Arizona SciTech Blog
This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.
For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey’s press office: (602) 542-1342.
The Modeling Instruction Program in the ASU Department of Physics has addressed a severe shortage of qualified physics teachers in Arizona since 1998, even while the number of local physics teachers doubled. Since 2005 we have addressed a shortage of local chemistry teachers as well. A surplus of biology teachers exists, and we have prepared many of them to teach chemistry and/or physics.
Physics is STEM! Physics is a true STEM course, when Modeling Instruction is used. It includes more math, technology, and engineering than any other high school science course.
Actions for sustainability in 2015-16:
* Special recognition for first-time supporters Air Products and ON Semiconductor.
* Special recognition to long-time supporter Salt River Project and first-time supporter Western Alliance Bank (to finance a fall 2016 chemistry Modeling Workshop in the West Valley).
* Increased participation on Sun Devil Giving Day by 100% and raised more than $2000 for scholarships. Teachers and the community that benefit from this program also support it!
Recent news stories:
ASU graduate courses in summer 2016:
Enrollment increased: 76 physics and chemistry teachers — 63 in Arizona and 13 from out-of-state — participated in four peer-led Modeling Workshops and three other graduate courses. Included were four teachers sent by the Ministry of Education in Singapore. This brings their total to 47 teachers in ten years. Singapore students have highest math and science scores in international tests; this is strong evidence for the high quality of Modeling Instruction.
Courses are content-intensive; and integration of physics, chemistry, and math is emphasized. The ultimate target is not the teachers themselves but their students. Therefore each course addresses the subject at a level that prepares them to entice and inform their students.
We are thankful for our two major donors, The Boeing Company and Salt River Project. Their donations for program support and partial tuition scholarships made our summer 2016 program possible. ASU tuition is unaffordable for most teachers. For 6 years, we have not been eligible for state grants, so we serve half as many Arizona teachers, with one-fifth the budget. We are thankful for partial tuition scholarships provided also from donations by Air Products, ON Semiconductor, & numerous individuals, and payout from our scholarship endowment fund.
About Modeling Instruction:
Modeling Instruction is an innovative, effective hands-on pedagogy: it is guided inquiry structured by modeling principles. It develops in students the ability to analyze data, reach a conclusion and defend it; and it emphasizes experiment design. Other 21st century skills developed include scientific use of computers and probeware, teamwork, and verbal and written communication skills. Students become self-directed, independent learners. It is aligned with the National Research Council (NRC)’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, the research-based document upon which the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been developed.
Student achievement on tests of concept understanding is typically double that of traditional instruction. A modeler wrote, “One can only imagine the future of science if only we all could understand the power of modeling.”
Effect of ASU Modeling Instruction in Arizona:
Since 1998, 1000 unique Arizona teachers have taken 15-day Modeling Workshops. We estimate that 100,000 Arizona students benefit each year.
Modeling Instruction is used in many schools in Greater Phoenix; for example, Hamilton High School in Chandler USD, Red Mountain High School in Mesa USD, Mountain Pointe High School in Tempe UHSD, Arizona School for the Arts, Tempe Preparatory Academy, some Great Hearts Academies, Estrella Mountain Community College, and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Our main school partner is Phoenix Union High School District.
Guest Author: Karla, chief science officer, Sundance Elementary School, Oct 1, 2016
“I think that my role as CSO can impact science culture at my school by: spreading the word, bringing excitement into my school, and bring new science events to my school. At my school, not many people like science and I want to change that because I feel that science is an important skill that you will use in life whether you know it or not.
The main way I can Impact science culture at my school is by bringing new science events to my school. To do that I need to do the following:
▪ Make the events exciting– I can venture out to all grade levels, ages, and genders so that there is something that interests everyone and not just a certain group of people.
▪ Spread the word– by making different posters, advertisements, and even talking to my peers to try and get them interested. If I have my peers on board with me, then they could spread the word to where the whole school can hear what’s going on. I could also use the school “Mustang Media” news channel that is shown in the mornings to spread the word even further.
▪ Bring excitement– I can take into people’s ideas and considerations so that they feel like they have a voice in out school’s science culture. Doing this, will make students want to come to these events because they know that it’s their idea and they want to see it come to life.
Doing these things as a CSO at my school, can bring an apprising into the school so that people start to love science and don’t just see it as a subject that they have to learn at school. I want them to see it as an opportunity for a science related career and an open window into their future. The students that attend my school feel like they won’t use anything they learn in science in their life so they don’t pay attention and end up flunking the classes. If they flunk these classes, then they won’t be able to have a future or a career and I believe that everyone should have both of those things.”
