Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Julie Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 10/19/2010 08:52:41 PM MDT
In April 2011, a science project designed by a team of Mescalero middle school students will fly into space on a sounding rocket from Spaceport America through a program created by NASA's Summer of Innovation, Launch and Learn.
The team of Albert Valdez, Maisie Wabaunsee and Destinee Shanta will work directly with NASA engineers and scientists to build their experiments to ready them for space. Instructors for the project are Ashley Ivins and Rosalinda Baeza. The Mescalero experiment was selected as one of 20 from New Mexico schools.
NASA's Summer of Innovation, Launch and Learn, provided a one-week professional development workshop for 138 teachers.
These instructors then went back to their home sites and recruited an average of 24 students to participate in an intensive three-to-four week STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) focused summer camp.
The camp involved five states (New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Maine) and 35 school districts of which Mescalero Schools was one.
The Mescalero project is titled "Apache Cultural Items & More in a Microgravity Environ-ment."
The experiment will send seven organic substances (soda, mescal plant, geode crystals turquoise, pollen, sugar and salt) into space to see if any changes in the structure appear from being exposed to microgravity environment.
"Our hypothesis depends on the substances being tested," says the Mission Overview from the experiment.
"We think that the geode crystals, sugar crystals and salt crystals will expand in space. The turquoise and pollen will stay the same. We think that the soda will lose carbonation in space. We think that the mescal plant will go into shock, show stunted growth and droopy leaves."
The space program had its beginnings in New Mexico, the home of Dr. Robert Goddard. The patented design for the liquid fuel rocket was created in Roswell, N.M., by Goddard and the first rocket to reach space flew from White Sands Proving Grounds in 1948.
Launch and Learn teamed up with New Mexico SEMAA (Science, Engineering, Math and Aerospace Academy) to bring the Summer of Innovation into the lives of students.
Through the Launch and Learn Pro-gram, N.M. Space Grant and N.M. SEMAA share the opportunity to launch student experiments into space from Spaceport America in April 2011.
"This selection of this team's project is really is such an honor," said Ivins "And the experiment came totally from the minds of these students. I really wanted them to own it, so I coached them only minimally when it came to the actual design process and experiment ideas."
Destinee Shanta also entered the essay portion of the contest where the selected winner will be allowed to push the button that will launch the rocket from Spaceport America in April.
Although she did not win, her essay entitled "It's Destinee" outlined again the pride of heritage shared by the Mescalero students on the project.
"There have been many ethnicities represented in space," she wrote.
"And someday there will be the first Native American to go to space and it would be cool for a Native American to get to push the button because it would represent the possible future for my people who were the first to be here on this land."
For a list of the schools selected to submit their experiments, go to www.-launchnm.com.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
MESA students attend research and leadership conference
Posted: 10/05/2010 07:51:53 PM MDT
Every year the New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation (New Mexico AMP) hosts a statewide student research conference on the campus of New Mexico State University (NMSU).
This conference brings together students and faculty from the state's colleges and universities as well as students and teachers from NM MESA.
Here college students have the opportunity to present their research and gain presentation experience.
They also serve as role models for high school students who also get to participate in workshops de-signed specifically for them.
The AMP program also provides scholarship opportunities just for NM MESA students who are majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and attending college in NM.
This year the conference was attended by three Mescalero Apache High School students Jinnelle Foy, Cortnie Kaydahzinne, and Robert Kie and MESA Advisor Ashley Ivins.
Immediately they knew they were in for a great conference with the kickoff a keynote speech by Dr. Tyrone Hayes, Professor of Biology at the University of California, Berkley.
Dr. Hayes has been published many times as well as featured in literature such as National Geo-graphic for his work on the effects of chemicals in our water supply. His work studies the effects on the development of frogs in order to learn if humans may similarly be affected.
His riveting speech and amazing research reveals a crucial new link between conservation and health.
Mescalero senior Jinnelle Foy, who is considering majoring in biology, found the speech to be "so interesting" and Dr. Hayes to be "awesome, a really great speaker."
