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SciGirls Stories: Real Women, Real Jobs

Siri Anderson, Director of Graduate Programs for Licensed Teachers, is the Co-PI on this National Science Foundation funded project!

TPT Wins Regional Emmy® Award
for SciGirls Stories: Real Women, Real Jobs
Saint Paul, Minn. November 3, 2016 – Twin Cities PBS’s STEM Media & Education Unit was honored with an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award for SciGirls Stories: Real Women, Real Jobs on Saturday, October 29th.

This thirty-minute documentary profiles women from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds sharing both the challenges and triumphs of “a day in the life” in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. The film portrays women working in STEM careers ranging from the more “traditional” (like engineering and chemistry) to the unexpected (like firefighting, construction and bicycle design). The featured stories, which highlight the women’s career paths, challenges and triumphs, were selected to help broaden girls’ view of STEM professions, and expand their vision of what’s possible in their own lives.

“The women in this documentary are innovators,” said series producer Marie Domingo. “Their stories are engaging and relatable, and they’ll motivate today’s high school girls to prepare for tomorrow’s workforce.”

Producer Angie Prindle adds, “For twelve years, SciGirls has inspired girls by showcasing STEM role models and mentors. We are grateful for National Science Foundation’s support in creating new and exciting ways to reach youth audiences with media.”

SciGirls Stories: Real Women, Real Jobs, premiered on TPT2 on May 27th, on TPT MN on May 29th, and is available online at This documentary was produced as part of “SciGirls Strategies: Gender Equitable Teaching Practices in Career and Technical Education Pathways for High School Girls,” a National Science Foundation-funded project designed to help high school educators recruit and retain more girls from diverse backgrounds in STEM and career and technical education (CTE) classes and career pathways.

SciGirls includes a nationally broadcast PBS Kids TV series, website, professional development workshops and educational outreach programming. The project was created to address girls’ declining interest in STEM starting as young as fourth grade, and continuing through college and career. Since its inception, SciGirls has reached millions of children, trained over 2,500 educators nationwide, and tens of thousands of youth have participated in an outreach program at SciGirls CONNECT’s 155 educational partner organizations nationwide. SciGirls was recently honored with two 2016 Parents’ Choice Gold Awards for the PBS Kids television series and PBS Kids website, and received the National Science Foundation’s Showcase Presenters’ Choice Award.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports education and research across all fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In addition to providing major support for SciGirls, the NSF supports other science and math programs on PBS and, including DragonflyTV, Peg + Cat, Design Squad Nation and Plum Landing. Visit here for more information on NSF activities.

About Twin Cities PBS (TPT) The mission of TPT is to “enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media.” As one of the nation’s leading public media organizations, Twin Cities PBS (TPT) uses television, interactive media and community engagement to advance education, culture and citizenship. Over its nearly 60-year history, TPT has been recognized for its innovation and creativity with numerous awards, including Peabody awards and national and regional Emmys. Based in St. Paul, MN, TPT is the most highly-viewed public TV station in the nation, reaching over 1.7 million people each month through multiple broadcast and online channels. The organization’s particular areas of focus include: the educational readiness of children; serving the needs and unleashing the potential of America’s aging population; engaging a new generation in the power of public media; and being the preferred media partner for organizations that align with our mission to enrich lives and strengthen community.

For more information about TPT, visit our website at or join us on Facebook and Twitter.
Rita Karl, Managing Director, TPT STEM Media & Education Unit
651-229-1490 |

Meet Sarah Rodriguez – Jean and Mark Schroepfer STEM Scholarship Winner

Sarah Rodriguez is the Fall 2016 recipient of the Jean and Mark Schroepfer scholarship.  Sarah teaches at Sonnesyn Elementary in the Robbinsdale School District.  Here is an excesarah rodriguez1rpt from her application letter.

“Perhaps the greatest reason I have become consumed with STEM as a teacher is the impact I have seen in my students. When under-performing students who have learning disabilities or are learning English have access to engineering, they shine. I’ve seen students who, in their standardized test scores perform at the 1 percentile, who at 10 years old may already feel beaten by most school subjects, beam from ear to ear as they complete a STEM challenge.  They are empowered.”

