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University of Arizona Police Officer Andrew Lincowski joined planetary scientists at NASA this summer to search for exoplanets that might have the potential to harbor life.
(Family Features) No matter how cramped and cluttered your living space, there is always a spot or two for extra storage. Finding it is just a matter of getting creative and utilizing a few clever solutions.
(BPT) - With school back in session, you might hear your kids talking about the activities they get to do in class, on field trips or in after-school activities. To make all these extra adventures successful learning opportunities for your kids, they require financing and manpower. So what can you do to keep the extracurricular programs going strong?
(NAPSI)—Recently, a program that helps put young people on a path to careers in science put one young man on a path that led to the White House.
(NAPSI)—The next time you watch a home improvement show on TV and think “I can do that,” consider this: Through the Do Good With Wood Award program, you may earn national recognition for your creativity with wood combined with your community spirit.
(NAPSI)—Jewel Crawford Ajibade, Linda Carey and Priscilla Dzurich Ribera are just three of the estimated 173,000 women in the United States who are living with metastatic breast cancer. Managing an incurable disease is challenging for them, but each takes a unique approach to living with the condition.
(BPT) - Whether you’re spending quality time with family or entertaining guests, few things compare to the cozy, warm and welcoming atmosphere created by a fire pit in the backyard. In fact, fire pits are among the most popular features for enhancing an outdoor living space, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Even better, with little experience and materials, you can build a fire pit in just a few hours.
(BPT) - When it comes to protecting your family, your home is your fortress. It’s the place where your children fall asleep at night, tucked safely in their beds. It has the backyard where your pets roam freely without any danger of running into traffic. And it’s the place where you can relax, knowing your family is secure.
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.
Apparently Brian Clymer, Esq. does not attend many Pima County Board of Supervisor meetings. If he did, he would have a better idea of what really goes on in Pima County. Supervisor Miller votes 90 to 95 percent of the time with the other board members. She does not vote with them, when something is not transparent or not in the best interest of the tax payers.
After some time in production, the newest spin-off of the “NCIS” TV franchise is making its way to your television sets. NCIS: New Orleans started on Sept. 23, right after that night’s episode of the original “NCIS”.
(StatePoint) Halloween comes but once a year. So make it extra spooky with ghosts, goblins and ghouls galore -- and don’t forget all the great treats. While all this fall fun does come at a price, you don’t have to spend a pirate’s booty if you plan carefully.
(BPT) - The term smooth sailing doesn’t always apply, especially when faced with rough waters and stormy skies.
(Family Features) Date night doesn't have to require reservations at an overpriced restaurant or an over-the-top production. You can easily turn your own home into the perfect romantic setting for a special night you both deserve.
(BPT) - Move over kitchens and bathrooms, homeowners are focusing on a new part of the home: the garage. No longer just a place to park the car and lawn equipment, today’s garages are getting bigger and better. Here are a few quick and easy projects to create a useful and organized garage.
(NAPSI)—Students and teachers in public schools are racing to solve problems that can exist in many communities across the country—such as water pollution and street safety—and they’re doing it with $2 million on the line. The nationwide Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest is helping students engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through community-based learning-by taking topics out of traditional classroom settings and exploring, in a hands—on way, how they address issues that affect their lives.
(BPT) - When it comes to caring for your yard, maintenance is crucial – especially during the fall when it needs to recover from the wear and tear of summer and prepare for winter’s harsh conditions. Knowing what your lawn and garden needs from season to season not only makes it easier for you to stay organized with your list of backyard to-do’s, but it also allows you to identify and treat any problems before they become bigger issues down the road.
One of the primary allures of the Tucson climate is the seemingly endless amount of outdoor entertainment that can take place nearly year round. Games of golf, family picnics, hiking expeditions, and films underneath the stars have become community favorites in years past, but one local theater group is quietly bringing a much more educational twist to the list.
In her recent monthly column for The Explorer, District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller asserts that Pima County lacks the leadership to solve the county’s road maintenance problem. Supervisor Miller’s comments are very disappointing – as well as inaccurate.
Amphitheater School District wants to hold on to the budget override that it has used to maintain lower class sizes, keep physical education and the arts in elementary schools, and boost teacher pay.
In his fifth State of the Town address on Sept. 12, Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath said he is proud of what continues to be accomplished in the community located six miles north of Tucson.
(BPT) - There is much to love about the nuances of the changing seasons – from spending sunny days on the beach to hiking through autumn-kissed parks and skiing down snow-covered mountains. Throughout the year, just as you would protect yourself from seasonal elements like sun, rain and cold by applying sunscreen and dressing appropriately, it’s important to protect your vehicle from the great outdoors. Your car needs to be prepared for the varying weather ahead – just like people do. Here are a few easy DIY projects to keep your car looking new and running for seasons to come.
(BPT) - The leaves are starting to fall off the trees, the birds are flying south and you can feel the temperature dropping. Winter is on its way and while squirrels pack away food before the first snow fall, you’ll be relieved to know that you still have time to finish some projects listed below to get your home ready for winter.