Face Masks vs Face Shields: A commentary on their use during COVID-19

October 27, 2020

By: Kandi Grimes

During this unusual time of the COVID-19 pandemic, states, cities, districts, and schools faced questions about how and when schools would return to in-person instruction in the Fall of 2020. Online learning, hybrid learning (a combination of online and in-person), or complete on-campus instruction have been implemented in many states to answer these questions.  Concerns surrounding the risks of opening schools loomed over those participating in the process. Precautions were taken and, as noted in various articles on the subject, “schools are not islands”, so it was very likely that when in-person school resumed, coronavirus cases would follow. Among states reporting coronavirus cases, Texas counted 700 among public school districts and charter schools as of 9/20/2020.

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) Published in the Journal of STEM Outreach!

September 4, 2019

Exciting news! The TEI staff and our wonderful support teachers have been published in the Journal of STEM Outreach. The paper is titled: “Engaging the Community through Science Nights: An Elementary School Case Study.” Abstract: Parental involvement increases K-12 student interest in STEM careers; however, when parents lack confidence in STEM content, or language and […]

TEI Kicks Off its 2019 Summer of Science

June 24, 2019

Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) kicked off its 9th annual Summer Intensive (aka Summer of Science) on June 17th. The Summer of Science is host to the Teacher Enrichment Leadership Academy (TELA) leadership members. The TELA teacher leaders are selected through a rigorous application and interview process which allows the TEI staff to select the most qualified local educators to take part in the program. The TELA leadership also helps to facilitate yearly teacher professional development workshops, Science Nights, and the Annual Spring Conference. The Summer Intensive program allows the TELA leaders, with guidance from the TELA program director, Rosemary Riggs and TEI staff, to enhance TEI programs’ resources including but not limited to curriculum development and a wide variety of teacher professional development materials. Long story short, TEI has some of the most passionate educators in their TELA leadership!

Dr. Abigail Baird

Speakers Series: Dr. Abigail Baird (The Teen Brain)

June 3, 2019

Parents and guardians know it is hard to watch your child be in a risky situation. Dr. Abigail Baird, who researches the brain and behavioral basis of adolescent development, gave an impassioned and humorous talk Tuesday, May 9th as part of the Mind Science Foundation Distinguished Speakers Series. In her talk, Dr. Baird explained that while it is difficult for parents to watch their kids struggle or even fail in attempting new skills, the struggle is instrumental for children to learn and ultimately succeed. This valuable lesson can also be applied in the classroom, as learned by the teachers who attended the Speaker Series event. Tickets for area teachers were generously donated to Teacher Enrichment Initiatives (TEI) by the Mind Science Foundation.

Jaron Lanier

Speaker Series: Virtual Reality: Dawn of the New Everything

March 19, 2019

On Tuesday, March 19th TELA teachers and guests attended the first installment of the 2019 Mind Science Foundation Speaker Series. Jaron Lanier, one of the fathers of Virtual Reality (VR), shared his experiences about the development of VR. He provided insight into the development of motion capture bodysuits, used in the ’80s and ’90s. These suits enabled coders to create avatars of all shapes and sizes that could then be input into VR worlds. Lanier shared the serendipitous discovery that allowed the scaling of avatars without losing the ability to interact with their environment. It is amazing the difference an incorrectly placed decimal can make when coding for an avatar! Lanier reminded us that some of the greatest scientific breakthroughs resulted from happy accidents.

Juliana Berry at NASA

Prepare For “LiftOff” 2018

July 18, 2018

Besides it being some of the best professional development (PD) I have ever done here is some information along with my experience.

Beginning in the summer of 1990, NASA’s Texas Space Grant Consortium initiated a week-long professional development training for teachers. This aerospace workshop, called LiftOff, emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences by incorporating a space science theme supported by NASA missions. Teacher participants are provided with information and experiences through speakers, hands-on activities and field investigations that promote space science and enrichment activities for themselves and others.