Delaware STEM students honored at national student conference

Students from 16 schools represented the First State at the National Virtual Technology Student Association (TSA) conference in June.  Finalists competed in events such as computer-aided design; chapter team; coding; cybersecurity, debating technological issues; essays on technology; forensic technology; foundations of information technology; junior solar sprint; leadership strategies; tech bowl; on demand video; video game design; website design and more. The virtual conference included nearly 7,000 individuals from across the United States participating in advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM); leadership; and service-focused events.

Highlights include:

  • 141 students representing 16 schools qualified to represent Delaware at national STEM conference.
  • Delaware students earned 21 top ten national honors.
  • D Morelli of Sussex Central High School and Norman Pierce of Fred Fifer Middle School were honored as National Chapter Advisors of the Year.
  • Priya Gupta of Caesar Rodney High School and Divita Taduvayi of MOT Charter High School were inducted into the TSA Technology Honor Society.

Delaware’s Results:

List of competition results

Participating Schools:

  • Alfred G. Waters Middle School, Appoquinimink School District
  • Appoquinimink High School, Appoquinimink School District
  • Cab Calloway School of The Arts (High School), Red Clay Consolidated School District
  • Cab Calloway School of The Arts (Middle School), Red Clay Consolidated School District
  • Caesar Rodney High School, Caesar Rodney School District
  • Concord High School, Brandywine School District
  • Conrad Schools of Science (MS), Red Clay Consolidated School District
  • Fred Fifer Middle School, Caesar Rodney School District
  • Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Christina School District
  • H.B. duPont Middle School, Brandywine School DIstrict
  • Middletown High School, Appoquinimink School District
  • MOT Charter High School, charter school
  • Newark Charter High School, charter school
  • Odessa High School, Appoquinimink School District
  • Postlethwait Middle School, Caesar Rodney School District
  • Sussex Central High School, Indian River School District

The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) dedicated to students interested in the future of invention, innovation, engineering, and technology. Through TSA, members have the opportunity to participate in technology-focused competitive events, take part in community service work, and become leaders for the organization in their school, state, and at the national level. TSA incorporates curricular and co-curricular experiences to emphasize the importance of knowledge, leadership, skill development, and teamwork.

To learn more about DETSA, please contact Mike Fitzgerald by phone at: 302.857.3334 or by email at:

Delaware Launches Free CyberStart America Challenge

National online cybersecurity talent search and competition open to all Delaware high school students

 – Governor John Carney today announced Delaware’s participation in CyberStart America – an innovative, online cybersecurity talent search and competition sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and SANS Institute. Delaware’s high school students are encouraged to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science by participating in the program and will have the opportunity to win scholarships, as well as prizes and recognition for their schools.

The CyberStart America program is a series of 100% online challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents, solving cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as code breaking, programming, networking, and digital forensics. The program can be assigned as part of homework, can form the basis of an extracurricular club, or students can just try it on their own. Participating students and their teachers do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to take part. Everything they need can be learned in the game. The program is free for schools and students, and all Delaware students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate. Building on the success of last year’s Girls Go CyberStart program, this year’s CyberStart Game is open to all high school students. Anyone who reaches level 5 in Game will qualify for the national competition to win scholarships. To further encourage participation of young women and JROTC cadets, communities are offering additional support and community-specific awards within the overall scholarship competition.

“This is a great program that builds on our statewide efforts to provide students with real-world experience and technology skills that will be valuable in any career,” said Governor John Carney. “These competitions offer fun activities for young people to explore and learn about the high-tech, high-impact field of cybersecurity.”

“CyberStart is a great way empower and inspire young people to pursue STEM fields including cybersecurity,” said Acting Chief Information Officer Jason Clarke. “In a pilot of the program last year we had over 180 students participate and 16 succeeded in reaching the national finals. This year we hope to triple the number of students participating and reaching the scholarship round.”

“The CyberStart challenge is both a fun and educational experience that gives students the chance to engage in lively hands-on learning and the opportunity to earn valuable college scholarships. We hope even more students will participate in the challenge this year,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation anticipates awarding scholarships worth a total of $2 million for use at any accredited college to 600 high-scoring students across the nation who participate in the competition in 2021, with students able to compete for state-specific and community-specific prizes as well as national championship status. There will also be incentives for Delaware high schools to encourage more students to reach the qualifying level in CyberStart Game, including exclusive access to additional cybersecurity education resources and recognized cyber skills mastery badges for their students.

