Teachers Get in Free During Teacher Wonder Days at WonderWorks Orlando

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WonderWorks Orlando

WonderWorks Orlando is inviting teachers in the state of Florida to check out all they have to offer for free on select dates in September and October 2019. During Teacher Wonder Days, educators can learn about all the programs they offer.

Teachers will get free admission into WonderWorks Orlando on Friday and Saturday, September 28-29, 2019 and October 5-6, 2019. Each additional guest they bring will only be $15 per person.

“WonderWorks Orlando looks forward to hosting our annual Teacher Wonder Days, where we invite teachers and their families from all over the state of Florida to experience WonderWorks’ educational, upside down adventure!” says Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. “Over 1,500 teachers registered for our 2018 event and we look forward to surpassing that for 2019!”

Teachers who would like to take part in the program need to RSVP online. Each teacher will also receive a goodie bag filled with coupons and items from local businesses and attractions. WonderWorks Orlando will also be giving away door prizes, and there will be a special guest appearance by Professor Wonder. Everyone who attends Teacher Wonder Days will also be entered to win $500 worth of school supplies. Teachers can RSVP at the WonderWorks Orlando website: wonderworksonline.com/orlando/rsvp/.

Educators will not only get a chance to have fun and see the way families are challenged at WonderWorks, but they will also learn about a variety of the programs they offer. The special programs they offer include:

  • School fundraisers. The program allows your school or class to have a spirit night, with your class or school receiving a portion of the proceeds.
  • Sensory days. These are special days where exhibits are altered to provide limited stimulation for children with special needs.
  • Homeschool days. WonderWorks offers special homeschool days with discounted rate for homeschoolers.
  • Scout programs. There are programs offered for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, including appreciation days and sleepovers.
  • School field trip programs. WonderWorks offers a unique educational field trip opportunity, where kids can learn about earth science, physics, astronomy, and more.

WonderWorks in Orlando is an adventure that tourists and locals both enjoy. The indoor amusement park is open 365 days per year from 9:00 a.m. until midnight. WonderWorks features a glow-in-the-dark ropes course, laser tag, 4D XD motion theater, magic comedy dinner show, and the Wonder Zones, which include interactive exhibits on natural disasters, space discovery, light and sound zone, imagination lab, far out art gallery, and a physical challenge zone. With over 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment,” the attraction combines education and entertainment with over 100 hands-on exhibits. To get more information or purchase tickets, visit the site at: wonderworksonline.com/orlando/

Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) 2019 Conference is Coming September 25

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Great Minds in STEM Flyer with details for the event

Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) invites you to the 31st Annual Conference taking place September 25-29, 2019 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

The GMiS Conference is the nation’s most prestigious stage for building and reinforcing networks and honoring excellence. The place where top executives, innovative professionals, and the brightest STEM students convene.

GMiS draws thousands of diverse high caliber STEM students from a broad array of institutions, including top‐ranked U.S. News & World Report Institutions, Research I Institutions, and Minority‐Serving Institutions.

Network with over 3000 STEM executives, college students and recruiters from all major industries and sectors. Secure an internship, fellowship or full time career!

Click here for a full flyer view.

For more information, visit greatmindsinstem.org .

Five Ways to Succeed as a Female STEM Graduate

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female scientist standing in chemical laboratory

By Audrey Taylor, CEO, Netlogx

As a new graduate, it’s daunting to enter your career not only as a woman but as a woman who is a minority among her peers. Women hold more than half of the college degrees awarded each year, but represent only 25 percent of college-educated STEM employees.

I began my career in technology more than 30 years ago and my company 20 years ago. For context, in 1998, Google was in its very first year of existence, and companies were only beginning to build e-commerce and informational websites.

As a woman in STEM, I strived for equality, diversity, and a successful technology company. To my peers, that might have seemed overly ambitious, but if you want to be a trailblazer, sometimes you have to do what you think is right and not focus on what other people think. Fortunately, I wasn’t wrong: more gender-diverse workplaces have been shown to increase bottom-line revenue by 41 percent. Overall, employees are also more productive and engaged when they work in a diverse environment.

