TEDxYouth Field Trip to Whitney Young (updated)

Updated with proper links:

This particular message is for Lane Tech students only. Below are details on an amazing opportunity for a field trip on Thursday, May 8th. Students will miss periods 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. The bus will leave at 10:45am sharp and return around 2:45-3pm. There are a limited number of spots available. You can only apply if you do not have an AP test on that date. Read the information below, and if you’re interested in applying, chose the the relevant option below:

  • Option 1: Mr. Solin’s students can apply at this link
  • Option 2: Other students can apply by emailing the following information to Mr. Solin at jbsolin@cps.edu
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Student ID
    • CPS Email Address
    • Division / Advisory #

Communication regarding the event will only be sent through CPS email including notification if you are invited to attend.


2014 National Society of Black Engineers High School Senior Scholarship

2014 NSBE Chicago Professionals Chapter- NSBE Jr. High School Senior Scholarship

Deadline: May 1, 2014 11:59 central time (CST).


  • Applicant must be a paid NSBE Jr. member. To become a member, go to www.nsbe.org
  • The applicant’s home must be in the Chicago, IL metropolitan area.
  • The applicant’s grade point average must be a 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
  • The applicant must be a high school senior, accepted into an engineering or computer science program at a U.S. accredited college or university for the Fall 2014 semester.
  • School Transcripts must be sent by your school. It must be postmarked by May 1, 2014. School Officials can submit Transcripts via e-mail or U.S. mail to: pci

Attn: Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 8304
Chicago, IL 60680-8304

Only electronic applications will be accepted.

  • Scholarship Award amounts are based on donations. Amount will be determined in April.
  • Letters of Recommendation (one letter is required) can be submitted by e-mail as a .pdf file. U.S. mailed letters must be postmarked by May 1, 2014.
  • Scholarship winners and all other applicants will be notified via email in May.
  • Winners will be required to provide a copy of a letter of acceptance into an engineering program at an accredited university.
  • Winners will be required to submit their Fall 2014 tuition bill. The Fall 2014 Class Schedule must be dated after August 25th and is due before October 15, 2014. A check will then be mailed.
  • Scholarship recipients and their families: Please attend the Awards Dinner on June 7, 2014.
  • Be sure to check out the additional high school senior and collegiate NSBE Scholarships at www.nsbe.org/Programs/Scholarships

Alexis Brown, NSBE Chicago Professionals- PCI/NSBE Jr. Chair
pci | http://www.chicagonsbe.org | 773-902-4510
P.O. Box 8304, Chicago, IL 60680-8304

Scholarship & Awards Committee Chair
E-Mail for questions and comments: pci

A Cybersecurity Competition For High School Students

HSCTF, an online competition which will educate high school students across the country about computer security, runs from May 18-25, 2014. Competitors in High School Capture the Flag (or HSCTF) will learn computer science skills, and use ingenuity to discover a series of increasingly hard to find “flags” encrypted, hidden, or otherwise stored somewhere difficult to access.

While HSCTF is primarily about educating students in computer security, it will also include other computer science topics such as programming, algorithm design, and programming language design. The approach is unique in that it extends the CTF model to other areas of computer science.

HSCTF is inspired by Carnegie Mellon’s enormously successful picoCTF:


To learn more, see sample problems, and sign up to receive more information about registration, visit:


For questions, contact Jacob Edelman, HSCTF Lead Founder/Organizer at:


Tech Savvy at the Illinois Institute of Technology

This one-day program introduces girls in sixth through ninth grades to many types of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and teaches “savvy skills” such as negotiation and public speaking.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend the Tech Savvy one-day program for adults. Adults receive information on how to help girls get on a path to a college education and a career in STEM.

Tech Savvy at the Illinois Institute of Technology will be held on May 10, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Illinois Institute of Technology, Rice Campus
201 East Loop Road
Wheaton, IL 60189

The registration fee is $5.00 for each adult and child that attends Tech Savvy. Please note that all registration fees are non-refundable.

AAUW is expanding Tech Savvy throughout the country with generous support from the Praxair Foundation.

The deadline to register for this event is May 7, 2014.

If you are a new registrant for the 2014 Tech Savvy event at the Illinois Institute of Technology,
please click the "New Registration" button at the bottom of this site.

