Happy Women’s History Month

10 Things you may not know about Women’s History Month.

  • National Women’s History Month traces its roots to March 8th 1857, when women from various New York City factories staged a protest over poor working conditions.  The first Women’s Day celebration in the US was 1909, also in New York City
  • Women’s History Month started as a weekly celebration in 1978 and became Women’s History Month in 1987
  • Every Women’s History Month has a theme. 
    The 2022 theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”
  • Wyoming Territory was the first place to grant women the right to vote.
  • The first Female State Governor was Nellie Tayloe Ross.
  • The 19th Amendment didn’t give all women the right to vote.
  • Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb was the first woman to pass astronaut testing in 1961.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to earn a medical degree in the U.S.
  • Title IX was passed on March 1st 1972.  Title IX prohibits discrimination due to sex in federally funded education programs.
  • Women could not get credit cards until 1974.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss.

“Who is Dr. Seuss?”  If you were to ask this of a younger student, you will most likely receive an answer about the Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham.

But who really was Dr. Seuss?

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor (Ted) Suess Geisel in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

President Teddy Roosevelt left Dr. Seuss with permanent stage fright.

Ted Geisel was your typical teenager.  He had a passion for writing cartoons.  During World War I, at the age of 14, Ted sold war bonds and was 1 of 10 scouts recognized by President Teddy Roosevelt as one of Springfield’s top sellers.  What you may not know is that during this recognition ceremony President Roosevelt was only given 9 medals to present to the young boys.  Ted Geisel was number 10 and when President Roosevelt reached Ted, he gruffly bellowed, “What’s this little boy doing here?”  Honor quickly became humiliation as the flustered scoutmaster shuffled Ted off stage.  This event had a lifelong impact on our beloved Dr. Suess, who from that day on dreaded public appearances.

Dr. Seuss failed over 25 times as a writer.

The day Dr. Suess received his 27th rejection from a publisher he headed home with plans to burn his manuscript in the apartment’s incinerator.  As luck would have it, he ran into an old college friend, Mike McClintock, who that very morning had started a new job as an editor in the children’s section at Vanguard Press.  Within hours, a contract was signed. 

In 1937 Dr. Seuss’s extraordinary career was launched when Vanguard Press published And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Dr. Suess was quoted saying, “If I had walked down the other side of Madison Avenue, I’d be in the dry-cleaning business today.”

Dr. Seuss could not draw Horton the Elephant anymore
and turned his art political.

As Nazi tanks rolled into Paris in 1940, Dr. Seuss was compelled to express his feelings visually.  He drew over 400 editorial cartoons.  These cartoons included stereotypical and inflammatory depictions of Japanese leaders and xenophobic cartoons portraying Japanese Americans as disloyal.

Dr. Seuss wielded his pen for the U.S. Army in World War II.

In 1943, Captain Theodor Geisel reported for duty and got to work producing animated training films, booklets, and documentaries.  He created cartoons featuring Private Snafu, a bumbling GI with the looks of Elmer Fudd and the voice of Bugs Bunny whose missteps were a warning to enlisted men.  Work created during this time was used in 1947 when Dr. Seuss and his wife, Helen, used it as the basis for their screenplay “Design for Death” which earned an academy award.

Dr. Seuss’s personal life was filled with sadness.

Dr. Seuss’s wife, Helen Geisel, struggled for more than a decade with partial paralysis. Her failing health led to depression.  The despair worsened with suspicions that her husband was having affair with a close friend, (who would later become Dr. Suess’s second wife).  Sadly, in 1967, at the age of 68, Helen took her own life. 

Connecting with children, however never having his own.

Helen Geisel was unable to bear children and Dr. Seuss did not father any children with his second wife, Audrey.  When asked how he connected with children despite not having his own, he answered, “You have them, and I will entertain them.”

The Power of 3D Printing

Simply put, 3D printing is scary for many teachers. They are not afraid that the printer will start printing aliens that will take over the planet. However, they are scared of the unknown. Scared of the questions that come along with the technology. How do I use it? How do I integrate this into my classroom and subjects? How do I connect this technology to the curriculum and not become a distraction? Once you get past the fear, this technology will impact your students in such a great way; you will ask yourself, Why didn’t I start this program years ago.

3D printing is not about printing trinkets. Yes printing your students favorite TV character is exciting, however integrating this excitement and connecting it to your lesson is what makes this such a powerful tool. 3D printing can unleash creativity, problem-solving, entrepreneurial thinking, and so much more.

Definition of an engaged student.

The answer to this question seemed evident until my 10-year-old son showed me otherwise. For the past 25 years, I have provided technology solutions to schools. We were considering adding 3D printers to our product line. However, 3D printing was very new, and many of our school partners who purchased 3D printers shared that the systems were sitting, collecting dust. This feedback made us very hesitant in adding this technology to our portfolio.

As a self-proclaimed “tinker,” I had decided to purchase a DIY 3D printer that you had to build. I wanted to learn about this technology. One night (after many evenings of tinkering), I was in my home office, and my 10-Year-old son poked his head in the door to say good night. My son asked “how were things coming with the 3D printer?” I replied that I was getting ready to print my first test cube. My son came in and watched me calibrate the printer’s home position. I figured he would be bored in a couple of minutes and head off to bed, when to my surprise, he asks, “Does that work with the X and Y-Axis?” This question caught me by surprise. My son is an average B-C student. He does very well in subjects that interest him, and he does the minimum in those that do not. So, this question was not typical.
I answered by saying, “yes, it does. It uses an X, Y, and Z-axis. Z is the vertical or up and down Axis.” His response was, “Hmm,” we learned about the X and Y-Axis last year, and I remember thinking, when am I ever going to need to know this stuff.” We then spent 30 minutes discussing all the different operating products using the X and Y-Axis. This interaction got me thinking. How many other average students would be engaged in the X and Y axis lesson if a 3D printer engaged them?
The 3D printing part just connected the dots for my son.
I then realized the definition of an engaged student.