November 18th, 2013

Science House Foundation a Spotlight Member of the Global Campaign for Education

Science House Foundation is a spotlight member of the Global Coalition for Education.

Science House Foundation is honored to be listed in this month’s Coalition Member Spotlight at the Global Campaign for Education – US. GCE-US is a consortium of NGOs headquartered in the United States who are focused on transforming the global education paradigm. Science House Foundation is committed to making education accessible to all and pleased to be partners with this venerable global education organization.

GCE-US promotes access to education as a basic human right and mobilizes the public to create political will in the U.S. and internationally to improve education for the world’s poorest children. As a coalition, GCE also works to promote the importance of pre-school education, prevent abusive child labor, increase adult literacy rates, and eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education.

Thank you, GCE-US!

November 11th, 2013

A new partnership with Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil

Mariana Tóffolo and Prof Silmara Sartoreto with their MicroGlobalScope kit.

Science House Foundation is excited to announce a new partnership in Brazil in collaboration with the Universidade Estadual de Londrina in Brazil’s southern state of Paraná.

You can read the original announcement in Portuguese on the UEL site here.

This past summer, Mariana Machado Tóffolo, a Biological Sciences Major who was awarded Brazil’s prestigious Scientific Mobility Program scholarship (Ciência sem Fronteiras in Portuguese), spent one year studying in the United States, and completed a three-month internship at Science House Foundation, under the coordination of Joshua Fouts, Executive Director of the Foundation.

When Mariana returned to Brazil, she began a research project in partnership with Science House Foundation under the coordination of Dr. Silmara Sartoreto de Oliveira, Professor of Biological Sciences at UEL, (Londrina State University). The research project aims to spark interest in children 10-14 years old in topics related to science, and from there encourage a new generation of future scientists. Professor Sartoreto’s research has focused primarily on pedagogy in the Biological Sciences.

The project being developed by Mariana and under the direction of Professor Silmara is linked to Science House Foundation’s MicroGlobalScope program. Science House Foundation is headquartered in New York City with partners in 28 countries.

Through this partnership, UEL in Londrina, now represents a new pole in Brazil, putting the University on the map pursuing unique cultural collaboration, informal-science education research. The research will use a hands-on approach providing an environment where students can explore their own knowledge through an investigative educational framework. The children will study microscopic specimens of some organisms, which will be visualized and compared with the two types of microscopes that are included in the MicroGlobalScope program — an upright Celestron microscope and a hand-held MiScope, which has been used for forensics research, which were donated for research by Science House Foundation.

UEL and Science House Foundation plan to collaborate in developing a longitudinal survey and image data, with a focus on pedagogy and learning processes, beginning with discussions around the initial observations of the students. This project will also focus on the importance of core training of UEL students of Biological Sciences. They will be able to use the kits donated by Science House Foundation in their teaching internships, and thus experiment with new teaching approaches, techniques and methodologies.

October 24th, 2013

A New Partnership in Kazakhstan with the Al-Farabi-Carnegie Program on Central Asia

Students in Kazakhstan try out their new cyber classroom using new MicroGlobalScope equipment. A collaboration between the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Science House Foundation. Image credit: Diana Galperin

Science House Foundation and the Al-Farabi – Carnegie Program on Central Asia are pleased to announce a new education and cultural collaboration partnership creating synergies between the Carnegie Endowment’s work to find solutions to electricity and telecommunications shortages in remote areas in Kazakhstan with Science House Foundation’s worldwide informal science education program MicroGlobalScope.

The cooperation began when Al-Farabi – Carnegie’s Diana Galperin reached out to Science House Foundation suggesting there might be a way for the two programs to work together to create cultural connections around science education.

Science House Foundation’s MicroGlobalScope program connects schools in over 25 countries via a combination of microscopy equipment grants and a unique digital platform in which students, teachers and scientists share and discuss their microscopy discoveries. Science House Foundation believes that two core survival skills needed for success in tomorrow’s workplace are an appreciation for science and a sensitivity for cultural collaboration. We work to create a culture of discovery and collaboration.

Al-Farabi – Carnegie’s SolarTech project has studied a sustainable development model for providing off-grid energy and internet access. Located in Chilik, Kazakhstan, about a two hour drive from the largest city in Kazakshtan, Almaty, the project has worked with a local school- the Tole Kenzhebaeva School to study this model.

A Trip to Almaty

The new MicroGlobalScope kit is unpacked. Image credit: Diana Galperin

Diana traveled to Almaty twice in the past six months, once in July and again in late August 2013 where she delivered and installed the MicroGlobalScope microscopy kit.

