Facebook icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon RSS icon Flickr icon

Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Society for Science & the Public, Intel, and the Phoenix Local Arrangements Committee invite your school to apply to experience the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2016 as part of the Education Outreach Program on May 12th, 2016, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Phoenix.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, (Intel ISEF) a program of the Society for Science & the Public (SSP) is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. As part of our Public Day, we will hold a program specifically designed for middle and high school students from across Arizona to participate in a hands-on, interactive day celebrating science. The convention center will be open to school groups from 8:00am to 3:30 pm and open to the general public from 9:00am to 9:00pm. Limited space is available for interested school groups to participate. Apply now to be a part of this extraordinary education experience. Activities include:

The Intel ISEF 2016 Finalist Hall: The premier global science competition for students in grades 9–12, Intel ISEF provides an annual forum for more than 1,700 high school students from over 75 countries, regions, and territories to display their independent research. School groups are invited to visit the Intel ISEF Finalist Hall, where they will meet the finalists and learn more about the groundbreaking research performed by their peers from around the world.

The Intel ISEF “When Invasives Attack!” Program: Participating school groups will get to identify freshly caught live plankton under a microscope, conduct biodiversity data collection, and participate in water chemistry testing in this one hour environmental science experience. In this hands-on lab, students will take the role of environmental scientists by collecting data using similar equipment and methodologies used in the field to determine if a lake has been contaminated by an aquatic invasive species. Students will also analyze their data and make decisions on how to balance the resulting environmental and economic impacts.

The Intel ISEF STEM Education and Career Expo: Students and the public are also invited to view exhibits of national and local science and technology companies and education institutions attending the Intel ISEF.

Reserve space for your classes today by going to the online sign-up form at https://member.societyforscience.org/2016-intel-isef-education-outreach-program-application

Interested schools must apply by December 18th, 2015. Accepted applicants will be notified by January 15th, 2016 Limited financial support is available for transportation assistance and substitute costs. For questions about participating in this event, please contact us at outreach@societyforscience.org

To learn more about the Intel ISEF, please visit us at https://student.societyforscience.org/intel-isef

1Intel ISEF

By: Hal, chief science officer, July 11, 2015

Role models can be one of the largest impacts of a student’s future. One study identified role models as the key reason for the discrepancy in the number of women in STEM careers in different areas. Places with more women already in STEM careers to act as role models for young children cause more women to pursue their careers in their futures; As a result, areas without women passionate about STEM topics seldom see a change. For this reason, inspiring children of all backgrounds is important in building a diverse scientific community.

The program that has witnessed great success is the Science is fun presentation at Basha High School. The Science is Fun program trains high school students of many backgrounds to give a science presentation including types of energy *SONG* a *RADIOMETER*, heat flow, *ESMG* dry *RA CRD* liquid nitrogen, and many other exciting topics. This presentation was created by Dr. McKelvy, a major role model of mine, in order to show fourth grade students an exciting and fun aspect of their curriculum help solve the aforementioned problem and many alike.

Dear Friends,
  
Do you have kids, grandkids, or friends with children from Kindergarten through 8th grade who are talented artists?
  
This Spring, my wife Sasha and I will be distributing more than 50,000 free books to kindergarteners across the state, illustrated entirely by Arizona K-8 graders, with the launch of our newest children’s book, “Jeremy Jackrabbit Builds a House.”
  
In collaboration with the City of Phoenix Public Works’ Reimagine Phoenix, Kitchell, City of Tempe, John O. Whiteman, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 99, ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions, Freeport McMoRan and Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, every kindergartner in Maricopa County as well as students in some of Southern Arizona’s largest school districts will be receiving a free book to take home and enjoy.
  
Our Jeremy Jackrabbit book series has been lauded by the entire Phoenix City Council and featured in publications ranging from Raising Arizona Kids to the Citizen Airman, the Global magazine for the United States Air Force Reserves.
  
