KLRU Educational Services receives grant funds from Summer STEM Investment Hub

Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub

For the fourth consecutive year, KLRU Educational Services will work alongside 12 other partners to provide quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer experiences for low-income youth in Central Texas. The Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub, a collaborative of 13 funding partners, has dedicated not only funding, but professional development and research expertise to tackle two important challenges: a summer “slide” in skills for low-income youth relative to their higher-income peers, and the desire to grow a local workforce for future Central Texas STEM-related jobs.

KLRU has three chief roles in this Summer STEM work:

  • to determine how KLRU’s digital assets, including equipment and digital media resources, can complement the work of each partner for on-site use
  • to provide resources to youth and their families to extend the learning achieved into the remainder of the summer through our vast collection of online and app-based resources
  • to hold discussions with youth and their families about summer screen use. We know that screen use goes way up during the summer months. We wish to help families strive for a healthy balance of “smart” and “silly” screen time, along with other activities for all members of the family.

The grantees are:

Design Connect Create
UT Austin TACC
UT Austin Dell Medical School
UT Austin UTeach Outreach
AISD Eastside Memorial Vertical Team
AISD STAARburst
AISD Akins High School
KLRU Educational Services
Campfire USA
Girlstart
Hill Country Science Mill
Harmony Science Academy
Welcome Table

The Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub partners are:  KDK-Harman Foundation, KLE Foundation, Webber Family Foundation, Topfer Family Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Intel Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and IBM.

Literacy Links provides PBS resources to Oak Springs Elementary students

The Austin Chapter of The Links, Incorporated Literacy Links Program was a huge hit with the 1st – 3rd graders at Oak Springs Elementary School of Austin ISD. On December 19th, members of the organization shared Electric Company magazines and resources from klrukids.org with 120 students in 7 classrooms. The materials were IMG_27811STEAM-focused and intended to equip students with resources for continued educational development over the Winter Break.  Students who brought their completed magazines when they returned to school in January received special recognition for the accomplishment. 

The Austin (TX) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.  They serve the Travis, Williamson, Hays, Blanco, Caldwell, and Bastrop counties. The Literacy Links Program’s goal is to emphasize closing the elementary achievement gap by promoting effective literacy practices.

Austin Teacher Receives National PBS Recognition!

2013 ADE North America InstitutePBS LearningMedia has just announced its 2016 National Digital Innovators, and for the second consecutive year, an outstanding faculty member from Westlake High School is on the list. Lisa Johnson is Westlake HS’s Educational Technologist, helping teachers fold cutting-edge digital media into instruction and student creations. Her passion for teaching + technology has resulted in her alter ego “TechChef.” As TechChef, Lisa maintains a TechChef4u blog, Co-hosts “Appy Hours 4 U” and “iVengers Radio”, and has co-authored the professional development ebook “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” with close to 20,000 international downloads.

As a LEAD Innovator, Johnson will travel to Denver to meet with Digital Innovators from across the country in order to share practices and advise PBS LearningMedia on effective uses.

Johnson’s own boys have grown up with Dinosaur Train, WordWorld, and Curious George. Her latest LearningMedia favorite is the Masterpiece Collection, both the original version and the Pinterest variation.

PBS-LearningMedia-Vertical-High-ResView the complete list of 2016 Digital Innovators here.

PBS LearningMedia provides PreK-12 educators with access to free digital content and professional development opportunities designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Currently, the site has over 100,000 resources from the PBS Archives and other important sources such as the National Archives. Learn more about this program at klru.pbslearningmedia.org

 

Update (April 13, 2016): An additional five local educators have been named Digital Innovators as well for 2016-2017. They are:

  • Mitch Fairchild – Sci-Tech Preparatory, Austin
  • Claire Grant – Lanier High School, Austin ISD
  • Diane Hance – Grisham Middle School, Round Rock ISD
  • Angela Tackett – Harmony School of Political Science and Communication, Austin
  • Ryan Torbey – Harmony School of Science, Austin

This group will receive one free year of online professional development options from PBS LearningMedia.

Austin student wins Emperor Science Award

DSC_4328 (1)

KLRU is thrilled to announce that Mathilda Nicot-Cartsonis, a LASA High School (Austin ISD) junior, has been named a winner of the national Emperor Science Award, a joint initiative by Stand Up to Cancer and PBS LearningMedia.

In addition to receiving a cash award and a Dell Chromebook, Nicot-Cartsonis will be working this summer with Dr. Jenny Chang, Director of the Methodist Hospital Cancer Center in Houston, TX.  Chang’s primary work investigates how to target then eradicate chemotherapy-resistant, tumor-initiating cells.

Nicot-Cartsonis, a self-professed fanatic of viruses since the age of 11, has an additional motivation for this quest. Her longtime ballet instructor and mentor, Alexandra Nadal, a co-founder of the Slavin Nadal School of Ballet and 2009 inductee into the Austin Arts Hall of Fame, died in 2015 of a type of cancer being researched by Dr. Chang. Nicot-Cartsonis plans to keep her dual scientist/dancer roles in her university studies.

The Emperor Science Award contest received almost 1,200 applications from 10th and 11th grade students from 40 states. Nicot-Cartsonis is one of 100 inaugural winners.

