UA-27757076-1 - http://www.ellencavanaugh.com

Free Resources – Learn to Model in 3D

This is a brief introduction to some of the 3D modeling environments that we have used at Grow a Generation with our students. Now is a good time to begin to learn how to use them to create your models and prototypes. This is video one in a series on free tutorials available for you to use at home to learn this incredibly useful skill!
Introducing Tinkercad, a 3D modeling environment that we have used at Grow a Generation with our younger students. Now is a good time to begin to learn how to use them to create your models and prototypes. This is video two in a series on free tutorials available for you to use at home to learn this incredibly useful skill!
This video is for students ready to start learning 3D Design in Autodesk or ANSYS software. These are ideas generated through our students at the various Grow a Generation through the years. This is video three in a series on free tutorials available for you to use at home to learn this skill!

Please let us know if we can help you on your journey to learn more about 3D Design. Apply today to be a Fellow at our STEM Leadership Center.

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2020/03/23/free-resources-learn-to-model-in-3d/

Make it Memorable – A Note to Kids Stuck at Home

A cave used by the desert fathers in Syria, a group of ascetics and monks  from the 3rd and 4th centuries.
A cave used by desert fathers in Syria in the 3rd century.

Throughout human history, people have tried to get a moment to retreat from the busyness of everyday life. And then we have times when we are forced to retreat. As someone who has experienced both, may I please offer you a popcorn thought…

MAKE IT MEMORABLE!

Binging TV, spending hours gaming, even escaping into fun fiction books are easy – feel good – and are easily forgotten. But at the point of reflection where I stand (let’s just say I am over 50), the retreats I remember were memorable!

Some features of memorable retreats:

  • I decided to think deeply with a classic book or a knowledgable guide and come to a new understanding about myself and the world,
  • I learned a new skill that was silly but fun (how to draw a horse or how to code a fractal),
  • I made a new friend or made a current friendship even deeper. Games, even online, where there is a healthy atmosphere and support, are great ways to connect if you know who you are playing with,
  • I took the time to make something for someone else and had the opportunity to give it to them later.

Can you create a schedule that includes a time to do something memorable? For example, if you use TV and games as a reward, schedule

1) get the work done I committed to first (like homework), then

2) spend at least an hour doing something meaningful, then, and only then,

3) do something mindless like watch or read or play.

Just ask yourself, is this memorable?

If you do not feel safe, you are hungry, you are overwhelmed, you are not sure what to do in a caregiver role, please reach out to your teacher through email and ask for help! Safety comes first.

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2020/03/14/make-it-memorable-a-note-to-kids-stuck-at-home/

George Washington at Logstown

BOOK SIGNING
Monday, February 17
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
The William Vicary Mansion, Freedom, PA 15042

You are invited! Please spend a little time this President’s Day stopping by the Vicary House in Freedom, PA and helping celebrate the book release of George Washington at Logstown.

Student authors and I were at the Beaver Book Fest two years ago when we met Brenda Applegate, the director at the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Society. She saw the amazing work that the Baden Academy Research Fellows were doing and suggested a commission, a book about the local history of George Washington visiting the Indian village of Logstown.

Sophie and Kylee took up the challenge and have spent the last two years working with Brenda and many other local historians and artists to tell the story.

If you can’t make the signing on Monday, February 17 ((President’s Day), 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation,
The William Vicary Mansion, 1235 3rd Avenue, Freedom, PA 15042) buy the book and learn about how the girls travel through time to visit Logstown, one of the biggest Indian villages on the Ohio River. They are there for Washington’s historic visit to this Indian village, and then join Washington for his mission to deliver a message to a French Fort. The girls can envision these historic hardships as they read about Washington battling deep snow, forging icy rivers, and meeting with a French commandant in a wilderness fort. Come along to find out more, and see if you can find the hidden surprise they have created for you on each page!

