Category Archives: Science

Ashford ES teacher wins Alliantgroup’s HISD Elementary Science Teacher grand prize

Ashford Elementary School fifth-grade Science Teacher Kirk Coppes has received the 2020 HISD Elementary Science Teacher Grand Prize Award from Alliantgroup.

Six finalists from across the district were nominated by HISD for the award based on their innovative teaching methods and ability to ignite the interest of students in the subject of science. The grand prize award announcement was made live on CW39’s “Morning Dose” on April 28.

Coppes, a veteran teacher in his 12th year in HISD and fourth year at Ashford ES, credited the support he receives both at work and home for the achievement.

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HISD educators use 3D printers to produce face shields for health care workers, first responders

Houston Independent School District STEM educators are joining the effort to help first responders and health care professionals by producing face shields to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

Using HISD’s 3D printers, a team of six district educators are producing at least 100 face shields per week in response to the shortage of personal protective equipment.

The collaborative effort, which began on April 8 and is known as H-Force, is led by Houston Community College (HCC) and includes HISD, San Jacinto College, the University of Houston at Sugar Land, the Fort Bend County Judge’s Office, TX/RX Labs, and Alief ISD.

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Jones Futures simulated learning clinic helps students explore careers in health care

Pens and medical charts in hand, students from HISD’s Jones Futures Academy listened intently as Alex diligently answered their medical intake questions, each of them nodding as they quickly jotted down notes to determine the best treatment plan for the new patient.  

Alex is not a human patient; he is an interactive mannequin and a valuable teaching tool inside the school’s state-of-the-art simulated learning center, which provides students real-life training in different medical scenarios.  

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HISD students selected to share radiation-proof clothing design with NASA

Two teams of HISD students have been invited to NASA’s Langley Research Center in August to share their student-designed, wearable, radiation-proof clothing with NASA engineers and scientists as part of the 2019 NASA Wearable Equipment for Adverting Radiation (WEAR) challenge. 

The WEAR challenge tasks middle and high school students to design garments to help mitigate radiation exposure during deep space missions. The teams, made up of students and teachers from Milby High School and Deady Middle School, submitted design proposals for wearable anti-radiation garments via video for review by NASA personnel.  

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Students discover the sky’s the limit on DiscoverU field trip

High school students from across HISD attended a day-long field trip to Space Center Houston recently.

The trip, sponsored by Houston-based nonprofit organization DiscoverU, was the culmination of an outreach effort led by HISD’s College and Career Readiness Department that resulted in 57 eleventh-graders being admitted into NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) program. All students who were accepted were invited to register for the free field trip, and 51 attended.

Activities included a tour of Building 9 and Rocket Park, an astronaut talk in Space Center Theater, and a chance to explore Space Center Houston.

“Being able to a meet an astronaut was inspiring,” said Energy junior Cynthia Gomez. “They set a high goal and accomplished it.”

Students from the following high schools went on the trip: Bellaire, Carnegie, Eastwood Academy, Energy Institute, Heights, HSPVA, Madison, Mickey Leland College Prep, North Houston Early College, Northside, Sharpstown, Texas Connections Academy, Washington, and Westside. A few tenth-graders from Madison and Washington also attended.

DiscoverU’s aim was to expose students to Space Center Houston and provide an in-person introduction to the program, with the goal of encouraging and empowering HISD students to complete the five-month online course and get a chance to spend a week at Johnson Space Center next summer.

It was also an opportunity for students to meet others in the program who share their interest in aerospace engineering.

“The trip was amazing,” said Washington sophomore Jesus Reynaga. “It really gave me insight into what I want to do when I grow up.”

Lantrip ES winner of Earth Month 2017 contest

 

 

 

 

HISD’s Energy & Sustainability Department has announced Lantrip Elementary School as the winner of the Earth Month 2017 contest.

The annual Earth Month contest encourages schools to participate throughout the month of April in a variety of environmentally friendly activities in exchange for participation points. The group with the largest amount of participation points wins the grand prize – an outdoor classroom.

The contest aims to raise awareness about the environmental impact of HISD campuses and promote sustainable behaviors and actions that can reduce carbon footprints.

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Rooftop garden inspires learning and excitement at Atherton ES

Students and staff at Atherton Elementary are excited about the newest addition to their campus – a rooftop garden. And they have big plans for it.

“We can learn how plants grow and change over time,” said fifth-grader Nathaniel Alvarenga.

“It’s helping our ecosystems,” added his classmate Isacc Solis. “Birds and bees come, and the bees pollinate the plants.”

Atherton received a new building as part of the 2007 bond program, but plans for the rooftop garden were put on hold as other items took priority. Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones supported the garden, which is receiving its finishing touches this month. The project also got a boost from IDG Architects’ Ben McMillan, who donated funds last October. Continue reading

Planetarium renovation gives HISD fourth-graders the best cosmic view in the house

The Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) unveiled its newly renovated Burke Baker Planetarium on March 11, and roughly 75 of HISD’s Southmayd Elementary School’s fourth-graders were the first to experience it.


Through a long-standing partnership with the museum, all 14,000 HISD fourth-graders take a field trip there each year, but the planetarium now boasts a new seamless inner surface on the dome and a high-resolution, digital-laser projection system so powerful only astronauts will have a better view of celestial objects.

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Smithsonian science study promises long-lasting benefits for HISD students

HISD just completed a five-year study with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), and the lessons learned from it will be benefitting HISD students for years to come.

The study evaluated the effectiveness of the SSEC’s Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) model of science instruction in three states, using an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In HISD, the study followed approximately 9,500 students at 26 schools whose academic performance was monitored from 2011 through 2016.

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Share your innovative projects with us on Digital Learning Day Feb. 17


Digital Learning Day is Wednesday, Feb. 17, and HISD is inviting all of its teachers to share all of the innovative instructional practices taking place in their classrooms on social media using the hashtag #HISDdigital.

Digital Learning Day was created by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those who are traditionally underserved, graduate from high school prepared for success in college, work, and citizenship.

In honor of Digital Learning Day, HISD is observing the entire month of February as Digital Learning Month for all K–12 campuses. Earlier this month, more than 30 HISD schools were represented at the second annual Digital Learning Expo, which was held Feb. 11 at the district’s Hattie Mae White Educational Resource Center. Students from all grades proudly demonstrated a wide range of digital projects, including musical bananas, large and small robots, book trailers created with Animoto, and mobile apps created with coding. The event was held just prior to the regular monthly Board of Education meeting to show trustees, district employees, and community partners how HISD students are using technology to transform teaching and learning.

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