Welcome to the AV STEM Center Blog

This blog will provide information about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics efforts within the Antelope Valley, as well as links to helpful STEM sites and info from beyond. Check back periodically for updates.

Connect a Million Minds Tagline

Connect a Million Minds Tagline

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lancaster MPAF STEAM Scholarship Essays Due 10/1/15

The Lancaster Museum and Public Art Foundation is accepting essay submissions for a new STEAM scholarship.  Open to high school juniors and seniors throughout the Antelope Valley, the 500-650 word essays will address the topic: "How art and technology will impact the future of the Antelope Valley."  Submissions, due by October 1, 2015,  will be judged on their demonstration of skills in writing, critical thinking and creativity.  The winner will receive a $500 scholarship and a tour of ABC 7 television studio.  The student and his/her family will be honored at the October 17, 2o15 MOAH gala.

For further information, visit:  www.lmpaf.org

MEEC STEM Grants and Upcoming Activities in the High Desert!

Thanks to Samantha Murray for these items:

MEEC Grant-writing Workshop 9/24/15 in Victorville:

Join MEEC on September 24, 2015 for a FREE two-hour workshop spotlighting MEEC funding opportunities available to High Desert teachers!  During the workshop, teachers will have the opportunity to review MEEC’s grant application processes and walk away knowing the requirements for each of MEEC’s available funding sources.   Participants will  view sample applications for each program and have their application questions answered for the following grant opportunities:
EnviroBus Bucks Transportation Grants, School Garden Grants, EE Mini Grants, YELC and STEM Service-Learning Grants.

WHEN:  September 24, 2015
TIME: 4:30 PM-6:30 PM
WHERE:  Mojave Desert AQMD Offices, 14306 Park Ave., Victorville, CA 92392

Seating is limited, so early registration is recommended.  To reserve your space today, contact MEEC Program Specialist, Samantha Murray at (760) 245-1661 ext. 6717 or email: smurray@mdaqmd.ca.gov.  Registration Deadline is September 16, 2015.  For more info, visit:  MEEC Grant Workshop.

Energy from the Sun Teacher Workshop 10/1/15 in Palmdale:

Thanks to a generous grant from The Boeing Company, MEEC’s “Energy From the Sun”  teacher workshops will  equip educators with the tools to enable their students to conduct scientific research utilizing solar energy, draw conclusions, and develop critical thinking skills while learning how to reach logical conclusions and solutions about our future energy usage.

Each participating teacher will receive a kit that contains a Solar Oven, Solar Panel Kit, UV beads PLUS standards-based curriculum from the National Environmental Education Development Program (NEED).  NEED curriculum includes four levels: Primary, Elementary, Intermediate, and Secondary.  The NEED Project curriculum includes Teachers’ Guides and Student Lab Books for hands-on activities as well as a variety of resources to learn about renewable energy and their applications. Student Lab Book activities are designed for group learning, which promotes interaction among students. NEED's   K-12 curriculum helps schools meet the Common Core State Standards, develops student leadership, and brings the latest technology into the classroom.  Each kit is valued at over $200!!

When and where:  October 1, 2015, 4:00-6:00pm - AVUHSD Palmdale Conference Center, 1156 East Ave S, Palmdale, CA 93550.  RSVP by September 23, 2015 (currently full, but waitlist being taken); for details visit:  Energy from the Sun Workshop

Youth Environmental Leadership Conference 10/24/15 in the Victor Valley area: 

 Once again, the event will feature the "STEMFest" in addition to 3 workshops that the teams will rotate through. "STEMFest" is an opportunity for teams to rotate through the arena engaging with experts, mentors and other exhibitors to learn more about STEM environmental careers and projects while having fun with hands-on activities. Topics will focus on "green" themes such as water conservation, solar oven construction, robotics, composting, and school garden projects. The "technical" activities will be with the exhibitors in STEMFest, which provides a well-balanced program with something for everyone.  Attendees will hear a motivational address from Garner Holt, President and founder of Garner Holt Productions, Inc., an international design and manufacturing company that creates animatronics and special effects for theme parks, museums, shopping malls and restaurants.

