UTeach looks to stem the tide of teacher shortage

There is a real need for science, technology, engineering and math educators in America, and Museum of Discovery’s Kevin Delaney is using his star power to promote a teacher-certification program for those educators called UTeach Arkansas. In a video on the program’s website, Delaney encourages students to submit STEM-themed videos for a chance to win school supplies and tuition credit to participating universities, where they will then be certified to teach in their area of study.

In 1997, the University of Texas at Austin developed UTeach as a response to the need for more qualified teachers in the STEM subjects. The school offered scholarships and supplies for students who incorporated specific education classes into their four-year curriculum. When they graduated, in addition to receiving their desired degrees, these students were certified to teach STEM courses.

Following this model, UTeach Arkansas aims to educate degree-seeking students in order to fill the desperate need for STEM teachers while also helping employ more graduates. Many students will have jobs waiting for them immediately after graduation.

The scholarship packages include $2,500 tuition credit at participating universities, a laptop worth approximately $1,500, a graphing calculator worth around $250 and a $750 book voucher. Participating universities are the University of Arkansas, University of Central Arkansas and University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

To enter, students create a 15-second-or-less video that demonstrates a STEM concept and upload the video to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Vine using the hastag #UTeachARScholarship. Finalists will be judged based on accuracy, clarity and imagination, and three students will win scholarship packages.

According to a press release from UTeach: “The UTeach program is currently active at 40 universities across 19 states with a total enrollment of more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 graduates. By 2020, the UTeach Institute projects more than 8,000 graduates will be teaching across the country.”

To qualify for the scholarship, students must attend a participating school, be a resident of Arkansas and enter before Nov. Read the rest

Poll: Whose work has had the most influence on Southern culture?

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In this week’s Sync, we explored all things Southern to find the things that we think define the culture. We couldn’t squeeze everything in, but we want to know which of these choices should top the list.

Whose work has had the most influence on Southern culture?

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Poll: Does Apple need to innovate more?

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, thinks Apple is not separating themselves from competition.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, thinks Apple is not separating themselves from competition. Photo courtesy of Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs

Peter Thiel is known for his radical ideas about innovation and investing. He discourages smart people from going to college and is the basis for an eccentric character on HBO’s Silicon Valley. He is showing up in the news after discussing an array of topics with CNN. In the interview he takes Apple to task for not being the innovative company they have been in the past.

Does Peter Thiel have a point about Apple? Have they stopped making true innovations?

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The Big G and preparing for a food challenge

When I was writing about the Big G for this week’s issue of Sync, I knew I was going to try it the following week. I heard that it was nearly 10 pounds and I decided to get serious about preparation. I did what any millennial would do. I typed “How to prepare to eat a lot of food” into a search engine. I ran across a blogger’s in-depth post about his personal experiences in eating challenges. It was a bit anecdotal, and for more serious endeavors I might suggest you go to the library and find a more reputable source, but this looked right up my alley.

The Big G in all its glory. By Morgan Acuff (sorry for grain, it was really dim in there)

The Big G in all its glory.
By Morgan Acuff (sorry for grain, it was really dim in there)

Following the advice given, I ate a max-out meal 22 hours before my planned “food event,” as my blogger source, Satel, calls it. I started by eating some grapes on my way to my night job at the Capital Hotel. Once I arrived, I ate a few salads in the employee dining room. I then came back to eat another salad after I saw the lobby and mezzanine were empty (I am a lobby server). I was still not very full, and took to a bowl of tomatoes and cucumbers. The plan with the max-out meal is to eat foods that are easily digested to ensure your digestive tract is empty. I had two bowls of my cucumber and tomato mix before I left early from work due to lack of volume. Once I got home, I really maxed out with roughly two pounds of grapes (there were barely any grapes left in the three pound bag) and I drank three or four glasses of water. I felt bloated, to say the least. Read the rest

Poll: Favorite Eric Church hit

Eric Church

 

What is your favorite Eric Church hit?

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