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Governor Murphy Announces “Computer Science for All” Initiatives to Advance K-12 STEM Education


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Governor Phil Murphy today announced details of his “Computer Science for All” initiative, a plan to bring technology and programming-focused classes to schools across New Jersey. The FY 2019 budget includes $2 million to increase the number of public high schools that offer advanced computer science courses.

Continue reading Governor Murphy Announces “Computer Science for All” Initiatives to Advance K-12 STEM Education

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Ridgewood Teen Wins $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood teen Deena Shefter has been awarded a $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship. Shefter attended Bergen County Academies (BCA),  a STEM-focused magnet high school in Bergen County , she is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. Her research investigates the connection between multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis . 

Continue reading Ridgewood Teen Wins $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship

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Eminent Physicist Dr. David Coward spoke to Ridgewood High School Students


photo courtesy of the Ridgewood High School Alumni Association

October  18,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Last week the eminent physicist Dr. David Coward spoke to RHS students. Physicist, Emeritus at Stanford University and a member of RHS Class of 1952, Dr. Howard was part of the collaboration that ultimately led to the discovery of quarks in 1968, for which the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded. He is also a member of RHS Distinguished Alumni.

David Coward received his Bachelor of Engineering Physics from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University. An experimental physicist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), he made indispensable contributions to the SLAC-MIT experiments that discovered the quark structure of the proton and neutron. The 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for his work. As a member of CERN’s NA31 Collaboration, he shared the 2005 European Physics Society High Energy and Particle Physics Prize. He is now Physicist Emeritus at Stanford University. Inducted 2008.

David Coward, was awarded the RHS Distinguished Alumni Award during the 60th reunion of the class in October 2012.

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The Nation’s Report Card Shows Higher Percentages of 4th- and 8th-Graders Reached Proficient Level in Science in 2015 Than in 2009


October 28,2016

by the
National Assessment Governing Board

Ridgewood NJ,  The Nation’s Report Card: 2015 Science shows scores have improved overall, and higher percentages of the nation’s fourth- and eighth-grade students demonstrated mastery of science on the 2015 assessment compared with the 2009 assessment. The results also show score gaps narrowing by race/ethnicity. The average score of 12th-grade students did not change between 2009 and 2015.

In 2015, 22 percent of 12th-graders performed at or above the Proficient achievement level, which denotes competency over challenging subject matter. Additionally, 38 percent of fourth-graders and 34 percent of eighth-graders performed at or aboveProficient — an increase of 4 percentage points at both grades compared with 2009.

“Seeing these gains in science from our fourth- and eighth-graders makes me hopeful about the future of our nation’s students,” said former Wyoming Gov. James Geringer, director of policy and public sector strategies at the Environmental Systems Research Institute and member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP. “But that progress needs to continue since only about one-third of students, or even fewer, have the science skills they need.”

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — known as The Nation’s Report Card — is the largest nationally representative, continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subjects. The 2015 science assessment measured students’ knowledge of physical science, life science, and Earth and space sciences. The assessment also measured how well students implement science practices, like using scientific principles and engaging in scientific inquiry.

National science results are available for students at grades four, eight, and 12; state-level results are available at grades four and eight.

National highlights include:

Performance Improves at Grades Four and Eight

At grades four and eight, students scored higher in 2015 than in 2009 in all three science content areas: physical science, life science, and Earth and space sciences.
From 2009 to 2015, the percentage of students performing below the Basic achievement level decreased by 4 percentage points at grades four and eight.

Score Gaps Narrow by Race and Gender at Grades Four and Eight

The score gaps between black and white students and between Hispanic and white students at both grades four and eight have narrowed since 2009.
In 2015, fourth-grade male students scored about the same as fourth-grade female students, eliminating the gender difference.
At grade eight, male students scored higher than female students, but the difference between their scores in 2015 was smaller than the difference between their scores in 2011 (3 points versus 5 points).
At grade 12, male students outperformed female students by 5 points. The gap between their scores in 2015 was not statistically different from the 2009 gap.

State highlights include:

Some Sizable Gains Made at Grades Four and Eight

Between 2009 and 2015, scores at both grades rose in 15 states and jurisdictions: Arizona, Arkansas, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina,Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. Of these, DoDEA schools, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming had a percentage of students performing at or above Proficient that was greater than the average percentage for national public schools in 2015.
From 2009 to 2015, four states and jurisdictions showed score gains at grade four that were larger than the national average score gain: Arizona, DoDEA schools, Georgia and Tennessee. At grade eight, three states had this distinction: Nevada, Tennesseeand Utah.

