GM partners with Girls Who Code with $250K grant for after-school activities
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GM is teaming up with Girls Who Code (GWC), the national no-profit seeking to help close the gender gap in STEM education and professional fields. The partnership will see GM provide a $250,000 grant to help grow GWC’s Clubs, an after-school program that provides free activities for students in community centers and academic institutions to help boost computing and other technical skills and encourage more women to enter the high-tech workforce in the U.S.

GM CEO Mary Barra explained in a press release that she’s interested in promoting STEM education because her own success owes much to her early studies and career as an engineer. Barra and GWC founder and CES Reshma Saujani are hosting 30 students from the Girls Who Code program at the North American Auto Show for a launch event with workshops covering vehicle connectivity, electrification, autonomous driving and also future mobility solutions like car sharing.

Barra and GM also think it’s important to do something to help reverse a troubling trend identified in recent research by Accenture conducted in partnership with GWC that found the percent of women in the workforce employed in computing tasks has dropped from 37 percent to 24 percent between 1995 and today. The hope is that through activities like those GM and GWC plan to provide via this partnership, that trend can be reversed, leading to a potential tripling of women in computing fields over the next decade.

Continue onto Tech Crunch to read the complete article.

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is helping to teach STEM skills to Black and Latino students
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar standing in front of a microphone with a suit on while making gestures with his hands

By Michelle Fox, CNBC

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a lot more on his mind these days than the sport.

For more than a decade, he’s been focused on introducing underserved students to a STEM education, which is science, technology, engineering and math. Blacks and Latinos are underrepresented in the field, in which workers tend to earn more than non-STEM workers with similar education levels.

The Covid pandemic has made his mission even more urgent. Students of color are seeing the biggest learning loss amid school closures, a McKinsey & Company report found in December. That translates into a hit on future earning power.

“It’s a social justice issue; giving kids a better idea of where they can go with their education,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

He began his nonprofit, Skyhook Foundation, in 2009 to provide those educational opportunities to 4th and 5th graders in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Typically, the students attend a camp for five days and four nights in the Angeles National Forest and get an immersive learning experience. The attendees are largely English language learners and participate in free or reduced lunch programs.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with students at his Skyhook Camp cheering and holding up posters of their camp flyer
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with students at his Skyhook Camp, which introduces underserved kids to a STEM education
Deborah Morales

When the pandemic hit, the foundation adjusted and used eco-vans to bring the camp to individual recreation centers and playgrounds, while remaining socially distant.

“We try to give them their first experience with science and let them know it’s not something exotic, it just takes application and they can learn a lot,” the six-time National Basketball Champion said.

“It’s been very gratifying for me to see the light turn on with the kids, when they started to realize what’s possible and where they can go with this information.”

Yet there are still several obstacles in Abdul-Jabbar’s path, namely the ability to reach more children. There is currently a six-year wait list to get into Skyhook Camp. There is also a lack of WiFi access and computer equipment for many.

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

Doctor of Internal Medicine Creates Little Medical School
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Recognized as Innovator of Youth Health Education

By Rhonda Sanderson

Dr. Mary Mason’s deep love of family, medicine and education led her to a career in healthcare and success as an entrepreneur. 

Dr. Mason is an Internal Medicine Specialist in Saint Louis, MO and has over 26 years of experience in the medical field. She graduated from Wash U, School of Medicine medical school in 1994. In 1998 she founded Little Medical School which has a curriculum based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that provides students with a strong foundation to pursue careers in medicine. It all began with a quest to inspire young adults to pursue careers in medicine.

“Whether utilizing Science to understand anatomy, Technology to better utilize patient information, Engineering to develop solutions to complex medical issues, or Math to calculate the proper dose of medication; Health and STEM are inseparable. Beyond LMS focus on learning and critical thinking – our most important function is to INSPIRE an understanding of health and career options,” said Dr. Mason. 

(Photo Credit – Little Medical School)                             

In 1998, Dr. Mason wrote the first lesson plan and enlisted her medical school colleagues to teach local teenagers. This passion for encouraging careers in healthcare culminated in the creation of LMS in 2010. In 2015, responding to constant inquiries, LMS became a popular and unique franchise opportunity. Dr. Mason’s company recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with approximately 50 franchises in the United States and abroad.  A standard franchise is home or office based with protected territories of 100 elementary schools. Franchise Fees of $24,500 and an Equipment & Curriculum fee of $13,100, make this fun concept ultra-reasonable.