A diverse group of community members including local government officials, teachers. children, and women participating in business trainings came out to view the launch. The local elected official, a scientist himself by training, spoke about the community’s excitement for new resources to involve children in science.

The school director discusses her vision for how the microscopes will be used in the school.

Collaborative Science Futures

Al-Farabi Carnegie was supported by an initial seed grant, with plans to see an expansion in the creation of the solar-powered Interent labs in other parts of Central Asia.

We look forward to sharing updates of this unique collaboration with you as we launch in schools in these regions in coming months.

October 14th, 2013

News Stories from Malaysia

“Outside the USA we are increasingly building programs that span a broad range of education levels from early childhood through university.” – Ralph L. “Skip” Boyce, President Boeing Southeast Asia

Our hosts from STEM States, the Australia-based NGO that convened WORLDSTE2013 (at which we held the Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education Summit) have compiled a long list of the media coverage of our gathering in this downloadable PDF: STEMFest2013 Media Coverage.

You’ll find cover stories in the Sarawak Tribune about Skip Boyce, President of Boeing Southeast Asia and Dr. Tin Hlaing, Science Advisor for Aung San Suu Kyi, among many others.

We are thrilled with the great coverage we received and happy to share it with you here.

October 8th, 2013

Science House Foundation welcomes Five New Science Advisors

We are pleased to announce welcome five new science advisors who will specifically be working with the students and teachers in our MicroGlobalScope community.

 

Beth Kolko, PhD
Professor, Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, USA 

Beth Kolko is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. Her academic history includes a background in rhetoric, cultural studies, and online communities. She began researching the Internet in the days of newsgroups and Lynx, and at that point focused on how people used the medium to communicate and interact. In 2000, she co-edited Race in Cyberspace which was the result of several years’ research into how issues of race and gender affected technology usage patterns. She then took those research questions to an international context, spending half a year on a Fulbright in Uzbekistan in 2000. She spent ten years tracking the emergence of information and communication technologies in Central Asia since then, and has worked in several other developing regions, including Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. She runs the Design for Digital Inclusion (DDI) lab at UW. DDI researches diversity and technology from a design perspective, focusing on technology development for resource-constrained environments in order to counteract what could be called a failure of imagination in terms of how devices, software, and services are designed. The DDI group thinks about the other five billion potential users, about computing beyond the workplace or the desktop, and broadly about technologies that can help address the challenges of everyday life. Beth works closely with the change (change.washington.edu) group at UW, collaborating with colleagues in computer science on a variety of projects including a low-cost ultrasound system designed for midwives and a new, multi-year global health technology project.

Somewhere in the past several years she started spending time in hackerspaces, attending hacker cons, and diving into DIY and Maker culture. After a few years of that, and after several years marveling at the creativity of students, she started Hackademia in an attempt to bring the habits of mind of hackers and makers into the university setting. Beth is fascinated by creativity, innovation, and how a new perspective on an old problem can be a game changer. Hackademia is an attempt to create a cohort of *functional* rather than *accredited* engineers, to give a wide set of students basic engineering literacy and the tools to explore potential solutions by bringing the creative mindset of the nonexpert into the mix. It’s also an attempt to bring the joy of exploration to center stage.

Sarah Khan, PhD
Ethnobotanist 

Sarah Khan is an ethnobotanist, entrepreneur, writer and journalist. Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and a PhD in Ethnobotany.

Sarah is a contributor for the award-winning food and culture website, Zester Daily. Her work has also appeared in The Art of Eating and Yahoo India. She writes about the story behind the migration of people and plants, food, culture and the environment. Often, she highlights the origins, culinary, ethnobotanical and medicinal use, contemporary scientific research, and cultivation practices of a particular spice or food. She employs multiple media (photography, video, audio) to convey her stories. Her academic research has appeared in The American Botanical Council’s Herbal GramThe Journal of Alternative and Complementary MedicineIntegrative Medicine by David Rakel MD, and in The American Journal of Health Education.

Sarah is the founder of The Tasting Cultures Foundation (TCF) Inc., a not-for-profit founded in 2009. TCF develops vibrant people-centered educational programming about the multisensory intersection of food and culture. A main focus is “The Arts of Foodways”, a series that highlights artists’ connections to food. TCF has curated two exhibitions: one in Charleston, SC on African and African American Foodways, and a second in Milwaukee, WI on Latino Foodways. By looking at the world through the lens of food, TCF has a fulfilling time co-creating community where all come to the table as equal eaters and contributors.

