With last year’s box-office success of Hidden Figures, it’s only fitting that the trend of promoting pioneering women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) trickled it’s way into the toy world—now, as little figures.
On Tuesday Lego announced the debut of a set unlike any others before it, Women of NASA, highlighting astronomer and educator Nancy Grace Roman; computer scientist and entrepreneur Margaret Hamilton; astronaut, physicist and entrepreneur Sally Ride; and astronaut, physician, and engineer Mae Jemison—each as a mini-figurine.
The box also includes three builds illustrating the women’s area of expertise: a posable Hubble Space Telescope with a projected image of planetary nebula for Roman, a stack of book elements representing the Apollo Guidance Computer for Hamilton, and a launchpad and Space Shuttle Challenger with three removable rocket stages for Ride and Jemison.
Each set includes a booklet about the four featured women of NASA, as well as the fan creator and Lego designers behind the idea, who hope their magic inspires even more young girls to get involved with these fields of study.
Clone Troopers vs Storm Troopers
In total, the box contains 231 pieces. Women of NASA goes on sale Nov. 1 for $24.99.
I must prepare my sons to adapt to the fourth industrial revolution but that means sending them to schools that are equipped to exceed the averages
Years ago, as a reporter in Seattle, I watched Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer decry Washington states education system. He said Microsoft couldnt hire enough locals because our schools dont produce the kinds of minds he needed.
At the time, I was angry. He and his cohort, most notably Jeff Bezos of Amazon, contributed serious money to the campaign against a state income tax on the wealthy that would have funneled billions to our schools. Now I feel a pinch deep in my stomach, an emotion so primal I hesitate to name it.
As a mother, my time is come, or nearly done, and my childrens just begun.
Automation will absorb all of the jobs it can reach, whether on the factory floor or in an office. Artificial intelligence has already taken over the corporate earnings analyses I once produced as a business journalist. By the best measures Ive been able to find, machines will displace about half of American jobs by the time my toddlers look for work.
This new era has been called the second machine age, the fourth industrial revolution, the information economy.
From certain angles, Seattle residents seem well positioned to access the highly paid and creative jobs that arise from combining cutting-edge technologies with the exponential powers of computing and big data. My city is now considered a global city not because of the port, which put our state on the maps when they were still being drawn, but because of the presence of Microsoft, Amazon and numerous tech startups.
Amazon occupies one fifth of all office space in downtown Seattle, a short ride from my neighborhood on light rail. Incoming waves of well-educated tech workers have helped double the median home price during the past five years.
Many of these rich young people call themselves progressive. Are they proud to be joining the nations most regressive tax structure? In our state, poor people pay eight times as much of their family income to taxes as the wealthy 1%. Lacking a personal income tax, Washington state relies on sales tax and has long looked to levies to fund schools, parks and other social needs.
When I moved to Seattle in 2004, I marveled that the state didnt take a cut of my income from the now-defunct Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It took me a while to contemplate what it means for an entire society to act against the interests of its children.
College-level tuitions before college
To survive the extinction of an entire class, I must prepare my two- and three-year-old sons to race with the robots, and not against them.
Our kids are going to meet an economy with far fewer entry-level positions and will have to clamber up a receding ladder. That means being in schools equipped to exceed the averages, not rising to meet them.
Washington state has underfunded our schools so long that our governments negligence was deemed unconstitutional by our state supreme court, which fined the state $100,000 a day for failing to provide a future for our children.
Years into this public shaming, the legislature came up with a multibillion-dollar package to fund basic education in our state, though they didnt manage to pass a capital budget before students went back to school after a long, dry summer.
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced the winner in the EdSim Challenge, a competition to design the next-generation of simulations that strengthen career and technical education.
The EdSim Challenge called upon the virtual reality, video game developer and educational technology communities to submit concepts for immersive simulations that will prepare students for a globally competitive workforce and spur an ecosystem of virtual and augmented reality technology in education.
When Dr. Jennifer R. Cohen was working as a molecular biologist, she often wondered why no one else in her sector looked like her.
As a black woman, Cohen is not the typical face you’d see in a biochemistry lab. The sad reality is science and technology careers are still predominately assumed by white men even though there is a large reservoir of untapped talent among women and people of color.
The reason for the disparity seems to lie in a lack of resources to help talented but underrepresented students reach higher academic levels. While some colleges are currently looking to diversify, it’s often difficult for these students to get on their radar without some sort of assistance.