Jinnelle was even able to speak with Dr. Hayes after his presentation about what he chose as a college major and what led him to become a biologist studying frogs.
Next the Mescalero students attended the oral presentations and poster sessions by college students from across New Mexico as well as visiting students from New York.
The student presentations offer the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of science disciplines, mathematics and engineering.
Between presentations, the Mescalero students met Dr. Hansen, Professor of Biology and Researcher of Molecular Vector Biology, New Mexico State University, who offered to take them on a personal tour of some of the laboratories at NMSU.
There they were able to see Dr. Hansen's work on mosquitoes that ultimately fights mosquito-borne diseases.
The students also saw fruit flies and regenerative fish that were being studied at NMSU.
In the afternoon session, the students learned about physics from Dr. Stephen Kanim, Professor of Physics, NMSU, who brought lots of interesting visual demonstrations.
Cortnie Kaydahzinne of Mescalero High School had the opportunity to ride on a hovercraft built by Dr. Kanim's students.
"It was fun but a little scary!" Cortnie said of her ride on air.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Mescalero students excited about MESA competitions
Ashley Ivins For the Ruidoso News
Posted: 09/21/2010 07:23:09 PM MDT
(MESA Advisor Eleanor Pedraza looks at the "Crimson Flyer" with Mathew Naiche. Ashley...)
At 6 on a Saturday morning, most teenagers are sleeping. On a recent Saturday, Sept. 11, at 6 a.m., 33 students from Mescalero Apache Schools brand new MESA (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement) program were on a bus and headed to Las Cruces.
The Mescalero MESA students attended the BEST (Boosting Science Engineering and Technology) Robotics Kickoff at the New Mexico State University College of Engineering.
The 2010-11 school year will be the first time that Mescalero Apache School students have participated in robotics competitions and the enthusiasm for their opening competition isn't hard to see considering that Mescalero Schools had the largest group of students in attendance for the kickoff this year.
The students were eager to get started on the actual design, but first they had to learn about the basics of the competition which doesn't only require building a robot but also creating an engineering report, a display booth, a presentation and preparation for interviews during the competition.
This year the competition theme is called "Total Recall" and the robot, which is remote controlled and built from scratch with only the provided materials, has to package gizmos and gadgets in a factory production type scene.
To make things more challenging, the students have only five weeks to complete the robot before attending a practice day and then an additional week to make any adjustments before the final competition in Las Cruces.
During their visit to NMSU, the students also got to learn about some of the activities that NMSU engineering students participate in such as the Crimson Flyer team that built a model airplane that had to perform three different tasks for competition.
A demonstration by the Mini Baja team really got their attention when the driver showing the Baja buggies abilities made an "analysis error" going into a ramp that ended in a roll! Thankfully the driver was safe and engineering instantly became more interesting to many students.
The vision of the BEST Robotics organization is to excite our nation's students about engineering, science and technology to unlock their imagination and discover their potential.
Their vision is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology and math through participation in a sports-like science- and engineering-based robotics competition.
Team leaders emerged as senior Laramy Baca, and juniors Danny Rios and Godfrey Enjady took the reins during inventory time to ensure the high school team had all of the supplies on their equipment lists.
On the middle school team Jaylen Duffy, Desi Cervantes and Timothy Enjady took command. The middle school team also came up with the team name "Robo Chiefs" at the kickoff. These students and their dedicated teammates are currently looking for volunteers/mentors to assist them with design and fabrication as well as programming. The teams are also seeking organizations that would be interested in allowing them to present their project to them as part of the outreach component of the competition during the next five weeks.
Last but not least, the teams need corporate sponsors to help finance travel, lodging and meals for competition, team shirts, and a laptop computer to use for programming.
If you are interested in volunteering, sponsoring or hosting a presentation, please contact advisors Ashley Ivins, email@example.com ; Eleanor Pedraza, firstname.lastname@example.org ; or Rosalinda Baeza- email@example.com.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Mescalero teacher appointed to state PED council
Julie Carter firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: 08/17/2010 07:39:18 PM MDT
(Ashley Ivins met with Senator Jeff Bingaman on a recent trip to Washington, D.C., where she...)