Dr. Amancio Friaça, University of São Paulo, BRAZIL

Dr. Amâncio Friaça is a researcher in astrophysics, cosmology and astrobiology at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences of University of São Paulo and is also dedicated to history and philosophy of science and teaching in science. Having organized several workshops and schools of astrobiology, he is currently involved in middle and high school educational projects from the point of view of astrobiology and microscopy.

 

 

Dr. Gary Wagenbach, the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Biology, Science, Technology, and Society, Carleton College, USA

Gary Wagenbach, the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Biology, Science, Technology, and Society Emeritus, taught biology and environmental studies at Carleton for 39 years.  Wagenbach is a leader in off-campus studies directing ecology-oriented programs in Bermuda, California, New Zealand, Australia, and Tanzania.  His on-campus courses included biology of invertebrates, parasitism and symbiosis, and courses in the Environment and Technology Studies program.  He directed Carleton’s concentration in Environment and Technology Studies for four years until retiring in 2008.  His research interests include water quality issues and threatened species of freshwater mussels.  His most recent project involves teacher training and K-12 curriculum development for a bilingual (English & Burmese) school, Lumbini Academy, located in Yangon, Myanmar.

 

Dr. Lauren Birney, Professor of Education, Pace University, New York, NY USA

Dr. Lauren B. Birney Ed.D is an urban STEM educator with twenty-five years of experience in the field. Currently, she teaches in the School of Education at Pace University preparing both pre-service and in-service teachers in the areas of curriculum and instruction, classroom management, teaching methodologies and research techniques. Lauren earned a B.A. in Biology/Chemistry from the University of San Diego, an M.A. in Counseling & an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. She serves as a consultant to EduChange; a firm that provides professional development; creates content, curriculum & assessment systems; and conducts program evaluation services for the K-12 educational community. Furthermore, serving as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation has been extremely rewarding and gratifying while providing insight into the field of STEM Education.

 

September 23rd, 2013

Complete Program for Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education Summit

We are pleased to share with you the complete program for our upcoming conference next week on Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education. You can download the complete PDF here.

Our conference will be part of a week’s worth of an international festival of conferences on science and arts education around the world working to make concrete impact in the STEM field. We’re incredibly proud and excited about the international gathering keynote speakers – leaders of industry, policy and academia — who will be joining us to share their insights, wisdom and ideas.

Science House Foundation would like to extend special thanks to our grant supporters who have provided critical financial support to make it possible for many of these amazing speakers to join us. Lead supporters include: The Sarawak Convention Bureau, The Richard Lounsbery Foundation and The Ford Foundation.

September 16th, 2013

Communicating Science, Creativity and Entrepreneurship with Brazil. A New Symposia Series

Download the below announcement in PDF format here.

 

Announce a New Symposia Series:
Communicating Science, Creativity and Entrepreneurship
A collaboration between
Science House Foundation
&
The Consulate General of Brazil in New York

Hosted at Science House

For three evenings in October and November 2013, Science House Foundation will host an intimate series of discussions with leading US and Brazilian entrepreneurs, journalists, and science and culture communicators in discussion with the 2013-2014 cohort of Brazil’s “Ciência sem Fronteiras” scientific mobility program. The three events, detailed below, will be hosted at Science House, located at 122 E. 38th Street, New York, NY (between Park and Lexington).

Space is extremely limited for these events. See below for more information about how to RSVP. 

Communicating Entrepreneurship
Wednesday, October 16 6:30-9:00pm
Workshop Coordinator: James Jorasch
Guest Speaker: Guilherme Campellon

James Jorasch and Guilherme Campellon will discuss strategies and approaches to entrepreneurship in cross-cultural context. Brazil has experienced radical economic and entrepreneurial growth in the past decade. How can the US experience inform this?

About the speakers:
Science House Founder James Jorasch is an entrepreneur and investor in a dozen companies driven by math and science. He is an inventor named on over 550 patents.

Guilherme Campellon, a Brazilian native, is Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer at SirGroovy.com, an award winning music licensing startup, with clients such as Disney ABC, Viacom, and CBS. In addition, he is an Executive Producer for film and TV. Most recently the documentary, Con Artist, about 80′s art star Mark Kostabi, featured at the Tribeca Film Festival. Guilherme currently lives in New York, where he is an undergraduate student at Columbia University.

