From Chicago Tribune:
On December 5, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that “Star Wars” creator George Lucas has pledged $25 million over five years to After School Matters, the award-winning youth education program. According to current After School Matters president Mellody Hobson, the money would largely go to restore stipends paid to teens in apprenticeship programs in the arts, communications, science, technology and sports.
From Chicago Tribune:
A $1.8 million Google Global Impact Award will support future development of Zooniverse, the world’s leading citizen science initiative, which is led by Adler Planetarium and Oxford University. Zooniverse will use the money to rebuild its platform to make it easier for more science projects to take place and to help Adler extend the project to local schools and youth and community groups. Since 2007, the initiative has engaged almost 1 million volunteer scientists in projects ranging from classifying animals to searching for exoplanets.
From LA Times:
On December 10, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art announced the creation of the Art + Technology Lab, which will provide grants and lab space to artists who want to experiment with new technologies. Intended to foster innovative ideas and collaboration across disciplines and industries, the Lab is an update to the museum’s 50 year old Art and Technology program and is supported by Google and SpaceX.
From Go Local:
A team of researchers at EcoTarium, a science and nature center located in Worcester, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to integrate the science of urban systems into their new “City Science” exhibit. The project will develop prototype exhibits about the science people encounter in their everyday lives and explore the connections between cities and the people, plants, and animals that live in them. It will bring together staff from six other science museums in California and New England to review the exhibit prototypes and to discuss how their museums can develop new urban ecology exhibits.
From Washington Post:
As part of Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15), over 15 million students from 170 countries participated in “Hour of Code,” a nationwide campaign supported by President Obama and featuring free tutorials by Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates designed to get students interested in computer science. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade accessed lessons on Code.org, participated in sessions hosted by their schools, logged on at home, and attended events hosted at Apple and Microsoft retail stores. In addition to large participation in “Hour of Code,” Computer Science Education Week also saw efforts to increase math and science high school graduation requirements in Wisconsin and Alabama.
From Education Week:
On December 17, a panel of the National Research Council (NRC) proposed that states design testing systems that integrate several key types of science learning, and blend classroom-based assessments with state-level “monitoring” tests and gauges of students’ “opportunity to learn.” The proposal offers the panel’s ideas on how testing should change to reflect the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Instead of focusing on students’ knowledge of science facts, the NRC suggested assessment that would draw students into creating scientific models and generating and analyzing data, while also using state-level monitoring and looking for resources that affect students’ abilities to learn science in the ways set out in NGSS.
From Scientific American.
From Enterprise News;
On November 16, the Hall of Human Life opened at the Museum of Science in Boston. The exhibit is the museum’s largest permanent exhibit in twenty years and gives visitors the opportunity to gather data and conclusions about themselves by using wristbands with barcodes as they visit different stations. The data collected in the exhibit, which remains anonymous, will become part of the Hall of Human Life website. In addition to check-in stations, the exhibit features a small laboratory and films on epigenetics, immunity and the evolution of food. More information about the exhibit can be found here.