With a Forward by Governor Doug Ducey (who is following in the footsteps of Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow who has written our past three Forwards), this community project brings together the City of Phoenix, City of Tempe, Arizona State University, and more than 40 elementary school districts across Arizona.
  
Please share our illustration contest link with your friends, family, and co-workers who have K-8 graders. All 17 Phoenix Public Library branches are drop-off locations and there’s even a way to mail in your artwork by October 31st. It’s easy to participate!
  
Additionally, if you or your company are interested in supporting the book project financially please feel free to email me directly at rglassman@rcalaw.com.
  
Thanks again for supporting our Jeremy Jackrabbit book series. Arizona’s largest literacy collaboration! 

Your friend,

 
  
  
   Rodney B. Glassman
602.440.4889

Registration has opened for the ideal program for high school CTE students and teachers looking for excellent real-world projects: the SMART Competition (www.smartcompetition.org).

Registering now will provide the students with extra time to watch the informational videos, read through the learning modules and familiarize themselves with the Bentley Systems (www.bentley.com) software used for the competition. Bentley has donated the CAD, GIS and AECOsim series energy analysis software tools to conduct the competition design and analysis requirements.

The SMART Competition engages students in a real-world technology education challenge designed to combine academic relevance, education achievement and applications of technology. The Competition facilitates the development of workforce and life skills including computer analysis and software design, verbal and written communication, research, teamwork and problem solving. Students will achieve an increased awareness of the smart grid, green building design, the environment, community, livability and sustainability related issues.

The student teams:

  1. Redesign the gymnasium on a virtual high school campus.
  2. Use software provided by Bentley Systems (bentley.com) to implement engineering and design changes.
  3. Add at least one renewable form of energy generation to the campus
  4. Provide the resultant surplus power to the community’s smart grid.

The students create energy benchmarks, resolve green building design issues and develop sustainable energy sources for the campus. Students will achieve an increased awareness of the smart grid, green building design, the environment, community, livability and sustainability related issues. The Competition also helps students develop workforce and life skills including computer analysis and software design, verbal and written communication, research, teamwork and problem solving.

As a CTE companion program, the competition provides an opportunity that can not only become a job but also lead to a successful career. Students engaged in the SMART Competition will learn skills essential for in-demand occupations within high-growth industry sectors.

Registration is open now. The registration fee is $100.00 per team. The Competition is designed to attract all students without regard or bias of gender, race, socio-economic or academic performance level.

For additional information, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Michael Andrews

(602) 682 – 5440

m.andrews@smartcompetition.org

2Ted Kraver

Guest Author: Theodore “Ted” Kraver, Ph.D 

The Arizona Capital Times assembled an impressive set of panelists for their Higher Education “Morning Scoop” on August 18th, 2015. Tim Slottow, President of University of Phoenix(UOP), addressed the audience first. At the University of Michigan as CFO he had managed $6 Billion a year into 100 top rated programs while reducing tuition. At the unique UOP half of the students are first generation and 70% are working. He is concerned about the polarized political system that is not rationally addressing social change. He is focused on improving the trajectory of the middle class over the next five years.

Ilya Iussa is Chief Strategy Officer of Maricopa County Community College District. She noted that MCCCD is into its 100th year of providing education for Arizona. Their unique mission has an open door policy for any student resulting in largest supporter of workforce development. As the largest community college district in the USA, it has three financial sources: one third tuition ($84 per credit hour), one third land taxes and one third from state of Arizona.  Oops, the state recently cut funding!  Their uniqueness attribute has been shifted into high gear to acquire new sources of funding. They are trying to remove a historical law that says for each $1 contributed by a company, they have to forego $1 in land taxes.

Glenn Hamer is CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. By 2020 it is vital to Arizona economy that 65% of our working population has higher education in either a college or trade school. With unskilled jobs continuing to decline businesses are working with our universities on programs that range from “boot camp” skills to computer programmers.  Potential employees flock to Arizona for higher education. We must improve the graduate pipeline to business and industry by assuring they remain in our state. K-12 education has pockets of excellence but overall it is the major reason why our college graduates move out of state.

