Spring is Coming

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Image from Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.

 

Punxsutawney Phil will break his hibernation this morning in hopes of Spring. Legend says we will have 6 more weeks of Winter should Phil cast a shadow. Regardless, the seasons are inevitable and proper planning should always be observed. The Student Opportunity Center is no different; though we aren’t looking over our shoulders at our shadows, we are looking forward.

As the people of Punxsutawney make their pilgrimage to Gobbler’s Knob, we here at S.O.C. are preparing for our yearly pilgrimage to Collin College. F.I.S.D. and Collin College have collaborated on a College and Career Showcase and Job Fair. This event will be split between The Preston Ridge (Frisco) and Spring Creek (Plano) campuses for C.C.

Spring Creek Campus:

March 27, 2018

9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Preston Ridge Campus:

April 12, 2018

9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Upwards of 75 students from the Student Opportunity Center will be attending the Career Fair at the Preston Ridge campus in April. Collin College has graciously given our students Special Guest status and will not charge them an admission fee. (We are currently negotiating the travel expenses and will have information forthcoming.)

Prior to these two dates, the Spring Creek campus is offering a week of workshops and break-out sessions regarding hard and soft career/academic skills. These include:

  • Linked-In (what is it and how do I get connected?)
  • Resume/Cover Letter Writing
  • Networking Basics
  • Practicing your 60 second elevator pitch
  • Professional Headshots

The dates for these sessions are March 19th-March 23rd. We have not decided which of the sessions our students will be attending but are looking at the calendar and will have specific details later this month.

As part of our preparation for the event(s), a group of students took the pre-assessment for the T.S.I. (Texas Success Initiative), Collin College’s entrance exam, on Monday. Students will take the full exam in March. This will be the 2nd round of T.S.I. testing conducted here at S.O.C. this year.

Though Punxsutawney Phil only emerges for a short time and quickly retires to the comfort of his home, we here at S.O.C. work tirelessly to offer our students myriad opportunities to develop, benefit from, and showcase their many talents and strengths.

Mark your calendars. Spring is coming!

*Highlights from last year’s Career Fair:

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SMART Art

Our students have an afternoon “recess” period, known as SMART (Student Movement And Relaxation Time).  One of the options for our students is Art, where students have the opportunity to express their creative side.  With and extensive collection of donated items, students can color or make jewelry in a relaxing environment.

Often we have holiday specific crafts for students to enjoy.  Back in October, students had the opportunity to make haunted houses from cookie kits.  The houses were challenging to keep together, but nonetheless fun to do.  And eating the extra candy was a bonus!WP_20171030_13_38_00_ProWP_20171030_13_38_04_ProWP_20171030_13_38_06_ProWP_20171030_13_38_51_ProWP_20171031_13_41_32_ProWP_20171031_13_41_37_Pro

So that simple “Nothing……ZERO”

The numbers we use today are called Arabic, but in fact they began life in India as early as 500 A.D.

The first recorded zero appeared in Mesopotamia around 3 B.C. The Mayans invented it independently circa 4 A.D. It was later devised in India in the mid-fifth century, spread to Cambodia near the end of the seventh century, and into China and the Islamic countries at the end of the eighth.

Indians devised a system that could cope with vast numbers. They developed a different symbol for every number from 1 to 9. The symbols are very close to what we use today. In the Christian world, they were using the Roman numeral system (I,II,III,IV,V,VI,VII,VIII,IX,X,etc.). Adding and subtracting using the Roman numeral system was very difficult.

A symbol was discovered in a temple in Gwalior, India. It is considered the holy grail of numbers. It is the symbol for the number ZERO. A new revolutionary idea since the days the Sumerians invented the counting system. Now it is not the first time it was written, but the first recorded time it was used for a distinct purpose.

While the Romans and the Christian world used numbers to record their conquest and how many dead bodies there were after a war, the Indians used numbers to advance commerce and banking.

Indian astronomers also excelled beyond the Christian world. They were able to work out that the earth spins on its own axis and that the earth moves about the sun. Over in Europe, Copernicus would not figure this out until a thousand years later. Indian scientists were also able to calculate the earth’s diameter to within one percent of its actual measurement. All of this was possible because of the symbol zero and the other nine digits.

Mathematicians were in an Enlighten period throughout the Islamic world. New formulas and equations were being derived and new methods of calculations were being explored. Mathematics exploded in the Islamic world.

Zero found its way to Europe through the Moorish conquest of Spain and was further developed by Italian mathematician Fibonacci who used it to do equations without an abacus, then the most prevalent tool for doing arithmetic. This development was highly popular among merchants who used Fibonacci’s equations involving zero to balance their books.

In the year 1201, Fibonacci wrote a book called “The Book of Calculations” after witnessing how the symbol zero and the digits one through nine were used in the market places on the shores of Northern Africa. Because of how money was being handled in these market places and the ease at which calculations were done, the era of the Roman numerals died a slow death. Well not exactly slow, but by the 16th century, the Indian figures, now commonly called Arabic numerals, finally triumphed.

Today we use the ten digits: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and zero without ever thinking of where they came from…, but now you know.

 

Information was gathered from the following sites:

By Jessie Szalay, Live Science Contributor | September 18, 2017 12:29pm ET: https://www.livescience.com/27853-who-invented-zero.html

1 The Story of Numbers (0 and 1) Indian Numerals or Arabic?

 

TNT Program at the SOC

Students had an amazing opportunity on Dec. 12th & 13th as they explored possible careers in technology during Teamwork & Technology Day at the SOC.  This was made possible by the ‘Grant for Great Ideas-Frisco Education Foundation’.  For two days students put on their creative hats while they “played” with a variety of hands-on activities that exposed them to new technology & careers.  Vendors who participated included Nokia, the Movie Institute, Microsoft, iCode, and several others.  Some of the activities included creating a movie, writing computer programs, programming autonomous vehicles, building race cars, and racing one another!

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C.A.R.E Center

This year the SOC has introduced the Curriculum, Academic, and Restorative Education (C.A.R.E.) Center.  When students need help with social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, they visit the C.A.R.E. Center to work with Mrs. Luce.  SEL skills are the skills students need to be successful in class and in life.

For more information on SEL, please see the presentation below.

We are also using mindfulness in the C.A.R.E. Center. For more information about mindfulness, please see the presentation below.