Join us at the beautiful Talking Stick Resort Nov. 14-16th in Scottsdale, Arizona for three days of captivating speakers, education, networking and activates at NextCon16.
Technology visionaries Steve Wozniak and Guy Kawasaki – as well as executives from Google, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and many more – will be sharing their insights and advice at the business conference of the year.
Use code “NEXTCONVIP” for a free ticket!
Exploring by Dogsled, Kayak, Kite Skis
Legendary polar adventurer shares life-long journey, changing environment observations with
Flagstaff Festival of Science
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – They call it sustainability now, but that’s just the way he wanted to live. From his off-the-grid cabin in far Minnesota near the Canadian border to his more than 50 years of wilderness expeditions, polar explorer Will Steger’s life journey has followed three main paths: a deep concern for the environment, a tireless expedition spirit, and a passion for educating others about human impacts on the planet. This month, his journey takes him to Northern Arizona to kick off the Flagstaff Festival of Science – The Science of Change – as the Shoemaker Keynote Presenter, Friday, Sept. 23, at Northern Arizona University.
“I’ve been on the ice when it was breaking up in the Arctic Ocean. In Greenland in 2008, in the early summer ice was thawing at 7,000 feet, which is unbelievable. I’ve seen it (climate change) at the very beginning and all the runs in the polar areas you can’t do anymore, the ice isn’t there, which is pretty shocking. I feel I have a really intuitive perspective of what’s happening. I took my eyewitness account, shared the stories, and it captured people’s attention.”
Steger has traveled tens of thousands of miles on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history by dogsled, kayak and kite skis. Long-time Flagstaff residents may recall Steger’s visit as the Festival’s original keynote speaker in 1990, after leading the first dogsled journey to the North Pole without re-supply. During the trip, he and his human and canine team members were sponsored by W. L. Gore & Associates of Flagstaff, and outfitted in waterproof GORE-TEX® fabric.
The Flagstaff Festival of Science, Sept. 23 – Oct. 2, is offering more than 100 free science education activities featuring space exploration, endangered plants and animals, drones and robots, a dissecting workshop and Arizona’s own prehistoric reptile Arizonasaurus babbitti. Events include the Flagstaff Star Party, Science in the Park, SCI Talks, guided hikes into the forest, and open houses at research stations and museums. The 10-day Festival also will offer field trips to archaeological sites during the National Park Service’s centennial year and celebrate 130 years of science on the Coconino Plateau with the Babbitt Ranches Landscape Discovery Expo at Arizona Nordic Village!
Free tickets to Steger’s presentation, “My Life as an Explorer,” will be handed out at the door, on a first-come, first served basis. They can be picked up or printed out in advance through the NAU Central Ticket Office (nau.edu/cto; 928-523-5661).
The Festival is made possible through the generous support of businesses, organizations, foundations and individuals. Major sponsors include the City of Flagstaff/BBB Revenues, Flagstaff Arts Council, Northern Arizona University, W. L. Gore & Associates, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Peaks Audio, Babbitt Ranches and the Arizona Community Foundation of Flagstaff.
Science tourism is becoming a sought-after travel experience where the experiential becomes educational with a STEM focus. Some argue that tourism has always been a science. Discuss best practices and industry insights with local experts.
Math at the Ballpark App
Push your baseball experience to the next level with fun questions and activities that bring math alive through the game going on around you and your children. With fifty questions per grade level (K-6), Fun Math at the Ballpark engages children who love baseball as well as those who are bored at the ballpark.
Many questions encourage your child to input real numbers from the game going on in front of him, reinforcing observational skills and giving him fun reasons to pay attention to the game.
Other questions feed your child’s imagination by asking her to consider what might happen in certain imaginary situations. These questions are also perfect for the classroom since they don’t require attendance at a baseball game.
Fun Math at the Ballpark encourages you to participate in the fun along with your child, with grade-appropriate games, scavenger hunts, and hands-on activities.
-Three-hundred fifty questions/ activities (fifty questions per grade level).
-Answers and explanations.
-Activities you and your child can enjoy game after game.
-Seven grade levels in one app (kindergarten through sixth grade) keep the fun going for years.
-Categories of questions divided into math topics so you can help your child develop specific skills.
-Categories of questions divided into baseball topics so you can tailor the experience to your child’s preferences.
-Thirty-seven custom graphics to illustrate math concepts and visually stimulate learning.
Science Happens Here
Science Happens Here is a game aimed at kids in grade 3-8 that includes collecting trading cards with science information on them.
