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  • Curiosity the Endowment of Humanity
    after his Wednesday morning plenary talk to have conversations with faculty cadets and W L students Following a well attended book signing Tyson spoke informally with a crowd of STEM students and professors assembled in Gillis Theater addressing a range of issues based on cadet questions What can we do as students to increase science literacy Ian Cook 13 asked Convince the electorate that the exploration of space is not only the grandest most epic journey that we have ever embarked upon but it is fundamental to the survival of our nation responded Tyson explaining that if our space program were inspiring individuals there would be no lack of interest in STEM fields NASA s got no business hauling astronauts to and from low earth orbit That s not space said Tyson That s boldly going where hundreds have gone before To get people excited about the space program we need goals that are inspiring The enemy of progress is that we don t have a grand vision that makes headlines every week said Tyson In defense of government s role in exploring the cosmos Tyson cited examples of state funded ocean voyages that established trade routes across the globe Just as it took government programs to push those frontiers it will take government programs to explore space Private enterprise will not lead the space frontier said Tyson The investor wants the quarterly reports the annual reports Visionary governments want their countries to last forever so they can make a 10 year investment that private enterprise can t Tyson spoke of his own motivations for advocating the advancement of America s space program Yes I have a horse in this race and that horse is America but so should everyone else said Tyson If what I say and do enlightens

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737422881 (2016-02-15)
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  • Virginia Military Institute - To Lead the World Once More, STEM Literacy a Prerequisite
    aptitude in STEM fields and what happens when they don t The talk should be titled Adventures in Science Illiteracy said Tyson I ll be bringing you examples of what I ve seen in my walks through life that drive home why I think science literacy is not just important for STEM literacy in general It not just important for the training of the mind it s important for all manner of subjects including national security including economic competitiveness so it s not just for personal intellectual enlightenment It goes much deeper than that Tyson noted recent infrastructure failures including the levies in New Orleans breaking during Hurricane Katrina the Interstate 35 bridge collapse and steam pipes rupturing in New York City Let s wake up and smell what s going on here said Tyson People die when this happens In addition to looking at tangible issues like crumbling infrastructure Tyson examined some of the products of irrationality in America such as fear of the number 13 and the belief that the world will end later this year Here s a book How To Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction I bought this book I read this book I heeded its advice That s why I m here to talk to you said Tyson Somebody got this put on shelves What country is this and what year is this Tyson displayed currencies from other countries which feature those nations contributions to science as a way of demonstrating the national enthusiasm for science around the world In Germany they have math on their currency said Tyson If you re a kid looking at that you wouldn t understand it when you first saw it You might be curious about it It might trigger later an interest in what you end up studying

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737422825 (2016-02-15)
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  • Virginia Military Institute - Teaching Math and Science to the World
    Khan Academy is a library of video tutorials and interactive exercises While most of the academy s offerings focus on mathematics and science there are now video lectures on subjects ranging from venture capitalism to art history The site has had 60 million users to date with up to 7 6 million unique visitors each month The academy operates as a non profit supported by donations with usage free to all During his talk the Harvard educated Khan expressed a continual sense of wonder that an effort at long distance math tutoring that began less than 10 years ago has now mushroomed into an online empire supported by the likes of Google and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation I still feel like I m living in a science fiction book said Khan who was named to Fortune magazine s 40 under 40 list in 2010 In 2004 Khan was living in Boston and working as a hedge fund analyst when his young cousin Nadia came for a visit and said that she was having trouble in math Khan immediately started helping her via Yahoo s Doodle notepad Before long he had a small audience of 15 appreciative students all friends and family In 2006 Khan switched to YouTube as his platform for delivery and his audience swelled dramatically Khan ran the academy as a sideline undertaking until 2009 when he quit his day job to explore and hopefully expand the possibilities of online learning Khan explained that in a traditional classroom setting time is the one constant factor Schools operate within a set time frame and in order to cover all of the material teachers must adhere to a strict pacing guide That works fine for students who have mastered the concepts presented within the set time frame but