Communicating Culture
Tuesday, October 29, 6:30-9:00 pm
Workshop Coordinator: Joshua Fouts
Guest Speaker: Jorge Pontual

Jorge Pontual and Joshua Fouts will discuss the nuances of explaining the US experience to Brazil. Brazil and the US have had a long history of collaboration dating back to the 1800s when the United States was the first country to sign Brazil’s declaration of independence in 1822. But new revelations about spying by the NSA have created new challenges. What role can a Brazilian journalist in the US play in helping to explain these issues?

About the speakers:
Joshua Sheridan Fouts is Executive Director of Science House Foundation. Joshua’s career for the past 20 years has focused on the business of intercultural development and communication. He worked for the US State Department before founding multiple think-tanks at the University of Southern California focused on cultural understanding. He now oversees the global expansion of SHF, which currently operates in 27 countries, including Brazil, with the purpose of getting kids excited about science and giving them a platform to share their discoveries.    

Jorge Pontual is Senior Correspondent of Rede Globo TV. His career spans more than 40 years in broadcast journalism at Brazil’s largest news network. Since 1998 he has been reporting on news, politics and culture from New York City where he contextualizes news and events in the US for a Brazilian audience.

Communicating Creativity through Social Media and Publication
Wednesday, November 6, 6:30-9:30 pm
Workshop Coordinator: Rita J. King
Guest Speaker: Amanda Moon

Amanda Moon and Rita J. King will discuss creative strategies for understanding and employing social media communicating science and creativity. Brazil is one of the largest communities on the planet using social media. How can social media be harnessed for good?

About the Speakers:
Rita J. King, Science House EVP for Business Development, is a media strategist and storyteller who has worked as an investigative journalist and as a consultant to Fortune 100 companies like IBM and Manpower. Her specialty is global collaboration on the new culture and economy. Features by her or about her work have appeared globally, in The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, on CNN, Fox News, in the Christian Science Monitor, the BBC, Al Jazeera and in many other publications and media.

Amanda Moon is an editor who runs the collaborative publishing imprint by Scientific American and Farrar, Straus and Giroux. This position requires creative thinking through content to make it informative and entertaining, as well as new marketing models for promoting the books.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact:
Frederico Menino
Coordinator of the Department of Educational Cooperation
Consulate General of Brazil in New York
Phone number: 917-777-7637
E-mail: csf.novayork@itamaraty.gov.br

About the Partners

Consulate General of Brazil in New York
novayork.itamaraty.gov.br
Established in 1836, the Consulate-General in New York is one of the oldest outposts of the Brazilian Government. It provides assistance and consular services to the Brazilian community and residents of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and  Bermuda Islands. The Department of Educational Cooperation was created in May 2012 and, among its activities, it provides local assistance to participants of the Program “Ciência sem Fronteiras”.

Science House, LLC
sciencehouse.com
Science House was founded by James Jorasch, an entrepreneur and inventor named on over 550 patents owned or licensed by Priceline, Facebook, Zynga, eBay, Groupon, HP, IGT, Scientific Games and many more. The staff of Science House has a long history of creating and growing highly successful businesses, projects and strategies related to the way people interact with technology and each other. James and Science House EVP for Business Development Rita J. King collaborate on customizing each engagement, whether teams need to book space for a spectacular offsite or brainstorm with Science House to rank, prioritize and maximize the value of your ideas.

Science House Foundation
sciencehousefoundation.org
Science House Foundation is an international New York City-based NGO (501(c)3 charity) dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to students around the world. The Foundation supports educational organizations, runs global educational programs for schools, connects our global network of scientists with schools and students, produces educational media, awards scholarships and prizes for outstanding students, and recognizes teachers for their contribution to science and math education.

 

September 10th, 2013

Keynote Speakers at the Transnational Collaborative STEAM Summit

Register now and get access to all a week’s worth of STEM conferences!

The first-annual conference exploring the world of cross-cultural, collaborative science and arts education is fast approaching — this October 3 and 4, 2013. Our conference will be part of a week’s worth of interesting conferences on science and arts education around the world. Learn about how you can participate here.

We’re incredibly proud and excited about the keynote speakers who will be joining us to share their insights, wisdom and ideas. Here’s a sampling of some of the speakers.

Science House Foundation would like to extend special thanks to our grant supporters who have provided grants to make it possible for these amazing speakers to join us. Lead supporters include: The Sarawak Convention Convention Bureau, The Richard Lounsbery Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Dr. Tin Hlaing, Science Advisor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, MYANMAR (BURMA)

Born in 1941, Tin Hlaing first got traditionally educated in the village monastery. He continued his education in the Royal Diocesan High School, Mandalay, an Anglican missionary school, and continued his higher education in Mandalay University, graduating in 1963 with a B Sc (Honours) in physics. After teaching in Mandalay and Yangon universities, he continued his studies in London University finishing PhD in 1976.