Lunch, snacks, re-usable water bottles, YELC T-Shirts, and all conference materials are provided free of charge. Additionally, teams participating in YELC are eligible to apply for a project grant up to $250 to implement or further their environmental service learning project! By applying for and accepting these grant funds, you also agree to come back and participate with your team in the follow-up Spring 2016 YELC Showcase to share your project (regardless of what stage it's in) with other teams.  Transportation Reimbursement funds may be available upon request (if applicable) for participating teams in the Antelope Valley.

Teams of two to eight students, in grades 3 through 12, along with an attending teacher/advisor, from schools throughout the Mojave and High Desert, are invited to take part in this unique and FREE Conference.  Have parents complete the necessary participation forms and return them to MEEC by the October 5, 2015 Deadline.   Applications and transportation grants will be available online at: MEEC YELC 2016.

Environmental Education Mini-Grant Applications Due 10/30/15:

For a limited time, MEEC is accepting applications for environmental education school project and material mini-grants.   Recipients will be notified in early November and grants will be awarded by November 30th. Projects must be implemented/materials must be used in classrooms located in the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County, the Antelope Valley or the Palo Verde Valley of Riverside County.  Applicants must also teach within these jurisdictions.

Funded projects must be completed/purchased by June 18, 2016.  Average grant amount will vary from $100 to $500, but may be higher.  Individual award amounts to be determined by MEEC. Only one grant will be awarded per teacher per school year.

Application deadline is 5:00 PM October 30, 2015.  The EE Mini Grant Application is attached and can also be downloaded from MEEC’s website at MEEC EE Mini-Grants.   Completed applications may be mailed to MEEC/EE Mini Grants, 14306 Park Avenue, Victorville, CA 92392 or faxed to (760) 241-6271. For questions, contact Christie Robinson at (760) 245-1661 ext. 6101.

"A Garden in Every School" Grant Applications Due by 10/30/15:

Through the generous support of MEEC’s  sponsors and a special grant from MEEC partner Alliance for Water Awareness and Conservation (AWAC), schools may apply for a grant to provide them with the basic tools necessary to start or sustain a school garden.  This grant opportunity is now open to schools in the Antelope Valley.

Interested teachers must submit a completed application form that includes the proposed project, desired materials , a budget cost breakout based on the actual material costs, including shipping and handling, if applicable (labor costs are not eligible for funding)  and how the project will address educational standards.  Recipients will be notified in early November and grants will be awarded by November 30th.  Grant Applications are attached and also available on MEEC’s website at MEEC School Garden Grants .

The maximum grant amount is $500.00. Individual award amounts will be determined by MEEC. Only one grant will be awarded per school per school year. To date, MEEC has awarded school garden grants to 29 schools in the High Desert.  The application deadline is 5:00 PM October 30, 2015. Completed applications may be mailed to MEEC/School Garden Program, 14306 Park Avenue, Victorville, CA 92392 or faxed to (760) 241-6271. For questions, contact MEEC Program Specialist Samantha Murray at (760) 245-1661 ext. 6717. 

New NASA/AERO Educator Opportunities!

Thanks to Sondra Geddes for the following information:

Please join the NASA Armstrong Educator Resource Center in bringing the Apollo legacy
to your classroom by attending the Lunar Meteorite Sample Disk Certification workshop.  Learn hands-on activities that can be used in your classroom and give your students access to view and explore some small portions of these “extraterrestrial” materials.

NASA has actual lunar samples from the historic Apollo missions available to lend to
K-12 formal educators upon successful completion of the Lunar Meteorite Disk Certification

NOTE: To be eligible for certification, educators must be currently employed at an
accredited school as a formal K-12 classroom teacher or as a pre-service teacher
enrolled at a teaching institution.