To purchase the book, please visit http://bit.ly/Logstown

Two girls in Baden, Pennsylvania, notice a historical marker that tells them they are standing on ground that used to be an Indian village. Curious, they begin an odyssey to discover more. Learning from artwork created by others who have imagined these same stories, the girls travel through time to visit Logstown, one of the biggest Indian villages on the Ohio River. They are there for Washington’s historic visit to this Indian village, and then join Washington for his mission to deliver a message to a French Fort. The girls can envision these historic hardships as they read about Washington battling deep snow, forging icy rivers, and meeting with a French commandant in a wilderness fort. Come along to find out more, and see if you can find the hidden surprise they have created for you on each page! The authors, Sophie Panella and Kylee Chamberlain, are two fourth graders from Baden Academy Charter School. As Research Fellows in the Baden Academy Media Lab, they began the project in third grade when they partnered with Brenda Applegate from the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation. You can enjoy these young girls’ discoveries as you learn more about this local story that impacted the history of our nation. Profits from the sale of the book go to the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation. To purchase the book, please visit http://bit.ly/Logstown


Book Signings: 

Monday, February 17 (President’s Day), 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation,
The William Vicary Mansion, 1235 3rd Avenue, Freedom, PA 15042

Wednesday, May 27, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
STEM Family Night, Baden Academy 
1016 W. State Street, Baden, PA 15005

Sophie and Kylee would be thrilled to visit your classroom, library, or community event to share their story and read their book (or parts of their book) aloud.
Please contact Dr. Ellen Cavanaugh for information (724) 869-4269 or medialab@badenacademy.org 

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2020/02/02/george-washington-at-logstown-sophie-panella-kylee-chamberlain-baden-academy-media-lab-research-fellows-grow-a-generation-authors/

STEM Career Tour on the Ohio River

STEM Career Tour on the Ohio River

Have you ever wondered what jobs are waiting for you along the Ohio River?  Underwater welder? Barge traffic controller? Water Authority Chemist? Army Corps of Engineers?  Come learn what opportunities you can strive to fill.

Free to area teachers.  Limited to 15 Students  

Cost includes lunch and bus $55 ($45 before Feb 5) 

Sign Up at bit.ly/ohioriverstem

If you have any questions call/email
Grow a Generation STEM Leadership Center
724-266-1498  / stemcenter “@” growageneration.com    

DOWNLOAD A FLYER TO GIVE TO A FRIEND!

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2020/01/20/ohioriverstem/

4 Critical Fellowships Highlight the Future of Energy

The three largest industries in our region are healthcare, advanced manufacturing and energy. A number of our fellowships deal with energy and I have spent the last year reading as many resources as I could get my hands on. The issues are complex, we have much to consider as we make the transition, but the primary message is “Political dynamics will change when the world transitions to electric power generated primarily through wind and solar. ”

But wind and solar, unlike coal and gas power plants, are intermittent. The only way to make the transition is with better electrical storage capacity. That is exactly the concern of the Charging Into the Future fellowship. Check out Gavin’s video below.

Battery Storage

Rare Earth Elements

Every country has access to wind and sun. However, you still need to mine the minerals and metals needed to make the solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries. These minerals are not distributed evenly. All of our high tech electronics are made of what are called rare earth elements. These are things like neodymium (Nd), cerium (Ce), dysprosium (Dy), erbium (Er), (my favorite!) promethium (Pm), and about a dozen others that have a variety of very important industrial uses. Fortunately, they’re not as rare as their name implies, but they’re also not geographically distributed evenly. China happens to have the good fortune to end up with about 3/4 of the world’s deposits of these powerful elements, which puts it in a strong trade position in the future. Countries who are developing technology for wind and solar will also be in a strong position. That knowledge should affect our educational goals.

While they are just at the beginning of their research, our Rare Earth Elements Fellowship team will be bringing you news and great information on these elements.

Small Modular Reactors in Future Cities

The Baden Academy Future City Competition Team used Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) in their Future City design for a more resilient energy future. SMRs can fit on the back of a trailer truck, provide energy for a small city/industrial center and offer distinct safeguards, security and nonproliferation advantages. The team was able to visit Westinghouse and hear a brief presentation on their eVinci Micro Reactor. Their tradition will continue with this year’s team.

The Baden Academy Future City Competition team won, last year, “The Best Use of Nuclear Science.”

A Digital Tour of a Nuclear Plant

We wanted to start students even younger thinking about nuclear power. This year we started a new project to archive our history and demonstrate basic nuclear science concepts. A team of students is making a Minecraft model of the Shippensport Nuclear Plant, the world’s first full-scale atomic electric power plant. I’ll keep you up to date on the progress and future plans!

