Friday, December 23, 2011

Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge

Moody's Mega Math (M3) Challenge is an online applied mathematics competition for high school students designed to motivate students to study and pursue careers in applied math, economics, and finance. The contest is sponsored by The Moody's Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Registration deadline: February 24, 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Grade 5-12 STEM Education Program Opportunity for School District andSchool Communities

Announcing the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) Fourth Flight Opportunity - SSEP Mission 2 to the International Space Station (ISS)

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, in partnership with NanoRacks invites communities across the U.S. to participate in SSEP Mission 2 to ISS.

Each participating community will be provided all launch services to fly a real microgravity research mini-laboratory on ISS from September 28 to November 12, 2012, and a kit for assembly of their mini-lab. An 8-week experiment design competition in the community, held Spring 2012, will allow grade 5-12 student teams to design real microgravity experiments vying for their community’s reserved mini-lab slot on ISS.

SSEP immerses a community of students in real scientific research of their own design (grade level appropriate), using a highly captivating spaceflight opportunity on ISS - America’s newest National Laboratory – which will garner the community significant media attention.

SSEP is a true STEM education program. It addresses a wide range of biological and physical science disciplines (thus appropriate for all teachers of science), including: seed germination, crystal growth, physiology of microorganisms and life cycles (e.g. bacteria), cell biology and growth, food studies, and studies of micro-aquatic life. Students design experiments to the technology and engineering constraints imposed by a real research mini-lab and flight operations to and from Earth orbit.

More information is available here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C.

Don’t miss the largest celebration of science in the US!

April 28
& 29, 2012, 10:00am-6:00pm (4:00 pm on Sunday), Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C.

What is the universe made of? Why did dinosaurs go extinct? What do magic tricks and hip-hop have to with math? What will be the next medical breakthrough? What do fossils and rocks tell us about the Earth’s secrets? What does baseball have to do with physics? Find out at the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo! Explore science & engineering with 2,000 free, hands-on activities and over 100 stage shows and author presentations. The two-day Expo is perfect for teens, children and their families, and anyone with a curious mind who is looking for a weekend of fun and discovery. Meet Science Celebrities, award-winning Science Authors and Nobel Prize winners from the past and present. New this year: A Career Pavilion for high-school students, a Book Fair featuring over 30 science authors, and a science carnival for children! The Expo is the pinnacle event of the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival to be held in the greater Washington D.C. area in
April 2012. The Festival is a collaboration of over 500 of the nation’s leading science and engineering organizations. For more information on all Festival events and how you can get involved, visit

Monday, December 12, 2011

You're Invited to Attend Free GLOBE Teacher Workshops!

NASA Langley Research Center, in partnership with the Virginia Air & Space Center, will be offering a series of GLOBE Teacher Training Workshops supporting the Student Climate Research Campaign. Free one-day workshops will be held on Saturdays - January 14, February 18, and March 10 - at the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, VA. Teachers will receive approximately 5.5 hours of professional development per workshop.

GLOBE program involves students in conducting local scientific research investigations on the environment. Students take measurements, analyze data, and participate in research in collaboration with scientists. This workshop series will focus on student investigations of climate.

Please see the attached flyer for additional details.

To Register for the Workshops, go

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the GLOBE Partnership at NASA Langley at
757-951-1642 or e-mail at .

Friday, December 9, 2011

Virginia Tech and BGSU Kids' Tech University programs still accepting registrations!

Enrollment is still open for the both the Virginia Tech and the Bowling Green State University Kids' Tech University program.

For the Virginia Tech program see here.

For the Bowling Green State program see here.

Also, check us out on facebook at

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kids' Tech University- WAVY TV appearance!

Hi everyone,

On Saturday, Dec. 10, at 10:30 am, WAVY-TV 10/ WVBT-TV FOX43 will air a program called, KidTalk, with Kerri Furey. Dr. Kristy Collins, Program Manager for Kids' Tech University, will be a guest expert on the program. The show will feature a local high school and discuss Technology safety (with an emphases on texting/facebook and tweeting).

The station posts the show online about a week after it airs. We will be linking the show on the blog when its available online. For anyone in Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth or Virginia Beach can check it out on Saturday at 10:30 pm!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

USA Science & Engineering Festival Illuminates Science’s Role in Hollywood Movies and TV Shows

Hi everyone!

Below is a press release that was released from the USA Science and Engineering Festival which will be held on April 28-29th in Washington, D.C.

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech is excited to be involved with this event (information about our booth is in the press release!)


WASHINGTON – October 31, 2011 — When you sit down to watch television or go to the movies, you don’t have to look far to see science and engineering hard at work. It’s in the high-tech gadgets used to analyze crime scene evidence, the medicine developed to stop the spread of disease, amazing super powers and phenomenal fight scenes – it’s everywhere. But, have you ever wondered how Hollywood gets it right?

Individuals and families can learn about the science behind Hollywood’s crime dramas, superhero feats, medical shows and special effects at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, hosted by Lockheed Martin — the nation’s largest celebration of science and engineering that will take place April 28-29, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The festival will feature exhibits, performances and appearances by scientists and organizations that work closely with Hollywood film and TV producers to make sure that they are portraying science and engineering realistically.

