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Illinois Science and Technology Institute's R&D STEM Learning Exchange Hosts Showcase for Real-World STEM Challenges

This is a press release from The Illinois Science and Technology Institute

More than 400 students from 12 high schools address real-world innovation challenges from leading Illinois businesses and research institutions

CHICAGO - May 19, 2014 | The Illinois Science and Technology Institute (ISTI) today brought together students and teachers with industry, higher education and other key stakeholders at the Museum of Science and Industry to celebrate the conclusion of the R&D STEM Learning Exchange Challenge's pilot year. More than 400 students and 20 teachers in 12 Illinois high schools partnered with experts at Motorola Solutions, Baxter International, The Greatest Good (TGG Group), IIT's Institute for Food Safety and Health, and Northrop Grumman throughout the semester to solve complex real-world, problem-based STEM Challenges. 
"The goal of the R&D STEM Learning Exchange is to better connect students to careers in STEM fields in order to help address talent pipeline needs in critical industry sectors in Illinois. This program has greatly enhanced the work we perform with our partner high schools and our strong public-private coalition to increase applied learning opportunities and career exploration for more Illinois students," said Mark Harris, president & CEO of the ISTI, an affiliate of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition.
Students have been gathering data, conducting experiments and working with industry professionals throughout the spring semester. Today, they shared their solutions to challenges ranging from conducting a trade study for a missile defense system and using behavioral economics to encourage better environmental practices, to developing an app for first responders in emergency situations.
"This project benefits students because they are able to see the real issues that our partner companies encounter. It helps students to get beyond the scope of high school and see what their future could be like," said Don Bibly, biology teacher at Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. 
"We are so honored to partner with organizations like the Illinois Science and Technology Institute, which is helping to inspire the world's future innovators and technology professionals," said Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation. "As a company dedicated to helping people be their best in the moments that matter, Motorola Solutions could not be more honored to support programs like the R&D STEM Learning Exchange."
The R&D STEM Learning Exchange is part of Illinois Pathways, a $10.3 million initiative launched last year by Governor Quinn to better prepare students to compete in the global economy. In addition to support from the state, the STEM Challenge was made possible with funding support from Baxter, Motorola Solutions, Northrop Grumman and AT&T, as well as implementation support from the iBio Institute's EDUCATE Center. The STEM Learning Exchanges are designed to coordinate investments, resources and planning for programs that empower youth and adults to explore academic and career interests in STEM fields.
In its pilot year, the R&D STEM Learning Exchange has impacted more than 500 students and their teachers through three key initiatives. In addition to the STEM Challenge, students are also engaged with industry and university mentors through a new virtual platform, the Mentor Matching Engine, around authentic research experiences. Teachers and students can also connect with partners through the R&D STEM Resource Repository, a curated collection of STEM programs and resources in Illinois.
Challenge Partner High Schools include:
Chicago Vocational Career Academy
Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy (IHSCA)
Lindblom Math and Science Academy
Niles North High School
Palatine High School
Waukegan High School
Hinsdale Central High School
Lane Tech College Prep
Muchin College Prep
Oak Park and River Forest High School
Thornton High School
Wheeling High School
About The Illinois Science and Technology Institute
The Illinois Science & Technology Institute (ISTI) is a 501(c)(3) public charity and an affiliated, complementary effort to the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition. The mission of the ISTI is to advance scientific understanding and technological innovation in Illinois through discovery, education, invention, and partnership.



NASA Signs Agreement with Citizen Scientists Attempting to Communicate with Old Spacecraft

