Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Education notebook: Virginia Western Community College gets geospatial career grant

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Virginia Western Community College is one of four community colleges that will benefit from a grant recently awarded to help train students for careers in geospatial technology.

Career fields with GIS and GPS, which provide positioning and navigation data, use geospatial technology.

The grant for $899,870, from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education program, was given to a partnership composed of four Virginia community colleges, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and the Virginia Geospatial Extension Program, based in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment.

The goal is to help community colleges train more geospatial technicians.

The participating community colleges include: Virginia Western Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College and J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

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Roanoke County's science fair is scheduled for Feb. 23 and as many as 100 students are expected to participate.

The county's fair, at William Byrd Middle School, is open to the public and begins at 11:30 a.m. Awards will be presented at 12:30 p.m.

Thirty high school and 10 middle school students will advance to compete in the Western Virginia Regional Science Fair in March at Roanoke College.

For the students who advance to the regional competition, awards include various scholarship funds. The competition's two "grand winners" will receive a paid trip to Phoenix, Ariz., where they will compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair May 12 through 17.

For more information, contact Julian Barnes, Roanoke County Public Schools science coordinator at 562-3900, Ext. 10254

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Roanoke's Fallon Park Elementary School briefly appears in a new book about the country's top urban schools and their best practices.

The book, "Teaching Practices from America's Best Urban Schools," comes from several leaders at the San Diego-based National Center for Urban School Transformation. The group named Fallon Park one of the best urban schools in the country in 2009.

The recently released book, written by Joseph Johnson Jr., Lynne Perez and Cynthia Uline, outlines teaching methods that help student achievement. It is billed as a practical guide for teachers with examples of what works and how to implement such practices in the classroom.

Fallon Park Elementary appears in a passage about enthusiastic teaching.

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The Rosalind Hills Baptist Church Child Development Center, located on Langdon Road in southwest Roanoke, is adding a full-time summer camp and preschool to its child care ministry.

The full-time preschool will include a curriculum to prepare children for kindergarten. The program begins June3 and is open to 3- and 4-year-olds.

The new summer camp program, which is open to children in kindergarten through fifth grade, will include field trips, arts and crafts, music and recreation.

Enrollment is currently open for the new programs. For more information, call 339-9369 or visit www.rosalindhills.org/cdc.

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Virginia Tech honored three students from Preston Park Elementary School in Roanoke who placed in the eighth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Poster and Essay Contest sponsored by the university.

The contest had 549 poster submissions. The Preston Park winners were Morgan Doyle, Satchel Venable and Tyriq Poindexter.

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The Virginia Lottery is looking for what it calls "super teachers." The lottery's Super Teacher Awards honor and thank the state's best public schoolteachers, according to a statement from the lottery. The group is currently taking nominations for the award.

The nomination deadline is Feb. 15. Anyone 18 years or older may nominate a teacher online at www.vasuperteacher.com.

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