Ilene Kline is President of the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona must commit to providing affordable college education to all individuals. Twenty-five percent of their funds have been cut by the State, and this funding must be restored. Loans to students load them with too much debt.  Federal Pell grants are much more effective. The Arizona Constitution is not being followed when the State fails to adequately fund education. Well-funded research is also vital to business and economic development. More juniors are entering universities than freshmen. What we need is an effective alignment of the goals of all post-secondary institutions.

Michael Romano, Campus President of Universal Technical Institute (UTI), asked the audience, “How many of you want your kids to be auto mechanics?”  When he mentioned auto and diesel and moved on to NASCAR, he got a better response. UTI works at a high level with Ford and General Motors to develop highly educated technicians. STEM is a major part of the curriculum and prepares graduates for higher degrees.

Senator Carlyle Begay, Member Senate Education Committee, discussed the working-jobs program Joint Technical Education District (JTED). This program is highly effective in rural and tribal regions. He emphasized the years of cuts and the need for you raise your voice at election time to change education policies.

Paul Thorpe is Chair of House Government and Higher Education committee. To entice graduates to stay, Arizona needs an innovation like the European Veterinarian Model being prototyped by UofA. The 6-7 year Vet program produces huge student debts. These debts that cannot be paid if the vet practices in a rural area.  So debts are lowered by UofA if graduates serve these areas. Arizona has a tax source disadvantage with 80% of land held by the federal government. Our state funds only $9,000 per student while New York funds $22,000 per student.  The federal payment to Arizona in lieu of taxes is very small, far short of the $50 per acre paid by private landholders. A forlorn hope is that the U.S. BLM will provide $50 per acre on their 32 million acres of non-Native American land and deliver $1.5 billion for Arizona education.

Jim Small of the Capital Times asked the question, “When the requirement that 65% of the Arizona’s job holders have higher education will the college and university student slots be available. The panel members described their offerings, focusing on flexibility for the student, placements and how the schools feed into each other to create an effective pipeline for students. The higher education schools directly engage employers to determine their current and future needs for college education students.

Jim then asked about affordability and the mountain of student debt.  The response was now that the recession was retreating, the State of Arizona needs to reverse its funding cuts for higher education by 2016. We do not have families with generational wealth so we all have to pitch in. The funding should be student centric with focus on STEM education to serve high paying jobs. The huge teacher and medical student retention problem must be addressed with paying down their loans if they stay in Arizona. Colleges must take steps to modernize higher education to deliver faster, cheaper and better learning with emerging technology and its unique pedagogies.

I left Alexi’s with the feeling that the panel covered the issues well, and had some creative ideas. Most important they were working together to address Arizona’s massive higher education problems. The two huge challenges that must be solved:

1. Student funding/student debt;

2. Integrate the goals of the disparate Arizona higher education entities into to one efficient and effective strategic plan, as articulated by Ilya Iussa. Time line must be much less than five years.

2Ted Kraver

Guest Author: Theodore “Ted” Kraver, Ph.D

Summer ends and schools are back in business. THE question sitting out there is, “What facts did you learn over the summer?”   Your free range explorations may have gone as far as changed your life’s calling. My middle school son was convinced during the summer 1985 that he wanted to create video games.  I got him an AMIGA PC. Today he is the creative director for one of the world’s largest video game companies. His goal remained fixed. When I was his age I wanted to be a helicopter engineer and create the next ram- jet powered Hiller Hornet. That fact changed a dozens of  times as I meandered through many industries and public sector ventures, changing paths ever few years.  We both continue to have very rewarding lives.

