About Sarah Shipley

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So far Sarah Shipley has created 21 blog entries.

Spot the Difference

Spot the difference We use our eyes all the time to try to figure out the world. You might look out the window to see if it is sunny or rainy so you know what shoes to wear, or whether to grab a jacket. We look for traffic signals to know when is the best time to cross a busy street, and of course, look again in each direction before stepping off the curb. Scientists and other professionals in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields use their eyes and the observations that come from using their eyes, to solve problems. They take notes and put their words and the details down into notebooks, and onto the computer, to help them with their projects. For example, a scientist studying water pollution might go to an area known to be polluted to see what is happening there. Is someone littering nearby? Is runoff water from a parking lot or business area trickling into the water and adding unclean elements and materials to the water? A Spot-the-difference activity is a puzzle that can help you become an experienced observer just like these STEM professionals. In this kind of puzzle, you are given two photographs or illustrations. At first glance, they might appear very similar, with the drawing and outline looking identical. With closer inspection, you will see that [...]

2021-08-04T18:53:50-05:00August 4th, 2021|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Matilda’s Amazing Maze

Have you ever taken a wrong turn and found yourself at the end of a sidewalk or street? Then you had to retrace your steps to start all over? This might happen on a hike in the woods or when someone is driving and they are uncertain where to find the destination. You may have thought you were in a maze, which is a puzzle filled with dead ends that has you taking different turns to find an open way to the endpoint. Mazes on paper, using a pencil or pen, allow you to tackle a problem in a visual way. When solving a maze you have to look two or three steps ahead to make sure you don’t run into a dead end, or wall, as you curve the line toward the finish. People have used maze designs for decorations, and for entertainment. Hedges shaped into mazes date back to Roman times. In recent centuries formal gardens and estates in England have had have shrubs cut into the shape of a maze to provide privacy and add whimsy to the landscaping. One of the most famous hedge mazes is at Hampton Court in England. The shrubs grow higher than the height of visitors so no one can see to the other side of them. In the fall rural communities often create corn mazes, which are [...]

2021-08-04T18:55:20-05:00August 4th, 2021|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Meet Edith, Inspired by Edith Patch

The Prime Number Club is made up of many “buggy friends.” Many of these friends are named after people that had a huge effect on STEM today. Edith our fly has many of the characteristics of Edith Patch. She loves research, writing, protecting the environment and is persistent. Meet Edith, Member of the Prime Number Club, Based on Edith Patch, a Famous Entomologist. Do you know Edith Patch? You should! She studied insects, she wrote books, she was the president of the Entomological Society of America and in 1936 she argued against the use of pesticides so to save birds and insect pollinators. “Entomology” is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. (No, it’s not the study of the origin of words. That’s etymology.) So, entomology is a meta subject for the insects in the Off Kilta Matilda universe. Edith Patch was the first female president of the Entomological Society of America. She was the head of the Entomology Department at the University of Maine. Edith earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from Cornell University. Despite gender inequality during the early 1900s, Edith persevered and earned the respect of her colleagues. She was frequently published in scientific journals and she even published two children's books,  Bird Stories in 1921 and Desert Neighbors in 1938. Most scientists would be excited to have a species named [...]

2020-01-29T16:05:17-06:00January 29th, 2020|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Meet Carl, Inspired by Carl Linnaeus

The Prime Number Club is made up of many “buggy friends.” Many of these friends are named after people that had a huge effect on STEM today. Carl our grasshopper has many of the characteristics of Carl Linnaeus. He looks for patterns, loves to make systems, has a zeal for efficiency and is a fan of discovering new things.       Meet Carl, Member of the Prime Number Club, Based on Carl Linnaeus, the “Father of Taxonomy” Have you heard of Carl Linnaeus? Not a lot of people have. Not only did he invent the index card, he invented systems for naming all living organisms. He is called the “Father of Taxonomy,” and some even say that he had the most influence on modern science. Carl Linnaeus was born in 1707. When Linnaeus was young, he loved to walk around his garden and study plants and trees. To learn the names and properties of all of the plants he had to memorize long Latin phrases. In 1732, after a trip to Lapland (in Sweden) realized that the long Latin names were inefficient and came up with a new binomial way of designating plants. To create his system, he would look at various plants for similarities. He looked for similar colors, patterns, growth and even counted flowers and berries to find patterns. He simplified an overcomplicated [...]

2020-01-31T19:01:34-06:00January 20th, 2020|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

How can we help encourage girls to choose STEM careers?

How can we help encourage girls to choose STEM careers? Collaborative, project-based, hands-on learning, as well as the development of growth mindsets for all students, is essential to generate and sustain girls’ interest in STEM. In recent years, we have been plagued by statistics that confirm a gender gap in STEM. But even as the world is waking up to the stark reality of the gender divide in STEM careers, the field is still experiencing a global shortage of qualified candidates. The obvious solution to this shortage is the elimination of the gender gap—more women in STEM will create a more equal balance of genders while at the same time filling up open positions. But this solution is more complicated than it seems. How can we help encourage girls to choose STEM careers? According to Palmieri (2014), “Engaging girls in STEM at an early age is essential to closing the gender divide, particularly in more technical areas of STEM, such as engineering and computer science.” In order to engage girls in STEM at an early age, we need to understand how girls learn and build their self-esteem; this understanding can help us change the ways STEM is taught to make it more exciting for girls. Multiple research studies have shown that girls show more engagement in science when learning is collaborative and project-based; girls are “relational [...]

2019-10-02T19:07:21-05:00March 3rd, 2019|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Snow Day Download!

