Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don't Think They're Smart
But praising their intelligence can make them feel even more insecure. A self-esteem expert offers a way out of the conundrum.
By Alexandra Ossola

“They often praise the ability, the talent, or the intelligence too much. The opposite of this is the good process praise. This is praise for the process the child engages in—their hard work, trying many strategies, their focus, their perseverance, their use of errors to learn, their improvement.”

Back to School Resources

Need help with your science homework? We’ve got you covered! Here are some out-of-this world (pun intended) resources for your science and space questions.

Let’s take a look…

NASA Space Place

From questions like “Why does Saturn have rings?” to games that allow you to explore different galaxies, NASA Space Place has a variety of content for elementary-age kids, parents and anyone who likes science and technology topics. 

Visit the NASA Space Place website or follow @NASASpacePlace on Twitter.


Targeting middle-school students and teachers, this NOAA and NASA partnership has games and useful information about weather and other Earth science subjects. 

Visit the SciJinks website or follow @SciJinks on Twitter. 

NASA Education

The NASA Education website includes an A-Z list of education opportunities that we offer throughout the year, as well as education programs, events and resources for both students and educators. 

We have a diverse set of resources for multiple age groups:

Visit the NASA Education website or follow @NASAedu on Twitter. 

Want to get NASA Education materials for your classroom? Click HERE

A Year of Education on the International Space Station

Although on different crews, astronauts Joe Acaba and Ricky Arnold - both former teachers - will work aboard the International Space Station. K-12 and higher education students and educators can do NASA STEM activities related to the station and its role in our journey to Mars. Click HERE for more. 

Sally Ride EarthKAM

Also on the International Space Station, the Sally Ride EarthKAM @ Space Camp allows students to program a digital camera on board the space station to photograph a variety of geographical targets for study in the classroom. 

Registration is now open until Sept. 25 for the Sept. 26-30 mission. Click HERE for more. 

NASA eClips™

NASA eClips™ are short, relevant educational video segments. These videos inspire and engage students, helping them see real world connections by exploring current applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, topics. The programs are produced for targeted audiences: K-5, 6-8, 9-12 and the general public.

Space Operations Learning Center

The Space Operations Learning Center teaches school-aged students the basic concepts of space operations using the web to present this educational content in a fun and engaging way for all grade levels. With fourteen modules, there’s lots to explore for all ages.

The Mars Fun Zone

The Mars Fun Zone is a compilation of Red Planet-related materials that engage the explorer inside every kid through activities, games, and educational moments. 

Fly Away with NASA Aeronautics

Frequent flyer or getting ready to earn your first set of wings? From children’s books for story time to interactive flight games, we’ve got Aeronautics activities for students of all ages that are sure to inspire future scientists, mathematicians and engineers. 

On Pinterest? We have a board that highlights NASA science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) lessons, activities, tools and resources for teachers, educators and parents. 

Check it out here: 

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

This Week @ NASA

Astronauts conduct a spacewalk on the International Space Station to prepare it for future activities. Peggy Whitson became the new women’s record holder for number of spacewalks and more!

International Space Station

Work continued aboard the International Space Station. Spacewalkers Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson used the station’s robotic arm to move the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 on March 24 to move a module to accommodate U.S. commercial spacecraft carrying astronauts on future missions. They continued this work on March 30. Another spacewalk to complete the work is slated for April.

James Webb Space Telescope

Engineers at our Goddard Space Flight Center Center complete vibration and acoustic tesing on the James Webb Space Telescope, which was subjected to earsplitting noice and shaken 50-100 times per second to simulate the rigors of launch.


Data from our MAVEN, our Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, and published in the journal Science, concludes that solar wind and radiation are responsible for stripping Mars of its atmosphere and turning it into the frigid desert world it is today.

Most of the gas ever in the Red Planet’s atmosphere has been lost to space. The MAVEN team focused on the gas argon, estimating that 65% of it has been stripped from the planet. In 2015, the science team determined that atmospheric gas continues to be lost to space.

STEM Education

We participated in a Women’s History Month celebration and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The program feature NASA astronauts and engineers. The were also projects to get girls interested in sciene, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education. There was also a screening of the film ‘Hidden Figures,’ which relates the story of African-American female mathematicians who were instrumental in the agency’s efforts to launch humans to space.

