Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scientific American: This Year's Google Science Fair Winner: Brittany Wenger

In this month's edition of the Scientific American, Brittany Wenger from Lakewood Ranch, Florida was featured as this year's winner of Google's Science Fair.

Brittany Wenger "wrote a computer program known as a neural network to help detect patterns in a large database of breast tissue samples. Traditional biopsies of the breast are painful, but a less invasive type of biopsy known as a fine needle aspirate (FNA) is also less conclusive. Wenger’s program, which she put through an incredible 7.6 million trials to test it for accuracy, helps doctors successfully detect more than 99 percent of malignant tumors using FNA."

You can read more on Scientific American's website:
Google Science Fair: Winners tackle breast cancer, hearing loss and water quality

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

White House: The Next Generation of Girls in STEM

Girls in STEM, featuring young women scientists and engineers who wowed the President and the nation at the White House Science Fair in February, shines a spotlight on these extraordinary young role models and their exciting projects -- ranging from a machine that detects buried landmines, to a prosthetic hand device, to a lunchbox that uses UV light to kill bacteria on food. http://www.whitehouse.gov/stem

Bridging the Gender Gap: Why More Women Aren't Computer Scientists, Engineers

Found on PBS.org: Aired April 26, 2012

"If you completely shut out the entire feminine perspective on the world," says Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College, "you're going to have a different set of products." Judy Woodruff and Klawe discuss why more women aren't pursuing careers in hard sciences, and Klawe's plans to bridge the gaps in engineering and computer science."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gonna Be An Engineer

Peggy Seeger's "Gonna Be An Engineer" - Unofficial Animation by Ken Wong

Links to learn more:
Ken Wong - comics 365
Peggy Seeger on YouTube singing "Gonna Be An Engineer"

2012 Presenters at Girls’ Workshop Sessions

Student Workshop Leaders: (Standing, left to right): Alicia Abbott, Gay Thompson, Eve Haverfield, Sarah Woofter, Birgit Pauli-Haack, Bonny Eads, Joanna Fitzgerald, Nancy Beights, and Renee Zepeda. Missing from photo: Wendy Wahlstedt. Front: Keynote Jack Gardner and Mark Cevallos. Photo: Kevin Cole
Alicia Abbott
Senior Project Manager, Collier County Public Utilities, Engineering Department
Alicia grew up in Jamaica, graduated from the University of Miami, FL with a degree in Civil Engineering, is married and has 5 children. As an engineer she has designed, and managed the construction of many water and wastewater projects. The Governor of Florida appointed her to the South Florida Water Management District Big Cypress Basin Board (2001-2009). She received the "Galaxy of Stars" Award from the school district for over 3000 hours of volunteer work. Alicia is also very involved in her church activities.

Photo: Donna Carty
Nancy Beights, Ed.D.
Secondary Coordinator for Math and Computer Science, Collier County Public Schools
Nancy graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, majoring in biology with a minor in mathematics. She obtained a Masters in Secondary School Administration and Mathematics from Purdue, followed by a Doctorate with High Honors from the University of Miami in Educational Leadership. She received the Golden Apple Teacher Award and was nominated for Outstanding American Teachers in 2006. Nancy sings in her church choir; is a member of her neighborhood association and is on the Board of Directors of the local University of Michigan Club.

Mark Cevallos
Secondary Mathematics Specialist, Collier County Public Schools
Mark has a B.S. in Business Management and an M.S. in Mathematics Education. He has received extensive Professional Development in the areas of technology and mathematics content and methods. Mark is currently the Teacher on Special Assignment for Algebra and Geometry for the entire school district. Previously, he taught mathematics at Palmetto Ridge High School and Everglades City School. Before he became an educator, he was a construction project manager. He continues to use his many skills in this area to help enhance and improve instructional process, practices, and curriculum.

Bonny Eads, O.D., F.A.A.O
Optometrist, Co-Owner of Practice
Bonnie has been an optometrist for thirty-five years and is in practice with her husband. They have two daughters, Stephanie and Amelia. Bonny has made a strong commitment to her community and be of service to others, especially those who are the most in need. She is a lifetime Girl Scout, past 4-H leader, certified instructor at the Naples Equestrian challenge for handicapped children and adults, volunteer providing vision services to Head Start, Shelter for Abused Women and Children, PACE, Lions Club, Salvation Army and the school district's Homeless Student program. It is not surprising that her community has recognized her with many awards.

Joanna Fitzgerald
Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic Director, Conservancy of Southwest Florida
Photo: Donna Carty
Joanne grew up on a small farm in Wisconsin. In high school and college she volunteered at various conservation organizations. She received her B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduation She completed several internships before being hired full time at the Conservancy in 1994. She loves working with injured, sick and orphaned wildlife.

Eve Haverfield
Founder and Director, Turtle Time, Inc.
Over thirty-two years ago, while walking along a deserted stretch of beach on Sanibel Island, Eve saw some mysterious tracks that crossed the beach then disappeared into the Gulf…sea turtle tracks! That was the beginning of her passion to help in the recovery of this endangered species. Her background in Nursing (UF) and Rehab Counseling (USF) has greatly influenced the success of Turtle Time, Inc. Eve and her husband Bill have two children - Tracy, an auto broker/attorney and Eden, a molecular geneticist.

