Georgia Pacific’s Education in Nature Program

Education in Nature website

From the Georgia Pacific Foundation website: We believe protecting the environment starts with everyday choices. Sustainability is part of what we do every day. It’s using resources efficiently to make products that improve people’s lives, working with outside organizations to develop the scientific expertise needed to sustain our natural resources and bringing stakeholders together to develop solutions to protect our world’s most ecologically important habitats.  We also have supported developing eco-savvy 4th and 5th graders, with our Education In Nature program including videos, lesson plans and downloads that facilitate fun environmental education. Environment focus areas include resource conservation, clean air, clean water, recycling and environmental education.

Check out the resources available to educators on the Education in Nature website.

Enter the 2016 EngineerGirl Essay Contest


It’s not too late to enter the 2016 EngineerGirl Essay Contest. Entries are due February 1st.

The Challenge: Responsible Engineering

Engineers often make challenging decisions that can sometimes affect thousands of people. To help them to make good decisions, many engineering organizations have created guidelines for professional behavior or “codes of ethics”.

Most engineering codes of ethics state that engineers must consider the safety, health, and general well-being of the people that are or may be affected by their work. Many of these codes also state that  engineers must also consider how their work can sustainably protect the environment.

This means that public safety, health, and well-being, and environmental sustainability are primary concerns for engineers.

To Enter the Contest

Imagine yourself as an engineer working on a promising new technology. You may want to consider some of the technologies currently being developed to address one of Engineering’s Grand Challenges.

Write an essay briefly describing the technology and what improvements you think it can provide in at least one of the four main areas of engineering responsibility:

  • Safety
  • Health
  • Well-being, and
  • Environmental sustainability

Discuss any challenges to safety, health, well-being, and sustainability that this technology might present, and describe what you, as an engineer, would do or consider to be sure that your responsibilities are fully addressed.

The contest is open to individual girls and boys in the following three competition categories :

  1. Elementary School Students (grades 3-5); Essays must be 400 to 700 words.
  2. Middle School Students in (grades 6-8); Essays must be 600 to 1100 words.
  3. High School Students (grades 9-12); Essays must be 1000 to 1500 words.

Click here to read the full rules and requirements and submit your entry.

Lexington doctor uses origami to teach kids about heart health

Makhila Moberly, left, and Cameron Owens write messages in their paper hearts as part of Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl's Kids Art 4 Hearts proejct on Jan. 15. The lesson uses origami, a paper-folding art, to teach children about heart health. Credit: Tom Eblen |
Makhila Moberly, left, and Cameron Owens write messages in their paper hearts as part of Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl’s Kids Art 4 Hearts proejct on Jan. 15. The lesson uses origami, a paper-folding art, to teach children about heart health. Credit: Tom Eblen |

From the Herald-Leader: A Lexington doctor stands before 50 restless second-graders who have been herded into Maxwell Elementary School’s cafeteria. Her mission is to keep their attention for an hour and teach them the importance of exercising, eating right and not smoking.

It would seem a daunting task, even for a veteran teacher. But Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl has a secret weapon: squares of red and pink paper, which the children will fold into hearts.

Cerel-Suhl developed a lesson called Kids Art 4 Hearts, which she has volunteered to teach more than two dozen times at elementary and middle schools, churches and special events across Kentucky.

Click here to read the full story.

Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

From AAAS Science: The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune—but as yet unseen—orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar system’s infancy 4.5 billion years ago, they say, the giant planet was knocked out of the planet-forming region near the sun. Slowed down by gas, the planet settled into a distant elliptical orbit, where it still lurks today.

The claim is the strongest yet in the centuries-long search for a “Planet X” beyond Neptune. The quest has been plagued by far-fetched claims and even outright quackery. But the new evidence comes from a pair of respected planetary scientists, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, who prepared for the inevitable skepticism with detailed analyses of the orbits of other distant objects and months of computer simulations. “If you say, ‘We have evidence for Planet X,’ almost any astronomer will say, ‘This again? These guys are clearly crazy.’ I would, too,” Brown says. “Why is this different? This is different because this time we’re right.”

Click here to read the full article.