NASA App on Fire TV

We’ve released our latest free NASA app on a whole new platform–Amazon Fire TV! The app is already available for Apple TV, iOS, and Android.Viewers can stream NASA TV, access 16,000+, download video and more!

Download the app:

What the full episode of This Week @ NASA:

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space:

Girls in the first few years of elementary school are less likely than boys to say that their own gender is “really, really smart,” and less likely to opt into a game described as being for super-smart kids, research finds.

The study, which appears Thursday in Science, comes amid a push to figure out why women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. One line of research involves stereotypes, and how they might influence academic and career choices.

Andrei Cimpian, a professor of psychology at New York University and an author of the study, says his lab’s previous work showed that women were particularly underrepresented in both STEM and humanities fields whose members thought you needed to be brilliant — that is, to have innate talent — to succeed.

“You might think these stereotypes start in college, but we know from a lot of developmental work that children are incredibly attuned to social signals,” Cimpian says. So they decided to look at kids from ages 5 to 7, the period during which stereotypes seem to start to take hold.

Young Girls Are Less Apt To Think That Women Are Really, Really Smart

Photo: Marc Romanelli/Getty Images/Blend Images

proof good grades don't mean decent comprehension
  • me: *got an A in chemistry*
  • me: i don't know shit fuck about chemistry
  • me: i'm so bad at chemistry i don't know how that table is organized
  • me: i don't know how to balance shit
  • me: what the fuck is the proton electron bullshit who knows
  • me: is it acid into water or water into acid fuck shit fuck shit what was the goddamn acronym shiiiitt
  • me: oh yeah it's probably acid into water AW... like the restaurant... probably.. i hope
  • me: sHIIIIIIIT.

Volcán de Fuego and Perseid Meteors

Sergio: “This photo features Volcán de Fuego, in Guatemala, erupting with three conspicuous Perseid meteors streaking across the sky. It was taken on the night of August 13, 2017. I had to work quite hard to find a spot offering a view of both the night sky and the volcanoes that wasn’t cloud-covered. This entailed a night on the go and even a 30-minute trek through a river valley. At right is Acatenango, like Fuego, an active stratovolcano. Note the lamps of the climbers on its upper flank. The two bright stars above the volcanoes are Deneb at left and Alpha Cephei at right.”

Credit: Sergio Montúfar

Location: Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala

Coordinates: 14.482778, -90.882778

Image Date: August 13, 2017

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Technical details:

A 22 image composite; ISO 5000; f/5.6; 10 second exposure for each image.

#Earth #Astronomy #Science #Space #Meteors #Perseid #Stars #Volcano #Eruption #VolcánDeFuego #Stratovolcano #Geology #Geoscience #Astrophotography #Guatemala #CentralAmerica #Photography #STEM #Education #EPOD

A couple months ago, I entered in a T-Shirt design contest for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) organization in college.

I didn’t win, but it was nice to contribute something. This was the design I’ve sent to them. 

(Just a heads-up for future artists, when you are using markers, wait until it’s completely dry. Otherwise, it’ll get messy.)

Philippa Fawcett (1868-1948) was an English mathematician. She was the daughter of Millicent Fawcett, a famous suffragist and one of the founders of the all-female Newham College in Cambridge.

She studied at the college established by her mother, and in 1890 she became the first woman to obtain the top score in the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos exams. Despite this, she was not named as senior wrangler, as that was a title reserved only for men; instead, the title went to the second-highest score, even though it was 13% lower than hers. Nevertheless, her achievement sparked a discussion about the capabilities of women, and she went on to become a College Lecturer in Mathematics.
Teaching Evolution to Students Who Tell Me They’ll Pray for My Soul

To teach evolution at the University of Kentucky is to teach at an institution steeped in the history of defending evolution education. The first effort to pass an anti-evolution law (led by William Jennings Bryan) happened in Kentucky in 1921. It proposed making the teaching of evolution illegal. The university’s president at that time, Frank McVey, saw this bill as a threat to academic freedom. Three faculty members—William Funkhouser, a zoologist; Arthur Miller, a geologist who taught evolution; and Glanville Terrell, a philosopher—joined McVey in the battle to prevent the bill from becoming law. They put their jobs on the line. Through their efforts, the anti-evolution bill was defeated by a 42­–41 vote in the state legislature. Consequently, the movement turned its attention toward Tennessee.

