Remote-controlled high-tech microscope brings cutting-edge science to Tennessee HS. And now, more underserved schools are getting in on it
The world of 4K microscopes is generally limited to high-level research universities. These ultra-high-definition scopes allow for enhanced detail that make a regular microscope look downright analog. But a push by the National Science Foundation and a nonprofit organization called US Ignite is opening 4K science research for under-resourced high schools across the country, bringing...
By Tim Newcomb | February 14, 2020
Middle school marvel: For her science project, this 14-year-old invented a way to eliminate a car’s blind spot. Now she’s won $25,000 — and Volvo is intrigued
Alaina Gassler’s 2019 science project started small, designed for her middle school in Pennsylvania. Soon, though, her project to remove blind spots from cars was winning county and then regional science fairs — and now, Gassler has taken top honors at the largest middle school science fair in the country, the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied...
By Tim Newcomb | February 4, 2020
Whether through texts or apps, schools are using technology to get the message out to students’ families
Heejae Lim, founder of TalkingPoints, an app that translates text messages from educators into a parent’s home language, likes to tell a story of a San Francisco middle school principal. The administrator wanted to connect with the parents of a Spanish-speaking student at risk of failing. He tried visiting the family at home twice, to no...
By Tim Newcomb | April 15, 2019
Personalized learning boosts math scores, new RAND study finds — but scaling is a challenge
Students who engage in personalized learning do better in math than their peers, and charter schools are more conducive to implementing and scaling personalized learning programs than traditional schools, because of their inherent flexibility. These are among the findings of a new RAND Corp. study of 40 schools nationwide — 31 charters and nine traditional schools —...
By Tim Newcomb | July 11, 2017
Darryl Adams got iPads, wi-fi for every student in Coachella. Here’s what he’s up to now
Darryl Adams put an iPad in the hands of every one of the 18,000 students in the Coachella Valley Unified School District, one of the poorest districts in the nation. Then he installed Wi-Fi on school buses and parked those buses throughout the district’s 1,250 square miles, so those kids’ iPads could get online. “The...
By Tim Newcomb | April 21, 2017
California high school nets $24 million from Snapchat investment, all thanks to curious VC dad
While some schools may wrestle with the best way to handle Snapchat on campus, Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., has much bigger Snapchat-driven decisions: what to do with the millions it netted from an early investment in the massively popular disappearing-image app. The private Brothers of Holy Cross institution invested $15,000 in...
By Tim Newcomb | March 16, 2017
South by Southwest Education: 10 new ed tech startups about to grab the spotlight in Austin
As the ed tech industry continues to expand, breaking into the game means facing stiffer competition from companies keen on occupying the same space. But as teaching, student learning, and the delivery of educational content continue to evolve, there has never been a greater opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students....
By Tim Newcomb | March 8, 2017
‘I will be your valentine’: Navy dad surprises his 2 daughters at school after more than a year at sea
Abella Aleman was intently reading her first-grade class a Valentine’s Day letter about her love for her dad, Omar, a Navy sailor who had been deployed overseas for more than a year. So intently, she didn’t even notice when he crept into her Rancho San Diego Elementary School classroom and stood behind her chair. As...
By Tim Newcomb | February 13, 2017
CodeSpark: The California startup that’s using apps and games to teach coding to 5-year-olds
Reading ability isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for logical thinking. That’s why Grant Hosford, CEO and co-founder of codeSpark, a Pasadena-based startup developing computer science games for kids, has created a new app where reading doesn’t get in the way. And without barriers, Hosford is now teaching coding to kids as young as 5. “We get...
By Tim Newcomb | February 19, 2016
California’s Super Bowl classroom: Inside Levi’s Stadium, a first-of-its-kind STEM education
The physics of a perfectly thrown NFL spiral. The sustainable engineering of an NFL stadium. The science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities inside San Francisco’s new Levi’s Stadium, home of Super Bowl 50 this weekend, are beyond ripe. And the 49ers have picked the fruit at the tune of 60,000 local students a...
By Tim Newcomb | February 3, 2016