Saturday, August 17, 2013

3-D Design

Skyview STEM Module 2:
3-D design applications.

How do you convert a 2-D drawing to an "AutoCad" design? AutoCad stands for "AutoDesk Computer Aided Design." In 1982, AutoDesk invented a software program to help architects and design engineers draw blueprints on a computer to very exact specifications. AutoCAD is still the industry leader in CAD software, used by firms across the globe. The basics you learn in STEM will apply to the more detailed software you will learn in high school.

The computer takes your imputed shapes and instantaneously converts them into design manipulatives. You can then edit these shapes and easily convert them into a shape for printing on a 3-D plastics printer.

123D design tutorials for PC

This link will take you to YouTube site, where you can watch the various videos on how to use 123D Design app. The techniques on the videos will also apply to use on the classroom Dell computers.

You can download the apps free by going here:

You can always click the "help" or (i) buttons for tutorials or help.

Once you have watched the videos, start using the app.
Or, use the app as you go, learning each step of the way.

When accessing the 123D Design app on either the iPads or the Dell computers, you will need to use this login and password.

123D Design
My robot so far - about 3 hours of design work.
Login ID: skyviewstem
Password: titans12

Because we all share the cloud storage site, you will need to save your object as:


You can always create your own account on 123D Design. It is free and gives you 100MB of free storage.

Next stop - 3-D printing on the MakerBot Replicator 2

Watch this video....
Will 3D printing change the world?

How the MakerBot Replicator 2 works.
Hertz rental kiosk lets you customize a key ring using MakerBot technology

3-D Printing: Make anything you want.

Have fun!

Monday, July 22, 2013

STEM: Defying a Simple Definition

4/11/2012 - NSTA Reports—Jonathan Gerlach
 “STEM” is the acronym of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, when you pull that first layer away, you reveal the most elaborate puzzle in the education world. Most educators know what STEM stands for, but how many really know what it means?
STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009)
This definition raises many issues, though. My high school Advanced Placement composition teacher would be appalled by defining a term by using the same term in the definition! How do you define competing? Technology? Global enterprise? This definition is so vague that it leaves much up for interpretation.
When STEM was first introduced as “the next big thing,” the thoughts behind it basically centered around two issues. First, there was (and still is) a growing concern that the United States was not preparing a sufficient number of students, teachers, and practitioners in the STEM fields. Second, our industries need more workers in these fields due to an aging workforce and an increasingly innovative world market. STEM is constantly divided into these two categories: STEM education and STEM workforce, and rarely are the two discussed in conjunction.
As educators, we seem to consider STEM singularly from an educational perspective in which success in science and mathematics is increasingly important and technology and engineering are “integrated” when appropriate. When you start to divide STEM by subject (the silo approach), it gets even murkier. Can science and mathematics alone be STEM? Does using an electronic whiteboard during a lesson make it a STEM lesson? When my kindergarteners are playing with building blocks, is that a STEM center? If you ask 10 different science, mathematics, technology, and engineering teachers to define STEM, each will give you a very different and unique answer.
Inside education circles concerned with STEM, the silo approach creates a very incoherent conversation, yet one with growing urgency. A colleague of mine stated STEM was really trying to fill the jobs of the future. I would agree with that statement if it was made five years ago; today, though, I argue the future is already here, and we are unprepared. Educationally, we imagine STEM instruction as creating the next innovators, the superstars. We look for highly proficient students and try to increase their interest in these fields so that we develop the innovators of the future. Our goal is to get them through high school prepared for rigorous college coursework so they can become the leaders of tomorrow’s industry. Educationally we see STEM as a very specialized, high-tech field we are grooming our students to join. Industry, on the other hand, has a very unique view.
STEM from the workforce perspective is significantly different and more about grooming workers with 21st-century skills who are ready to jump right in. When teachers think about technology, we envision computers, touchscreens, and digital data-collection tools. This view differs from how technology was considered when STEM was first being discussed. Technology in industry is about thinking outside the box and using materials to solve problems. I was once told that scissors were a form of technology, and for industrial purposes, they really are. They were created to solve a problem: how to cut something more precisely. Problem-solving and developing quick and cost-effective solutions on the go are what industry is seeking in the next-generation workforce.
Biochemistry, engineering, computer programming, and emerging technologies are just a small sliver of what the STEM workforce needs. These positions require the most skills, and we need to continue developing students for these specialized fields, but we cannot forget the larger segment of industry that relies on STEM. Construction, transportation, and even the hospitality industry rely on a STEM-developed workforce. Whether it’s understanding how an engine works, or plotting trucking routes, the advanced level of technical knowledge and problem-solving capability needed for these positions have become obstacles that did not exist 10 years ago. This explains why industries view career and technical education as a key piece of STEM education. Students must be prepared for any path they choose in life, whether it is directly into a STEM career or studying a specialized STEM field in college.
I would amend Lander’s definition slightly: “Everybody who thinks they know what it means, knows what it means within their field, and everybody else is defining it to fit their own needs.” I think it is truly impossible to define STEM because it means so much for so many different groups of people. Whether it is researchers, science and mathematics teachers, the aerospace industry, or the construction industry, they all have one thing in common: It is about moving forward, solving problems, learning, and pushing innovation to the next level.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The need for STEM