Thoughtful post from a student in Ethics in the Information Age


Leigh Zika

Ethics in the Information Age
EDUC 5993

Leigh Zika

We can define the Information Age as being a term used to describe our current time period, one in which there has been a shift from the previous industrial-based economies ushered in by the Industrial Revolution to the information-based economies ushered in by the widespread development of the internet and computers/computing/networking capabilities.  In this economy, information has become both a resource and a commodity, and access to the internet and to information, or lack of access, can be a determining factor in both personal and business success.


Sister Ann Harvey Action Research Award



Each year, the Education Department sponsors the Sister Ann Harvey Action
Research Award
to recognize educators and education students who engage in
outstanding action research projects. Masters students completing their projects between May, 2105 and December 2015 are eligible. This is a self nomination award.

Please click here for details on how to apply.

“How Technology Evolves” and Montessori Education

Many people wouldn’t associate computers with Montessori education, but students in our STEM program explore the connections between technology integration and the needs, interests, and possibilities of work students in Montessori settings might do.  Here one of our graduate students explores material that dances with various considerations of how to conceptually understand today’s technology. 


After watching and listening to Kevin Kelly give his presentation titled “How Technology Evolves”, I was struck by the connections to the Montessori curriculum, specifically in the area of biology. He theorizes that technology could be considered the 7th Kingdom, in addition to fungi, plants, animals, etc. I must admit, I was skeptical at first. I thought, “How can technology, which to me seems so mechanical and man-made, be thought of as a kingdom, as something that is living?” However, as he explained his theory, it began to make sense. Organisms move toward specialization, and become more complex, diverse and social; the same is true of technology. For example, the internet is not just used for finding or posting information, but it is also used for connecting and collaborating with other people (i.e. social media, the growth of online classes).

Kelly makes another interesting connection to the Montessori curriculum when he talks about technology being a cosmic force. Hmm….seems to me that Maria Montessori had some ideas about cosmic education. In his lecture, Kelly says, “Somewhere today there are millions of children being born whose technology of self-expression has not been invented.” (2005) Furthermore, he shared a power point slide that expressed that technology provides us with options, choices, opportunities, possibilities and freedoms. As educators, can we incorporate the use of technology in our classrooms to help give children a cosmic education, one in which they can explore, discover, create and imagine?

In the You Tube video “The Machine is Us/ing Us”, Michael Wesch, an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, explains how the web has evolved from a “read only” platform to an interconnected platform where people can upload and share not just text, but also photos and videos. I learned a lot about how at first, web sites were written in HTML, and now they are written in XML. What’s the difference? With XML, data can be exported because form is separated from content, making it possible for everyday users to upload content. It’s not only text that can be exported, but also photos and videos (think blogs, You Tube).   Good thing a person can pause, rewind and replay these videos!

What is the semantic web? I found that in order to understand “A Story about the Semantic Web” by Kate Ray that I had to look up the word after I watched the video. Then I watched the first part of the video again for a second time, and it became more definitive. First of all, the semantic web is an idea that the web can be more intelligent and even more intuitive about how to best serve users. This concept is an idea of the web inventor, a physicist by training, whose name is Tim Berners-Lee. I had not known this previously, so I found it very interesting. At the beginning of the video, the narrator says, “The core problem is our ability to create information has far exceeded our ability to manage it.”   This statement expresses perfectly my conundrum with technology! How do I use it in a way that will actually make me more efficient? How can I easily incorporate technology into my classroom, without having it consume endless amounts of precious time? The idea is to transform the web into more of a database, an index of sorts. Back to tried-and-true technology, the old-fashioned index located in the back of reference books!

Kelly, K. (2005). How Technology Evolves. Retrieved from

Ray, K. (2011). A Story about the Semantic Web. Retrieved from Vimeo:

Wesch, M. (2007). The Machine is Us/Ing Us. Retrieved from

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