One of those organizations is The Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Science that puts the likes of Nobel Prize winners on speed dial for Hollywood TV and film producers. “Since we’ve started, we’ve facilitated more than 350 consults – an average of 2 to 3 each week – for movies like Iron Man 2, TRON: Legacy, Thor, Green Lantern and the upcoming Disney film The Avengers, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Ann Merchant, Deputy Executive Director for the Office of Communications for The National Academies. “We’re not the accuracy police, more like the plausibility patrol – it’s not about making a movie a textbook, but we do try to make sure that there are more realistic elements included in the stories on which we consult,” continued Merchant.

Several performers at the USA Science and Engineering Festival will give participants the opportunity to experience the science of Hollywood up close and personal, including:

· Learning the science behind the wizardry of Harry Potter and the magic from Hogwart’s Academy in demonstrations showing how science can make objects levitate or disappear, from San Diego State University Professor and former NSTA president, Dr. Alan McCormack.

· Simulating the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus through the Walter E. Washington Convention Center – similar to the epidemic in the movie Contagion – utilizing bar code and Quick Response (QR) tags as a surrogate for the virus, at an exhibit by the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech.

· Competing in robot battles like those seen in the movie Real Steel and operating various other robots throughout the festival, including the robotic tools used to find the Titanic on the ocean floor. Ocean exploration pioneer, David Gallo, discoverer of the Titanic is scheduled to appear at the Festival.

· Touring the vehicles that chase tornados and extreme weather in the popular reality show Storm Chasers. Dr. Josh Wurman, founder of the Center for Severe Weather Research, which operates the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) – a mobile radar unit that observes tornadoes, hurricanes, wild fires and other phenomena from close range – will give a talk and meet with fans.

· Exploring how scientists use technology to detect life on other planets and meeting Seth Shostak – an alien chaser that the movie Contact was based upon.

· Meeting the inventor and inspiration for the Iron Man movies in which he makes a cameo appearance, Elon Musk, who also serves as CEO and chief technology officer of SpaceX, the producer of the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets.

A festival favorite, Jim Kakalios, will mesmerize the crowd with a presentation on the science of superheroes, explaining the plausibility and the scientific basis for super powers from all of our favorite comic books. Kakalios is the author of the Physics of Superheroes, a book that explains physics principles in an easy-to-understand and often humorous manner.

A physics professor at the University of Minnesota, Kakalios was connected to the filmmakers of The Watchmen by The Science & Entertainment Exchange to consult on the translation of the graphic novel to the big screen for the 2009 Warner Bros. film. He has also consulted for the recent film The Green Lantern and the upcoming film The Amazing Spider Man, in theaters next summer. “The real benefit for me is that I get to interact with fun, nice people [in Hollywood] who are turned on by ideas and they want to do their best to make it realistic,” said Kakalios. “When I watch TV or films and I see them get it right, it’s like catching a little inside joke. I appreciate it and hope that the audience will learn a little something about science.”

Science Celebrities:

The USA Science & Engineering Festival will also feature leading science celebrities like Bill Nye the Science Guy and Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of the MythBusters, who will appear live during the finale Expo. Also scheduled to appear are Jeff Lieberman from Discovery Channel’s series Time Warp and Apollo Robbins, the Gentleman Thief from National Geographic’s Brain Games.

Influential Scientific Authors:

The USA Science & Engineering Festival Book Fair will feature several authors who have changed science in the media. Dr. Robin Cook has written more than 30 best selling novels – including Coma, which was made into a successful feature film by Michael Crichton and Outbreak, which served as the basis for NBC’s “Virus.” Dr. Cook’s writing transformed the media’s representation of the medical profession from what it used to be in the days of Marcus Welby, MD to what we are used to seeing to see in shows like ER and Grey’s Anatomy. Homer Hickam took us into the world of opportunity with his biography — a quest to become a rocket scientist — that became the hit movie October Sky. Illustrator Bruce Degan brought Joanna Cole’s words to life in the books and eventual TV enterprise the Magic School Bus, which has delighted and enlightened youth about the possibilities of science for the past 25 years.

About the USA Science & Engineering Festival:

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is the country’s only national science festival, and was developed to increase public awareness of the importance of science and to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering by celebrating science in much the same way as we celebrate Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes and pop stars. Lockheed Martin is again the presenting host of the USA Science & Engineering Festival and is joined by many other Festival sponsors and partners. The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a grassroots collaboration of over 500 of the United States leading science and engineering organizations. For more information on the USA Science & Engineering Festival, please visit the Festival website.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

National STEM Video Game Challenge Now Open to Students and K-12 Teachers

The annual National STEM Video Game Challenge for both students and K-12 teachers is now open for entries. The annual competition, held by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media in partnership with sponsors AMD Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/PBS KIDS Ready To Learn Initiative, Entertainment Software Association and Xbox 360, is accepting submissions of original video game concepts and designs from students and educators in four categories at

"The National STEM Video Game Challenge will channel the potential of a new generation of game creators to develop innovative tools for learning,” said H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop. Entries can be created using any game-making platform including, but not limited to, written concepts, Gamestar Mechanic, Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab, GameMaker and Scratch.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge will accept entries from November 15, 2011 through
March 12, 2012. Complete guidelines and details on how to enter are available at