Samsung Launches Annual $2 Million Solve for Tomorrow Contest

Samsung today announced the launch of  the 11th annual $2 million* Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, which challenges students in grades 6–12 and their teachers to use STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to tackle local issues of national importance. Now through December 13, 2020, public school teachers across the U.S. can apply** for this year’s program and submit their activity plans that enable students to create real-world change in their communities using problem-based learning.

As students and teachers continue to navigate a complex learning environment – whether virtual, in-person or a hybrid of both – Solve for Tomorrow provides a unique opportunity for teachers to bring their students together regardless of classroom format using problem-based learning and hands-on STEM skills. Solve for Tomorrow empowers thousands of students to create innovative solutions that transform communities as they address issues ranging from mental health and wildfire safety to sustainability and climate change.

“Teachers are the backbone of our education system and Samsung recognizes the challenges that today’s educators are facing. We are in awe of the resiliency of teachers and students who have adapted to a new learning environment, and we remain focused on encouraging unique ways for students to engage in hands-on STEM learning all across the country,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “Over the last decade, Samsung Solve for Tomorrow has enabled our youth to pave the way towards real, meaningful change. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we guide students on the value of STEM skills to solve the greatest issues impacting their local communities and we look forward to this year’s STEM innovations.”…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ CEO Rob Waldron Appointed to the Association of Test Publishers’ CEO Council

The Association of Test Publishers (ATP), the leading international organization for publishers of assessment programs, has named Curriculum Associates’ CEO Rob Waldron to its newly formed CEO Council. Waldron is the only CEO in the United States’ K–12 education market space to be appointed to the five-person council, which will provide ongoing guidance to the ATP and its global membership.

“Rob brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the newly formed council,” said William G. Harris, CEO of the ATP. “As the Association navigates the challenges of globalization and the unprecedented disruption of a pandemic, ATP welcomes the expertise and guidance of global leaders such as Rob to help us move both the industry and ATP into the future.”

Representing leading publishers and assessment service providers in the testing industry, the ATP promotes high-quality programs among members—as well as among the entire assessment community—through highly regarded global events, advocacy work, best practices guidance documents, and networking opportunities. The ATP’s three core tasks include representing the general interests and welfare of its members and the assessment industry, providing members with current information on industry-related issues, and, when possible, establishing a unified position among members on key industry issues.…Read More

PBLWorks and ISTE Partner to Offer New Course for Teachers

PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), has partnered with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to create a new self-paced ISTE U course, “Leading Project-Based Learning with Technology” to help teachers build their capacity to implement Gold Standard PBL with technology tools.

The course is for teachers and instructional staff who are familiar with technology and are looking for an entry point into PBL, or those who are interested in learning more about both PBL and technology integration. It challenges participants to respond to the driving question, “How can I maximize the benefits of Project-Based Learning by effectively integrating digital tools?”

“Leading Project-Based Learning with Technology” is a 5-hour, self-paced course. It costs $49 for ISTE members and $65 for non-members.…Read More

Prioritizing school funding in the midst of multiple crises

Faced with fast-changing instructional models, varying infection rates, decreasing revenue sources, and a variety of natural disasters, how can education finance officials meet the short-term needs of their districts as well as longer-term school funding requirements?

During a recent edLeader Panel, four experts shared their recent experiences and current perspectives on the issues and challenges that school districts have been coping with during the past six months. They also discussed interim solutions and plans for the future, all of which are continuing to evolve.

Related content: Using title funds for STEM education…Read More

New York State Education Department Approves Curriculum Associates as a Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Sponsor

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., September 14, 2020—The New York State Education Department has approved Curriculum Associates as a Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) sponsor. With this approval, educators across New York can now receive state-approved CTLE credits by completing Curriculum Associates’ active, personalized, and research-based professional development courses which can be delivered online or in-person.

“Professional development is so critical to educators’ growth and success, especially now given the challenges of this school year,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Our courses are tailored to meet the unique needs of each school and district and to support all educators in an engaging and effective way. With the CTLE sponsorship, we look forward to continuing to provide New York educators with both timely and topical professional learning facilitated by former educators who truly understand the ins and outs of classroom teaching.”

Curriculum Associates was chosen as a CTLE sponsor after completing a rigorous review that examined the organization’s procedures to identify, design, and evaluate CTLE activities; procedures and criteria for selecting instructors; procedures to evaluate effectiveness; plan to maintain records; and more. As part of the state requirements, educators must complete 100 CTLE hours every five years.…Read More

National Network Launches to Connect Students in Crisis

InsideTrack — the national student success nonprofit that established the use of coaching for higher education enrollment, completion and career readiness — today announced the launch of an ambitious new initiative designed to deliver emergency coaching services for students experiencing crisis situations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With $250,000 from ECMC Foundation and a matching grant from Strada Education Network, the Emergency Coaching Network will provide up to 5,000 students at participating institutions with support from InsideTrack coaches specially trained to assess and support across a range of challenging situations.