After a 33-year academic career, he joined the Myanmar Scientific and Technological Research Department as Director, and in 1997 he became Director-General of Atomic Energy Department in the Ministry of Science and Technology.  At the same time he held part-time professorship in Yangon Technological University. Upon retirement he joined the Myanmar Academy of Technology as Executive Member. Since 2004, he has been Academic Advisor in International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University.

As a writer with the pen name Phoe Hlaing, Tin Hlaing has twice won the National Literary Prize for translation. His interests are diverse, covering science, history, political history and education.  His recent involvements include membership of the Education Advisory Committee of the NLD (National League for Democracy), membership in the Parliamentary Committee for Upgrading Yangon University, and as Executive Member of Myanmar Press Council.

Ralph L. “Skip” Boyce, President, Boeing Southeast Asia, USA

Ralph L. “Skip” Boyce was appointed vice president of Boeing International and president of Boeing Southeast Asia in February 2008. He is responsible for strengthening the company’s presence across the region and supporting Boeing’s growth opportunities. He is based in Singapore and reports to Shep Hill, president, Boeing International.

Before joining Boeing, Boyce was a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State for 31 years. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Thailand from January 2005 to December 2007. Before that, he was ambassador to Indonesia from October 2001 to October 2004 and deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs from August 1998 to July 2001.

His earlier assignments with the U.S. government included deputy chief of mission in Bangkok; deputy chief of mission in Singapore; political counselor in Bangkok; and advisor to the deputy secretary of state, responsible for the foreign affairs budget. Boyce began his Foreign Service career with assignments in Tehran, Tunis and Islamabad.

Boyce is a trustee of the Asia Foundation Singapore. He has a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University (1974) and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Princeton University (1976). He speaks French, Persian and Thai.

Dr. Meghan Groome, Executive Director of Education and Public Programs, New York Academy of Sciences, USA

Dr. Meghan Groome is the Executive Director of Education and Public Programs at the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Groome is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry and the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on a $2.95M collaborative grant between the Academy and the State University of New York (DRL 1223303). Dr. Groome joined the Academy in July of 2010 after spending almost three years as a consultant to the American Museum of Natural History. While at AMNH, Dr. Groome worked on special projects in the Government Relations and Education Departments. Previous to her work at AMNH, Dr. Groome was a Senior Policy Analyst with the National Governors Association and worked on Governor Janet Napolitano’s Innovation America initiative and co-authored Building a STEM Agenda, a framework for state’s and large organizations to improve their science education pipelines from birth through graduate school.

Dr. Groome completed her PhD at Teachers College Columbia University in Science Education with a focus on urban science education and reform and conducted field research with Dr. Ann Rivet and Dr. Angela Calabrese-Barton at middle schools across NYC. Her academic work includes learning in informal environments, professional development for teachers, and specific classroom strategies for increasing equity and access in schools and has authored numerous articles and academic presentation on those topic areas. During graduate school, Dr. Groome co-founded uPublic, an education consulting company focused on local, national, and international education reforms including large-scale policy reforms in developing countries and school design. In addition, Dr. Groome was an Education Policy Fellow for the Institute for Educational Leadership.

Dr. Groome graduated from The Colorado College in 2000 with a major in biology and theater and is a certified science teacher with experience teaching PreK through Graduate school. She has taught chemistry, physics, and biology and was the founding biology teacher at a start-up school in Paterson, NJ.

Dr. Meeyoung Choi Programme Specialist in Education/ESD Team Leader Programme Specialist in Education/ESD Team Leader, Jakarta, INDONESIA

Dr. Mee Young has considerable experience in international education and environmental issues, having both academic background and practical experience evolving in a career path from a Science Education teacher, a researcher and a project manager of policy research team for Capacity Development and ESD since the late 1980s up to the present. She has a Ph.D. and MPhil in Environmental Education from King’s College London (University of London, London, UK), a MA in Environmental Education from Yonsei University (Seoul City, Republic of Korea), and a BA in Science Education & Biology education from Chungbuk University (Cheongju City, Republic of Korea). Mee Young has worked for the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Japan), the National Foundation for Education Research (UK), the National Environmental Technology Information Centre (South Korea), King’s College London (UK), and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Korea, to support ESD, address poverty issues through education, and promote Science Education in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr. Amancio Friaça, University of São Paulo, BRAZIL

Dr. Amâncio Friaça is a researcher in astrophysics, cosmology and astrobiology at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences of University of São Paulo and is also dedicated to history and philosophy of science and teaching in science. Having organized several workshops and schools of astrobiology, he is currently involved in middle and high school educational projects from the point of view of astrobiology.

