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Texas’ Spring Branch Independent School District Expands Partnership with Discovery Education Supporting Five-Year Strategic Teaching and Learning Plan

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-5563, Stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com

Maria José Sanabria, Discovery Education
240-662-2550, Maria_Sanabria@Discovery.com

Award-Winning Social Studies Techbook Added to Complement of Digital Textbooks Powering District Classrooms –

Silver Spring, Md. (December 14, 2017) – Texas’ Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD) today announced an expansion of their ongoing partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In the newest phase of this collaboration, Middle School and High School social studies teachers will begin creating immersive World History and Civics and Government lessons with Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook.

This Fall, SBISD educators districtwide began integrating Discovery Education’s Science Techbook into classroom activities. At the same time, SBISD math teachers in grades 6-12 began using the Math Techbook for teaching and learning, and middle school social studies teachers began using the Social Studies Techbook for instruction. The district’s ongoing transition to dynamic digital content as a core instructional resource directly supports Spring Branch T-2-4, which commits the district to the goal of doubling the number of students who complete a technical certificate or military training through a two or four-year degree. This ambitious goal will be reached through the school system’s strategic plan, The Learner’s Journey, which builds on some of SBISD’s strongest assets, such as the area’s supportive community and people, and is undergirded by the district’s core values of Every Child, Collective Greatness, Collaborative Spirit, Limitless Curiosity, and Moral Compass.

Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that support a comprehensive curriculum, are aligned to rigorous standards, and are updated regularly at no cost. The Techbook series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. In addition, the Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips.

The Social Studies Techbook uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing, and problem-solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, multimedia reference library, interactive maps, and more.

“The talented team at Spring Branch ISD is dedicated to increasing student achievement and developing a culture of high expectations for all students,” said Dr. Scott Muri, Superintendent, SBISD. “The continuation of our partnership with Discovery Education helps us meet these goals and helps prepare our students for career and citizenship success.”

The Discovery Education Community will continue supporting SBISD’s educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.

“We are honored to deepen our partnership with Spring Branch ISD,” said Phillip Mikula, Discovery Education’s Director of Educational Partnerships. “Together with Dr. Muri and his talented team, we are creating modern digital learning environments that ignite students’ natural curiosity and support the success of all learners.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s Techbook Series and other services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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3M and Discovery Education Host Second Installation of the Young Scientist Lab Virtual Field Trip Series

Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education
Charmion_Kinder@discovery.com 240-274-2173

— New ‘How Nature Inspires 3M Science’ Virtual Field Trip Takes Students on a Journey to Explore How 3M Scientists Are Using Nature to Improve and Invent New Technologies —

Silver Spring, Maryland (Wednesday, December 13, 2017) – To extend the impact of their joint Young Scientist Lab program, 3M and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital education content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will broadcast How Nature Inspires 3M Science – a new Virtual Field Trip on Thursday, December 14, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT.

The How Nature Inspires 3M Science Virtual Field Trip will take classrooms on a scientific journey to explore how biomimicry, an approach to innovation that mirrors nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies to find sustainable solutions to human challenges, plays a role in 3M innovation. During the field trip, viewers will learn how 3M scientists are using features designed by nature like gecko’s feet, spider legs, goose feathers and fireflies, to develop new products for everything ranging from adhesives to food safety.

“In the Young Scientist Lab spirit, Discovery Education is proud to provide students with another way to explore the world of scientific innovations and opportunities,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “The ‘How Nature Inspires 3M Science’ Virtual Field Trip will help students nationwide identify connections between nature and science, all while hearing from 3M scientists who are in some of the most exciting research jobs in the world.”

Following the success of the Young Scientist Challenge, the Virtual Field Trip hosted by Anne-Lise Emig, best known for her role as a chemistry assistant on Science Channel’s Street Science, will inspire students to explore innovations in science, cutting-edge technology and career possibilities in STEM. Students will also hear from a variety of 3M scientists, including Dr. Vasav Sahni, Senior Research Engineer in Biomimicry at 3M, whose job earned a spot in Fortune’s Coolest Jobs in the Fortune 500 list this year.

“This Virtual Field Trip will be a great addition to our science class’ curriculum,” said Francie Snyder, Manatee County elementary school educator. “My colleagues and I can already foresee a spark of interest in our students after they realize that incredible technologies and careers that exist in the field of science.”

