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Archive for November, 2012

Supercomputing Competition

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Utah high school students are invited to participate in the 2013 Utah High School Supercomputing Competition (UHSSC) to be held at the University of Utah on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Applications are due by Sunday, December 30, 2012. So, don’t delay in submitting your application for the opportunity to participate in this event. Teams will be announced as the applications are received.

The Supercomputing Competition is an event sponsored by the University of Utah’s Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) and will provide Utah High School Supercomputing Competition (UHSSC) participants with a chance to become familiar with supercomputing. This competition provides an opportunity for Utah students to learn hands-on about the art of programming computer clusters.

The UHSSC uses retired supercomputers that are no longer suitable for research, but are more than suitable for use by high school students. This year the UHSSC will be using the Bootable Cluster CD distribution. Each of the clusters have been modified to have a faster interconnect and a more portable form factor.

WHAT: Utah High School Supercomputing Competition
WHO: Twelve selected Utah high school teams
WHERE: The Competition will be held as part of the Salt Lake Valley Science
and Engineering Fair at the University of Utah.
WHEN: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
HOW: Visit uhssc.org to apply. This year, the application process has changed to allow any motivated team a chance to participate. Please ask your mentor to contact Dan McGuire for more details.

Applications are due no later than December 30, 2012. Teams will be announced as the applications are received, so don’t delay submitting your application.

Twelve teams will be selected to compete in the Supercomputing Competition. Six to ten students and one mentor will comprise each team. Each team will execute the following two challenges:

  1. Software Optimization Challenge: This challenge requires that each team write an application to evaluate the “roundness” of a range of integers from a given minimum value to a given maximum value, where the minimum value is greater than zero and the maximum value is less than 10 million. The application should sort these numbers first by roundness, then by numerical value.
  2.  The “Hotseat” Challenge: The teams are presented with a problem and asked to generate the code and optimize their system at the SLVSEF site. Teams will have 6 hours to complete this challenge.

Cash awards will be awarded to the winning teams. A $400 award will be awarded to the team winning the Software Optimization Challenge and a $600 award will be awarded to the team that wins the Hotseat Challenge.

Hurry and don’t delay, apply now for the opportunity to compete in this Supercomputing Competition!

Calling all Utah junior high and high school graphic designers!

Monday, November 19th, 2012

The Business Education and the Information Technology Education specialists, at the Utah State Office of Education, are happy to announce the winner of the Summer Conference Graphics Contest.

The winning entry was designed by Bradley Herdt, a junior at Clearfield High School. Bradley’s design was one of 45 entries. His entry will be showcased during the Business Education and Information Technology summer conference at Murray High School on June 12-13, 2013.

As the winner of the Graphics Contest Bradley received a copy of Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 Design Standard, generously donated by Adobe®.

Congratulations Bradley!


Laura deShazo and Bradley Herdt

Calling all Utah junior high and high school graphic designers!
Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012

The Business Education and the Information Technology Education specialists, at the Utah State Office of Education, are in the process of planning a combined summer conference for Utah educators. The organizers of this conference invite YOU (Utah junior high and high school students) to design the graphic for the conference program materials. The graphic will be printed on the program cover, welcome posters, vendor punch cards, and thank you cards. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your talent and creativity as you design a “unique graphic” for the conference.

Each entry will be judged by a state committee of Business Education and Information Technology Education teachers. One entry will be selected and the winner will receive one copy of Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 Design Standard. (This prize was generously donated by Adobe® and has a retail value of $1,299.) The winner will be announced by March 1, 2013.

Graphic requirements:
> Theme: Start Something that Matters
> Must be the work of a Utah junior high or high school student.
> Designs must consist of completely original artwork, absolutely NO clip-art or stock illustrations, and NO copyrighted material. Any typography must be licensed for free commercial use. Designs must be scalable to work in both large and small formats.

Entry requirements:
> Completed entry form.
> Student entering the contest must be willing to sign a media release.
> Graphic files should be submitted on a CD/DVD in a vector format when possible, JPEG or PNG if not.
> Include one color 8.5” x 11” inch landscape copy of the program cover design.
> Mail or deliver entry to:
Laura deShazo
Utah State Office of Education
250 East 500 South   P.O. Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200

Entries MUST be received by January 4, 2013.

