NASA Lands in Oakland!

New Partnership with Chabot Space & Science Center Will Create NASA Learning Opportunities in the East Bay

A new partnership between NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley and Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California, is now underway. Anchoring the partnership, a new visitor center for Ames will provide an immersive, dynamic STEAM environment called “The NASA Experience,” opening at Chabot in November 2021.

Under the terms of a 5-year Space Act Agreement, the organizations are beginning a long-term collaboration to create accessible STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) community engagement and education opportunities in Oakland and beyond.

“We’ve long collaborated with Chabot for community engagement activities and are delighted to take this next and more formal step to bring a deeper NASA experience into our surrounding communities,” said Eugene Tu, director of Ames. “It’s one of NASA’s founding functions to share our work as widely as possible, and partnering with Chabot will allow us to reach more broadly than we’d ever be able to do with our existing resources and location in the South Bay.”

Under the formal agreement, NASA and Chabot have identified three main areas for immediate collaboration that leverage the strengths of NASA’s research and Chabot’s long-standing programs.

First, The NASA Experience creates an immersive, dynamic, STEAM learning environment that puts the visitor into the role of a NASA researcher. Hands-on STEAM studios highlight the current science at NASA through interactive challenges, models, artifacts, and more. The visitor center brings to life the thrilling, challenging, and inspiring process of scientific discovery by showcasing the real stories and people at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

“We are so excited to share the fascinating science, extraordinary people and groundbreaking research of NASA’s Ames Research Center right here in Oakland,” said Adam Tobin, Executive Director at Chabot Space & Science Center, “Bringing together NASA Ames’ long legacy of innovation and Chabot’s 137-year history in STEM education creates a powerful opportunity to inspire the next generation of future scientists, engineers and astronomers.”

Leading up to the November opening, Chabot and Ames will provide engaging virtual programs hosted on Chabot Space & Science Center’s Facebook and YouTube platforms to offer participants a closer look at NASA’s mission.

Second, the two groups will create an interconnected network of STEAM education experiences throughout the city that deepens Chabot’s existing “Learning Everywhere” initiative. Building on existing connections with Oakland’s schools, libraries, and local organizations, this partnership will create programs that engage learners in current NASA research.

Third, the partnership will create tangible STEAM career pathways by developing explicit connections between NASA’s career opportunities and Chabot’s youth development programs. NASA will provide speakers, fieldtrips, and independent study on the missions and technology associated with work happening at NASA Ames in collaboration with Chabot’s Galaxy Explorers program, first established in 2000.

Chabot Space & Science Center is a non-profit institution, community resource, and hub for interactive STEAM engagement in Oakland. Founded in 1883, Chabot’s mission is to inspire and educate learners of all ages about the universe and planet Earth.

NASA’s Ames Research Center, one of 10 NASA field centers across the country, is located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. Since 1939, Ames has led NASA in conducting world-class research and development in aeronautics, exploration technology, and science aligned with the center’s core capabilities.

The Newark #Museum of #Art Acquires Major Work by Bisa Butler

The Warmth of Other Sons to be featured in

Virtual Exhibition during the Newark Arts Festival, Oct. 8-11

 The Newark Museum of Art, New Jersey’s largest art institution, announced today that it has acquired a large-scale artwork by Essex County resident Bisa Butler, a rising star among contemporary Black artists in the United States, known for her quilted portraits celebrating Black life.

The Warmth of Other Sons is loosely based on source material including historic photographs of Black families that migrated from the South to the North looking for economic prosperity. Standing at 9 feet high by 12 feet wide, this exuberant, multi-layered artwork is a significant acquisition by the Museum and will be included in Art + Tech: Perception, Access, Power, a virtual group show developed in partnership with the Newark Arts Festival, opening on October 8, 2020.

Drawing on a rich history of African American quilters, Butler stitches and layers her portrait quilts using carefully selected fabrics, including, cotton, silk, wool, and velvet. The title of this monumental work is a reference to Isabella Wilkerson’s critically acclaimed chronicle of the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns, published in 2010.