This is a press release from NASA

Artist's concept image of ISEE-3 (ICE) spacecraft.
Image Credit: NASA
May 21, 2013 | NASA has given a green light to a group of citizen scientists attempting to breathe new scientific life into a more than 35-year old agency spacecraft.
The agency has signed a Non-Reimbursable Space Act Agreement (NRSAA) with Skycorp, Inc., in Los Gatos, California, allowing the company to attempt to contact, and possibly command and control, NASA’s International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft as part of the company’s ISEE-3 Reboot Project. This is the first time NASA has worked such an agreement for use of a spacecraft the agency is no longer using or ever planned to use again.
The NRSAA details the technical, safety, legal and proprietary issues that will be addressed before any attempts are made to communicate with or control the 1970’s-era spacecraft as it nears the Earth in August.
"The intrepid ISEE-3 spacecraft was sent away from its primary mission to study the physics of the solar wind extending its mission of discovery to study two comets." said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington. "We have a chance to engage a new generation of citizen scientists through this creative effort to recapture the ISEE-3 spacecraft as it zips by the Earth this summer."
Launched in 1978 to study the constant flow of solar wind streaming toward Earth, ISEE-3 successfully completed its prime mission in 1981. With remaining fuel and functioning instruments, it then was redirected to observe two comets. Following the completion of that mission, the spacecraft continued in orbit around the sun. It is now making its closest approach to Earth in more than 30 years.
The goal of the ISEE-3 Reboot Project is to put the spacecraft into an orbit at   a gravitationally stable point between Earth and the sun known as Lagrangian 1 (L1). Once safely back in orbit, the next step would be to return the spacecraft to operations and use its instruments as they were originally designed. ISEE-3's close approach in the coming weeks provides optimal conditions to attempt communication. If communications are unsuccessful, the spacecraft will swing by the moon and continue to orbit the sun. 
NASA has shared technical data these citizen scientists to help them communicate with and return data from ISEE-3. The contributions of any citizen science provided by the spacecraft, if it is successfully recovered, depend on the current condition of its instruments. New data resulting from the project will be shared with the science community and the public, providing a unique tool for teaching students and the public about spacecraft operations and data gathering. The data also will provide valuable information about the effects of the space environment on the 36-year old spacecraft.
The ISEE-3 mission opened new pathways for scientific exploration, helping scientists better understand the sun-Earth system, which at its most turbulent can affect satellites around Earth and disrupt our technological infrastructure.
To learn more about the ISEE-3 Reboot Project, visit:
To learn more about ISEE-3, visit:

Mind Research Institute Board Names Co-Founder Matthew Peterson CEO

This is a press release from MIND Research Institute

Community Business Leader Ted Smith Retires After a Decade of Service

Irvine, Calif., May 21, 2014 | The nonprofit MIND Research Institute’s board of directors named Matthew Peterson, Ph.D., its new chief executive officer. Ted Smith, the high-tech business leader and entrepreneur who has led the organization for more than a decade, is retiring as CEO and chairman at the age of 84. Smith will remain chairman until a new one is elected, and then continue as a member of the board.
Peterson co-founded MIND Research Institute in 1998, along with Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., and Mark Bodner, Ph.D. from the University of California. Peterson, who as a child struggled with traditional language-based instruction due to dyslexia, created MIND Research’s ST Math® software to enable students to learn math through his unique non-language-based visual approach. The revolutionary ST Math program is proven to raise students’ math scores on standardized tests, and currently reaches more than 630,000 students. Peterson earned his doctorate in neuroscience form UC Berkeley, and undergraduate degrees in biology, electrical engineering and Chinese language and literature from UC Irvine.
“I’m excited to take the helm and guide MIND Research into the next phase of its evolution,” said Peterson. “But it’s important to note that we would not be at this point today without the leadership of Ted Smith, whose strategic contributions put ST Math on the national map.”
Smith has served as MIND Research’s chairman of the board since 2003 and CEO since 2004, volunteering his tech industry expertise and experience to help grow MIND Research. Under his leadership, ST Math expanded its reach from about 10,000 students in California to 630,000 students across 35 states. During his tenure, he spearheaded the philanthropic Math Initiatives, which introduced ST Math to 15 of the nation’s largest urban school districts through grant programs to high-needs schools.
“It’s been very rewarding to work with MIND Research and its unique and expanding ST Math instructional software, and watch it ignite the interest and success of large numbers of students across America,” said Smith. “Our country needs a way to develop more engineers and scientists to meet the shortage and this program is a key catalyst which is getting traction at scale.”
A committee is being assembled to identify a new chairman of the board over the next 60 to 90 days.
Additional executive team promotions include the following: Greg Blevins, who has been with MIND Research since 2005, was named chief financial officer. Ingrid Ellerbe, who has been with the organization for more than six years, was named chief of staff and will continuing to serve as interim vice president of engagement. Nigel Nisbet, who has been with MIND Research since 2010, has been promoted to vice president of content creation.
About MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute is an education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND's distinctive visual approach to math and problem-solving is the basis of its innovative, research-proven ST Math® programs for elementary and secondary schools. MIND's programs currently reach over 630,000 students and 25,000 teachers in 2,050 schools in 35 states. For more information, visit

Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education Announce Grand Prize Winners of the 2014 Siemens Science Day Ultimate Cool School Sweepstakes

This is a press release from Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education

Winning Schools Receive Once-in-a-Lifetime Interactive Assembly Led by Discovery Education Science Guru
Idaho Assembly Broadcast Live as Virtual Field Trip for Classrooms in All 50 States
SILVER SPRING, Md., (May 20, 2014) | Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education will present interactive science assemblies to two lucky schools in Idaho and Ohio, whose educators – Christina Valiquette, from Ramsey Magnet School of Science in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Monica Ketler, from Regina Coeli/St. Joseph School in Alliance, Ohio – won this year’s Siemens Science Day Ultimate Cool School Sweepstakes.
The sweepstakes is part of Siemens Science Day, an initiative created by the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education to bring fun, hands-on learning techniques into the classroom. Providing teachers with exciting classroom materials and lesson plans, the program’s resources are designed to promote science literacy and reinvent the traditional science classroom.
"We are very excited that Regina Coeli/St. Joseph School was one of the schools selected to host a Siemens Science Day Assembly through Discovery Education and the Siemens Foundation,” said Monica Ketler, librarian and IT coordinator at Regina Coeli/St. Joseph School. “As part of our STREAM education (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) our students will participate in hands-on activities. There are also many free resources available on the Siemens Science Day website available to teachers, parents and students with many hands-on, fun learning activities and videos."
Discovery Education’s well-renowned science guru Patti Duncan, who has spent the past ten years presenting workshops and institutes for fellow educators on the local, state and national level, will host each of the assemblies in May. Duncan will lead students through “Bending the Elements: Exploring the Way the World Works,” an interactive, spellbinding assembly, underscoring the significant role science plays in our daily lives. Here, students will have the opportunity to participate in a series of fun and highly visual science demonstrations that illustrate properties of the earth’s elements: fire, air and water.
Ramsey Magnet School of Science’s grand prize assembly will touch even more educators and students, as it will be broadcast live as part of a planned Virtual Field Trip for classrooms across the country on Wednesday, May 28. The Virtual Field Trip will become part of the Siemens STEM Academy monthly STEM Connect virtual event series. Siemens STEM Academy, another collaborative effort between the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, is the premier online professional development community for STEM educators from across the United States. Here, they exchange and download resources, participate in and view virtual events including monthly STEM Connect events, obtain up-to-date STEM news and network with peers. 
“The Ultimate Cool School Sweepstakes is a great tool to get young students excited about the real-world application of math and science, sending the message that it is never too early to become a scientist,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation.  “The Siemens Science Day program emphasizes the crucial role that science literacy plays in elementary education and reinforces the need to give our future scientists resources to be successful in school and prepare them for the workforce.” 
The Siemens Science Day website offers teachers a variety of original tools and resources including hands-on activities, supplemental videos and teacher support materials with monthly themes aimed at bringing fun back to science. Each year, the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education hold The Ultimate Cool School Sweepstakes to give educators nationwide the chance to bring their schools an ultimate science assembly filled with spellbinding demonstrations and interactive projects. Two winning educators, one from grades K-3 and one from grades 4-6, are chosen at random.
For more information on Siemens Science Day or to register for the virtual field trip, visit:
Siemens Science Day
Siemens Science Day offers lesson plans and hands-on activities to K-6 teachers to help reinvent their science class.  Each lesson plan is partnered with an exciting video from Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital educational services to schools nationwide.  In addition to the digital content, teachers had the opportunity to win an "Ultimate Cool School Assembly." These assemblies are not only fun and interactive, but also underscore the importance of science literacy and the need for science resources among schools.  For more information visit the Siemens Science Day website:
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation supports educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a sustainability challenge which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues and the Siemens STEM Academy, a national educator professional development program designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in STEM fields. The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies. For further information, visit or follow @sfoundation.
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

Champions Crowned at 30th Annual Science Olympiad National Tournament

This is a press release from the Science Olympiad

ORLANDO | Student teams from Troy High School in Fullerton, California and Beckendorff Junior High School in Katy, Texas took top honors at the 30th Annual Science Olympiad National Tournament at the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

One of the nation's most prestigious science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions, Science Olympiad brings together 120 winning middle school and high school teams advancing from state-level competitions this spring. Rigorous hands-on, building and lab events led by experts from government agencies, top universities and Science Olympiad state chapters cover topics in physics, epidemiology, astronomy, chemistry, meteorology and engineering.