Launched in 2008, the mission of the Young Scientist Lab is to foster a new generation of scientists who are inspired to improve the world with science. For teachers, students and parents seeking a place to explore the world of scientific innovations and opportunities, 3M and Discovery Education developed the initiative, and purposed to engage young scientists with standards-aligned teaching tools to help bring science lessons to life for youth. Young Scientist Lab is anchored by its most prominent program, the award-winning annual Young Scientist Challenge, which recently launched it’s 2018 Challenge on December 12, 2017. The competition’s 2017 winner was Gitanjali Rao, an 11-year-old who developed a water lead contamination detector.

For more information on Young Scientist Lab or to access the online resources, visit youngscientistlab.com. Join the conversation around the How Nature Inspires 3M Virtual Field Trip on Twitter @3M and @DiscoveryEd using the hashtag #YoungScientistVFT.

The How Nature Inspires 3M Science Virtual Field Trip is also available through Discovery Education Streaming Plus. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at discoveryeducation.com.

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Maryland and New York Students Capture $100,000 Scholarship Prizes in 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology

Elizabeth Cho, Siemens
elizabeth.cho@siemens.com, 917-622-2413

Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education
Charmion_Kinder@discovery.com 240-274-2173

Andrew Komo (Bethesda, MD) Wins $100,000 Top Individual Prize;
Jillian Parker, Jiachen Lee (Dix Hills, NY) and Arooba Ahmed (Melville, NY) Win $100,000 Team Prize

Washington, DC (Tuesday, December 5, 2017) – Four high school students, one from Bethesda, MD, and a team from Dix Hills and Melville, NY, were awarded grand prizes of $100,000 scholarships for their significant accomplishments in scientific research in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. The Competition is the nation's premier science research competition for high school students and seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or team research projects. For more information go to: www.siemens-foundation.org

Andrew Komo, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD, won the $100,000 grand prize in the Individual category for developing a coded system that protects online auctions from threats, such as cheating and fraud.

Jillian Parker, a junior at Half Hollow Hills High School West, and Arooba Ahmed and Jiachen Lee, both juniors at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, NY, shared the $100,000 grand prize in the Team category for their project which identified a protein that was not previously known to play a role in cell division but could potentially play a role in a number of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. 

Bios, video, and photos available: http://siemensusa.synapticdigital.com/US/Siemens-Foundation

“This year we changed our finalist award structure: first place — $100,000, second place – $50,000, with all other finalists receiving $25,000,” explained David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “Seeing the caliber of projects this year, it was clearly the right decision – reflecting an extraordinarily high level across the board from all our students.”   

The 2017 Siemens Competition awards were presented at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, host of this year’s national finals event. Twenty-one high school competitors – winnowed down from an original pool of more than 2,000 – were judged on their research in topics that addressed issues ranging from better cancer diagnosis to better understanding black holes, and from cybersecurity to preventing deadly hospital infections. More than 1,800 projects were submitted for the competition this year in areas of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, environmental science, materials science, mathematics and physics. 

The Siemens Competition, launched in 1999 by the Siemens Foundation, increases access to higher education for students who are gifted in STEM and is based on the culture of innovation, research, and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens. The competition, administered by Discovery Education, develops a pipeline for the nation’s most promising scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

“All of the competitors’ depth of knowledge and ability to grasp complex concepts gives us hope for the next generation of scientists,” said Emilia Entcheva, Ph.D., Lead Judge and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The George Washington University and a pioneer in the field of cardiac optogenetics.

The Winning Individual

Andrew Komo, a senior from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD, won the individual category and a $100,000 scholarship for his project entitled, "Cryptographically Secure Proxy Bidding in Ascending Clock Auctions."

Andrew developed a cryptographic protocol designed to protect online auctions from threats including collusion and fraud by ensuring privacy. Bidders' bids are completely private from all other parties until the close of the auction. Despite this, auctioneers can be certain that these hidden bids are valid and know when to draw the auction to a close. The protocol is constructed in such a way that bidders can ensure an auction has run correctly once cryptographic information is revealed at the close of the auction, guaranteeing them an honest purchase price.

“Andrew applied a great combination of mathematics and computer science with a practical application in mind,” said William Gasarch, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. “People have long thought about this problem but no one has really come up with a clean, fast, user-friendly way of solving it. But Andrew did just that.  He has applied techniques of cryptography to the problem of making sure all parties in an online auction are honest and he has implemented it in a way that could be applied soon.”

