WXXI AM News

STEM

freeimages.com/Flavio Takemoto

The organization representing more than 600 public school boards across the state says how science is taught in the classroom will influence how a generation of students think about climate change.

Starting this fall, new standards for teaching science go into effect in New York.  They put a much more specific emphasis on the role of human activity in global warming.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear an interview with Dave Albert, spokesman for the New York State School Boards Association.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

While most high schoolers were working part time jobs or soaking up the sun, some kids in the Rochester City School District were learning more about STEM careers.    

Graduating and incoming seniors had the opportunity to take a new class called City Living this summer.

Smiley Samuel joined the class voluntarily, already interested in becoming a mechanical enginer and working with cars after graduation. They said they learned about the history of Rochester through the course, about the bridges, how the downtown library was built and how the city got its nickname.

The NYS Science Learning Standards go into effect in July. With that in mind, we're focusing on how climate change is taught in the classroom. While specific standards regarding climate change education don't come into effect until middle school, there is an expanding focus on climate itself, and weather, and ecosystems in earlier grades.

We explore the teaching, the training, and the consequences of kids not being climate literate. Our guests:

  • Lindsay Cray, executive director and co-founder of Earthworks Institute, and certified forest school instructor
  • Tiarra Worthington, earth science teacher at East High School, and mother of two
  • Chris Lajewski, director of the Montezuma Audubon Center
  • Cindy Culbert, homeschool educator, and mother of two

It’s a big day in Karen Grann’s eighth-grade technology class at Integrated Arts and Technology in the Rochester School District.

Students have learned how to build air skimmers — a paper vehicle of sorts that, if successfully built and launched, will glide across the classroom’s floor.

Grann said a lot of work led up to launching day.

NASA

Rochester’s East High School is part of a select group chosen to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. It’s a program that sends the hard work of high school students on a real mission to outer space. On this edition of Need to Know, WXXI’s Sasha-Ann Simons takes us inside East High to meet the trio responsible for sending a local microgravity experiment to NASA.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Each year the FIRST Lego League competition has a different theme.

This year was all about “Animal Allies”, and encouraged participants to explore interactions between humans and animals, and how they can work together in a more cohesive away. A regional championship was held Sunday at the University of Rochester.

The championship is a 4 part competition. One part has the teams completing a research project based on the theme.

Colton Adiletta and his team from Bay Trail Middle School talked about their shark repellant idea.

In an effort to tighten the middle-skills gap and change the way people think about manufacturing jobs, Kodak's Eastman Business Park opened its doors to hundreds of high school students for a show and tell Thursday.

People who work in the field and hiring managers from local manufacturing companies spoke to the students about taking advantage of future job openings in the area. Through videos and panel discussions, the teens got a glimpse of daily work duties, which classes and programs will help them to prepare, and compensation and benefits. 

Should STEM become STEAM? We look at the growing movement to add arts to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Supporters say that adding arts allows students to incorporate creativity and critical thinking, not just rote memorization. Opponents say this is a distraction, and the United States needs even more emphasis on STEM.

Our panel explores the impact of turning STEM into STEAM:

  • Dr. Hitomi Mukaibo, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rochester
  • Katie Maley, art teacher at Brighton High School
  • Laura Arnold, physics teacher at Brighton High School
  • Ben McLauchlin, 2014 Brighton High School graduate and currently a sophomore at SUNY Binghamton

www.rmsc.org

The Rochester Museum and Science Center is getting a boost in its effort to get more young people interested in math and science, as well as look to a possible career in photonics.

With the Rochester area recently named a photonics hub, RMSC President Kate Bennett says the facility is trying to do more to encourage area students to consider pursuing employment in photonics as those companies expand in this region.

She says last year, the museum opened up an Illumination Gallery to talk about light and optics.

PBS.ORG

More women are adding terms like “coder” and “game developer” to their résumés, but the industry still has a long way to go to reach gender parity.

Last year, women made up 22 per cent of the game developer workforce, double the 11.5 per cent of females in the field in 2009, according to a recent study by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

But for women like Elizabeth Canas, the road to a career in technology was less traveled when she was growing up.

“I didn’t even know what technology was!” says Canas.

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