Friday, November 27, 2015

Our Campus Ambassadors Program Update

Campus Ambassadors: Background Information

Our Campus Ambassadors program exists to support the professional development of the next generation on STEM professionals -- current STEM undergraduate and graduate students -- and to provide them with multiple opportunities for career advancement, and to have local and lifelong impacts on STEM learning.
  • The program is for any undergraduate or graduate students in STEM fields, or in other fields who wish to engage in STEM education and outreach
  • Our focus is on developing professional and career skills alongside education and outreach skills: for now, and the future
  • Support is given through online webinar series, in person programs, and learning expeditions through the year
  • Opportunities to participate in a range of InsightSTEM projects and programs to have direct local impacts, and develop the skills and attitudes to have lifelong impacts on STEM education

Campus Ambassador: Current Status

Our Campus Ambassador program is rapidly expanding with almost 70 students enrolled in 5 countries worldwide, which is on track to expand to over 200 Campus Ambassadors by the end of 2016. See the graphics below for a quick overview of who our Campus Ambassadors are.


You can view the full live version of the Campus Ambassador map HERE.

Why support Campus Ambassadors?

Building a strong future generation of STEM professionals, who are also adept in sharing STEM knowledge with others, is essential for the advancement of increasingly technological global societies and economies. And this requires individual action on all of our parts. In a global economy we must support all those individuals that can make great contributions -- no matter what their backgrounds -- and not rely on self sufficiency of students to get themselves 'ahead of the game'.

Aging and bulging global populations mean that national and local support becomes directed away from Research and Development (see left) and into Healthcare, Energy and Commerce. This means less funds exist for Broader Impacts to enrich programs for our next generation of STEM professionals, and to enable them to have impacts on STEM education -- despite those aspects being essential for the future... spending becomes more directed to immediate rather than future needs. 

Current students have less certain futures as they graduate, so it is essential to provide strong transferable and professional skills to ensure career success beyond graduation. While employment rates remain high, at the time of graduation a far smaller fraction of students have secured employment or continuing study than was the case in the past (see left).

We also need the next generation to be able to support both Informal and Social learning beyond traditional classrooms as those education venues become increasingly important in an increasingly complex world.

Our Campus Ambassadors program is designed to support individuals both in their own career success, and the impacts they can have -- no matter what their background.  

How to get involved or give support...

There are many ways in which you can support the Campus Ambassadors program in a variety of different ways depending on your skills, knowledge, and means to offer support!
  • NOMINATE potential new Campus Ambassadors for us to invite to join the program. Link for nominations is
  • FIND APPLICANTS interested in joining the Campus Ambassadors program and have them join the program. The link to apply is
  • MENTOR Campus Ambassadors as a member of our Young STEM Professionals program. You can register as a Young STEM Professional at
  • SUPPORT the Campus Ambassador program with funding. Currently it costs us about $125/year for each Campus Ambassador to offer them our planned programs and services. Contribute via our Flash Campaign at
Please email with any questions that you may have about the program!

Thank you for your Interest and Support!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

One Day Left to Order: Celebrate 100 years of General Relativity

It is 100 years since Einstein finished coming up with his field equations for general relativity.... and they have stood the test of time. We came up with a unique T-shirt to celebrate this event, and there is just one day left to order the shirt! Any of the profits from the sale go to support InsightSTEM projects and programs! Your T-shirt should arrive in time for November 25th which is the 100th anniversary of the publication of Einstein's paper on this!

You can order yours TODAY at

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Last Week's Top STEM Exploration Picks! August 8, 2015

Bookshelf of the week:

Last Week's Top Picks:

Whalecopter Drones! Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) have successfully used unmanned aerial vehicles to study the health and habits of whales. The drones are able to fly over a whale's blow hole, and non-invasive 'breathalyze' it to measure signals about the whale's health.
The Ebola vaccine has been shown to be 100% effective in preventing infection and symptoms of the Ebola virus in a recent trial involving guinea pigs. This could provide critical information in preventing the spread of Ebola if another outbreak were to occur.
Rosetta has been exploring the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko for one year now. The Rosetta probe released the Philae lander in early November 2014 and it made a rougher than planned landing on the comet surface on 12 November 2014. Since arriving at the comet just over a year ago, Rosetta and Philae have provided humans with previously unknown knowledge of the structure and composition of comets. One of the most significant discoveries to come back from the mission is the presence of the precursors to life including complex organic molecules!