As a female STEM graduate myself, there are five concrete suggestions I’d like to share with other STEM women to help support and foster an inclusive workplace:

  1. Seek mentorship outside the majority. Connect and network in areas that fit your passion and desires for a career, but aren’t necessarily typical. Are you an aerospace engineer? Network with those who also engineer in software and manufacturing. You’ll be surprised what you learn about solving problems from different industries. Think about other minority professional groups where your insights could be valued, and, likewise, their ideas and brainstorming power will be beneficial to you, too.
  1. Understand and improve your own unconscious bias. We all make decisions with unconscious bias. As long as we are human, this will be the case. When men and women were asked to review two identical resumes with a man’s name on one, and a female’s on the other, both groups rated the male resume as more capable and suited for the position, even though the skills and experience listed were identical! When you understand that unconscious bias exists—even within yourself—you become aware of your own decisions and statements in meetings, when hiring new employees, advising the C-suite, or even your interaction with colleagues day to day.
  1. Progress, not perfection. Avoid striving for perfection all the time. That isn’t the way the world works, especially in innovative career fields like science, engineering and technology where trial and error are key. Don’t be afraid to take risks when you think you have a solution or want to try something new. Failure doesn’t mean you’ve failed, it means you’ve found something that doesn’t work. Use it as an opportunity to improve your methods about a business challenge. When you know what doesn’t work, you open your mind to other ways of interpreting and resolving challenges.
  1. You’re in the room for a reason. Use your voice and raise it when you want to share your insight and perspective. That’s how you’ll be heard and start a real dialogue to solve complex business issues. Maybe everyone else hasn’t heard that idea before, or maybe no one has considered something you see as a barrier to solving that issue. True invention and progress requires all the brains in the room, not just brains from one gender or race. Find ways to ask what others have to say, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you want clarification or more information about something that interests you.
  1. Sponsor and mentor young STEM minds. Whether it’s a woman or someone else in a minority group, lead the charge and help others gain footing where you’ve already learned to connect. It takes more than one empowered woman to make a difference. By fostering young minds, you’re helping STEM grow faster and healthier, with more diversity. Get involved in urban groups that help youth make career decisions, or join Big Brothers Big Sisters. Invite your friends to come along. Humans are inherently designed for relationships with others, and one person you listen to or advise could easily become a future leader.

More than ever, women are taking CEO positions in companies all over the world, but it still isn’t nearly equal. There will be discouraging times in your career, but the only way to increase female STEM graduates and business leaders is to become one yourself. Keep your foot in the door by seeking professional development opportunities and speaking out when you have something to say. Remember where you came from and help other women along the way. After all—to paraphrase—we have to be the change we want to see in our world today.

Rapper Residente partners with scientists to create music with brain patterns

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Rapper Residente sitting on couch dresed in black and baseball cap

Grammy-winning rapper Residente has some new collaborators on his upcoming album: scientists. The Puerto Rican performer said he studied intensely with professors at Yale University and New York University to read brain patterns in worms, mice, monkeys, fruit flies and even hitmaker Bad Bunny to create his second solo project.

“(The album is) going to be about everything that I have inside of my head … because of that I kept brainstorming and I said, ‘Oh I have to study my brain, and then I have to study other people’s brains, and then I have to study animals’ brains,'” he said.

Daniel Alfonso Colón-Ramos, an associate professor of neuroscience at Yale, said Residente spent days at the school doing research.

“We were joking that we should give him a diploma,” said Colón-Ramos.

On campus, they used electroencephalogram (EEG) tests on worms to track and record brain wave patterns.

“Without harming the animals we can actually see as the animal is thinking, as it’s moving, as it’s exploring its environment, we can see individual cells talking into each other. It turns out when these cells, when these neurons talk to each other they’re using rhythms to communicate — we call it rhythms of activity. But, at the end of the day, those rhythms can be turned into music,” Colón-Ramos said.

