Monday, August 8, 2016

At the corner of Pauling and Nobel

As far as invitations go how could I possibly have passed this one up? Along with 7 other educators from across the United States, I was asked to participate in the Bio-Rad Explorers  Fellowship Program this summer. As a team we were trained  on many of the educational kits Bio-Rad offers and asked for our feedback on their implementation. We had the opportunity to work with the R&D team who probed us for feedback on their equipment as well. We all geeked out for a solid week having one-on-one conversations with their scientists, getting a private tour of the manufacturing and research labs, and being treated as professionals having ideas worthy  contribution to the scientific community. Thank you Bio-Rad for valuing quality science education for K-12 students. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Houston, We Have a Problem

I am at the #100kin10 conference at Johnson Space Center; a convergence of industry, government, non profit, and higher education professionals. Ten percent of the attendees are hand selected classroom teachers and this is the first time teachers are attending.
The "moonshot goal" is to produce 100k highly trained STEM teachers in 10 years.
We spent the day digging around the root causes that are standing in the way of effective STEM integration. I came here hoping for solutions and wound up standing in the gaping maw of this beastly dilemma. It is always darkest before the dawn, right?

At least I got to meet astronaut Nancy Currie and stand in the space shuttle. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Woke up in El Paso

On my way to the 100kin10 symposium to work on the grand challenges facing education. How best to integrate STEM across all curricula and provide meaningful STEM training for all teachers is indeed a grand challenge. The conference is in Houston, at NASA, but I am not there. I fell asleep on the flight, which unbeknownst to me had a stopover in El Paso. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Leadership and Cheezy Poofs

On March 30th CREST Biotech HOSA embarked on a 3 day road trip to Tucson to attend the 11th annual Spring Leadership Conference. It was a whirlwind adventure of campaigning, competing, and junk food consumption.

 As always, our students practiced PV PRIDE and made me incredibly proud. Not only does our chapter boast the first Arizona, Female, International President elect, we now also have three state board members on a panel of seven; President, Region II VP, and Parliamentarian.

In addition our students brought home a pile of prizes! Thank you to all of our members for supporting HOSA and each other to make this a successful conference.
Biomedical DebateBronzeElizabeth
State Officer PresidentKyle 
VP Region IIElizabeth
Platinum MembershipKyle & Elizabeth 
Extemporaneous Health PosterBronzeJosie
Extemporaneous WritingGoldRyan
Public HealthGoldKyle & Morgan
PSASilverRishika Genevieve Jessica
Prepared Speech4thBritanny 
Health Care IssuesILC qualifierRene 
HOSA HappeningsGoldChapter scrapbook
Gold MembershipRene Brittany
Frederick Gregory  Josie
Silver MembershipConnor Morgan  Ryan 
Bronze MembershipAmeer  Dara   Devyash David  Esha Genevieve  Joseph Puglisi Mac   Mariah  Nicholas  Prati   Ramya  Susan  
Gold Chapter Award
Barbara James Service AwardGold 300 hoursBrittany  
Medical Spelling  Gold                       Mason

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Letter Volley

I arrived home from Morocco at 12:30 a.m. this morning. Excited to be home but sad to be separated from my new friends.

The students of Assaada High School were thrilled to receive the letters from our students and couldn't wait to learn more about them. The response was overwhelming and I think I received more letters in return than I brought over. Many of the letters I received included drawings and small gifts, WhatsApp numbers, Facebook contacts, Instagram and many other ways to get in touch. The students are hungry for communication, to learn about America, and to share themselves with America.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Moved to Tears

We have spent the week in several classrooms at Essaada High School in Ait Melloul. Rotating through classes, students were a bit shy about asking us a lot of questions. Today we were with one class for a second time and they were a little more open to discussion.
My partner Stacey asked them what they wanted us to tell our students about Moroccan students, two sentiments were repeated many times.

1. We LOVE America and Americans.
2. We are not terrorists. Islam does not = terrorism.

We were able to have a deep discussion about the power of media driven by advertisement, and how the terrible deeds or offensive words said by a few are used to represent many.

Near the end of class a young man asked if he could perform a recitation of the Holy Quran. His beautiful voice moved me to tears, as well as Stacey and several other students. I am crying now as recall the experience and write this post.

The bracelet on my wrist in the picture above was slipped on my wrist by a girl at the end of class. They call the symbol Hamsa (the hand of Fatima) and is meant to protect against evil.

If there is an evil in this world, I think it is  in forming stereotypes about individual people we have not yet met.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I love Olives

Our esteemed host Karim and his family took us to the Grand  Souk Al Had
for a day of shopping. The vast rows and mountains of fresh food, spices, and handmade goods was enchanting. Families do their regular shopping here weekly and most of the food we saw arrived that day.
Karim purchased two live chickens which were cleaned right there. His wife Hanan served us these chickens roasted in her home with homemade olives, apple cake, saffron rice, bread, fresh fruit, and spiced coffee. Can you guess how long we lounged and ate for? If you thought 3 hours, you are wrong, closer to 3 1/2!  Moroccan hospitality is beyond reproach; gracious, giving, and so sincere.
 video of the Souk 
 Souk Al Had map