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Webinar for Middle School Students (and their parents)

C. Blanco photo.

NIMBioS is cooperating with the Girls Achieving in Mathematics, Engineering, Science (GAMES) program to host a series of virtual events. GAMES aims to promote girls' interest and self-efficacy in STEM using chess and other strategy games. We have chosen to focus on strategy games because they are great examples of effective and entertaining tools to teach metacognition, computational thinking, and problem-solving.

Date: 4–5 p.m. EDT Thursday, August 6, 2020

Speaker: Dr. Carolina Blanco, Chess Master, Orthodontist, Entrepreneur

Topic: Making the right moves in chess and in life
This inspirational seminar was presented to K-12 students and their parents by the Girls Achieving in Mathematics, Engineering, Science (GAMES) program at the University of Tennessee. The seminar discussed how to utilize chess as a tool to improve students' academic performance and develop their emotional intelligence, as well as build their skills for future careers. Watch the seminar to learn the benefits of chess and how to make the right moves in chess and life.

Moderator: >Dr. Xiaopeng Zhao, Professor, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE), Tickle College of Engineering (TCE), UTK

About the speaker Dr. Carolina Blanco, a Women's International Chess Master, is an entrepreneur and orthodontist. Dr. Blanco earned her dentistry degree in 2003 and completed her post-doctoral course in 2006 while still being an active chess player, coach, and women ambassador. She has been the top female player in the state of Georgia and has been working in the entrepreneurial field of orthodontics. Blanco knows the dedication and time needed to become a professional and to reach the top not only in chess, but also in the academic field. She has experience teaching in different countries in three languages including (Spanish, English and Portuguese). She enjoys the critical thinking in a game that highly encourages people to focus, besides all the other benefits that chess provides. Blanco represented Venezuela in more than 35 countries, winning prizes and awards in many chess competitions. She obtained the title of Women's Fide Master at the age of 12 and the title of Women's International Chess Master at the age of 19 by The World Chess Federation F.I.D E. Among her accomplishments are: two-time Pan-American Women's champion; 15-time Women's and Girls Champion of Venezuela from U-10 section until the Adult Master Category; 4-time member of the National Olympic team of Venezuela; 14-time Athlete of the Year by the Venezuelan chess federation from categories U-10 until senior category; Athlete of the Year of overall sports by The University of Carabobo-Venezuela; and was on the "Honor Roll" in the University of Carabobo-Venezuela College of Dentistry during all years of her dental career.

This webinar was streamed live and recorded for later viewing. NIMBioS hosted a Q&A via Zoom. Viewers were able to submit questions throughout the talk, which were answered at the end of the talk.

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Watch recorded webinar online

Webinar slides (pdf)
Intro slides (pdf)

The GAMES team consists of researchers and staff members at multiple campuses of UT, including University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (UTC)

  • Xiaopeng Zhao, Professor, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering (MABE), Tickle College of Engineering (TCE), UTK
  • Ozlem Kilic, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, TCE, UTK
  • Suzanne Lenhart, Department of Mathematics, Associate Director for Education and Outreach, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
  • Daniel Pack, Dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), UTC
  • Lynn Hodge, Director, Center for Enhancing Education in Mathematics and Sciences and the East Tennessee STEM Hub (CEEM)
  • Anne L. Skutnik, Education and Outreach Coordinator, NSF-DOE Center for Ultra-wide-area Electrical Energy Transmission Networks (CURENT)

This program is funded under the One UT Collaboration & Innovation Grant program.

NIMBioS Education and Outreach Contacts:

Suzanne Lenhart
Associate Director for Education and Outreach, NIMBioS
Phone: (865) 974-4270 (Math)   (865) 974-9349 (NIMBioS)    Fax: (865) 974-9300

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9300
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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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