In the wake of historic flooding across the Houston area this week, the HISD community has rallied to help in a number of ways, including assisting with the bus evacuations of residents in the Greenspoint area and setting up two school-based shelters on a moment’s notice.
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday is expected to consider a resolution that would begin the process of renaming three additional schools so they better represent the district’s values and diversity.
The resolution would affect Albert Sidney Johnston and Sidney Lanier middle schools, and Jefferson Davis High School. Continue reading
They may have left their middle-school days behind them, but that doesn’t mean high-schoolers can’t still go back to mentor those who now occupy their old seats. That’s why former students of Johnston Middle School are currently serving as volunteers at the Summer School Program.
When Mark Dostert was hired as a “children’s attendant” at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center back in 1997, he didn’t realize that meant he would actually be serving as an unarmed guard of the facility’s inmates.
But the seventh-grade English language arts teacher, now in his eleventh year at HISD’s Johnston Middle School, said the year-long experience in Chicago taught him some valuable lessons about working with at-risk youth—and now he is sharing those lessons with other educators. Continue reading
This year the Houston Independent School District honored the artistic talent of its students by selecting three finalists’ artwork for the 2013 HISD Holiday Greeting Card. The winners were Adrian Pizarro from Park Place Elementary School, Amy Vaughan from Johnston Middle School and Tam Ngo from DeBakey High School for Health Professions.
“This is one of my favorite events of the year as we have the opportunity to recognize the amazing talent of our students,” HISD Chief of Business and Community Relations Dr. Michele Pola said. “We are very grateful for all the art teachers who support their students in their creativity.”
The Space X Dragon which is now headed to rendezvous with the International Space Station is carrying two experiments made by four Houston Independent School District students as well as two student-designed mission patches. The Dragon launched Tuesday morning at 2:44 a.m. CST from Cape Canaveral, FL.
The National Center for Earth and Space Science (NCESSE) and NanoRacks, LLC, have developed the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), aimed at helping today’s students become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. The program gives the students the opportunity to be involved in a national space project with a focus on STEM education via the Nano-Racks payload.
Johnston Middle and Parker Elementary were two of the schools selected from 12 communities in the United States. Hundreds of students in grades 5- 8 were given the opportunity to design and submit experiments to be performed in microgravity aboard the space station. From 267 formal experiment proposals received, two were chosen to go to space.
Emily Soice from Johnston Middle School and Michael Prince, Maxx Denning and Aaron Stuart from Parker Elementary school had the winning proposals. Both schools also held an art contest for the mission patch design. Fifth grade Parker Elementary student Christian Astorga and eighth grade Johnston Middle School student Sebastian Beil designed the winning mission patches.
The students conferred with STEM experts from Rice University, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), NASA, Pfizer, Texas A and M University, the University of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Southern University. The students also had the opportunity to visit research facilities to prepare for their experiments for flight.
The Student Space Flight Experiments Program (http://ssep.ncesse.org) is undertaken by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE; http://ncesse.org) in partnership with Nanoracks, LLC and is enabled through NanoRacks working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.
During the Dragon’s 21-day mission it will dock with the space station where it will deliver about a half ton of supplies along with cargo from NanoRacks containing 15 student-designed SSEP experiments from around the United States. Dragon will be the first privately-owned spaceship to dock at the space station.
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.