News

Carnegie Science Center hosts “Da Vinci The Exhibition,” a traveling, interactive display that details the life and achievements of the Italian artist and inventor who died 500 years ago this May. Pittsburgh is the seventh North American city to welcome the show in its current format since 2014. “It’s an opportunity for kids and adults to interact with something,” Tom Zaller, president of Imagine Exhibitions says. “Even 500 years later, Da Vinci’s work is still being studied. He still plays a part in our daily lives. It’s interesting to see this all in one setting.”


Stopping a teen bully seems like it should not be complicated. In the movies, all it takes is a single act. Another teen just has to step up and say, “Hey, that’s not okay.” But in real life, it is often not so simple to embrace our inner heroes. Friends may suddenly decide not to help. They may even worry about becoming the next victim. What makes a teen more likely to intervene when they witness bullying? A supportive school with trusted teachers and clear guidance from a kid’s family both help. That is the finding of a new study.


Michael Matera’s grade 6 history class is an ongoing role-playing game called Realm of Nobles, where students join guilds, earn achievements, make trades and wage the occasional epic battle in an imaginary medieval kingdom. Matera has played the game for years, and maintains that the fusion of history, fantasy, narrative and role-play is an effective formula to engage students in learning. “The excitement and the pride in their accomplishments are all through the roof. I love seeing kids gaining real-world skills, taking risks and learning from defeat in this gamified class,” said Matera, who wrote Explore Like a Pirate: Gamification and Game-Inspired Course Design to Engage, Enrich and Elevate Your Learners, a manual for teachers who aspire to design their classes as games.


In selecting NAA’s Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders 2019, the National AfterSchool Association sought to highlight emerging young leaders who are active in the afterschool community—with a proven passion for professional development, influence beyond their program in an effort to elevate the field, and persistence in their work to grow as a leader. Among the honorees were Samira Ford, grants and fellowships consultant, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and Rebecca Schedl, specialist in art and outreach coordinator for Afterschool Partnership Programming, Parent Infant Center After School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


STEM projects are continuing to make the top ten as a category on teacher funding site DonorsChoose. According to the organization, over the past four years, computer science and coding projects grew two and a half times faster than other project types. DonorsChoose is a nonprofit that encourages teachers to post their classroom project funding needs on the site and solicit donations from the public. During the latest year, the site has raised $87 million for a total funding of 163,323 projects. Applied sciences-related requests made up more than nine percent of all projects funded for the 2018-19 school year — the highest it has been for the last five academic years. Math projects made up another six percent, but that share is only half of what it was for the previous year.


Technology students showcased their STEM skills at the Technology Student Association Regional Conference on Saturday. More than 400 students from Lancaster and Lebanon counties competed at Conestoga Valley Middle School in more than 60 events. Some of those events included subjects like animatronics, architecture and engineering. The Technology Student Association is the nation’s only student organization devoted to the needs of students interested in technology. Students were thrilled to be at the event and watch younger students get involved with STEM. Winners from Saturday’s conference will qualify for the TSA state conference in April.


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