ITTIP's Dec 2012/Jan 2013 Newsletter

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ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

December 2012/January 2013

Monthly Megabite Digispired Student’s Celebrate November 3rd marked not only a very special moment for Digispired students, parents, and facilitators, but also for Longwood University and ITTIP staff. On this special day, over 100 people got together at Longwood University to celebrate the graduation of 65 students from the six-year long project, Digispired. The evening opened with ITTIP’s director, Dr. Mano Talaiver, the Digispired grant’s principal investigator, offering words of excitement for the future of these students. She shared some of the exciting future plans of the Digispired students, including that 100% of these seniors plans to attend college after graduation this year. Ninety-two percent of the students that have been part of the Digispired program for the full six years plan to major in STEM fields including computAbove: Students shared their er science and biomedical engineering.

Up-Coming Events Dec 17th Longwood University - Jan 1st Closed for Winter Break Jan 24th 6th Annual STEM Summit

What to find in this month’s Megabite: Page 1 Digispired Graduation Page 2 HP Grant Awarded to ITTIP Page 3 ITTIP Conference Presentations Page 4 INSPIRS: Cohort III Page 5 VSTE

Digispired experiences with the audience.

Several students then took center stage Page 5 Celebrating Computer Science Week to speak to the audience about their experiences, including some of their favorite moments and projects. Some students even talked about how Digispired has changed their views of working with others and their future plans in STEM education and careers. Continued on page 3

Enabling Today’s Teachers to Educate Tomorrow’s Leaders 1

ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

December 2012/January 2013

HP Grant Awarded to ITTIP ITTIP is proud to announce their newest grant award for Inquiry and Design Learning Experiences for Adults and Teens as New Learners from the HP Catalyst Leadership fund. This international project will be a partnership with Northern Arizona University, Southside Virginia Regional Technology Consortium, Lady Doak College (India), Agastya International Foundation (India), Leo Matriculation School (India), University of South Hare (South Africa), Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa), and the Mozilla Foundation open badge projects. The grant will provide support for creating three online teacher training modules. They will be designed to primarily train teachers in science pedagogy. The modules, which will be similar to massive open online courses (MOOC), will be offered beginning June 2013 and will accommodate up to 1,000 participants, most of whom are expected to be teachers. The impact is expected to influence 10,000-20,000 students around the world. One module will focus on how science and language arts teachers can develop inquiry skills. The other two modules will focus on Scratch—one will provide an introduction for K-4 teachers on using Scratch in the classroom on the beginner level, the other will be about how any teacher can introduce computer science concepts using Scratch. The grant will also make it possible to expand on an existing after-school program for students at Dinwiddie County Middle School that involve working with Scratch and LilyPad Arduino. The face to face training for teachers will begin in early January for the LilyPad. The project is expected to last two years and is ITTIP’s second HP Catalyst Initiative grant. The first project, GIST, which also involved international collaboration, began in 2010 and ended earlier this year. ITTIP is looking forward to begin implementation of this project with just as much success, if not more, than their previous HP Catalyst Initiative.

2013 STEM Video ITTIP takes Technology Game Challenge Around the World The National STEM Video Game Challenge is an annual competition that gets children interested in STEM learning by engaging student’s into making video games. Middle and high school students across the country are challenged to create original video games on any subject matter of interest to them, individually or as teams, and to submit their games for the chance to win significant and meaningful recognition for themselves and their communities. Key sponsors for the Challenge include: AMD Foundation, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). New partners include: the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Hive NYC Learning Network. Outreach partners and mentors supporting youth and teacher participation include: BrainPop, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting PBS KIDS Ready To Learn Initiative, Learning Games Network and Edmodo. Last year more than 3,700 middle and high school youth from around the United States participated in the 2012 Challenge. The 2013 Challenge will launch in January with a new website that will include game design tools, activities, and resources for students and mentors. Challenge your students by visiting the website to find out more about how you can make this an opportunity to integrate STEM into your classroom: 2

ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

December 2012/January 2013


ITTIP Conference Presentations

(continued from page 1) After a sit down dinner with students and their guests, ITTIP welcomed the guest speaker, Tyreek Moore. Mr. Moore is a graduate from Harvard University and Boston University, and currently the President of Absolutions IT. In his speech, he told his stories to the students and families about the importance of perseverance, patience, and hard work in his life. He also spoke very strongly about the importance of building skills and taking advantage of opportunities, such as the one that these students took advantage of participating in Digispired. He reminded them that this should be a huge part of their professional portfolios as they move forward into college and careers. His presentation was very well received, as students and parents waited in line to talk to him in person after the celebration.

Above: Guest speaker, Tyreek Moore, talks to the students and parents about perseverance.

After Mr. Moore’s inspiring speech, students were called up individually to receive their Digispired trophy’s and gifts to finish celebrating the evening. It was a very emotional moment for many of the these students, parents and facilitators of this program

to see it coming to an end. As the graduation celebration came to an end and guests began to leave, students stuck around to share their projects and talk with their peers. ITTIP has created a Digispired alumni Facebook page so these students can keep in touch as they venture into to their exciting futures.

Last month ITTIP’s staff was able to present at two different conferences, both held at the Williamsburg Marriot. The first conference was at the beginning of the month. This was the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) conference, held every year and attracting over 800 of K-12 Science teachers in Virginia. ITTIP’s staff presented four different workshops. The first workshop was to showcase the integration of computer science with middle and high school students. The use of Scratch and LilyPad Arduino were the main focus of this presentation. The presenters modeled how the code involved in both of these programs could be used. Participants were informed of the online training resources to assist them in using these resources in their classrooms, as well as how to access the presentations. The LilyPad Arduino presentation was show in more detail during a second workshop at VAST.

