Why STEM Should Be Focus at G8

I believe the U.S. needs to focus more on STEM in our educational system at all levels. If we’re ever going to solve our most pressing societal problems, we will need qualified scientists to accomplish the task while at the same time, ensuring that our species survives through new technologies and advancements both on Earth and beyond. This release issued below by the National Science Academies is calling for a focus on Read More →

STEM Programs on U.S. News Directory

To support those looking to capitalize on the demand for STEM professionals by earning a related degree, U.S. News University Directory is adding a listing of top accredited STEM education programs to better match students with the college or university of their choice.

The U.S. News University Directory also contains numerous articles and other information about careers related to science, technology, engineering and math. Read More →

STEM Inspired Summer Camp for Kids

Yes, we let our kids play video games — as a matter of fact we encourage it! Gamers are among the smartest and most entrepreneurial in the country, and parents, teachers and future employers are just starting to appreciate the leadership, team building, and problem-solving skills achieved by gamers. Ambition, part of the National Flight Academy’s suite of learning programs, is 100,000+ square feet of unparalleled virtual play. Ambition is a dream come true for students 7th through 12th grades looking for something super cool to do this summer. The land-locked, simulated aircraft carrier was created theatrically and scenically to resemble the real deal, and it does not disappoint. Read More →

U.S. Students Need New Way of Learning Science

American students need a dramatically new approach to improve how they learn science, says a noted group of scientists and educators led by Michigan State University professor William Schmidt.

After six years of work, the group has proposed a solution. The 8+1 Science concept calls for a radical overhaul in K-12 schools that moves away from memorizing scientific facts and focuses on helping students understand eight fundamental science concepts. The “plus one” is the importance of inquiry, the practice of asking why things happen around us – and a fundamental part of science. Read More →

STEM News: Training Youth for Jobs of the Future

Pennsylvania Congressman Jason Altmire (D-4th) told technology industry representatives that the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School‘s planned STEM Epicenter program would train a new generation of young scientists and engineers for thePittsburgh region, and provide a model for the state and the nation.

“PA Cyber is doing tremendous work in this field,” Altmire said at a meeting hosted by Bayer Corporation at its U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh. “Instead of training them for the jobs of the past, we want to keep our young people here by giving them the skills they will need in the future.” Read More →

Collaborative Classroom Prepares Future Scientists


Webster University’s East Academic Building unites faculty, staff and students around the world through technology-enhanced learning spaces. According to Erik Palmore, head of Webster’s Faculty Development Center, one of these spaces is the new Collaborative Classroom, whose mix of space, furniture, pedagogy and technology is configured to promote group work and sharing, creative and collaborative problem solving and design thinking. Read More →

Texas Instruments Foundation and Selected Partners to create a “STEM District”

The Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation, Educate Texas and Lancaster Independent School District (LISD) announced today an initiative to systemically change science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels in the district over the next four years. The new “STEM District” model will transform the teaching of these subjects statewide to better prepare Texas students for post-secondary and workforce success. Read More →

Improving Access to STEM Education for Women

A panel of experts will meet this afternoon in Washington today to discuss ways to improve access to STEM education for women. The number of women pursuing associate’s degrees in the fields of science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) has been declining. Meanwhile, the number of jobs in these typically higher-paying fields is expected to grow at nearly double the rate of others until 2018. A new report (click to download) from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)Increasing Opportunities for Low-Income Women and Student Parents in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at Community Colleges, offers recommendations for improving access to STEM education for low-income women. Author of the report, Cindy Costello, will share findings at today’s meeting and provide recommendations on expanding women’s access to careers in STEM fields. Read More →

New Report: The Damaging Effects of Research Misconduct

New report examines the distinct costs caused by the rise in plagiarism, falsified research and other scholarly misconduct

Turnitin, creators of iThenticate and the leader in plagiarism prevention, today announced the release of a new report titled, “True Costs of Research Misconduct.” The report explores the reasons for the dramatic rise in research misconduct over the past decade and defines four distinct categories of damages caused by research misconduct—individual, brand, capital and human.

To download this free report, visit: http://www.ithenticate.com/research-misconduct-report.

“Research misconduct often creates a ripple effect of costly damages that impacts organizations and the general public—ranging from lawsuits to revoked PhDs to misdiagnosis,” said Chris Cross, general manager of iThenticate. “This report calls attention to the importance of establishing preventative measures that will contain a growing and concerning problem.”

