Mar 14 2014

DO-IT’s new UDHE: Promising Practices publication

Category: BreakThru Resourceadmin @ 6:02 pm
Cover of the book

Universal Design in Higher Education: Promising Practices

Check out DO-IT’s new Universal Design in Higher Education (UDHE): Promising Practices publication at
in which practitioners share promising practices related to the application of universal design in postsecondary education settings. This collection of promising practices complements the more general content presented in the printed book Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice ( published by Harvard Education Press.

There are three versions of the new “book” freely available online.
Select “Universal Design in Higher Education: Promising Practices online version” to access the HTML, fully accessible version.
Select “Universal Design in Higher Education: Promising Practices PDFs” to access copies of individual sections of the publication or one large file that are formatted for printing.

Throughout the publication readers are explicitly given permission to print and distribute individual articles and other sections of the book for noncommercial educational purposes.

The collection in the online publication will continue to grow as more articles are submitted. BreakThru encourages others to contribute an articles. Guidelines for submitting an article are included in the Preface of all versions of the publication.

This books efforts can contribute to broadening participation in education and careers through inclusive practices and enhancing academic and career fields with the talents and perspectives of individuals with disabilities.

Publication link:

Mar 07 2014

TAG-Ed Announces Second Annual Georgia STEM Day on May 9, 2014

Category: BreakThru Resource,Student BreakThruadmin @ 7:45 pm

outline of state of georgia with pictures of science,technology, engineering or math related drawings, examples beakers, protractors, light bulbs, etc.

Georgia STEM Day, May 9th

TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed), the Technology Association of Georgia’s charitable organization dedicated to preparing the next-generation workforce, is collaborating with the Georgia Department of Education and over 40 Georgia education institutions, associations, and STEM-based companies to support the second annual Georgia STEM Day on May 9th 2014.

STEM Day is a statewide opportunity for schools, students, teachers, and companies to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), in order to help students make the critical connection between the classroom and their future careers. Last year, over 300,000 students across 50 school districts participated in the inaugural celebration of STEM Day.

“With the success of the first STEM Day, our objective for this year is to continue to raise awareness about STEM education and the opportunities for students in exciting STEM related careers,” said Michael Robertson, executive director of TAG-Ed. “Moving forward, we hope that STEM Day will be celebrated on an annual basis by each student in every school across Georgia.”

Teachers, students and companies will be able to find STEM Day activities, ideas, and information on TAG-Ed’s website:

“With the demand for qualified workers in STEM fields increasing every day, it is critically important that we provide our students with the skills they need to be successful in science, technology, math and engineering,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “It is my hope that by highlighting STEM Day in Georgia, more students will find a passion for this area of study and choose a STEM pathway.”

Additionally, participants of STEM Day have the opportunity to be recognized for the Technology Association of Georgia’s STEM Education Awards, held on September 26 in Savannah, Ga.

The STEM Education Awards were created to recognize and honor schools, extracurricular programs, and corporations for outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering, and math education in Georgia.

To learn more or to register your class or organization for Georgia STEM Day, please visit TAG-Ed’s website: To follow the conversation on Twitter, track #GASTEMDay.

Feb 18 2014

BreakThru featured on Georgia Tech website

Category: BreakThru News,BreakThru Pressadmin @ 3:14 pm

Avatars in Second Life are relaxing in the BreakThru cafe

Avatars in Second Life's BreakThru cafe

BreakThru received recognition from Georgia Tech. Check it out!

STEM Students Sought for Virtual Mentoring Program

Entrepreneurs and innovators of late are keen on applying the idea of gamification, or introducing aspects of gaming into other products and services. In one campus program, it’s now being applied to mentoring.

BreakThru, a virtual mentoring program funded by the National Science Foundation, pairs science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students with learning or physical disabilities and challenges with mentors who are faculty, staff, or employed in industry. Most of the mentoring takes place in the virtual world Second Life.

Click here to finish reading the article from Georgia Tech news

Feb 04 2014

Summer Academy at UGA for middle and high school students

Category: STEM BreakThru,Student BreakThruadmin @ 2:43 pm

Summer Academy at UGA is an exciting series of specialty summer camps for middle school and high school students who want to do amazing things. Whether you dream about becoming a film director, doctor, scientist or artist, we have a summer camp just right for you!

Summer Academy at UGA programs are designed to let you live out your dreams. You can immerse yourself in any world you choose, from photography to video game design to aviation to comic book art. You’ll work with experts in the field to get practical, hands-on experience, and receive helpful advice on how to get where you want to go. And you’ll do it all while having a really great time!
Summer Academy registration opens on February 10, 2014.

For more information, visit

Jan 14 2014

Live Chat: The Making (or Breaking) of a Science Major, Thursday January 16 at 3pm

Category: BreakThru News,STEM BreakThru,Student BreakThruadmin @ 7:00 pm

Susan Singer, Hal Salzman, And Jeffrey Mervis

Picking a college major—and sticking with it—can be a tricky business. And that’s especially true for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degrees, according to conventional wisdom. Few U.S. college students have the necessary academic background to transfer into a STEM field, experts say, and many women and minority students who want to pursue STEM degrees are said to be frozen out by a chilly climate. Many business and academic leaders say the low entry and high attrition rates have led to a dearth of tech-savvy workers and a national innovation crisis. But two new studies raise questions about the accuracy of both those assumptions and suggest that the flow into STEM fields is more of a two-way street than a leaky pipeline.