Complete details may be found at High school students may register for the program beginning October 30 and may begin playing the CyberStart Game at 12:00 AM EST, November 15. They may continue playing, and invite their friends to join them, through February 28, 2021. Students will be informed that they qualify for the CyberStart National Scholarship Challenge Round (the “Nationals”) as soon as they have achieved sufficient progress, but they are allowed to continue playing and learning in order to build more skills that will be useful to them in the Nationals. To see the types of challenges students will face in the games, visit

Participating students and schools are encouraged to share updates on social media with #cyberstartDE.


About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS provides cyber security training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community.



UPDATE: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the DigiGirlz event scheduled for May 20, 2020 at Delaware Technical and Community College’s Terry Campus in Dover has been postponed. Once a new date has been selected, event organizers will be reaching out directly to all currently registered attendees. Those individuals who have already registered for the event will be given priority for attendance regardless of grade. Information will also be made available on

Media Contact:
Christina Dirksen, Strategic Communications Manager, DTI
(302) 739-9500

DigiGirlz Program Contacts:
Claudette Martin-Wus, DTI
(302) 739-9636,


 DOVER, Del. — Registration is now open for Delaware DigiGirlz Day 2020, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Girls in the 8th and 9th grades (or ages 13-15) are invited to spend a day filled with hands-on learning that feature careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.  DigiGirlz Day is designed to encourage young women to explore the possibilities available in those fields.

DigiGirlz Day is May 20, 2020 at Delaware Tech’s Terry Campus in Dover starting at 8:30 a.m. It is free and open to 8th and 9th grade girls (ages 13-15) in Delaware public, private, charter and home schools. Individual students are also encouraged to participate. Pre-registration is mandatory – continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

“DigiGirlz Day is such a creative and fun way to empower young women and get them excited about STEM careers,” said Governor John Carney. “We want to thank Microsoft, as well as all the partners who have made this event possible for the last 10 years and inspired more than a thousand young Delaware women.”

“Providing inclusive opportunities is a priority and we’re pleased that since Delaware began hosting DigiGirlz Day we’ve been able to reach more than 1,200 young women,” said Delaware Chief Information Officer James Collins. “With the ongoing support from our partners, it is our goal to encourage young women to pursue STEM opportunities that can potentially turn into the careers of tomorrow. This is a great example of how we can leverage public/private partnerships for the greater good.”

“The girls who have attended this annual event in the past have gained a better understanding of potential STEM careers – from being a video game designer, a drone pilot, or a robotic coder to a 3D digital artist or cyber security professional,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. “The day is a lot of fun, and the girls leave with valuable experiences, which we hope will influence their career exploration in the future.”

“Microsoft is proud to be a part of the 10th Annual Delaware DigiGirlz event. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. It is especially important for us to give back to young women in technology,” said Microsoft Community Development Specialist Nick Christine. “As an organization we want to continue to ensure that the technology field is a place where everyone feels welcome. This is due in part to people traditionally viewing technology as a male dominated field.  This is not the case and we want everyone to feel welcomed and empowered with technology.”

This year’s DigiGirlz Day features several different career track explorations including game design, drones, 3D digital art and mixed reality robotic coding.  Creating 3D Jewelry, learning about phishing, virtual reality, circuitry, social media and photo/video editing are additional offerings during the event.

DigiGirlz is sponsored by Delaware’s Department of Technology and Information, Microsoft, Delaware Department of Education, Delaware Technical and Community College, Wilmington University, University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Cyber Streets, and the Delaware Center for Educational Technology.

Registration information can be found at


About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

Top national mathematics, science teachers recognized

Four Delaware teachers have been named as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics and science teachers can receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. The finalists were honored last week at the national awards ceremony in Washington, DC.

The 2017 national awardees are:

Kathleen Olenderski (mathematics) of Alfred G. Waters Middle School in the Appoquinimink School District.
Joshua Gates (science) of the private Tatnall School

The 2018 national awardees are:

Jennah Truitt (mathematics) of Lord Baltimore Elementary School in the Indian River School District
Danielle Rash (science) of Olive B. Loss Elementary School in the Appoquinimink School District

The Delaware Department of Education also has named six teachers as 2019 state PAEMST finalists:

Katherine Hoffecker (mathematics) of Middletown High School in the Appoquinimink School District
Eileen Voltz (mathematics) of the Charter School of Wilmington in the Red Clay Consolidated School District
Kathleen Wilson (mathematics) of St. Georges Vocational Technical High School in the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District
Jordan Estock (science) of Concord High School in the Brandywine School District
Elizabeth Plant (science) of First State Montessori Academy Charter School
Rachael Smith (science) of Hodgson Vo-Tech High School in the New Castle County Vo-Tech School District

The national finalists and state awardees will be recognized later this school year at the Delaware STEM Conference. Information will be forthcoming.