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737422806 (2016-02-15)
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  • Virginia Military Institute - Inquiry-Based Learning at VMI
    whistle as a VMI cadet joined him on the stage and commanded the attention of all including a group of cadets waiting in the wings Seconds later the audience was treated to the unusual sight of cadets dancing with Cone himself right out in front rapping Cadet math majors dance at the beginning of Maj Randy Cone s plenary talk Photo courtesy of the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics Those said Cone as the cadets exited the stage are math students every one of them That s our senior capstone course If you infer that math at VMI can be fun you re probably getting the drift And asserts Cone it s all because of the inquiry based learning approach and the active involvement of the student in the learning process Cone described how VMI s precalculus class has almost no lecture component It s almost all presentations he said Cadets are given the floor to present their problem and its solution no interruptions but as soon as they get that answer box filled in it s open mic time Cadets contribute their own strategies for solving the problem turning a wrong answer into a right one sometimes several times over as was evidenced by a video of the class This went on for 10 minutes said Cone By the end of this 10 minutes we had three different methods of solution written up on the side boards on the front board Cone who said he loves teaching derives inspiration from many sources from Stephen Hawking from musicians from his dogs Luna and Turtle who also made an appearance on the screen during his talk Maj Randy Cone talks about inquiry based learning VMI Photo by John Robertson IV Cone said he has a lot of experience training dogs

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737422814 (2016-02-15)
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  • Virginia Military Institute - Raise the Floor and Raise the Ceiling
    offer observations to the group Seeley author of Faster Isn t Smarter Messages About Math Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century espoused a you we I oriented teaching scheme upside down teaching in which the teacher approaches her math students this way You re going to mess around with an interesting problem We re going to talk about that I m going to make sure that I connect the pieces It s a method of teaching said Seeley that allows and encourages students to struggle to think to figure things out in an environment of trust and collaboration We learn good stuff from wrong answers said Seeley and all students need the opportunity to participate in that kind of learning the opportunity she said for high levels of achievement in math Today s math students need three things the Big Three that students have for decades tried to master understanding math making sense of it doing math skills facts and procedures and using math thinking reasoning applying it to solve a range of problems We realize that each of these is dependent upon and lays the foundation for the other two But today s math students also need something more In addition to the Big Three said Seeley we also need some new stuff the new basics deep transferable skills for versatilizing problem solving reasoning research communication creativity In short said Seeley You ve got to be able to take the skills you know and apply them to a situation that didn t exist when you learned them Math teachers are focusing heavily on these transferable skills and are challenged by that focus It s hard to learn how to teach this way said Seeley To give students all that they need the U S education system needs an

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737422800 (2016-02-15)
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  • Virginia Military Institute - State Secretary of Education Opens VMI STEM Conference
    Binford Peay III 62 superintendent defined the challenge and set the stage for conference participants We believe that the conversation that happens here this week can serve as a platform for a much needed larger discussion said Peay Peay highlighted the hands on STEM learning happening at VMI including studies in robotics fractals and the fourth dimension but he also emphasized the importance of encouraging and enabling the study of STEM disciplines at an early age This national problem cannot be solved simply by convincing college students to suddenly major in STEM disciplines said Peay The early preparation must take place in the K through 12 classrooms Following Peay s remarks Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash offered an overview of the educational challenges the nation faces and the steps the commonwealth is taking to address the issue Here in the commonwealth we want to ensure that our children and grandchildren are provided with world class education that will prepare them to be the future scientists nurses computer scientists and teachers said Fornash It starts here It starts with us today Fornash demonstrated that as a nation we are falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to education Of the 34 most advanced nations in the world the U S ranked 17th in science and 25th in math Simply put we are being out educated said Fornash We have a major problem that requires real leadership Solving that problem will result in a workforce that can be employed in growing job sectors requiring education in STEM disciplines John A Luke Jr president and CEO of MeadWestvaco Corp offered an employer s perspective on the education of America s workforce You know that STEM is not strictly an academic exercise said Luke It s about real people learning