Payton Starlink Global Program

July 1st – July 17th, 2014 online
July 19th – Aug 3rd, 2014 a total of 16 days in Chicago

Walter Payton College Prep High School is partnering with Starlink Global Education to host the second Starlink Payton Global Summer Program for students to develop intercultural awareness, multilingualism and global competency. We developed three courses: Innovation and Entrepreneurship, How Computers “Think,” and Creative Communication: CHAT. We plan to invite to each class up to 15 American students and 15 Chinese students to participate in one-to-one pairings, a home stay with US families, intensive learning and cultural adventure activities, and full preparation for their college education and career development in this interdependent world.

  • Students: Grades 9 through 12 (Knowledge of the Chinese language is not required.)
  • Location: Walter Payton College Prep High School – 1034 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL
  • Date: 7/19 – 8/3/2014
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.



  • Intensive Academic Learning: Innovation, Computer and Communication
  • A Culture Exchange: Host a Chinese Student in your home
  • Field trips linked to classroom learning: University, museum, business, and culture visits with lunch included.
  • Refer a Friend: Join the Starlink Payton Global Summer Program, refer a friend, and you will receive a $25 referral fee.

General Field Trips(tentative and subject to change):

  • China Town Tour and Lunch
  • Blue Man Group
  • Six Flags Great America
  • Bike Tour or Segway Tours of Chicago
  • Baseball Game – White Sox or Cubs
  • University of Chicago
  • Northwestern University
  • John Hancock Observatory Deck
  • Lake Michigan Water Taxi
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Millennium Park

How Computer “Think” Course Description:

This course is designed for students who have a desire to explore how a computer is able to “think” and who are interested in advanced topics in computer science and electrical engineering. Many students miss the forest for the trees with standard CS curricula, and this course aims to restore the big picture. The course objective is to integrate key notions from algorithms, computer architecture, operating systems, compilers, and software engineering in one unified framework. This will be done constructively, by building (in a simulator) a general-purpose computer system from the ground up. In the process, we will explore many ideas and techniques used in the design of modern hardware and software systems, and discuss major trade-offs and future trends. Throughout this journey, you will gain many cross-sectional views of the computing field, from the bare-bone details of switching circuits to the high level abstractions of the many digital computing systems we interact with every day. This course is based on the “Elements of Computing Systems” course developed by Shimon Schocken (Harvard University).

Additional Field Trips (subject to change):

  • Pumping Station One
  • Google Chicago
  • Museum of Science and Industry Fab Lab
  • Inventables
  • 1871

Instructor: Jeff Solin

Mr. Solin is a member of a small team of Computer Science educators that successfully helped create a path for CS education in all of Chicago Public Schools. Through NSF funding to support the effort, his group built and maintained relationships with district leaders, university professors, and teachers. The resulting program, Taste of Computing, now reaches thousands of Chicago high school students with more to come. The work became the basis for the newly announced partnership between CPS and Code.org.

Mr. Solin’s awards and additional background include:

  • Visiting Lecturer, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Instructor, Northwestern University Center for Talent Development
  • Recipient and co-organizer of Chicago CS4HS grant for local CS education conference
  • Co-Founder and Board Member of nation’s largest Computer Science Teacher Association’s Chapter in Chicago
  • Scholarship recipient to attend Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference
  • University of Chicago Outstanding High School Teacher Award
  • Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award
  • Golden Apple Award Nominee
  • M.Ed. Educational Leadership, American College of Education
  • B.S. Computer Science, Ohio State University

Creative Communication: CHAT

Students will develop communication “action” skills in the China-Chicago Action Team (CHAT) such as writing, public speaking, and presentation design that will improve their college readiness and propel them into a career in global business. Our creative objectives include: 1) learning to trim writing so that it is more persuasive; 2) presenting more creatively using technology; 3) using video equipment to create visuals, d.j. equipment to produce beats and mixes, and computer editing programs to create broadcasts and podcasts to improve public speaking skills; and 4) creating blogs and an online newsletter to emphasize a positive social media presence.

Projects will be hands-on and will include creating a 30-second elevator speech, using the Minto Pyramid Principle effectively based on the Harvard Business School Model, creating music mixes with a professional d.j., broadcasts and radio segments to improve speaking and listening skills, writing concisely and persuasively online in collaboration, and engaging in field trips to media outlets such as the Chicago Sun-Times, a public relations firm, and a radio station. These collaborative communication skills will help students develop longtime global connections with their peers from different backgrounds and prepare them for college and the business world.

