Photo Source: American Museum of Natural History

By Taylor Smith

On view through August 9, 2020, “T. rex: The Ultimate Predator” is sure to ignite the imaginations of visitors at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The new exhibit asks, “How did T. rex evolve to become the most fearsome carnivore of the Mesozoic?” Spectators can take in life-size models of the fearsome predator; fossils, casts, and interactive activities; and an immersive multiplayer virtual reality experience developed just for the exhibition. Children are sure to marvel at how this 12,000-plus-pound terror began as a tiny critter. They will also meet T. rex’s family members, some of whom are small and even have feathers! more

By Taylor Smith 

Philanthropist and former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg recently announced on his Twitter account: “I’m giving $1.8 billion to @JohnsHopkins for financial aid so admissions can be permanently need-blind. I want to open the same door of opportunity that I had for generations of talented students, regardless of financial aid.” 

The donation is the largest ever to a higher education institution. Bloomberg wrote in a following New York Times op-ed, “My Hopkins diploma opened up doors that otherwise would have been closed, and allowed me to live the American dream.” Bloomberg has stated that he was able to attend Johns Hopkins because of a National Defense student loan.  more

By Taylor Smith 

June 11 – August 23, 2019

Register by March 1 for an early bird discount!

This summer, give Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart a try. Located at 1200 Stuart Road in Princeton, Stuart’s summer camps are open to children ages preschool through grade 12. Taught by Stuart Country Day School faculty, the offerings are fun, educational, rewarding, and diverse. Before/after camp can and lunch are also available.  more

Photo courtesy of Arts Council of Princeton

From Nature to STEM, Area Camps Offer an Abundance of Options

By Laurie Pellichero

While it might still be cold and wintry outside, summer will be here before we know it. Now’s the time to start thinking about where to send the kids to camp – and make those reservations before they fill up. Here is just a sampling of the many options right here in our area, each unique in its own way.

ACTIVE

Camp Shriver – Special Olympics New Jersey
1 Eunice Kennedy Shriver Way, Lawrenceville
609.896.8000; www.sonj.org

What began as a fun backyard summer camp known as Camp Shriver has grown into Special Olympics, a global movement that has been changing lives and attitudes for more than 50 years. more

Photo Credit: Rhode Island School of Design 

By Taylor Smith 

Want to develop your creative craft or pen that novel that’s been living inside you? Do you have a passion for painting, drawing, sculpture, or film? Are you considering a teaching career in the arts? We’ve rounded up top Master of Fine Arts programs in the Northeast that can add an extra spark to your resume and potentially help you to make that career change or land the job you’ve been dreaming about.  more

Mutcherson will serve as Rutgers Law co-dean in Camden and will work collaboratively with fellow co-dean David Lopez at Rutgers in Newark

Rutgers University–Camden recently announced the appointment of Kimberly Mutcherson, a well-known bioethics and health law scholar, as co-dean of the Rutgers Law School in Camden.

With her appointment in early 2019, Mutcherson became the first woman, the first African American, and the first LGBT law dean at Rutgers University. more

Why schools like NJIT are on the cutting-edge

By Taylor Smith

Governor Phil Murphy recently announced two initiatives — the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program and the NJ Career Accelerator Internship Program — to encourage individuals in STEM fields to make a long-term commitment to build and maintain a career within New Jersey. The initiatives were part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget message. more

225 acres of fields and woods in the shadow of the Sourland Mountains 

By Taylor Smith 

Rambling Pines has been serving Central New Jersey and Bucks County-area children with summer fun since 1976. Tuition includes endless daytime activities, lunch, ice cream, snacks, and door-to-door bus service for the following communities: Princeton, Plainsboro, South Brunswick, West Windsor, Robbinsville, Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Montgomery, Skillman, Belle Mead, Hillsborough, Hopewell, Pennington, Branchburg, Lambertville, Flemington, New Hope, Washington Crossing, and Yardley.  more

By Taylor Smith

It’s the start of 2019 which means one thing — you’re probably assessing your New Year’s resolutions. While a gym membership and a trip to Whole Foods may help you to exercise and eat better, real change begins with a fresh perspective and more all-encompassing lifestyle habits. Here are a just a few books that might help guide the way to a new and improved you. more

What U.K.-based health care company Virtue is doing to help people age well

By Taylor Smith

According to the World Health Organization, “an estimated 47 million people currently suffer from dementia and that number is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030. It is projected that the number will triple by 2050.” To put these numbers into perspective, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that “the cost to care for an Alzheimer’s patient in a private room in a nursing home is around $97,455 per year.” This is where U.K.-based health care start-up Virtue steps in (https://www.virtue.io). With the goal to “empower the silver generation,” Virtue aims to “develop transformative solutions for aging well.” more

(And how Princeton played a role in Teach for America and Teach for All)

Photos Courtesy of Teach For All

Wendy Kopp, founder of the successful education access nonprofit organizations Teach For America, and more recently, Teach For All, was inspired by her time at Princeton University — as a 1989 graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She realized she had access to a good public and college education, but not everyone did. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to make a quality education accessible to all.  more

Laying the Groundwork for Future Female Tech Leaders

By Taylor Smith 

Photos courtesy of Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code was founded by Reshma Saujani six years ago with the aim of closing the gender gap in computing classes in schools across the nation. Girls Who Code is now 90,000 strong in all 50 states, building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States. Its Clubs Program, Campus Program, and Summer Immersion Program help to create accessible pathways for Girls Who Code alumni to enter into university and workforce computing programs. The organization also offers continued learning opportunities for Girls Who Code alumni to enhance their professional computer science skills.  more

Though not a memorial, Maya Lin’s newest works pay homage to Einstein and the Dinky

By Ilene Dube | Photography courtesy of Princeton University Art Museum

At the heart of the Lewis Center for the Arts complex on the Princeton University campus — just south of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads and Cargot Brasserie, the restaurant in the repurposed cargo shed of the old Dinky train — the earth undulates in wave-like craters.