Other top high school (Division C) winners at the National Tournament include: 
  • Second: Mounds View High School in Arden Hills, Minnesota 
  • Third: Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania 
  • Fourth: Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, California 
  • Fifth: Solon High School in Solon, Ohio 
  • Sixth: Fayetteville-Manlius High School in Manlius, New York 
  • Seventh: Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas 
  • Eighth: Penncrest High School in Media, Pennsylvania 
  • Ninth: Grand Haven High School in Grand Haven, Michigan 
  • Tenth: West Windsor Plainsboro South, Princeton Junction, New Jersey
Other top middle school (Division B) winners at the National Tournament include:
  • Second: Winston Churchill Middle School in Carmichael, California 
  • Third: Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois 
  • Fourth: Meads Mill Middle School in Northville, Michigan 
  • Fifth: Solon Middle School in Solon, Ohio 
  • Sixth: Muscatel Middle School in Rosemead, California 
  • Seventh: Magsig Middle School in Centerville, Ohio 
  • Eighth: Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri 
  • Ninth: Piedmont Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina 
  • Tenth: Auburn Junior High School in Auburn, Alabama
Every high school Division C team member who won a gold medal in an event is eligible to receive a scholarship to the University of Central Florida worth up to $30,000. The four-year scholarships are worth $16,000 for in-state students and $30,000 for out-of-state students who meet all admission requirements and enroll.
In addition, teams from Science and Arts Academy from Des Plaines, Illinois, and Barrington High School from Barrington, Rhode Island, earned the 2014 Lockheed Martin Spirit Awards, which recognize schools whose team members exhibit exemplary sportsmanship, teamwork, team spirit and respect that exemplify the spirit of Science Olympiad competition. (A full list of 2014 national tournament award recipients and official tournament results, including event-by-event scoring, is available at
"These winning teams exemplify the best America has to offer in science, technology, engineering and math," says Gerard Putz, Science Olympiad president and co-founder. "We are proud of their achievements and know their schools and communities will welcome them home like champions.”
Local sponsors of the 2014 Science Olympiad National Tournament include the University of Central Florida, Duke Energy and Revolver Maps. Science Olympiad is supported nationally by Combined Federal Campaign, ArcelorMittal, Lockheed Martin, FOX, Texas Instruments, US Air Force, US Army ROTC, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Discovery Education 3M Young Scientists Challenge, DuPont, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Ward’s Science, ACE Hardware, the NBC Universal Foundation, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), VWR Foundation, Academy of Model Aeronautics, Chandra X-Ray Center, Investing in Communities, MAKE Magazine, NASA and Society for Neuroscience. 

Indiana STEM School Summit Kicks Off Tomorrow at Purdue to Roll out New STEM School Certification

This is a press release from the College of Education at Purdue University

May 19, 2014 - West Lafayette, Ind. | State Superintendent of Schools, Glenda Ritz, will help kick off an event that could lead to a STEM transformation of Indiana schools.
The Indiana STEM School Summit will take place on May 20, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Purdue University on the main floor of  the Discovery Hall of Learning. This event is sponsored by the Purdue University College of Education (COE), the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), and the Center for Advancing the Teaching and Learning of STEM (CATALYST), a collaborative center led by the COE and College of Science at Purdue. The focus of this event will be to roll out the new Indiana STEM School Certification Framework, which will be used with schools who apply for recognition as an Indiana STEM School.
Along with Ritz, Purdue College of Education Dean Maryann Santos de Barona and new Associate Dean Carla C. Johnson will also deliver opening remarks.  During the morning, administrators and teachers from Lafayette’s Sunnyside Intermediate School and other national STEM schools will make presentations about STEM classroom transformations they have implemented with the help of Purdue College of Education leaders.  
The keynote address will be given during the lunch break by David Burns, the Director of Battelle’s STEM Innovation Networks that includes the Ohio STEM Learning Network, the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and STEMx, a collaboration of 11 state STEM networks.
According to Dean Maryann Santos de Barona, “We are very excited to help launch this important initiative in the State of Indiana.  STEM education is about helping students learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by doing investigations, activities, and projects that put these subjects and other 21st Century Skills to use in practical, real-world applications.  Our research (and that of many others) has found that students get excited and learn more about these subjects when they can actually use them  to solve problems in active projects.” 

