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New Book Projects by Research and Odyssey Fellows

Application season is always inspiring.  We have eight books that are in progress by 20 different student authors! I am SO EXCITED!


Including one book project from PA Distance!

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Sixth-grade research fellows to Share Bat Book at TWS conference

Sixth graders Kaitlyn Desrochers and Kennedi Emery were recently interviewed by The Wildlife Society about their new book, Bats in Danger.  The girls are planning to travel to Cleveland in a few weeks to attend their international conference.  They will share a table with John Hopkins University Press to make their book available and their mentor, Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth, will be presenting research on a recent project.
Click the link to read the article, and please share on social media to let our community know how proud we are of their hard work.  Any profits from book sales go to Bat Conservation.

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Baden Academy Authors will be featured at the Beaver County BookFest Sept. 8

Join Baden Academy authors at the Beaver County BookFest, Saturday, September 8, anytime between 9 am and 4 pm.  Come find us in the big tent, but don’t forget to look for the free children’s activities.

We are so proud of all of our authors!  Come join us.

Research Fellow authors create books with leading scientists, academics, and professionals about  21st century scientific, engineering, and computational discoveries they are passionate about. They work hard.  Very hard.   Some books take two years of work with painstaking  feedback on the drafts and artwork.  Each book tells a meaningful story of science and inquiry.  Each book benefits a worthy charity.  Twenty have been published since we started the fellows program at Baden Academy.  Examples include:

                              screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-5-49-34-pm   A Colorful Kindergarten by Kelli Keriotis   The ABC's of Veggies by Kate Huoy   King Penguins of the Falkland Islands       The Little Blue Penguins of North Sydney Harbour   Dolly the Dolphin by Isabella Kelm       Hamster Fun Facts by Veronica Judt and Kamryn Vilscek       Storm Stories by Baden Academy 4th Grade Virtual Worlds 2014   Totem Tales by Finniotis Barackage

If you are looking for a meaningful project for your child, consider inviting Grow a Generation to work with your school, or contract us with your own research fellows project.  

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Dragon Tags Keeping Kids Safe

Five years ago, one of our first research fellows wanted to make the bus ride home even safer on the first days of school as everyone is trying to get to know our youngest, most vulnerable, bus riders.  Owen Rossi-Keen sought out a mentor in logistics and partnered with FedEx to create the Baden Academy Dragon Tag System.

This year Baden Academy has grown to include a Dragon Tag to include every student in this cutting-edge student transportation safety feature.

What is a Dragon Tag?  Let’s let Addy explain…

The reader is now in the gym, right where students leaving for the bus pass by.  We can see on the TV in the gym and the monitor in the main office who is getting on the bus and if they are supposed to be a pickup.  Addy does not describe the QR Code on the back of the tag.  The QR Code contacts the database through any cell phone.  With a password, we can quickly look up emergency contact information, bus information, and a student’s address.

The tags have changed shape and size

The kids (K-3) have the silhouette of our own “Blaze” dragon from the wall by the office.  It is the symbol of someone under the care of a grand mama dragon, yet with wings to fly. We added a new design for the older kid’s tags with an Ouroboros dragon.  It is a picture that dates back to ancient Egypt and ancient Greece.  Its name comes from οὐρά (oura), “tail” + βορά (bora), “food”, from βιβρώσκω (bibrōskō), “I eat”.  It is a symbol of being creation and recreation.  A symbol that apply represents the genesis of our Dragon Tags.

I am going to get a bit nerdy and admit a predisposed love of the Ouroboros dragon.  It occurs in the discovery of the chemical structure of Benzene (a dangerous yet extraordinarily important chemical).  The organic chemist August Kekulé described his eureka moment “The atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by the repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation: long rows, sometimes more closely fitted together; all twining and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis.”

The process of creating these tags and the systems for reading them took a combined effort of hundreds of hours of our staff.   We are thrilled to announce this is the first year we did not have to call FedEx to troubleshoot problems!!!  Thank you Zack Cameron and Mat Davis, Ramona Sangermano and Chelsea Mason, Mr. Jake and Principal Jeffers!  Thank you for all your hard work.

Programming and assembling the tags forces the whole school to concentrate on putting “Always Safe” at the forefront of our goals.  The logistics and safety of our children is a priority. We are humbled by the responsibility and work hard to rise to the challenge and make it better every year.

Fellowship Applications are now being accepted at Grow a Generation and our partner schools.  What meaningful project can you conceive?



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Find Your Passion: An Online Journey

Sign up today at for this online journey to Find Your Passion.  Expect to spend 4-6 hours with our expert guide Wyatt.  Complete the journey to receive your personalized ten page report that will finally provide the answer to the question people can’t stop asking, “What are you going to do after graduation?”

Find Your Passion turns career guidance on it’s head. Most “interest inventories” and “career tests” take into account a variety of personality traits and tell you the job that a lot of people with your same traits work in. A lot of us walk away uninspired, feeling misunderstood, or cemented into a future we are not passionate about.

Rather than basing a 20th century career recommendation on your personality score, we help you look for real problems in the world that need you to help solve them. Come with us to identify a major problem, challenge, and opportunity that faces our 21st century world. Many of these don’t even pop up on your radar until you are heading into graduate school.

Don’t wait! Learn what types of projects, academic experiences, and mentors you need to seek out help solve the challenges you are most passionate about.