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737422796 (2016-02-15)
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  • Virginia Military Institute - Symposium Opens with Tribute to Founder
    John Robertson IV LEXINGTON Va April 10 2012 Gen J H Binford Peay III 62 VMI superintendant introduced the 23rd annual Environment Virginia Symposium by honoring the contributions of the late Capt Ronald Erchul to the nation to the state of Virginia and to VMI More than 760 registrants came to Lexington to participate in the symposium Capt Erchul s daughter Maria B Erchul was on hand to receive a Virginia General Assembly memorial proclamation Capt Erchul was a VMI professor of civil and environmental engineering for more than 25 years He organized and chaired the first Environment Virginia Symposium in 1990 and coordinated the event in succeeding years until his retirement The Erchul Environmental Leadership Award given at the symposium banquet also honors his contributions Erchul spoke of the passion that her father had for life and she sees that same passion in symposium participants Today as I stand amongst colleagues and friends it is evident that you too have experienced this passion said Erchul You are carrying out what you believe to be true for the good of the community and the state and to lead our nation to become a smarter and wiser country through our talented citizen students This year s theme Collaboration Innovation Results recognizes the need to bring experts together to look at issues in a new light Until we ask the right questions we cannot find the right solutions said Peay I think this symposium helps us to ask the right questions Following the welcoming ceremonies a panel of four former Virginia secretaries of natural resources hosted by Doug Domenech the current Virginia secretary of natural resources took part in a discussion offering a wealth of experience and knowledge on solving environmental challenges Tayloe Murphy who was secretary from 2002 to 2006 described

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737421099 (2016-02-15)
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  • Virginia Military Institute - Medal of Honor Recipient: Do the Hard Right
    advice to those gathered for a conference on lying cheating and honor was to do right Right is not always the easiest path he told the group before narrating the events that led to his receiving the Medal of Honor It s up to you whether you re going to choose the easy wrong or the hard right That s a simple decision but it s up to us Giunta explained how at 18 he had been living a life without direction making sandwiches at a restaurant when a TV commercial lured him to the U S Army recruitment office where the recruiter told him the truth He told me straight out said Giunta We are a country at war I was old enough to join the military if I wanted to make a difference The idea of making a difference was one Giunta hadn t considered He knew I was feeding people but quipped Giunta regarding his then mission in life He told how he considered the benefits and drawbacks of enlisting including having to leave his home town drawing laughs from the audience when he concluded I thought I m in Iowa I m ready to go away Enthusiastic about serving his country during his first tour in Afghanistan beginning in March 2005 At that time in my life I d never prepared for anything as long as I d prepared for war he was seeing things very differently by August when he experienced the death of a friend for the first time He learned lessons that apply across life experience I learned that the good guys don t always win and the best team isn t going to come out unscathed and in war there s winners and losers every day But advice was there in the form of good leaders to listen to If you did everything you could when it was your time to give he was told you can t be upset with yourself It turned out to be solid truth As good as gold We did our job We did exactly what we were supposed to do It was a lesson and an approach he would use again and again including on that fateful day during his second tour when his squad was ambushed Then a specialist and rifle team leader Giunta followed squad leader Staff Sgt Erick Gallardo a leader he believed in into fire A good follower he told the cadets in his Jackson Memorial Hall chat is someone who believes in you You can say Hey look we re going to go to hell and it s going to be scary and it s going to be dangerous A good follower will follow you anywhere you want to go That s because a good leader said Giunta leads by actions which will speak louder than words You don t have to remind people you re the boss he told the cadets Prove to us you re the boss Lead us

    Original URL path: http://www.vmi.edu/Content.aspx?id=10737420909 (2016-02-15)
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