No Time to Waste in Making STEM Education Work.
We must consolidate and properly fund programs in science, technology, engineering and math

From US News and World Report July 3, 2013

Although Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much today, they have a moral imperative to make progress where they do. One area for potential cooperation is in better educating our children in math and science. This is critical to keeping America competitive globally and creating good jobs here at home. And we all know that in an era of budget deficits, we will need to achieve better results without spending more. Both those goals can be met through bipartisan reforms in the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering and math. 

Despite spending nearly $3 billion annually on STEM education, America ranks 25th in math and 17th in science when compared to other countries on international assessments. A 2012 report from the Government Accountability Office found that 83 percent of federally funded STEM education efforts had duplicative elements. Today, 13 federal agencies run 226 different STEM programs. Most of them aren't coordinated and aren't accountable for results. They are more responsive to individual members of Congress than actual needs in the classroom or our economy.

As former Office of Management and Budget officials under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, we know firsthand that our government can increase its focus on rigorous evidence in STEM programs.

Bush started that work through the American Competitiveness Initiative and the America COMPETES Act, which targeted funding to critical areas like increasing the number of college graduates with STEM expertise. He also directed the first comprehensive survey of government STEM programs – a simple step that was sorely needed. And, through aggressive efforts at the Institute of Education Sciences, Bush, for the first time, established rigorous standards for looking past anecdotes and puffery to identify what actually works in education programs. 

Obama has built on these efforts. His latest budget proposal takes the key step of proposing to consolidate more than 100 STEM programs into larger initiatives that are geared toward specific, critical goals, like improving the quality of math and science instruction. More funding will flow to programs with more evidence of their effectiveness, using standards similar to those developed in the Bush administration.

In addition, STEM programs will operate in a framework that emphasizes evaluation – so that government can build on what works and change or stop what doesn't. The Institute on Education Sciences is now working hand-in-hand with the National Science Foundation and other science-focused agencies to establish more specific evidence standards that can apply across STEM programs.

While these efforts may seem like common sense, they are a major break from business as usual. Program duplication in the federal government abounds, and nearly every program has an owner in the executive branch and an owner in Congress. They fight to keep what they have. But things have to change, and the good news is that change has begun. Much of the leadership behind the current Obama administration proposal came from outstanding civil servants with whom both of us served. They understand that in this era of deficits and sequestration, the status quo is simply not sustainable. And at a time when bipartisanship is critical, members of Congress are giving the proposal a respectful hearing.

The truth is that these programs still allocate only a tiny fraction of taxpayer funding, even in areas like education where we have real evidence about what works and what doesn't. This means that taxpayers don't get the best return on their investments – and the people who are supposed to benefit from government programs don't either.

As Obama's current budget recognizes, this has to change. We have to build on the efforts made by both these presidents to consolidate low-performing programs and drive resources toward solutions that actually work.

Evidence-based policy isn't the most exciting subject, but it's one of the most important. And at a time when Americans are looking to Washington to stop bickering, these smart reforms are a good place to start. We don't have a second – or a dollar – to waste.

