Friday, 21 February 2014

Intel Science Talent Search

The Intel Science Talent Search named eight Bay Area high school students last month among a total of 40 finalists nationwide.  This year 1800 students entered the prestigious contest also known as the nation's "junior Nobel Prize," and among the 300 semifinalists, 48 came from California.

The Bay Area finalists are as follows:

Natalie Ng, Monta Vista High: Developed a prediction model for long-term breast cancer survival.

Vishnu Shankar of Monta Vista: Calculated the 3D structure of a molecule involved in cardiovascular disease.

Angela Kong of Lynbrook High: Determined the role of a specific protein in the spread of breast cancer.

Charles Liu of Gunn High: Found a genetic relationship between lupus and systemic sclerosis, a connective tissue disease, that may lead to new therapies.

Sreyas Misra of The Harker School: Developed a low-cost medical-imaging scanner the size of a hand-held tablet.

Kathy Camenzind of California High: Build inexpensive optical tweezers using a low-power laser and microscope in an undergraduate laboratory.

Esha Maiti of California High: Developed a math simulation to predict secondary tumors in cancer patients.

Emily Pang of Dougherty Valley High: Verified the role of certain molecules in the growth or suppression of malignant tumors.

The finalists will gather in Washington, D.C., March 6-12 to undergo judging, meet leading scientists, display their research at the National Geographic Society and meet with national leaders.  The first-place winner will receive $100,000 from the Intel Foundation. In addition, the foundation will award $530,000 in runner-up prizes.

Let's celebrate successes in California education, learn what worked and try to provide this experience to as many students as possible.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Grammar & Conventions - Common Core (Part 2)

In part I, our blog covered Capitalization, Complete Sentences and  End Punctuation. Now to the second part of our Grammar & Conventions series...

4. Nouns

Common nouns are general (not specific) words for people, places, things, and ideas. Unless they begin a sentence, common nouns do not begin with a capital letter.

Examples of common nouns:
people: woman places: river
things: pencil ideas: dream

5. Phonemes

Phonemes are small units of speech sounds that are created by letters and letter pairs. They are useful in learning how to sound out words in reading and writing. They refer to only what you hear, not to what you see.

The \n\ and \t\ in "pin" and "pit" are different phonemes.
The \er\ in “turn” and “flirt” are the same phoneme.

6. Prepositions

Prepositions give information about the position of something or someone. They are usually placed before nouns, noun phrases, and pronouns in a sentence. In the following examples, prepositions are underlined and nouns/pronouns are in italic font.

Examples of prepositions:
  • I read a book during my visit to the library.
  • They waited for him beyond the bathroom.
  • I looked toward the sky and into the clouds.
Prepositions: Direction/position words—
to, from, with, for, into, in, between, beyond, by, during, down, under, off, across, out, above, before, on, of, toward