The goal of the PAEMST award program is to exemplify the highest standards of mathematics and science teaching in addition to honoring individual achievement. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education. The award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. Every year each state selects up to three mathematics teachers and three science teachers as state finalists. A national selection committee reviews state finalist applications and selects one awardee in each content area for every state. Teachers are recognized for their contributions to teaching and learning and their ability to help students make progress in mathematics and science. As part of the recognition process, awardees take part in a weeklong series of networking and professional development activities in Washington, D.C., and receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

For more information about PAEMST and to see nomination forms and application instructions, visit

Celebrate Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math at DNREC’s First State Heritage Park First Saturday

DOVER  – DNREC’s First State Heritage Park will feature “S.T.R.E.A.M” as the theme for the First State Heritage Park’s monthly “First Saturday in the First State.” The program will feature a variety of free events and activities.

The John Bell House will feature “Herbal Remedies,” a program taking place throughout the day about what medicine was like in the 18th century. Join historical interpreters in colonial clothing to find out about the natural remedies used to make people well in the 18th century. Compare and contrast to the medical science used today and see the variety of herbs grown in the Bell House garden.

“Sickness and Health…and the occasional poisoning Walking Tour” leaving from the Bell House on the hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. will share some of the ways in which diseases were treated in Dover in the past. Visitors will hear how revolutionary Delawareans used science to help solve mysteries, make people well and even commit murder.

Visitors to The Old State House will be able to participate in “The Doctor is In” at 1 p.m. Are you suffering from consumption, the gout, apoplexy? Learn of the medical and political contributions of a Delaware doctor. Historical re-enactor Dennis Fisher takes on the persona of noted 19th century Delaware Physician James Sykes.

Lucas Clawson will present “DuPont and the Manhattan Project” at the Delaware Public Archives. .  Though better known for manufacturing things like smokeless powder, TNT, Nylon, and Teflon, DuPont also was involved in the Manhattan Project and the development of atomic weapons. This lecture will focus on how the DuPont Company played a major role in arming and equipping America’s military during World War II.    

The Johnson Victrola Museum will feature the “From Tinfoil to the 78” guided tours and the technology used to make sound part of daily life. At the Biggs Museum of American Art, visitors can enjoy one of the free community days at the museum and participate in the Biggs Kids Program to see art and science collide. Legislative Hall will have a guided tours of the Delaware’s current capitol building.

Below is a list of other programs and activities for First Friday and First Saturday in the First State:


First Saturday – August 3

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

·         Herbal Remedies

John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green

Learn 18th century uses and preparations for common household herbs and how to grow and care for your own.


·         A Capitol Experience

Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue

Tour Delaware’s State Capitol building and experience Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.


·         Biggs Kids: Science in Action

Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street

Learn what happens when art and science collide by making a STEAM based craft. Don’t forget to tour the rest of the museum and see some science in action! For ages 5-10.

·         From Tinfoil to the 78

Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New Street

Guided tours will explore the origins of recorded music from the days of earliest tinfoil phonographs to the Victrola created by E. R. Johnson, taking recorded music from a novelty to a daily part of our lives.

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

·         Tours of the Governor’s House

At Woodburn – The Governor’s House, 151 King’s Highway

Enjoy guided tours of the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guest house.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

·         Sickness and Health…and the Occasional Poisoning Walking Tour

Meet at the John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green

Highlighting stories of medical curiosities of Dover’s past.

10:30 a.m.

·         DuPont and the Manhattan Project

Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Learn about how DuPont helped usher in the Nuclear Age in this talk by Hagley Historian Lucas R. Clawson. 

1 p.m.

·         The Doctor is In

The Old State House, 25 The Green

Physician Dr. James Sykes shares his medical and political contributions. No appointment or insurance necessary.


1:30 – 4:00 p.m.

·         The Once and Future Courthouse

Kent County Courthouse, 38 The Green, Courtroom #1

From the 1690s to the present, learn how this site went from a courthouse to a hotel and back again.


Each month duringFirst Saturdays in the First State,” the First State Heritage Park offers a variety of free programs at each of the park’s partner sites, including tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city – the Old State House and Legislative Hall – hourly walking tours leaving from the John Bell House, and the monthly “Biggs Kids” program at the Biggs Museum of American Art. Exhibits are also on display at the Biggs Museum, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries and the Johnson Victrola Museum.

Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Centrally-located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North. For more information about “First Saturday” events and all First State Heritage Park programs, please call 302-739-9194 or visit

The First State Heritage Park is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries,” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777. The park is a partnership of state agencies under the leadership of DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.