The best student robotics teams from across the world will compete for the championship in Houston. The Space City is hosting the 28th annual FIRST Championship from Wednesday, April 17th through Saturday, April 20th.  The main competitions will happen inside the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Other activities will be held across the street from the GRB at Discovery Green and the final round and awards ceremony at Minute Maid Park. view article arw

Parents have been using apps and GPS devices to keep track of their kids for years, but now a local school district wants to prohibit parents from using one feature while their students are in school.= Lake Travis ISD's board will vote Wednesday on a policy change to prevent parents from using devices to listen in to their kids while they're at school. It's a legal issue, the district told KXAN. Parents who are discreetly listening in to their kids might also be listening in on other children, and in addition to raising privacy co view article arw

The app is called Whisper. And it's where you can talk anonymously and locate people by GPS. It's popular with teens. And it's the app a predator in DeSoto used to meet up and have sex with a 14-year-old girl last year. Serafin Sanchez Ruiz, 29, pleaded guilty last September to one count of enticement of a minor. view article arw

The Aledo ISD board of trustees heard an update at Monday’s regular meeting on the Future Ready Aledo technology plan. The plan includes purchasing additional devices for campuses while continuing to keep teaching and learning at the forefront. “We want to utilize technology to support what we’re doing in teaching and learning. We want to make sure we’re leveraging the technology we have and that we’re using it as an accelerant to learning,” AISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Amber Crissey said. view article arw

Recent school shootings have lead Katy ISD to re-think its security plan. And now the district is seeking $7 million for additional upgrades. “My son feels safe,” said Cinco Ranch Junior High mom Tiffany Smiley. But Smiley still supports a plan to secure things even more. “In this day and age, I don’t think you can be too safe or too careful,” Smiley said. view article arw

Huntington High School students made contact with the International Space Station Monday morning. This was the students’ second time attempting contact. The first attempt in February was hampered by technical difficulties — the students could hear the astronaut, but the astronaut couldn’t hear the students. view article arw

Students at a Fort Worth elementary school, students got the surprise of their lives Monday afternoon when they learned the Ellen DeGeneres Show is giving them a big donation. Como Elementary will receive $50,000 to go toward new technology and food. The school provides two free meals a day and sends food home over the weekends, because many students don't have enough to eat. view article arw

The Amarillo ISD school board votes unanimously to approve new technology for high school students. Ninth graders at Amarillo, Caprock, Palo Duro, and Tascosa high schools will have Chromebooks to use for schoolwork. view article arw

Mineola ISD has developed and released its own district mobile app for parents and community members to stay connected to news and school events, the school district announced. view article arw

Mesquite ISD recognized April’s Apple Corps honorees Monday night during the Mesquite ISD Board of Trustees meeting. This month’s Apple Corps recipients are Meg Curts of B.J. Smith Elementary and Rachelle Donovan of Hodges Elementary. Mesquite ISD’s Apple Corps program rewards excellence in teaching by honoring outstanding MISD teachers. Created in January 1990, this honorary program inducts two new teachers each month at the regular meeting of the district’s Board of Trustees. These educators are nominated by their peers and approved by administration. The elite group enjoys many forms of public recognition and appreciation each year. view article arw

Say the phrase "brick and mortar" and you immediately start to think of a store that may soon be out of business. But could the move to doing things online impact more than just retail shopping? One local school district has opened a campus online, letting students in middle and high school take classes at home. And unlike home schooling, parents don’t have to lead the way. view article arw

Students in the Bryan Independent School District are learning in some high-tech ways. Students in a sixth grade math class at Sam Rayburn Intermediate are leaning with augmented reality technology. They use iPads or phones to learn some of their coursework, and even watch videos from their teacher. view article arw

Lewisville ISD has achieved the highest e-book and e-audiobook school library and classroom circulation of any district in the U.S. in 2019. The district’s student reading app Sora, which can be used on phones, tablets and computers, combines convenience, ease of reading on the go and personalization of the reading experience. LISD incorporates both teacher-assigned and student-selected digital books, a move aimed at inspiring students to learn anytime, anywhere. “We were thrilled when we learned Lewisville ISD had the highest circulation in the nation,” said Robin Stout, LISD Media Services and Emerging Technologies administrator, in a news release. “Our students, teachers and librarians have been very pleased with the ease of use and student-friendly features in the Sora app. Some of the younger students race each other to earn badges within the app, and I have had numerous requests for more read-along titles.” view article arw