Pascal van den Nieuwendijk, Director, “Shape the Future” Program in Asia, Microsoft 

Pascal is Director of the “Shape the Future” Program in Asia within the Microsoft Public Sector Group. Van den Nieuwendijk is focused on creating demand for Microsoft Software products and online services via Public and Private Partnerships. His mandate is to bring the benefits of technology to students, teachers, civil servants, health professionals, citizens and families in Asia by working with the governments, development agencies and industry.

Van den Nieuwendijk joined Microsoft in January 2010 to lead the “Shape the Future” program in Asia Pacific. This program aims at bridging the digital divide by improving access to technology, internet connectivity, 21st century teaching & learning and relevant local content. Microsoft collaborates with local and worldwide leaders on a comprehensive, long-term approach that positively impacts lives and creates sustainable development.

Pernilla Molander and Anna Kristensson, BRIGHT Education, SWEDEN

Pernilla Molander is the CEO of BRIGHT of Sweden; a Swedish company that develop and sell their own science education models around the world. BRIGHT of Sweden has taken their hands-on models from Sweden to a global market.

Anna Kristensson is the Marketing Director at BRIGHT of Sweden. BRIGHT of Sweden’s aim is to reach science classrooms all over the world and make the inner world of science available for everyone, everywhere.

Bryan “Rick” Switzer, Regional Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer (REO) Hub Director for East and Southeast Asia, US Department of State

Bryan “Rick” Switzer is the Regional Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer (REO) Hub Director for East and Southeast Asia for the United States Department of State.

Prior to Bangkok Rick served in Baghdad where he was the Program Manager of the $650 million Police Development Program.  His other previous postings include Barbados, Tijuana and Beijing.  Prior to joining State Rick co-founded a wireless technology start-up and also conducted innovation policy research at the University of California.  He brings with him an extensive background in entrepreneurship having helped launch the Global Connect program at the University of California San Diego and later the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation while recently serving at the Embassy in Bridgetown.

Rick’s educational background includes a Masters in International Management from the University of California, San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies.  He can speak Mandarin and Spanish.  Rick is married to Sandy Switzer who also works for the Department of State and they have three children.

Catherine Saldutti, President of EduChange, New York, NY USA

Catherine Saldutti is President of EduChange, Inc. She has over 20 years of experience in secondary education, and has served as a teacher, administrator, professional development provider, program evaluator and content developer. She founded EduChange in 2000 to provide practical solutions for teaching and learning. Her team of senior consultants has built relationships with over 350 schools in New York City and several school districts across the USA. In 2006 Saldutti founded Teachers for Learners to design instructional tools and systems including Concept Construxions, a patented tool to support interdisciplinary language learning in the academic domains. In 2010 she began forging relationships with education professionals and ministry officials in Chile, New Zealand and the UK. After a 10-year implementation period in NYC with partnering scientists from The Rockefeller University, the Integrated Biology & Chemistry Program has been digitally deployed in a Sao Paulo school and is being marketed internationally. Saldutti earned degrees from Stanford University, where she contributed preliminary work to TIMSS, and The Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Committee.

Caroline Chipperfield, Deputy Director, Education for East Asia, for the British Council, ENGLAND

Caroline Chipperfield is the newly appointed Deputy Director, Education (East Asia) for the British Council. Caroline has extensive experience within UK education and science policy having previously worked at Plymouth University, UK as Head of Policy and Strategy, the University of Hertfordshire, The Royal Society and the British Science Association. Caroline originally trained as a science teacher and has a BSc (Hons) in Physics with Mathematics, a Postgraduate certificate in education and an MA in International Policy and diplomacy.

Don Le ( Lê Triệu Đôn ) and Tony Ngo ( Ngô Chí Giang ), Co-founders, Everest Education, Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM

Don is co-founder, CEO, and teacher at Everest Education, an international tutoring social enterprise whose mission is to transform how students learn in Vietnam.  He has overseen the organization’s growth from an idea to 150 students on a shoe-string budget and virtually no advertising.  Don also serves as a Board Member of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity – Vietnam (SEO-Vietnam), and is currently President of the Board.  Don holds a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.