Today, the company is a pioneer and leading developer of award-winning, specialized curriculum and interactive resources for children 4-14. With corporate offices in St. Louis, all of its franchises are independently owned by those who share a common goal of inspiring health awareness through education — one student at a time. 

The Little Medical School curriculum has grown to include a wide variety of educational programs, including but not limited to personal health, safety, life-saving skills, nutrition, dental care, veterinarian, and wilderness medicine.  Whether after-school/summer programming, birthday parties, in-school field trips, scout badge fulfillment or special events – lessons can be customized.  In addition, LMS offers a variety of educational role-play kits, including:  How To Be A Pediatrician, Sports Surgeon, Veterinarian — and even a Great Sibling.  

LMS is committed to educational programming that creates an environment where students are able to learn, explore and enjoy while building self-confidence.  Through innovative programming, fun activities, and structured role-play – students often use realistic medical supplies and interactive utensils while dressed in white lab coats – to create a unique, entertaining, and engaging learning experience.  Lessons provide students the opportunity to explore the many functions of the human body, learn life-saving skills, and perform orthopedic procedures such as a realistic Tommy John Surgery.  LMS believes this role-play and hands-on experience can play a vital role in helping students to shape their attitudes towards personal health, well-being, and career options.  

Little Medical School has been nationally recognized by business, parent, and educational organizations:  Entrepreneur Magazine (Top 500 Franchises for 2019), Creative Child Magazine (2017 Product of the Year), 2017 National Parenting Product Awards and 2018 Stevie Award Winner for Women in Business.

For more information about a franchise please contact Leslie Manes at Lmanes@sfdpros.net 

Rhonda Sanderson is a franchise expert who has owned and operated Sanderson & Associates and Sanderson PR, both specializing in, traditional, social media and crisis PR in the franchise space since 1986. She has authored many articles, helped grow numerous franchise chains is considered one of the Top 30 Small Business Influencers (Fit Business) in the U.S. Find her at Rhonda@sandersonpr.com or on LinkedIn where she is the author of Franchise Stars at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhonda-sanderson-a6b658/

 

How Business Can Engage Students And Educators With Technology
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If training the future workforce is a fundamental role of education, it’s just as important a role for business.

How can we get young people excited about developing technology skills? Parents sit with their children to read them books from a young age, but when kids hand over their iPads, parents often walk away knowing their kids will be distracted by the screen for a while. When we teach technology, we need to think about creating more personal connections by sharing stories, sparking imaginations and making learning both fun and real.

That may be easier said than done. Our recent PwC study, conducted in conjunction with the Business-Higher Education Forum, found that while educators strongly support teaching technology, very few — just 10 percent — feel confident doing so. More often than not, classroom lessons in technology are passive: watching videos instead of making them, or browsing websites instead of creating them.

Read the full article at HuffPost. 

How High School Robotics is Healing Afghanistan
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Four Afghanistan teen girls on stage accepting their robotics award

Since 2017, an all-girls robotics team in Herat, Afghanistan, has taken the world by storm.

Within a short period of time, the group of seven teenagers won silver medals at the First Global Challenge robotics competition in Washington and for winning the entrepreneur challenge at the biggest robotics competition in Europe.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that a group of girls put their heads together to create vital and accessible medical equipment needed to treat coronavirus patients. Taking inspiration from an MIT design, the girls finalized their version of an easily accessible and cost-effective ventilator, a necessary piece of equipment that cannot be easily found among Afghanistan’s medical centers. The ventilator calls for a lighter, more portable, battery-operated design that would cost as little as $700 to obtain a rather than normal $20,000. Though these plans were completely put together by the girls, Harvard University stood with the girls as a source of advice and support.

Somaya Faruqi, one of the members of the robotic team, said of the designs, “We are delighted that we were able to take our step into the field of medicine and to be able to serve the people in this area as well.”

