TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Elizabeth Suneby

Liz Suneby is the author of books for children and teens, including “The Mitzvah Project Book: Making Mitzvah Part of Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah” and “Your Life”, published by Jewish Lights, and the Children’s Choice award-winning “See What You Can Be: Explore Careers That Could Be For You.”

Posted April 19, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Inspiring Girls to Pursue STEM

Why is it so important for girl students to study science, technology, engineering, and math? To Drive Innovation STEM education for girls ensures that our society benefits from the talents of the entire population. “If we can’t embrace the most basic level of diversity, then we’ve squandered half of the brain power available to us to make the world a better place,” asserts Adriane Brown, President & Chief Operating Officer of Intellectual Ventures, a firm that invests in inventors and innovative technologies. Brown captures the most universally compelling reason the world needs gender equity in STEM-related professions—without females, the field ...

Posted April 9, 2014, 1 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
The Harsh Reality of Teens Texting and Driving

U Drive. U Text. U Pay. That’s the theme of a much-needed TV commercial created by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). It is a commercial every teen and every driver should pay attention to. Chances Are Your Teen Texts and Drives The huge number of teens who drive while distracted by their cell phones is frightening. Distraction.gov, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, reveals the startling statistic that more than 70 percent of teens and young adults have sent or read a text while driving. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 69 percent of ...

Posted March 31, 2014, 10:23 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Turning STEM into STEAM

We have all heard the popular rallying cry. Advances in science, technology, engineering, and math—STEM fields—will drive innovation and put America back on the road to economic prosperity. But a growing group of people and institutions recognize the equally crucial role of art and design in invention and advocate incorporating art into STEM, transforming it into “STEAM.” Combining Left and Right Brain Thinking The recognition of the collaborative power of art and science is not new. Think about iconic Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo Da Vinci known for his masterpiece paintings as well as his flying machine concepts. Or the early ...

Posted March 30, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Turning STEM into STEAM Pt. II

In the movement towards STEAM education, high schools and colleges have been paving the way. High Schools The lead art teacher at Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts is making good on RISD’s second objective for the STEAM movement. For several years, RISD alumnus and art teacher Meghan Reilly Michaud has partnered with the high school’s math department to teach “Geometry Through the Lens of Art,” a museum field trip during which students examine the ways that artistic perspectives and geometric concepts are inherently related. Due to her advocacy, Andover has officially incorporated STEAM into their 2013 – 2015 system-side ...

Posted March 29, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments

Along with students and businesses, artists also find insipration in science. Other Times, Scientists Inspire Artists Sculptor Rebecca Kamen was motivated by the work of 19th Century Spaniard Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience. The scientist’s drawings of the human retina launched the artist’s sculpture series, her three-month residency at the National Institute of Health, and trip to Madrid to conduct research in Cajal’s archives. RISD alumna Rebecca Kamen works with scientists to help visualize research. (From STEM to STEAM web site: http://www.risd.edu/about/news/2013/visualizing-the-unseen/ ) While studying mathematics at Yale University, Bathsheba Grossman dabbled in a few art ...

Posted March 28, 2014, noon by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Advice and Ideas for Empty-Nester Parents

I learned about the benefits of teens taking a year between high school and college — whether they work, volunteer, attend an academic program, or travel — when I was conducting research for an article titled, “Live and Learn: The Advantages of Taking a Gap Year,” for Boston Magazine’s fall education issue. Data shows that after a gap year, students enter college with more focus and maturity, and earn higher grades. But my favorite gap year anecdote comes from a mom, not a kid. Cindy Buser’s youngest child went off to college this school year. On her LinkedIn page, she ...

Posted March 27, 2014, noon by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Second Semester High School Seniors Enjoy Senior Spring

Even before the snow melts, crocus pop through the frozen ground, and temperatures rise, two simple words — senior spring — illicit a great big sigh of relief from high school seniors across the country. Some have already been accepted to colleges of their choice. While others are still waiting to hear, their college applications are long gone and grades to date have already been submitted. Whatever happens now, well, happens now. Carpe Diem Instead of living for the future, senior spring is all about living in the moment. As I write this blog post, my high school senior is ...

Posted March 26, 2014, 2 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Books to Read Over Vacation

When my daughter was in middle school, she and I were invited to join a mother daughter book group. The group read age-appropriate books and got together to enjoy a light meal followed by a discussion led by the daughter of the mom hosting the group. But, by the time the girls entered high school, they had too much homework to allow time to read a book-group-book for pleasure during the school year. During most months of the school year we read articles instead. Books were reserved for vacations and summer. Whether your children participate in a book group or ...

Posted March 26, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Teen Dating Violence

Abusive relationships know no age limits. Unfortunately, they often start with teenagers. Youth between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence. In the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.4 percent of high school students report being “hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend” in the 12 months prior to the survey. In addition, one in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been “hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt” by their ...

Posted March 25, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Mother-Daughter Book Group

When my daughter was in 9th grade, she and I were invited to join a long-standing mother-daughter book group that began in elementary school. I’ve heard that when the girls were young, they loved reading the selected books, preparing questions, answering questions, socializing, and eating dinner together in a big group. Book Group By the time we had joined the group, the girls’ homework load prohibited us from reading books except during school vacations and summers. Instead, we read a thought-provoking article or two about every six weeks. The girls typically race through the articles an hour or so before ...

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