Two graduate students developed a computer model of how fairy circles form. In their model, the interaction of termites and vegetation caused the development of fairy circles and another smaller scale pattern between fairy circles that no one before had see. The two students went to the desert of Namibia to look for this secondary pattern and found it. While not "proof" of how the Namibian fairy circles were formed, the finding furthers our understanding of pattern development in nature in
The New Mexico chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association has been hard at work proposing legislation that would make CS count towards high school graduation as a math or science credit. Spearheaded by CSTA-NM President Paige Prescott, the bill was two years in the making and had the support of industry, universities and the Public Education Department. Sponsored by Representative
Photo (from left): Kathy Keith, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Community Partnerships Office and Supercomputing Challenge winners Theo Goujon, Lisel Faust, Ramona Park, Rowan Cahill (GUTS alumni), and their teachers Hope Cahill (former GUTS club leader) and Brian Smith, and Shaun Cooper, the awards ceremony MC.
This is a fantastic article about how Computer Science education is embraced and supported in the small town of Melrose, NM. It highlights the work of Alan Dougherty (science teacher, and bus driver for the district) as he leads student teams to compete in the Supercomputing Challenge. Alan was a participant in the NM-CSforAll PD program and a past participant in Project GUTS PDs offered in concert with the Supercomputing Challenge.
This Education Week blog article describes a dearth of curricula that are aligned to the NGSS standards. Notably, it points out the need for PD side by side with new curricula, "Previous efforts to produce science materials for teachers often yielded great results— but neglected professional development. The developers of new curricula need to see these as intertwined, rather than separate, Short said, with supports built in so teachers feel safe trying out new things."
The Girl Scouts of America are offering 23 new badges focused on STEM areas. In the photo is Sylvia Acevedo, right, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA (and former NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist) from Las Cruces, NM! She says ""My troop leader looked at me and saw me looking at the stars, and she taught me that there were constellations, she taught me there were systems and patterns to the stars.
This article describes a research study that asked "Do viral videos spread in the same way as infectious diseases?" The study minimized the impact of geographical distance as a measure and looked at the linkages and spread of disease. They found that indeed the spread of a viral video had characteristics similar to the traditional "wave pattern" of contagion spread.
Project GUTS teacher and supporter Sheena Vaidyanathan wrote a terrific article for EdSurge on "Why Computer Science Belongs in Every Science Teacher's Classroom" (November 16, 2013). She focuses on data analysis and computer modeling and simulation as NGSS practices that can be "brought to life" with tools like StarLogo Nova. Project GUTS was recommended as a place to get
Project GUTS, in collaboration with the MIT AppInventor team and University of Massachusetts Lowell, have developed a Data Science activity for this year's Hour of Code. It's geared towards students in 6th grade and older and features crowd-sourced data collection through the Pop Culture app (on an Android phone) and data analysis in
This year, Paige Prescott and Sheena Vaidyanathan will be representing Project GUTS at the CS Ed Week Kickoff conference in San Mateo, CA. The organizers are expecting to have around 100 district administrators from all over the country at the event. Project GUTS will have a booth at the showcase to talk to attendees about how they can implement computer science in science at their schools/districts.
In this article, Peter Denning recounts the origin of computational science, a meld of computer science and science. He states "scientists who used computers found themselves routinely designing new ways to advance science. They became computational designers as well as experimenters and theoreticians" and "computational thinking emerged from within scientific fields—it was not imported from computer science.