Category Archives: STEM

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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Horn ES educator named finalist for TCEA Teacher of the Year

Alex Jones

Alex Jones, a STEM lab teacher at HISD’s Horn Elementary School, has been named one of only three finalists for Texas Computer Education Association’s (TCEA) Classroom Teacher of the Year.  

The award, which will be handed out in February 2020, is presented annually to the educator who best recognizes the importance of technology in school and actively tries to promote its use in his or her classroom. Jones, who was previously nominated in 2015, opened the STEM lab at Horn during the 2017-2018 school year, and since then he has helped secure numerous donations and grants for the use of technology on the campus.  

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Fondren MS students venture through space from the classroom

Project Explore students from Fondren Middle School ventured on an interactive 3D voyage through space on Friday with the Lunar Planetary Institute.  

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), a research institute in Clear Lake that provides support services to NASA and the planetary science community, partnered with Best Buy’s Geek Squad Academy to host a free one-day STEAM camp for more than 50 HISD students. 

Geek Squad Academy provides an opportunity for middle school students to develop tech skills, build self-confidence, spark creativity, and discover how technology can benefit them in their educational pursuits and future careers.  

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TXRX Labs unveils makerspace for Eastwood Academy students

The students of Eastwood Academy got the reveal they’ve been waiting for on Wednesday when they celebrated the unveiling of their very own makerspace, thanks to community partner TXRX Labs. 

Thanks to the long-awaited community project, students will no longer have to trek off-campus after school hours to complete their innovative projects such as motorized bicycles and 3D equipment. Instead, they’ll have everything they need for such projects right at their fingertips.  

“We are excited for this workspace where students will be able to create and innovate to bring all of their ideas to life,” Principal Brandi Lira said. “By having the makerspace on our campus, we can open our doors to feeder patters on the East End where we can create other innovators within the community.”  

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Two HISD campuses make Newsweek list of best STEM high schools in the nation

The Houston Independent School District’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions and Carnegie Vanguard High School have been named to Newsweek magazine’s list of best science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) high schools in the nation.  

DeBakey ranked 23rd on the list of the top 500 schools, and Carnegie Vanguard ranked 308th. Newsweek’s list was compiled in partnership with STEM.org, a national education research and credentialing organization. 

“I am extremely proud of these two exemplary HISD campuses, which have an impressive history of high achievements,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “The students, staff, and parents at DeBakey and Carnegie continually make us proud, and I congratulate them for once again receiving well-deserved accolades on a national level.” 

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Two all-girl science teams at Waltrip HS first at campus to remotely navigate prototype Mars Rover

As two NASA astronauts ventured out of the International Space Station for an historic all-female spacewalk, a group of girls from Waltrip High School was the first to remotely navigate a prototype Mars Rover on Friday through the rocky terrain at the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) Mars Yard.  

The nine female students made up teams Five Amigas and Mission Explorers, which were two of the five teams at Waltrip that took part in Mission Control Academy’s Mars rover training exercise. The students controlled the rover prototype located in the province of Quebec at a facility where terrain conditions resemble those on Mars. 

“It is really cool,” sophomore Julyssa Godina said. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” 

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NASA’s High School Aerospace Scholars program now accepting applications

High school juniors from across HISD are invited to join NASA in exploring the moon to Mars through its High School Aerospace Scholars program.  

HAS is a unique, interactive STEM experience that culminates in an all-expenses-paid, week-long visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center during the summer. The experience begins with a 16-week online interactive course on NASA activities related to space exploration, Earth science, technology, mathematics and aeronautics. Students complete design challenges including 3D drawings, science quizzes, discussion posts, technology writings and monthly webinars with NASA scientists and engineers.  

Students with the highest scores will be invited to put the training to use at NASA, where they will get guidance from scientists and engineers and work with students from across the state to complete hands-on design challenges and plan a mission to Mars.  

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HISD students attend prestigious Tapia Say STEM Camp at Rice University

More than 20 HISD students were among a select group of scholars from around the state who were invited to attend the prestigious Tapia Say STEM Camp at Rice University this summer.  

The camp, which is sponsored by ExxonMobil, is available to rising eighth- through 12thgraders and features a weeklong residential experience with a challenging STEM curriculum. Campers experimented with hands-on STEM projects, like building miniature wind turbines out of household items such as glue, cardstock and popsicle sticks.  

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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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