Thursday, December 10, 2009

Education for Innovation Website Launched

From ITEA member Dave Janosz:

Today I am launching a new website and Podcast dedicated to helping people understand how and why students study technology and engineering K-12.

The website is and the Podcast feed can be found at

While the intended audience is those outside of our immediate profession, I hope that you also may find some of the material useful.  It is the only resource that I know of that explores the issue through multimedia and commentary by those inside AND outside of the profession.  The guests tout the study of technology and engineering not only within a STEM model, but also within a larger interdisciplinary context, and explain in simple terms what goes on inside classrooms every day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Incorporation of Technology/Engineering Concepts into Academic Standards in Massachusetts

Efforts by Massachusetts over the past decade to develop academic technology/engineering standards and implement related programs has become a reference point for a number of other states and countries looking to support K–12 engineering education. This paper outlines the process Massachusetts has undertaken and describes some successes and challenges related to the development and implementation of engineering programs in K–12 schools.

Monday, November 23, 2009

White House Pushes STEM Education

President Obama will announce a campaign Monday to enlist companies and nonprofit groups to spend money, time and volunteer effort to encourage students, especially in middle and high school, to pursue science, technology, engineering and math, officials say.

Friday, November 20, 2009

ITEA Represented at International Conference on Technology Education

We have all heard "Less is More" in our everyday jargon. Recently there was an international conference held on this topic for technology educators.

On November 11-13, 2009, the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan hosted the International Conference on Technology Education in the Asia Pacific Region (ICTE).  Participants attending the conference were from Taiwan, Japan, China/Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, Germany, and the U.S. The Vice-President of National Taiwan Normal University, the Minister of Education for Taiwan, and the head of the National Science Council in Taiwan (NSC) (which is equivalent of the National Science Foundation in the United States) all provided greetings at the opening of the conference. The NSC funded the conference. There were five keynote speeches given plus numerous special interest presentations given at the conference. The 2011 ICTE will be held in Japan. For more detailed information on the ICTE conference, contact the organizer Dr. Kuang-Chao Yu at  <>.

Submitted by "Guest Blogger" Dr. William E. Dugger, Jr., DTE, who was also a presenter at the conference. To view Dr. Dugger's presentation titled "A 2009 Report on Technology Education in the United States go to: and view "Presentations."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Deadline for ITEA Professional Awards is December 1st!

Don't miss this opportunity to gain recognition for your program, your colleagues, or your own teaching accomplishments. Here is information about just a few of the award opportunities available to ITEA members.

Program Excellence Award
Sponsored by ITEA and NASSP, the Program Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to technology education classroom teachers on the elementary, middle or high school levels. It is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession. The Program Excellence Award provides public recognition at local through international levels. On the province or state level, recognition is granted at the affiliated association's annual meeting. The honoree is formally presented with an engraved plaque and other and other recognition at ITEA's Annual Conference.

Who is Eligible?
Candidates for the Program Excellence Award must be characterized as providing TIDE Education instruction of high quality, learner centered and relevant to a study of technological literacy.

Application Information:
Application information for the three levels of awards may be obtained from your affiliate association or by clicking one of the following:

Program Excellence Award Information -

Elementary - Word - PDF

Middle School - Word - PDF
High School - Word - PDF


Teacher Excellence Award
The Teacher Excellence Award is one of the highest honors given to technology education classroom teachers and is presented in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the profession and their students. The Teacher Excellence Award provides public recognition at the local through international levels. On the province or state level, recognition is granted at the affiliated association's annual meeting. The honoree is formally presented with an engraved plaque and other recognition at ITEA's Annual Conference.

Who is Eligible?
Candidates for the Teacher Excellence Award must be characterized as providing TIDE education instruction of high quality, learner centered and relevant to a study of technological literacy. Mandatory requirements include:

  • The teacher must be nominated by an educator.
  • The teacher must be a current member and have held membership for the preceding year in both ITEA and its affiliated state/provincial association.
  • The teacher must be certified to teach in Technology Education and must be a full-time TIDE teacher (at least four periods a day).
  • The teacher's administrators must concur that he/she is a professional worthy of being considered an outstanding educator.

Application Information:
Application information for the three levels of awards may be obtained from your affiliate association or by clicking one of the following:

Teacher Excellence Award Information -

Elementary - Word - PDF
Middle School - Word - PDF

High School - Word - PDF

Distinguished Technology Educator Award
ITEA's Distinguished Technology Educator (DTE) designation is a coveted mark of distinction in technology education. It recognizes technology educators who have demonstrated a high level of competence and conscientiousness in the field of technology education.

