Jaeza Robertson, 17, of Oak Park High School and her Oak Park High School’s robotics team are building a robot that will be a part of the department’s crisis negotiations team. In fact, once fully operational, it will be used in hostage situations to get necessary items to those requesting them without putting members of the force directly in harms way. Something like this doesn’t come cheap. “We’re working on mounting an arm to open doors and things like that,” Jaeza said. Major Erik Holland with the Platte County Sheriff’s Office said a robot of this caliber would typically cost in the six figures. But with the help of Jaeza and her robotics team, the price tag is right about $5,000.

Last month, the Girl Scouts filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts for allegedly infringing on its trademark, sowing confusion and creating unfair competition. The battle between the youth programs echoes a divide that has been playing out across many arenas of American life amid the #MeToo movement, raising fresh questions about what it means to be male or female these days.

Arne Duncan – The biggest lie is this idea around guns and violence and kids. You never find anyone who says, “We don’t value our kids. We don’t care about them.” But I don’t listen to words. I look at actions. And the truth is, we’ve raised a generation of kids on mass shootings and gun violence. During my seven and a half years running Chicago Public Schools, we had a kid killed every two weeks on average, due to gun violence, which is a staggering rate of loss. Then Sandy Hook happens. This just doesn’t happen in other countries. You know, England, Canada, Australia have basically solved this. We don’t lack the intellect. We lack the political will. We lack the courage.

Serving some 1.7 million young people nationwide, 21st CCLC programming ranges from small, school-based centers to large, multi-site programs that leverage public and private funding. The programs operate in remote rural areas where they are literally the only program for miles around, to programs located in our largest cities, to many mid-size communities in between. Altogether, children in thousands of communities are benefitting from participation in 21st CCLC programs.

Comparing the 2013 STEM education plan with the 2018 plan — the new STEM education strategy has a strong focus on workforce preparation and employability. Additionally, the plan includes a strong emphasis on the role of STEM ecosystems, as well as industry and corporate partners to increase STEM education opportunities in communities across the United States. The plan is also noticeably shorter, opting for an approach that focuses more on setting guiding principles and objectives for the federal government regarding STEM than specific pathways and directives for agencies to implement. This broad approach still provides an opportunity for the afterschool and summer field to draw connections to the goals of the new plan and show how afterschool and summer programs can fit into the efforts during the coming years for STEM education.

When I think about the people who have made the biggest difference in my life, Susan Bauer tops the list. Mrs. Bauer taught math at the girls’ school I attended in Dallas in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and she forged the path that led me to my career in technology—and my life as I know it.

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