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Apr 20

CREC Aerospace Wins First and Third at 2017 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair

(Windsor, CT) The CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering captured first and third place in the physical sciences division of the 2017 Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair at Quinnipiac University. Senior High Team members, Chris Rinaldi, Vishakh Talanki and Jean Pasato won first place for testing the effect of aerodynamic leaf design on electrical power generation through a network of vertically aligned micro wind turbines. Senior High School teammates, Janine Albert and Chandni Patel, won third place for their work with polymer blends. Other students who were recognized or participated include:Finalist – Jay Aindow2nd Honors – Nikhil BhatArshad Bhura, Malavika Madan, and Alexa Wilson – Pfizer Life Sciences Award- Finalist Life Science Senior High Team – CSF medallionPreksha Gupta, Artem Boyko, and Zirui HaoAlexandra Smith and Sreenidhi NairMarissa Guzzo – Award from the Society for In Vitro BiologyJason Vailionis – Mu Alpha Theta AwardBrianna Mailloux Ashley ShafranSpencer Scutt Kyla ThomasThe Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair is a yearly, statewide science and engineering fair open to all students in 7th through 12th grades residing, or enrolled, in Connecticut schools and Fishers Island. An important objective of the program is to attract young people to careers in science and engineering while developing skills essential to critical thinking. Through science fair participation, students are encouraged to pursue independent work using proper research methods. About 120 schools and regional fairs send students to the CSEF. These students compete for the 600 available spaces at the state fair.###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org....

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Apr 5

CREC Arts Academy Junior Roshae Harrison Turned Racist Encounter into Winning Poem

Roshae Harrison, a 16-year-old black girl from Hartford, was once a blond and her hair color – she was in the process of going purple – attracted racist slurs from a man on the street.“He called me the N-word and said I shouldn’t have blond hair. I just had to keep walking,” said Roshae, a junior at the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School. “That happened a long time ago and I hadn’t thought about it until the presidential campaign.”The experience turned into a poem, the winning poem in the 2017 Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens Student Poetry Competition. The prize includes a $1,000 scholarship. Roshae was honored at a reception at the University of Connecticut and performed her poem in front of students at Greater Hartford Classical Magnet High School.The poem, “What You Told Me,” opens with a description of her experience and the advice her parents gave her.“They told me the only way to defeat people like that is to get an education, that I need to go to college, learn more about where I come from and learn how to be an activist for my people,” Roshae said. “It’s a call to action about how the parents of minorities have to teach their children different lessons than what white people go through, like how to address the police, how to walk down the street, what to say to people, how to talk to people, all that stuff to protect you from bad things happening because of the color of your skin.”Roshae has been writing since she was 10. She started with profuse, emotional journal entries that evolved into poetry and then short fiction. When she’s not composing poems she writes short horror stories and she recently started dabbling with sci-fi. Edgar Allan Poe and Langston Hughes are among her favorite writers. She sees herself possibly becoming a journalist or a lawyer down the line....

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Apr 5

CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Hosts Basketball Clinic at CREC River Street School

On March 13, the students in the extended stay program at River Street School were treated to a basketball clinic put on by the girls’ basketball team from the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering.As part of their community service, the team decided to stay close to home to work on a project with their Windsor neighbors - the students at River Street. Head Coach Jane Manby and her players walked over to River Street School to lead the clinic. Sixteen students participated in 45 minutes of dribbling, passing, and shooting drills. The activity was a great success with all of the students actively participating. Team members were especially enthusiastic and encouraging towards the RSS students. John Kaplan, extended day program manager, told the coach that the students don’t often get opportunities to interact with "typical" peers and that this was truly a special activity for them. At the conclusion of the clinic, the girls and students lined up and exchanged "hi-fives" as the RSS students returned to their classrooms. The CREC Public Safety Academy’s boys’ basketball team put on a similar activity earlier in the year. The extended day program has also established a relationship with students from the Loomis Chaffee School who come throughout the year for joint recreational activities. All of these activities offer the RSS students opportunities to socialize and interact with "typical" peers within the school setting. They also offer the students from the other programs an opportunity to learn about and interact with people on the Autism Spectrum....

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Apr 5

Juvenile Detention Center Education Program Students Engage in Lesson about Air Resistance

Students in the CREC Juvenile Detention Center Education Program spent a day in March learning the effects of air resistance on falling objects. The lesson, taught with parachutes, was part of the Connecticut Science Center Outreach Program.During the visit, organized by HJDC science teacher, Everett Hillman, students created and tested parachutes to determine how air resistance affects falling objects. Science learning was enhanced for both staff and students as everyone participated in this hands-on enrichment activity. Two of our students’ parachutes were selected by the program facilitators to be displayed at the Science Center in Hartford. The program was funded by a grant from the CT Science Center....