The neat thing about a scientific, technical and engineering (STE) education is that you learn how to do things and see the physical world in all its reality.  Your mathematics (M) education is a vital support tool for STE that provide a rigorous foundation for facts. Once you have mastered STEM and sharpened your intuitive mind, you are set, right?  Well, not as much as you might think.

While you are learning STEM you are also delving into history, art, biographies of inventors, scientists and a host of interesting folks. Hobbies and sports enrich your life. My mother was the county librarian in the 1940s and 1950s. Because of my sister’s interests her library had a bigger collection of science fiction books than the large Cleveland library. Facts of physical reality become intertwined speculation, intuition, and emotions. Digging deeper into science you discover the theory of chaos applied to complex systems. The simplistic and comfortable “cause and effect” of Newtonian physics is replaced by less than adequate complexity theory. The weather, turbulent flow of fluids, mobs and military battles cannot be predicted by simple cause and effect rules based on facts.

A recent book (2012) titled “The Half-Life of Facts,” “Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date” by Samuel Arbesman of Harvard and the Kauffman Institute and Harvard. The theme is plasticity of facts.  The concept of half-life came on the scene with atomic theory. The radio activity of chunk of Uranium 235 will decay to half its current level in 704 million years. After another 704 million years and the chunk will produce a quarter of the clicks per second on a Geiger counter. A solid fact like the number of chromosomes in human cells was discovered to be 48 in 1912.  But a half century later new a technique showed only 46.  Doctors used to recommend smoking tobacco. Portrayed as grey-green, leathery, and slow moving, dinosaurs are actually speedy critters covered with multicolored feathers and skin.

Time also wreaks havoc with facts. A hundred years ago a British neurologist said, “It takes 50 years to get a wrong idea out of medicine and 100 years a right one into medicine.”  The Apatosaurus was mislabeled Brontosaurus 150 years and the error was known by 1910. Today “Brono” still gets used twice as often and the US Post Office came out with a Brontosaurus stamp in 1989, featuring an Apatosaurus.

Fortunately we humans are highly adaptive. It is important to learn facts, but we must also recognize and adapt to changing facts. Make sure that your instructors know their lecture facts are a changing. Think about a fact’s half-life. Some may be 704 million years, but some may be only to the next news cycle.

carbon-cycle

Guest Author: Allie Nicodemo, associate editor, Office of Knowledge Enterprise

Carbon is constantly cycling between Earth’s atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere. It moves in different forms among living things, soil, sedimentary rocks, fossil fuels, the atmosphere and the oceans. Recently, people have begun releasing large amounts of stored carbon into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. This causes changes in our global climate and creates problems for human well-being.

Arizona State University researchers address carbon issues end-to-end, from the point of emission to capture and storage to reuse. The university brings together specialists from across academic backgrounds to address not only technical issues, but also political and socioeconomic issues of decarbonization to get our carbon cycle back in balance.

Check out our series on carbon to learn about policy, carbon capture and more!

Photo Caption: Carbon moves through the atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere in various forms, in a process known as the carbon cycle. Illustration by Jessica Flanagan. Click to enlarge.

carbon-cycle

Guest Author: Allie Nicodemo, associate editor, Office of Knowledge Enterprise

Carbon is constantly cycling between Earth’s atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere. It moves in different forms among living things, soil, sedimentary rocks, fossil fuels, the atmosphere and the oceans. Recently, people have begun releasing large amounts of stored carbon into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. This causes changes in our global climate and creates problems for human well-being.

Arizona State University researchers address carbon issues end-to-end, from the point of emission to capture and storage to reuse. The university brings together specialists from across academic backgrounds to address not only technical issues, but also political and socioeconomic issues of decarbonization to get our carbon cycle back in balance.

Check out our series on carbon to learn about policy, carbon capture and more!

CALL FOR PAPERS
Abstract Submission Site Opens — September 15, 2015
Abstract Submission Deadline — October 15, 2015

The Materials Research Society Announces its Call for Papers for the 2016 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit.
Web submission only; fax or e-mail submissions will not be accepted.

