Tag Archives: Rice University

Rice University study: HISD pre-K students more prepared for kindergarten 

A study by Rice University released Wednesday has found that the Houston Independent School District’s pre-K program significantly increases preparedness for kindergarten after as little as one year compared to students who do not attend pre-K.

The study, conducted by a postdoctoral fellow at the university, cites English and Spanish assessment scores from kindergarten students after one and two years of pre-K.

The study found that English-assessment test takers who attended one year of HISD pre-K had 2.8 times greater odds of being ready for kindergarten than a student who attended zero years of HISD pre-K. Students who attended two years of HISD pre-K had 3.8 times greater odds of being school-ready than those who attended zero years of HISD pre-K, and 1.4 greater odds of being school-ready than those who attend one year of HISD pre-K.

Get the detailed report here.

Drones taking students on flights of STEM fancy

Rice camp introduces students to careers related to these devices

Drones are making headlines more and more often in the news these days, and about a dozen HISD students have been learning about these high-tech devices — and the careers they’re used in — during a camp held at Rice University.

The sixth- to ninth-grade students, who attend DeBakey High School, HSPVA, Lanier Middle School, Revere Middle School, the T.H. Rogers School, and Valley West Elementary School, spent three days learning how to design, engineer, and pilot drones in mid-August.

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Cardboard Boat Regatta keeping girls’ STEM career dreams afloat

Photo courtesy Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Photo courtesy Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Chávez HS students build, test their skills through unique partnership with Rice University

Thinking up a concept, executing its design, and thrilling in its success—or learning from its failure—that’s what the Cardboard Boat Regatta at Chávez High School is all about.

Eleven teams comprised of sophomore, junior and senior girls, with mentoring assistance from Rice University graduate students, GE Oil & Gas volunteers, and Chávez HS faculty, raced cardboard boats of their own design on June 25 in the new signature event of the three-year-old Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) Girls STEM Initiative.

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Rice U. Summer Camp Sparks Chávez HS students’ Interest in Science

A dozen female students from Chávez High School are spending their summer studying science and building new relationships, thanks to a new three-year program at Rice University.

The girls had to apply for acceptance to the program, and 80 percent of the 15 participating were selected from Chávez (the remainder are from a local charter school).

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Rice University Study Shows Performance-Based Awards Improve Teacher Attendance, Retention, Students’ Test Scores

Programs such as HISD’s ASPIRE program improve teacher attendance, retention and increased students’ test scores, according to a study released by Rice University.

The study evaluated award-eligible teachers from HISD’s 279 schools to determine if receiving a monetary reward during the 2009-2010 school year positively influenced teacher outcomes in 2010-2011, according to a news release.

The complete report is available on the website for Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

The ASPIRE program (Accelerating Student Progress: Increasing Results and Expectations) began during the 2006-07 school year.

Rice Empower Helping More Minority Students Envision Careers in STEM Fields

Students conduct experiments at the Rice STEM Expo. (Photo courtesy of Rice University)

About 150 students from four HISD campuses, including North Houston Early College, Sharpstown, and Wheatley high schools, got a glimpse into both college life and the careers that may await them after completing it when they took part in Rice University’s Empower STEM Expo earlier this month.

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Two HISD Schools Win Chance to Test Projects in Space

Two HISD student science projects are cleared for lift off. Johnston Middle School and Parker Elementary School students will have their microgravity experiments included in Mission One to the International Space Station through the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

More than 1,000 students submitted proposals and 12 U.S. school communities were given the chance to compete. Johnston and Parker students recently learned that they were among a handful of winning schools whose projects will fly aboard a Soyuz rocket in the spring of 2013.

“The students are just ecstatic,” said Parker science teacher Rebecca Mitchell. “It’s a dream come true. They feel like they can do anything, that any dream can be realized.”

Johnston eighth-grader Emily H. Soice led her school’s winning project. Soice’s experiment explores whether a bioscaffold infused with the TGFB3 protein grows and forms cells faster in microgravity than in normal gravity. Bioscaffold is an artificial structure that can be implanted in the body to serve as a base where tissue can grow.

Soice’s research could lay the groundwork for the growth of replacement tissue, joints, and even organs.

At Parker Elementary School, fifth-grade students Maxx Denning, Michael Prince, and Aaron Stuart will test to see if liquid Vitamin C can preserve bone density in microgravity, which could be helpful to astronauts who stay in space over a long period of time.

Mitchell said the students worked after school, during their lunch break, and even on weekends to create their winning proposal. The students will conduct their Vitamin C experiment using a chicken bone.

“We are splitting a wishbone,” Max said. “Part of it will fly in space and part of it will stay here. It will float in a solution that includes Vitamin C for six weeks.”

Researchers, biologists, physicists and many others from institutions including Baylor College of Medicine, NASA, Rice University, University of Houston and Texas Southern University provided support for the project.

For more information, please visit www.ssep.ncesse.org.