A July 29 letter from the New Mexico State Secretary of Education confirmed Ashley Ivins as a full council member of the Public Education Department's Math and Science Advisory Council for a term of four years.
Ivins began this school year teaching Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Physical Science at Mescalero Apache Schools.
"I am humbled and honored to serve on the New Mexico Public Education Dept. Math and Science Advisory Council," said Ivins.
"The Council is made up of very respected people in Math and Science - Toney Begay, the director of the New Mexico MESA Program; Ray Nance a 2009 SSP Fellow and innovative teacher; and representatives from higher education, Sandia National Labs and Intel, just to name a few. It is a great honor for me to represent classroom teachers in the goal of improving education for the students of New Mexico during the next four years. "
"The MSAC Council is responsible for creating a strategic action plan for the direction of Math and Science Education in New Mexico and how as a state, we can achieve the goals in the strategic planning," Ivins explained. "Currently the Council is focused on making New Mexico a national leader in math and science through better teacher preparation, increasing the numbers of math and science teachers, improved teacher professional development, adopting instructional materials that foster inquiry skills and problem solving, improving school laboratory facilities, and creating partnerships between schools and career scientists, engineers and corporations in the state."
Ivins taught for six years in the fields of Science, Agriculture, Special Education and Technology at Lake Arthur High School, Artesia Junior High, Hatch Valley Middle School, Carrizozo Schools and Mescalero. She has a Bachelor's of Science in Agriculture Education and Master of Arts in Curriculum Instruction. She is in the process of securing her Master of Arts in Science Teaching from New Mexico Tech and Administrative Credentials from New Mexico State University as well as applying to several Doctor of Education programs.
"Part of what I hope to do as part of the MSAC is to promote NM MESA (Math, Engineering, Science and Technology Achievement) and the inception of other programs like it," Ivins said. "I think it is so important for students to have experiences beyond the classroom to generate interest in math and science and get them thinking about careers. MESA is a great program that provides funding and opportunities for students to participate in extra-curricular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. I am excited to bring the program to the students of Mescalero Schools because I know it is a program that works. Through MESA I have had students learn not only about math and science but also engineering, business, marketing, robotics, creativity and technical writing."
Statistically MESA students are more likely than the state or national average to go to college and major in STEM fields. Based on a 10-year longitudinal study, 78 percent of NM MESA students attend college, more than twice the 30 percent average for New Mexico and the 34 percent nationally.
Of those, 86 percent of the NM MESA students obtain a B.S. or higher with the average for New Mexico to achieve that is 26 percent and nationally at 29 percent.
Currently more than 5,000 New Mexico students are enrolled in MESA from 40 school districts and 111 schools.
"In addition to getting kids to graduate high school, go to college, graduate from college and many go into the STEM fields, we draw those average students who would not normally be attracted to Math or Science, said Betty Chancey, the Southeast Region Coordinator for NM MESA.
"Kids find out these subjects can be fun as well as rewarding. We provide STEM enrichment through field trips, competitions, community service, tutoring and college visits, etc."
Chancey said Ivins is one of the best teachers and MESA advisors she has had the privilege of working with. " She has the enthusiasm needed to get kids motivated and involved," Chancey said. "I am not sure how she does everything she does. She has an enormous amount of energy when it comes to helping kids. NM MESA is proud to have her as an advisor for the Mescalero Apache Schools MESA program."
"I'm very excited to have the support of the superintendent, Ms. Saenz and the principal Mr. Cavazos as well as the Mescalero Apache Schools Board of Education who are interested in students at MAS having access to the best education possible," Ivins said. "And I will also be co-advising the NM MESA program with math teacher Eleanor Pedraza."
Ivins said her return to Mescalero Apache Schools has been wonderful.
"I feel very welcomed by the administration, staff and students and I am looking forward to improving student achievement with my excellent team members," she said.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Ivins brings home science innovations from D.C.