DTE Overview

ITEA created the Distinguished Technology Educator (DTE) program to provide a means for recognizing outstanding performance and accomplishments in the field of professional technology education. As one of the highest honors for professional achievement in technology education, the DTE designation recognizes the attainments of technology educators. Consideration for the award is based upon documented evidence of leadership/management skills, continuing participation in association education programs, and demonstration of leadership in association, community, and personal activities. The Distinguished Technology Educator program acknowledges the essential principles of adult learning. It incorporates into the process recognition and credit for work experiences and other accomplishments. The program recognizes those areas of technology education the DTE Board has determined to be most reflective of successful professional attainment.

To apply, to go


Special Recognition Awards

The application for all Special Recognition Awards can be accessed at
. Below are descriptions of several of these awards.

Award of Distinction
This award is presented to an individual within technology education who has advanced the profession through a sustained and recognized record of exemplary professional activity. To qualify for the Award of Distinction, the individual must be an ITEA member and have distinguished him/herself through accomplishments in:
a) Improvement of Instruction, or
b) Research and Scholarship, or
c) Effective Teaching.

Special Recognition Award
This award is presented to an individual who has established a sustained record of outstanding service to the field of technology education. To qualify for this award, the recipient must be an ITEA member and have made a significant contribution to ITEA or technology education. To be considered, individuals must meet one of the following criteria:
a) Promoted technology education at any level (local to international) with a resulting impact, or
b) Actively facilitated or participated in professional development for technology educators with a resulting impact, or
c) Recognized at any level for outstanding service or achievement in technology education.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Technological Literacy Framework

Public review of the NAEP Technological Literacy Framework for the 2012 test is open for public comment through January 15, 2010.

Please visit this site: and scroll down to the bottom of the page to download a copy of the November 4, 2009 discussion draft.

Make sure that your understanding of what "technological literacy" should be is reflected properly in the draft framework.

Dick Dieffenderfer, Consultant
Technology Education
and Environmental Education
Office of Curriculum & Instruction
Ohio Department of Education

Monday, November 9, 2009

Looking for Green Resources

Good afternoon All,

I have received many emails from people who been willing to assist in ITEA's effort to create a Green Resource Library for teachers. Some have followed through and sent items while others may have intended to, but have forgotten. At this point I would entertain any Green resources you could provide to place for the area of the ITEA website that we are building. Consider submitting links to lesson plans or curriculum, book titles, general information, contests, grants, movements, or anything you believe a teacher might be looking for in assisting in teaching Green in the classroom. Please forward any materials you would like to contribute to

Thank you in advance for your assistance and I look forward to your submissions.

Andy Stephenson, DTE

Past President, ITEA

Friday, November 6, 2009

ITEA President-Elect Attends NASA Ares Launch

ITEA President-Elect, Gary L. Wynn, DTE, was an invited guest at the recent launch of the Ares 1-X space vehicle at The Kennedy Space Center.

The launch was the first test of the vehicle that will be used after the space shuttle is retired. NASA's future space program will entail going back to the Moon and then beyond.

President-Elect Wynn was also part of an educational program that took place prior to the launch that included other invited educators from throughout the country. He also briefly the NASA Assistant Administrator, Dr. Joyce Winterton, on the many activities and techniques used by technology and engineering teachers in sharing the space initiatives with students.

For more information:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Governor's conference for STEM education set for Nov. 15-16 in Roanoke

ROANOKE — The Governor's Conference for STEM Education, to be Nov. 15-16 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, is designed as a forum for educators and other stakeholders to collaborate on creating a blueprint for the advancement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Virginia.


The keynote speaker will be Aneesh Chopra, who in August became the first chief technology officer of the United States. Chopra, formerly the secretary of technology for Virginia, is charged with using applied technology to help create jobs, reduce health care costs, improve national security, and increase access to broadband.

The keynote session on Nov. 15 will be followed by a reception at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center and an open house at the Roanoke Science Museum.

Speakers on Nov. 16 will include STEM education experts from the International Technology Education Association, National Center for Technological Literacy of the Museum of Science in Boston, University of Chicago School Mathematics Project, Science Museum of Virginia, Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, James Madison University, and the College of William and Mary.

Also addressing the conference will be Virginia's Secretary of Education Tom Morris and the Virginia Tech administrators who initiated the event: John Dooley, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs; Sue Ott Rowlands, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; and Sue Magliaro, director of the School of Education.

In addition, the conference will feature a "marketplace of ideas," showcasing successful STEM education programs at a variety of grade levels from throughout Virginia.