“From food, income and housing insecurity to feelings of isolation, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety, the pandemic has magnified many of the challenges that students were already facing in growing numbers,” said Dr. G. Brent Wallace, Chancellor of North Central Texas College, a Network member institution. “During this unprecedented time for our students and communities, it’s never been more important for us to help students navigate these challenges and build the skills to thrive. We’re grateful that organizations like ECMC Foundation and InsideTrack are collaborating to support us and other institutions in these efforts.”

In the wake of COVID-19, colleges are seeing surging demand for emergency student support services, including coaching, to help students struggling with mental health challenges, financial distress, the loss of unemployment, and concerns around personal health and safety. According to recent data from InsideTrack’s Crisis Support Services team, students seeking support to help meet basic needs such as housing, food and medicine have increased by 203 percent from 2019. The number of students requesting assistance to navigate mental health crises has also more than doubled during the same period.…Read More

Back to School Guide to Support Students’ Social Emotional Learning

As students, teachers, and families prepare for the 2020-21 school year, social-emotional learning will play an important role in helping them navigate the emotional and logistical challenges created by the events of the last few months. To support them, Aperture Education has created its free 2020 Back to School Guide packed with helpful information, lessons and activities to strengthen social-emotional skills for children and adults.

The 2020 Back to School Guide contains more than 40 pages of downloadable resources and articles created by experts and SEL professionals to support SEL in the classroom, in the home, and during distance learning. To download the 2020 Back to School Guide, visit:

“This school year, social-emotional learning will be more important than ever as students, teachers and families adjust to going back to school while the COVID-19 pandemic still has an impact,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “Our Back to School Guide provides resources to help school administrators, educators, and families work together to ensure student success.”…Read More

Registration Opens for 2020-21 Conrad Challenge STEM competition

Registration has officially opened for the 2020-2021 Conrad Challenge, now celebrating its 15th year of driving student entrepreneurship across a variety of STEM fields. One of the most highly ranked STEM competitions globally, the annual Challenge invites students between the ages of 13-18 from around the world to form teams of 2-5 and develop sustainable solutions to global challenges. Along the way, coaches and judges from the best in business, industry, research and academia worldwide guide the teams’ development of their innovative ideas.

Founded and chaired by Nancy Conrad to honor the legacy of her late husband, entrepreneur and third man to walk on the Moon, Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad, the Conrad Foundation produces the Conrad Challenge each year, not only to provide students the opportunity to create innovative solutions benefitting global sustainability, but also to prepare them for success in the global workplace.

“Our Challenge provides the ideal platform for students and educators who are now navigating a very different upcoming school year. Student participants learn to measure success in terms of creativity, collaboration and a commitment to creating a better future for all of us,” said Conrad. “This year is extra special as we celebrate reaching the 15-year milestone of empowering students to design a sustainable future and collaborate digitally, without borders.”…Read More

Black Box Makes the IoT Building a Reality With Its Connected Buildings Solution

Black Box, a global solutions integrator, today introduced Connected Buildings — a suite of solutions and services that enable digital experiences in smart, IoT buildings. Black Box designs, deploys, manages and maintains the foundational technology that connects the internal ecosystem of interoperable devices and sensors that work together to enable human-to-human, human-to-device and device-to-device interaction. Black Box’s Connected Buildings services modernize IT infrastructure, solve in-building connectivity challenges and link clients’ devices at locations around the world.

“Demand for the IoT building is growing exponentially. Now more than ever, our customers need spaces that are interactive, adaptive, automated and secure,” said Doug Oathout, senior vice president, Portfolio and Partnerships, Black Box. “At Black Box, we apply our broad portfolio of IT solutions to take the complexity out of connected buildings and make it simple for our customers by giving them one trusted partner to handle their IT services. Whether updating hundreds of existing locations or outfitting one location from the ground up, our team of project managers, engineers and technicians works with our clients to craft a solution that creates consistent customer experiences and reliable communications at every location.”

The Black Box Connected Building is enabled by several faster, more robust technologies: 5G/CBRS and Wi-Fi to augment existing wireless systems and create fully connected buildings; edge networking and data centers to collect data where it’s created and combine it with AI to make smarter devices; and cybersecurity for governance and assessments, incident and event monitoring, endpoint detection and response, and VPN and firewall services.…Read More

BetterLesson Sponsors $1 Million Matching Grant Program for Professional Development

To provide expanded access to K-12 schools and districts with virtual professional learning services to improve teaching and learning in remote and hybrid environments and to promote social justice, BetterLesson is sponsoring a matching grant program. Public and private K-12 schools, districts and education service agencies are invited to submit their proposals between today and Friday, September 4, 2020.

“Teachers and school leaders are facing intense challenges right now. And if we want success for all students, educators need to be meaningfully, continuously supported; now more than ever,” said Erin Osborn co-founder and COO of BetterLesson. “We’ve seen over the past few months how much BetterLesson’s virtual Professional Learning can help districts and schools improve the use of powerful distance learning strategies, as well as help educators take real steps toward advancing social justice. The grant program felt like a concrete way to increase access to this support and reach as many educators as possible.”

The program provides public and private K-12 schools, districts and education service agencies in the United States with virtual professional learning services to improve teaching and learning in remote environments and integrate practices that advance social justice as part of regular classroom instruction.…Read More