The designs have been submitted to the World Health Organization for approval and have gained great support from Afghanistan’s Minister of Health, praising the girls for their “initiative and creativity in Afghanistan’s health sector…”

FDA greenlights 1st video-game based treatment for children with ADHD
LinkedIn
screenshot of a new video game for adhd with many colors

The first video game-based treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The video game, called EndeavorRx and approved on Monday, will be prescription only and aimed at children between the ages of eight and 12 with certain types of ADHD.

It will be used alongside other treatments, such as clinician-directed therapy, medication and educational programs.

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder which is usually first diagnosed in children and can last into adulthood.

Approximately 4 million children aged six to 11 are affected by ADHD, the symptoms of which include difficulty staying focused and paying attention and difficulty controlling behavior.

This is the first game-based therapy to be granted marketing authorization by the FDA for any condition, the agency said.

“The EndeavorRx device offers a non-drug option for improving symptoms associated with ADHD in children and is an important example of the growing field of digital therapy and digital therapeutics,” Dr Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a press release.

The game, which can be downloaded as an app onto a mobile device, was authorized for marketing after the FDA reviewed five clinical studies that included more than 600 children.

The agency noted that some negative effects were reported, such as frustration, headache, dizziness, emotional reaction and aggression, but said there were no “serious” adverse effects reported.

While playing the game, children steer an avatar through a course dotted with obstacles, collecting targets to earn rewards.

Akili, the company that created EndeavorRx, has said that children should interact with the game 30 minutes per day, five days a week over the course of a one-month treatment cycle.

Continue on to KTLA News to read the complete article.

Curbing COVID: How one Nine-Year-Old is Protecting His Country
LinkedIn
Stephen Wamukota demonstrating the water pump

Stephen Wamukota, a nine-year-old boy living in Mukwa Village in Kenya, has just received a presidential award for his latest invention, set to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While watching television one day, Stephen came across a program that was informing its viewers how they can prevent themselves from spreading the virus. From this program, Stephen learned of the importance of regular handwashing.

While there are currently no cases of the virus in Stephen’s hometown, Kenya has experienced about 2,000 cases of the coronavirus, with 69 of those cases resulting in death, and the virus still has a possibility of spreading to Stephen’s village.

To keep himself and those in his community safe, Stephen decided to build a no-touch handwashing machine. Made primarily from a wooden window frame and a bucket, Stephen’s device is simple yet effective. Rather than touching the nozzle that has been touched by many others in the community, Stephen’s machine is powered by a foot pedal that releases the handwashing water from a bucket, allowing for others to wash their hands with little contamination. His father, James Wamukota, helped Stephen make the device.

Now having produced two of these machines and aspiring to build more, Stephen has received Kenya’s Presidential Order of Service Award and was promised a scholarship from his country’s governor, which Stephen hopes to use to become an engineer.

 

WonderWorks Syracuse Now Accepting Nominations for WonderKids Program
LinkedIn
grade school children visiting with former astronaut

WonderWorks Syracuse is now accepting nominations for its annual WonderKids program. The program recognizes high-achieving students in the local Central New York community. Nominations will be accepted through May 8, 2020.

All students nominated will be invited to the awards ceremony, where the winner for each category will be announced The ceremony will feature former astronaut Dr. Don Thomas as the keynote speaker, and it will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at 1:00 pm. Teachers who nominate a student to be a WonderKid will also be entering their school for a chance to win a visit from Dr. Thomas to give a presentation about his adventures through space.

“WonderKids is my favorite program that we run each year. It gives teachers a great opportunity to give their students recognition for their accomplishments in a fun and exciting way,” says Nicole Montgomery, General Manager at WonderWorks Syracuse.

“The program allows us to reward students for the effort they put into their education. We’re able to give them something to recognize those efforts and to motivate them to continue their great work.”
WonderWorks offers the WonderKids program each year, and it gives students in the area a chance to stand out for their achievements in a variety of categories. All students nominated to be a WonderKids must be nominated by a teacher. There are several areas students can be nominated for, including their service to the community, academic excellence, and future scientists. The number of nominations accepted is limited, so teachers should submit them early.

The WonderKids nomination categories include:

• Academic Excellence – This will go to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the area of academics. They are typically students who have exceeded expectations and have an appreciation for learning.
• Service to the Community – This award will be given to a student who helps others and goes above and beyond in doing so. This WonderKid is someone who has a great sense of self-awareness and demonstrates compassion for others.
• Future Scientist – This will be awarded to a student who has a passion for the sciences. They have demonstrated that they love to discover, innovate, and may one day change the world through science.