The general registration fee for the conference is $175; student registration is $95. The fees include all sessions and materials; the reception and open house Nov. 15; and continental breakfast, lunch and breaks Nov. 16.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Free Teachers' Guide from Design Squad

Design Squad, PBS's engineering reality competition series, has released a new Teachers' Guide. Be sure to order your FREE copy today. Developed for middle school science and technology teachers, Design Squad's latest guide blends hands-on engineering challenges with the following three core concepts:

FORCE: students build their own blimps
ELECTRICITY: students design electronic games
SOUND: students make and play instruments

The challenges use low-cost, readily available materials and are linked to national science and technology standards.

To order, go to:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Nature of Technology

In Dr. Arthur’s view, the relationship between science and technology is more symbiotic than is generally conceded. Science and technology move forward together in a kind of co-evolution. And science does not lead.

Read more at:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Deep Sea Dive Brings Success

Terrific article about ITEA member Brian Lien latest classroom experiences. He has been experiencing tremendous success reaching out to businesses.

Lien adds, "making connections outside of the classroom can and is very important. It will lead to real world problems your students can work on. Get out and make a connection and let us know what you did. Businesses in your community are willing to work with you; you just need to find the right person. As my school board member says, 'Do something, do something now.' Get it started and you will find all sorts of good PR for your class, your students, and your school. You be the next one to send information out about the connection you made and how it has improved your classroom."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

National TSA Week, October 5-9

National TSA Week is October 5-9. 2009! This is a great opportunity for your chapter to showcase your activities and accomplishments to your school and community.

Here are some ways that you can celebrate National TSA Week:

  1. Plan a community event. This is an excellent time to make the community and business leaders in your community aware of your TSA chapter. With the leadership of your chapter officers, you may wish to:
    1. Invite local business/community/industry leaders to a chapter meeting or school assembly to discuss technology in the workplace and what lies ahead for technology in the 21st century.
    2. Visit local business and industry to learn first hand how technology is applied.
    3. Host a community open-house after school to showcase chapter activities. Invite parents, community leaders, business and industry representatives, and neighboring schools.
    4. Visit a local elementary school and offer to assist them with a technology activity (for information on the Great Technology Adventure program for grades K-6, please contact National TSA).
    5. Write an article about your chapter and the importance of technology for your local or school newspaper. Include a group picture of your TSA chapter.
    6. Set up an information booth about TSA and encourage others to join.
    7. Hang posters and banners about TSA Week in your school.
    8. Wear TSA t-shirts or other attire to publicize your chapter.
    9. Host an appreciation luncheon for teachers, members, and business leaders who make your chapter the success it is.
  2. Formally recognize the principal of your school with a certificate which can be printed after your affiliation is complete. Principals are vital in supporting your TSA chapter. A formal presentation, honoring your principal as an honorary member of TSA, and reading the TSA proclamation will help solidify your TSA chapter within the school. Plan to have your chapter officers do this at a school assembly or chapter meeting. Invite local business, community, and industry leaders to attend the presentation.
  3. Send press releases to local newspapers, radio, and television stations letting them know of your upcoming event. Use this sample press release. Make sure to customize it with your chapter's name and other pertinent information (i.e., if your chapter invites a guest speaker, make sure to note who is participating, when and where it is taking place, etc.) Invite the press to attend any events you plan during the week and let them know who to contact for more information.
  4. Send all participants a formal, written "thank you" after the event. A certificate of appreciation that you may use or customize is enclosed.
  5. Send news and/or pictures of what your chapter did for TSA Week to Lynda Haitz, or mail to1914 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1540. All submissions become the property of National TSA and may be used in TSA publications or promotional displays.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FREE Inspire Girls in Engineering Webinar

Free webinar from Engineer Your Life - "Role Modeling 101: Inspire Girls in Engineering." The presentation is on October 6th at 1pm EDT. Participants will learn tips and techniques to become more effective role models, and get the most out of hands-on activities, classroom visits, and field trips. Dr. Linda Kekelis and Meg Shimizu from TechBridge will be presenting on this valuable topic:Effectively Communicating Engineering Careers to Girls

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FREE Engineering Curriculum

Winning engineering curriculum is available as a free download on the Engineering Education Service Center’s website. The Engineering Education Service Center’s 2009 Curriculum Contest was sponsored solely by the Engineering Education Service Center in an effort to reward teachers that are tackling this challenge.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Westinghouse Grant Opportunity