SWE Cohost Women in Manufacturing Panel in Detroit June 11

This is a press release from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) are pleased to co-host an engineering luncheon and panel discussion featuring leading women engineers in the manufacturing industry. The event will take place on June 11, 2014 from noon-2 p.m. at THE BIG M in Detroit, Mich.
"In addition to excellent insights from panelists, attendees will expand their networks at this event that advances SWE's mission of providing a voice and a place for women in engineering," said Karen Horting, SWE's executive director and CEO.
Co-located at SME's THE BIG M, the panel features female engineering executives from Honeywell Aerospace, Caterpillar Inc. and Chrysler who will address their advancement within the engineering and manufacturing industry as well as discuss the opportunities and challenges for women in engineering and technology.
Panelists include SWE President Elect Elizabeth Bierman, Senior Project Engineer, Honeywell Aerospace; Marietta Cleveland, Quality Center Manager, Warren Truck Assembly Plant, Chrysler; and SWE FY14 President Stacey DelVecchio, Product Development & Global Technology, Caterpillar Inc. Allison Grealis, Executive Director, Women in Manufacturing, will serve as the moderator.
Cost to attend is $50 per person for WiM and SWE members and $75 per person for nonmembers. Table sponsorships also are available. Complimentary media passes are available. Please contact Kristin Moore at 216-901-8800 or for more information or to register for this event.
About Women in Manufacturing™
Women in Manufacturing(tm) is a more than 400-member-strong national organization dedicated to the attraction, retention and advancement of women who are pursuing or have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry.  This group encourages the engagement of women who want to share perspectives, gain cutting-edge manufacturing information, improve leadership and communication skills, participate in sponsoring programs and network with industry peers. Members benefit from exclusive access to regional and national programming, networking opportunities, mentoring and sponsoring programs, monthly professional development webinars, a customized employment tool called WiMWorks, online discussion communities, the quarterly Impact e-newsletter and a robust searchable online directory.
About SWE
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders. For more information about the Society please visit or call (312) 596-5223.

Tune in on 5/21 to Live Webcast on of Women and Girls at the Intersection of Innovation and Opportunity Panel

This is a guest post from the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC)

Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), ,  Harris IT ServicesLockheed MartinThe Manufacturing Institute TV Worldwide  Invite You to Join Us for a Special Webcast Event!

Women and Girls at the Intersection of Innovation and Opportunity
Harnessing the New Career Potential of STEM + Arts
A Distinguished Panel of Experts and Aspiring Young Women Building Their Futures

Live Webcast on’s Science Engineering & Technology Channel from TV Worldwide Studios Near Washington D.C.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 2 PM ET

The Manufacturing Institute and are kicking off the summer with a special webcast focusing on Women and Girls in STEM + the Arts. The webcast will be hosted on Wednesday, May 21st, live from the studio in Chantilly, VA at 2pm ET, with a studio audience of students from the greater DC/VA area. It will be made available for later viewing immediately following the live event. 
Featured panelists include Harris IT Services Director of Human Resources, Patricia Munchel; Harris IT Services Line of Business Lead & Program Manager for Health and Human Services/Clinical Research Support, Elena Byrley; Director of Communications at The Manufacturing Institute (a division of the National Association of Manufacturing), AJ Jorgenson; Brittney Exline, the youngest African-American female computer engineer in the US, and female leadership from Lockheed Martin's space division.
This is an incredible opportunity to support excellent Internet TV program content reaching a wide audience of students, educators, policy leaders, academia, news media, mentors, entertainment writers, and executives who support initiatives in STEM + the Arts.
Mark your calendars…and TUNE IN!


UC Irvine Announces STEM-Focused University Preparation Program

UC Irvine Announces STEM-Focused University Preparation Program (via PR Newswire)

Online Modules Offer Incoming College Students Exposure to University Level STEM Courses Download image University of California, Irvine Extension. (PRNewsFoto/UC Irvine Extension) IRVINE, Calif., May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As a leading research…



Liberty Power Partners with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for Second Annual Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship Awards

Liberty Power Partners with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for Second Annual Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship Awards (via PR Newswire)

Scholarship program to award college students $20,000 for education Download image Liberty Power Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Liberty Power) FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Liberty Power, the nation's largest, completely independent retail…



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