About 500 U.S. Students (via PR Newswire)

Download image NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) GREENBELT, Md., June 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- About 500 students from around the U.S. have been granted the opportunity to intern this summer at the four campuses connected with NASA's Goddard Space…


From Learn-to-Code to Code-to-Work: Treehouse Kicks off Program to Help Students Land Coding Jobs

From Learn-to-Code to Code-to-Work: Treehouse Kicks off Program to Help Students Land Coding Jobs (via PR Newswire)

Platform Aims to Move Students out of the Classroom, into Careers Download image PORTLAND, Ore., June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Treehouse, an online education platform that teaches anyone how to code, today launched its Code-to-Work initiative with a…



International Association for STEM Leaders Gives Steven Zipkes National STEM Visionary Award

This is a press release from the International Association for STEM Leaders

On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.  Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership.  This invitation-only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony.  The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL. 
The National STEM Visionary Award was presented to Steven Zipkes, Principal, Manor New Tech High School in Texas. The award was presented to Zipkes to honor his unprecedented vision and dedication to the STEM field.  His school model gains him over 1000 visitors a year looking at his school for national replication.  President Obama visited Manor New Tech High School earlier this year and the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan as well as prior acting U.S. Secretary of Labor, Seth Harris have recognized Zipkes’ leadership. “He is an early innovator and adopter of the STEM movement in his school and he seamlessly integrates technology and project and problem- based learning in an integrated and comprehensive way,” stated Dr. Carole Cameron Inge, founder of IASL. Zipkes also presented at the IASL event to his colleagues and peers attending to learn more about STEM leadership. 
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" for STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students.  In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized.  Today, IASL is launching the first of many video documentaries to spread the word about STEM leaders and recognize them for their innovation and hard work to improve schools across the world. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional STEM leadership, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and community economic development issues.  
The STEM Leadership Summit was held in conjunction with the world’s largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education.  Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in “turn key” laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support.  DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. On the online side of STEM, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as sponsors. 
For more information, please contact Dr. Carole Cameron Inge at (540) 837-2175 or

New Scholarship Supports WGU's Pledge to Train More STEM Teachers

New Scholarship Supports WGU's Pledge to Train More STEM Teachers (via PR Newswire)

National leader in science and math teacher education commits $100,000 in scholarships to aspiring educators SALT LAKE CITY, June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Western Governors University's online Teachers College, the United States' top producer…



Alcoa Foundation And Discovery Education Kick-Start The Next Generation Of Manufacturing Leaders With New Program

This is a press release from Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education

Online Destination, “Manufacture Your Future,” Spotlights Modern Manufacturing Careers for Middle and High School Students

SILVER SPRING, Md. (May 28, 2014) | Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the US, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced today the launch of “Manufacture Your Future,” a new online destination designed to inspire thousands of students in grades 6-12 to take the first step towards exploring and pursuing today’s manufacturing careers.
The program provides middle and high school educators, guidance counselors, students and families with hands-on resources that build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacture Your Future encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world application, and offers dynamic standards-based, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-focused lesson plans, a manufacturing career guide, family discussion starters and a Virtual Field Trip designed to give students an inside look at some of today’s most prominent manufacturing careers.
Educating students about careers in manufacturing is especially relevant knowing that, according to The Manufacturing Institute, more than one in seven U.S. private sector jobs depends on the U.S. manufacturing base. The sector supports millions of people who make things in America and a large number of employees in other sectors of the economy.
“As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, it’s becoming increasingly important that we nurture a future workforce that is interested in pursuing careers in manufacturing, and that they are also equipped with the STEM skills necessary for these critical jobs,” said Karen Zilhaver, Middle School Educator from Seminole, Fla. “Manufacture Your Future allows me to do both of those things for my students; using these tools, I can build excitement and skills.”
“The manufacturing industry is an innovative place full of exciting potential,” said Esra Ozer, President, Alcoa Foundation. “However, we need a strong pipeline of talent to fill the increasing demand in the manufacturing industry. Programs like Manufacture Your Future help kick-start a student’s understanding of possible manufacturing careers. Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation are proud to help ignite that spark of interest.”
Manufacture Your Future’s comprehensive, cross-curricular lesson plans also look at the history of manufacturing and include STEM-based resources on robotics, designed to stimulate conversations between educators and students around potential manufacturing careers. Designed by Discovery Education’s curriculum experts, the site’s resources provide insights into the science behind the manufacturing design process. Family Discussion Starters extend the conversation beyond the classroom, giving parents a way to highlight the crucial role that manufacturing plays in day-to-day life. Educating families is an important goal of the program, given that according to a national survey by The Manufacturing Institute, less than 20 percent of Americans said that their parents or their school system encouraged them to pursue a career in manufacturing.
Virtual Career Guide and Virtual Field Trip
The program’s virtual career guide provides an additional layer of support, offering guidance counselors detailed, first-hand information about manufacturing careers - from welding to mechanical engineering –that also gives students a more holistic look at the industry’s wide-range of occupational options.
Manufacture Your Future will launch its first virtual field trip on National Manufacturing Day, October 3, 2014. Students will get an inside look at careers in advanced manufacturing through an interactive event hosted live from an Alcoa facility.
For more information on the program or to access the site’s free resources, visit:
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company's signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.
About Alcoa
A global leader in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at and follow us on Facebook at

SHEC Member Profile: Dr. Dena Maloney of Taft College

The STEM Higher Education Council is proud to announce the first member, Dr. Dena Maloney of Taft College. Dr. Maloney, the current Superintendent-President of the West Kern Community College District and Taft College, brings years of experience in higher education to the Council, and we look forward to having her expertise.

Dr. Maloney began her higher education career in California as the Director of Contract Education in the Santa Clarita Community College District. In 2001, Dr. Maloney became Dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons. Since then she was named Founding Dean of the Canyon County Campus, a start-up campus which quickly grew to over 5,000 students, and later was named Vice President and Assistant Superintendent in the Santa Clarita Community College District, before becoming Superintendent-President of Taft College in May 2012.
According to Dr. Maloney, “Taft College was eager to join STEMconnector and the STEM Higher Education Council to further strengthen our STEM initiative in partnership with other educational institutions and STEM industry leaders.  We believe that our membership will facilitate a greater awareness of innovative STEM initiatives across the country and provide the structure for a broad exchange of ideas and strategies to promote student success in STEM-related fields.”
Taft College is an incredible resource to have on this Council, because it “prides itself as a small, comprehensive institution with a wide range of educational programs and support services to students.” They offer 37 degrees and have almost 12,000 students enrolled at their campus both physically and through partnerships and distance learning opportunities.


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