Additional Field Trips (subject to change):

  • United Center
  • Chicago Sun-Times
  • Chicago radio stations with d.j.
  • Public relations firms
  • Northwestern University, Medill School of Broadcast Journalism

Instructor: Michelle Mowery

Michelle Mowery has been an educator in university and high school settings for 23 years after a career in journalism and communication. She earned an A.B. and an A.M. in English Literature with departmental and special honors from the University of Chicago and later earned an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with special honors from Loyola University. Early in her career, she worked as a journalist for several newspapers with a weekly column, as a writer for the St. James Press, where she published The International Directory of Company Histories, as a Publicity Director for a non- profit agency, and as a weekly cable television show host. Finally, she worked as a grant writer, planner, and administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. and Chicago before beginning her teaching career. As a teacher, she was a Lecturer in English at St. Xavier University, North Park University, and Loyola University Chicago where she taught writing and literature classes for 13 years. She then served as English Department Chair at two local high schools before joining Walter Payton College Prep High School as an English and journalism teacher and Senior Events Coordinator.

Ms. Mowery’s awards and additional background include:

  • Instructor of Journalism and Literature at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development summer program
  • Master Teacher with National Board Certification
  • Mentor for the Chicago Public Schools program for National Board Certification
  • Founder of Safe Humane Chicago Youth Leaders, an anti-violence program that instructs students about the connection between violence to animals and violence to humans
  • Excellence in Service award from Chicago Public Schools for a service-learning project
  • Special Service Award from the Chicago Police Department for an anti-violence program
  • Most Notable Teacher award from St. Xavier University for over 10 years of service in teaching and curriculum development in the Adult Education Program
  • Scholastic Press Association awards for student publications, Paw Print and PNN
  • Youth Narrating Our World grant for student journalism program from McCormick Foundation
  • Illinois Media Awards grant for student journalism program
  • Speaker at Tech Talk 2014

Code Echo Challenge for Students

Here is a chance for students to use their coding skills to win big!

Summer family movie EARTH TO ECHO is hosting "Code: Echo": a Challenge for students K-12 to create a game inspired by the film. Students can download assets and get creative.

In each category there will be:
1 grand prize winner ($5,000.00 + hometown screening)
1 runner-up prize winner ($2,500.00)

Students of all ages, a team with up to 4 friends, or an entire classroom.

Entries are due May 2nd. Start coding at www.codeechomovie.com.

Asli Taylor
Relativity Media
email: codeecho

What the “Heartbleed” Security Bug Means For You

From Lifehacker at http://lifehacker.com/what-the-heartbleed-security-bug-means-for-you-1560801201

What the "Heartbleed" Security Bug Means For You

Security researchers have discovered a serious vulnerability in OpenSSL, the cryptographic software library that protects many web sites on the internet. Here’s what that means for you, the average user.

There’s a lot of technical information and nuance here, but we’re going to try and make this as simple to understand as possible. If you’re more tech-savvy, I highly recommend reading the Heartbleed FAQ here, which provides more information on the problem.

From The Wire at http://www.thewire.com/technology/2014/04/what-you-need-to-know-about-heartbleed-the-new-security-bug-scaring-the-internet/360366/

The Verge has a very good explanation, so we’ll quote them:

“The bug allows an attacker to pull 64k at random from a given server’s working memory. It’s a bit like fishing — attackers don’t know what usable data will be in the haul — but since it can be performed over and over again, there’s the potential for a lot of sensitive data to be exposed. The server’s private encryption keys are a particular target, since they’re necessarily kept in working memory and are easily identifiable among the data. That would allow attackers to eavesdrop on traffic to and from the service, and potentially decrypt any past traffic that had been stored in encrypted form.”

Additional articles:



Which College–and Which Major–Will Make You Richest?

The Atlantic Home

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By Derek Thompson

A Bachelor of Science from Harvey Mudd College, the small California science and engineering school, is the most valuable college degree in America.

Stanford’s computer science program pays off more than any single major in the country.

For the best dollar-for-dollar investment, nothing beats the University of Virginia.

As those three (all true) facts illustrate, there are many ways to answer the question What’s the most valuable college education in the country? Every year PayScale, the largest private tracker of U.S. salaries, tries to answer the question. This year they released their findings in an elegant site that you can play with here. They also shared their hard data with The Atlantic, which we used to do some further calculations.