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Apr 5

Autism Awareness Month Feature: Dental Desensitization Program Developed at CREC River Street School is Growing

Seven years ago, behavior analysts and nurses at the CREC River Street School Autism Program at the Birken Campus developed a Dental Desensitization Program to help a child with autism who was unable to sit through routine dental visits without being restrained or sedated. The program succeeded in teaching the child to tolerate exams without behaviors, and she began visiting the dentist on a more regular basis. Since then, the program has grown to include more and more children, a simulated dental suite and partnerships with multiple organizations around the state.This procedure, developed in 2010, utilized a comprehensive strategy that breaks down the dental routine into very small steps and reinforces toleration to each step. When the child exhibited avoidance behaviors, we reinforced her for completing previously mastered steps and then reintroduced an easier version of the avoided step. Initially, staff used space in the school nurse’s office as a practice area. Over time and with donations from community dentists, a simulated dental suite with dental chair and modified dental instruments was completed. Also, we developed a relationship with the Dental Coordinator for the CT Department of Developmental Services and directors of the Dental Hygiene program at Lincoln College of New England – Southington Campus. Students in the Associate Degree program in dental hygiene travel to our school, weekly, to learn about our strategy and work with our children. Through this collaboration, our children are provided exposure to health care professionals and the dental hygiene students gain knowledge and practical experience that can transfer to helping children with autism in community dental offices. Recently, we partnered with dental students and professors at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine (UConn) and the UConn Special Care Dentistry Interest Group. The students provide generalization opportunities for our children at the UConn Kane Street Special Care Connection Program in West Hartford. These visits allow our children to experience the sights, smells, and sounds of the actual dental office setting. Our partnerships with Lincoln College and UConn have enhanced learning for our children and increased the likelihood of their success during their own community dental visits. Lastly, we presented our program at annual conferences including the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT) and the Connecticut Association for Behavior Analysis (CTABA). Recently, the CT Department of Public Health invited us to present information about our program to dental hygienists servicing children with special needs in local school districts. We are very excited about all of our opportunities and hope to continue to promote better dental health outcomes for children with autism.For information about our program, please contact Dianne Soucy, MA, BCBA and Jocelyn Pardi ,RN @ (860) 727-8481....

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Mar 2

CREC Releases PBandMath

CREC’s Studio 111 has released its first product, an online application called PBandMath. Studio 111 (www.crec.org/dart/studio111), CREC’s application development wing, has released its first product, a web-based app called PBandMath that generates Common Core-aligned math problems for elementary school teachers. This really cool app will help reduce the amount of time teachers in grades 1 through 5 spend writing practice problems for their students. Using PBandMath, teachers can build a bank of math word problems in minutes and print them out or display them using an interactive white board projector. Studio 111 was established within CREC's Data Analysis, Research & Technology (DART) division to create innovative solutions for educational problems using technology and software. The studio develops compelling, educational applications and aims to establish a software innovation pipeline within CREC to help cultivate internal ideas into original, extraordinary products. “Working with our own CREC teachers, we were able to make a product that not only saves teachers time, but is also fun and engaging to use in the classroom,” said Rob Steller, product manager. External organizations and entities may also contract with Studio 111 for application development of their own design. Teachers can access many features of PBandMath for free. For more information checkout their website: pbandmath.com...

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Mar 1

CREC Online Learning Portal

Online learning technology is constantly changing and CREC is most definitely keeping up with the times!Our teaching professionals and management staff across the region are continually asking us and searching for alternative modes of teaching that offer creative, hands-on, real-time and evergreen learning opportunities for students and educators. Kristen Raymond, Assistant Principal at Thomaston High School stated recently, “The CREC Online Learning Portal is an important avenue that is giving my students opportunities to develop individual and balanced educational plans with options that are just not always available through the school. This year I have already enrolled 13 of my students and am so pleased that a majority of them are working on additional World Language courses.”Kathy Randall, CREC Online Learning Coordinator, couldn’t agree more and is proud of the work done recently to update the CREC Online Portal. “Our Portal has a major goal: to entice regional students, parents and learning professionals to take advantage of and enhance their available study time through technology with new and improved courseware that embrace all types of learning styles,” she said. “Simply put, the CREC Online Portal is available with great courses when you need them.”CREC On-Line Learning Portal is accessible from home and offers virtual learning opportunities for students of all levels from those with medical issues to those with learning disabilities and advanced learners looking for the next AP challenge to educators looking for professional development, and everyone in between.If you are not yet acquainted with us, we invite you to take a look at the CREC On-line Portal at http://crec.gennet.us/. Our multiple vendors offer over 2,500 courses that are available around the clock. Take a look, give us a call and we can get you started on a new pathway to learning....

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