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(StatePoint) “America After 3 PM,” a new survey commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, finds that participation in afterschool programs has increased dramatically, from 6.5 million children in 2004 to 10.2 million today. Unmet demand has increased, as well. The parents of 19.4 million children not in afterschool programs say they would enroll their children if programs were available.
Arizona saw the number of kids in its foster care system rise significantly from 2002-2012, a time when most other states were posting sharp drops in their foster care rolls, according to new federal data.
The National Cancer Institute has awarded the University of Arizona Cancer Center a $1.8 million grant to continue training cancer researchers for the future.
Americans don’t want someone else telling them how to educate their children.
(BPT) - If social media isn’t at the top of your list when starting your job-searching endeavors, you might find the process slow and tedious. That’s because social networks are the way nearly all U.S. companies are finding new employees, according to Jobvite.
(BPT) - Halloween has its fair share of iconic symbols: ghosts, witches, mummies and pumpkins, just to name a few. But if your home decor is becoming just as iconic, it may be time to change it up and take your decorating in a new direction.
(NAPSI)—My colleagues and I recently published results of the largest study of its kind on 3D mammograms, and the outcome is big news for women: This new screening method finds 41 percent more invasive cancers than traditional mammograms and decreases the likelihood of false alarms. This can help save women’s lives, since 3D mammograms help doctors find breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable.
After stalling out in the first half of the year, the national housing recovery appears to be on solid footing for a strong year-end finish, according to recently released reports from the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Doing good works—as in volunteering for a charitable cause—is good for you, according to a growing body of research. Those who volunteer their time and energy for any type of philanthropic activities enjoy better physical and mental health. Studies show that people who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life compared to those who don’t volunteer.
It may be hard to believe, but Oro Valley’s Great American Playhouse is already celebrating its one-year anniversary as the premier melodramatic theater in the neighborhood, if not the entire city. This Halloween season, the all-star cast is setting the spooky mood with a Sean MaCarther re-imagining of the Tim Burton 1988 cult classic film,“Beetlejuice”.
Two candidates are running for the open seat on Pima Community College’s Board of Governors, each promising to repair the college’s credibility after Pima has faced probation by its accrediting body, acknowledged sexual harassment of employees by a former chancellor, and falling enrollment.
Whether it's the busy mother who spends her weekend volunteering at a local women's shelter or the young girl raising money for hungry children thousands of miles away with her lemonade stand - women that do good deeds are everywhere.
Removing barriers along the way to a blazingly fast Internet is the declared goal of scientists at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences who are leading an international consortium tasked with developing new technology to make it happen.
In 2008, the National Science Foundation gave a five-year, $18.5 million grant to establish an engineering research center (ERC) that is based at the UA and united with other universities in a collaboration known as the Center for Integrated Access Networks, or CIAN.
The NSF recently approved funding for the second half of the project, totaling about $17 million, more than half of which goes to the ERC at the UA. Each year, the center also receives roughly $2 million in support from corporate sponsors and an additional $1 million from other agencies.
"Our goal with CIAN is to remove the bottleneck of the Internet so the entire network becomes more scalable," said Nasser Peyghambarian, director of the ERC and professor in the College of Optical Sciences. "In other words, more users can access it at higher speed, lower cost and lower energy consumption."
As the number increases of end users accessing the Internet with computers and mobile devices, the network has to grow, become faster or both.
"It's not going to expand indefinitely, so we have to create new technologies to be able to handle that growing demand," Peyghambarian said.
The key to accomplishing that goal lies in developing a hybrid architecture that marries electronics and optics, and that is exactly what Peyghambarian and his colleagues are working on at the ERC.
"As an end user right now, you have to rely on electronics for the information you are trying to send or receive through the Internet," Peyghambarian explained. "Your computer and smartphone are electronic devices. They send electronic signals into the data superhighways of the Internet, and those have always been fiber-optic networks. But the optical signals are being transformed back into electronic signals at the receiving ends. The goal of CIAN is to bring optics closer and closer to the end user."
"People want more information going to their homes," added Daniel Kilper, a research professor of optical sciences and CIAN's administrative director. "Tomorrow's Internet no longer is about the information superhighway, it's more about information Main Street or information neighborhood — fiber-optics all the way to the home."
To achieve that new kind of capability and bandwidth going to individual users, scientists and engineers have to reduce the cost and energy consumption of the photo-electronic components. One of the key technologies developed by CIAN involves arrays of miniaturized mirrors to control laser pulses that in turn modulate high-speed electronic signals, a process known as optical circuit switching.