Score Gaps Narrow and Close by Race and Gender

The following states saw a statistically significant narrowing of average score gaps between black and white students from 2009 to 2015: Arkansas (a decline of 10 points), Oklahoma (8.9) and Tennessee (8.6) at grade four; and Illinois (7.8) at grade eight.
The following states saw a statistically significant narrowing of the average score gap between Hispanic and white students from 2009 to 2015: Massachusetts (a decline of 8.7 points), Connecticut (8.2), Illinois (6.7) and Nevada (5.9) at grade four; and New York (8.9), Illinois (7.4), Connecticut (7.1), Wyoming (6.9) and Arizona (5.6) at grade eight.
For fourth grade, several states closed the average score gap by gender — meaning statistically significant score differences between female and male students were found in 2009 but not in 2015 — specifically, Hawaii (a decline of 4.2 points), Maine(3.5), North Carolina (2.4), South Dakota (2.4) and Ohio (1.8).
The gender score gap closed at grade 8 in Wyoming (a decline of 6.5 points), Rhode Island (6.4), New Mexico (4.8), Georgia (4.6), and Montana (4.0), and in 13 other states.

Tennessee stands out as a state that showed large score gains at grades four and eight and narrowed score gaps between black and white fourth-graders from 2009 to 2015, and its students are outperforming the nation (public schools) at grades four and eight.

“We’ve set high expectations across the board for our students in Tennessee, and our NAEP performance continues to reflect the hard work and progress our students and teachers are making,” said Candice McQueen, Tennessee commissioner of education. “To me, the most encouraging part of today’s science results is that all of Tennessee’s students are showing what is possible. We’ve narrowed or eliminated gaps between groups of students, and we are continuing to make huge strides in where we have been historically to build a new future for our children.”

Emphasizing science in and outside of the classroom is tied to student performance in the subject, as shown in data collected through NAEP student and teacher questionnaires about educational experiences. Overall, students with more exposure to science scored better on the 2015 science assessment than students with less exposure:

Eighth-graders who participate in hands-on activities or investigations in science class every day or almost every day, as reported by their teachers, scored 12 points higher than students who never or hardly ever engage in these activities.
Eighth-grade students who self-reported that they have visited a museum, zoo or aquarium to learn about science outside of a school trip scored 7 points higher than students who have not participated in those activities outside of school.
Students who have teachers with access to school-provided scientific tools for teaching science — such as telescopes, microscopes and thermometers — also scored higher. Eighth-graders whose teachers reported the highest level of access to these tools scored 16 points higher than eighth-graders whose teachers reported no access. Twelfth-graders who reported having access to such tools scored 37 points higher than 12th-graders without access.

“Students who have more opportunities to dig in deep and fully engage do better in science,” said Missouri science teacher Susan German, a panelist at the Oct. 27 event announcing the NAEP results. “They should be spending less time buried in a textbook and more time doing hands-on activities, such as investigating which insulator works best in keeping soda cold or how height and mass influence the size of impact craters. Parents should do as much as they can to expose their children to science outside of the classroom too — even if it’s as simple as taking them on a walk through a park.”

About the Assessment

The 2015 science assessment was conducted in grades four, eight and 12 and reported at the national level for each. State-level results for grades four and eight are available for 46 states and U.S. Department of Defense schools that voluntarily participated in the assessment. (Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Louisiana and Pennsylvania did not have the necessary sample size in 2015 for state-level results to be reported.) For grades four and eight, national results reflect the scores of both public and private school students, while state-level results reflect the scores of public school students only.

NAEP performance results are presented as average scale scores and as achievement levels, reported as the percentages of students performing at or above Basic, Proficient and Advanced. Basic denotes partial mastery of the subject, Proficient denotes competency over challenging subject matter and Advanced represents superior work. Scale scores range from 0 to 300. Because NAEP scores and achievement levels are developed independently for each subject, results cannot be compared across subjects. Performance results also cannot be compared with data from before 2009, when the new science framework was introduced. The last assessment for fourth- and 12th-graders took place in 2009, and the last assessment for eighth-graders was administered in 2011.

Check out this video illustrating NAEP data to see how science education can translate into a related career path.

See the full report card here.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the largest nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States. It has served as a national yardstick of student achievement since 1969. Through The Nation’s Report Card, NAEP informs the public about what American students know and can do in various subject areas and compares achievement among states, large urban districts and various student demographic groups. The National Assessment Governing Board oversees and sets policy for NAEP. Follow NAEP on Facebook and Twitter.

NAEP is a congressionally authorized project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Center for Education Statistics, within the Institute of Education Sciences, administers NAEP. The commissioner of education statistics is responsible by law for carrying out the NAEP project.

The National Assessment Governing Board is an independent, nonpartisan board whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state school officials, educators, business representatives and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to oversee and set policy for NAEP. Follow the Governing Board on Facebook and Twitter.