Tony is co-founder and Chairman of Everest Education.  Concurrently, Tony works for Bridger Capital, evaluating investment opportunities in Vietnam and globally.  Bridger is a $2bn private partnership based in New York, NY.  Additionally, Tony founded Sponsors for Educational Opportunity – Vietnam (SEO-Vietnam), a non-profit developing leadership capacity among a network of young professionals committed to making a difference in Vietnam economically and socially.

He is currently Chairman. Tony holds an M.B.A., Harvard Business School, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering, Stanford University, and B.A. in Economics, Stanford University

Dr. Gary Wagenbach, the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Biology, Science, Technology, and Society, Carleton College, USA

Gary Wagenbach, the Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor of Biology, Science, Technology, and Society Emeritus, taught biology and environmental studies at Carleton for 39 years.  Wagenbach is a leader in off-campus studies directing ecology-oriented programs in Bermuda, California, New Zealand, Australia, and Tanzania.  His on-campus courses included biology of invertebrates, parasitism and symbiosis, and courses in the Environment and Technology Studies program.  He directed Carleton’s concentration in Environment and Technology Studies for four years until retiring in 2008.  His research interests include water quality issues and threatened species of freshwater mussels.  His most recent project involves teacher training and K-12 curriculum development for a bilingual (English & Burmese) school, Lumbini Academy, located in Yangon, Myanmar.

Dr. Lauren Birney, Professor of Education, Pace University, New York, NY USA

Dr. Lauren B. Birney Ed.D is an urban STEM educator with twenty-five years of experience in the field. Currently, she teaches in the School of Education at Pace University preparing both pre-service and in-service teachers in the areas of curriculum and instruction, classroom management, teaching methodologies and research techniques. Lauren earned a B.A. in Biology/Chemistry from the University of San Diego, an M.A. in Counseling & an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. She serves as a consultant to EduChange; a firm that provides professional development; creates content, curriculum & assessment systems; and conducts program evaluation services for the K-12 educational community. Furthermore, serving as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation has been extremely rewarding and gratifying while providing insight into the field of STEM Education.

Dr. Jonathan Hill, Associate Dean for the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University, New York, NY USA

Dr. Jonathan H. Hill is Associate Dean for the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, where he establishes and manages key internal and external partnerships for improving STEM education. Jonathan directs key recruitment, retention, and funding initiatives for the Seidenberg School including the Seidenberg Scholars Summer Experience, which brings 30 of the best STEM students in the country to Pace for a week of high tech exploration. He represents the University externally as a board member of the City Council Speakers Initiative on Technology and he is active in external relationships with numerous tech organizations and private sector firms. He oversees interdisciplinary partnerships involving the Seidenberg School with the University’s other constituent schools as well as institutional linkages with international universities including the highly successful partnership with Finland’s Aalto University centered on interdisciplinary collaboration. He started the Seidenberg Scholars honors program in 2005 for top tier undergraduate students and has collaborated successfully on a number of government, private sector, and foundation grants including awards from Hewlett Packard, the NYC EDC and others. He is Director of the Seidenberg Creative Labs, a research and development initiative that develops prototype technology products for corporate partners. Since 1992, Jonathan has partnered with the NYCDOE to provide professional development programming for teachers at the middle and high school levels. These partnerships are key to providing applied research experiences available to the faculty, students, and staff of the school. In addition to his development duties, Jonathan teaches two courses per semester and is active in the life of the University. He is a member of the inaugural class of Pace’s Fast Paced Leadership Development Program. Prior to coming to Pace in 2003, Jonathan held faculty postings at the City University of New York as well as management positions with customer facing technology companies.

Joshua Sheridan Fouts, Chair and Convener, First International Summit on Transnational Collaborative STEAM Education


Joshua Sheridan Fouts is an anthropologist and social entrepreneur whose career has focused on projects involving creativity and innovation in education, media, cultural and international relations. He is currently executive director of Science House Foundation an international human development, workforce preparedness and education innovation NGO working in over 25 countries. He also works as a consultant in civic and cultural communications, international public relations and strategies for cultural engagement for private businesses. He is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese.

July 12th, 2013

What Rule of Law and Slum Entrepreneurs have to do with Science Education

A Letter from Geneva

 

The “Celestial Sphere” behind the Palais de Nations at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

By Joshua Sheridan Fouts

“Rule of Law is like Higgs boson,” said the Ambassador from Italy at the IDLO breakfast meeting at the UN in Geneva, “It gives mass matter.” This interesting turn of words, borrowing from science and yet addressing a very human rights-centric subject was an apt introduction to an engaging week I spent at the United Nations in Geneva.