The winning design will be the sole property of the Utah State Office of Education to be used in any manner. The winning designer will be fully credited with their design work. The winner’s name and picture will be featured on the conference program.

Important Note: Please understand that you will not be compensated for your design work. However, the winning design entry will be awarded one copy of Adobe® Creative Suite® 6 Design Standard.

January will be here before you know it, so don’t delay in creating your design entry for this contest. Good luck!

Contact: Andrea Curtin at the Utah State Office of Education at 801-538-7976.

HOSA Fall Leadership Conference

Monday, November 19th, 2012

By Denise Abbott, Health Science teacher at Timpview High School and HOSA State Advisor

On November 6, 2012, over 700 HOSA members and advisors participated in the annual HOSA Fall Leadership Conference at the Provo Marriott Hotel. Members were introduced to the new HOSA brand – HOSA: Future Health Professionals and the conference was built around the theme – HOSA: Up and Coming Healthcare Professionals. The keynote speaker was Linda Hill who described her 30 year battle with cancer. She talked about her healthcare heroes and why each one was important. Her inspirational words left members laughing and crying.

West High School HOSA

The leadership training sessions were provided by Patty Hendrickson, an expert in leadership development, whose vivacious and effervescent program motivated everyone to be a better version of themselves.

“Patty was very inspirational to me. I am going to remember her ‘I am glad you’re here’ statement to help all participants feel more valued in whatever activity we are doing,” says Parker Christensen, a student at Timpview High School.

Patty Hendrickson with HOSA State Officers

HOSA has adopted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as the National Service Project. HOSA attendees learned more about cystic fibrosis and spotlighted two families who have children battling with cystic fibrosis – The Ralph Anderson Family (Bonneville High School) and the Robbie Rauzi Family (Park City High School). James Anderson underwent a double lung transplant this past summer and seems to be doing better. Robbie’s wife, Shalyn, brought one of their two children with cystic fibrosis to the conference and described a typical day meeting the needs of cystic fibrosis children. HOSA members certainly left the conference moved to help these families and others find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

“I was so touched about the stories of the Anderson family and the Rauzi family.  I never realized what a person with cystic fibrosis has to do every single day. I am more motivated to really get  involved with this service project to make a difference,” says Mallory Benson, student at Park City High School.

HOSA members were introduced to the extensive competitive events program by Jen Christensen and other advisors who discussed tips and ideas for making the competitions much more successful. There are over 55 competitions that allow students to learn and develop both their leadership and technical skills. The HOSA members also participated in one of twelve leadership sessions or in the Virtual Healthcare Interactive – a live heart surgery presented by Intermountain Healthcare (Kara Kamereth). Many students expressed appreciation for being able to participate in what HOSA has to offer the future leaders and “up and coming” healthcare professionals.

If you are not a member of a HOSA and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the HOSA advisor in your school.

FFA: Food for All

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

What would your FFA chapter do with $2,500? Create a community garden? Grow protein sources to donate to the community? Or perhaps, host a community workshop? Start thinking about it now as you apply for the FFA: Food for All grant funded by Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. This grant will give FFA chapters the opportunity to help fight hunger in their community.

Who: Middle/junior high and high school FFA chapters.
What: FFA chapters may apply for up to $2,500 to support a year-long service-learning project
focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs.
When: Applications are due Monday, December 10, 2012 via email to LTS@ffa.org.
Why: To help fight hunger in your community through service-learning.
How: Visit www.ffa.org/foodforall for the application and additional information.

The Living to Serve Team will host the following informational webinars to provide guidance and support to interested chapters. The webinars are not mandatory, but will provide invaluable information as your chapter applies for a grant. To register for one of the webinars click one of the date links below.

Thursday, November 15 at 3:00 p.m. EST
Monday, November 19 at 6:00 p.m. EST
Wednesday, December 5 at 3:30 p.m. EST
Wednesday, December 5 at 6:00 p.m. EST

In 2012, FFA chapters funded through the FFA: Food for All grant program donated 147,725 pounds of produce, 10,668 pounds of meat and fish and 729 dozen eggs to their local communities.

