Recently, I attended the Annual Conference of the New England League of Middle Schools. As always, it was a chance to catch up with old friends, learn about ways to better support my students and colleagues, and in general enjoy being with people who really get middle schoolers and love working that age group.
by Andrea Tehan Carnes
On Friday, January 29th at 11:00am EST, Stoneleigh-Burnham students had the chance to connect with Dr. Lenore Rasmussen, Polymer Chemist, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Ras Labs in a video conference hosted by Rachel Power of NASA’s Digital Learning Network at Kennedy Space Center. While Stoneleigh-Burnham was the only school to participate on camera in the web conference, it was also streamed live on NASA’s DLN channel where anyone was able to live tweet or e-mail Dr. Rasmussen questions about her experiment. There were 25 eighth grade students, 13 upper school students, and six teaching faculty in attendance for this exciting event.
by Andrea Tehan Carnes, STEAM Coordinator (written on Dec. 9, 2015)
All of the students at Stoneleigh-Burnham School participated the international Hour of Code event today as part of Computer Science Education Week! The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and to increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. The activities that the girls worked on in the Hour of Code are designed to help demystify code through simple tutorials and activities that show students that anyone really can learn to code!
by Andrea Tehan Carnes
Stoneleigh-Burnham School is working hard to expand the exposure our girls have to STEAM (science-technology-engineering-art-math), and I am excited to be leading our school in this initiative! My goals as the SBS STEAM Coordinator are to give our girls exposure to the many educational and career paths available in the STEAM field. The best way to get girls interested in STEAM is to get them working with their hands and walking in the shoes of people already in these fields. I know that I am not alone in the fact that I found my dream job by doing a lot of varied activities as a young person - many of which, I knew afterwards, were not for me! But you never know until you try!
The National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS) held their Annual Conference from June 22-24, 2015 at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia. The theme was “From STEM to STEAM: Girls’ Schools Leading the Way.” Sally Mixsell, Head of School, attended along with science teachers Andrea Tehan Carnes and Meghan Lena, and Bill Ivey, Middle School Dean. Over the weeks following the conference, we are sharing our thoughts on what we learned and what we did.
The National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS) held their Annual Conference from June 22-24, 2015 at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia. The theme was “From STEM to STEAM: Girls’ Schools Leading the Way.” Sally Mixsell, Head of School, attended along with science teachers Andrea Tehan Carnes and Meghan Lena, and Bill Ivey, Middle School Dean. Over the next few weeks, we plan to share our thoughts on what we learned and what we did.
By now, you may have heard of this pithy observation on women in science: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls ... three things happen when they are in the lab ... You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry.” (Sir Tim Hunt, quoted in Drum) The piece provoked a firestorm of reaction, including the trending hashtag #distractinglysexy which mocked Sir Hunt’s remarks through comments such as “Rosalind Franklin was so #distractinglysexy that Watson and Crick forgot to give her credit for figuring out how DNA worked.” (Seth D. Michaels, quoted in Waxman) A few days later, Sir Hunt, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, was fired from his position at University College London.
Well. That is good news. But I can’t help but wonder - how did we get so quickly to that point?
It all started with an interview on NPR with Professor Shrinivas Kulkarni of the California Institute of Technology. The main purpose of the interview seemed to be to humanize scientists and to make it clear they are not just deadly serious denizens of labs but also as fun-loving as the next person. One of Professor Kulkarni’s main points was, “Many scientists, I think, secretly are what I call 'boys with toys.' (...) I really like playing around with telescopes. It's just not fashionable to admit it.”
We need to make sure we’re making it possible for people of all genders to feel acknowledged for their contributions and not feel held back by something as arbitrary as their genetics or appearance.
- Emily Graslie
Chief Curiosity Coordinator has to be one of the most awesome job titles ever. The position, created by Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, is held by Emily Graslie, who is STEAM (Science - Technology - Engineering - Art - Mathematics) personified. A studio art major, she interned at the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum, where she was tapped to host her own show on YouTube, “The Brain Scoop,” to show and discuss the behind-the-scenes workings of a major natural history museum. She also manages a tumblr by the same name.