The untitled album will be released in November. Residente, born René Juan Pérez Joglar, worked with Suzanne Dikker, a senior research scientist in NYU’s Department of Psychology, to use EEG tests on himself and Bad Bunny to produce the album’s first single, “Bellacoso.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

CBS Saturday Morning Debuts “Mission Unstoppable,” a New Weekly Series Executive Produced by Geena Davis and Miranda Cosgrove Who Also Serves as Host

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Miranda Cosgrove poses for Mission Unstoppable poster

CBS announced today that new series Mission Unstoppable, featuring female STEM superstars, is joining the Saturday morning block “The CBS Dream Team, It’s Epic!,” which returns for its seventh season Saturday, Sept. 28th (9:00-12:00 ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Each week, host and Executive Producer Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) and an all-female leadership team showcase women on the cutting edge of science – including zoologists, engineers, astronauts, codebreakers, and oceanographers. Viewers will be inspired by female STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) superstars in leading fields including social media, entertainment, animals, design, and the internet – all categories key to the teen experience.

“Girls need to see themselves on and off the screen as STEM professionals, and as I always say, ‘If they can see it, they can be it.’ This new series strives to empower young women and showcase the many ways they can impact the world through careers in STEM.”

Academy-Award winning actor and advocate Geena Davis serves as co-executive producer of the series, bringing her passion for creating change in the portrayal of strong female characters in entertainment and media that positively influences young viewers.

“Strong female role models are essential to breaking down barriers and educating the next generation of leaders about gender equality,” said Geena Davis, Executive Producer, Mission Unstoppable. “Girls need to see themselves on and off the screen as STEM professionals, and as I always say, ‘If they can see it, they can be it.’ This new series strives to empower young women and showcase the many ways they can impact the world through careers in STEM.”

Serving as Showrunner is Anna Wenger, four-time Emmy-nominated producer for Billy on The Street, Between Two Ferns, and Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles. Wenger’s expertise in narrative television and sketch comedy television series will provide Mission Unstoppable with its core intent to bring fun and science to life for young viewers.

Continue on to Businesswire to read the complete article.

Mexican Scientist Creates Biodegradable Plastic Straw From Cactus

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Sandra Ortiz stands in kitchen behind table filled with vaiations of her new plastic

Researchers from the University of Valle de Atemajac in Zapopan, Mexico have created a biodegradable plastic from the juice of the prickly pear cactus.

The new material begins to break down after sitting in the soil for a month and when left in water, it breaks down in a matter of days. Plus, it doesn’t require crude oil like traditional plastics.

“There were some publications that spoke of different materials with which biodegradable plastics could be made, including some plants,” Sandra Pascoe Ortiz, the research professor who developed the material, told Forbes.

“In this case the nopal cactus has certain chemical characteristics with which I thought it could be feasible to obtain a polymer, that if it was combined with some other substances, all of them natural, a non-toxic biodegradable plastic would be obtained. The process is a mixture of compounds whose base is the nopal. It’s totally non-toxic, all the materials we use could be ingested both by animals or humans and they wouldn’t cause any harm.”

This means that even if any of this material made its way into the ocean, it will safely dissolve. It’s estimated that between 1.15 million to 2.41 million tonnes of plastic are entering the ocean each year from rivers. Last month, divers found a plastic KFC bag from the 1970s during an ocean clean-up off the waters off Bulcock Beach in Queensland, Australia and earlier this year, during a dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench – the deepest point in the ocean – a plastic bag was found.

According to Ortiz, the project was born in a science Fair of the The nopal cactus sitting on table with blender in the backgroundDepartment of Exact Sciences and Engineering, in the chemistry class with industrial engineering students of the career. They began to make some attempts to obtain a plastic using cactus as raw material.

“From that I decided to start a research project in a formal way. Currently in the project collaborate researchers from the University of Guadalajara in conjunction with the University of Valle de Atemajac.”

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

5 Reasons to Go Back to School This Year (and how to do it)

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education and workforce

By Crystal Ladwig, Ph.D.

We all want good paying jobs, job security, and the chance to make a better life for ourselves and our families. For many adults, that may mean going back to school to learn new skills or even to get a degree.