See you next week! Keep Exploring!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Live from Hawaii August 4th

For the next two weeks we will be blogging 'Live from Hawaii' from the conferences of the Global Hands on Universe Project, the International Astronomical Union General Assembly, the Galileo Teacher Training Program, and from other STEM explorations around the Island of Oahu (home of Honolulu and Waikiki).

Bonnie Thurber discusses GHOU in Nepal 
Today was the first day of the Global Hands on Universe where we heard about astronomy education projects around the world. One of InsightSTEM's strategic areas is to support learners in emerging economies with our low cost, portable, science exploration technologies... So hearing about these kind of efforts from around the world is invaluable.

Its interesting how different perspectives around the world can have influences on the work that we do. For example, teachers in Chile are always seeking professional development as they can get permanent salary increases based on their participation; and in Nepal where families are told to engage in activities at home or their children will not do as well in school.

For teachers its important to remember that we need to prove how we are offering something genuinely different from the hundreds of other programs that they are offered each year.

You can learn more about the Global Hands on Universe Project at

What I'm Reading this Week: Deaf Children's Wisdom

Deaf Children's Wisdom
(Note the author's convention of using lower case 'deaf' is reflected in this post).

This book is an interesting reflection of the attitudes of deaf children to the instruction that they receive in schools, and how it can influence teaching in the classroom both teaching directly in sign language and with an interpreter present. The book explains many of the frustrations that deaf students encounter in the classroom... Though many of the aspects described may equally apply to any students, hearing or deaf, but it certainly highlights that even middle school aged deaf children are able to think meta-cognitively about the instruction that they receive through the lens of the language barriers they encounter. I am certain that the same barriers exist I'm science classrooms for all students as the language of science can seem unfamiliar and poorly introduced and explained for all students. The deaf students describe their frustrations when a proper picture is not painted of new concepts before using them. This book is a great reminder of the struggles of language barriers that exist when working with deaf students and give food for thought about how that situation could be improved. For me, it was also a reminder of how alien the language of science can be for all students, and how great attention should be paid to painting pictures of new concepts so students can form sound mental models -- making the science more accessible to them all.

Jake's Rating 3.5 out of 5

Pick it up today at Amazon:

Other books to consider reading on this topic are: (Please let me know in the comments if you read any of them!)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Last Week's Top STEM Exploration Picks! July 27, 2015

Bookshelf of the Week:

Last Week's Top Picks:

New Earth-like Planet Discovered! The Kepler space telescope, designed to discover new planets outside the solar system continues to produce some great results. Last week a new batch of planet discoveries were announced... including the most "Earth Like" planet announced to date. The planet, called Kepler-452b orbits its star in the Habitable Zone -- the region where conditions could support life as we know it. The discovery of Kepler-452b was announced in a list of over 500 new planetary candidates, 12 of which could be orbiting in the habitable zone of their parent star. Kepler-452b was the first of these 12 to be confirmed as a planet, and the first discovery of a small habitable zone planet orbiting a star that is in the same class as the Sun.
Construction began on the world's largest radio telescope in China's Guizhou province. The telescope called the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope, or FAST, will take the record as the largest single-aperture radio telescope from Arecibo, which opened in 1963. The project is expected to be completed in 2016, and will allow us to explore the radio universe 3 times deeper, and 10 times faster than are possible with the Arecibo telescope.
Progress towards slowing Alzheimer's was announced. Research suggests that a new drug called Solanezumab might slow the decline in Alzheimer's patients if given early. The new results were announced at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, DC, on 22 July, Although this treatment does not provide a cure for the disease, it may be able to produce a significant slowing in the progress of the disease if it is given early on.

Space Exploration Anniversaries were celebrated this week including the 46th anniversary of the first humans setting foot on the Moon, and the 16th anniversary of the launch of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

See you next week! Keep Exploring!