Click here for more information about this Live Chat

Oct 09 2013

Bender Virtual Career Fair, Tomorrow, October 10, 2013

Category: BreakThru News,Business & Industry BreakThruadmin @ 7:38 pm

This Thursday, October 10, 2013 is the Bender Virtual Career Fair – Employment for People with Disabilities.

Are you a student or alumni with a disability
looking for a Job, Internship or Co-op?

This Virtual Career Fair is FREE for students and alumni with disabilities to attend. Unique opportunity for College students & College grads with disabilities to meet online with employers across the nation including American Airlines, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, Cigna, FAA, PwC, Peace Corps, USDA, Verizon & More Great Employers! Students and alumni are invited to interact with employers via chat sessions.

  2. Access opportunities within a wide range of careers.
    - Chat with employers across the nation
    - Public and private sector opportunities

  4. Participate from the comfort of your home,
    your dorm room or your favorite coffee shop!
    - Discuss careers with multiple employers
    - End-to-end accessible technology platform

  6. Save time and money.
    -No business suit required
    - No printed out resumes necessary

Register at

For Information: Email: or call 770.980.0088

Sep 19 2013

Mentor Kick-off a success!

Tuesday September 17, 2013 was BreakThru’s Annual Mentor Kick-off. The event took place on the Second Life BreakThru island. New and old mentors joined BreakThru staff to learn about new material for mentors as well as the required mentoring benchmarks. BreakThru staff also delivered the new Mentor Primer.

The Mentor Primer covers special sections on different disabilities and offers mentoring tips such as: a list of characteristics associated with that disability, real-world classroom support ideas, assistive technology support and communication tips. The Primer also hosts an extensive list of e-mentoring mediums and social medias such as: Facebook, Twitter, Blog, BreakThru website, Second Life, Skype, and Google. Each section provides information and tips on how to use these various tools.

To watch the YouTube recording of the event please click here: Mentor Kick-off video

Click here for more information about Georgia BreakThru

Aug 22 2013

Egyptian girl, Aisha Mustafa, invents new space propulsion system

Category: BreakThru News,STEM BreakThru,Student BreakThruadmin @ 1:06 pm

A physics student from Egypt’s Sohag University, Aisha Mustafa, 19, has patented a new type of propulsion system based on quantum theory that she says could propel space probes and artificial satellites without using any fuel.

According Gizmodo, Aisha’s new system exploits the quirky laws of quantum physics which state that in spite of appearances, space really is not vacuum but that it is a seething cauldron of fundamental particle interactions involving creation and destruction of “virtual particles.”

Mustafa believes it is possible to use vacuum energy fields to create propulsion and build spacecraft propulsion systems that need little or no fuel to travel in space. According to Fast Company, Mustafa is betting on exploiting quantum effects involved in dynamic Casimir effect and the Casimiri-Polder force. She uses two silicon metallic plates in a vacuum, “like capacitors placed a few micrometers apart.” The plates interact with the virtual photons in the quantum field and generate a net force that is either an attraction or a repulsion depending on their arrangement.

Read full article at Digital Journal:

May 31 2013

Teen Develops Computer Algorithm to Diagnose Leukemia

Category: BreakThru News,Student BreakThruadmin @ 7:50 pm
Brittany Wenger with her computer app

Brittany Wenger

Brittany Wenger isn’t your average high-school senior: She taught the computer how to diagnose leukemia.

The 18-year-old student from Sarasota, Fla. built a custom, cloud-based “artificial neural network” to find patterns in genetic expression profiles to diagnose patients with an aggressive form of cancer called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL). Simply put, this means Wenger taught the computer how to diagnose leukemia by creating a diagnostic tool for doctors to use.

Since artificial neural networks are programs that model the brain’s neurons and their interconnections, Wenger told Mashable that they “can actually learn to detect things that transcend human knowledge.”

Mixed-lineage leukemia generally has poor prognosis, and the five-year survival rate is only 40%. Since Wenger said “different types of cancer have different molecular fingerprints,” she discovered four particular gene expressions in the body that can be targeted to create MLL-specific drugs. Not only did she create a powerful diagnostic tool for this cancer, but her findings might also help develop new treatments.

Full article at Mashable

May 31 2013

Young Adults With Autism Can Thrive In High-Tech Jobs

Category: BreakThru News,BreakThru Pressadmin @ 7:29 pm
two young people working on a computer with a stylus pen

Amelia Schabel, 23, works with art director Andrew LaBounty at the nonPareil Institute in Plano, Texas.

The job hunt is complicated enough for most high school and college graduates — and even tougher for the growing number of young people on the autism spectrum. Despite the obstacles that people with autism face trying to find work, there’s a natural landing place: the tech industry.

Amelia Schabel graduated from high school five years ago. She had good grades and enrolled in community college. But it was too stressful. After less than a month she was back at home, doing nothing.

“I did go to a community college for a semester, but that definitely was not for me,” she says.

Schabel has , a disorder on the “high functioning” end of the autism spectrum.

According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 88 children in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder. For people like Schabel, attending college and interacting socially can be tough.

“I can look someone in the eye and talk to them,” she says, “but if someone treats me in a way I don’t think I deserve to be treated, I’m not going to react well. I may lash out, I may not speak to them, I may just glare.”

Although symptoms and their severity vary widely, the majority of young adults with autism spectrum disorder won’t make it to college and won’t get a job after they graduate. This year alone, 50,000 adolescents with autism will turn 18.

Full article at

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