Robert Gordon served as the acting deputy director and executive associate director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama Administration. He is currently a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Robert Shea is a principal in the Grant Thornton LLP Global Public Sector where he leads the firm's Performance Management Community of Practice. Before joining Grant Thornton, Shea served as the associate director for Administration and Government Performance during the second George W. Bush Administration.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nova Elements iPad project


6th Grade Science 
Todd Seip-Instructor

Monday 10/1/12 thru Wednesday 10/3/12

Feel free to explore the buttons, look and play the interactive games and activities. But make sure that you have time to watch the required episodes and answer the questions.

Write these questions on a seperate sheet of paper. Answer them as you watch the videos. YOU WILL NEED THESE NOTES NEXT WEEK FOR THE TEST!

Chapter 1 (2:12) Introduction to the video
No questions to answer

Chapter 2 (10:53) Gold
1) How is Gold extracted from rock?
2)What qualities make Gold so unique and valuable? 
3) How much does a Gold bar weigh?

Chapter 3 (12:15) Copper and Bronze
1) Why is Copper used in plumbing pipes?
2)  Bronze is a combination of which two elements?
3) What gives Bronze its strength?
4) Why do Bronze Bells ring so well?

Chapter 4 ( 6:20 ) Microscopes
1) Name the microscope that allows scientists to "see" atoms.
2) How far in can this microscope zoom? __________ times power.
3) Draw a diagram of how bronze atoms are aligned with each other.

Chapter 5 (8:09 ) Protons
1) If a hydrogen atom is enlarged to the size of a city, how big is a proton?
2) Which particle - proton, neutron, or electron - determines the type of element?
3) The number of protons is called the atomic  ___________.
4) 70% of all elements are? solids, liquids, metals, gases?
5) How did chemists measure atomic weights?

Chapter 6 (7:45) Sodium
1) Why are the gasses in the last row of elements called "Nobel" gasses?
2) Why do some elements mix well, and some not so well?
3) Describe an interesting fact about sodium.
4) What are the consequences of mixing sodium and chlorine?

Chapter 7  (10:45 ) Explosions
1) how do scientists determine which element or elements cause explosions?
2) Why is oxygen so necessary in explosions and chemical reactions?

Chapter 8 (16:05) Non-Metals
1) CHONPS stands for which 6 elements?
2) What are 3 different forms of Carbon?
3) How many pounds of Carbon in the average human?
4) How many pounds of Oxygen in the average human?

Chapter 9 (11:15) Semi-Conductors
1) What put the "O" (oxygen) into our atmosphere?
2) 90% of all atoms in the Universe are which element?
3) What are some of the items that silicon is used for?
4) How can ordinary glass be made "stronger"?

Chapter 10 (14:30) Rare-Earth Elements
1) What are some of the items that neodymium magnets are used for?
2) In what country are most rare-earth elements mined?
3) What makes a great shark repellant? Why does it work so good?

Chapter 11 (5:58) Isotopes
1) Different versions of elements are called?
2) Which isotope of Carbon is used to precisely determine age of objects?

Chapter 12 (7:30) Man-Made Elements
1) What happens when a neutron splits an atomic nucleus?
2) What was the 1st man-made element?

Vocabulary Terms;
Write these down. Find definitions in Physical Science book. (pg 162)

atomic number
atomic mass
periodic table

Click the "home" button on the front of the iPad and go to the Nova Elements App. Touch it to start. Touch the "watch" button. You can also build elements or molecules by going back to the home page of the app.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

8th Grade Advanced Science iPad Project 9/6/12

8th Grade Advanced Science iPad Project 9/6/12

Practically Physics

Oficially, TECHNOLOGY is the application of science for practical purposes. The world of physical science has been put to practical use us thousands of millions of ways with contraptions, machines, and other creative innovations. These innovations rely on the transfer and conservation of energy to work.

Choose 5 of the following to investigate. Find out how physical science and energy is connected to or used by them. Write a summary of what you’ve found.  