McAllen ISD adds CTE certificates

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The McAllen Independent School District will incorporate three new certificates to its Career Technical Education programs, with its first cohorts beginning in 2019. A local and state demand led the district to form the programs, said Diana Peña, career technical education coordinator. Students can register for forensic science technician, emergency medical technician and emergency dispatch technician classes. The school district will also partner with South Texas College to offer a continuing education certificate for the forensic science technician course. Data from the Texas Labor report and a national labor agency, along with growing interest within the student body, factored in the district’s decision, Peña said. view article arw

Bullying occurs everywhere, which is why the one CCISD police officer is making the rounds at elementary schools to talk about bullying and respect. The presentation aims to educate the students at an early age. This movement is set up to help students at Zavala elementary and other CCISD schools learn ways to stay safe and help end bullying. Corpus Christi ISD Police Sgt. Janelle Cantu started the “Bullyproof” project two years ago to help students recognize bullying and promote good decision making.   view article arw

Some Permian Basin students experiencing learning difficulties have moved away from the brick-and-mortar public schools to online public schools. One of these students, Whitney Pace, was diagnosed with Dyslexia around 6th grade. The Midland school she attended worked with her, giving her less but equal work to do in the classroom and also read tests aloud to the sixteen-year-old. view article arw

A group of students from Neal Elementary got to spend their Spring Break presenting science projects at a convention in New York. The tech-infused science projects are part of a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research effort led by Texas A&M University visualization professor Francis Quek, called the Maker Movement. view article arw

Many of the Lee High Samurai Robotics team members have built together since they were designing in the LEGO league at 12 years old. Six years later, they are preparing to take their robot to the state and world championships — with the same adviser who taught them in junior high school. Samurai Robotics will be in Austin for the UIL 5A-6A state championship Thursday and Friday. Then, they will be in Houston April 17-20 for the 2019 FIRST Championship competing against teams from more than 70 countries. view article arw

This month, a half-dozen New Diana High School students are taking on the nation and the world. Five seniors — Hunter Ludgate, Ethan Nicholson, Colt Thompson, David Whatley and Mitchell Chapman — and junior Tommy Moseley are traveling today to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to compete in the national Vex Robotics competition. No matter what happens this weekend in Iowa, the six young men will compete against 583 other teams from around the globe in Vex Robotics’ world competition April 24-27 in Louisville, Kentucky. view article arw

Authorities say two northern New Jersey boys successfully crashed their high school's Wi-Fi network on multiple occasions to get out of taking exams. view article arw

Dexter Learning and Wichita Falls ISD let students create computer programs, video productions and even their own company ideas on a day off at the first Falls Hack. The district started introducing more technology programs in the last few years, this is one of the first major events for those students to use those skills. “It’s a good symbiotic relationship that started three years ago with just planting a seed and now to see this," associate superintendent Peter Griffiths said. "There’s no way we could have pulled this off two years ago and now it’s like, a hackathon, we just pulled off a hackathon.” view article arw

Don Prier began his career as an aerospace engineer at NASA. He lived in California. He was happy. But when a friend suggested he give it up for teaching, his memories of growing up as a black kid in Louisiana who, thanks to a teacher, found his way to the space industry, came back to him. He knew he could make a difference, so he made the leap. Prier remembered his time at Southern University, where he was a good student, but engineering didn't click with him until a professor helped him land a job at a national lab. There, he said, "I put my hands all over as much science as I could." So when an English teacher working at a nearby high school for at-risk kids asked for his help on a robotics team, he dropped by. That's when his purpose in life came into focus. view article arw

Like many industries, the defense and aerospace sector faces a talent shortage for critical STEM-based roles. With a looming workforce cliff and competition from other fields to recruit for the hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs in science, technology, engineering and math, our industry faces the alarming possibility of not being able to replace its retiring talent. As of 2016, more than half of the engineers and workers in advanced manufacturing were age 45 or older. Research also shows that, despite high levels of interest among U.S. K-12 students in pursuing STEM careers, far fewer declare a related major in college. Of those who do graduate, less than 50 percent of the STEM degrees awarded in America go to U.S. students. This isn’t just a business problem for the defense and aerospace industry, which faces strict security provisions that significantly limit who they can hire. These combined factors are concerning at a national level as a global technology race between the United States and foreign powers intensifies. It is now more important than ever to ensure the U.S. STEM talent pipeline doesn’t run dry. view article arw