Rachel and I both went to high school and undergraduate in Kentucky schools. This article is a great read about some of the difficult aspects of teaching evolution in a not so receptive classroom. 


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, operates the world premiere astronomical telescope operating from centimeter to millimeter wavelengths.   The Observatory has an active engineering research and development program ranging in areas from digital, mechanical, structural, computational, and software engineering.  The laboratories, utilities and support facilities make it an attractive location for a variety of research experiments, and it serves as the field station for several university-based research teams.  The Observatory is also a major resource for STEM education and public outreach and is used for an extensive array of programs in education and public outreach, and for the training of science and engineering students and teachers. These activities center on the Green Bank Science Center, with its auditorium, classrooms, research facilities and large exhibit hall, which is visited by 50,000 people every year

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, or GBT, is the world’s premiere single-dish radio telescope operating at meter to millimeter wavelengths. Its enormous 100-meter diameter collecting area, its unblocked aperture, and its excellent surface accuracy provide unprecedented sensitivity across the telescope’s full 0.1 - 116 GHz (3.0m - 2.6mm) operating range.

The single focal plane is ideal for rapid, wide-field imaging systems – cameras.  Because the GBT has access to 85% of the celestial sphere, it serves as the wide-field imaging complement to ALMA and the EVLA.Its operation is highly efficient, and it is used for astronomy about 6500 hours every year, with 2000-3000 hours per year available to high frequency science.

Part of the scientific strength of the GBT is its flexibility and ease of use, allowing for rapid response to new scientific ideas.  It is scheduled dynamically to match project needs to the available weather.  The GBT is also readily reconfigured with new and experimental hardware, adopting the best technology for any scientific pursuit. Facilities of the Green Bank Observatory are also used for other scientific research, for many programs in education and public outreach, and for training students and teachers.


13 Things I Want from The Magic School Bus Rides Again

(Because I need to get my expectations unrealistically high)

  1. A character arc for Fiona Frizzle. Something like her learning to be an elementary school teacher after being a scientist/adventurer her whole life and needing to fill her big sister’s shoes (Like she’s used to a lonely life of adventure or hard-core research, not used to looking after 8 youngins with endless questions? And she’s just like: “wow all these small adults are looking to me for knowledge and reassurance while we’re rafting inside of an active volcano…cool.).
  2. Maybe Fiona could be a bad driver initially? Like she has to adjust to the new vehicle or the bus has to bond with her first? (So she can be pressing buttons without a clue and suddenly her class is turning into birds and she’s like: “uhhh…totally meant to do that! Let’s study flight!”)
  3. A diverse, dynamic class of kids with their own arcs and personalities (Like how Arnold was a budding young geologist? And Phoebe always wanted to save the animals? And Carlos had a genius little brother?) Bonus points for including aspects of their depicted races/cultures without making it their whole character (i.e. Wanda is more than just “the Asian one”, etc.)
  4. Backstory on the Frizzle sisters (Like where the hell has Fiona been? What were they like as kids?! Just how much older is Valerie than Fiona? And why are Fiona’s initials F3?)
  5. Backstory on the freakin’ bus! (Just what the f is that thing if it isn’t a TARDIS? And why does it feel like a Frizzle family heirloom? How did the Frizzle clan come to be its keeper?)
  6. PROFESSOR Frizzle traversing the galaxy like the queen that she is and chasing her own mysteries as B plots/spinoff.
  7. Puns. So many goddamned puns. (The original was infamous for puns and I kind of loved it.)
  8. Occasional English lessons (OK, I know the show is about science/technology but couldn’t we slip in a grammar/vocabulary lesson or two?)
  9. History! (The books had the class travel back in time to see historical events/cultures. Let’s see Ms. Frizzle punch Hitler! Ok, maybe not that part of history…maybe Valerie is just wandering through time, exploring the past?)
  10. An episode on the greenhouse effect (It’s “controversial” but relevant to science ED today. It is a real phenomenon and a very important concept for kids to get right. Adults too!)
  11. Another of those Q&A segments after episodes with a “producer”. Heck, have it be a real scientist! (Bonus points for real-life scientists guest starring!!)
  12. Fiona playing guitar because that is Kate’s instrument and it would be adorable (Bonus points for her singing!!)
  13. Meeting one of Fiona’s old female friends/colleagues that she calls “partner” and it’s exactly what we think it is (Maybe she’s an awesome scientist too? #ScienceGalPals)