“We have been hosting WonderKids for several years now, and it has been a great success,” added Montgomery. “It’s a great way for WonderWorks to engage with the community and inspire the next generation of great students and scientists.”

Nominations are open to students in 10 Central New York counties: Onondaga, Oswego, Jefferson, Oneida, Madison, Cortland, Seneca, Tompkins, Chenango and Cayuga. Each nominee will be invited to enjoy WonderWorks for the day, along with three guests of their choosing.

In addition to Dr. Thomas being the keynote speaker at the ceremony, he will also visit select schools in the area on the days leading up to the ceremony. He will be visiting schools on June 11-12, 2020. The schools that will receive the visit are yet to be determined. He will give a presentation focusing on the celebration of his career and journey through space.

For more information or to nominate a student, visit the site: wonderworksonline.com/destiny/wonderkids/.

About WonderWorks
WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park, combines both education and entertainment into one venue. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71 mph hurricane-force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make life-sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment and experience zero gravity in our Astronaut Training Gyro. Nail it by lying on the death-defying Bed of Nails. WonderWorks has locations in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Panama City Beach, Myrtle Beach, Syracuse and Branson.

For more information, visit WonderWorksonline.com/destiny and follow @WonderWorksDestiny on Facebook, @WonderWorksDUSA on Twitter, and @WonderWorks_dusa on Instagram.

ShareSpace Education Donates Giant Mars and Moon Map™ to Challenger Learning Centers Across the Country
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Giant Moon and Mars Maps are pictured side by side

STEAM-based educational tools spark excitement around space exploration.

ShareSpace Education, a key program of the Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF), partnered with Challenger Center, a leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education organization, to donate three Giant Mars Map™ and one Giant Moon Map™ Interactive education packages promoting STEAM education in four Challenger Learning Centers (Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College, IL; Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, NV; Challenger STEM Learning Center; University of Tennessee Chattanooga, TN; and Challenger Learning Center of Lockport, NY).

Each package includes a 15-foot x 15-foot map, four Welcome to Mars/Welcome to the Moon books, the Mars/Moon Map Curriculum package developed in collaboration with Purdue University, and access to in-person and online program training from the ShareSpace Foundation. The value of each Giant Mars Map™ / Giant Mars Map™ package is valued at $5,000.

“We are excited that these four Challenger Learning Centers will have Giant Mars Map™ or Giant Moon Map™ interactive education packages to offer to their students and community,” said Denise Kopecky, Vice President of Education, Challenger Center. “Every day at our Centers, students travel to space when they fly our simulation-based missions. These maps are another way for students and members of these communities to experience the excitement and wonder of space.”

“Giant Mars and Moon Maps are a means for sparking creativity in kids while they sit, stand, walk, play and learn together,” said Dr. Andrew Aldrin, president of AFF. “We are honored to partner with an incredible organization like Challenger Center and share this unique STEAM experience with their next generation across the United States.”

Each year, AFF works with donors to make Giant Mars Map™ packages available for distribution. Individual schools, school districts and informal education organizations submit applications, which are reviewed by an independent team of judges. Map recipients are selected with the goal of reaching people and places where the map can be used as an authentic teaching tool to help children develop an understanding for real-world, STEAM-based concepts using the Red Planet as the focal point.

About the Aldrin Family Foundation
The Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF) strives to cultivate the next generation of space leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers who will extend human habitation beyond the Earth to the Moon and Mars. AFF’s STEAM-based educational tools, curriculum and programs span from a child’s first classroom experience through graduate school and professional programs. This vertical pathway unites explorers at all levels to learn from each other’s vision for space, ultimately creating the first generation of Martians.

About Challenger Center
As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center provides more than 250,000 students annually with experiential education programs that engage students in hands-on learning opportunities. These programs, delivered in Challenger Learning Centers and classrooms, strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Challenger Center was created by the Challenger families to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L. For more information about Challenger Center, please visit challenger.org or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Teachers Get in Free During Teacher Wonder Days at WonderWorks Orlando
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WonderWorks Orlando

WonderWorks Orlando is inviting teachers in the state of Florida to check out all they have to offer for free on select dates in September and October 2019. During Teacher Wonder Days, educators can learn about all the programs they offer.