This grant is awarded to schools that exhibit creativity in science, technology and mathematics education of middle and high school students. Five schools total (middle and high) will be awarded $1,000 each for any creative project dealing with energy, mathematics, technology or science. The project must be completed during the 2009-2010 school year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maryland TE Teacher Wins Award

Great story about a Maryland teacher who has found his niche in technology education and has recently been named "Educator of the Month" by his school system.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Team America Rocketry Challenge

Registration for TARC 2010 is now open. This year's challenge is to design, build and fly a model rocket that reaches exactly 825 feet, stays aloft for between 40 and 45 seconds and returns the raw egg payload uncracked. Download the application now and be sure to submit it by November 30!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ExploraVision Awards Accepting 2010 Entries

The Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards Program, the world’s largest K–12 science and technology competition, is now accepting entries for its 2010 program year. ExploraVision students are able to discover the wonders of science and the potential for technological advancement, while using their imaginations to contemplate a better future. The deadline for entries is February 2, 2010.

For more information, go to

Monday, August 31, 2009

FREE Energy Lesson Plans

Download FREE Hands-on, Multidisciplinary Educator Lesson Plans from the Alliance to Save Energy. Each of these plans can be downloaded as a PDF file and printed out. Lessons are available at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Designing and Engineering Cell Phones

Your students are going to laugh when they see the size of the cell phone that mechanical engineer Mike Spence worked on seventeen years ago. Cell phone design and technology have certainly come a long way--but what haven't changed are the fundamental math and science skills designers and engineers rely on to make ideas a reality. Take your students to Motorola to meet an industrial designer, a mechanical engineer and a human factors engineer in this short documentary.

Watch the movie:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Engineering Education Service 2009 Poster Contest

“Engineers of America” is the theme for the Engineering Education Service Center’s 2009 poster contest. This year’s winning entry can be found in a display of inspiration, excitement, wonder and curiosity. Posters should be fun, motivational and inspire students to pursue a degree in engineering, technology, math and/or science.

Engineers are responsible for designing the infrastructure of society. From buildings, to bridges, to tunnels and towers, engineering is humanitarian, caring and possibly the most effective, hands-on approach to make the world a better place. The engineering field can be very exciting. If you would like a career that allows you to help others on a grand scale or if you ever wanted to make the world a better place, then engineering has something for you!

Engineers strive to make our lives better, easier, cheaper, more efficient and more fun by solving problems in everyday life. Engineers are practical inventors. It is through the work of engineers that we are able to prevent devastation from hurricanes, explore other galaxies, and prevent illness from the worst diseases. The work of engineers includes everything from electric cars to iPods to airplanes and underwater robots. Almost everything you touch has been influenced or designed by an engineer directly or indirectly. It is impossible to think of a major technical development that hasn’t included the work of engineers.

Contest deadline: 11:59pm November 6, 2009

To enter, visit:

Download a flyer:

View the 2005-2008 winning posters here:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are You a Top Star?

For almost 20 years, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has inspired and engaged educators and students of all ages. U.S. formal (k-12, college) and informal educators are invited to submit their best examples of using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope for science, technology, engineering or mathematics education. Those selected as Top Stars will receive national recognition and awards!

More information is accessible at

Friday, August 7, 2009

State of Maryland Addresses STEM Education

Below is a link to a recent article in the Baltimore Sun, which unveils the $72 million STEM education plan set forth by a task force appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. O'Malley is quoted as saying "STEM education is the foundation of our ability to be a prosperous nation going forward."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Underwater Engineers: Ohio Students Design ROVs

An Ohio Department of Education article highlighting the underwater ROV project of ITEA member Brian Lien. The project was also featured in the April 2009 issue of The Technology Teacher.

Read the story at:

Friday, July 31, 2009

DIY Podcasts Available from NASA

Are you looking for a new approach to engage your students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics? NASA's Do-It-Yourself Podcast activity sets the stage for students to host a show that features astronauts training for missions, doing experiments in space or demonstrating equipment. We'll provide a set of audio and video clips along with photos and information about a space-related topic. You and your students may choose as many items as you want to include in your project and download them to your computer. Students may use the information we provide or conduct their own research to write a script for an audio or video production.

Full information is available at:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Imagine, Design, Build Workshop Photos

ITEA member Bill Van Loo recently attended the Imagine, Design, Build workshop in Michigan and graciously shared the following photos. They are definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

President Obama, U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Announce National Competition to Advance School Reform

Between the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more than $10 billion in grant money will be available to states and districts that are driving reform.