Andrew's system could be used for large-scale auction sites that manage billions of dollars of transactions, often run by governments. Each year, for example, the FCC auctions off bands of the electromagnetic spectrum to communications and media companies, which need access to this resource for communications such as cell phone, radio, and television broadcasts. With Andrew's system in place, such large-scale auctions could be carried out with more transparency, fairness, and security.

Andrew is passionate about research and aspires to design new algorithms and protocols that make the world safer and more efficient. Outside of his research, Andrew is the captain of his school’s computer team and economics club and is an avid tennis player. He was a finalist in the 2017 Moody's Mega Math Challenge, a national team-based math modeling competition, and came in third in the 2016 High School Forensics Challenge, one of the largest high school cybersecurity events.

Andrew’s mentor is Lawrence Ausubel, Ph.D., an economist at the University of Maryland.

The Winning Team

Jillian Parker, Arooba Ahmed and Jiachen Lee won the team category and will share a $100,000 scholarship for their project entitled, "The Cilium and Centrosome Associated Protein CCDC11 is Required for Cytokinesis via Midbody Recruitment of the ESCRT-III Membrane Scission Complex."

Jillian, Arooba and Jiachen found that when the presence of a specific protein (CCDC11) is decreased in a cell, the division of cells that produces new cells cannot be carried out properly. This finding has implications in understanding the genetic basis of many diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’s disease. 

While many proteins are known to be involved in successful cell division, this is the first time that CCDC11 has been shown to be part of this process. CCDC11 is also known to be involved in early development to ensure that organs develop on the correct side of the body. Previous judging noted how this could help us understand how different diseases stem from the same genetic mutation and alert us to the fact that people who present with one disease or problem might have other seemingly unrelated problems.

“Because of their extensive background research and well-executed set of experiments, Arooba, Jiachen and Jillian found a new function of the protein CCDC11 that could help us better understand complex genetic mutations that affect patients with a number of health issues, including cancer, neurological, and viral diseases,” explained competition judge Chadwick Hales, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, GA. “I have no doubt that we will see great things from these young scientists in the future.”

Jillian is a junior who is a member of her school’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Club, which she joined because of the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields and the encouragement and opportunities the club offers to young women. Jillian hopes through her exploration of the STEM field, she can become a role model to other young girls and encourage them to take interests in science or math as well. She also dances competitively, golfs, and does community service.

Arooba is a junior and is working towards becoming a cardiologist or researcher. Her interest in science was sparked through visits to museums as a child and she quickly became a consumer of National Geographic and non-fiction literature. She is a cross country runner and participates in her school’s speech and debate club. She was an octo-finalist in the New York State Debate Tournament.

Jiachen, also a junior, is fascinated by science with a particular interest in molecular biology and the role of vital molecules in life and disease. She runs track, participates in martial arts, and plays cello in her school orchestra.

The team's mentor is Ken-Ichi Takemaru, Ph.D., of Stony Brook University.

National Finalists

Six individuals and six teams competed at the 2017 Siemens Competition National Finals. The remaining national finalists were awarded the following scholarships:

Individuals:

  • $50,000 scholarship – Franklyn Wang, senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA residing in Falls Church
  • $25,000 scholarship – Brian Huang, senior at Hunter College High School in New York, NY residing in Fresh Meadows
  • $25,000 scholarship – Kenneth Jiao, senior at Indian Springs School in Indian Springs Village, AL residing in Birmingham
  • $25,000 scholarship – Sriharshita Musunuri, senior at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek, WA residing in Mill Creek 
  • $25,000 scholarship — Neil Wary, senior at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, IL residing in Elmhurst

Teams:

  • $50,000 scholarship – Chelsea Wang, senior at Fossil Ridge High school in Fort Collins, CO residing in Fort Collins, Rachel Li, junior at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie, NY residing in Poughkeepsie and Jainil Sutaria, senior at Ardsley High School in Ardsley, NY residing in Ardsley
  • $25,000 scholarship – Gabrielle Liu, junior from Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, TN residing in Nashville and Allen Liu, senior at McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN residing in Chattanooga.
  • $25,000 scholarship – Katherine Tian, junior at The Harker School, San Jose, CA residing in Cupertino and Swapnil Garg, senior at The Harker School residing in Sunnyvale
  • $25,000 scholarship – Anlin Zhang, senior at Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA, Rachana Madhukara, sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA, and Kevin Ren, senior at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, CA, all residing in San Diego 
  • $25,000 scholarship – Brandon Zhu and Daniel Zhang, both seniors at Herbert Henry Dow High School, Midland, MI residing in Midland

For up-to-date news and announcements about the Regional Competitions and the National Finals, follow us on Twitter @SFoundation and Instagram @SiemensFdn (#siemenscomp) and like us on Facebook at SiemensFoundation.