Cohen knew how much underrepresented talent there was out there just waiting to realize their full potential, so she joined the SMASH program.
SMASH, or Summer Math and Science Honors, is a subsection of the nonprofit organization Level the Playing Field Institute. It’s a rigorous, three-year summer program that provides settings and resources to students who are underrepresented in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) free of charge. The courses take place at colleges, like UCLA and UC Berkeley, that are leading the way in these fields.
By throwing these students headfirst into an environment stocked with resources, SMASH is giving them all they need to totally “own” STEM.
Students learning computer science in the SMASH University of California at Davis program. All photos via SMASH.
The movement, however, is not just about bolstering science skills. It’s about creating a pipeline into colleges that will help students launch a life pursuing some of the coolest, most sought-after and most impactful STEM-related careers out there.
But they have to get in first.
Aside from helping to eliminate the barriers to a college degree and subsequent career, SMASH’s teachers are doing all they can to give their students confidence. The STEM fields aren’t exactly handing out positions to women and people of color, so they’ll need all the conviction they have to get ahead.
UCLA’s SMASH program, for example, is brimming with teachers who are women of color, and experts in their fields. Pre-calculus instructor Patrice Smith got her Bachelor of Science from UCLA in Mathematics/Applied Science and specializations in Business Administration and Computing. Having role models like her likely encourages the 53% of young women who populate the UCLA program.
Students at SMASH UC Berkeley working in a lab.
“We help them to see that they belong and that they have what it takes so there’s no question in their minds that they can be successful,” Cohen explains.
Having been the only woman of color in the room, Cohen feels she can be especially helpful to the young women in SMASH. Her experience working in STEM shines a light on the inequality and need for change.
But, thanks to SMASH, change is happening, and its students are walking, dissecting, coding, algorithm-solving proof.
Leilani Reyes at SMASH Stanford.
Leilani Reyes, a first-generation college student from Fairfield, California, is studying computer science at Stanford University and was recently a software engineer intern at Medium. She’s forever grateful to SMASH for opening up this world of opportunity to her.
“Academically, it granted me rigor and, more importantly, support from teachers and staff who empowered me to be curious and socially conscious in STEM exploration,” writes Reyes in an email. “Professionally, it granted me resources to develop essential skills like public speaking and connections to mentors and role models who I look to for advice and inspiration.”
Michael Pearson, who attended SMASH UCLA, blossomed into one of the most accomplished computer science students, often helping others with their homework after finishing his own. He’s now pursuing a career in Cognitive and Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
And Thomas Estrada, who went through SMASH UC Berkeley, was awarded the Regent and Chancellor’s Scholarship, which helped fund his undergraduate tuition there. He majored in computer science, and is now pursuing his doctorate. This summer, he landed a coveted internship with Google.
Moises Limon, a first year at SMASH UC Berkeley.
In terms of overall numbers, 78% of SMASH students declare STEM majors as freshman and 79% of that percentage graduate with a STEM major. That’s huge compared to the national average of STEM graduates, just 22%. Obviously the program is doing something right.
In the last 17 years, SMASH has helped over 500 alumni hit their academic and career goals.
The program is rapidly expanding into a national institution. One of the first east coast schools they’re partnering with is the prestigious Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. There’s no telling how far SMASH’s influence will go now.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced that all consolidated state plans submitted by 34 states and Puerto Rico under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for the fall deadline were found to be complete and ready for peer review.
Renowned climber Hayden Kennedy, 27, (left) killed himself following the death of his girlfriend Inge Perkins, 23, in an avalanche in Montana on Saturday. (Inge Perkins/Instagram)
Just two weeks before renowned climber Hayden Kennedy killed himself following the death of his girlfriend in an avalanche in Montana, he wrote on a climbing blog that he had watched too many friends die in the mountains over the last few years.
“I’ve realized something painful. It’s not just the memorable summits and crux moves that are fleeting. Friends and climbing partners are fleeting, too,” he wrote for the “Evening Sends” blog. “This is the painful reality of our sport, and I’m unsure what to make of it. Climbing is either a beautiful gift or a curse.”