"We develop new photonic integrated circuits using a technology called silicon photonics," Kilper said. "We can take all these bulky optical components here and put them onto a chip, and then we can start to integrate that optical chip with the electronic chip, either side by side or even potentially on the same chip to gain efficiency, reduced cost and reduced power consumption so that these devices can be mass-produced and go out to individual users.
"With today's commercially available systems you can already achieve transmission rates of 400 gigabits per second, but we're looking at a terabit and beyond," Kilper said.
The research at CIAN has garnered much industry interest, attracting 20 industry affiliates ranging from hot startups such as Calient and Bandwidth10 to industry heavyweights including Fujitsu, Texas Instruments, Intel and Samsung.
CIAN doesn't focus on the research alone but plays an important role in education at several levels. Graduate students have gone on to apply their expertise in companies working on making the faster Internet a reality. Some have founded their own companies specializing in integrated optical-electronic circuits; others have embarked on careers at other universities.
In educating students, CIAN follows the guidelines of Engineer of 2020, an initiative spearheaded by the National Academy of Engineering to equip engineering graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in emerging and future markets.
"Future graduates need to have new capabilities that go beyond engineering," Peyghambarian said. "They need to be entrepreneurs, and they have to come up with new ideas, so we train our students and put them in workshops to become entrepreneurs of the future."
In addition to its core funding, CIAN has attracted renewed and additional funding for two three-year programs bringing research experience to undergraduates (REU) and teachers(RET), with a special emphasis on minorities and underserved communities including Native Americans, Hispanics and African-Americans.
"We have been engaged in outreach to Indian reservations, where education and outreach have been received really well," Peyghambarian said. "In addition, we have a program for veteran education, funded by NSF specifically for that purpose."
"CIAN illustrates the remarkable diversity of optics and photonics applications pursued by the College of Optical Sciences," said Dean Thomas Koch. "Our college has a culture of being able to successfully meld basic research, teaching and service to industry, allowing us to offer an unparalleled educational experience for our students. Our faculty and students constantly push the boundaries of what's possible through discovery and innovations, with breakthroughs in the applications of light that impact virtually every field of science and industry."
UA's national partners in CIAN are the University of California San Diego; the University of California Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; California Institute of Technology, the University of California Berkeley; Columbia University and Cornell University in New York; Norfolk State University in Virginia; and Tuskegee University in Alabama. International partners are Aalto University in Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Darmstadt in Germany and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea.
(NAPSI)—When it comes to keeping your car running smoothly, one of the most important pieces of equipment may not be under the hood but in the glove compartment.
(BPT) - Fragile X Syndrome may sound a bit strange, like something from a sci-fi TV show. And although this disorder can cause unusual behaviors, especially in adolescents, it’s actually the most common known cause of autism and other inherited intellectual disabilities.
Last month the Arizona Daily Wildcat reported that the University of Arizona had been ranked among the nation’s most healthy campuses by greatest.com. It should be no surprise, then, that the university is teaming up with The Fox Theater to bring a new and informative lecture series on nutrition to the local community.
In this family comedy-drama, Jason Bateman (from TV’s “Arrested Development) plays Judd Altman, a guy who sees his life seemingly fall apart right before his eyes—and ours. With the unexpected death of his father, Judd must head to his parents’ home in the New York suburbs to rally his mother (two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda) and siblings, led by strong-willed sister Wendy (aptly portrayed by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress Tina Fey).
St Mark’s United Methodist Church presents “Harmonies under the stars,” a benefit concert, on Saturday evening, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m.
The University of Arizona is helping to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, as one of just eight sites in the United States chosen to participate in a major national STEM education initiative.
In June 2013, the Association of American Universities announced that the UA and seven other project sites would receive grant funding through the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, which was established to address a nationwide demand to improve STEM education and to retain more majors and expand the workforce in STEM fields.
Since then, the UA has made important progress with course redesigns and faculty programs intended to make STEM teaching and learning more engaging.
"We need more STEM majors," said Gail Burd, UA senior vice provost for academic affairs and a principal investigator on the UA's AAU grant. "A lot of evidence points to a loss of students from STEM majors because of the way they're being taught. These are hard subjects, and if it's not engaging and it's hard, students drift away."
Under the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, which is funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the UA established the UA-AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Project — a comprehensive, interdisciplinary effort intended to expand STEM-related collaborations, curricula and funding opportunities.