Butler currently resides in West Orange, New Jersey, where she has a well-established studio practice and deep roots in the local community. She is an active member of the Newark arts community and previously taught in the Newark Public Schools for 10 years.

Local art enthusiasts will get an early glimpse of The Warmth of Other Sons virtually during the Newark Arts Festival, from October 8-11. Thereafter, this work will make its debut in Bisa Butler: Portraits, a solo exhibition organized by The Art Institute of Chicago, opening on November 16th. Mid next year The Warmth of Other Sons will return to The Newark Museum of Art where it will be installed in the Museum’s Seeing America galleries.

Bisa Butler, The Warmth of Other Sons, 2020
Velvet, wool, Vlisco cotton, silk, 108 x 104 in.
Collection of The Newark Museum of Art
Purchase 2020 Collections Exchange Fund 2020.1
Photo courtesy Claire Oliver Gallery © Bisa Butler

“Bisa’s art speaks to the deeply layered, complex, and vibrant histories of Black American life and the diaspora. Her work is especially meaningful as the country reckons with long-standing social and economic inequities impacting Black and Brown citizens, now in sharper relief with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Catherine Evans, Deputy Director, Collections & Curatorial Strategies at The Newark Museum of Art. “We are immensely proud to bring Ms. Butler’s powerfully affirming artwork into the Museum’s collection.”

Butler was born in Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of a college president and a French teacher. She grew up in South Orange, the youngest of four siblings. Her artistic talent was first recognized at the age of four, when she won a blue ribbon in an art competition.

Butler graduated Cum Laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. It was during her education at Howard that she began to experiment with fabric as a medium and became interested in collage techniques. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts degree from Montclair State University in 2005. A dedicated arts educator, she was a high school art teacher for 13 years, serving for 10 years in the Newark Public Schools and three at her alma mater, Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey.

“Honoring art by local artists and artists of color is a core tenet of this institution,” said Linda C. Harrison, director and CEO of The Newark Museum of Art. “We believe guests of all ages, races, and genders will find inspiration when they see the amazing work from contemporary artists and artists from Black and Brown diasporas. Art can unite people in a way that few other mediums can do, and Bisa’s work is an example of that unification.”

Butler’s work is currently the focus of a solo exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York, which remains on view through October 4th. That exhibition will then travel to the Art Institute of Chicago this fall. In addition to The Newark Museum of Art, her works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Toledo Museum of Art; and Orlando Museum of Art, among others.

In 2019, Butler was a finalist for the Museum of Arts and Design’s Burke Prize. Her portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai was featured as a cover for Time magazine’s special issue honoring the 100 Women of the Year in 2020.

Link between education, income inequality has existed for a century

Income is inextricably linked to access to education in America and it has been for a century, according to a new study from researchers at Stanford University and Rice University.

“A century of educational inequality in the United States,” published July 27 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examines the link between education and income dating back to the early the 20th century. The research draws upon a dozen nationally representative datasets on college enrollment and completion between 1908 and 1995 as well as tax data from more recent years. It is one of the first studies to examine this link over such an extended period of time.

Researchers Michelle Jackson from Stanford and Brian Holzman from Rice’s Houston Education Research Consortium, part of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research and School of Social Sciences, found that income and educational inequality moved in lockstep with one another throughout the 20th century. The authors said previous studies of this topic, which haven’t examined data going so far back in time, did not reveal such a strong link.

Their paper detailed how inequality in college enrollment and completion rose in the 1930s and 1940s amid rising income inequality; was low for Americans born in the late 1950s and 1960s, when income inequality was low; and rose again for Americans born in the late 1980s, when income inequality peaked. This U-turn indicates the nation is experiencing levels of collegiate inequality not seen for generations, the authors wrote.

“Long story short, the findings reveal that longstanding worries about income inequality and its relationship to college opportunity are warranted,” Holzman said.

