Posts Tagged ‘STEM’

A Day of Innovation, Inspiration at the White House Science Fair

May 27, 2014 | by akowalczyk

The White House, young superstar scientists and a MythBuster – what more could a Discovery kid (at heart) want?

Today, I was given the incredible opportunity to to attend this year’s White House Science Fair to share this annual event, honoring national innovation in STEM, with our Discovery audiences on social media.

Throughout the day, as I explored the Science Fair, I met amazing students who not only proved their incredible intellect but also their inspiring passion for making our world a better place. From a student who fought cancer and is now dedicated to finding a cure to a group of girls that created an app to guide their visually impaired classmate through school hallways to Girl Scouts, only eight years old, developing ways to build stronger bridges – each exhibitor was more awe-inspiring than the next.

Discovery, a strong advocate for STEM education, also had a strong presence at the Science Fair, with MythBusters‘ Kari Byron leading a live broadcast and Discovery Education Virtual Field Trip. Additionally, Discovery Education competition winners (Peyton Robertson, winner of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, and Crystal Brockington and Aaron Barron, winners of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge) proudly shared their exhibits with press and leaders in the STEM community.

While the day’s innovation and passion can hardly be captured in photos, I’ve included a few highlights below, and you can check out the hashtag #WHScienceFair on Twitter and Instagram for more coverage of the day! Congratulations to all of the day’s amazing students!

Members of Girl Scout Troop 2612 (the "Lego Queens") of Tulsa, OK and their "Flood Proof Bridge"

Members of Girl Scout Troop 2612 (the “Lego Queens”) of Tulsa, OK and their “Flood Proof Bridge”

Bill Nye and Kari Byron hosting the Live Broadcast with Cristen Dorgelo from the Office of Science Technology Policy at the White House

Bill Nye and Kari Byron hosting the Live Broadcast with Cristen Dorgelo from the Office of Science Technology Policy at the White House


Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge Winner, Peyton Robertson

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge Winner, Peyton Robertson

Winners of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, Crystal Brockington and Aaron Barron

Winners of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, Crystal Brockington and Aaron Barron

President Obama Speaking on STEM Education

President Obama Speaking on STEM Education

Discovery Gives Students A Front Row Seat to This Year’s White House Science Fair

May 23, 2014 | by akowalczyk

President Obama at the 2013 White House Science Fair

Last year, Discovery attended the White House Science Fair, and this year, we’re inviting fans to join in the fun with a live White House broadcast and Discovery Education Virtual Field Trip.

On Tuesday, President Obama will host the White House Science Fair, celebrating the remarkable achievements of student science fair winners and extraordinary kid innovators from across the country. As a strong advocate for STEM education, Discovery is involved in many elements throughout the day.

As the event kicks off Tuesday morning, Kari Byron, Discovery Channel’s MythBusters and Science Channel Star, will join Bill Nye on the White House lawn for a live tour of the Science Fair at 10am, broadcast on Winners of Discovery Education’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology and the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will have exhibits on the floor.

Later in the morning, Kari will help transport students from around the country to the White House for a virtual field trip as part of Discovery Education’s Of the People: Live from the White House webinar series. Open to classrooms nationwide, the webinar will inspire students nationwide to learn about STEM, highlight the valuable role of mentors in STEM education, and celebrate the remarkable achievements of America’s next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors and innovators.

Kari Byron will kick off the webinar with an exclusive clip from her show Head Rush, which was created to inspire and excite viewers about the wonders of science and show how science is a vital part of their everyday lives.

Following the demonstration, Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady and Executive Director for the Council on Women and Girls, and Byron will lead a discussion between David Etzwiler, chief executive officer of the Siemens Foundation and student Frederick Lang, a national finalist in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. David Etzwiler and Lang will discuss the critical role that mentors can play in students’ academic success, particularly in STEM fields.

The field trip will end with a panel discussion about the importance of STEM education featuring Byron, Lang, Etzwiler, Tina Tchen, and Eric Schwarz, Executive Chairman of US2020, a multi-year mentoring effort that aims to match 1 million STEM mentors with students at youth-serving nonprofits by the year 2020. During the live broadcast, young people across the country will have the opportunity to submit questions for the panelists on Twitter using the hashtag, #OfthePeople.

To register for this event or submit questions for the panelists, visit:

To follow the White House Science Fair, follow #whScienceFair on Twitter – we’ll also be sharing live updates from the Discovery Communications (@DiscoveryComm) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Discovery to Lend Support to ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Initiative

February 27, 2014 | by aharris

Discovery CommunicationsToday, President Barack Obama will announce a new public and private partnership, My Brother’s Keeper, to address a U.S. crisis with regard to minority men and boys.

Discovery Communications, as a part of its commitment to equality and education — regardless of color or economic circumstances, will join the President and other leaders in the business, philanthropic and non-profit sectors to develop an aggressive agenda targeted at narrowing and eliminating disparities in access to early childhood education and exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

Through Discovery Familia, the premier Spanish-language network featuring the best educational and entertaining, family-oriented programming for kids and families, our Discover Your Skills and Connect the Dots initiatives and Discovery Education’s STEM Camp, Discovery looks forward to supporting My Brother’s Keeper, and we’ll keep you posted here on any updates.

You can learn more about the President’s initiative online (including through a live press conference today at 3:25pm ET, streamed live) and in today’s New York Times.