Last year, the Springville High School FFA chapter was one out of 140 chapters nationwide who received an “FFA: Food for All” grant. The chapter used the money for supplies, equipment, and marketing of a 26,000 square foot community vegetable and herb garden. During the harvest season the chapter had a roadside stand once a week. All ripe produce was available for anyone in need and the leftover produce was taken to the Utah County Food Bank in Provo.

Don’t delay. Prepare your grant application NOW! Applications are due Monday, December 10, 2012.

Being Career Ready Means Good Jobs and Good Pay

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

By Gary Wixom
Assistant Commissioner for Career and Technical Education
Utah System of Higher Education

Over the last few years we have heard a lot about unemployment and the challenge that the “Great Recession” has brought to economies all around the world. Here in the United States the unemployment rate has stayed around 8 percent and may not significantly improve for some time to come.

Earlier this year, the McKinsey Global Institute released a report titled, “The world at work: Jobs, pay, and skills, for 3.5 billion people.” In this report, they indicated that the global labor force will grow to 3.5 billion by the year 2030. Students coming of age here in the United States during this time will be competing in this global environment for good jobs and good pay. The McKinsey report also indicates that we are experiencing a situation where joblessness remains a problem for many economies, with pools of youth with very poor employment prospects, and employers frustrated because they can’t find skilled workers. If this trend continues, economies across the world will have too few skilled workers to help their economies to grow and develop.

In order to be successful in this highly competitive workforce, students will need a different set of skills than those required in years past. The skills of the 21st century are requiring a combination of technical knowledge and skills, coupled with solid academic knowledge.

On October 18, 2012, the Career Readiness Partner Council issued a statement on what it means to be Career Ready. The report, titled “Building Blocks for Change: What it Means to be Career Ready,” is an effort by 27 organizations and companies to clearly define what it takes to be Career Ready.

A career-ready person effectively navigates pathways that connect education and employment to achieve a fulfilling, financially-secure and successful career. A career is more than just a job. Career readiness has no defined endpoint. To be career ready in our ever-changing global economy requires adaptability and a commitment to lifelong learning, along with mastery of key knowledge, skills and dispositions that vary from one career to another and change over time as a person progresses along a developmental continuum. Knowledge, skills and dispositions that are inter-dependent and mutually reinforcing. These include:

Academic and Technical Knowledge and Skills
A career-ready person is proficient in the core academic subjects, as well as in technical topics. This foundational knowledge base includes competence in a broad range of academic subjects grounded in rigorous internationally-benchmarked state standards—such as the common core state standards for English language arts and mathematics. It also includes a level of technical-skill proficiency aligned to a chosen career field and pathway, and the ability to apply both academic and technical l earning in the context of a career. Many careers also require deeper learning and mastery in specific academic or technical subjects.

Employability Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions
A career-ready person has a good understanding of their interests, talents and weaknesses and a solid grasp of the skills and dispositions necessary for engaging in today’s fast-paced, global economy. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Goal setting and planning;
  • Managing transitions from school to work and back again,
    and from one occupation along a career pathway to another;
  • Clear and effective communication skills;
  • Critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Working productively in teams and independently;
  • Effective use of technology; and
  • Ethical decision-making and social responsibility. 1

To be “career ready” students need to start early with a solid career plan. One of the advantages of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs is there is a clearly defined pathway to follow. In Utah, at the high school level, students can choose from over 60 CTE Pathways within eight Areas of Study. We know today, that most pathways that lead to good paying jobs require some form of postsecondary education. These 60 CTE Pathways will lead to a variety of certificates or degrees at Utah’s postsecondary institutions that do lead to good jobs with good pay.

Decide today to be Career Ready by following a CTE Pathway and acquire the academic and technical knowledge and skills, plus the employability knowledge, skills and dispositions that lead to success.