With that in mind, here are five reasons to go back to school this year and how to do it.

1. College degree required

While there are still many vocational occupations that don’t require a college degree, more and more jobs require one. In fact, within the next few years, 65 percent of jobs will require some sort of post-secondary training. This means that many jobs that haven’t historically required a college degree will require one soon. Going back to school now will better prepare workers for this growing trend so that they will be prepared as college degrees are required more frequently.

2. Career advancement

Even if you have a degree in the area of your chosen profession, a college degree may be advantageous to you. Seeking a higher education degree shows employers a drive and hunger on the part of an employee and keeps skills current. Such positive views of an employee go a long way when you’re up for a promotion.

3. Job security

The stress and fear that go along with the possibility of losing a job are immense. In the current political climate with its ups and downs, we’ve come to expect that workers seek to do all they can to secure their jobs. Research shows that those with higher degree levels are less likely to be unemployed. Those who do lose their jobs are much more likely to get hired by a new employer more quickly if they have a higher-level college degree.

4. Higher salary

Historical trends show that those with college degrees make more money than those without them. This trend of higher salaries for college graduates continues to this day. Not only that, but having a higher education level within a career means more money, too. For example, two public school teachers teach second grade at a local elementary school. One has a Bachelor’s degree while the other has a Master’s degree. In districts throughout the country, the one with the Master’s degree will make more money even though they do the exact same work.

5. Career flexibility or second career

There are many reasons why people change careers as adults. Your company may be downsizing. You may be seeking something new and challenging. You may just be working with the wrong leaders. Regardless of your reasons, workers today have the ability now more than ever to get a new degree to add flexibility to their careers or even to start on a new one.

Where to start

The decision to go back to school isn’t easy. And once you make that decision, there’s still a lot to do. Start with choosing a degree program, college, and instructional format. Are you seeking a new career or to advance your current one? What colleges or universities offer degrees in that area? Do you prefer to learn in a traditional, face-to-face program, or would you be open to an online degree program? Online programs have been expanding and have been a viable option for going back to school–you can get an online computer science degree, a sports medicine degree, or learn game design online. Answering those questions helps you decide where to apply.

Dr. Crystal Ladwig headshot
Dr. Crystal Ladwig

Contact admissions offices at each college you’re interested in to find out what you need to do to apply. There may be entrance exams that you need to take, letters of reference you need to acquire, or other steps appropriate for an adult returning to school. Explore your financial aid options as well. There are ways to cut costs, some designed especially for workers returning to school.

Finally, start organizing your time for the coming year. You can work full time, raise a family, and go to school, but it takes planning and organization. There are more options than ever for adults going back to school. Explore your reasons and options, seek guidance from admissions officers, and get ready to soar!

Dr. Crystal Ladwig has taught online and face-to-face college courses for 20 years. She specializes in training future teachers and researches the training of teachers to work with students with challenging behaviors.

40th College Television Awards Submission Period Begins Sept. 5

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College Television Awards logo

The Television Academy Foundation Awards Ceremony Celebrates Student-Produced Programs From Colleges Nationwide. The submission period for the Television Academy Foundation’s 40th College Television Awards is Sept. 5 through Oct. 3, 2019.

Each year hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students, representing colleges and universities nationwide, submit their media projects to television’s most prestigious student competition—the Television Academy Foundation’s College Television Awards.

The College Television Awards honors achievement in student-produced programs and will feature stars from today’s top television shows presenting awards to winners at the red-carpet awards ceremony.

Emulating the Emmy® Awards selection process, entries for the College Television Awards are judged by Television Academy members. Top honors and a $3,000 cash prize will be presented to winning teams in eight categories: drama, comedy, animation, nonfiction, promotional, news, sports and variety. The College Television Awards also includes two additional, donor-supported, categories: the Seymour Bricker Humanitarian Award and the Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the nominees will take part in a three-day television summit hosted by the Television Academy Foundation. The summit, designed to enhance professional development, will feature panel discussions, studio tours and networking opportunities with industry executives and Academy members.

