3M Names America’s Top Young Scientist of 2021:14-Year-Old Sarah Park, for Music Therapy Treatment to Improve Mental Health

St. Paul, Minn. and Silver Spring, Md. (Friday, October 22, 2021) 3M (@3M) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) have named 14-year-old Sarah Park from Jacksonville, Fla. the winner of the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge ( #YoungScientist), the nation’s premier middle school science competition. Sarah created Spark Care+, an innovation that personalizes music therapy treatment for mental health improvement using artificial intelligence (AI), skin response (GSR) and photoplethysmography (PPG). As the 3M Young Scientist Challenge grand prize winner, Sarah received a $25,000 cash prize, the prestigious title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” and a special destination trip.

“The 3M Young Scientist Challenge aligns with 3M’s commitment to fostering the next generation of science leaders, and exemplifies how a quality STEM education can get young people interested and excited about science as a way to improve lives all around the world,” said Dr. Denise Rutherford, senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at 3M. “Against the backdrop of an ongoing global pandemic, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists have each shown how grit, determination, resiliency, innovative thinking, and the scientific process come together to create truly incredible innovations with the potential to address major global challenges. 3M is inspired by these young inventors, and we celebrate their accomplishments. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Sarah Park, and to all our 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists. We thank you for inspiring us through your efforts.”  

The global pandemic has had a profound impact on mental health – negatively affecting millions of people and creating new barriers for people already suffering from mental health disorders. For her project, Sarah developed SparkCare+ as an efficient, affordable, portable, and personalized music therapy for mental health improvement. SparkCare+ is made up of two components: a communication with the participant, and a mechanism that uses deep neural networks to select therapeutic music.…Read More

From Katrina to COVID: Kids heal in communities

Some moments in life are unforgettable. For me, the experience of evacuating from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina with my two young children and pup is one of those moments. Katrina became a marker in the life of our family. We used to talk about the timeline of our experiences in terms of “before Katrina” or “after Katrina.” While our home only sustained significant wind damage but no flooding, we witnessed firsthand the considerable tragedy across the city.

My husband is a Coast Guard pilot and was part of the rescue efforts immediately after the storm. As a young mother and teacher, I was focused on setting up a temporary home in San Antonio, TX. I had very little information on how long we would be living in Texas, whether my house was destroyed, what would happen to my teaching job and salary, and how long I would be apart from my husband. The uncertainty combined with the sudden nature of the disaster was, at times, almost too much to bear. I spent hours watching the news showing pictures of people on roofs trying to survive the flooding and the helicopters bravely swarming the airspace to save as many people as possible.

After two months, in October, we were able to return to the city once electricity was restored to our area on the west side of the river. Imagine a home in the deep heat of a New Orleans summer, closed, with no electricity or air conditioning. Imagine a refrigerator and freezer in that house with food left behind. Imagine thousands of those! Imagine wind and water damage and destroyed backyards, sheds, patios, and plants. We returned to that scene, and we were by far one of the lucky ones! We focused on cleaning out our home for several weeks, installing a blue FEMA tarp over a damaged roof, burning the left-behind branches and fallen trees in our yard, and attempting to find food and water. We were grateful for organizations that sent volunteers to cook, assisted with cutting down trees, and did various other tasks.…Read More

Experience the Power of a Spoken Word Poetry

Good Deed Entertainment announced today that their spoken word, Rotten Tomato certified-fresh hit film SUMMERTIME, directed by Carlos López Estrada (Raya And The Last Dragon (2021), Blindspotting (2018) and Marvel’s Legion (2017)), and executive produced by Kelly Marie Tran, will be available for fans to own beginning on August 27, 2021 and can be purchased through all major retailers including, iTunes/AppleTV, Amazon, Vudu and Google Play. The film can currently be preordered at iTunes and a full list of where to purchase the film can be found at the SUMMERTIME website.

The film SUMMERTIME takes place over the course of a hot summer day in Los Angeles, following the lives of 27 young adults as they intersect. A skating guitarist, a tagger, two wannabe rappers, an exasperated fast-food worker, a limo driver—they all weave in and out of each other’s stories. Through poetry they express life, love, heartache, family, home, and fear. One of them just wants to find someplace that still serves good cheeseburgers.

The film was developed over a summer workshop with the young poets, who were all part of Get Lit – Words Ignite, an LA based nonprofit that fuses classic and original spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy on the page and in visual media. All 27 poets served as co-writers and stars in the film.…Read More

How classroom journaling engages and empowers students

It’s been a hard year for young people. COVID has upended their usual schooling and routines. For many, the pandemic impacted their families financially or through the loss of a loved one. In a year punctuated by upheaval and uncertainty, my students at Minneapolis Elementary School in Kansas were left feeling powerless. When students are dealing with feelings of grief and loss, it can be difficult to focus on learning. Classroom journaling turned out to be the antidote for my students.

The benefits of journaling in school are numerous – from improving mental health to heightening academic performance. It seems tailor-made to counteract some of the most devastating consequences of the pandemic on students, such as learning loss and social-emotional trauma.

Classroom journaling has given my students the time and space to tune into themselves and sit with their own thoughts and feelings. We spend so much time teaching our students to analyze the thoughts and feelings of characters they come across in our readings, but this important skill has broader implications. Journaling centers each child as the protagonist of their own story, with thoughts and feelings worthy of reflection.…Read More

imagiLabs raises $300k pre-seed to further bridge the gender gap in coding

imagiLabs (www.imagilabs.com), the all-female founded startup that makes coding more accessible to young girls, has raised $300k (€250k) in pre-seed funding, allowing it to further equip the next generation of working women with critical coding skills.