One notable exception was during the Vietnam War. For young people at risk of serving in the war, collegiate inequality was high while income inequality was low. During this period, inequality in college enrollment and completion was significantly higher among men than women, suggesting a bona fide “Vietnam War effect,” according to the paper.

The researchers hope the paper will further demonstrate the systemic nature of the link between income and education and inform future work on increasing educational opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged people.

The paper is online at https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/07/21/1907258117 and was funded by the Russell Sage Foundation.

Duolingo Launches Children’s Literacy App #LearnALanguage

duolingo kids

Duolingo Launches Children’s Literacy App, Duolingo ABC
Available on iOS, the Free App Helps Children Ages 3-6 Learn to Read

Duolingo, the company behind the world’s most popular language-learning platform, has announced the launch of Duolingo ABC. Available on iOS, the free English literacy app teaches children ages 3-6 how to read. The app is designed specifically for younger users to enjoy independently, as the company’s goal is to help children have fun while they practice reading and writing.

The app can be downloaded for iOS at: Apps.apple.com/app/duolingo-abc-learn-to-read/id1440502568

“We created Duolingo ABC to tackle the global problem of illiteracy,” said Luis von Ahn, CEO and Co-Founder of Duolingo. “Teaching people how to read and write can change lives. By taking everything we know about how people learn languages, and how to keep learners motivated with gamification, we believe we can make a dent in global literacy rates.”

Developed by learning scientists, the new app includes over 300 fun, bite-sized lessons teaching the alphabet, phonics, and sight words. Duolingo ABC is aligned with Common Core standards and based on recommendations by the National Reading Panel.

Duolingo ABC does not feature ads or in-app purchases and is available on iOS. It can be found in the App Store in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE LAUNCHES “THE CONVERSATION” TO SUSTAIN ANTIRACIST ENGAGEMENT, COLLABORATION, AND ACTION

“The Conversation” Goes Beyond the Books with Next Steps Toward a More Equitable Future

Penguin Random House today announced the launch of a new website to support families, educators, communities, organizations, and readers who are working to combat racism and end racial inequities in our daily lives. Named “The Conversation,” this website brings together a curated array of resources and programming for readers, including discussion guides, title lists, and special content for all age groups. With a strong focus on family reading and community engagement, The Conversation was designed as a resource to support multiple constituencies, including educators, librarians, booksellers, activists and allies, as well as Penguin Random House employees. The site is designed to be a dynamic resource, and will be updated in real time as authors and allies create and share relevant content.

This organic employee initiative grew out of an internal company brainstorm about how to assist those learning about anti-racism take the next actionable steps. It also reflects discussions held by PRH employees throughout the company, including members of the Penguin Random House Diversity & Inclusion Council.

“In virtual classrooms and virtual conference rooms, and within our company, people are grappling with how to discuss our world, and how to create real and lasting change,” said Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House, U.S. “We want to amplify the work of our authors, engage with readers, listen carefully to what is being asked of us, and share resources that fuel conversation and spark collective action.”

The Conversation includes resources to facilitate dialogue about books by Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and other iconic writers. It will also provide toolkits, inspired by the works of Ibram X. Kendi and Jennifer L. Eberhardt, for creating anti-racist workplaces. The website will feature books and content from all of Penguin Random House’s publishing divisions, and the company is creating book bundles and materials for independent bookstores to help these businesses with their outreach to local schools and libraries.

A primary focus will be our youngest readers, with toolkits for raising anti-racist children, centering on books by Jacqueline Woodson and Nic Stone, among others. Additionally, a Family Reads initiative will be launched via The Conversation later this fall, which will include family reading guides for the adult and young-reader editions of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy and Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, along with video content and other resources to facilitate meaningful family conversations.

“We want to maintain momentum in our communities, and provide resources for our collective journey ahead,” continued Updike. “All of PRH is committed to the ongoing development of The Conversation – to creating new material and responding to current events as close to real-time as we can.”

