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Inquiry First.

As part of a community outreach project, recent high school graduate Kevin Temmer produced an original animated video to teach students how to prepare for science fairs. Enjoy!

Biotechnology veteran -- and MSSEF board member -- Michael S. Wyzga has assumed the position of CEO at Cambridge, MA-based Radius Health, following a 13-year career at Genzyme. While serving as Genzyme's Executive Vice President, Finance, and CFO, Mike led the $20.1 billion sale of Genzyme to Sanofi last April -- the second-largest acquisition ever in the industry.

In his new role at Radius, Mike will drive corporate strategy and lead the advancement of Phase 3 osteoporosis drug BA058. “It is a great privilege to have been asked to lead Radius at this important point in the company’s evolution,” Mike said. “BA058 represents a unique opportunity to advance not just a best-in-class drug, but potentially a best-in-disease drug in the expanding osteoporosis market. BA058 has the potential to transform the treatment of osteoporosis and optimize outcomes based not only on its unique bone-building and safety attributes but on the development of the once-daily, short wear-time transdermal... Read More

Two new elements are making their debut on the periodic table. Element 114 is slated to be named "flerovium" (atomic symbol Fl), and element 116 has been tagged with the moniker "livermorium" (Lv). If you can think of other name ideas, now's your chance to voice them: The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry will take comments on the proposed names through April.  “We believe we have to let the world respond,” said chemistry union executive director Terry A. Renner. “It’s a desire to be fair and recognize everyone’s right to contribute as a scientist.”

Applications for the 2012-2013 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program are due on January 5, 2012.  From the Einstein Fellowship web site: "The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program provides a unique professional development opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend eleven months working in a Federal agency or in a U.S. Congressional office, bringing their extensive knowledge and experience in the classroom to education program and/or education policy efforts."  Click this link to begin the application process.  Good luck!

In a new "crowdsourcing" experiment, scientists are appealing to the public for help in deciphering killer whale calls. Scientific American and The Zooniverse launched The Whale Project this week. By visiting, people can study and compare spectograms of whale calls gathered from around the world. One impetus for this experiment is that people can succeed at this task where computers fail. "If these animals have some form of linguistics or language tradition, we're wanting to try to find the words within that repertoire of sounds," said project collaborator and University of St. Andrew professor Ian Boyd. "We don't know what they mean but what we do find is they have different lexicons; different groups have different types of sound, and they probably inherit these sounds from their... Read More

With greater focus on STEM firmly established as a national education imperative, there's some momentum building to factor in the arts in a meaningful way. The result: STEAM -- with the A standing for "arts" -- implying that the intersection between the arts and the sciences is the place where the rubber meets the road. From conferences like the "Bridging STEM to STEAM" forum hosted by the Rhode Island School of Design, to NSF-funded projects like Chicago's Art of Science Learning project, the STEAM concept seems to be gaining ground. "For me, it is about connecting—or reconnecting—the arts and sciences in ways that learning can happen at the intersection of the two," said Harvey Seifter, director of the Art of Science Learning. "We believe there is a powerful opportunity here to use the... Read More

Students aren't the only ones that can reap the benefits of mentoring. For female college faculty members in the sciences, having a mentor can help mitigate the feelings of marginalization that can go hand-in-hand with teaching in a typically male-dominated field. This, according the the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) project at Harvard. COACHE's Cathy Trower says, "Mentoring is crucial for STEM women because without it, they might not be privy to the good old boys’ club or behind-the-scenes conversations that are crucial to fitting in the department and to getting tenure."

What better way to spark an early interest in science in students than to let them play with LEGOs!  Meadowbrook School in Massachusetts did just that, with impressive results.  The school entered -- and won -- the LEGO Smart Creativity Contest.  Students used LEGOs and NXT robotics in their creation of a "green" city, complete with solar panels installed by robots, and wind turbines.  Taking their creativity even further, the students produced this original song and video showing off their project.

Today, the Boston Herald launches a five-part series on Boston public schools that exemplify education that works. The schools included in the series: TechBoston Academy, UP Academy, Orchard Gardens, and Joseph Lee Elementary School. According to today's blog post by the Herald's Jessica Heslam, the secrets to the success of these schools include longer school days and a longer school year, innovative teachers and administrators, and students groomed for college from a young age.

The first article in the series: Teens engineer future success at TechBoston.
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NASA's new Aspire 2 Inspire section of its Women@NASA website targets young women with a campaign to inform and inspire them about careers in STEM fields. "We have an opportunity to reach out to the next generation and inspire today's girls to pursue science and technology careers," said Rebecca Keiser, associate director for agency-level policy integration and representative to the White House Council on Women and Girls. "Expanding opportunities in these fields will give our country perspectives and expertise that will help us out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the world. It's key to our future."  Check it out!
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