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To wrap up 2016 and look ahead to 2017, share one online "gift" with colleagues in your #INeLearn Community of Practice. It could be a lesson, a resource, a blog post, or anything else you think might be helpful for a peer in your content area or grade level. You can share something you created or that you found and have used.

There is still time to have accept student submissions of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics essay contest. The deadline is March 25th. There have been no entries up to this point so the odds of winning are pretty good. Please post on Learning Connections to appropriate groups (i.e. Grade 7/8 science, high ability, English language arts, and STEM groups) 
In a nutshell:
Topic: Discuss how either a moon base or a Mars base could help us learn about the Earth and space.
Double-spaced, typewritten (size 12 font) essay, in 1000 words or less.
All other instructions are on the flyer below. Thank you for your help in getting the word out!
Danae’ Wirth, MSEd., MA
AIAA Member
STEM Coordinator
Fairfield Community Schools
67240 County Road 31
Goshen, IN 46528
(574) 831-2188
FAX: 574.831.5698

Flyer Information:
Are you a student in Grade 7 or 8?
Are you fascinated with current events in Earth and Space Science?
Show off your writing skills and astronomical knowledge by entering the AIAA 2016 Space Systems Essay Contest!
Sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the AIAA Space Systems Technical Committee

PRIZES: Indiana winners will be awarded $50 for themselves and $125 for their science classroom and be invited to compete at the national level. National winners can win another $100 and $250 for your science classroom and have your essay recognized and published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

Discuss how either a moon base or a Mars base could help us learn about the Earth and space.
• Double-spaced, typewritten (size 12 font) essay, in 1000 words or less.
• Student name, teacher name, grade, and school name must be written in the top right hand corner of the essay.
• Please include person-in-charge contact information for notification.

a) Originality of ideas presented
b) Soundness of logic used to develop ideas
c) Realism of ideas presented 
d) Quality of composition and clarity of expression
(Note: All decisions by the judges are final.)

ELIGIBILITY: Any Indiana seventh or eighth grader (or equivalent) – home schools, public, and parochial schools included

DEADLINE: Essays must be received by March 25th. Local winners and their teachers will be notified in early April. National winners and their teachers will be notified in May. Entries accepted electronically or through the mail. Email as an attachment to:  or mail to
Danae’ Wirth, FCS STEM Coordinator, 67240 CR 31 Goshen, IN 46528.
Indiana Contact: Danae’ Wirth, STEM Coordinator - Fairfield Community Schools
(574) 831-2188 Ext: 8819,  or Andy Pool:

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The U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the CTE Makeover Challenge, which calls for schools to submit a design for a CTE makerspace.  A makerspace is an environment or facility that provides resources, materials, and equipment for students to conceive, create, and collaborate through making. Making refers to a hands-on learning approach that encourages students to imagine, create, and tinker through the process of manufacturing, testing, and demonstrating their ideas. ED is seeking models of CTE makerspaces across a wide range of facility types, such as classrooms, libraries, and mobile spaces, that it can share with educators to encourage the creation of affordable, scalable, and replicable makerspaces.
The MSP team encourages state coordinators to share the announcement about the CTE Makeover Challenge.  Information about the challenge and the submission process can be found at:

I am doing research on scheduling options for school. Can you tell me how your school does scheduling (primarily K-6 but any ideas would help)? How many specials do they go to, what are they, how often do they go? Is your school on block scheduling, periods, something else? What about the gifted and talented program, how is it scheduled? Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, what works, what doesn't would be greatly appreciated.

I'm looking for free software to run/use our CNC Lathe and Mill machines.  Does anyone have any good ideas for a free solution?  Any advice is appreciated.  Thanks!

What is the best classroom storage option for VEX Gateway kits?  I'd love to know what works well for keeping the piece organized.  Thank you!

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Make sure to visit our webpage where you'll find a holiday message from the Office of eLearning Team! #INeLearn  

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2015 Congressional App Challenge!

Interested in coding?

Have an idea for an app?

You are invited to participate in the 2015 Congressional App Challenge! Established by the US House of Representatives in 2013, this 10-week competition allows high school students to create and submit their own app. Students may participate as individuals or in teams of up to four. Winning students will have their apps featured on a display in the Capitol Building, and will be honored by their Member of Congress.

For more information, visit

Post has attachment Technology in the Classroom Resource:  Aurasma

Does anyone have lessons using this resource?  The resource looks interesting and we would like to know how well it works in the classroom.  (It is an augmented reality platform that allows you to add "layers" to an image.)

Post has attachment Technology in the Classroom Resource:  SketchUp

This 3D tool is a great way to integrate math and science and apply them to real world scenarios!
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