Check out this fun ‘Bubble Construction Design Challenge’ activity from Family Science & Engineering!
Check out this fun ‘Bubble Construction Design Challenge’ activity from Family Science & Engineering!
According to fellow scientist, Joseph Priestly, Ben Franklin performed his famous kite experiment in June 1752. Franklin had been interested in “electric fire” for quite a while and had an on-going dialogue with other scientists of his day about the phenomenon. His famous key experiment established that lightning was a form of electricity.
There are a couple of myths about this famous experiment though. First, the kite experiment did not help Franklin “discover” electricity. Humans had known about electrical forces for more than a millennium. What it did do was establish the connection between electricity and lightning, and it ultimately led to Franklin’s refinement of the of the lightning rod. These devices are still used today on taller buildings to help channel the electric charge from a lightning bolt safely to the ground.
Also, neither Franklin nor the kite were actually struck by lightning. (He likely would have died if either had happened!) The wet hemp string that he attached to the kite was a good conductor of electricity, and they key attached to the string picked up electrical charge from the air in the active storm.
While we would not recommend that you replicate Franklin’s experiment, there are some easy ways to investigate static electricity at home and remember Franklin’s contributions to STEM.
Static Electricity Race
You’ll need: two aluminum cans, some masking tape, and two balloons.
Here’s what you do:
Be sure to check out more from Family Science & Engineering guidebook for more ideas to inspire engineering exploration!
In a video recorded interview, Pedro Martinez, superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District, told Jan Morrison, founder of TIES, that it’s not just enough to “go back” to school and that it’s time to “be better.”
Martinez, who is also chair of the Chiefs for Change, offered broad comments about the role of ecosystems in improving schools, how rewarding and paying teachers a decent wage is a matter of social justice and how children are ready for learning and challenges.
The conversation with Morrison and Martinez was a follow-up to the Spring 2020 STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice convening held in San Antonio where Martinez spoke in-person and challenged Ecosystem leaders to better engage their students.
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Pottsville High School is accepting applications for an EAST/CS educator for grades 10-12. Applications will be accepted Thursday, June 10, 2021 12:00 AM – Thursday, July 15, 2021 11:59 PM (Central Standard Time).
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Hope High School in Hope, Arkansas has several teacher positions open. Please contact the principal, Bill Hoglund, at email@example.com or 870-777-3451 ext 60.
There are also the following full-time educator positions available:
Please bear in mind that our previous announcement for a 1/2 Business, 1/2 Computer Science educator has been filled.
Heber Springs High School in Heber Springs, Arkansas has a 9-12 Computer Science teacher position available. For more information about open positions, please visit the school’s district position opening webpage here.
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science is pleased to announce the launch of the “Computers ARe Fun” video series. This series of videos, which will be released throughout the Summer of 2021, are intended for younger viewers, typically Pre-K – 5th grade, and will help children understand the basics of computers, including introductory computer literacy, some coding, low level hardware discussions, and appropriate cybersecurity and internet security topics. In addition, the series will share information about computer science and computing careers in a fun way.
Videos within the series will be posted to the ADE YouTube page in the “Computers ARe Fun” playlist as they are made available at http://csforar.info/ComputersAReFun.
Episode 1, “What is a computer?” has been posted and is available today!
While the first episode is more of an introduction to the series, subsequent episodes will delve into various computer science and computing topics. Some of the content shared will be accessible online, but much of it will focus on unplugged activities that children can explore with their family without the use of computing devices.
If you have any questions, comments, or want to get involved in the creation of a “Computers ARe Fun” video for this summer, please reach out to Anthony.Owen@ade.arkansas.gov.
Gov. Hutchinson Announces Winners of State Coding Competition
2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year Also Announced
Little Rock — Gov. Asa Hutchinson is pleased to announce the winners of the Fifth Annual Governor’s All-State Coding Competition, which was held this past weekend at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Donaghey Student Center. Students at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale received the first-place prize, students at Rogers New Technology High School in Rogers received second place, and a team from eStem High School in Little Rock received the third place honor.