The cards each have one kind science example in them, which directly related to a store. So the kids visit the locally owned businesses to collect the cards. The cards each have a unique ID on them, which kids will enter on the website to not only find science experiments but to get credit for trying them at home.
SO, for example, the bakery will have the science of yeast, the cafe will have the science of sugar, the clothing store will have the science of fabrics, etc. There are 12 cards to collect and we have a poster to show them all. We have a website (nearly done) and fun prizes for the kids.
The goal here is twofold- first, to help kids start to think about all the science that really happens in the world and to get excited about simple experiments. And second, to get the local business community more involved with STEM education.
Arizona Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Education Museum – STEM-added value to tourist’s experience
Each year, Arizona’s landscapes and natural resources draw millions of tourists. STEM provides a vehicle to add value to their visits and to prompt their return. In 2017-2018, the Arizona Geological Survey, now at the University of Arizona, plans to build the Arizona Mining, Mineral and Natural Resources Education Museum on the Government Mall in Phoenix. Our chief objective is to showcase the role of Arizona landscapes and natural resources in shaping the peoples and cultures of the state.
Welcome to the Age of Discovery; Exploration, Navigation and Innovation! The Arizona Renaissance Festival STUDENT DAYS
Have you heard about the Arizona Renaissance Festival Student Days?
Student Days is a wonderful way to bring the Renaissance – ‘The Age of Discovery’ to life for students through interactive displays, study and entertainment. Student Days were created to highlight the educational aspects of the Renaissance time period. Learning opportunities include language, science (interactive displays in partnership with Arizona SciTech Festival), mannerisms, customs, artisans, music, trades, birds of prey, jousting and more! A study guide is available for teachers to help with the lesson plan to enhance the field trip. Student Days is an engaging and exciting way to get the students interested in the Renaissance time period! The Festival provides students with a chance to do more than just read about the RENAISSANCE…WE LET THEM EXPERIENCE IT.
Not even in her wildest dreams would Queen Elizabeth have imagined such an event taking place in the Foothills of the Superstition Mountains. A learning tool. A way to bring to life Science, Astronomy, Geography, English, Math as well as the Arts and Culture of the Renaissance period illustrating the technological advances of the Renaissance age and how it continues to impact our lives today.
Student Days are scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 for Elementary schools and Thursday, March 2 for Jr. & Sr. High Students. Student Days attracts educators and their student groups from around the state and out of state.
Visit us for more information: www.renfestinfo.com To attend Student Days: Download the 2017 Student Day Order Form at www.renfestinfo.com/studentdays
or like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/renfestinfo
Digital Kids Club
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s Digital Kids Club program was developed specifically for one of the most difficult age groups to entertain, “tweens” – ages 8 through 13. The Digital Kids Club, as part of the Resort’s FUN Program, features individual sessions, as well as unique 5-day camps during the summer: Stop Motion Animation, Produce Your Own Morning Show, Make a Music Video and Media Madness! Budding movie directors capture footage and experiment with special effects, video game enthusiasts learn about design and creation, inspired news anchors experience the world of reporting, and creative juices flow from learning animation and comic book design! Kids will make their own creation with video and digital photographs, experimenting with special effects and music to create their very own video on a USB thumb drive to take home as a unique souvenir and memory of their family vacation.
- Allison Boley, Math and the Ballpark
- Kimber Lanning, Science Happens Here
- Michael Conway, Arizona Geological Survey
- Sanja Malinovic, Renaissance Festival
- Meredith Jenkins, Westin Kierland Resort
(Pictured Above: Allison Boley, Kimber Lanning, Michael Conway, Sanja Malinovic, Meredith Jenkins)
Kimber Lanning is Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, a statewide organization implementing innovative strategies for new models of economic development that create vibrant local economies. Lanning is an entrepreneur, business leader and community development specialist who works to cultivate strong self-reliant communities and inspire a higher quality of life for people across Arizona. Lanning’s passions, which are seen throughout her work, include fostering cultural diversity and inclusion, economic resilience and responsible growth for Arizona’s urban areas.
Lanning has grown Local First Arizona into a widely respected organization that is leading the nation in implementing systems and policies to ensure a level playing field for entrepreneurial endeavors of all sizes. With nearly 3,000 business members and four statewide offices, Lanning leads a team of 17 who work on a diverse array of programs ranging from healthy local food access, entrepreneurial development in underserved communities, and rural community development, each of which plays a part in building sustainable and resilient local economies.