I’ve just returned from Geneva, Switzerland where Science House Foundation participated in the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High Level summit. Science House Foundation, had a booth — shown below — to describe our work to attendees of the accompanying Innovation Fair. In addition, I participated in several series of meetings with UN ministers, ambassadors, and leaders from organizations such as IDLO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and UN Habitat, a division of the United Nations that works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements.

 

The view of the Science House Foundation booth at the UN.

The weeklong discussions held around the high level meetings and policy issues being addressed by ECOSOC representatives from countries around the world were focused on “Science, technology and innovation (STI), and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the MDGs.”

The title alone made the gathering of great interest to Science House Foundation. But it was also an opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities of science education with NGOs and governments who we might not normally connect with.

Below are some notes from some of my myriad interesting and productive discussions.

What the Rule of Law Has to Do with Science Education

The connection between the importance of countries adhering to Rule of Law as a fundamental tenet of human rights and the importance of science education may not be an intuitive or obvious one for most readers. But in my discussions with IDLO at a meeting they hosted, it became quite clear that a serious investment in education in a country can be dependent on a government that supports the Rule of Law.

Put another way, investment in the Rule of Law, as one speaker put it, is tantamount to democratizing access and democratizing competitiveness. For more on this, see UNESCO’s June 2013 must-read “Education for All Global Monitoring Report.”

A much more dramatic example of what the Rule of Law has to do with education can be seen in the story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who today celebrated her 16th birthday at  the United Nations. Malala was shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls in Pakistan.

I look forward to continuing my discussions with the team at IDLO.

UN Habitat

The median age of a person living in the slums of the world is 18. Or, in other words, as Daniel Ragan of UN Habitat (officially the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) told the group, most people in slums are youth. Further, Ragan explained, most of these youth do not have families. These variables create significant challenges in the the work of UN Habitat, which works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. Ragan spoke about a number of important projects in which they are trying to empower youth in slums to follow their entrepreneurial inclinations and develop businesses that will help them get out of the slums through modest financial grants from UN Habitat. Ragan noted that entrepreneurial projects of youth occur in spite of the allure of gangs, which often provide a much-needed sense of community to many of these kids.

One of the most riveting presentations at the breakfast was by  Dr. Joan Clos, the head of UN Habitat who spoke about the worldwide trends of increased urbanization of the planet and how most cities and countries are failing to adequately prepare for this. Dr. Clos described how nearly three billion or almost half of the total global population is under 25. The majority of these populations are living in cities and towns in the developing world where nearly 90% of the world’s urban growth is taking place.

“We therefore need to change the current model of urbanization to create more productive cities by focusing on more strategic issues including urban legislation, land tenure, urban planning and designing, urban economy and municipal finance to prepare the cities to be places that generate jobs for its ever increasing population … Youth issues should be at the center stage of this urban transformation.”

Dr. Clos went on to describe what cities in the world he felt are well-designed (Geneva, except its too expensive) and a fascinating discussion on the different successes and failures of democratic versus totalitarian approaches to urban design. Dr. Clos argued that urban planning is far easier to implement if you have a centralized government but that successful democratic urban planning models exist, such as New York City.

Science House Foundation works in several urban and slum communities. Thus the work of UN Habitat is particularly relevant and of interest to us.

Science Education and Intellectual Property

I had several other interesting conversations with members from the World Intellectual Property Organization, with whom I talked about science education as a catalyst for creativity. WIPO is particularly interested in cultivating creativity among youth and empowering them to think about ways they can monetize their creative works through a better understanding of intellectual property.

Science House Foundation and the United Nations

Science House Foundation is an avid supporter of the work of the United Nations these meetings served to further highlight the complementary roles of our work and the potential for collaborative projects yet to come.

 

July 3rd, 2013

Insects without Borders

From Warsaw, Poland to Michigan, USA

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Lepisma saccharina

Stanislaw Staszics Primary School, Warsaw, Poland, November 2011

This week we received a rather unusual, but very exciting request. A Professor from the state of Michigan in the United States wrote Science House Foundation and asked us if he could use one of the pictures posted by our grantees in the Stanislaw Staszics Primary School in Warsaw, Poland. He works at the Microbiology department of the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Medical Center, and is putting together an insect guide so that his students can learn about all the insects in an easier way.

We are so pleased that this student discovery will go on to help other students. One of the purposes of the MicroGlobalScope program is to create collaborative science learning experiences around microscopy. This takes that learning exchange to a new level.

Check out the teacher’s Thank You letter here.