For more information:

Top 5 Ways Nature Has Inspired Technology

From "How Stuff Works" - the Top 5 Ways Nature Has Inspired Technology.

Submitted by Jared Bitting of Pennsylvania.

Friday, July 24, 2009

STEM Educators Day

The following was submitted by "guest blogger" Dave Janosz of the New Jersey Technology Education Association:

July 15, 2009

A number of folks from New Jersey were invited to attend a special event titled “STEM Educators Day” hosted by NJ Representative Rush Holt. The agenda for the day was more than interesting. The speakers included several members of Congress (Holt, McNerny, Honda, Ehlers), the advisor to the House Education and Labor committee, and an advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education, among others.

Much information was shared, which shed light on important initiatives on the federal level at the moment. Here are some things that came up through the course of the day which may be worth some of your attention in the coming days and months:

H.R. 1709 “STEM Education Coordination Act of 2009”


SMART Grants (student aid)

Teacher Incentive Fund

No Child Left Inside Act

President Honors Math, Science, Engineering Teachers Mentors

Race to the Top Initiative of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

What Works and Innovation Fund

NGA Common Core State Standards Development

July 16, 2009

NJTEA President Chris Anderson and I attended two meetings with staffers from the offices of our two U.S. Senators, Menendez and Lautenberg. It was relatively easy to contact their offices and set up these meetings. All I had to do was give them a call and let them know I’d be in DC on this particular day and I’d like to meet with someone in the office that normally deals with education policy issues. While there is not much going in the Senate right now relative to STEM education, I do consider the individuals we met with important points of contact if needed in the future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Public Launch of the U.S. STEM Education Model

Below is a link to a number of resources pertaining to the Business-Higher Education Forum's recent launch of a STEM Education Model. The launch took place on July 8 at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

Materials from the event are available for download from:

Posted by Katie de la Paz

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Innovation, Motherhood, and Apple Pie"

An interview with the author of "Innovation, Motherhood, and Apple Pie." He provides a thought-provoking perspective on what constitutes "innovation" as well as the importance of differentiating between "effective" and "ineffective" innovations.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Engaging young people in STEM is a community job

A private sector executive discusses the importance of the private and public sectors working together to encourage students to enter STEM careers.

"Following the passionate and constructive dialogue between the panel and the more than 150 business and technology leaders in attendance, Massachusetts Lt. Governor Timothy Murray announced that Governor Deval Patrick would file an Executive Order creating the Governor's STEM Coordinating Council. This is an exciting opportunity and tremendous first step toward coordinating statewide initiatives to innovate STEM education."

The full article is posted at:

Posted by Katie de la Paz

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Education Materials Available Online at

Among the just-released materials, NASA and ITEA present the NASA Engineering Design Challenge. Students design, build, and evaluate lunar plant growth chambers - while engaging in research- and standards-based learning experiences. The lesson plans in this guide encourage students to participate in the engineering design process and learn how to conduct a scientific experiment.

For a listing of new materials, with links, go to:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Sustainability Classroom

ITEA is fortunate to have an excellent working relationship with the "Beyond Benign" organization. Beyond Benign is described as a nonprofit focused on creating a workforce and public that is well educated in green chemistry in order to create safer materials for a thriving society. Though they use the descriptive term, "green chemistry" they are quick to add that much of what they do has overlap with technology education. Representatives from BB have attended the past few ITEA conferences and been truly energized by seeing how our members embrace and are already implementing many sustainable practices.

Among the many opportunities that this partnership brings, is an opportunity for classroom teachers to attend BB's 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo - to be held next April on the Mall in Washington, DC. From BB's website:

The National Sustainable Design Expo is an event that brings together professional scientists, engineers, green chemists, business leaders and students around innovations designed to advance economic growth while reducing environmental impact. The Expo showcases the innovative designs of the EPA’s P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) student design teams.

Beyond Benign has issued an open invitation: the event is open to everyone at every age. They would love nothing more than for school buses full of technology teachers and their classrooms to descend on the Mall for the 2010 event. More information to follow - via ITEA and Beyond Benign at Stay tuned!

Posted by Katie de la Paz

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Will ITEA Tweet?

With the absolute slew of social and professional networking opportunities available these days, we feel a responsibility to make sure that ITEA is involved only in those that truly offer something beneficial to its members. Thus far, we've created opportunities for ITEA members on Linked In and Facebook and of course, here on Blogger.

