Tag Archives: science

Chávez HS students blast off toward national rocketry competition

The casual observer might never guess that the students who gather after school in Dr. Maqsuda Afroz’s science classroom at César E. Chávez High School are anything but ordinary high schoolers. They gossip and smack-talk and speculate about the future, most of them seniors with one foot out the door. Few would guess that these “average high schoolers” are in fact literal rocket scientists.

The Chávez Rocketry Club, headed by Afroz, spends two afternoons a week (and sometimes lunch periods or whatever scraps of free time they can get) designing and engineering model rockets for an international competition, The American Rocketry Challenge.

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HISD celebrates 100th day of school with costumes, decorations, and parades

When Principal Jose Cordova announced over the PA that it was time for the parade to begin, an earth-shaking cheer arose from the students at Memorial Elementary School on Feb. 9, the 100th day of school for HISD.

Memorial’s students range from pre-K to fifth grade, and every student hit the hallway with excitement. Some dressed as 100-year-old versions of themselves, carrying posters and wearing paper hats and costumes in celebration of 100 successful school days down.

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East Early College HS places second in national SECME competition

East Early College HS Falcon 1 team, Pablo Flores, Miguel Lara, and Alejandro Meza

East Early College HS Falcon 1 team, Pablo Flores, Miguel Lara, and Alejandro Meza

The East Early College High School’s (EECHS) Falcon 1 team, whose members are Pablo Flores, Miguel Lara, and Alejandro Meza, won second place in the High School Water Rocketry category at the 2015 National SECME (Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering) Competition.

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Education Rainbow Challenge shows students the excitement of science and math

More than 500 students participate in annual event to boost their interest in STEM subjects, careers

Mathematics and science can be fun! Just ask any one of 500-plus students who participated in the Education Rainbow Challenge at Reagan High School on Saturday, Nov. 15. As part of HISD’s efforts to strengthen students’ skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), more than 500 students competed in two mathematics challenges and participated in science experiments at the annual event. Continue reading

Pershing MS Teacher Named KBR Science Teacher of the Year

Pin Oak MS, EECHS teachers also recognized through annual awards program

Alexandrea Oliphant has a secret to getting her kids interested in science. “I try to key in on whatever it is they’re really interested in and we start from there,” said the seventh-grade science teacher from Pershing Middle School. Continue reading

Westside HS to Compete in Shell Eco-marathon Americas

A group of Westside HS students work on a piece of their vehicle for the Shell Eco-marathon Challenge

A group of Westside HS students work on a piece of their vehicle for the Shell Eco-marathon Challenge

For students at Westside High School, it’s not slow and steady, but slow and energy-efficient that wins the race. Three Westside Engineering and Geosciences Academy (WEGA) teams will compete in the seventh annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas (SEMA) April 5-7, 2013 in downtown Houston.

The Shell competition recognizes students who design the highest miles-per-gallon performing vehicles. Student teams from around the world were tasked with designing, building, and testing ultra energy-efficient vehicles. The goals for the 2013 competition: surpass last year’s record of 2,188 MPG (awarded to a team from Indiana) and to take home the coveted win for “Best Electric Car”.
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HISD Celebrates New Collaboration with National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA Program

The Houston Independent School District announced a new collaboration today with the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools program.  The announcement was made during a press conference at Westside High School.  The NWF has worked successfully for nearly 10 years with HISD with the goal of helping to close achievement gaps for disadvantaged students and to improve science and math learning through the use of outdoor environmental education.

 The new Eco-Schools USA initiative will expand on the current Schoolyard Habitat program between HISD and NWF.  It will also allow for further expansion and development of the Green School Challenge, launched in December 2011, by helping schools develop and implement plans to green their schools by making buildings and campuses more eco-friendly.

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said this partnership is the latest initiative in HISD’s ongoing commitment to promote green schools.  “This collaboration will offer a new, innovative approach to teaching environmental education in a non-traditional classroom setting, while providing students with more opportunities to learn about the importance of protecting our environment, “Dr. Grier said.  

