Go for Launch!
Higher Orbits will host a three-day STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) program called Go for Launch! for 50 students from grades 8 through 12 at Stanford L Warren Library (1201 Fayetteville St) on Monday, April 10 through Wednesday, April 12. The students will learn about human spaceflight, will meet retired astronaut Don Thomas, and will take part in hands-on activities that are designed to spark their imaginations and interest in STEAM-related careers. Higher Orbits is a nonprofit that promotes STEM concepts, plus leadership, teamwork, and communication by encouraging an interest in spaceflight. Click here to learn more.
Retool Your School campus beautification contest
Home Depot’s annual Retool Your School program is underway, and winning HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) can receive grants that can fund beautification upgrades to their campuses. This year, nine grants will be awarded—three $50K, three $40K, and three $30K. Schools gain points by having their students, faculty, alumni, fans, and neighbors cast votes online. There are three “clusters,” based on the size of the schools; North Carolina Central University is in Cluster 1 (school population 4,000+).
Click here to see how each school is doing in the ranks. As of press time, Alabama State University is in first place in Cluster 1; they must have terrific promotions in place, including social media. NCCU is currently in 7th place. Votes can be cast every day through Sunday, April 16; click here to vote now. Every vote counts!
High school art competition
High school artists are invited by the Congressional Institute to take part in the 2017 Congressional Art Competition, which can result in a trip to Washington DC for the winners. To compete, the students must live in the First Congressional District (Congressman GK Butterfield’s district). Judges are looking forward to see two-dimensional original works (paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, collages, and computer-generated art). Each piece has to be easily moveable, which means no larger than 26 inches tall, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches in diameter (thick), including the frame, if the piece uses one; and the weight limit is 15 pounds (including frame).
The winners will receive two roundtrip tickers to Washington DC, where they will be recognized at a special reception/ceremony—and their works will be on display for one year at the US Capitol.
Each student should also send a photo of the work being submitted (by mail or email) and write a one-paragraph statement explaining why you created it and what it means to you. A Student Information & Release Form should also be on record; click here to get it. Submissions must be received by the Friday, April 21, 5pm deadline via post : ATTN: 2017 Congressional Art Submission, 411 W Chapel Hill St, Suite 905, Durham NC 27701 or via email: GKBArt@mail.house.gov (type “2017 Congressional Art Submission” on the subject line).
Call 919-908-0164 for more info … and Good Luck!
Is redistricting necessary for Durham schools?
The Durham city and county schools merged back in 1992-93, with the goal of serving as many local young people as possible in the area. A few years ago, it was decided that if a school’s capacity falls below 85%, the school board would take a look to see if some redistricting will have to be considered. Right now, 11 schools are below the 85% threshold, five are below 90%, and nine are over capacity at 105% or more.
Durham Public Schools would like to hear your ideas. Click here to read the “2011 Guiding Principles” and to enter your thoughts.
Get more background information from the Durham Public Schools’s website and the document below:
Pets in the Classroom
Pre-k to grade-8 teachers are invited to submit applications for the Pets in the Classroom grant program when school starts up again. Through this program, Pet Care Trust has been able to introduce thousands of children to the world of pets within the past few years. Some kids are enjoying the concepts of nurturing and responsibility for the first time, and the numbers even show better school attendance for some.
The website has lots of information and helps teachers figure out which animal to choose (although you might want to start with the article, “Considering a classroom pet?”). Generally, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, freshwater fish, and parakeets are recommended for younger children/beginners; guinea pigs, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and snakes are recommended for intermediate learners; and conures (parrots), chinchillas, and rabbits are often chosen by older students. The needs and care of the pets, and details such as weekend care should be discussed openly with the class. (It’s recommended that the students take part in the choosing of the classroom pet.) Click here to visit the Pets in the Classroom website.