ESA_Logo PBS-LearningMedia-Vertical-High-Res

Update: Mathilda’s socks

DSC_4323

ELECTION CENTRAL outlines the political process

As part of the overarching PBS Election 2016 initiative, today PBS LearningMedia announced details about ELECTION CENTRAL, an online destination for educators to teach students about the political process.

The new site, created in collaboration between PBS LearningMedia and PBS NewsHour, will help teachers engage students in the political process, provide virtual field trip ideas and share a collection of election-themed resources to support history, civics and English curricula throughout the election year.

Among the main features of ELECTION CENTRAL will be an interactive map of the United States, providing educators with opportunities to engage students in various aspects of the political process. The map will also display important historical facts about the candidates, laws and process.

Content in ELECTION CENTRAL will be refreshed on a weekly basis and when timely events occur — for example, after debates or after primary elections. Features include:

  • Tracking the campaign trail of candidates, including current and previous candidates
  • Fun facts – general and state-specific
  • The history behind the vote
  • An explanation of the nominating process
  • Candidate views on key issues
  • Election-specific news stories curated from PBS NewsHour
  • Build your ideal presidential candidate interactive
  • Access to hundreds of related resources through PBS LearningMedia

Additional student-focused projects will be announced throughout the election year, including the Meet Me in DC contest, for which K-12 students design an election poster focusing on issues that are important in their local communities. Two grand prize winners (one K-5 and one K-6) will win a trip for two to Washington, DC, to tour the White House, explore the National Archives, watch Congress in session and visit the set of PBS NewsHour. Another contest, 50 for 50 , encourages students to write open letters to the 2016 presidential candidates with ideas on what needs to change in government. PBS will provide Social Studies teachers in grades 6-12 with a toolkit with resources to host in-class debates and give students the opportunity to discuss important issues with their peers.

For more information and educational resources, visit PBS LearningMedia’s website.

KLRU congratulates Westlake HS Teacher Natalie Cannon!

PBS-2015DigInnov-FeatureWell-700x394Cannon-Natalie

Central Texas educators continue to garner national attention from PBS LearningMedia!

Natalie Cannon is the latest educator to be named a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. Natalie teaches various levels of Latin at Westlake HS in Eanes ISD, and co-sponsors The WHS Latin Club. Natalie began teaching middle school at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School before moving to Westlake High School, where she has now taught for six years. Her favorite part of her job is finding productive uses for modern technology in order to enliven an ancient language for her students.

Over the next year, Natalie will take part in a professional development program that will prepare her to extend her influence as a digital learning ambassador in her school and community.

Natalie’s favorite PBS LearningMedia resource: A Roman’s Eye View

PBS LearningMedia is PBS’ digital archive of 100,000+ educational assets made available to educators and the US public – for free! In Central Texas, over 7,000 educators have to date created LearningMedia accounts for use in their classrooms and for their own interests. Teachers can build and archive lessons incorporating digital media, and a new student feature allows their students to create and display storyboards to demonstrate their knowledge.

Check out Central Texas’ prior LearningMedia Digital Innovator, Julie Hildebrand, here

 

Sandra Carswell, Librarian in Copperas Cove ISD, local winner in the PBS LearningMedia Get Your Tech On Sweepstakes!

Ms. Carswell, Librarian at S.C. Lee Junior High School in Copperas Cove, is the second local winner of a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and a one-year subscription to the Premium level of PBS LearningMedia. A 25-year veteran educator, Ms. Carswell started her career with an abiding love of reading, which she found morphing into an interest in technology and its potential for young learners.

Copperas Cove ISD has a “bring your own device” policy for its students. With that in mind, Ms. Carswell looks forward to furthering her proficiency on her Galaxy Tablet as she helps students find and use quality digital resources – like PBS LearningMedia.

Carswell with student

Aaron Higdon, Dahlstrom MS Teacher, wins Get Your Tech On Sweepstakes

KLRU Educational Services congratulates Aaron Higdon, the Gateway to Technology teacher at Dahlstrom Middle School in Buda. Aaron recently received a Samsung Galaxy tablet and a PBS LearningMedia Custom account. Here, he gives us some background and how he incorporates technology:

This is my 11th year as a teacher, two years in Houston ISD and nine in Hays CISD.  I taught middle school science, then math, now STEM.  This is my 4th year teaching STEM.

My students use Google apps all the time.  Each student has a gmail account that is managed through the district.  they use Google drive (and all the apps with that).  They’ve created Google sites to make engineering portfolios.  And, we’re now using Google Classroom to manage assignments and feedback.  We occasionally use other apps like Kahoot! on student devices.

Like Julie Hildebrand, our 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, we salute Aaron and his work, and we encourage all educators to submit an application now to be a 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator.

higdon

Educator Webinar with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.!

As the next in our series of Get Your Tech On educator events, PBS LearningMedia is thrilled to be joined by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard scholar and host of PBS’ Finding Your Roots, this Wednesday, 11/5 for a FREE webinar about how science and storytelling come together to reveal the rich histories of his guests. Invite educators to join and take local credit for providing direct access to this renowned scholar. A special thank you to Thirteen/WNET for making this event possible.

  • Finding Your Roots in the Digital Age | 11/5 at 6:30 pm ET | FREE Educator Event | Register Here!

finding_your_roots