Selected in March as one of 10 top U.S. Math And Science teachers, Ashley Ivins has returned to Lincoln County after five days at the Fellows Institute in Washington, D.C.
The trip, taken the last week of July, and $8,500 to her classroom and school were part of the rewards for being named in the second class of the Science and Public (SSP) Fellows program.
Ivins was competitively selected from a large entrant pool of high school science and math teachers from 46 states and two U.S. territories.
"My trip to Washington, D.C., was the ultimate learning experience," Ivins said. "I met nine other innovative teachers from across the country and got to learn from and alongside them for five incredible days. We learned about teaching students how to do research and think like researchers from master teachers. We also learned about building partnerships and collaborating with universities and corporations. It was incredible for me to see that I'm not alone in what I want to do in the classroom and that there are other teachers that are also seeing results from non-traditional teaching."
Ivins reported that Vernier Software and Technology gave each of the 10 Fellows a LabQuest data collection interface and several probes to get students started using top of the line technology to research and collect data.
"We used the probeware in hands-on activities at the Institute to become more confident in integrating math, science and technology in our classrooms. Theseactivities were also filmed for an instructional video that will be made available for teachers. I had the honor of being one of the three Fellows who was interviewed during the process for the instructional video," she said.
While in D.C., Ivins was able to meet with Senator Jeff Bingaman, Senator Tom Udall and Representative Harry Teague who were each very interested in her award. They talked to her about her experiences and asked for suggestions about what could be done to improve educational opportunities for New Mexico students.
At the Fellows Institute, each of the Fellows had to draft an industry standard Project Management Plan.
"This was to ensure that the research programs we will be implementing during the next four years in our classrooms are well thought out with measurable goals to promote student success," Ivins said. "The entire experience was unforgettable and definitely has further shaped my approached to be 'outside the box.' "
Ivins is a Capitan High School graduate, with a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture Education from Eastern New Mexico University, Master's of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University. She is currently pursuing a Master's of Science Teaching from New Mexico Tech and administrative credentials from NMSU. She is also applying to several doctorate education programs throughout the U.S.
The 2010 class of Fellows includes teachers selected from rural and urban areas, large and small communities, and schools that serve under-resourced communities.
SSP Fellows design independent research programs to be implemented in their schools and develop a strong network of scientific mentors for their students. The Fellows Institute provides intensive training to teachers and enables each Fellow to earn graduate level credit.
"While going to school at Montana State University, I had the opportunity to work at a small private school for disadvantaged youth doing outdoor education," Ivins said. "I decided to return to New Mexico to teach like my mother, Betsy Peralta, an elementary teacher at Capitan Schools. My mom has been a great teaching role model. Other great teachers that have inspired me are Carla Burns, Chemistry teacher at Ruidoso High School; Gina Langley, former Biology Instructor at ENMU-Ruidoso; Mike O'Connor, my advisor and ag teacher at ENMU; and Frank Walston, my science teacher at Capitan High School. From them I learned to make learning interesting and most importantly that a teacher creates relationships with their students."
Ivins said none of it could have been done without all the support she received from her husband Ronan and her children Grady Le and Ryleigh. "I want every child to have the education that I want for my own kids," she said. "Only the best."
Ivins shared that recently she had considered quitting education because of a strong desire to help people in crisis.
"I was frustrated with the current system of traditional education. I was considering the medical profession when I realized that there was a crisis here with my own neighbors. Mescalero offered me a position and it was an opportunity to make a huge difference. I'm going to miss the wonderful kids that I taught in Carrizozo last year but I feel very needed in Mescalero," she said. "Things are falling in place for me to play a role in the reform of education as well. I am excited about the new challenges and opportunities before me.
Additional information about the Fellows program can be found at www.societyforscience.org/outreach.
The application process for the 2011 Fellows class will open in November 2010.
Society for Science & the Public is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the achievement of young re-searchers in independent research and to the public engagement in science. Established in 1921, its vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. For more information about SSP and its work visitwww.societyforscience.org.