To participate in The Conversation, visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com/theconversation.

5 Strategies to Motivate your Child to learn

Young children actually love to learn, unfortunately, this desire often fades as they grow older. Of course, learning is essential to life, not just at school but in everyday situations. Constant learning keeps your mind sharp and allows you to seize any opportunity that you encounter. 

That’s why it’s important to take steps to encourage your child to learn.

Early Learning Education

An obvious place to start is a reputable center for early learning Bendigo, or wherever you live. Simply going to the place every day creates a habit. This is accompanied by a mixture of play and dedicated learning sessions, all of which reinforce the idea of learning being both essential and fun.

The sooner your child starts early learning the better for their future. Simply having the ability to sit in a classroom and listen is a huge step toward being good at learning.

Read Together

Although the world is increasingly digital, curling up with your child and a good book still remains an important part of any learning habit. Books are essential to glean new facts and encourage the use of the imagination.

Reading together is a great way to instill the motivation of learning, over time this will progress to them reading to you and, eventually, to themselves.

In fact, letting your child lead these sessions as much as possible will help to motivate them to learn. It’s simply a matter of enjoying the experience.

Communicate

You can lead by example. All you have to do is talk to your child at the end of the day about what you’ve done that day and what you’ve learned. Even better, you can explain how you learned the new information. 

If you wish you can follow it with an open-ended question to encourage communication. However, simply telling your child about your day will illustrate that you never stop learning, you will inspire them even if they don’t realize it.

Consider Their Interests

The best way to build the habit of learning is to encourage your child to share what interests them. You can then focus on learning about that subject with them.  For example, if they like dinosaurs find some dinosaur books and go through them with your child. They’ll appreciate it.

Play Games

Games are an excellent way of doing some family bonding and learning. This is especially true if the game is new and you’re trying to figure out how to play it. They will concentrate completely on the game, learning the necessary techniques. Without realizing it they’ll be building a habit of learning and a motivation to keep learning.

Learning Over Performance

The key to motivating your child to learn is to focus on what they are learning. Get them to tell you about it and share what they liked most about it. You don’t need to see their grade or how well they are doing in a particular subject. This adds pressure which destroys the fun and motivation of learning. 

Keep the activity focused on your child and they will do well.

Tips for Encouraging Your Children to Become Avid Readers

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, children needed to develop a love for reading so they could not only complete their schooling but also be more adept at communicating in general, and be better prepared for life in the “real” world as adults. 

However, with lockdowns now meaning increasing numbers of kids have to be home-schooled and get better at entertaining themselves, it’s more important than ever for youngsters to learn to love books. If you despair that this isn’t possible for your children, remember that there are things you can do today and into the future to help them become avid readers. 

Lead by Example

If you want your children to develop a love for reading, you need to model this behavior yourself. Children take their cues from the adults in their lives, so if they see you reading often and enjoying it, they’re much more likely to follow suit. 

Also, don’t be shy about sharing your excitement for books. Tell kids about what you’re reading and why, what you like about the stories you’re taking in, why you chose them, and what you’re looking forward to reading next. When your kids see that you take joy from books and other materials, they’ll understand that they have the chance to appreciate the process too. 

Give Kids Choice

Give your children a choice when it comes to what they read. Don’t try to force them to read only those books you deem educational enough or that you liked when you were a kid. Each child has different interests, passions, and abilities, and you must let them choose materials that suit these factors. When they find books that capture their interest, they’ll be more engaged and focused, take more from the texts, and want to keep doing it for longer. 

Help your youngsters by surrounding them with a wide variety of resources. Always have an array of physical and digital books (including audiobooks), magazines, comics, and the like at your child’s reading level on hand for them to peruse. Assist them with selecting age-appropriate texts, but apart from that, leave it up to them. The more options children have to choose from, the more likely it is they’ll find stories that help turn them into avid readers. 