We have heard from many parents that this winter feels infinite. So here is something to keep little hands and minds busy. This free Snow Day Worksheet has fun activities that you can do at home. You can even add on to this printable by doing Mary Beetle's Cookie Challenge - see if you can double or triple the recipe and have enough cookies for everybugy. We know that snow and ice days can be taxing on even the most creative parents so join our Prime Nuber Club and get access to worksheets, printables, and coloring sheets so that when you hear, "I'm bored" you can say let's have fun and do this STEM activity. Get more resources by joining The Prime Number Club™ and remember to check out The Buzz to learn about careers in STEM, why STEM is important and ways to improve your child's STEMesteem!

2019-10-02T19:07:48-05:00March 3rd, 2019|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Beetle My Valentine

Parents and teachers, we know that you have a ton of work on your plate. Let us help you press the "easy button" and support STEM in the classroom. We want you to share your love of STEM and Beetle my Valentine. We created two new, free downloads for you to make Valentine's Day easy. Simply download, print, and cut the cards and voilà - project done! Kids can add their name on the front and a note or drawing on the back. We even found some fun STEM puns and poems to make your day STEMtastic - The Entomological Society of America has some fun insect limericks that are worth the buzz. Below are the winners of their Limerick Contest! See if you can make up your own Insect Limerick and have fun! Theodore Sumnicht, University of Arkansas Miss Mantis heard spring’s ultimatum So on thistle, her eggs, she did lay them But she found them enticing As they started ecdysing And ever so lovingly ate them Richard W. Beeman, USDA-ARS A highly fastidious bot Grew unwell from immersion in rot. To savor fresh greens Was the stuff of his dreams, But to slog through raw flesh was his lot. Martha Lutz, Bluegrass Community CollegeA firefly who was benighted saw a light and became so excited-- he rushed to his fate while selecting a mate: lost his head, lost his [...]

2019-02-13T19:28:10-06:00February 13th, 2019|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

STEM Jobs That Require a College Degree

STEM Jobs That Require a College Degree  Over the last decade, STEM occupations have grown at a much faster pace than non-STEM occupations (24.4 percent compared to only 4.0, respectively). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 projections, employment in certain STEM occupations is projected to increase by 2026. Despite such growth, women remain underrepresented in engineering (14 percent), computer (25 percent) and physical science (39 percent) occupations. The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) reports that a mere 23 percent of employees in STEM fields are women.     Physician Assistant - Physician assistants practice medicine working alongside doctors/physicians, surgeons and other healthcare workers. They diagnose and treat patients. They work in physicians’ offices, hospitals and outpatient clinics. Median annual wage: $104,860. Education: Aspiring candidates need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. All states require physician assistants to be licensed. Projected increase in employment: 37.3 percent. Statistician  Statisticians analyze data and apply statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in engineering, business, healthcare and other fields. Median annual salary: $84,060. Education: Master’s degree in statistics is required but some positions may only require a bachelor’s. Projected increase in employment: 33.8 percent. Software Developer - Software developers develop the applications that allow users to do tasks on the computers or other devices. Median annual salary: $101,790. Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science is required along [...]

2019-10-02T19:08:06-05:00February 8th, 2019|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

So much STEM in KC

Off-Kilta Matilda at Educator STEM Fest  Sometime you don't realize how much STEM is in KC! We found our tribe at Union Station last month and met amazing teachers and resources for STEM. Did you know that resouces like the KC STEM Alliance have the ecosystem covered if you need any help. Off-Kilta Matilda had a blast at the Educator STEM Fest at Union Station on September 23. She got to explore all the cool booths, where educators demonstrated things like indoor gardening, robotics, mad science, computer coding and math. Here’s Off-Kilta Matilda at the Federal Reserve booth.  She took a quick selfie with a bag of money. She also learned how money was made and even got to count some bills and coins. See the stack of money in the photo behind Off-Kilta Matilda? The Federal Reserve handles money like that and more! At the SEA LIFE booth, Off-Kilta Malita couldn’t help it. She jumped in the pool with the sea animals, and played with some fish, a turtle, a starfish, and even a whale! They all welcomed her even though she doesn’t live in the ocean.  After she was done playing in the pool, Off-Kila Matilda headed over to the Flint STEM Camp booth. Max, the owner of Flint STEM Camp, said that every year he hosts summer camps to teach kids about science, technology, engineering, [...]

2018-10-15T02:50:27-05:00October 10th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

STEM Jobs that Don’t Require a Four-Year College Degree

It’s a common misconception that a four-year college degree is a requirement when applying for high-paying jobs, especially in STEM fields.  But with ever-increasing college tuition rates and student debt on the rise— the average student debt is at $37,172, an increase of $20,000 since 20051—many people are thinking twice before making the leap. Although associate’s degrees are sometimes considered less valuable than bachelor’s degrees, times are changing. As more states keep track of graduates’ income, it is becoming clear that a two-year associate’s degree from a technical college can provide higher earnings than a four-year college degree—and at a much lower cost.2 Here are some STEM careers you should consider that don’t require a bachelor’s degree: Nuclear Technician Nuclear technicians work with physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production.3 They work at nuclear power plants in offices and control rooms, where they monitor and help operate nuclear reactors with the help of computers and other equipment. Median annual wage (2017): $80,370. Education: Associate’s degree in nuclear science or nuclear-related technology (may involve moderate on-the-job training). Radiation Therapist Radiation therapists administer radiation to patients under the instruction of oncologists and radiologists, locate tumors, measure the amount of radiation given to patients, and update treatment reports.4 Median annual wage (2017): $80,570. Education: Associate’s degree or a certification in radiation therapy. Projected increase [...]

2018-10-06T01:05:57-05:00October 4th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

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