Priya Iyer, center director for Code Ninjas Harrisburg, has been named as one of 19 ambassadors in the 2022 Pennsylvania STEM Ambassador Program. Code Ninjas is the largest and fastest growing kids coding franchise in the world, focused on improving kids’ problem solving and computational thinking skills through fun coding and STEM-related activities.

“We provide a space for kids to learn something that interests them in an environment that encourages them to come out of their shell and truly have fun,” Priya explained. “We offer kids the opportunity to explore their interests in technology and develop not just coding skills but social skills as well. I am excited to work with the other ambassadors to influence the way more kids are going to get to learn from and benefit from STEM education.” — Priya

Black Hole Systems, Narrowband Radar and Ribosome Movement in Protein Translation

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Society for Science announced the top 10 winners headed by Christine Ye, 17, of Sammamish, Washington, who won the top award in the 2022 Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

For the first time since 2019, the competition was held in person under strict COVID-19 protocols in Washington, D.C., after virtual competitions in 2020 and 2021. Forty finalists, including Christine, were honored during a live-streamed award ceremony emceed by Saturday Night Live’s Melissa Villaseñor. More than $1.8 million was awarded to the finalists, who were evaluated based on their projects’ scientific rigor, their exceptional problem-solving abilities, and their potential to become scientific leaders.

The 2022 Flight Crew features 16 remarkable youth from across the country. Motivated by their impactful STEM experiences beyond the classroom, these young leaders are currently working in their communities to break down stereotypes and spark their peers’ curiosity in STEM. The inaugural crew includes Madeleine Whitewolf, representing Pennsylvania.

Madeleine, 11th grade, Pennsylvania, prioritizes STEM activities amidst music, athletics and academics — “My involvement in afterschool stem programs has really helped shape my stem identity and develop my confidence in science and math.”

A marathon trial over how Pennsylvania funds public education has reached an end, but it will be months before a judge rules in the case brought by a group of poorer school districts against Republican state legislative leaders.

The Commonwealth Court case, filed eight years ago, brought dozens of witnesses to Harrisburg over four months as the districts, some parents and two organizations challenged the size and distribution of subsidies approved annually by the General Assembly.

Pennsylvania Department of Education congratulated Jessica Tilli, Meredith Elementary School, The School District of Philadelphia, and Kristin Joivell, Juniata Valley Elementary School, Juniata Valley School District, for receiving the 2022 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST). PAEMST is the highest honor awarded by the federal government to teachers for excellence in K-6 science, technology, mathematics and computer science.

“Pennsylvania continues to be a national leader for innovation in STEM and computer science education, and that would not be possible without the support of our dedicated, talented and passionate educators,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega. “Congratulations to Jessica Tilli and Kristin Joivell for their hard work and for representing the best of Pennsylvania.”

On March 10, 2022, Congress gave the country’s students, families, schools and communities a significant boost by including a $30 million increase for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) in the FY2022 federal budget. This will allow the chief federal funding stream for afterschool and summer learning programs to support programs that serve approximately 30,000 more students, providing them with homework help, hands-on learning opportunities, engagement in STEM and physical fitness, access to mentors, college and careers, and more.

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