Late last month, 450 of New York’s top business and community leaders gathered to discuss important topics such as the need to engage our youth in the sciences, the challenge of mitigating climate change, the direction of our nation’s educational system, and … how to create your own bling.
Using an LED and a battery, the Create-Your-Own-Bling project was a big hit at this year’s Evening of Science and Inspiration, NYSCI’s annual fundraising gala, which raised $1 million to support NYSCI’s research and programs. Using a theme of Design, Make, Play, the evening included activities such as building paper air dancers, writing laser graffiti, and doodling in the dark.
This year’s honorees included Google, which received the Vision & Benture Award for bold corporate vision to establish a creative corporate environment for achievement in science and technology; Kevin Parker, head of Deutsche Bank Global Asset Management, who received the Global Science Award for world-renowned excellence in engineering, technology and visionary leadership; and John Slaughter, the first African-American director of the National Science Foundation and former CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, who was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award for transformation, ingenuity and excellence in science.
But, it turns out, middle and high school students are having most of the fun, building their erector sets and dropping eggs into water to test the first law of motion. The excitement quickly fades as students brush up against the reality of what David E. Goldberg, an emeritus engineering professor, calls “the math-science death march.” Freshmen in college wade through a blizzard of calculus, physics and chemistry in lecture halls with hundreds of other students. And then many wash out.
Margaret Honey pushing creative activities out of the classroom with NYSCI’s new Maker Space coming in February. Recorded at World Maker Faire as part of Making, Education and Innovation panel this year. Via Fora.tv
This Saturday, November 5, NYSCI will host 100 teachers for a My Carbon Footprint professional development workshop. The educators will learn all about the project, receive a copy of the curriculum, and get a chance to try out some of the My Carbon Footprint lessons.
To prepare for this workshop, members of NYSCI’s education staff have eagerly been gathering materials and organizing classrooms and labs. We had a difficult time picking which lessons we’ll be highlighting, but we finally selected Natural Variability vs. Man-Made Climate Change, Life Cycles of Electronics, and Adaptation and Mitigation: Sea Level Rise. Even if you can’t make it to the workshop, you can check out these lessons as well as many more by downloading the My Carbon Footprint curriculum found on the Curriculum page of this site.
These are photos of students completing the same lessons the teachers will try out on Saturday.
Check back next week for some pictures and stories from the workshop.