Before the candy, some methodological veggies. The challenge of putting together any study like this is that it’s devilishly difficult to measure the cost and benefitof college. Start with cost, which is the time and money it takes to finish school. Colleges advertise their sticker price, but about half the students at many elite colleges get grants. Without financial aid, four years at Stanford University costs $236,000, making it one of the 10 most expensive colleges in America. But the "weighted net cost," factoring in grant aid and time to graduation, of going to Stanford is more like $74,000. For my purposes, I’m interested in net cost, not sticker price.

And what about benefit? PayScale has two measures that are useful. First it calculates the 20-year college premium using self-reported income surveys. This tells you the amount of money a college grad will make in two decades above and beyond what she would have made if she didn’t attend college. For example, if Derek University costs $100,000 and my graduates earn $1 million extra over the next 20 years, my net return is $900,000. PayScale also measures "annualized ROI," which helps us see the dollar-for-dollar benefit of certain schools and programs.

With all that methodology out of the way, we can get to the fun stuff. Here’s the first big fat list: The ten schools with the highest-earning graduates over the next 20 years. By this measure, Harvey Mudd is America’s one million-dollar college.

Harvey Mudd’s record here is impressive. But its net cost is more than twice as much as Harvard’s due to their disparity in grant aid. So it’s also useful to look at annualized ROI—the "bang-for-your-buck" measure.

By that dollar-for-dollar measure, the best college investment isn’t Harvey Mudd, Cal Tech, MIT, or any of those schools you might expect. It’s the University of Virginia (if you’re an in-state student) and Georgia Tech. Harvard and Stanford also crack the top 10. (Alert: I’ve shortened the Y-axis here to highlight just how far ahead UVA and Georgia Tech are.)

Everybody graduates from college with a major. So I wanted to know not just which college grads get richest but which college majors are the tickets to richness?PayScale tracks that, too. And no degree in America is more valuable than a computer-science major at Stanford, Columbia, or Berkeley. Notably, the most valuable non-computer-science major in the country is also at Stanford: economics.

But once again, for dollar-for-dollar investment, nothing beats going to the University of Virginia as an in-state student. PayScale found that a degree in business, or computer science, or engineering, or economics at UVA has a higher dollar-for-dollar return than any major at any other school in the country. Yes, better than majoring in finance at Harvard, or computer science at Stanford, or business at Berkeley, or anything at Harvey Mudd.


It’s important to be clear about what this study is telling us and what it’s not telling us. The fact that the most valuable colleges here seem so predictable is an interesting data point, because the predictably best colleges tend to get the best students. So what you’re seeing here isn’t just the quality of the school’s education but also the quality of the students it attracts.

Indeed, that’s one reason why it’s important to not conflate "highest ROI" with "best" or "smartest." At Columbia University, an arts major has a 20-year expected return of $477,000, but an economics major at the school earns an extra $900,000 and a computer science major gets $1.6 million. Perhaps another study can prove that Columbia’s economics majors are twice as smart as its art majors. But the more reasonable explanation is that economics majors actually want to maximize their earnings after graduation. So they tailor their education to set them up for maximizing post-graduate income. The upshot of this study is that college is often a very good investment and the schools everybody has heard of do a great job of raising lifetime incomes. But majors matter, too: That’s why smaller schools with high concentrations of computer science and engineering students near large cities with thriving technology scenes (Harvey Mudd, Cal Tech, Stevens, NYU Poly) dominate the list.

This article available online at:


Copyright © 2014 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.

Win a Trip to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in SF

Creative and talented students age 13+ have the opportunity to attend this year’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for free on a WWDC 2014 Student Scholarship. Review the application requirements and get started today. developer.apple.com/wwdc/students/

WWDC 2014

NCWIT is excited to announce a collaboration with Apple to increase the participation of young women in the 2014 World Wide Developers Conference.

Please share this opportunity with your networks of students. There is a very short window to apply, so it is a bit time sensitive.

Here are some quick highlights for student scholarships:

  • Now open to students 13+, application details http://developer.apple.com/wwdc/students
  • No paid program membership required. (By contrast, regular ticket purchase is only available to current paid program members) Developers who are not already registered will be directed to register for free as an Apple Developer during submission of their scholarship application.
  • Students must create an app and submit it to be considered for the scholarship.
  • Submissions will be accepted starting Friday April 11 at 10am until Monday April 14 at 5pm

Full details and guidelines for app submission and well as terms and conditions can be found at the student pages in the links below.