The next site that is being given serious consideration is Twitter. While it is apparent that Twitter has useful applications for a membership association, it wasn't until I recently attended. a conference for my own professional development that I fully got the "Twitter experience." The conference organizers did a phenomenal job of using Twitter to make the attendees feel like tightly-knit group of colleagues - keeping them abreast of events, news, changes, and the like. The immediacy of the "tweets" truly made it feel like a conversation in which each attendee was involved.

For MUCH more on Twitter, including it's appeal to the masses, I strongly encourage you to read "How Twitter Will Change The Way We Live," recently published in Time Magazine. The article can be retrieved at,8599,1902604,00.html . It does a remarkable job of explaining what Twitter is all about.

Posted by Katie de la Paz

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Digital-Literacy Maven's Favorite Web Links

Excerpted from Edutopia Magazine:

As a professor of education, Michele Knobel uses the sites referenced in the website below. She believes that teachers-to-be must be savvy users of online technologies in order to be effective classroom teachers. She gives her students ample opportunity to create and collaborate through Web-based tools.

Posted by Katie de la Paz

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

House Science and Technology Committee Hearing

The FY 2010 budget request for Education totals $126.1 million and furthers NASA's commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Read much more:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Penn State Actively Involved in STEM Initiatives

Excerpt from the article:

"Penn State is playing a leadership role for the nation and beyond when it comes to educational initiatives involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to David H. Monk, dean of the College of Education, who gave a report to the University's Board of Trustees, Friday (May 15).

The STEM disciplines have been identified as critical in educating students who can advance the global competitiveness of the United States. Pennsylvania has joined a National Governors Association effort to make STEM education a top priority. Penn State's expertise in these areas, Monk said, will help the University build partnerships throughout Penn State as well as with agencies such as the Pennsylvania Department of Education and with the K-12 schools in the state. The College of Education, Monk said, is well-positioned to facilitate the development of these partnerships."

To continue reading the article, go to

Posted by Katie de la Paz

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Journals - Paper versus Electronic

For a number of years, we have wrestled with the concept of if and when to migrate our journals into an online format. We survey members, follow trends, and watch our bottom line - but the answer still remains elusive. 

Today I read the following article, which I feel takes us one step closer to the electronic eventuality. It's coming - just not sure how soon or how effectively. 

Posted by: Katie de la Paz

Friday, May 8, 2009

President Obama's Speech to the National Academies

A write up describing President Obama's recent speech to the National Academies of Science - expressing the need for better STEM education:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Recent Legislation

The House Committee on Science and Technology approved by voice vote three pieces of legislation recently. The bills aim to improve networking and information technology, improve international science and technology cooperation, and assist coordination of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.  

The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009 (H.R. 2020) aims to improve the NITRD program by strengthening its interagency strategic planning process and requiring input on the process from a wide range of industry and academic stakeholders.

The International Science and Technology Cooperation Act of 2009 (H.R. 1736) recreates a committee under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to coordinate the international science and technology activities across our federal agencies and support the United States foreign policy goals. identify opportunities for new international science and technology cooperative research and training partnerships

The STEM Education Coordination Act of 2009 (H.R. 1709) strengthens and elevates an existing Committee under NSTC to coordinate STEM education activities across the federal government, including at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Education, and all other Federal agencies that have programs and activities in support of STEM education.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Free STEM Resources

The "No Boundaries" project, developed by NASA and USA TODAY Education. No Boundaries helps students explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while learning about NASA — the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Working at NASA is like exploring space. If you have the curiosity, creativity, determination and problem-solving skills necessary, the opportunities are limitless. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Did You Know?

I can't verify the accuracy of the data provided in this video, but some of the numbers are staggering - and quite a few toward the beginning demonstrate just how important it is to be teaching technological skills to today's students.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Commemorating Earth Day

To commemorate Earth Day, today I'm providing two links that I hope you'll find relevant. The first,, provides an interesting history of Earth Day, authored by Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day. 

The second link is to the Earth Day Network, accessible at:
This resource provides information on Earth Day events, activities, and actions. 

Earth Day 2009 marks the beginning of a two-year push called "The Green Generation Campaign," which will also be the focus of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2010.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Technology's Rising Profile

In my personal life, I am the mother of four children, ages 20 to 6. I've had a lot of experience with our local school system (Fairfax County, VA), having had at least one child in attendance for the past 15 years. Overall, I am quite happy with our public schools and particularly with its enthusiastic and dedicated teachers. I have to admit, however, to being VERY pleasantly surprised when my first graders brought home a flyer last week announcing their school's first-ever, "Math, Science, and Technology Night." 