The U.S. Secret Service, San Benito CISD administrators and the Frost Bank Fraud Prevention Services Division identified and prevented multiple fraudulent wire transfers from taking place after a school district employee reported irregularities with the bank’s website. District officials report a school employee was redirected to a fraudulent website that appeared to be the genuine Frost Bank site while attempting to process routine automated clearing house (ACH) transactions. view article arw

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD has launched a new app it hopes will encourage students to report bullying. The Anonymous Alerts app went live Thursday, and officials are working on educating students, parents and teachers on how they can utilize it. According to the district, the app is an anti-bullying and safety reporting system that helps combat bullying and other negative activity in schools by empowering students to speak up. view article arw

Lake Travis ISD staff is recommending a new policy that would require parents to obtain approval from the district before operating a student-tracking safety device containing a recording or listen-in feature, as well as an agreement that the feature would be disabled while the device is on campus or at a school-sponsored event. The item was brought before the board of trustees for consideration at the March 27 meeting. Action will be requested April 17. view article arw

The Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 3, which will put $4 billion toward pay raises of $5,000 dollars for full-time teachers and librarians. Charles Crews, associate professor for educational psychology and leadership at Texas Tech, said it is great teachers are getting raises. “It’s something that I think helps with equity. Just in payment of all people,” Crews said. “If we lob teachers into public service, they’re getting paid the lowest of most public servants. So, I think this is a fantastic start to funding education a lot better.” view article arw

Inside Harker Heights High School auditorium Thursday night, Killeen ISD officials talked to parents and community leaders about an issue across the district: students making terroristic threats. Topics such as students sending explicit messages -- which can be a crime under Texas law -- and popular apps that could be a gateway for sexual predators were also addressed. “The more that we expose parents and administration and students, as you saw tonight, to what happens when cyber-bullying or getting threatening messages or threating other individuals and what are the consequences associated," Deputy Superintendent Eric Penrod said. view article arw

The Port Aransas Police Department is joining forces with their school district to add one more line of defense in the event of an active-shooter situation. Starting Tuesday, all Port Aransas Independent School District teachers will have access to a mobile app that acts as a sort of panic button. Port Aransas Police Chief Scott Burroughs said the app, which is called Hero911, will greatly increase response time when it comes to an emergency situation like a school shooting. view article arw

The Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath (non-educator) revealed that more than 100,000 students were affected by computer glitches on state tests. “More than 100,000 Texas students were affected by computer glitches on standardized tests this year, tens of thousands more than previously estimated, Education Commissioner Mike Morath told the State Board of Education during a briefing on Wednesday morning. view article arw

Faced with uneven internet access across the city, the Brownsville Independent School District called a stakeholders meeting last week to bridge the digital divide. The problem is that internet access is very fast in some parts of the city but not so much in others and virtually nonexistent on the outskirts. “Our interest is our students. We’re providing tablets but it doesn’t do any good if they take them home and they’re not able to use them,” Erasmo Castro, chairman of the board’s newly organized technology committee said. view article arw

As part of the Community Conversations series, Liberty-Eylau ISD will host a discussion on internet safety for students and parents on March 18, 2019 at 6:00 at Liberty-Eylau High School. The event is open to anyone in the area. Topics will include social media, online gaming, and other online issues facing students. There will also be valuable information regarding online bullying and practical ways for parents to be proactively involved in their student’s online activities. view article arw

Firefly Aerospace, a Cedar Park-based rocket company, hosted a junior rocket launching competition Saturday. Organizers with the event hope the challenge will encourage STEM education which they say will better prepare students for tomorrow's workforce. Neil Mauer attends Henry Middle School and got the opportunity to put his science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to the test. view article arw

The DeSoto Independent School District will host its first ever Super Science Family Night Expo for grades K-12 on March 7, 2019, at DeSoto High School Academy located at 600 Eagle Drive in DeSoto. The science-focused extravaganza sponsored by the DeSoto ISD Education Foundation will include presentations by teachers and students in each grade level as well as the various science courses available at DeSoto High School. view article arw

State Rep. Jay Dean takes aim at cyberattacks on public schools in a bill that sets up a statewide database to track threats and establishes a liaison from each district to coordinate with the Texas Education Agency. It’s not an unfunded mandate. “The key thing about it, it’s no expense to the school district,” Dean, R-Longview, said last week in describing his House Bill 2689. “We’re asking them to appoint a liaison to the state. So, when we send out information, we’ve got one contact at the school district that receives or sends information when there is a cyberattack.” view article arw