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Education Newsletter - October 2016 »

Here are some resources that you, your students or your children may enjoy.

1) You probably know Cyberchase as the Emmy award-winning animated math mystery television show featuring a team of curious kids who use their math and problem solving skills to outwit and outsmart the villain Hacker in their quest to save Cyberspace. You can find the videos now in PBS LearningMedia (log in at and keyword search Cyberchase). In addition to the animated videos, this collection of resources includes live-action For Real segments, in which hosts Bianca and Harry explore the show's math topics in everyday life. Grades 3-8.

The videos can also be found online with the new Cyberchase Monster Minutes, short segments to encourage children to be physically active. The fun continues in the brand new game, Save the Park! When all the open park space is disappearing, players must use their math skills to save the parks and create fun places where kids can be active. Save the Park! is available at and in the free PBS KIDS Games app.

2) Howard Hughes Medical Institute has a large collection of very high quality educational materials including science videos and interactives available free to teachers. Topics are cellular and human biology, ecology, earth and the environment, chemistry, genetics, diversity of organisms, evolution, and the scientific process. Teachers in North America can register online and log in to order free DVDs (shipping is also free) or stream or download when available. Interactives are also offered. The grade levels of the resources vary from middle school to AP Science. Not only do the videos have amazing computer graphics and extraordinary footage, scientists are shown in the field at work and talking about their discoveries. What a great way to interest students in science careers!

3) One of the most fascinating journeys is the one our ancestors made from Africa to populate the world. The Great Human Odyssey which airs on NOVA October 5th at 8:00 p.m. shows how humans survived from snowy Siberia to remote Pacific islands. How did we acquire the skills, technology and talent to thrive in every environment on earth? How did our prehistoric forebears cross the Sahara on foot? Check out the NOVA education site for other paleontology resources. Other high quality free resources are available in PBS LearningMedia to help you teach about archaeology, paleontology, and human evolution.

4) I was intrigued by this article and its maps because they represent the world and our country in very different ways. As students study global population distribution, use of resources, the economy, and climate change, it would be interesting to hear their comments about these maps and their visions. This is another interesting animated map from Population Connection that shows global population growth over from year 1 to 2050 by major world events. It is amazing to see the significant population loss in Europe during the black plague.

5) If you are teaching engineering or design to your students, then you can show them a real life application, the biggest engineering project in Europe, on NOVA, October 21, at 8:00 p.m. Super Tunnel follows an army of engineers and designers as they tackle the complex challenge of building an underground railway beneath the streets of London without disrupting historic buildings above ground or the existing operating underground trains. Watch as they use gigantic 1000-ton tunnel boring machines to drill the tunnel within inches of an active subway line.

6) Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative uses Apple’s free Swift Playground app with fun progressive interactive challenges that quickly teach children how to program using Apple’s Swift language. Swift is used by professionals to create many of the most popular apps. Type in the code on the left side of the screen and seen it run on the right side. Download (scroll to the bottom of the page) the app, the complete set of Apple-designed lessons, and app development book, all free.

7) If you are looking for a way to interest girls in STEM careers, then you may be interested in a new series of STEM role model videos now streaming (scroll down the page for full episodes, expand to see all 12). These 12 short films feature young women from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds sharing both the challenges and triumphs of “a day in the life” in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce. Role models broaden girls’ views of women in STEM jobs, and expand girls’ visions of what’s possible in their own lives. These videos show women in nontraditional technical fields at work and at home, describing their challenges and successes in a variety of STEM careers.

8) Follow three young science detectives as they learn about the animals of the northern Gulf of Mexico with the help of the scientists at Dauphin Island Sea Lab in the upcoming electronic field trip from Alabama Public Television. The program will feature a shark research boat trip, a shark dissection and a visit to Coffee Island to learn about the efforts by The Nature Conservancy to restore the oyster reefs in the area. Gulf Detectives, Episode 2: Animals of the Northern Gulf of Mexico will stream live on October 19th from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. Sign up!

9) The 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor is fast approaching! WYES-TV/New Orleans and The National WWII Museum will team up to webcast two LIVE, streaming-video specials for students in grades 5–8. The Electronic Field Trip, Remember Pearl Harbor—How Students Like You Experience the Day of Infamy, originating from New Orleans and Hawaii, will recall the Japanese surprise attack that sparked America's entry into World War II and how it changed the lives of students who lived through it. Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Webcast 1: 9 a.m., Webcast 2: 1 p.m. Register at:

10) The 2016 Financial Education Boot Camp, sponsored by Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and the Louisiana Council for Economic Education will be held Thursday, October 13th at the L.A.B.I. Conference Center, 3113 Valley Creek Drive, Baton Rouge. Louisiana Educators will gain knowledge, tools and free classroom resources to teach students to become financially savvy and take control of their financial futures. Register. Cost is $75 for a full day (includes a buffet lunch). Limited scholarships are available, request when registering online by 9/28. Five continuing learning units (CLUs) may be earned. Learn how to engage students with game, competitions, and fun hands on-activities; how to embed employability skills and financial literacy in coursework; how credit and employability are related; and ethics in entrepreneurship.

11) A month of delightfully spooky Halloween treats are featured in LPB’s October children’s educational programming.