‘We the Geeks’ Google+ Hangout Celebrates Black History Month

February 25, 2014 | by akowalczyk

Science Channel LogoAs America celebrates Black History Month, Discovery talent and friends will be at the White House for “We the Geeks,” a Google+ Hangout highlighting some of our nation’s most prominent and promising African American science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) achievers.  The event shines a light on the importance of ensuring the Nation’s next generation of inventors, discoverers, and innovators fully reflects the diversity of America.

Launching at 3PM ET today,  the live discussion, moderated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Knatokie Ford and Marlon Marshall, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, will feature inspiring personal stories and thoughts on how we can all help to ensure that America’s next generation of inventors, discoverers and innovators fully reflects our nation’s diversity. 

Discovery friends Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, Science Channel host and Assistant Professor in Physics/Space Sciences at Florida Institute of Technology, as well as Ms. Crystal Brockington, winner of Siemens/Discovery Education’s “We Can Change the World Challenge,” will be contributing to the conversation alongside the following guests:

  • Dr. Paula Hammond, David H. Koch Professor in Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mr. Calvin Phelps, Jet Engineer Designer, Pratt & Whitney
  • Evan Jackson, Alec Jackson, Caleb Robinson, Kid Inventors, Winners of Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Competition, and participants in the 2013 White House Science Fair
To join the conversation, follow the hashtag #WetheGeeks on Twitter and on Google+.  See you there!




Discovery Education to Host Second Future@Now on February 26

February 21, 2014 | by akowalczyk

Future@NowOn Wednesday, Discovery Education will host Future@Now: Roadmap to the Digital Transition from 9am-5:30pm at Discovery’s headquarters here in Silver Spring.

Streaming live to a worldwide audience, this second annual event will focus on one of the most critical issues in education today – implementing effective, district-level digital transitions that prepare students for citizenship, college and careers.

At this year’s event, attendees will hear from a variety of education leaders about creating actionable roadmaps for transforming teaching and learning through educational technology, dynamic digital content, and job-embedded, sustained professional development. Speakers this year offering valuable insight include Sujean Lee, Vice President of Philanthropy at Chobani and Commander Brent Phillips, Director of Marketing & Outreach for the U.S. Navy Recruiting Command. The conference also will welcome educational leaders U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Congressman George Miller, sponsor of the Transforming Education through Technology Act to help lead the dialogue. Additionally, Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho of Miami-Dade County Public Schools; Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance of Baltimore County Public Schools; Chancellor Kaya Henderson of District of Columbia Public Schools; and Superintendent of Schools/CEO Chris Kennedy of West Vancouver School District, Canada, will share their perspectives on the digital transitions they are leading in their school systems.

Panel discussions throughout the day will share with participants strategies they can implement as districts to create their own roadmaps for digital transitions.  Discussion topics will include how students are affected by the digital transition, how to plan for the transition, how to implement change and how to fully integrate digital resources into the classroom.

Wednesday’s conference will culminate with a virtual field trip, hosted by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, to a digital classroom in Washington, DC, as part of Discovery Education and the White House’s “Of the People” webinar series. “Of the People” offers middle and high school students unique access to White House professionals, experts and personalities in a series of 30-minute virtual events broadcast live from the White House and open to all classrooms nationwide.

For more information on Future@Now: Roadmap to the Digital Transition or to register, please visit And, throughout the day, join the conversation on Twitter using #FutureNow.

Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education Open ‘Siemens STEM Academy’ Applications

December 10, 2013 | by akowalczyk

The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, along with their partner Oak Ridge Associated Universities, are inviting educators from across the country to submit applications for the 2014 Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) and Siemens STEM Institute programs, prestigious professional development programs offered to middle and high school educators during the summer.

The STARs program selects 40 educators to attend one of two programs held at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for two weeks to study and conduct research with some of the country’s top scientists. The Siemens STEM Institute selects 50 educators from around the nation to attend a hands-on, i mmersion program promoting STEM education at the Discovery Communications headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C. Both programs are part of the Siemens STEM Academy, a national professional development community designed to advance the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States.

For the two prestigious STARs professional development programs, 40 educators will work in small groups and collaborate with scientific teams from world-renowned labs to conduct individually-designed research projects that will give them real-world experience they can bring back to their classrooms. In the past during these in-depth research experiences, STARs fellows have tackled a variety of STEM project topics, including the production, characterization and uses of nano-particles, examining the thermal performance of building materials and studying neutron scattering techniques.

The 2014 STARs programs will take place June 8-20, 2014 and July 20-August 1, 2014 – both at ORNL. In addition to the two-week, hands-on learning experience, each teacher will receive a grant to purchase equipment and/or supplies for their classroom.

The Siemens STEM Academy also offers the Siemens STEM Institute, a unique, week-long program that promotes real-world integration of STEM principles into the classroom. Occurring August 3-8, 2014, the select group of 50 middle and high school educators from across the country will attend an intensive professional development experience at the global headquarters of Discovery Communications located just outside of Washington, D.C.The Fellows will be exposed to leading scientists, thought leaders, personalities and innovators whose work across STEM disciplines shape and define our world today. In the past, STEM Institute Fellows have heard from guest speakers, including Dr. Roosevelt Johnson, deputy associate administrator for education at NASA and Camsie McAdams, senior advisor on STEM Education, Department of Education; have taken field trips to leading institutions of STEM innovation, such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum and engaged in discussions with executives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on opportunities for educators to enhance classroom teaching techniques.

The call for applications for the STEM Academy programs is now open through February 4, 2014. Educators across the country can apply for the 2014 STARs programs or the 2014 Siemens STEM Institute by visiting, and check out the video below for an inspirational look at last year’s STEM Institute.