For over 30 years, the MRS Spring Meeting has served as a major international stage for the examination of current and emerging materials research. Over time, the Spring Meeting has reached an attendance of over 5,000. While much has changed since that first Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1984, most notably in technical scope and attendance, the MRS Spring Meeting continues to be multidisciplinary and multinational, attracting researchers from all scientific fields, backgrounds and employment sectors—students to Nobel Laureates—and providing a glimpse of the future of materials science.
Now, we are excited for our first Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona—the 2016 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit! The size of the Phoenix Convention Center will allow all daytime events to take place “under one roof,” providing attendees with easier access to multiple symposia, enhancing the interdisciplinary nature of the MRS Meeting and affording expanded networking opportunities.
We’re confident the move to Phoenix will bring with it a great meeting experience, and we’re looking forward to a new and exciting chapter in MRS Meetings!
The program features a record-setting 62 technical symposia on topics that include:
  • Characterization and Modeling of Materials
  • Energy and Environment
  • Electronics and Photonics
  • Materials Design
  • Nanotechnology
  • Soft Materials and Biomaterials
Invited or contributed speakers, poster presenters, industrial exhibitors and sponsors—this Conference is yours to build through your scientific and technical contributions and your participation to the MRS program. We believe that with your contributions, the 2016 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit will be the best yet!
For further information on the 2016 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit, visit www.mrs.org/spring2016. To receive email updates on upcoming meetings and workshops from the Materials Research Society sign up here. Additional information is also available from MRS Member Services by phone at 724-779-3003, fax at 724-779-8313 or email at info@mrs.org.
New research reveals how the strategies of Candy Crush can be embedded into course design to motivate students
 
Boston, MA, August 6 2015 Engaging and motivating students in their studies is one of the biggest challenges faced by teachers today, with recent statistics* stating that over 40 per cent of full time four-year college students in the US fail to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years and many never complete their education.
A potential solution to this problem has been identified by a mother and daughter research team from the University of Akron, USA, in a new study from Emerald Group Publishing, global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society.
Evangeline Marlos Varonis, Instructional Designer from the university’s Design and Development Services department, and Maria Evangeline Varonis, English teacher, are both casual players of King Digital Entertainment’s game Candy Crush Saga. This led them to question what it is about the game that drives them to keep playing?
The article, ‘Deconstructing Candy Crush: what instructional design can learn from game design’ from Emerald’s International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, reveals how the strategies used in the game can be applied to academic course design in order to motivate students to persist and to enhance learning outcomes.
 
Evangeline Marlos Varonis explains: “As our students can become disillusioned with traditional course design methods, a major part of my role as an Instructional Designer is to research alternative ways of delivering course content. Gamification, using game design elements in non-game contexts, is a growing trend which has influenced our work in recent years. This led us to question how Candy Crush motivates players to continue. What began as participant observation soon expanded into a full ‘deconstruction’ of the game’s features.
“Our study identifies the key strategies used by the game and illustrates how these can be embedded into course design in order to help keep students focussed and engaged, and to motivate them to continue through their course right up until completion.”
As part of  Emerald’s dedication to highlighting current research through informative and thought provoking content, we have produced an infographic inspired by this study called ‘Designing an academic course? Five tips from Candy Crush you need to know’ which is available to view and share on a dedicated web page together with related research articles.
Complimentary access to the original article is also available until the end of August 2015.
– Ends   – 
Notes to editors:
*Source: National Centre for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research’s report: ‘Understanding the College Dropout Population’, Jan14. Data correct as of 29.07.15
 
About Emerald:  www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com
Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,500 books and book series volumes. It also provides an extensive range of value-added products, resources and services to support its customers’ needs.
 
Emerald is COUNTER 4 compliant. It is also a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation. It also works in close collaboration with a number of organizations and associations worldwide.
 
Contact:
Dawn Williams
Content Communications Executive
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1274 785226

Pages