Education

Google names winners of annual Google Science Fair

Read the full story at ZDNet.

After whittling down a pool of contestants that numbered in the thousands, Google said it has chosen the winners of its annual Google Science Fair.

Google hosts the science and innovation competition for students between the ages of 13-18, and in recent years upped the ante for winners with cash prices and school rewards…

Additional winners include…

Hayley Todesco, 17-18 age category – This Canadian student won for her project Waste to Water: Biodegrading Naphthenic Acids using Novel Sand Bioreactors.

 

School IPM Webinar Series

Are you a school facility manager, IPM Coordinator, building and grounds supervisor, nurse, administrator, or pest management professional? If so, you play a critical role in reducing the number of pests in your school and in minimizing the exposure of students and staff to pesticides. To help you be better prepared to fill your role, EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM will host a series of webinars in the coming months on pest management topics of special interest to the school community. These monthly webinars, beginning on August 20, 2014, will include presentations from experts in the field.

Upcoming webinars

Creating Tick Safe Schools Using IPM

September 30, 2014 | 2 PM Eastern – Register Now

Join us to learn about this increasingly important pest and what you can do to reduce the risk to students, faculty and staff in schools.

  • Thomas Mather, University of the Rhode Island Center for Vector Borne Diseases, will discuss tick borne diseases and prevalence, the identification, inspection and removal of ticks,and the Tick Encounter web resource.
  • Marcia Anderson, EPA’s School IPM Center of Expertise, will review passive prevention using landscape design, sanitation, maintenance, the Agency’s role in tick IPM, and on how to incorporate tick prevention into your school IPM plan.
  • Kathy Murray, Maine Department of Agriculture, will discuss the importance of monitoring, repellents, active prevention using pesticidal tools, research, and information resources.
  • Christine Dunathan, Friends Community School (College Park, MD), will discuss real world school tick issues and first-hand challenges with tick management.
  • A Q&A session will conclude the webinar.

The Basics of Schools IPM

October 21, 2014 | 2 PM Eastern – Register Now

School experts from around the country will explain and demonstrate the basics of school IPM, a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to managing pests in schools. This webinar that will describe school IPM, why it is important, how it is implemented, and where and when to utilize IPM tactics. A discussion of how to monitor for pests, pest exclusionary practices, and the importance of sanitation and maintenance of waste/recycling areas will ensue. The presenters will share insights on dealing with the most pest-challenging areas in schools – the kitchens and cafeterias. A virtual walk-through of a school will instruct you on how to identify and manage pest prone areas. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session.

Registration Opens for Third Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge

Registration opened on September 2, 2014 for EPA’s third annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design challenge for college and university students. Student teams and faculty advisors are invited to submit design boards, a project narrative, and a letter of support describing a proposed green infrastructure project for a location on their campus. Registration ends October 3, 2014, and registrants must submit their entries by December 19, 2014.

Proposed Texas Textbooks Teach Climate-Change Doubt

Read the full story in the National Journal.

Texas Board of Education member David Bradley wants to set the record straight on global warming.

“Whether global warming is a myth or whether it’s actually happening, that’s very much up for debate,” Bradley said. “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.”

Bradley is not a climate scientist, but he’s about to make big decisions governing what Texas students learn about climate change.

In November, Bradley and the rest of the state’s 15-member board will vote to adopt new social-studies textbooks for public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. When he does, he says that part of his mission will be to shield Lone Star schoolchildren from green propaganda.

Instead, Bradley plans to push for textbooks that teach climate-science doubt—presenting the link between greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity and global warming as an unsubstantiated and controversial theory.

National Library of Medicine Resource Update: Environmental Health Student Portal adds “Mercury and Our Health” animation

The National Library of Medicine Environmental Health Student Portal has added “Mercury and Our Health,” an animation about the uses of mercury and how exposure can impact human health.

The animation introduces children to mercury and its basic properties, discusses mercury exposure routes, outlines health impacts of mercury, describes mercury containing products, discusses mercury contamination in the environment, outlines the proper disposal of mercury containing products, discusses bioaccumulation and mercury contamination of fish, and describes additional sources that children could use to find credible health information on mercury.

The Environmental Health Student Portal connects middle school students and science teachers with free, reliable, and engaging environmental health education resources. The Student Portal offers a diverse array of engaging educational materials such as videos, games and activities, lesson plans, experiments and projects, fun challenges, as well as additional resources for further reading.

You can also view the video on the NLMNIH YouTube Channel.

Commentary: Divestiture Is Nothing but a Distraction

Read the full commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

As a college president and chemist, I have worked throughout my career in areas connected to climate change. As an educator, I have written chemistry textbooks and regularly teach courses in which the most urgent issue is climate change. As a president, I frequently face decisions about investments in sustainable practices, whether green buildings (our most recent construction has been certified LEED platinum) or reductions in water and energy use, or curricular changes in support of our strong environmental-analysis major.

And yet on the topic of divestment of stock in companies that produce and market carbon-based fuels—an issue that is gaining attention on college campuses and in the news media—I am a profound skeptic. Why? Because we have passed the point for symbolic actions and need to take real steps to achieve change. Feel-good measures that have no effect on actual greenhouse-gas production are a diversion from the critical actions we must take before it is too late.

Educators Say Higher Ed in Sustainability a Must; Business Execs Mostly Agree

Read the full story from Environmental Leader.

Higher education in sustainability and environmental management is more important now than ever before, some education professionals believe. While environmental work was a fringe issue decades ago, this is no longer the case. “The issue of the environment has merged with the issue of economic development. In the seventies, managers could avoid paying attention to these issues; today they can’t,” says Steve Cohen, executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and consultant to the EPA.