Funded through 2016, the UA-AAU STEM Project saw a number of successes in its first year.
Course redesigns promote active learning
Under the leadership of John Pollard, the UA's director of general chemistry, andVicente A. Talanquer, a chemistry and biochemistry professor, a foundational UA chemistry course has been restructured to more actively engage students.
The redesigned "Chemical Thinking" course, in development for three years, debuted this fall to more than 2,400 students in general chemistry, course 151. It incorporates more group-based discussions, problem-solving activities and other forms of active engagement, with less than 10 minutes of the hourlong class devoted to traditional lecture.
Students in an earlier pilot of the course reported better information retention and overall satisfaction with the redesigned course compared to traditional chemistry classes. This fall, four additional instructors are teaching general chemistry using the revamped curriculum for the first time.
"We are working to understand challenges and successes these new faculty might have to implementing the new curriculum with more active and engaged instructional approaches," Burd said.
Modeled after the chemistry course's success, a similar redesign is being introduced in a foundational UA biology class this semester. Meanwhile, the University's introductory course in computer programming for engineering applications has been restructured to include lab time and to emphasize student participation.
New instructional approaches also were introduced in a pilot general physics course last spring, with students reporting positive results in learning outcomes. A redesign also is in the works for the UA's introductory chemical engineering course.
Learning communities, workshops encourage teaching differently
As part of the effort to make STEM classes more engaging, the University has launched professional development opportunities intended to get instructors to think about teaching in new ways.
About 30 STEM faculty members participated in Faculty Learning Communities last year, in which they were tasked to come up with two weeklong engagement activities to teach in their classrooms each semester.
The University also launched a series of "Teaching Talks" and a three-hour workshop, specifically geared toward STEM educators on campus.
"The goal is to stretch beyond those five redesigned introductory courses and change the culture around the way we're teaching all STEM courses," Burd said.
Additional workshops and talks will take place in the coming year, including a daylong workshop with an architect and an expert on learning spaces that will look at how faculty can make the best use of physical spaces to make them more engaging.
As part of that workshop, Pollard will spend a week or two teaching in a nontraditional space — a redesigned journal reading room in the Science and Engineering Library.
As the UA continues to forge new territory in STEM education, it is carefully tracking and analyzing its efforts to determine their effectiveness. Postdoctoral student Jonathan Coxis helping to lead that ongoing assessment, beginning with the redesigned general chemistry course, Burd said. Jane Hunter, an associate professor of practice in the UA's Office of Instruction and Assessment, also has joined the AAU project to provide project support and management.
Other goals for the UA-AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Project, Burd said, include establishing a teaching symposium and developing and expanding teaching awards that recognize and financially reward outstanding STEM educators on campus.
In addition to Burd, the UA-AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Project leaders include co-principal investigators Deb Tomanek, associate vice provost for instruction and assessment; Lisa Elfring, associate professor of molecular and cellular biology; andVicente Talanquer, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.
The AAU is a nonprofit organization of 62 leading public and private research universities in the United States and Canada. The 60 AAU universities in the United States award more than half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in the sciences and engineering.
(NewsUSA) - A growing list of leading wineries, including St. Francis, Bogle and Fetzer, are speaking up about the benefits of using natural cork. They recognize that not only does natural cork allow wines to age perfectly, but using natural cork also provides a potential competitive advantage when it comes to marketing their wine brands.
One of the most exciting parts of building a new home is the opportunity to put your own stamp on it. From flooring and lighting to appliances and countertops, there certainly is no shortage of choices available when the time comes to select the perfect balance of colors, textures and finishes that reflect your taste.
Justice hasn’t been served so effectively on the streets since Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty” Harry Callahan character snuffed out punk killers in the early 1970s. Liam Neeson, in his most weighty film role yet, quietly and confidently leads this suspense thriller based off of the bestselling crime novel series by Lawrence Block.
Although their methods and locations have changed, the focus of A.C.M.E.stuDio has remained constant. To provide opportunities to people with special needs and to bring art to might not otherwise be exposed to it.
(BPT) - From the best skylines to the worst drivers, the list of distinctions bestowed upon cities is endless; but it’s the honor of hairiest havens that will have people scratching their chins.
(BPT) - The first months of the school year are full of new lessons and experiences for children. While subjects like history, science and math aim to prepare kids for college and careers, there’s one vitally important educational goal that falls to parents to fulfill – financial education.