After a bit of research, I discovered that not only had the school system implemented "MS&T Nights" at most of the elementary schools, but it had also incorporated the curriculum areas into recently held "Career Days." Here's a link with more information:

I am thrilled to see the school system stepping up to provide our youngest students with these additional learning opportunities, as well as the opportuny to see and speak with people who are in MS&T-related occupations. 

I give a "thumbs up" to Fairfax County Public Schools and I hope this is a trend that will gain momentum around the country.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Science Fails to Inspire

Below please find a link to an interesting article from the Houston Chronicle, which concludes that students learn other subject areas, including science, better when they are infused with the type of learning that takes place in technology education. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Louisville - Saturday

By Saturday, most attendees seemed very pleased with the overall conference experience - though maybe showing some signs of tiring! 

There were several highlights on Saturday morning. The first was the TECA Manufacturing Contest - held in the Marriott. Many teams competed to see which could
 produce the most efficient "sorting" device. It was interesting and exciting to watch the manufactured
 pieces being put to the test. (One such test being shown here.)

Another highlight was the Teaching Technology Showcase (Technology Festival) held in the Convention Center. Quite a few
 teachers brought their materials to share with the crowd that attended. Pictured here is Tech Fest co-organizer, Curtis Funkhouser with Jerry Day from the University of Maryland - Eastern Shore. 

The culmination of the day, as well as of the Conference was the Awards and Recognition Luncheon. After an enjoyable meal, attendees were able to share in the excitement as a number of the highest professional recognition awards were presented. 

For those of you who attended the conference, we hope that your experience was educational, rewarding, and enjoyable. For those of you who were unable to attend, we hope you'll be able
 to make the trip next year to join your colleagues in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In a few days, the complete Louisville Conference photo slideshow will be available and a link will be posted here as well as on the ITEA website. Please be sure to check back.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Louisville - Friday

Friday morning kicked off with a live quartet of Kentucky-style music to go along with the coffee and breakfast. A large group gathered to watch and listen before heading into the morning's General Session. The Session itself had a memorable start with a race trumpeter to call the session to order. 

Many of Friday's big events centered around Nate Ball, host of PBS's Design Squad and our Second General Session speaker. Nate captured the attention of the large crowd by sharing his experiences as an engineering whiz from a young age - including blowing up his mother's kitchen with rocket fuel - complete with diagrams. Nate went on toMIT and is now a successful engineer, inventor, and TV host. After his presentation, Nate and Conference Honorary Chair were presented with customized Louisville Slugger bats by incoming ITEA President Ed Denton. 

Also at the Friday Generation Session, teachers from a number of states received the prestigious "Teacher Excellence" Awards. The winners are pictured here. Also presented at the same session were the "Distinguished Technology Educator" Awards.

Later in the day, Nate "dropped in" to the Exhibit Hall via his patented "Rapid Ascender." The ENTIRE Exhibit Hall stopped what it was doing to turn its full attention on Nate's multiple ascents to the very top of the hall, all the while explaining how the invention was developed as well as some of its very useful applications. 

The Exhibit Hall enjoyed a second full day of visits by attendees before closing at 4pm.
Immediately afterward, there were a large number of people in attendance at the "Tool 
Time" presentation put on by several members from Pittsburg State University. The session was greatly appreciated by the audience. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Louisville - Thursday

The first full day of conference activities kept all the attendees busy in Louisville today. We kicked off the day with a memorable presentation given by Alfie Kohn. According to Kohn's website, his "criticisms of competition and rewards have been widely discussed and debated, and he has been described in Time magazine as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of education's fixation on grades [and] test scores." Kohn had the very large general session crowd laughing as well as looking at the topics of assessment and standardized testing in a whole new light. He also directed anyone seeking further information about his work to reference his website at
Another highlight of the first general session was the much-anticipated presentation
 of the Program Excellence Awards. It's always inspirational to watch these teachers and 
their programs get this much-deserved recognition. It's also always impressive to see all the past Program Excellence Award recipients stand and be recognized. 

Immediately following the general session was the grand opening of the exhibit floor. Throngs of attendees flowed around the exhibits, spending time speaking one-on-one with vendors and learning about a number of new products. Thursday also including a full slate of special interest sessions on a wide variety of topics. 

There are so many interesting people here. Two who caught my particular attention are the ladies pictured below, holding their traveling companions: two "Flat Stanleys." 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Louisville - Wednesday

It was a rainy day in Louisville but Wednesday provided a steady stream of attendees all day long. Many attendees were involved in preconference workshops, but plenty of others were checking in and socializing in the registration area. 