Due to the growth of the researcher population and a growing pressure to ‘publish or perish,’ more researchers have taken to cutting corners, resulting in falsified research, fraudulent data, paraphrasing, duplication and blatant plagiarism. Publishers are responding by retracting published research, and implementing more stringent editorial processes and technology solutions.

“If a journal were to be discovered publishing erroneous material, people might think twice about the reputation of that journal,” said Benson Honig, a journal editor at Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. “Checking articles through iThenticate prior to submission can protect a journal’s reputation and ensure that only top-quality work is being published.”

iThenticate helps publishers, researchers and organizations reduce all types of misconduct by comparing manuscripts against the world’s largest comparison database—which is comprised of more than 20 billion web pages, and more than 116 million content items, including 30 million published research articles from 283 leading science, technical and medical (STM) publishers.

For more information, please visit www.ithenticate.com.

About Turnitin and iThenticate

Turnitin is the world’s leading provider of web-based solutions for plagiarism prevention. The company’s products include Turnitin, used by educators worldwide to check students’ papers for originality, to enable web-based peer review and for digital grading of student work. Turnitin’s iThenticate solution enables publishers, research facilities, government agencies, financial institutions, legal firms and now authors and researchers to reliably check submitted materials for originality before publication. The company’s solutions check millions of documents each month and are used in over 100 countries. Turnitin is headquartered in Oakland, CA with an international office located in Newcastle, United Kingdom. Turnitin is backed by Warburg Pincus. http://www.iparadigms.com and http://www.ithenticate.com.

All products and services mentioned in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Source: Turnitin

Getting Started with Astrophotography

Capturing the beauty of the universe presents a serious challenge for even the most experienced photographer.  No matter how beautiful the finished photograph may be, it often pales in comparison to the real thing.  Taking high quality astronomical photographs requires not only excellent general photography skills, but a fine eye, attention to detail, and of course the right equipment. The good news: with a little practice and patience, anyone can learn how to capture celestial bodies in all their glory!

Astrophotography participants range from amateur astronomers taking photographs of the moon, planets, and stars to professional astronomers mapping and documenting the heavens.  Many amateur photographers strive to capture the beauty of the world they see around them. The surrounding sky certainly provides a wealth of photo opportunities. And thanks to technological advances, the cost of equipment have dropped significantly in recent years so this is a great hobby for even the tightest of budgets.

Stuff to Consider

One of the chief challenges of astrophotography is of course, the relative lack of light.  While some celestial objects such as the moon and stars are sufficiently visible to produce quality photographs using basic equipment, other heavenly bodies are simply too gar away to generate much light.  Therefore most astrophotography is dependent upon the use of time exposures to accumulate a sufficient amount of light required.  Those photographers who are unaccustomed to using long exposures will need to do some experimenting in order to find the perfect balance.

Other photographic techniques can also make astrophotography more rewarding.  For instance, most photographers will need to mount their camera to the focal point of their telescopes in order to get a clearer view of the heavens and an accurate representation of what they see when they peer through the glass.  Many quality telescopes come with a camera mount built in, and this is certainly a feature to look for when shopping for a new model.

Special film can also help to capture the stars, moon, etc.  Film photographers can use special emulsions designed for low light conditions, while digital photographers can look for special cameras designed to overcome the challenges of night photography.  When shopping for a new camera, astrophotography buffs should look for models capable of supporting very long exposure times and multiple exposures.  Successful astrophotography can require multiple exposures up to 20 or more, so this is a particularly important feature to look for.

Last but certainly not least, photographers with an eye to the heavens will want to look at the array of filters designed to make astrophotography more rewarding.  Filters designed to reduce fogging and other distortion can make a big difference in the look of the finished photograph.  There are many filters designed for use in astrophotography, and it is a good idea for photographers to test several models in order to find the most effective solution.

The challenges encountered when trying to capture the night sky can vary from place to place, and it is important to choose filters designed to address those issues.  Amateur astronomers in some parts of the country may be troubled by light pollution, while others may live in areas prone to haze, fog and other atmospheric conditions.  Finding a filter designed to address these common problems can make the night sky clearer, and photographing your part of the universe a great deal more enjoyable.

Are you a current astrophotography enthusiast? Feel free to share your tips and insights below!

Recommended Resources:

Image Credit: astrophotography-tonight.com