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Week of June 29th | Issue 11

Dear PREP Students,

We just kicked off our third week of the Virtual STEM Academy with some chemistry, electrical engineering, python, and advanced algebra earlier today! For those of you who aren't in a module with us this week, we hope this newsletter edition serves as a challenge to incorporate more STEM into your day! Whether it's checking out one of our featured resources, exploring a career as an environmental scientist with Ms. Herrick in the Career Corner below, or contemplating the chemistry of fireworks, a little bit of STEM can brighten up any day - and keep your brain sharp over this long break. 

We hope you get some time to relax during this coming weekend and spend some quality time with your loved ones. Stay safe and be well! 

                                       - The PREP Team
Virtual STEM Academy Updates
Have you ever heard of the Maker Movement? This movement celebrates the processes of design and making, promotes creativity, and engages students in problems of their own invention. One of the Maker mentors from our own UTeach Maker program, Ms. Evans, is teaching a module dedicated to inventing, problem-solving, and Making called Advanced Engineering. Interested? You can register on our website. 

Hello from Ms. Barboza, PREP 4 Intern!  

The Marine Science Institute hosts daily virtual activities from their home in Port Aransas. Tune in every day at 1 p.m. for activities like beach combing and hands-on science and nature activities. 

Did you know that the Higgs Boson particle was discovered on the 4th of July? You can learn more about this amazing particle and the history behind it with Particle Data Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Observatory.

Two professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have an awesome collection of virtual chemistry demos, perfect for any PREP 3 students who's wishing they were back in a research lab this summer. 

This activity from Airwolf explores the intersection between Making and Calculus (two topics that we also happen to be covering in the Virtual STEM Academy this summer!). No 3D printer at home? No problem! The best part of this activity is using Google Sketch or Tinkercad to practice those 3D modeling skills. 
This week, you may see people celebrating the upcoming holiday. Often associated with this holiday is the tradition of setting off fireworks to create some fantastic visual displays. While these are quite beautiful, they do come with their own environmental hazards. Like most things, balance is key here! We encourage you to learn about how a firework functions and gather information about how fireworks impact their environment so that maybe one day you will design a firework that is healthier for our environment! 

If you are interested in a career that works to improve the quality of environments across the world, you may be interested in a career as an Environmental Scientist! This week, we heard from our friend, Heather Herrick,  who is a Marine Biologist and Environmental Scientist from UT Austin. Ms. Herrick wanted to share about her experience saving baby turtles with all of you ! Check out her story below! 

Career Chat with Ms. Herrick  

We all have different routines that require us to interact with our environment in someway each day. No matter what you are doing with your day, you'll find that maintaining the quality of your surrounding environment can impact the quality of your work! Our journal prompt asks you to consider how you can take steps to enhance the world around us. Remember, we are all responsible for taking care of our environment, not just this week, but everyday. This week's journal prompt is designed to get us all thinking about possible first steps we can take. 

This week I can _______________ for the Earth. 
Don't forget to share your solutions with us on social media so you can help others take steps towards a cleaner, brighter future!
We hope you enjoyed last week's challenge! You can see multiple solutions on the Pandigital Puzzles website page. 

We've featured the introductory video for the tenth math challenge below.  After watching the video, you can read more about the challenge and how to complete it on the Collaborative Mathematics site. Remember to submit your solutions by emailing them to us with the subject line "Problem With Pirates" for a chance to be featured in next week's newsletter! 
Math Challenge #11: Problem With Pirates
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