Peg+ Cat Mystery Hour
Count on math mysteries when the new Peg + Cat Mystery Hour premiers on Oct. 3rd at 9:00 a.m., repeating on Oct. 5th at 9:30 a.m., and Oct. 7th at 9:30 a.m. on LPB HD. The Peg + Cat Mystery Hour kicks off with a spooky Friday-the-thirteenth problem. Then museum guards Peg and Cat are on the case as shapes are being stolen right off the paintings! And finally there's 1+1 = 2 adventures aboard the Peg + Cat Express, where missing lollipops, bananas, symphonies, and chickens can only mean: there's a thief on the train!
Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Halloween
October 28th at 7 a.m. on LPB HD, repeating at noon, is the world premiere of The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Halloween. The Cat in the Hat takes Nick and Sally on a fright-filled ride where they discover the best Halloween costumes ever in the Oooky-ma-kooky Closet.
Dinosaur Train
A tree that comes alive at night? The Pteranodon family explores this strange occurrence and learns about bioluminescence in “Spooky Tree.” In “Spinosaurus Super Model,” Don tries to convince Old Spinosaurus to pose for a sculpture, highlighting the many features of the world's largest land carnivore. October 17th at 10:00 a.m. on LPB HD, repeating at 5:00 p.m. on LPB2.
Nature Cat
Can Daisy get the biggest, most beautiful pumpkin safely to the Halloween party and then what will she do with it afterwards? Looks like trouble looming in “Runaway Pumpkin” airing on Nature Cat on October 10th at 7:00 a.m. and repeating at 2:30 p.m. on LPB HD.
In “Jet’s First Halloween” Sydney, Sean and Mindy help Jet experience his first Halloween – from carving jack-o-lanterns and dressing up in costumes, to trick-or-treating and going to a haunted house. Along the way, the gang learns about lunar eclipses and the Red Moon. October 24th at 6:30 a.m. on LPB HD, repeating at 3:00 p.m.
Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest
In George’s first Halloween in the country Bill tells him and Allie about the Legend of No Noggin -- a spooky tale about a hat-kicking scarecrow who haunts the countryside on Halloween. Is the legend real? George and Allie are determined to find out by taking a picture of No Noggin, but first George must figure out what he's going to be for Halloween so he can win the costume contest at the Boo Festival. Will George's quest for the perfect costume interfere with his quest for the truth? Only the curious will find out! October 24th at 7:30 a.m. on LPB HD, repeating at 1 p.m.
Sid The Science Kid Halloween Spooky Science Special
Sid and his friends have dressed up in the spookiest and scariest costumes possible: Sid is a bat with big fangs. May is a spooky black cat. Gabriela is a furry, yucky spider. And Gerald is a super spooky skeleton that goes boo! Susie (dressed as a silly mad scientist) loves their costumes, and helps the kids discover that Halloween can be spooky and scientific! The kids investigate how bats catch mosquitoes, spiders engineer intricate webs, cats leap aerial acrobats, and skeletons hold up our bodies. The kids also investigate how to make icky, gooey green slime. Susie then ends the day with a special "Halloween Parade" song so the kids can march around and show off their spooky and scientific costumes! October 23rd at 5:00 a.m. on LPB HD.
Thomas & Friends Spooky Charms
In “The Phantom Express” James tells Percy that Ulfstead Castle is haunted by a ghost. At the castle he scares Stephen and Percy causing them to fall into a moat. When James hears their whistling he believes his own ghost story and is scared! In “Percy’s Lucky Day” Percy has been down on his luck so Stephen lends him a lucky charm to help him regain confidence. Finding himself without the charm, Percy must find the confidence to pull Bill and Ben back on the rails on his own. Phantom Express and Percy’s Lucky Day air on October 26th at 11:30 a.m. on LPB HD.
Bob the Builder Spooky Tales
In “Fly Away Ghost,” Lofty, who finds Halloween scary, is nervous when he is sent to collect a giant ghost decoration for the Spring City Halloween Festival. When the decoration rises out of the unlocked crate and flies across the site, Lofty must overcome his fear and capture the flyaway ghost. In “Out of the Woods” Bob and the team are working at the Fixham Campsite. A spooky story and unexpected visitors wreak havoc. Catch the fun on October 4th at 6:00 a.m. on LPB HD.

Check the schedule at for additional Halloween programs and additional airing times for all the programs.

Halloween Games
The treats continue with free Halloween-themed games for children at . Enjoy games like the Cat in the Hat Corn Maze Craze, Cat in the Hat Camp Time, NATURE CAT Park Builder and PEG + CAT Parade. Free games are also available on the PBS KIDS Games App.

12) From southern Florida to Puerto Rico to New Mexico, from the pre-history of the nation through today's most contentious issues, Latino experiences illuminate our country's history and its struggle to live up to its ideals. National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th to October 15th. Check PBS LearningMedia for the collection of lesson plans, videos and classroom resources that invite students to explore the history, people and issues chronicled in the PBS series, Latino Americans available online.

13) If you love music, you will want to see the all-star concert on GREAT PERFORMANCES Grammy Salute to Music Legends on October 14th at 9 p.m. The all-star concert salutes The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement, Trustee and Music Educator award winners: Ruth Brown, Celia Cruz, Earth, Wind & Fire, Herbie Hancock, Jefferson Airplane, Linda Ronstadt, John Cage and more.

I hope you have an opportunity to use some of these remarkable resources.

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