Your summary paragraphs must include:
a.      Hook with a Topic  Sentence
b.      Reasons, Details, Facts
c.      Elaborations
d.     Scientific explanations and wording
                  e.      Summary conclusion

Upload your summary to this blog post by clicking the “post a comment” button below. Copy and paste your summary into the comment box. Be sure to include your heading.

Ocean liner
Electric toothbrush
Hang glider
Smart phone
Fire extinguisher
Tablet computer
Can opener
Jet plane
Frozen food
Bubble gum
Remote control
Subway car
Microwave food
Ballpoint pen
International Space Station
Kitchen sink
Football pad

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

6th Grade Science class iPad project 9/6/12

Scientific Space Probe Pictures     iPad Science Lab 9/6/12

You are helping to design a digital photo slideshow that showcases the best of the Earth. It is your job to find and take digital pictures of 5 different nature/science objects and write a description of them to include on the spacecraft.

    1)    Find 5 different and unique objects to photograph. (Do not take pictures of people.) You may zoom in to get fine details not visible from a far distance.
    2)    After you have taken the photos, write a descriptive paragraph that explains the photos and why you chose them. Your paragraph must include:
   a.      Topic  Sentence
   b.      Reasoning behind the photos
c.      Important facts and descriptions
d.     Important details and elaborations
e.      And a summary conclusion
   3)    Type in “notes” When finished, “copy” your paragraph
   4)    When finished typing, upload to:
Click on “Science Class iPad project 9/6/12”
Click on “post a comment”
In the comments box, paste your paragraph, along with your heading
Click “anonymous” and “publish your comment”
   5)    Feel free to read other paragraphs, or look at other pictures on your iPad. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012 KMG Chemicals Mini-grant application documents

Mini-Grant Program

KMG Electronic Chemicals - Pueblo Community Advisory Panel

In an attempt to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of science and environmental issues, the KMG Electronic Chemicals - Pueblo Community Advisory Panel (CAP) is sponsoring a mini-grant program for Pueblo schools in Pueblo City Schools and District 70.

The Colorado Model Content Standards for Science specify what all students should know and be able to do in science as a result of their school studies.  These standards are set with the expectation that science-related activities will occur at all grade levels – from initial explorations in kindergarten through increasingly organized and focused science instruction in higher grades.  The goal is to have students apply scientific information and processes to practical problems in an ethical and safe manner.

Cash mini-grants of $100 to $500 may be awarded to individual classrooms, a group of classrooms working together, or an entire school working on the same project.  Examples of potential mini-grant projects include investigating a specific scientific or environmental problem, developing a series of science experiments to enrich classroom teaching or purchasing a piece of classroom equipment that can be used for teaching science content.  Projects that are sustainable year to year will be favored.

If awarded, the Mini-grant recipients must reappear before the CAP board (and/or provide multimedia documentation) within the current school year to provide an update on how the awards have been specifically used in the classroom.  

Any middle school, private school (grades 6-8) or Charter School (grades 6-8) in Pueblo City Schools or District 70 is eligible to participate. The program is not intended for individual student projects.

Grants up to $500 will be awarded in October, 2012 to projects chosen by a committee appointed by the CAP.  A recipient is eligible for one grant in a school year.

Any teacher or administrator who wishes to have a project considered for a mini-grant should have an application form (attached) completed and submitted by September 30, 2012.  Questions can be e-mailed to:

The application should be mailed or e-mailed to:

KMG Electronic Chemicals - Pueblo Community Advisory Panel
Attn: Dennis Lockett
250 William White Blvd.
Pueblo, CO  81001



Mini-Grant Application Form

Name of Applicant



School Address:School Phone: 

Home Address:Home Phone: 

E-Mail Address:

Purpose / Objective of Mini-Grant:

Description of Project: (attach additional sheets as necessary; limit 4 pages max.)

Number of students involved in project:

Grade level:

Amount Requested: $ (Request must be itemized; please attach separate sheet)

Signature of Applicant:  ____________________________

Return completed form and attachments by September 30, 2012 via mail or e-mail to:

KMG Electronic Chemicals - Pueblo Community Advisory Panel

Attn: Dennis Lockett

250 William White Blvd.

Pueblo, CO  81001