Grants available for schools to create robotics teams
CONCORD — In an effort to support STEM concepts and exploration among New Hampshire youth, The New Hampshire Department of Education is offering competitive grants to public schools and public charter schools to establish robotics teams and participate in competitive events.
The primary purpose of these grants is to motivate students to pursue educational and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to build life and work-related skills.
“Robotics is a great way to reinforce academic concepts while also fostering curiosity among children, promoting teamwork and improving critical technology skills,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education. “These grants will provide more New Hampshire students with the opportunity to embrace STEM concepts and learn through imaginative play and engineering.”
Although there is no award minimum or maximum amount for each proposal, the estimated budget for each proposal is $2,000 to $15,000. There are select eligibility requirements for financing, and applications will be scored by independent peer reviewers. To be eligible, schools must have an established partnership with at least one sponsor, and proposals must include participation in at least one competitive event.
Grant applications should be submitted by 4 p.m. on Dec. 10; applications will be accepted after the deadline, however prioritization will be given to those received by Dec. 10. For more details on how to apply, visit www.education.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt326/files/inline-documents/sonh/robotics-ed-fund.pdf. For more information, contact Melissa White at [email protected] or 603-271-3855.
UNH to lead development of new Children’s Behavioral Health Resource Center
DURHAM — The New Hampshire Executive Council has approved a $4.3 million contract over three years to the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability (IOD) to develop a new Children’s Behavioral Health Resource Center (CBHRC). Working in collaboration with other institutions, family groups, providers and youth and families, the CBHRC will strengthen the network of behavioral health supports for children across the state.
“We have a wonderful opportunity to create a system of supports to respond to youth and families in crisis and to help them find hope so they can move on and live their best lives,” said JoAnne Malloy, research associate professor and co-director of the CBHRC. “This can only happen, though, if we stand up and sustain research-based practices that are provided at the right time, matched to the youth’s and family’s need, and in the right amount. We’re excited and honored to be part of the transformation of the New Hampshire children’s system of care.”
The new center is designed to help address the current shortage of resources by improving the capacity of providers, educators and agencies to deliver high-quality, research-based practices across the state. The CBHRC will focus on providing evidence-based training, technical assistance, easy-to-access information about strengths-based and youth-centered practices and approaches to best address the behavioral health needs of children up to the age of 21 years.
The CBHRC is a collaboration between the IOD and UNH’s Institute for Health Policy and Practice (IHPP), the Behavioral Health Improvement Institute (BHII) at Keene State College, and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.
Elementary students explore with the Soil Tent Program
MADBURY — Students from Moharimet Elementary School (Madbury) and Mast Way Elementary School (Lee) got outside in the fall to explore soils with the Soil Tent Program.
The Soil Tent is a traveling STEAM educational exhibit that combines hands-on GLOBE science activities centered around the pedosphere and a 10×10 pop-up tent with murals depicting students’ observations of their local soil ecosystems. The tent was developed by the NH GLOBE Program, the USDA Forest Service, and the Northern Arts Alliance.
Nate Blais and Joy O’Brien graduate students from the University of New Hampshire, along with Haley Wicklein (GLOBE Partner at the Leitzel Center at the University of New Hampshire) brought the soil activities to Moharimet school as part of their fourth grade Ecology Day on Oct. 15, 2021. They were then joined by Jennifer Bourgeault (U.S. Country Coordinator) in bringing this programming to four Mast Way fourth grade classes, and one first grade class at the beginning of November. At both locations they collaborated with the schools’ science specialist, Ellen Ervin, who worked with the teachers and school administration to organize the Tent visit and facilitated complementary soil activities in her classroom.
Before the visit, students read the GLOBE Storybook ‘The Scoop on Soils’. Each class then spent 45 minutes outside learning about and exploring the soil in their local forest. Nate and Joy guided students in learning about the color and texture of soil horizons, and how the soils in N.H. are formed. Students used rulers, magnifying glasses, soil color books, a microscope, and were even able to try out augers, shovels and soil corers to dig their own soil samples. The visit was wrapped up inside the Tent, where students examined mural panels depicting soil in three different habitats.
Joy agreed. “I find the Soil Tent to be a beneficial tool that sparks curiosity in young students about soils in different ecosystems. It’s so exciting to listen to the students interpret the images on the tent and with that I realized that I learn from them just as much as they learn from me. As a graduate student, it is very important to me that we educate young minds on the importance of soil and hopefully inspire some future soil scientists!”
And the students? Overwhelmingly their favorite part was using the “cool tools”, and they were surprised to find different colors in the soil. One student wrote “Soil is so awesome, I love how there are so many layers and that they are all different colors.” As the first-grade class took a last group picture inside the tent, one student yelled out “I want to be a soil scientist!”.
– Courtesy of the GLOBE Program
GBCC announces non-credit courses for spring
PORTSMOUTH — The Business and Training Center at Great Bay Community College is expanding its roster of non-credit professional development courses this winter to help small-business owners and operators use data effectively, and to quickly train a new generation of workers for the high-tech manufacturing industry.
The economy is changing rapidly, and the new courses reflect Great Bay’s commitment to respond to the needs of industry and individuals, including small-business owners, said Lynn Szymanski, director of workforce development for the Business & Training Center. They are part of Great Bay’s ongoing initiative to teach the 21st-century skills of collaboration, digital and data literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving, which are foundational to workplace success across fields and industries, she said.
