Education

Our "Tools of the Trade" series is taking a look at some of the iconic objects that form a vital part of our educational lives. For an upcoming piece, I'm reporting on how young children learn through that most basic of preschool education tools: simple wooden blocks.

Seventh graders Michael Herrera and Nicholas Barbee are preparing for a maritime journey.

One-inch thick sheets of green foam lie in front of them. The foam is usually used to insulate walls, but today the boys are cutting it to fill the hull of a model boat about 5 feet long. They want the foam to fight tightly.

“We’re going to cut it in thirds or half?” Barbee asks.

“Just half,” answers Herrera.

The organization United4Iran displayed this billboard in Washington, D.C., in 2012 to protest the treatment of Baha'is in Iran.
Flickr Photo/United4Iran (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Mitra Zarakani, an employment specialist at Jewish Family Service's Eastside location, about her immigration to the U.S. and attending a secret university in Iran.

Heather Weinert Owain Weinert cancer vaccines
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Owain Weinert, at age 8, hadn’t been eating breakfast and was sleeping 12 to 14 hours a night. For months, mysterious fevers came and went.

His mother took him to the pediatrician, who in turn sent them to a lab for a blood test. They then went to lunch, which Owain didn’t eat.

Idaho lawmakers are considering a proposal to make more room for Idaho students in a University of Washington med school program.

Michael Young speaks at a cherry tree gift reception at the University of Washington on May 20, 2014.
Flickr Photo/University Marketing (CC-BY-NC-ND)

    

Ross Reynolds speaks with Washington state Sen. Barbara Bailey, chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, about University of Washington President Michael Young's surprise decision to leave and take the top job at Texas A&M University.

Michael Young speaks at a cherry tree gift reception at the University of Washington on May 20, 2014.
Flickr Photo/University Marketing (CC-BY-NC-ND)

University of Washington president President Michael Young has a new job lined up: He's set to become the next president of Texas A&M University. The news came as a bit of a surprise to UW officials. 

KUOW's Kim Malcolm talked about why Young is leaving with Seattle Times higher education reporter, Katherine Long.

Michael Young at the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As KUOW's Sara Lerner reports, President Young says he hasn't officially accepted the offer.

TRANSCRIPT

Michael Young says he hasn't accepted an offer but almost in the same breath, he says:

Young: "I am leaving, I believe, one of the greatest universities in the world and I believe I’m leaving it in very good hands and I believe it's on an extraordinary trajectory."

Young was speaking at a campus event Tuesday.

Starting salary for Idaho teachers is lower than in Washington, Oregon, and three other surrounding states. Superintendents in Idaho border towns say that has left them with shortages.

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

As the economy continues to recover, economists are seeing stark differences between people with high school and college degrees. The unemployment rate is nearly twice as high for Americans with a high school diploma as for those with a four-year college degree or more.

Photo of school buses parked in a parking lot.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

Two state representatives want to divide Seattle Public Schools into two smaller districts.

“Seattle public schools is a broken system for many students for many families and something has to change,” said Sharon Tomiko-Santos, a Democrat from South Seattle.

Foster High School senior Nandina Cengic is a feminist, filmmaker and activist.
Courtesy of Jesenko Spahic

Do you hate men?

Nandina Cengic said she hears that question all the time. That's because the Foster High School senior tells people she is a feminist. As she puts it, people assume she's a "man hater," who's "trying to squander men."

"Which isn't true at all!" she said. 

PHOTOS: Amazing Sculptures Made By A Student Who 'Didn't Know What She Was Doing'

Jan 29, 2015
Courtesy of Amal Ahmed

What makes an artist? A high school art student inadvertently stumbled upon a technique to make ridiculously cool, award-winning sculptures -- using something you have lying around the house. Listen in to learn how. 

Plus, a 15-year-old sculptor ponders the dilemma between making art for himself and making the Disney princesses his classmates want to buy. 

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The 12th graders at Tyee High School are frustrated.

About half the class may not graduate because they’re failing state tests. The after-school classes that would help them catch up don’t fit into their lives.

That’s why, at Tyee's Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment, teachers are helping students turn frustration into political change. On a recent early morning, a group of seniors traveled to Olympia to lobby legislators.

When Do Kids Know They’re Transgender? Younger Than You'd Think

Jan 29, 2015
A drawing by a child in Professor Kristina Olson's study. Olson has found that transgender and non-trans girls have an equally deep sense of their gender identity.
Courtesy of Marlo Mack

When Kristina Olson, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, started looking into research on transgender children, she was surprised. It was thin at best.

Data from decades ago said that 80 percent of transgender kids revert to their born gender, but Olson was skeptical.

So she started the TransYouth Project to track transgender children to adulthood. The project has worked with 65 children across the U.S. and Canada – so far. Some are as young as 3.

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