Local Teachers investing in Energy Resources

Fourth grade teachers at Baden Academy have used solar cars to teach the engineering design process. Recently, solar energy educators came to the school with panels and solar power testing equipment. Teachers continue to use the material as the students learn more about this form of energy.

Fifth grade Baden Academy teacher and Houston Solution research fellow Melanie Houston has been receiving curriculum support from The NEED Project.

A Few Projects from the Past

Summer Hartman was a 6th grade Baden Academy student who competed in the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
She was honored with multiple awards, the most prestigious was the Carnegie Science Award.
Miss Emily Rosati, English Teacher at Seton LaSalle and 2018 Grow a Generation Distinguished Educator, partnered with her students and a science teacher to write a children’s book. The Boy, the Bird, and the Turbine is a story of a Western Pennsylvanian boy befriending a hawk and discovering more about the new wind turbines that are scattered into their landscape. Their investigations included partnering with American Wind Wildlife Institute, visiting a wind farm and meeting with experts at St. Francis University Institute for Energy and the Pittsburgh Energy Innovation Center. Purchase the book at http://bit.ly/JohnandBeamer

Reading List

These are the resources I felt most useful!

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future Gretchen Bakke (Author)

The Science of Energy: Resources and Power Explained Audible Audiobook – Original recording Michael E. Wysession (Narrator, Author)

Energy and Civilization: A History Audible Audiobook – Unabridged Vaclav Smil (Author),

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2019/11/16/future-of-energy/

Clean Drinking Water: An Engineering Challenge for 4 Fellowships

Future City Competition Model

“Choose a threat to your city’s water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean drinking water.”  That is the challenge of this year’s Future City Competition. While Future City is focused on a hypothetical scenario in planning for a city 50 years in the future, we have fellowships working with partners today to identify threats and help design resilient clean water systems.

River Robots

Meet Titan from River Robots.  He is hoping to develop more partnerships as he works on the design and specifications for robotic assistance in cleaning up the Ohio River. 

Baden Academy Sustainable Water Team

Part of his data and decision making have come from the incredible work the Baden Academy Sustainable Water Team has already done.  Through research, they uncovered that the Ohio River is one of the most polluted in our nation, and yet it is the source of drinking water for three million people.  The Sustainable Water Team starting looking into their own drinking water and discovered the amazing operations at the Ambridge Water Authority.

Aquatic Robotics

Our Aquatic Robotics team was on hand for the tour of the Ambridge Water Authority. Our aquatic robotics team was very sad and frustrated to learn that the robot that travels the bottom of the pool to clean up all the floc is not a favorite machine on the campus.  Maybe they can help design a better one!

Well, we got an invitation to collect the robot as the system was replaced earlier this month. Now, the three aquatic robotics are eager to meet up later this month in a parent’s garage. They will disassemble the 8-foot long robot and figure out how it is designed.

Check out how excited this team is to dismantle a robot! Seriously, I love that a group of kids are this excited!

Baden Academy Future City Competition Team

This brings us back to the Future City competition team. Students from Baden Academy have been going to this competition for four years. Each year, a new team (grade 6 only) builds a city in the future, patterned on Beaver County along the river. They design it in a virtual environment of Sim City. The 6th-grade teacher, Chelsey Reinheimer, has the entire class research resources from the National Academy of Engineering, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Environmental Protection Agency, Water Environment Federation, and others.

I am honored and thrilled to be one of the coaches and mentors. Together we are helping the kids of today value the contributions of engineers of yesterday and work alongside the leaders of today making a sustainable future. May good luck be with this year’s team.

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2019/11/09/clean-drinking-water-an-engineering-challenge-for-river-robots-sustainable-water-team-aquatic-robotics-and-the-future-city-competition-team/

Organized Kids at NAPO

On  Thursday, October 10, three 6th grade girls traveled to the Crown Plaza Suites to attend the NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) Pittsburgh’s 3rd Annual Organizing Seminar“Release & Renew” Organizing Tips and Tricks from the Pros.