A full menu of short-term professional development courses begin in early January and continue through spring, designed to build and improve business and workforce skills. Many courses will be available remotely, taught by professors with industry and field experience, and Great Bay offers a hassle-free registration process at https://gbcc.coursestorm.com/.
In addition to the new courses, the Business and Training Center continues to offer short-term training in the high-demand fields of medical assisting and medical office administration, both of which face acute needs for well-trained employees ready to begin a medical-related career, as well as classes in digital design and Microsoft Excel.
The Business & Training Center will also offer four new short-term boot camps designed to train workers for careers in manufacturing, with courses in blueprint reading, shop math, manufacturing skills and knowledge, and CNC set-up operator fundamentals. Classes will meet online twice a week for four weeks in the mid-afternoon to allow students who work early shifts to either end their workday by taking a class or logging on when they get home.
In addition, the Business & Training Center is offering its popular array of classes in healthcare, digital design and training in Microsoft Excel. For more on courses, visit gbcc.coursestorm.com. For a complete schedule of courses visit www.greatbay.edu/business-community/schedule.
Saint Patrick Academy celebrates grand opening of Saint Sebastian Hall
PORTSMOUTH — Saint Patrick Academy celebrated the grand opening of its new 17,000 sq. ft. multipurpose facility at the School’s location on Banfield Road. The completion of this project is a major celebration for the School, as the new space has allowed for an increase in programmatic offerings for the students and families. As an independent, Catholic school, Saint Patrick Academy offers a child-centered approach to learning where faith, academics, leadership, and virtue intertwine.
“Joining together to celebrate the opening of this new facility highlights the School’s tremendous growth and celebrates the incredible support that we have received from the community,” says James Melone, Head of School, at Saint Patrick Academy. “The Mind-Body-Spirit Capital Campaign that we launched to fund this project saw 100% participation from our Board, the Capital Campaign Committee, the students, and the faculty and staff.”
To learn more about Saint Patrick Academy, visit www.saintpatrickacademy.org.
Philips Exeter Academy graduate named a Schwarzman Scholar
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Cadets Aiden Roberts was among 151 recipients representing 33 countries and 106 universities to receive the prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship for continued academic study following graduation and commissioning in May.
“These cadets have the leadership, intellect, and character that define West Point—the qualities that our nation is going to need to face the challenges in front of us,” said Dean of the Academic Board, Brig. Gen. Shane Reeves. “We’re so proud of their achievements, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish as Soldier-scholars and officers in the U.S. Army.”
Roberts, Company C-3, Class of 2022, is a Computer Science major with a Chinese focus and was born and raised in Camden and Hope, Maine. Interested in the effects of social media on political polarization, Roberts’ research involves generating and presenting de-polarizing content online. Deeply passionate about the pursuit of truth and fairness, Roberts also serves as an Honor officer and is the president of West Point’s Mock Trial Association. He also earned the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence and his team finished first place during the Fall 2021 Brigade Sandhurst Competition. In his free time, Roberts loves to ski and play the piano, serving as the captain of the Alpine Ski Team and cadet-in-charge of the Department of Foreign Language’s Piano and Voice Mentorship Program.
Upon graduation from West Point, Roberts will be commissioned as an Infantry Officer and study Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing through the Schwarzman Scholarship.
He hopes to leverage his experience with the military, computer science, and Mandarin to tackle the foreign policy challenges of tomorrow. After serving as an Infantry Officer in the military, he hopes to continue his service to the United States at the intersection of tech policy and U.S.-Chinese foreign policy.
“For an Army Officer, receiving the Schwarzman Scholarship presents a rare opportunity to get an inside look at China and the Chinese Communist Party. Despite the challenges of honest academic engagement in Beijing, engage we must. This opportunity means the chance to meet future Chinese leaders as we strive globally toward understanding and away from conflict.”
Portsmouth school libraries receive gift; celebrating Bridge to Japan Project
PORTSMOUTH — Tammi Truax, Portsmouth Poet Laureate, just completed another reimagining of her Poet Laureate project, which has been a constant for her as the coronavirus has altered her plans throughout her extended term. The last leg of her project was to bring an author in residence to the city’s three elementary schools to talk about his latest picture book and work with younger grades to write haiku. When those plans were cancelled, she pivoted to plan B. Using her skills as a school librarian Truax curated a list of picture and chapter books that highlight Japanese poetry in some way, and the Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program (PPLP) approved purchase of one set of books for each elementary school in Portsmouth.
RiverRun Bookstore, a long-time supporter of the PPLP, was chosen as the vendor. Manager Tom Holbrook hunted down all of the books, and provided them at a 30% discount. Truax saw to distribution of 27 books to each of the three schools before the Thanksgiving break, and stated, “These are titles that our school libraries did not have, and will go a long way in sharing Japanese culture with our youngest students. They are vital to our Japanese-American students, but essential as windows to another culture, our sister-city’s culture, for every K-5 student.”
Truax has one culminating component of her Bridge to Japan project that will be announced soon, as the PPLP begins the search for her replacement. For more information about her project or the PPLP go to www.PPLP.org.