If the number of free Advancing Excellence in Technological Literacy copies distributed were any indication, the number of attendees is fairly impressive. They were literally flying out of the Resource Booth. 

First thing this morning the Exhibit Hall was a giant empty shell. By the end of the day, however, it had undergone a transformation - one which will reach it's culmination tomorrow morning at 11 with the grand opening of the vendor exhibit area. (Pictures to come tomorrow.)
The official conference kick-off began with the Welcome Reception at the Marriott at 6pm. The reception was VERY well attended with a really big mix of people. Pictured below are Lauren Olson and some of her closest friends. 

Tomorrow will be another busy day in Louisville. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Welcome to Louisville!

Downtown Louisville is starting to fill with ITEA members! Today was a day of arrivals and preparation. The lobby of the Downtown Marriott (ITEA's headquarters hotel) was almost always busy with teachers greeting one another, often after a year or more. 

ITEA staff and volunteers spent much of the day making all the final arrangements and preparations for tomorrow's very full slate of events. 
Thanks to numerous hours of box moving and unpacking, the Registration Area and Resource Booth will be ready for business at 11am on Wednesday morning.  Pictured at right are former ITEA Presidents (and dedicated Resource Booth volunteers, Ron Yuill, DTE and Steve Moorhead, DTE.

It was a pleasant surprise to find that the thriving area of Fourth Street Live was literally
a short, one-block walk from the Convention Center. Full of great restaurants and various
other forms of entertainment, Fourth Street Live is a great venue for an evening out in downtown Louisville. 

The stage is set - let the conference begin!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where to Eat in Louisville - a Local Perspective

Submitted by “Guest Blogger” and ITEA Past President, Andy Stephenson, DTE. Andy is a local Kentuckian.

All visitors to Downtown Louisville will want to visit 4th Street Live, which is only two blocks from the ITEA hotels. This is where the action is. Dining includes some traditional stops like TGI Friday’s and Hard Rock CafĂ©. However, there are also choices with more local flair such as the Makers Mark Bourbon House & Lounge, where bourbon is an ingredient in many dishes and most nights there is live Jazz. (This is one of my personal favorites, though it can be a bit pricey). Additionally, the Red Star Tavern boasts steaks, pasta and seafood and some unique drinks and microbrews. If you are looking for some fun and light food, there is always the Lucky Strike Bowling Alley with, in additional to typical bowling alley food, an extensive list of unique flavored items such as Tuna Lolllipops and Turkey Brie wraps. Sully’s Restaurant & Saloon is a local favorite for good food and fun. A great place to relax and enjoy the evening. There’s even a food court with fast food like Wendy’s and Subway for the budget-conscious.

You can walk two blocks north to the river and enjoy a fun meal at Joe’s Crab Shack. The Bristol on West Main Street is a short walk from the hotel and is a Louisville original featuring local flavor including the infamous Kentucky Hot Brown and an extensive wine selection. Great Food and moderately priced. If you try the Bristol, I personally recommend the Artichoke Fritters/w remoulade or the Green Chili Won Tons for appetizers.

Of course if you would like to experience Southern Hospitality at its finest there is always the Oak Room at the Seelbach Hotel—a short walk from the convention area. The Old Seelback Bar is a treasure just to see, not to mention the finest bourbon and wine selections in town. But the warm Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie is the ultimate in Kentucky desserts!

If you would like a breathtaking view of the city, there is the Rivue, a revolving rooftop restaurant with fine local cuisine located at the top of the Galt House Hotel on the river just a five-minute walk from the Convention Center. This is extremely beautiful after dark.

Finally, we hope that on Thursday evening, everyone will join us for the special private ITEA dinner event at the Kentucky Derby Museum. The Museum is located on the front steps of historic Churchill Downs and is one of Kentucky’s premiere cultural attractions. To participate, you’ll need to purchase a ticket from the ITEA Registration Area at the Kentucky International Convention Center prior to Thursday at noon.

Enjoy your stay in Louisville! 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ITEA attends ASCD

The following was submitted by Guest Blogger and ITEA President, Len Litowitz, DTE:

ITEA recently exhibited at the annual conference of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ACSD) held in Orlando, Florida March 14th - 16th. Representing ITEA were Len Litowitz, ITEA President, and ITEA members Annette Rose (Ball State University), Jennifer Lee (Old Dominion University), and James Boe (Valley City State University).  The purpose of ITEA attending the ASCD conference and exhibiting at the convention was to help the ITEA build a greater presence for the Technology Education profession among the greater education community. Additionally, university representatives shared information about technology education teacher preparation programs and master's degree programs with interested conference attendees.