School Provides Hands-On Learning For Earth Day

Students and teachers at Spring Creek Christian School will be learning outside of the classroom for the next two weeks.


The lead teacher says students will start out their week learning about where energy comes from.


Then a member from the Delta Montrose Electric Association will have the kids help with an energy audit of the entire facility.


They will learn how much energy is used in electricity and in computers and ways to use them efficiently. 


Parents say this is a great way to learn more about saving the environment.


"I knew that this will be a life memorable experience for my child and the students here because they are going to get hands on learning that they just couldn't get in a classroom reading about environmental awareness," said parent Melissa Hannah.


Teachers say the goal is to have students answer the question, why would we want to save energy?  >> READ MORE 

Schools add art to STEM curricula
It's a challenge tackled by engineers in the space program: Design a garment that can withstand a certain level of heat.

But next school year, students from Palm Bay High School in Melbourne, Fla., will be the ones trying to find the solution.


Thanks to a partnership with NASA, students will be designing prototypes in engineering classes, deconstructing space garments used in fashion design courses, testing materials in chemistry labs, and writing about the project for English assignments.


Across the nation, many schools are taking steps to integrate different academic disciplines, part of a growing effort to better connect science and technology with innovative thinking.

In Brevard County in Florida, four schools are rolling out new "STEAM" magnet programs. The acronym takes STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - and adds an "A'' for Art.

Teachers say STEAM programs are about exploring students' creativity. In biology class, for example, teacher Lauren Feronti asked students to create models of DNA after extracting it from a strawberry, or draw the anatomy of a fetal pig before they dissect it.  


"It's more fun," says freshman Micheal Mingo of the hands-on assignments. "It grabs your attention."


While there's a place for textbooks and structured labs, the initiative breaks away from traditional methods to more fully engage students.


The idea is to nudge students beyond their comfort zones, to not limit themselves to just being "analytical" or "creative," or only "left-brained" or "right-brained."  >> READ MORE 


Bringing Low-Income Students Into STEM Education

In January, as part of the White House's summit on college opportunity, the Posse Foundation announced a bold five-year scholarship initiative to educate 500 low- or moderate-income students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines at 10 leading American colleges and universities, including Franklin & Marshall College (F&M).

Powered by $70 million of investment from the colleges and the Posse Foundation, this project should be cause for celebration across the country, but especially in the cities from which the scholars will be drawn like Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston and New York.


Future generations may well recognize this project as an important turning point in American higher education. Why do I say this?


First, because America urgently needs to create the next generation of STEM leaders from the full array of talented students nationwide. The United States owes much of its global leadership to our ability to educate extraordinary scientists, engineers, and innovators. To cite just one example, Wanda Austin - CEO of the Aerospace Corporation, which is responsible for the Pentagon's satellites and space programs - is a Bronx-born F&M math major, and the first in her family to go to college.  >>READ MORE 

Prince William capital improvements plan includes 20 new schools

In the next 10 years, Prince William County school officials plan to build 20 schools, complete an extensive renovation at one school and build additions to 11 schools.


The school board recently adopted its capital improvements plan, which includes plans for school construction projects to be built now through fiscal 2024.


The plan is based on enrollment projections for the county's elementary, middle and high schools.


As of Sept. 30, 2013, 85,055 students were enrolled in county schools, up 1.8 percent from 2012 enrollment, according to school division enrollment data. School officials are projecting that enrollment will reach 87,108 students next year, and will climb by more than 10,500 students in the next five years.


To make room for more students, school officials plan to build new schools and, where possible, to build classroom additions to existing schools, according to the capital improvements plan.


In September, two new schools, Haymarket Elementary School and The Nokesville School, a kindergarten through eighth grade school, are slated to open. Additions to River Oaks Elementary and Parkside Middle schools and a renovation at Dumfries Elementary School are also slated to be complete for September 2014.   >> READ MORE 

STEM project makes fifth-graders into boatwrights

Right now, it's all about teamwork. Come May 22, it will be all about trust.


That's what fifth-grade students at Farmington View Elementary School are learning this spring while building an 11-foot skiff.


Add to that lessons in engineering, design, the basics of buoyancy, measuring and math, woodworking and power tool safety, and the eager fifth-graders have quite a project on their hands. 