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NOAA Data finds No Warming for 58 years


NOAA Radiosonde Data Shows No Warming For 58 Years

In their “hottest year ever” press briefing, NOAA included this graph, which stated that they have a 58 year long radiosonde temperature record. But they only showed the last 37 years in the graph.

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Ridgewood’s Super Science Saturday : Be Part of Super Science Saturday’s Award-Winning Day

December 14,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Find out first-hand why Super Science Saturday, the biggest science and technology exhibition in Northern New Jersey, has won a prestigious award from the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame.

Science professionals, parents, teachers and students are all welcome to play a role in making this award-winning event an even bigger success in 2016. Super Science Saturday welcomes new members for the all-volunteer Executive Committee that is planning the next exhibition, scheduled for February 27 at Ridgewood High School.

There also are a variety of other volunteer opportunities for those who are passionate about science and technology and want to be involved in a high-impact program like Super Science Saturday– from helping spread the word about this award-winning exhibition, coordinating with new adult and student presenters or just assisting on the day

The 28th annual Super Science Saturday is a particularly special event, as the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame (NJIOF) recently recognized Super Science Saturday for its

“Advancement of Invention & Process.” This award recognized Super Science Saturday for creating and sustaining this annual half-day exhibition, which showcases the marvels of science and technology for attendees of all ages.

NJIHOF honors inventors whose lifetime work has contributed significantly to the prosperity of New Jersey. Inaugural award winners include Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. Over the years, NJIOF has recognized Nobel Laureates and prominent researchers in many fields, including those who have pioneered life-saving drugs, and contributed to advanced communications technology, astrophysics and NASA missions.

Super Science Saturday’s Executive Committee is proud to be recognized along with such distinguished award-winners.

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Your cat doesn’t love you: science

van gogh travel time

Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph | September 4, 2015 2:56 PM ET

Rudyard Kipling was right. Cats really do walk by themselves, and do not need their owners to feel secure and safe, a study has shown. Although absent owners might worry that their pet is pining, in fact, cats show no sign of separation anxiety.

Researchers at the University of Lincoln have concluded that cats, unlike dogs, do not need humans to feel protected.

Before cat lovers start despairing about their aloof pets, however, animal behaviourists said they should take the finding as a compliment. If cats stay, it means they really want to be there.

Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, said: “The domestic cat has recently passed the dog as the most popular companion animal in Europe.

“Previous research has suggested that some cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way that dogs do, but the results of our study show that they are, in fact, much more independent than canine companions.

“It seems that what we interpret as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration.” To find out if cats needed their owner to feel secure, the researchers observed how 20 cats reacted when they were placed in an unfamiliar environment together with their owner, with a stranger or on their own.

The study monitored the amount of contact sought by the cat, the level of passive behaviour, and signs of distress caused by the absence of the owner.

“Although our cats were more vocal when the owner rather than the stranger left them with the other individual, we didn’t see any additional evidence to suggest that the bond between a cat and its owner is one of secure attachment,” Prof Mills said.

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Scientist claims immortality within reach


Published: 11:43AM Saturday July 04, 2015 Source: Sunday

A visiting American research scientist says he is close to discovering a ‘cure’ for ageing, that he could have a drug ready for testing by the end of next year.

Molecular Biologist Dr Bill Andrews told TV ONE’s SUNDAY programme that humans shouldn’t have to suffer from the ravages of ageing. He says that ageing is a disease that should, and could be cured.

His research centres around Telomeres – small caps at the end of our chromosomes that become shorter every time our cells divide.

When they become critically short, we age and eventually die.


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As Hubble Space Telescope turns 25, N.J.-born developer works on its successor


When Bill Ochs was 21 and fresh out of Fairleigh Dickinson University with an electrical engineering degree in 1979, he landed a job with a local government contractor, Bendix in Teterboro. He soon found himself developing the software that would keep the Hubble Space Telescope pointed in the right direction for 25 years, providing unimaginably beautiful images of intergalactic space.

Hubble, which was intended to have a useful life of 15 years, hits the quarter-century mark today, and scientists expect its nearly 8-foot mirror to keep peering into deep space and providing spectacular sights for at least five more years. (Norman/The Record)

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The largest science extravaganza in northern New Jersey, this year’s Super Science Saturday will feature the incredible 25-foot egg drop challenge; the traditional great paper airplance contest and the live rocket launch, in addition to project presentations by students.

Admission is Free
Location: RHS
9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.


1.12.15: Workshop Dates are Announced
A three-session workshop will be held on February 13, 20 and 26 from 4:15-6 p.m. at Benjamin Franklin Middle School. This workshop will provide an opportunity for students to choose a project, set it up and lay it out. Click here for more information.

Full details of the day, including registration forms, can be found on the Super Science Saturday website

Super Science Saturday is proudly presented by The Ridgewood Education Foundation  ( and  Valley Hospital (

Click here for the latest Super Science Saturday flyer.

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