In this undated photo provided by Louis Arevalo, Inge Perkins climbs Cowboy King (5.13c) in Wild Iris, Wyo. Gallatin County sheriff’s officials say Perkins was skiing with her boyfriend Hayden Kennedy on Imp Peak on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, when they triggered an avalanche in a steep, narrow gulley. Perkins, was buried by the 150-foot-wide slide. Kennedy, who was partially buried, pulled himself free and hiked out for help after he couldn’t find his girlfriend. (Louis Arevalo via AP) (Louis Arevalo)
Gallatin County sheriff’s officials say Kennedy, 27, and Inge Perkins, 23, were skiing on Imp Peak in the southern Madison Range on Saturday when they triggered an avalanche in a steep, narrow gulley at about 10,000 feet above sea level.
Perkins, also an accomplished mountain climber, was buried by the 150-foot-wide slide. Kennedy hiked out after he couldn’t find his girlfriend.
The area had received a foot of snow since Oct. 1, which was on top of about four feet of dense snow that had fallen over the previous two weeks, according to the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.
Kennedy, who had recently moved to Bozeman, was found dead in his home Sunday with a note detailing where to find Perkins’ body.
In this undated photo provided by Louis Arevalo, Inge Perkins poses for a photo. Gallatin County sheriff’s officials say Perkins was skiing with her boyfriend Hayden Kennedy on Imp Peak on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, when they triggered an avalanche in a steep, narrow gulley. Perkins, was buried by the 150-foot-wide slide. Kennedy, who was partially buried, pulled himself free and hiked out for help after he couldn’t find his girlfriend. Kennedy was found dead in a home Sunday as search teams prepared to recover Perkins’ body. (Louis Arevalo via AP) (Louis Arevalo)
Doug Chabot, director of the avalanche center, said Kennedy did not call 911 to report the slide.
“It all came out in this incredibly detailed and well-thought-out note,” he said. “He basically left nothing to chance in finding Inge.”
Chabot said the note included GPS coordinates and details about the route Kennedy and Perkins were skiing. Kennedy also left an avalanche probe and a shovel in the debris to mark the site, allowing searchers to find the body within an hour of arriving.
Perkins had an avalanche transceiver in her backpack, but it was turned off, Chabot said. It’s unclear if Kennedy was carrying a similar unit.
In a statement released Tuesday, Kennedy’s parents described their son as “an uncensored soul whose accomplishments as a mountaineer were always secondary to his deep friendships and mindfulness.”
“Hayden survived the avalanche but not the unbearable loss of his partner in life,” they wrote.
In this undated photo provided by Louis Arevalo, Inge Perkins puts on her shoes before casting off on Cowboy King in Wild Iris, Wyo. Gallatin County sheriff’s officials say Perkins was skiing with her boyfriend Hayden Kennedy on Imp Peak on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, when they triggered an avalanche in a steep, narrow gulley. Perkins, was buried by the 150-foot-wide slide. Kennedy, who was partially buried, pulled himself free and hiked out for help after he couldn’t find his girlfriend. (Louis Arevalo via AP) (Louis Arevalo)
Kennedy, who grew up in Carbondale, Colorado, had been working on his EMT certification while Perkins completed a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and education at Montana State University.
Kennedy was perhaps best known for climbing the Southeast Ridge in Patagonia’s Cerro Torre in 2012 and removing many of the bolts placed by controversial Italian climber Cesare Maestri more than 40 years earlier.
Afterward, he and his climbing partner were accosted by locals and detained by police. But Kennedy’s father, Michael Kennedy, who was editor of Climbing Magazine for more than two decades, beamed with pride.
“You made a courageous first step in restoring Cerro Torre to its rightful place as one of the most demanding and inaccessible summits in the world,” the elder Kennedy wrote in an open letter to his son that was published in Alpinist Magazine in 2012. “I never would have had the guts to take that step myself, even in my best days.”
Michael Kennedy, an accomplished mountaineer in his own right, also wrote to his son about losing multiple friends to the sport.
“An awareness of mortality prompts us to focus on what’s important: developing a strong community of family and friends,” he wrote.
#66: Chanie Wilschanski returns to discuss her work with ‘The School Culture Model’. Chanie presents concrete ideas for how to effectively motivate early childhood professionals in team meetings and in the classroom.
Attendance tracking is something no child care center can avoid. Most child care facilities are required by law to keep accurate records of which children were in attendance on any given day, and what time they were dropped off and picked up.