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About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $100 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering, and math. The Siemens Foundation's mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research, and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens' companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are helping close the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. when it comes to STEM careers, and igniting and sustaining today's STEM workforce and tomorrow's scientists and engineers. For further information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org or follow us on Twitter @sfoundation or Instagram @SiemensFdn.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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The Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education Launch Second Annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge for High School Students Nationwide

Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education
Charmion_Kinder@discovery.com 240-274-2173

National Media Affairs, DEA
202-307-7977

— ‘Operation Prevention Video Challenge’ Encourages Teens to Submit Video Public Service Announcements to Educate their Peers on the State of the Opioid Epidemic —

Silver Spring, Maryland (Friday, December 1, 2017) – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the DEA Educational Foundation, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced today the second launch of the Operation Prevention Video Challenge – a peer-to-peer platform for communicating messages about the dangers of opioid misuse.

An extension of Discovery Education and the DEA’s Operation Prevention program, the video challenge will encourage teens to create a 30-60 second original public service announcement (PSA) that warns other students about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. The Operation Prevention Video Challenge aims to inspire teens to research the opioid epidemic, identify its widespread impact on the country and the substances’ harmful effects on the body, and start a social movement that encourages authentic dialogue about this critical issue.

Prizes for winning submissions include:

  • 1st place: $10,000;
  • 2nd place: $5,000;
  • 3rd place: $1,000; and
  • People’s Choice: A VIP trip to Quantico, Virginia for a tour of DEA training.

The top 10 finalist videos will also be uploaded to operationprevention.com for a public vote to determine the People’s Choice winner, and the winning PSAs will be featured on Discovery Education’s digital and social media platforms.

“Following the success of the first annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge, DEA looks forward to once again engaging youth in this creative opportunity to communicate anti-opioid messages,” said Sean Fearns, chief of community outreach, DEA. “This kind of peer-to-peer education has the unique ability to better resonate with teens, discouraging prescription drug abuse before it starts.”

Last year’s winning PSA, titled The Cork Board by Kyle C., Clay K. and Carter S. of Madison, Conn. was one of the hundreds of original submissions the challenge received. To view entries from finalists and winners of the previous Operation Prevention Video Challenges, visit operationprevention.com/competition/video/archives/2017.

“My colleagues and I have been eagerly anticipating the return of the Operation Prevention Video Challenge for our students,” said Rob Lamb, High School Teacher, Pattonville High School, Pattonville School District, St. Louis, Mo. “The friendly competition allows teens to step outside of the day-to-day classroom structure and work together to use their creative perspectives for good.”

The Operation Prevention Video Challenge is launched at a time where prescription opioid misuse and heroin use have reached epidemic levels in the United States. Operation Prevention aims to change that. The nationwide program educates students about the science behind addiction, and its impact on the brain and body. Standards-aligned Operation Prevention interactive resources, available at no cost, help promote lifesaving discussions in the home and classroom.

Discovery Education is proud to support the DEA in sparking a social movement that empowers students nationwide to combat the opioid epidemic,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “We believe in the power of young people to impact the decision-making of their peers and look forward to spotlighting their voices in the 2018 Operation Prevention Video Challenge.”

“We have seen firsthand the positive impact this program has had in our communities across the country,” said Kevin Hartmann, president, DEA Educational Foundation. “This contest gives students a chance to be a part of the solution in this nationwide epidemic. Their PSAs will help save lives.”

The Operation Prevention Video Challenge opens today and will close on March 20, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. United States high school students, ages 13 and older, can register and find more information about the challenge at operationprevention.com.

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About the Drug Enforcement Administration
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.govwww.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov and www.dea.gov.

About the DEA Educational Foundation
Established in 2001, the DEA Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preventing drug abuse. The foundation supports the DEA through advocacy, outreach, and educational programs.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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