Above: Participants work together to build their structures, given materials to choose from and building perimeters.

The third showcase was on VA STEM CoNNECT, a collaborative grant effort with 7 other universities. During the presentation, participants got a hands-on experience with a STEM activity observed previously in a classroom in Dinwiddie County by ITTIP. The presentation included the sharing of a LiveBinder with additional information and materials on VA STEM CoNNECT, the engineering design process, and the modeled STEM activity materials, including a student rubric. The fourth workshop presentation was done at both VAST and Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (VASCD). It focused on our grant, ITSI-SU, with Concord Consortium and three other partnering States: Kansas, Iowa, and Alaska Continued on page 5


ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

December 2012/January 2013

ITTIP: Still Recruiting for INSPIRS Longwood Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) is still seeking recruitment for Integrating Nature of Science and Physical Science in Rural Schools (INSPIRS). The grant will provide professional development for middle school Physical Science teachers. Topics will include the Nature of Science, content required in the Physical Science SOL, and inquiry based learning techniques integrating technology. Activities for this blended learning experience will include two face-to-face Saturdays, 25 hours of online learning resources, and 5 hours of independent hands-on learning through the Winter/Spring of 2013. Stipends, probeware and recertification points will be rewarded to participants. For the full description of the program and it’s activities, please visit our website article. If you are already aware of the opportunity, but have not signed up yet, please go to to register. The deadline for registration is January 7, 2013.

Celebrating Computer Science Week Did you know that the U.S. House of Representatives chose December 9th-15th, 2012 as Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) this year? The week is designated to recognize the importance of computer science as a necessity in education at all levels. ITTIP helped celebrate this special week by hosting an open house on Wednesday, December 11 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the office in South Boston. The event had several exciting technologies to explore including a 3D projection system, a video conferencing system, a Promethean ActivTable, and a SmartBoard. Digispired students that were present also showcased their computer science projects created with Unity 3D, Scratch, and the LilyPad Arduino to the guests that came to celebrate computer science week. Participants walked around and experienced some of the tools that ITTIP uses to explore, encourage and engage students in computer science. Jason Kirkhart of Beetoobi IT Solutions and Paul Nichols of VASS also showcased computer science information and tools for participants to Above: Digispired stuexplore and enjoy. As participants went to each station dent, Allen Scott explains they received a sticker on a card for their involvement to his LilyPad project to Dr. receive a parting gift when they left. Handouts, articles Glenn Dardick of Longand brochures on computer science and the Institute wood University. Above: ITTIP employee, Christina Keeney were also made available to community members for and Digispired student Hannah Throckmorfurther information. Special guests included former delegate Ted Bennett and Senator Frank Ruff. Additionally, Longwood University’s Dr. Glenn Dardick, Director of Cyber Security Center & Dr. Robert Marmorstein, Assistant Professor of Computer Science attended the event.


ton models the Promethean ActivTable to Senator Frank Ruff, Bob McKay of the Lake Country Distance Education Center (LCDEC) in Clarksville and Jimmy Popek of Halifax County School’s .

ITTIP Monthly Newsletter

December 2012/January 2013

Digispired Students Visit VSTE Eleven Digispired students showcased their Scratch, Unity 3D and LilyPad Arduino projects at the VSTE Conference in Virginia Beach on Sunday, December 2, 2012. The students set-up in the Digital Sandbox area of the VSTE conference which focuses on mobile learning, virtual environments, games and simulations, gadgets, and STEM activities. The students gave demonstrations of their projects for conference attendees as they came to the Digital Sandbox. Dr. Mano Talaiver and Barbara Scott from ITTIP accompanied the students to VSTE for this event. Computers from ITTIP were set up for the students to talk about the games they created in Scratch and Unity 3D, while participants were Above: Hoyle Wang demoninvited to play the games. In addition, the LilyPad strates Scratch. projects were admired by attendees. Digispired students shared how they put their e-textile products together, as well as shared the computer programming that was involved Above: Student attendees from in making their product illuminate. Digispired.

Students attending included: Vashaun Brandon, Halifax County; Jay Garrett, Dinwiddie County; Josh Lacks, Charlotte County; Jacob Maskal, Prince Edward County; Zack Raney, Halifax County; Allen Scott, Halifax County; Cody Short, Buckingham County; Larry Taylor, Halifax County; Tom Walsh, Charlotte County; Hoyle Wang,

ITTIP Conference Presentations (continued from page 3) During the ITSI-SU presentation, participants learned about the free online interface packed with science inquiry lessons for grades 3-12. Lessons include built in models and simulations, while others integrate the use of probeware. Some integrate both! The participants were given the opportunity to create a login and try an activity. ITTIP provided computers, probeware, and lesson materials in order for learners to get the full effect of the online lessons. It was also announced that ITTIP plans to work with a fourth cohort of teachers in the summer of 2013. ITTIP presents at conferences, but remember staff is also available to present to divisions. If you are interested in ITTIP providing staff development to your division or school, please contact us at 434-517-0717 to inquire about availability. Above: Participants try the Penny Warm- Note: Most of ITTIP presentations can be found on our website under Learning ing activity on the ITSI-SU site using the Resources. temperature GoLink.