In summary, I can’t wait for this. And whether I like it or not, it will provide STEM education and adventure for children and isn’t that what really matters?
EduExo: The First Robotic Exoskeleton Kit for STEM Education
A 3D-printable, Arduino-powered kit for students, hobbyists and educators that teaches how to build and program robotic exoskeletons.

About this project

The EduExo

The EduExo is a robotic exoskeleton kit that you assemble and program yourself. It contains the hardware that you need to build an elbow exoskeleton. An accompanying handbook contains a tutorial that will guide you through the different assembly steps. In addition, the handbook provides background information on exoskeleton history, functionality and technology. In the end, you will have a good understanding about exoskeleton technology and its application, together with hands-on experience building and programming your own robotic exoskeleton.

Quick Facts:

What it is:

  • It is an educational robotics kit that will help you to learn about exoskeleton technology.
  • It is a do-it-yourself kit that requires your active participation and willingness to learn and try new things.

For whom it is:

  • For high school and college students who want to learn about robotic exoskeleton technology to prepare themselves for a career in exoskeletons and wearable robotics.
  • For makers and hobbyists who are looking for an interesting and entertaining project in a fascinating field.
  • For teachers and professors who want to set up exoskeleton courses or labs. The EduExo provides additional teaching material and can save a lot of time and money.

Project Background

When thinking of robotic exoskeletons, movies such as Iron Man, Aliens or Elysium may come to your mind. But already today there are many real world exoskeletons that support rehabilitation of stroke patients, enable people with paraplegia to walk again or support workers lifting heavy objects and protecting their backs.

And todays systems are just the beginning of a very promising and quickly growing field that is in need of many skilled talents within the next years.

Due to the novelty of the field, getting involved and learning about robotic exoskeletons is difficult as learning material or even exoskeleton course or classes are not widely available yet. This is made even more difficult as learning about exoskeletons is not possible by theory alone, but also requires practical hands on experience (you have to see and feel it to understand it). Unfortunately, the necessary exoskeleton hardware is expensive and there are no dedicated and affordable learning devices available. This is what we intend to change with the EduExo.

The EduExo recently won the Wearable Robotics Association Innovation Competition in April 2017. This prize was awarded to us by a jury of CEOs and CTOs of leading exoskeleton companies, highlighting their demand for exoskeleton talents. Click on the banner below to learn more.

“Do what you like, enjoy what you do, and everything else becomes easier.” -Serafin Diaz

I grew up in La Paz, Baja, Mexico. When I was young, I was fascinated with magnets and had a collection of them. I used to destroy old speaker phones and pull the magnets out. I would tie them with small cords and suspend them, one after the other. I was very eager to see how they would repel out and float.

When my little brother, sister, and I reached a certain age, my father would ask other people to host us for a day or two. He would say, “You’re interested in that? Give it a try. Go and spend a week with your uncle, who’s a doctor, or this friend of mine, who’s an engineer.” That was very useful to me. In my case, because I was interested in math and computers, he asked a friend of his who had an electronics lab to host me for a week. That increased my appetite for engineering.

Growing up, I liked math quite a bit. I also liked physics, and both grew on me as I earned my bachelor’s degree. One day, I was working on control theory, writing equation after equation on paper. We didn’t have computer programs to do symbolic computations back then. At the end of the problem, I simplified everything into one nice equation. I looked at it and thought, “Huh! This is unstable! This thing oscillates!” That’s when I realized that I could see things moving in numbers and equations. You get so used to the math that you can actually see how numbers move.

Serafin Diaz is the vice president of engineering at Qualcomm Technologies, specializing in computer vision. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in electronic systems at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico. Diaz later got his Master’s degree in electronic engineering at Southern Methodist University and joined Qualcomm in 1997.