The College Television Awards often serves as an entry point for a career in television for nominees and winners. Past alumni have worked as editors, writers, producers and other positions on programs including Ray Donovan, The Handmaid’s Tale, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, CBS This Morning, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Grey’s Anatomy, 60 Minutes, Empire and many more.

For additional information, visit TelevisionAcademy.com/CTA.

To read the complete article continue on to The Patch.

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge Unveils New Origami Exhibit with STEM Focus

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Young girl proudly holding an origami that she made

WonderWorks, located in Pigeon Forge, is adding more fun and educational opportunities. The new feature will have an origami exhibit that has an education focus on math (STEM).

The STEM exhibit will introduce people to how math is related to the art of origami. The new exhibit is available to the public that began on August 25, 2019, and is included with the regular admission price.

“The origami exhibit just adds another element to help us achieve our core objectives as a company,” says Ed Shaffer, general manager for WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge. “We always strive to make sure our guests have fun and make memories to cherish, but we also hope they learn a little something along the way.”

The origami exhibit is education-focused, providing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities. Origami, which originated in Japan, is the art of folding paper in a sequence to get a particular shape. What many people don’t realize is that origami has a strong connection with math and can help kids understand math concepts better. This is because origami designs contain complex geometric patterns, angles, and shapes. Origami is believed to help improve student’s skills, by strengthening their understanding of geometry, fractions, and improving problem solving skills.

The origami exhibit will be a new addition to the Gallery of Wonders, which currently also offers a series of optical illusion artwork pieces that will adorn the attractions  second floor. The artwork pieces contain hidden objects, riddles, and will challenge people. Optical illusions trick the eye and give people a chance to explore different perspectives.

“Educational value is a big part of our attraction. With a constant stream of school groups and field trips of all kinds, we are always looking for ways to engage the students and assist our teachers in making the most out of their visit with us, ”added Shaffer.

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge offers 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” opportunities, billing itself as an amusement park for the mind. They offer over 100 hands-on exhibits covering natural disasters, space discovery, an imagination lab, a physical challenge zone, a far out art gallery, and a light and sound zone. WonderWorks is open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, log onto their site: wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge/.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, a science focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits – there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71mph hurricane–force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make huge, life–sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment in our Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity. Nail it by lying on the death–defying Bed of Nails. Conquer your fear of heights on our indoor Glow-In-The-Dark Ropes Course. WonderWorks is also home to Wonders of Magic, starring Terry Evanswood, the award-winning and longest running performer in Pigeon Forge. WonderWorks hosts birthday parties and special events seasonally. Open daily from 9 a.m. until midnight. wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge

Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Conference

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Great Minds in STEM Flyer with details for the event

Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) invites you to the 31st Annual Conference taking place September 25-29, 2019 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

The GMiS Conference is the nation’s most prestigious stage for building and reinforcing networks and honoring excellence. The place where top executives, innovative professionals, and the brightest STEM students convene.

GMiS draws thousands of diverse high caliber STEM students from a broad array of institutions, including top‐ranked U.S. News & World Report Institutions, Research I Institutions, and Minority‐Serving Institutions.

Network with over 3000 STEM executives, college students and recruiters from all major industries and sectors. Secure an internship, fellowship or full time career!

Click here for a full flyer view.

For more information,  visit  greatmindsinstem.org .

Apply For The Reaching Out MBA (ROMBA) Fellowship Sponsored by ADP

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The Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA Fellowship (ROMBA) was created as a joint effort between top business school programs and Reaching Out to demonstrate that business schools are the top destination to develop the out LGBTQ and active ally business leaders of tomorrow.

​The LGBTQ MBA Fellowship recipients each receive a minimum of $10,000 scholarship per academic year or $20,000 total scholarship, and also receive access to exclusive mentorship and leadership development programming through Reaching Out. 55 members of The Class of 2019 will collectively receive over $1,300,000 for each year of their MBA experience!

Click here for full view of flyer

Learn more about the fellowship at reachingoutmba.org