What does an iron, an ice skating rink and a chickpea have in common? They are all elements used by seniors in VCU’s School of Engineering at this year’s Senior Design Expo. Hundreds of VCU Engineering students gathered at the Science Museum of Virginia in April to display and discuss their innovative designs for products to improve our lives and advance technology and research.
Can the design of a building, a classroom space, and the surrounding environment make a difference in how teachers teach and students learn? Absolutely! The Steward School’s new Bryan Innovation Lab is a perfect example of how school administrators, teachers, architects and designers worked together to create a new learning environment and curriculum focused on preparing our students for the challenges of the future.
Gently mix a group of curious 4th graders with several excellent and creative teachers, add in a dash of math and measurement, and blend in a generous amount of hands-on exploration and fun and what do you get? The perfect recipe for student engagement, career preparation and a bunch of kids who think math is fun!
Did you know that all living cells contain DNA? That’s right, every cell in your body, animals, and plants contains DNA. DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid, known as the “molecule of life.” This molecule contains instructions on how to make a living thing; DNA tells you to be you and a strawberry to be a strawberry. Normally, you cannot see DNA with the naked eye. However, if you collect it from thousands of cells, there is enough to be visible.
“This is so cool!” is becoming a favorite phrase of teenagers in science classrooms all over Virginia. Innovative teachers are encouraging their students to touch, manipulate and experience the surprising power of science. And guess what? These students are deciding that science is cool. Recently, I met with two high school Chemistry teachers and talked with them about why they teach Nanoscience in their classrooms.
After a two-day tournament in Richmond that tested their teamwork and ingenuity, six Virginia high school teams have won the right to compete at the FIRST world robotics championship.
When Nick Butler takes the controls of his Stafford County high school team’s competition robot, he’s bringing literally a lifetime of experience to the task. At the age of 16 months, Nick was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 2, a hereditary disease that causes weakness and wasting of the voluntary muscles in the arms and legs of infants and children.