“We are excited to be working with HISD to advance the district’s very ambitious and commendable sustainability goals,” said Susan Kaderka, Regional Director for the National Wildlife Federation.  “This effort is a win-win for students, for the district, and for the environment.  Students will be better prepared for 21st century careers and life choices, teachers will see greater enthusiasm for science and math, and the natural world will benefit from reduced energy and water use and better care from a new generation of environmental stewards.”  

At the press conference Westside High school environmental science and urban agriculture classes and the school’s ecology club were recognized for their accomplishments. Students there worked to restore 1.5 acres of Gulf Coastal Prairie, one of the rarest ecosystems in the nation.

“We’re proud of the work of our students, teachers, and staff at Westside High school and their ongoing efforts to make their campus green,” said HISD Chief Academic Officer Julie Fox Baker.  “We’re pleased HISD is the largest school district in the country participating in the Eco-Schools USA program.”  The NWF launched the Eco-Schools USA program in 2009.  Nationwide, there are currently 2,000 schools and more than 1 million students registered in the program.  For more than 70 years, the NWF has been educating people about the environment.  NWF’s education efforts annually reach more than 5,000 K-12 schools and nearly 4 million students through a variety of programs, including Schoolyard Habitats and Eco-Schools USA, which is committed to building a sustainable, comprehensive green school movement in the U.S and abroad.

Combine love of teaching and the outdoors as a camp leader

[slideshow]Love to teach?  Love the outdoors?  Combine both for the perfect job!  Work with the Houston Independent School District in promoting a positive, holistic, natural experience for 5th grade students in the Sam Houston National Forest as a camp leader or assistant camp leader! 

 Job details include teaching a set curriculum of Science and Social Studies lessons while instilling core community values in our students.  A typical work week requires a day of set up, 3 nights supervising a small cabin group and teaching lessons during the day. Benefits include housing, 3 fresh meals a day, health insurance options, weekends and holidays off and doing what you love to do!

Requirements:  Availability from August to May.  Associate/Bachelors degree preferred.  Summer camp or outdoor experience is helpful.  Must be capable of supervising and guiding students safely throughout their stay.  Quality communication skills with children and adults are a must!  Sound like your line of work? 

 Visit Houstonisd.org/jobs or e-mail Kenneth Pyle @ kpyle@houstonisd.org for more information.

Clifton MS Student Engineers a Win at Statewide TAME Competition

Victoria Rodriguez

Victoria Rodriguez and four of her peers from across the state engineered a victory at the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) Statewide Math & Science Competition recently, using nothing more than four toothpicks, two rubber bands, a clothespin, and a few dozen other small items.

Dubbed “The Tower of Power,” the crane the Clifton Middle School eighth-grader and her teammates constructed with these materials could successfully pivot 90 degrees and lift 83 marbles up to six-and-a-half inches.

“We came up with our design by trying to imagine an actual crane and used the tools we had to make a smaller version,” said Victoria, who acted as her team’s project manager. “Our crane was successful because it did everything it was built to do.”

The team’s accomplishment is even more impressive when you consider that it got a late start. “We only had 10 minutes or so to build it,” she said.

Nevertheless, Victoria’s team took home the prize, and she was one of a dozen HISD students to place at the 27th annual competition, which was held at Texas A&M University on April 14.

Other students who received awards at the event were: Moises Tacam (Challenge ECHS), Desmond Titus (Jordan HS), Samantha Gomez-Mora, and Emmanuel Onochie (both from DeVry Advantage Academy), who closed out the second through fifth-place prizes in the Integrated Physics and Chemistry category; Jessica Salazar (Challenge ECHS), who won fourth place in Physics; Nicolas Xiong (East ECHS) and Jayvian Green (Jordan HS), who won fourth and fifth place, respectively, in Advanced Placement Physics; and four others who also placed with their teams in the design challenge.

The event brought together more than 300 winners in grades 6–12 from 11 regional competitions across Texas. In addition to testing student knowledge of math and science concepts, the competition promotes teamwork, leadership, and academic achievement.