WHEN: Saturday, September 19, 2015, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm PT
Location: NASA Armstrong Educator Resource Center at the AERO Institute, 38256 Sierra Hwy., Palmdale, CA 93550.  Register Online: http://aeroi.org/ercForm/index.html

There is no charge for the workshop. Free NASA educational materials will be provided. Seats are very limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Questions? Call Sondra Geddes at 661-276-2359 or email at sondra.l.geddes@nasa.gov

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 Fellowship Year!

The AEF Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend 11 months working in a Federal agency or U.S. Congressional office, bringing their extensive classroom knowledge and experience to STEM education program and/or education policy efforts.

Program applications are due November 19, 2015, 8:00pm EST, and must be submitted through an online application system.

To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. citizens, be a current employed full-time in a U.S. public or private elementary or secondary school or school district, and must have taught full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school for at least five of the last seven years in a STEM discipline.

Current sponsoring agencies include, but may not be limited to, the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The DOE also sponsors up to four placements in U.S. Congressional offices.

The AEF Program is managed by the DOE Office of Science, Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, in collaboration with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

Information about the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program, including eligibility requirements, program benefits, application requirements, and access to the online application system can be found at http://science.energy.gov/wdts/einstein/.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Plutopalooza Scheduled for Thursday Night on the Square 7/16/15

Join Dr. Dana Backman, NASA's SOFIA Outreach Director, at "Plutopalooza" on Thursday, 16 July 2015, at Poncitlan Square in Palmdale.  Solar system-themed hands-on activities and a special presentation will be made on "SOFIA:  Chasing Pluto's Shadow."  Presentations are at 6:00pm and 6:45pm.  Poncitlan Square is located at the City of Palmdale Civic Center.  For further information about TNOTS, visit:  Thursday Night On the Square .  For additional information about NASA/AERO Institute programs, go to:  AERO Institute Palmdale .

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hacienda Elementary School Wins 2015 Mojave Intermediate Space Challenge

Congratulations to Cal City's Hacienda Elementary School students who placed first overall in the 2015 Intermediate Space Challenge at the Mojave Air and Spaceport on 15 May 2015.

View video of the day at 2015 Mojave Intermediate Space Challenge .

Monday, April 13, 2015

Journey to Mars Workshop Scheduled 5/2/15

Are you ready to go on a Journey to Mars? Join NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Oce of Education for an educator professional development workshop on Rocketry. Through hands-­on experiments and physical demonstrations, educators will select a mission and learn how to design and construct a high-­powered paper rocket that will achieve the mission. Engage in hands-­on, standards-­aligned mathematics, science and engineering activities as you construct a rocket, predict its performance and its chance of mission success, fly the rocket, and file a post-­ight mission report. Missions include achieving high-­ altitude records, landing on a “planetary” target, carrying payloads, testing a rocket recovery system, and more. Instructions are provided for dierent paper rocket construction techniques. Learn about real world connections with NASA research and our Journey to Mars. 
 WHEN:  Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

 Target Audience: K-­2 Formal and Informal Educators

 Location: NASA Armstrong Educator Resource Center at the AERO Institute, 38256 Sierra Hwy., Palmdale, CA 93550

 Register Online: aeroi.org/ercRegister/index.html   
 Questions? Call Sondra Geddes at 661-­276-­2359 or email at sondra.l.geddes@nasa.gov

 There is no  charge  for  the  workshop.  Free NASA educational materials  will  be provided.  Seats are limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

NASA Hubble Telescope Event Planned for 4/23/15

To commemorate this quarter century of success in engineering, science and culture, NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center Office of Education will host an educator workshop to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Since its launch, Hubble has allowed astronomers to observe the universe in stunning clarity, revealed properties of space and time, and shed light on many of the great mysteries of the universe making conjectures certainties. Learn about NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft that also explores the universe with an onboard infrared telescope. Educators will interact with subject matter experts and make connections between Hubble and SOFIA as well as enjoy a tour of the SOFIA aircraft at Hangar 703 in Palmdale.
 When:  Thursday, April 23, 2015, 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm, Pacific