1 http://careerreadynow.org/docs/CRPC_4pagerB.pdf


CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school seniors, NOW is the time to prepare your portfolio and apply for a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award. Eligible candidates are those who are: (1) planning on attending a postsecondary institution in a CTE program that is a two-year associate degree program or less (preceding immediate employment in that area) OR (2) those who are planning to teach in a CTE program area (a four-year program).

Who: CTE high school seniors
What: CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award
Where: Scholarships and Tuition Awards offered at a Utah postsecondary institution
When: Scholarship and Tuition Award winners notified on Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Why: Receive up to one year’s tuition ONLY for CTE training after high school
How: Create a portfolio by following the application instructions HERE 

DEADLINE: Applications MUST be postmarked by Monday, February 25, 2013

Last year over 200 CTE seniors applied for a CTE Scholarship and Tuition Award. Due to the limited number of available scholarships 98 seniors received an award. Each year the pool of applicants increases and the competition among those applicants grows intensifies. So, don’t delay in preparing your portfolio and submitting your application!

At least some postsecondary education or training has become the entry-level requirement for many jobs. By the year 2020, two out of three jobs will require some postsecondary education or training.1 CTE is an essential component in filling these job openings. The jobs of today require advanced skills and technical training. Students wanting to stay competitive in the job market need specific training, education, and skills to compete successfully.

CTE Scholarships and Tuition Awards Banquet

1Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay Along the Way to the B.A.

DECA Fall Leadership Conference

Monday, November 5th, 2012

By Carley Herrick
Utah DECA State President

Over 400 Utah DECA members recently made the trip up the canyon to the beautiful town of Park City for the annual DECA Fall Leadership Conference. During the opening session of the conference, DECA members had the opportunity to hear from local entrepreneur Alan Martin, CEO of Campus Book Rentals, who gave an inspiring speech about overcoming barriers and achieving success. Students then had the chance to attend breakout sessions where they enhanced their leadership abilities with the U.S. Army, worked on their competition skills with success coach and former DECA member Michelle McCullough, and earned a chance to win cash prizes as they learned about teen marketing from Mountain America Credit Union. Later that evening, students showed off their moves at the DECA dance while helping to raise money for one of Utah DECA’s long time advisors whose son suffers from cystic fibrosis and recently underwent a double lung transplant.

The next morning, members woke up bright and early for an intensive competition training session. After orientation, students participated in partner role-plays where they had a chance to demonstrate their business and marketing expertise as they worked to find creative, effective solutions to real world business situations. After their presentation, students had an opportunity to get valuable feedback from their judges. Soon after, students packed up their bags and said goodbye to their newfound friends as they headed back to their different schools with all the knowledge and skills they need to thrive over the coming year. The success of the conference can be summoned up with a quote from a first year DECA member, “I seriously knew nothing about DECA and now I feel like it’s part of me. I’m so excited about DECA, Fall Leadership has been an incredible experience!”

If you’re not a member of a DECA, and would like to become a member, talk to your school counselor to get connected with the DECA advisor in your school.

Work to Help People

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Human service workers serve people who need various kinds of help. These workers create plans to meet individual circumstances. Human service workers may be employed by either public or private agencies or organizations – such as employment agencies, food banks, legal assistance centers, disaster relief organizations, and others. Their clients might be elderly or young, or might have a physical disability or mental illness, or may be struggling with a personal problem or challenging situation. Human service workers coordinate services to ensure that clients recover and maintain well-being.

The demand for human service workers will increase as the population grows. However, workers in many of these occupations may earn less than others with similar levels of education. The rewards of this work are more likely to be found in the good feelings that come from helping others. Sometimes people are drawn to the human service field by overcoming a difficulty of their own. Their own experiences give them an edge in developing positive relationships with their clients. Other important worker characteristics include:

  • interpersonal communication skills, 
  • both creative and
  • analytical thinking skills,
  • the ability to work on a team,
  • patience.
You can start preparing for a career in human services by participating in the Family and Human Services Pathway in high school, including involvement in FCCLA. Many human service workers have postsecondary training as well, with degrees in human services, counseling, social work or psychology. The level of responsibility you have in a human services job is often decided by your education level, but work experience is also important.

Review specific human service occupations and find schools that offer related programs using UtahFutures.