Spark Network Round Up for August 23, 2012

Check out the weekly Round Up to catch up with network and national news, as well as scope out awesome local opportunities!

Spark Fellowship Program Launches

Apply by September 17 to be one of the first Spark Fellows!

Spark Fellowships support emerging researchers, technologists, writers, educators, and others to explore faculties of learning at the intersection of digital media learning (DML) and do it yourself (DIY). In 2012-2013, up to two fellows will be chosen to receive $15,000 to research, write, and execute a research project that focuses on remixing youth participation in civic dialogue. Learn more and apply for the Spark Fellowship!

Network News

Students Work to Resolve the Panic at the Point

Students of Upper St. Clair High School and neighboring districts recently competed in a STEM focused challenge. Their mission was to use robotics, chemistry, or biotechnology to gather information, assess damage and risks, and discover the perpetrator of a fictional bioterrorist attack on the Point! Read more about the challenge on online.

Alien Assignment App Earns Five Stars

The Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College’s newest app, Alien Assignment, received a five star rating from Common Sense Media. It is said to be a fantastic educational app that engages children, while connecting them with their parents. Common Sense Media calls it “a must have” for family fun!

Elsewhere on the Web

YogiPlay provides “Confident Parenting on your mobile device”

With more than 600 apps already rated for ages 2-8, YogiPlay is revolutionizing the way children learn on mobile devices. Explore their online catalog of apps to connect parents and children.

GenerationOn inspires youth volunteerism

Tapping into a new spirit of service and using new tools for engagement, GenerationOn is the global youth service movement igniting the power of all kids to make their mark on the world.

Pennsylvania Drops Degree Requirements for Superintendent

A new law will drop the requirement for district superintendents to have a graduate degree in education. Rather, candidates for superintendents will be considered if they possess a graduate degree in business, finance, management or law, and have related experience. Read more about what this means for state education here.

Romney’s Running Mate Threatens Budget Cuts to Education

Since Mitt Romney announced his running mate to be Paul Ryan, there has been much talk of deep cuts to education from early childhood to college level. Ryan’s long term plan is faced with the opposition of President Obama’s plan, each providing their own significant solution to the budget crisis. Check out more about budget threats and presidential education positions here.

Alleyoop Introduces Additional STEM Focused Courses

The online college prep tutoring site created by Pearson, Alleyoop, has added a selection of new STEM-focused partners to its course offerings. This gamification model for curriculum features real-time tutors, instructional videos, and a “personalized, iterative, and adaptive” system. To learn more about Alleyoop’s new offerings, visit MindShift.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, August 29: 2012 Pittsburgh STEM Summit

With a mission to support our region’s highly qualified workforce now and in the future, the 2012 Pittsburgh STEM Summit features presentations by Kids+Creativity Network members from South Fayette School District, Winchester Thurston, and the Questyinz project!

Monday, September 3: Consructing Identity – Dying Fabrics

This is one of the few remaining Constructing Identity workshops put on by the PGLCC and local artist Scott Andrew. At this workshop, teens will create a garment and learn how to dye the fabric as well as use a sewing machine to do basic stitching. Don’t miss this fun opportunity, coming up on September 3rd!

Friday, September 7: Spark Meet Up at The Warhol

Join The Sprout Fund and K+C Network Members for an evening of creativity and conversation as we gather at The Studio at The Andy Warhol Museum. The event includes drinks, light snacks, and silkscreening, promising to be a fun night! Registration for this Spark Meet Up is limited- be sure to RSVP early!

Friday, September 15: SparkTruck Visits The Children’s Museum

The SparkTruck, a cross-country touring truck of toys and tools, will be stopping in Pittsburgh from September 11th through September 15th. On the 15th, the truck will be at The Children’s Museum from 11am until 5pm. There will be a demonstration of all the tools and tricks in the truck, followed by a hands-on workshop. Registration is required for the workshop.

Friday, September 21-Saturday, September 22: PAEYC Annual Conference

Don’t forget to register for the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) Annual Conference. This two day event will feature sessions that enhance, advance and support the understanding that play is at the core of developmentally appropriate practice and is the foundation of development and learning. Register yourself today!

Published August 23, 2012