Exciting news from the FunScienceProductions team: the first episode has been completed! This episode will air on TU TV during the Fall semester. More episodes are, of course, on the way. Stay tuned! For now, you can watch the first episode here!
This year's weeklong workshop, "The Power of Bioinformatics in Modern Biology," took place last week. Participants explored connections between basic biological concepts such as DNA, genetics, natural variation, health, and disease through the use of computational technology and basic programming. Each of the participating high school science teachers was paired with a TUteach student to help them learn the basics of Python coding. The week culminated in the creation of a Bioinformatics coding lesson by each participating teacher to be used in their classroom, and each of them walked away with a laptop equipped with the software that they learned how to use. The workshop was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
Last week marked the start of the STEM-UP Leadership Experience presented by the College of Science and Technology. This program attracts about 100 high school students to Temple's main campus to participate in a variety of STEM activities for six weeks during the summer. Activities include content lectures in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics; Knewton math practice; computer science projects; and engineering design projects - SEADAP, SeaGlide, Vex Robotics, and chemistry labs. The program also includes a field trip to the Navy Yard, where students learn about engineering in the military, as well as professional opportunities for them as high school students. The culminating event invites parents and families to see the skills and projects developed over the summer presented and showcased by the students. We look forward to an engaging and fun summer this year at STEM-UP!
There's a whole lot of new FunScience content in the works this summer!
FunScienceDemos is a YouTube channel with over 160 scientific demonstrations about every topic that young science learners ought to know before they reach high school. The subtitled videos are translatable into virtually any language, and every month, students, teachers, and parents from over 200 countries and regions across the world tune in for some learning. This summer, Dr. George Mehler and Jared Hottenstein are filming new demonstrations about area within life science, physical science, and Earth / space science, as well as other STEM-related activities. The channel currently has almost 78,000 subscribers, and we hope that it will grow to 100,000 subscribers within the next couple of years!
FunScienceProductions is one of the newest branches of the FunScience overall project. A team of student workers is in the process of writing and recording 28-minute TU TV episodes based on the same concepts explored in FunScienceDemos. At the time of this writing, 5 of the episodes have been completed, and many more are on the way!
FunScienceSupport is a website that supports FunScienceDemos by providing resources such as readings, activities, assessments, and simulations to science educators across the globe. These resources are based on many of the same topics addressed in FunScienceDemos and on national (U.S.) science education standards. Since the resources are located on Google Docs, they can quickly and easily be translated from English to almost any language by using the Translate feature. There are also free, open-source textbooks available to read, download, and use! The FunScience team is working to add more resources to the site this summer.
FunScienceToons is a developing YouTube channel that will house 85 educational cartoons about scientific topics that are crucial to understand before reaching high school. The animations will feature children - friends or siblings - who educate one another about the given subject through a friendly, investigative conversation that is rich with questions and curiosity. Research has shown that peer-to-peer learning and inquiry-based learning are effective educational tools, so the writers sought to infuse these methods into their scripts. The dialogue also models kindness and honesty, showing kids that they don't have to 'act cool' to fit in. The videos have English captions which can be translated to other languages. Over the summer, writers, animators, and voice actors are working hard to create this fun series. The first animation, "Earth Spins and the Day Begins," is available to watch here!
FunScienceHistory is another new project that uses important historical documents from the Library of Congress to teach the history of science. This project is geared towards students from 4th through 9th grade. The mission is to create educational content that teaches children a cohesive story about how we have the knowledge that we have today. The lessons answer questions such as: How and when was electricity discovered? How did microscopes develop from eyeglasses to the very advanced technology we have today, such as the transmitting electron microscope? This project is scheduled to complete at least 20 videos that explore these questions and many others. Each video will be scripted with thorough research and animated with the same characters as in FunScienceToons. The first video, Day and Night, is available to watch here!
Congratulations to Nikki Dunn, a TUteach alumnus who graduated in 2014, on receiving the Lindback Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award. Nikki currently teaches physical science and chemistry at the Kensington Health Sciences Academy. She also facilitates a martial arts afterschool program. She is recognized not only for her abilities as an educator but also for her classroom demeanor, which makes students feel safe and listened to.
We in the STEM Education Network are very proud of Amanda Schantz (TUteach '17 alumnus, current math/computer science teacher at Central High School in Philadelphia) and Timothy Bovitt (current TUteach undergraduate student)! Amanda and Timothy will give a presentation at the UTeach STEM Educators Conference in Austin, TX later this month about our Compute-STEM program. Compute-STEM is a residential summer camp which immerses middle school students into a coding-infused STEM education experience. The curriculum emphasizes STEM skills as they relate to the Navy, and actual naval scientists and engineers are involved in instruction. Hopefully our successes with the Compute-STEM program will inspire similar programs at other UTeach-affiliated institutions. Amanda and Timothy's session is entitled, "Cracking the Code: Computer Science in General STEM Classes. Good luck to them both!
There are many opportunities for summer employment this year. Consider applying, especially those of you who are TUteach students, students interested in teaching STEM, or students interested in community outreach. Our jobs include:
Teaching STEM at a local community center.
These are paid positions, and you will also have the opportunity to develop your leadership skills, strengthen your STEM knowledge, and expand your teaching/employment portfolio. The benefits far exceed the pay!
Directions to Apply:
1) Complete the attached 4-page employment application at the bottom of this post.
2) Submit a resume that includes contact information for how to best reach you, current GPA, and your TUID (if applicable)
3) Submit a current unofficial transcript
4) Submit a 1-page personal statement about what position you desire to work, why you desire to work that position, and how working in this program will benefit your future academic/career related goals. Make sure your contact information is also located on this document.
5) Submit all of the above information from Steps 1-4 in a manila file folder marked with your name (Last, First) on the tab by 5pm on Friday, April 26, 2019 to Ms. Michelle Drummond in Gladfelter Hall, Room 655.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Michelle Drummond directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our very own Dr. Susan Jansen Varnum, associate dean and director of the TUTeach program, traveled to Egypt in March. While she was there, she worked with a team of faculty members from U.S. universities to assist Egyptian university faculty members in developing STEM Education programs. She also had the opportunity to see some beautiful sights!
In early March, Temple University’s College of Science and Technology hosted the 14th annual Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch and SeaGlide Challenge.
Our very own STEM Scholars received 4th place recognition in the SeaPerch pool competition as well as 5th place recognition in the engineering design process. The G.W. Carver STEM Scholars Program is a Saturday program available for 7th and 8th grade students in the Philadelphia area who are interested in learning about science and math. The students participate in many STEM enrichment activities throughout the year to elaborate on knowledge learned in school as well as pique the interest of students about STEM related fields.
We are also proud of our STEM-UPers, who received 2nd place recognition in the SeaGlide proposals and white paper competition. STEM-UP is a STEM-focused leadership program geared towards current high school students. The program consists of four main components: mathematics, science and science literacy, real-world science, and applied STEM. STEM-UP is grounded in the belief that everyone should have access to high-quality STEM learning experiences.
On March 16, 2019, Temple University's College of Science and Technology hosted the Greater Philadelphia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mayor's Office. The JSHS invites high school students to report on the results of their original research investigations in STEM and compete for scholarships and recognition at regional symposia. Seventeen high school students competed in the 2019 JSHS. The day is complete with a mini-STEM carnival and guest speakers. This year's speakers were Andrew Matamoros, from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Candice Pelligra, a Research and Development Scientist from Axalta Coating Systems.