Angel investors participating in the round include Eros Resmini, Founder & Managing Partner at The Mini Fund and the former CMO of messaging platform Discord; David Baszucki, CEO of gaming giant Roblox; members of Atomico’s Angel Program; and Propel Capital, the investment arm of Stockholm’s leading tech incubator Sting. 

A number of high profile proponents of gender equality in technology participated in the round. The financing will be used to maintain imagiLabs’ significant international growth and to continue to foster an engaged community of young girl coders, who use the imagiLabs apps to learn from each other, share coding tips and designs, and build relationships.…Read More

Young Empowered Startuppers’ Online Entrepreneurial Learning & Activity Platform provides competitive advantage for today’s teachers, students and schools.

The latest of the awards was an Award of Excellence in Applied Innovation, with a perfect score of 12/12 from the Institute for Performing and Learning, the judges commented that “it is no doubt this project will be an example to follow in improving the work the Institute for Performance and Learning seeks to explore in the future.” Using a fully integrated online learning and project platform, YES takes students and teachers seamlessly through their entrepreneurial journey from problem solving ideas to viable, pitch-ready ventures. The program meets Canada wide Entrepreneurship Curriculum Requirements and can be delivered flexibly depending on the needs of the students, teachers, and school.  

The platform can be a 100% online plug and play course or be used in a hybrid or flipped classroom model.  The ability to seamlessly move between varying models has made teachers’ work that much easier during the current ever-changing times. “The program leverages the LMS system by offering an experience-based platform where learners receive support and engagement by mentors and administrative staff, as directed by the learner. It also offers an intuitive interface that promotes use of just in time data,” commented the judges from the Institute of Performance and Learning.  

Shauna Stanyer, an entrepreneurship teacher from Holy Cross Regional High School in Vancouver, Canada recently remarked “I really appreciate the content brought throughout the training modules and how it is delivered through the platform. It makes planning an exciting and innovative course easy, while allowing me to focus on the project-based learning with my students.”  The content and curriculum developed for the course are engaging and exciting for students, and teacher feedback on this new tool has been overwhelmingly positive.…Read More

3M and Discovery Education Open Call for Entries for America’s Next Top Young Scientist

3M and Discovery Education are excited to announce that the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge ( #YoungScientist) is now open to entries. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, a $25,000 grand prize, and the chance to earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Competition entries are accepted at YoungScientistLab.com until the April 27, 2021 deadline.

Each year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the grand prize winner, 10 finalists, the Improving Lives Award winner, and up to 51 state merit winners nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems to improve the world around them.

To enter, students in grades 5-8 need an original idea that helps solve an everyday problem in their community. They are invited to submit their solution in the form of a one to two-minute video explaining the science behind it. A diverse group of judges will evaluate entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.…Read More

3M and Discovery Education Open Call for Entries for America’s Next Top Young Scientist

3M and Discovery Education are excited to announce that the 2021  3M Young Scientist Challenge ( #YoungScientist) is now open to entries. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, a $25,000 grand prize, and the chance to earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Competition entries are accepted at  YoungScientistLab.com until the April 27, 2021 deadline.

Each year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the grand prize winner, 10 finalists, the Improving Lives Award winner, and up to 51 state merit winners nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems to improve the world around them.

To enter, students in grades 5-8 need an original idea that helps solve an everyday problem in their community. They are invited to submit their solution in the form of a one to two-minute video explaining the science behind it. A diverse group of judges will evaluate entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.…Read More

CASEL Shares Timely Resources To Support Students Transitioning to Second Semester, Processing January 6 Violent Attack

As schools across the country enter the second half of the school year, many students will make new transitions — from distance learning back to in-person learning, or vice versa — and social and emotional learning (SEL) remains as important as ever. During this time, young people need safe, supportive learning environments to process their emotions and reflect critically on the violent attack on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol. To help educators, family members, caregivers, and community partners support the social and emotional needs of our young people, CASEL has shared two resources:

In July 2020, CASEL collaborated with more than 40 partners to illuminate a way forward as educators nationwide prepared to welcome students and adults back to school — in whatever form that took. The SEL Roadmap centered on relationships and built on the existing strengths of a school community.

As second semester begins, now is the time to refocus on supportive relationships, equitable environments, and the academic, social, and emotional development and overall well-being of all students and adults. Our update, “ Refocus on the SEL Roadmap,” provides key strategies to help prepare for a successful second semester, including examples from schools districts nationwide that have prioritized SEL this year.…Read More

The National Mentoring Partnership Celebrates January as National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month and this year, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, is announcing its Mentoring Amplifies campaign in partnership with American Student Assistance (ASA). The Mentoring Amplifies campaign aims to honor the people who have helped shape the lives of young adults and helped them achieve their goals and ensuring that every student has equal access to opportunities like college, internships, clubs, sports, and more. Mentoring Amplifies and National mentoring Month are about building connections and driving potential, creating tomorrow’s leaders.

Mentoring Amplifies represents each individual who is committed to supporting and advocating for our nation’s youth,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. “MENTOR and ASA are committed to equipping young people with mentoring relationships and growth opportunities everywhere they live, learn, work, and play. Together, we’re providing tools and resources to further engage communities and invoke change. We are building a movement powered by possibilities.”

Research shows that mentors play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools to strive and thrive, to attend and engage in school, and to reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use.  In turn, these young people are:…Read More