Sofia, Hamari, and Destiney were able to present some of their research and the resource posters they have created, inviting participants to visit their website, organizedkids.weebly.com, to watch some of their videos.

The girls received a standing ovation. They were humbled by the enthusiastic embrace of so many professionals. They came back from the day all a buzz about what they learned, the tools they discovered, and the people they met.

One of the other professional organizers marveled that a school would embrace a program like this, knowing how learning organizational skills are crucial for healthy human flourishing, yet rarely taught. 

The Organized Kids would not have flourished without the expert guidance and support of their mentor, Dorothy Clear. Dorothy generously sets aside two or three days a month to stop in the classroom and work directly with the girls as they set their goals for the year and work hard to achieve them.

Their plans this year include the Hamari’s one on one consultation and weekly intervention with a 2nd-grade ‘client’ who struggles with organization and the classroom tour of “The Pipe Cleaner Pencil.”  Evidently, lost pencils are a constant source of stress and drama in the classroom. The Organized Kids (one of the Baden Academy Research Fellowship Programs) are visiting select classrooms with glue guns and pipe cleaners to help make wearable unique pencils that students can hold onto that express their individual artistic creativity.  Follow-through will be the mathematics of analyzing if this organizational intervention was truly effective.

I encourage you to visit their website, like their videos, buy their posters, and send a comment to these amazing young girls and their mentor. 

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2019/10/20/organized-kids-at-napo/

Baden Academy Research Fellows 2019-20

We are honored and thrilled to again lead an amazing group of research fellows at the Baden Academy Charter school. This program is available to students who apply, with references, and spend their enrichment/intervention periods in the media lab working collaboratively with academics and professionals around the globe.

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2019/10/06/baden-academy-research-fellows-2019-20/

Inspiring Hope

I was at the Harvest Festival this weekend supporting many of our Fellows. One quiet moment allowed me to share some news with Alyssa Westrom, there to promote the book she co-authored “Engineering Wings to the Sun.” Alyssa, now in 7th grade at Lincoln Park, had received a letter addressed to our school to her attention.

Before sharing the letter with her, I asked what she knew of the Challenger disaster. The Challenger had been one of the United States Space Shuttles, meant to fly people from the earth to beyond our atmosphere, delivering astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and repairing satellites. Alyssa and co-authors even have a page in their book where they are holding a Space Shuttle Tile from Mrs. Houston’s (our amazing 5th grade math and science teacher) classroom.

At one point in the mid-1980s, President Reagan announced a new Teacher in Space program. A teacher would have the opportunity to fly above Earth’s atmosphere in a space shuttle to the ISS and teach his or her students from this amazing orbiting laboratory where astronauts are still living.

Christa McAuliffe was eventually chosen from among 11,000 applicants. She trained, had a lot of photos taken, and there was a lot of excitement. On January 28, 1986, millions of kids and teachers were shocked and horrified by the news that the Space Shuttle Challenger, with the first teacher in space Christa McAuliffe and six other astronauts, broke apart in flight killing all aboard.

I told Alyssa this story before handing her a letter from a woman she had met several weeks earlier at the Beaver County Book Fest. The woman wrote to say that she had been one of the applicants for the Teacher in Space program, that she wanted to thank Alyssa for the hope she instilled and to encourage her to continue to reach beyond the Earth into exploring new worlds. She included a generous donation for the American Ceramics Society (the charity that benefits from the book).

If I can get some student interested in science, if I can show members of the general public what’s going on up there in the space program, then my job’s been done. – Christa McAuliffe

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2019/09/29/inspiring-hope/

Passionate About Bridges

Charlie and Mohammed were some of the first Fellows in our STEM Leadership Center. While Mohammed stepped back for a while, Charlie has moved ahead on his explorations of cutting edge technology fixing the problem in the world he most wants to solve. Check out his latest video!

If you know of any other area 6th-10th graders interested in looking at new technologies in the field of bridge repair, construction, and re-construction, invite them to our STEM Leadership Center to join Charlie’s fellowship!

Visit his website at BridgeBuildersofTomorrow.Weebly.com

Visit the STEM Leadership Center for ways to join Charlie’s and other fellowships!

Permanent link to this article: https://growageneration.com/2019/09/20/passionate-about-bridges/