Teachers will get free admission into WonderWorks Orlando on Friday and Saturday, September 28-29, 2019 and October 5-6, 2019. Each additional guest they bring will only be $15 per person.

“WonderWorks Orlando looks forward to hosting our annual Teacher Wonder Days, where we invite teachers and their families from all over the state of Florida to experience WonderWorks’ educational, upside down adventure!” says Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. “Over 1,500 teachers registered for our 2018 event and we look forward to surpassing that for 2019!”

Teachers who would like to take part in the program need to RSVP online. Each teacher will also receive a goodie bag filled with coupons and items from local businesses and attractions. WonderWorks Orlando will also be giving away door prizes, and there will be a special guest appearance by Professor Wonder. Everyone who attends Teacher Wonder Days will also be entered to win $500 worth of school supplies. Teachers can RSVP at the WonderWorks Orlando website: wonderworksonline.com/orlando/rsvp/.

Educators will not only get a chance to have fun and see the way families are challenged at WonderWorks, but they will also learn about a variety of the programs they offer. The special programs they offer include:

  • School fundraisers. The program allows your school or class to have a spirit night, with your class or school receiving a portion of the proceeds.
  • Sensory days. These are special days where exhibits are altered to provide limited stimulation for children with special needs.
  • Homeschool days. WonderWorks offers special homeschool days with discounted rate for homeschoolers.
  • Scout programs. There are programs offered for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, including appreciation days and sleepovers.
  • School field trip programs. WonderWorks offers a unique educational field trip opportunity, where kids can learn about earth science, physics, astronomy, and more.

WonderWorks in Orlando is an adventure that tourists and locals both enjoy. The indoor amusement park is open 365 days per year from 9:00 a.m. until midnight. WonderWorks features a glow-in-the-dark ropes course, laser tag, 4D XD motion theater, magic comedy dinner show, and the Wonder Zones, which include interactive exhibits on natural disasters, space discovery, light and sound zone, imagination lab, far out art gallery, and a physical challenge zone. With over 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment,” the attraction combines education and entertainment with over 100 hands-on exhibits. To get more information or purchase tickets, visit the site at: wonderworksonline.com/orlando/

Cyber Security Awareness Training for all Ages in Delaware
LinkedIn
image of a breakout box on a table

Children and adults in Sussex County are now getting hands-on cyber security awareness training at the Selbyville library thanks to Cyber Streets and the library itself.

Cyber Streets is a nonprofit organization that was started in Dover back in 2017. Founder Rob Bentley began spreading the knowledge at the Selbyville Library on June 3rd and he now runs the program there every other Monday. The Sussex County Stem Alliance helped connect Bentley to volunteers and this week they’re using what is called the ‘break out box’ to learn how cyber security is used to break into something.

“They go around looking for clues,” Bentley explains. “They find those clues, put them together, and work together as teams to crack the code on the puzzle that actually unlocks the locks to get into the box.”

Thirteen-year-old Eleni Apostolidis of Millsboro has been homeschooled her entire life. She’s thankful for an after-school opportunity that is available to students like her. “It can teach us coding if we want to maybe look into the community a bit more to find tools to maybe create our own software in the future,” she shares.

Most of the students who’ve been attending in Selbyville are homeschooled students but Cyber Streets is open to anyone. Bentley says he teaches people from six to sixty-years-old. In fact, many parents join their kids in these lessons.

The program is completely free. To sign up in Selbyville, reach out to the library or Cyber Streets. Bentley says those interested in attending can simply show up to the next lesson on July 29.

Continue on to WBOC.com to read the complete article.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  2. HACU’s 35th Annual Conference
    October 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021
  3. American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021
    November 13, 2021 - November 15, 2021
  4. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022
  5. CSUN Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022

Upcoming Events

  1. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021
  2. HACU’s 35th Annual Conference
    October 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021
  3. American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021
    November 13, 2021 - November 15, 2021
  4. AEC Next Technology Expo & Conference, International Lidar Mapping Forum, and SPAR 3D Expo & Conference
    February 6, 2022 - February 8, 2022
  5. CSUN Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022