“For the fifth straight year, this competition has inspired impressive solutions from Arkansas’ top computer science students,” Hutchinson said. “Their work reinforces my confidence that these students will be more than well prepared to take the reins of leadership. When you consider the caliber of the five teachers we recognized, it’s no surprise that we are seeing this excellence in our computer science students.”
The winning team from the Don Tyson School of Innovation (Lucas Kellar, Luke Lyons, and Drake Mayes) each received a 529 college savings plan prize worth $2,000. Students at Rogers New Technology High School (Joshua Willard, Aldan Garner, and David Daniel) each received a 529 college savings plan prize worth $1,000, and students at eStem High School (Elijah Keen, Spencer Knight, and Sergio Markin) each received a 529 college savings plan prize worth $500. In addition to the individual awards, winning schools received $10,000, $6,000, and $4,000 respectively to support their computer science programs.
Since the contest’s 2016 inaugural year, Verizon has provided $225,000 in financial support for the competition. More than 100 teams from across the state participated in this year’s digital regional competition. The top 16 teams from that regional event along with a team from last year’s first-place school received invitations to compete in the 2021 competition.
2021 Computer Science Educator of the Year Named
In addition to the announcing the contest winners at the event, Ashley Kincannon, a teacher at Lake Hamilton Junior High School in the Lake Hamilton School District, was named the 2021 Arkansas Computer Science Educator of the Year. In addition to receiving a $2,500 award when named a finalist, Kincannon received an additional $12,500 award from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Office of Computer Science.
Hutchinson also recognized the other four finalists at the event:
We appreciate the service of all the computer science educators in the state of Arkansas, the sponsors who made this year’s competition possible, and we appreciate and congratulate all the participants and winners for such a successful event!
Conway Public Schools as well as Crossett High School is currently in search of a Computer Science Teacher. If you or someone you know has the 528 certification, is enthusiastic about Computer Science, and has an interest in or willingness to learn Programming and Networking/Hardware, we encourage you to apply. Please help build the Computer Science Program for the continuation of computer science education for students!
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The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science announced in December the continuation of the Computer Science Innovation Grant opportunity for Arkansas public K-12 schools. This opportunity includes up to $250,000.00 in total reimbursement funding that has been allocated for the purchase of curriculum, software licenses, non-fundamental equipment, professional development, student incentives, and other approved expenses that directly support the instruction of the ADE K-12 Computer Science and Computing Standards.
This is a multi-stage competitive grant process; each proposal will be judged by a committee. Chosen proposals will be invited and required to complete and submit an ADE required grant application, based on the proposal, for full approval before funding is awarded and released. ADE expects to award approximately three $25,000.00 grants, five $20,000.00 grants, and ten $7,500.00 grants; however, ADE may elect not to award all grants or full grant amounts if the quality of the proposals do not warrant award. ADE maintains the discretion to award, not award, and/or modify award amounts of any or all grants under this program. Prior receipt of funding under previous Computer Science Innovation Grant programs does not disqualify proposals.
The proposal submission system can be accessed at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/
Proposals will be evaluated on the level of innovation and potential effectiveness in regards to:
The proposal process is open and will close at 11:45 p.m. CST on 04/30/2021; award decisions will be released by 05/28/2021.
Grant proposals must include a proposed budget that includes a summary of all costs, and lists any outside funding expected. Spending of awarded grant funds may deviate up to 10% within each category without additional approval; however, no additional funds will be granted for programs that exceed awarded amounts. Programs will be forward funded up to 50% of the projected grant award amount; the remaining 50% will be funded once the first half is fully and appropriately expensed. Organizations may contract with curriculum / professional development providers to provide training to educators as needed.
Selected schools will be required to submit an official ADE grant application, budget and budget narrative, and other documentation and reports throughout the grant process.
The grant performance period will be July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022; initial funding will not be distributed until after July 15, 2021.
The funding for these one-time grants is being provided by the ADE Office of Computer Science, and is subject to the availability of funds appropriated by legislative act.