Lanning is consistently recognized and has received numerous awards for her diverse work and extensive leadership. In 2014, Lanning was recognized as the Citizen Leader of the Year by the International Economic Development Council, a pivotal moment in recognizing the use of Localist policies as a force for economic development. Her work in promoting adaptive reuse in Phoenix’s urban core was recognized by the American Planning Association, who presented Lanning with the Distinguished Citizen Planner Award in 2013. Lanning has also been named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona” (Arizona Business Magazine, 2011), was the recipient of the Athena Award by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in 2013, and was the 2014 Leader of the Year in Public Policy (Arizona Capitol Times).
Michael Conway: Since 2007, Mike Conway, Ph.D., has been Chief of the Geologic Extension Service at the Arizona Geological Survey which transferred from the State of Arizona to the University of Arizona on 1 July 2017. Previously, Mike worked as a professor of geology at Arizona Western College, Yuma, Arizona, and as a volcanologist at the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses at Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas.
Sanja Malinovic is the Marketing & Sales Director of the 29th annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace held annually in Gold Canyon, with responsibility for marketing programs, media buying, promotions and brand management, corporate sponsorships, public relations and partner initiatives.
Sanja developed and spearheaded the concept of introducing the Arizona Renaissance Festival to Arizona Educators and students as an innovative educational field trip designed to enhance the various aspects of the Renaissance time period with hands on demonstrations and interactive programs.
Sanja holds a Bachelor of Science degree from ASU in Journalism and Public Relations and a minor in Travel and Tourism
Meredith Jenkins is one of the few people in the world who can honestly claim to be in charge of “fun” for a living. As Director of Fun at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa she oversees the Fun Department and team of Fun Ambassadors who lead the family events and activities programing at the Resort, which ranges from its popular weekend All-You-Can-Eat S’mores and poolside games to Kids Club, PJ Parties, summer camps and even cocktail-making classes for adults. Prior to being promoted to her role in the Fun Department, Meredith served as Child Life Assistant a local hospital leading play therapy and special events and activities for hospitalized children and their families. She also owned and operated a My Gym children’s fitness center. Meredith earned her Bachelors’ degree in Psychology at Arizona State University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children and, as a former US National Women’s Rugby Team scrum-half, also tries to catch a bit of rugby on TV.
Learn how the VEX IQ and VEX robotics system can help inspire the next generation of programmers K – University.
- Shawn Hardina, founder, East Valley Robotics Academy, LLC
- Cindy Nixon, Director of Engagement for Project Lead the Way in Arizona and New Mexico
Shawn Hardina founded the East Valley Robotics Academy, LLC, a STEM education, consulting, and coaching organization in 2014 and merged with STAX3D in January 2016. His career spans more than 25 years in education involving curriculum design, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Pathway creation, co-operative learning, high school and college science and robotics, and instructional coaching. STAX Education specializes in “building collaborative communities dedicated to transforming STEM education by helping schools, districts, and youth organizations in creating customized and sustainable STEM experiences that will Engage, Educate, and Empower people of all ages.”
Prior to founding the East Valley Robotics Academy, LLC, and merging with STAX Education. Shawn oversaw the creation and implementation of the Campo Verde High School Biomedical Sciences Pathway in Gilbert, Arizona, the creation and sustainability of the FIRST Robotics Competition Program in Kingman, Arizona, the creation and implementation of a Math Science Partnership Grant in Kingman, Arizona. In addition to the creation of unique and impactful STEM Pathways Shawn has been a High School Science, Biomedical Sciences, and Robotics teacher, a Kagan Cooperative learning trainer, a Master Teacher for Project Lead The Way Biomedical Sciences, and a K-6 Science/Literacy Instructional Coach.
Shawn holds a BS in Physiology from the Universityof California at Davis, currently holds a teacher certificate in Chemistry, General Science, and Career and Technical Education and received National Board Certification for Chemistry in 2002.
Cindy Nixon is the Director of School Engagement for Project Lead The Way in Arizona and New Mexico. Project Lead The Way is a nonproifit organization that provides a transformative learning STEM experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. We create an engaging environment and empower students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an evolving world. Through our pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, students learn problem-solving strategies, critical and creative thinking, and how to communicate and collaborate.
Cindy was a Career and Technical Education Director in Arizona for five years, which spiked her interest in Project Lead The Way. She had the Project Lead The Way Engineering Program. Through her experience, she saw the impact of the program on her students, teachers, and community. Cindy has also worked as a middle-school and high school counselor. She has a BA in Social Work/Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education/Counseling.
Having a STEM culture in schools isn’t just about the availability of the core STEM subjects for students. It’s about creating a mindset and providing an environment which will help students learn how to apply the skillsets they gained through STEM to their everyday lives and future education, and this workshop will teach you how to do just that!