Fair warning – the problems we are introducing you to are in the Science, Engineering, and Technology. We want to open your mind to the real careers that are waiting, to jobs that can help you pay for the student loans you will probably accumulate, to dreams of robotics, biomechanics, nanotechnology, or space, to tribes of enthusiastic problem solvers that help keep you motivated to make a meaningful difference in the world.

What you get for perservering through this fun journey to find your passion is a well scripted, meaningful answer to that proverbial question “What are you doing after graduation?” You’ll have an answer that leaves them speechless!

Come find your passion!

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Bats in Danger

Bats in Danger tells the story of Brownie the Bat.  Her friends are dying. While Brownie is a creation of 5th-grade authors, her plight is not.  Kaitlyn Desrochers visited Mammoth Cave when she was in 3rd grade. She learned about the effects of white-nose syndrome on the bats and the images spurred her into action.  She partnered with a classmate, Kennedi Emery, who had helped author the year before a book about Sr. Lyn’s Beehives. Kennedi volunteered to work with Kaitlyn and write a children’s book. They wanted their friends to know why we need to save the bats.  The two went out in search of a mentor to help them

They discovered a scientist and biology professor, Dr. Cassandra Miller-Butterworth, at Penn State Beaver.  She is one of Pennsylvania’s leading bat experts. Kaitlyn and Kennedi see her as a superhero. They worked together to craft the story of Brownie and the difficulties facing bats, particularly in Pennsylvania.

Dr. B was close to their elementary school, Baden Academy, so Kaitlyn and Kennedi visited.  While they were there, they got to see first hand the techniques she used with electrophoretic gel to extract and study DNA. Her research may help her and other scientists determine where the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome will spread next.

After their visit, Kaitlyn and Kennedi worked to edit and illustrate draft after draft of the storybook with Dr. B’s help. They used a green screen and photographed a stuffed bat in a variety of poses to begin to illustrate the book.  Bats in Danger help them raise awareness and funds.  All profits go to Bat Conservation International.

You can buy the book through Lulu at . Kaitlyn and Kennedi  would be thrilled to visit your classroom, library, or community event to share their story and read aloud their book.

About Baden Academy Charter School
This public charter school in Western PA works to inspire personal excellence. They cultivate the inherent gifts and talents present in all children by providing a curriculum which integrates the arts and sciences in a highly interactive, hands-on environment.

About Grow a Generation:
Grow a Generation partners with schools, classrooms, and students to make meaningful projects possible.


In The News

Beaver biology professor is the star of a book published by local fifth-graders

Beaver biology professor stars in a book published by local fifth-graders

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3-D Printing in a Metalsmith Shop

My husband and I have been shopping around for new rings, replacing one stolen last year in a theft.  We found a metalsmith in Andover, New York whose creations were inspiring, so we took a drive.

While Stephen Walker’s artistry alone would have inspired a purchase, I was thrilled to learn this particular metalsmith has embraced computer aided design and 3-D printing.   His plastic design is used to create a mold for actual metal casting.  The ingenuity, the craftsmanship, are astounding.

Walker Metalsmiths  uses BlueCast resin from Italy. Traditional plastics/resins used in many 3D printers don’t work with the casting process. Before 3D printing they used wax, which would melt/burn out of the mold. They’ve tried several variations and BlueCast seems to mimic the wax most closely with just a higher burn out temperature.

The possibilities are starting to reverberate through artists and craftsman. Another designer, Sarah Graham uses 3D printed to make one of a kind fingerprint jewelry.


Thank you Walker Metalsmiths for the tour!  I can’t wait to see the new rings.

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Find Your Passion

Join us for an adventure into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) future possibilities.  You bring their own personality, likes and dislikes, pet peeves and favorite things.  You encounter what leaders have identified as the grand challenges of our century in engineering and in sustainability. You explore start ups awarded top innovation prizes. And, you identify one of the problems you most want to solve in the world and start to work!


Friday, July 13, 2018
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (MAC Lab!)
Grade 8-12
Students walk away with the answer to
“What do you plan to do after high school”
Cost $39 includes a ten page Find Your Passion Report
(including mission statements, personality inventories, and project ideas)  mailed to home in several weeks.

Click here to download mail in registration form  
Click here for online registration


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New Weeks Added
Tuesdays and Thursdays
July 3-26
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Grade 3-6

Click here to download mail in registration form  
Click here for online registration


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Fred the Fruit Fly Visits Dr. Furbee’s Lab

Carter Catalano and Hoby Schweikert,  two 5th graders from Baden Academy, came into their school’s media lab with questions about genetic research using animals and insects. They learned bizarre stories and heard from people afraid of “GMOs,” before they turned to actual scientists engaged in real genetic research.  What they discovered inspired them.


Dr. Emily Furbee invited them to visit her at the Computational Biology Department at the University of Pittsburgh.  They learned about the genetics of fruit flies and how three generations of scientists have been discovering Nobel prize winning insights into how the genes of all living organisms are mutated, modified, and studied to find answers to questions about reactions to radiation, human and fruit fly development, our sense of smell, our immune systems, and even our biological clocks.  What inspired them the most was the work Dr. Furbee was doing to help with cancer research.


After their visit, Carter and Hoby worked to craft a storybook for children with Dr. Furbee’s help. Fred the Fruit Fly visits Dr. Furbee’s Lab introduces kids to some difficult concepts of DNA through fun metaphors and an engaging story.  All profits from book sales are donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.


You can buy the book through Lulu at .  Carter and Hoby would be thrilled to visit your classroom, library, or community event to share their story and read aloud their book.


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