Provide Access to Helpful Tools

When children are developing reading skills, they often don’t have a lot of confidence yet. However, you can help them to increase self-esteem in this area, and to become more frequent readers, by utilizing technology and other tools. 

For example, e-readers are handy because they’re adaptable for specific needs. For children with developing skills, you can set the screen to display larger fonts or fewer lines per page. The screens are popular with many people with learning or print disabilities, too. E-readers can have functions such as reducing glare for those with low vision, using particular fonts and backgrounds more suited to readers with dyslexia, and letting users read along as audio of a book plays. 

Today you’ll also find other tools that help children to develop higher-level reading abilities, which in turn makes them want to engage with content more. For example, you can purchase online programs that teach close reading skills, better comprehension, speed reading, etc. 

Bring Books to Life

Another way to encourage kids to become avid readers is to look for ways to bring books to life for them. Come up with activities to do together that extend the reading experience. For instance, sing songs related to the topic of the book they just read, do a craft activity that aligns with something in the material, or on a daily walk look for objects mentioned in a book.

If a story revolved around food, you could cook similar items together or even plant or tend to such produce in the garden. There are immeasurable options, and you’ll often find many suggestions in the teachers’ notes that publishers create to go with a book or ideas on author websites or social media pages. 

It’s also helpful to fan the reading flame by seeing if you can connect your child with authors and illustrators in some way. While in-person talks and workshops aren’t happening right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many creators are still doing online sessions. Check out YouTube and other social media sites, and bookshop, creator, and publisher websites for interviews, book readings, Q&A sessions, and more. When children see the people who created their favorite books, this usually inspires them to read more. 

Reading is an essential skill for people of all ages and backgrounds. Your child will find their schooling and later life easier if they can master this strength now. Follow the suggestions above to help turn your youngster into a lover of language this year.

Event Cancelations at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York

As a public health precaution, the Smithsonian is postponing or canceling all public events, programming and gatherings through May 3. Please consult our calendar of events, the National Museum of the American Indian website and si.edu for the latest updates. We appreciate your understanding.

At this time, the museum is open during its regularly scheduled hours.

Thank you for your continued support.

March Programs at the
National Museum of the American Indian in New York
George Gustav Heye Center
POSTPONED: Rethinking the Landscape: Haudenosaunee Women
Thursday, March 12
6 p.m.

CANCELED: Storybook Reading and Activity: The Sugar Bush
Saturday, March 14
1 to 2 p.m.

POSTPONED: Developing Stories Photographer Talk: Russel Albert Daniels
Thursday, March 26
6 to 7 p.m.


Ongoing Programs

CLOSED THROUGH MAY 3: imagiNATIONS Activity Center

POSTPONED THROUGH MAY 3: Culture Connections

Tuesday–Friday, 2 to 4 p.m.
Second Floor Galleries

Tours

The museum offers daily public tours and gallery programs by Cultural Interpreters and Museum Ambassadors. For the most up-to-date information about daily tours and gallery programs scheduled during your visit, please consult the calendar or visit the Visitor Services desks in the Great Hall on the Second Floor.
 

POSTPONED THROUGH MAY 3: Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Tour
Mondays and Tuesdays, 3 p.m.
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 2 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, noon
Second Floor; meet at the Information Desk.

POSTPONED THROUGH MAY 3: Infinity of Nations Exhibition Tour
Mondays, 3 p.m.
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 1 p.m.
Sundays, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Second Floor; meet in the Great Hall. Tour takes place in the South Gallery.

POSTPONED THROUGH MAY 3: Stretching the Canvas Exhibition Tour
Tuesdays, 2 p.m.
Fridays, 2 and 3 p.m.
Sundays, noon
Second Floor; meet outside the East Gallery.

Resources

Native Knowledge 360°
Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) is the National Museum of the American Indian’s national education initiative to inspire and promote improvement of teaching and learning about American Indians. NK360° provides educational materials and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America. Visit the NK360° website to explore classroom resources and sign up for the latest educator programs and workshops.