Enter Peter Crim, executive director of Wind & Oar Boat School, a nonprofit organization that teaches youngsters how to build boats.


Crim is leading the effort in the school's engineering lab, where the students were recently getting ready to put the bottom on their boat.


On May 22, students will test the seaworthiness of their shiny new watercraft at Tualatin River Farm on Southwest Minter Bridge Road. Each of the 36 students in Ms. Aldrich's class will have a chance to take a turn in the three-person boat.   >> READ MORE 

M. H. West & Co., Inc.'s Young Entrepreneur Program has won the Norfolk Education Foundation's Collaborative Award. The award was presented at their 7th Annual Together In Education Awards Gala & Silent Auction.

M. H. West & Co., Inc. has designed its Young Entrepreneur Program with this in mind. The Young Entrepreneur Program helps youth experience the journey felt by individuals in becoming business owners and in the process pick up skills and guidance that they can use inside and outside of the classroom.


The program ties to standards of learning of the state or jurisdiction where the program is implemented. The program can be offered as an enrichment program over several weeks or an extended period to elementary, middle and high school students. Discussions matter and the program revolves around small and large group participation, individual study, internet research, media presentations, roleplaying and site visits.


1. Laying the Groundwork
2. Turning Ideas into Action
3. Preparing the Business Plan
4. Opening the Business
5. Evaluating Progress

* Elementary, Middle and High School Students
* Girls and Boys Club Members
* After School Students
* Summer Camp Participants
* Youth Reentry Citizens
* Administrative, Teaching & Support Staff

* On-Site Program Delivery
* Technical Assistance for Program Development
* Professional Development for Program Staff

Read More About the Young Entrepreneur Program

If you are interested in learning more about the Young Entrepreneurs Club for your school or organization, please contact Marilyn West at 804.782.1938 or
Build your school's spirit with a large, custom display banner. Call M. H. West & Co., Inc. for pricing and size options. (804.782.1938)

Angel Angle's Aunt Angel Ate Eight Apples


Jumping Jack Joined Jack Jump Jumping


Little Lonnie Little Liked Licorice


Creepy Critters Crammed Clara's Clutch

School Plants Outdoor Garden, Aquaponics System for Hands-On Learning

Students at The Meadows Elementary School in DeSoto are getting their hands dirty - literally.


A once grassy space on the northwest corner of the DeSoto ISD campus was transformed this year into a raised-bed teaching garden.


Inside the school, an old girls locker room - a junk room for the last four years - was made over to house an aquaponics system, a fish-powered garden that converts fish waste to fertilize plants grown hydroponically.


The garden and the aquaponics system opened in early March.  >>READ MORE 

Educators Learn Lessons in STEM Skills and 3-D Printing
Training at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) is providing dozens of teachers in 12 counties across West Virginia the tools and skills they need to deliver interactive lessons to their students, according to a news release.

In collaboration with NASA Independent Verification and Validation's Educator Resource Center, RCBI and Marshall University's June Harless Center delivered a one-day workshop on April 5 which provided training on the NASA Museum-in-a-Box program as well as information about the role of 3-D printing in K-12 classrooms. The exercises encourage students to consider career opportunities with innovative, leading-edge technology. >>READ MORE 
U.S. Department of Education Awards More than $33 Million to Local Education Agencies and Community-based Organizations to Develop Physical Education and Nutrition Programsr

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and community-based organizations that plan to implement comprehensive, integrated physical activity and nutrition programs for their students through the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). Funding is intended to assist these entities with initiating, expanding, or enhancing physical education and nutrition education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grades. Through these programs, it is expected that students will develop an appreciation for lifelong, healthy nutrition and physical education habits, and make progress toward meeting their state standards for physical education.


"A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. "These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.">>READ MORE 



Improving Teacher Recruitment and Retention Through Schoolwide Change
April 29, 2 PM EST

Flipped Learning for Students and Teachers
April 30, 2PM EST

Using Video Games to Assess Students' Noncognitive Skills May 6, 2PM EST

Making Digital Curricula Meaningful
May 13, 2PM EST

Blended Learning in the Math Classroom
May 20, 2PM EST
"The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share."
- Lady Bird Johnson
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