Eligibility: US Citizens who are K-12 Educators (Formal, Informal, Pre-service)
Location: NASA Armstrong Hangar 703, 2825 East Ave P, Palmdale, CA 93550

Registration: 1) Apply at aeroi.org/ercForm/index.html ; 2) Submit Personal Information for Visitor Request and Hangar Access:  -Full Name; -Email address; -Country of Citizenship; -Date of Birth; -Place of Birth (City, State); -Driver's license number and state of issue’ -Last six digits only of your social security number.
Questions: Call Barbie Buckner at 661-276-2966 or email barbie.buckner@nasa.gov

 There is no charge for the workshop. Free NASA educational materials will be provided. Space is limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first served basis.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Northrop Grumman Fab School Lab Contest Open 5/4/15

Northrop Grumman Foundation is launching an online contest to encourage STEM innovation through updated labs in middle schools.  The "Fab School Labs" competition is open from 4 May through 28 August 2015, and will offer 5 grants of up to $100,000 to update science, technology, or engineering spaces.  Teachers in eligible public middle or charter schools (grades 5-8) may apply with a video and essay, one per contestant per school site.  Communities will vote for 25 selected finalists to determine grant winners.  For more information on eligibility, rules, etc., visit Northrop Fab School Labs Rules .

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Antelope Valley AIAA to Host Career Night 4/23/15 at AVC

The Antelope Valley Chapter of AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) is hosting a Career Night for students from 8th grade to college and their parents in celebration of National Engineering Week.  The event will be held on 23 April 2015, from 6:00-7:30pm in the Board Room (SSV151) at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster.  A panel discussion of what engineers do will be featured, along with FREE PIZZA!

For more information, visit AV AIAA Facebook or email aiaa.av@gmail.com .

MEEC "Slow Your Flow of H20" Video Contest Submissions Due by 5/5/15

With the Governor's new announced water restrictions due to California's drought, this contest is particularly timely.

The Mojave Water Agency invites you to take part in the “Slow Your Flow of H2O” water conservation video contest!  Students in grades 3-12 can create a 30-second to one minute video demonstrating the unique ways they are taking their water conservation techniques to the next level in and around their homes.   

When it comes to conserving water, even the smallest adjustments can have a big impact.  Taking shorter showers and watering your lawn less often are effective ways to reduce our water footprint, but what else can you do to conserve water? 

There are THREE Prize categories:  Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8; Grades 9-12.   First, second, and third place winners will be awarded in each category.  All awards are gift cards.

First place winners will receive $150, second place $75, and third place will receive $50.

  • Create an innovative 30-second to one minute video promoting water conservation.
  • Videos may be submitted as a DVD/CD, SchoolTube/YouTube/PowToon link,  or Media File.
  • Your video will be judged on uniqueness, creativity and the best portrayal of how you conserve water indoors or outdoors.   Additional Judging Criteria: Does your video encourage others to conserve water? Is it entertaining? Does is demonstrate how you are conserving water?  Providing a “title” for your video is optional.
  • Video links  and Media Files may be emailed to  smurray@mdaqmd.ca.gov
  • DVD/CD entries may be mailed or hand delivered to: MEEC, 14306 Park Ave, Victorville, CA 92392
  • Individual entries only.  Each entry must contain the student’s name, grade, school and contact phone number to be considered.
  • Deadline for submission is May 5, 2015 at 5:00 PM.
  • Winners will be notified by phone and invited to attend the Red Carpet Award Ceremony presentation on May 21, 2015 at The Mojave Water Agency.
For further information, please call Samantha Murray, at: (760) 245-1661 ext. 6717 or visit Meec/MWA Slow Your Flow of H20 Video Contest
All submissions become the property of MEEC and The Mojave Water Agency