Birgit Pauli-Hack
CEO & Founder, Pauli Systems, LC
Birgit has been providing interactive, user-friendly, web-based business applications and server administration services to international and domestic corporate, nonprofit and private clients for more than 15 years. She has a degree in business management and is an active member of the web community, providing pro-bono technology services to local non-profit organizations. She has been a technology leader with the Naples Free-Net since 1998, is a former board member and is currently their President.

Gay Thompson
President, Cement Industries of Fort Myers
Gay is a fourth generation Floridian! She graduated from the University of North Carolina, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. degree in French and later, with a Masters Degree. She began working at Cement Industries in charge of payroll and benefits and is now President and CEO. Throughout the years, she has taken leadership roles in business organizations and community associations. She enjoys hiking, reading, writing, travel and golf.

Wendy Wahlstedt
Founder, Eagle Eye Life Coaching and Airline Pilot
Wendy had a childhood dream of learning to fly. She was able to realize this dream as an adult, after having worked in the counseling field with her Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. She acquired her private pilot rating in 1991. By 1999, after having been an instructor in small aircraft and then a corporate pilot, she was hired as a commercial airline pilot. She looks forward to sharing her amazing journey to realize her dream and what a rewarding experience awaits anyone who pursues a career in aviation.

Sarah Woofter
Elementary Math Specialist, Collier County Public Schools
Sarah has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership. She spent 10 years in the classroom teaching kindergarten and 5th grade and this is her second year as an Elementary Math Specialist. She loves her current position because it allows her to assist teachers across the district with math instruction and help them create an excitement about math with students in grades K - 5.

Renee Zepeda, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Senior Architect, Project Designer
Renee is an Architect with Fletcher Thompson and graduated Tau Sigma Delta with a Master’s from Tulane University. She has more than 25 years of experience working on commercial and institutional projects, with a specialty in healthcare. Her passion for the profession shows in her leadership and creativity of the built environment and how it can improve the lives of communities.

Aspire To Inspire: Women in STEM

A movie Dr. Jack Gardner showed at this year's conference at the end of his keynote address at AAUW Math & Science conference.

2012 Speakers Auditorium

At left, speakers (left to right):Paula Sklodowski (WGCU, C’MON),Dr. Betsy Glass (Educator),Jack Gardner (Principal, Lorenzo Walker H.S and Institute), Dr. Monica Robles (David Lawrence Center) and Dr. Kamela Patton (Superintendent, CCPS). Photo: Kevin Cole
Welcome Remarks: Dr. Kamela Patton
Superintendent, Collier County Public Schools
Dr. Patton was appointed in mid-2011 as the Superintendent of Schools for Collier County. Previously she spent 24 years in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth-largest school system in the US. In her short time here she has brought vitality and transparency by setting aggressive goals, redefining the mission, and reaching out to the community. She is a major advocate for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and this spring will host a STEM conference for teachers, parents and community members.

Keynote Speaker: John (Jack) Gardner
Principal, Lorenzo T. Walker High School and LTW Institute
Dr. Patton brought Jack to Lorenzo Walker in 2011 to "raise the bar and focus” on vocational technical education. As principal of the Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology and Technical High School, his motto says much about the man: Think Creatively, Work Pragmatically, Deliver Faithfully. Jack's reputation as an innovative leader and change agent in several Indiana high schools is based on his skill and creative leadership. His influence as a relationship builder, motivator, and innovator has been recognized by the Indiana Department of Education. Jack’s creativity builds on his background in music: as a young adult Jack performed in the Disney World band. His creative thinking has brought energy and vitality to the Lorenzo campus. (NDN Guest Column by Jack Gardner (2/28/2012)

Mary Elizabeth "Betsy" Glass, Ph.D.
Educator and Psychotherapist
Dr. Glass is a scientist and educator with a B.S. degree in Zoology, a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Ph.D. in Psychology. Her PhD research in Psycho-neurogastroenterology focused on the connection between the brain and the digestive system ("Brain-gut" science). Dr. Glass taught biology for 50 year, 30 of them at The Canterbury School in Fort Myers, where she taught AP level biology, psychology, environmental sciences and independent research. She is a passionate advocate of high school science fairs and has been honored for her work coaching and mentoring student competitions locally, nationally and internationally.

Monica P. Robles, M.D.

Senior Physician, Children's Services, David Lawrence Center
Dr. Robles joined the David Lawrence Center in 2011 as the Senior Physician for Children Services. She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. She received her medical degree in Spain, where she was raised, and completed her residency and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. Monica has had more than a decade of experience working with adults, adolescents and children in an inpatient and outpatient setting in Spain, California and Missouri.

Paula Sklodowski
WGCU Outreach Coordinator & Children's Museum of Naples (C'MON) Education Council
As the Outreach Coordinator for WGCU Public Media, Paula is responsible for managing the school-based family workshops that are part of the WGCU Curious Kids initiative and serves on the Education Council for the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples. Paula has a B.S. in Communications from Ohio University and has worked in TV, radio and newspaper.