Site plan courtesy of Maya Lin Studio

Like quirky hillocks with straight edges, they beckon a visitor of any age to climb to the top and roll down sideways, just as a child might. And I can’t help thinking that’s just what the earthwork’s artist, Maya Lin, hopes we’ll take away — not her name and bio as one of the most important artists working today, but rather a place to honor and connect with earth and grass. more

Foundation Academies Charter School Provides an Education Alternative in Trenton

Photos courtesy of Foundation Academies Charter School

By Anne Levin

Every spring since 2007, Foundation Academies in Trenton holds a lottery to determine which children will attend the following fall. It is an emotional evening — at once joyous and mournful.

“It is one of the most gratifying, but also the saddest nights of the year,” says Graig Weiss, CEO of the charter school that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grades. “We now have more than 800 kids on the waiting list. People go away either crying or screaming with joy.”

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Interview by Taylor Smith | Photographs courtesy of The Wilberforce School

Describe your work and educational background before your entrance into teaching.

Immediately after receiving my undergraduate degree in computer science, I started working on ground system processing and satellite computer designs for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) in Colorado in the late 1980s. While working on various space-related projects, I fell in love with designing satellites, but I wanted to work on remote sensing systems in the earth sciences. After working in defense contracting for five years, I moved to England to study ocean physics and satellite oceanography at the University of Southampton. After many adventures on the English Channel, I came back to complete my PhD under Dr. George Born at the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR), using satellites to study ocean physics funded by NASA. Ironically, after graduating, I went back to work on a Navy satellite that uses radar altimetry to measure the ocean’s sea surface height. Finally, when The Wilberforce School started their high school in 2014, they needed someone who could teach physics and had experience using MATLAB (Matrix Laboratory Programing). My daughter was attending the Wilberforce lower school at the time, which is how they knew of me, and they asked if I would consider teaching at the high school since I had studied physics (oceanic and atmospheric), and I had experience with MATLAB. more

Interview by Taylor Smith | Photographs courtesy of Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

Describe your educational background and what led you to Stuart Country Day School?

I have my doctorate in technology and learning, from Teachers College, Columbia University. Here at Stuart, I am able to apply my educational background and my academic research, which included topics on how we use technology to expand our creativity, and innovative thinking, into the work I do here at Stuart supporting high school students. The girls at Stuart are college bound, and in addition to learning context, the skills I integrate into my courses are grounding students with learning theories, ideas about how to make products, and the design thinking process. more

Interview by Taylor Smith | Photographs courtesy of Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

Describe your role at Stuart and give an example of some of the classes that you typically teach.

My role of STEM/SIFE coordinator allows me to collaborate with teachers to infuse STEM, finance, and economics into the curriculum. As one of the three technology innovation specialists at Stuart, I work with the Upper School to integrate technology. Also, I teach computer science in the Upper School. My classes include Robotics, Design of Emerging Technologies, and AP Computer Science Principles. Design of Emerging Technologies is a project-based class where students utilize design thinking to build their own creation using programming, a microcontroller, and sensors. Students have created touch panels that work with LED boards, balls that record their velocity, virtual reality applications, and even built a piano staircase.

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Interview by Taylor Smith | Photographs courtesy of Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart

What subject matter do you teach at Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart and what initially attracted you to the school?

I teach Middle School art at Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, which includes grades 5 through 8. I first learned about Princeton Academy as the parent of a prospective student over nine years ago. My wife and I were looking for a school that prioritized individualized attention while embracing each student as part of a community. We were particularly concerned about our middle son, who didn’t receive teacher attention as a quiet and well-behaved student. As parents of boys, we wondered whether an all-boys environment would resonate with our son’s personality. So, we took the plunge. more

Photos courtesy of Michael Branscom

What fueled your passion to rework the science curriculum at Princeton Day School?

While chair of the science department at a New Jersey boarding school, I connected with the highly regarded interim head of the science department at PDS, Dr. Leon (Lee) Rosenberg, to talk about what our science departments were doing and see if we could start a larger conversation about the future of science education in our respective schools. more

Interview by Laurie Pellichero | Photos courtesy of The Lewis School

Describe the mission and campus of The Lewis School of Princeton.

Like the town of Princeton, The Lewis School is both traditional and progressive. We are housed in a 100-year-old mansion, but our learning canvas is the town. We’ve visited Princeton Plasma Physics Lab to advance our STEM program, and we’ve hosted artistic events at various locations in Princeton. We use the YMCA for our physical education classes and Princeton University gym for our athletics programs. We also use the many cafes and ice cream parlors for special celebrations in our Lewis Community! more