Hong Kong – Early Cretaceous rhyolitic columnar rock formation of Hong Kong Geopark selected as one of the First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites (with photos/video)

Early Cretaceous rhyolitic columnar rock formation of Hong Kong Geopark selected as one of the First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites (with photos/video)


     ​The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced today (October 22) that the Early Cretaceous rhyolitic columnar rock formation (hexagonal volcanic rock columns) located in Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (Hong Kong Geopark) had been selected as one of the First 100 International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) Geological Heritage Sites.


     A spokesman for the AFCD said, “The Early Cretaceous rhyolitic columnar rock formation visible along the coast and on numerous islands in Sai Kung is named the High Island Formation. It has been incorporated in Hong Kong Geopark since 2009. The formation comprises a great number of columns, which are large, well preserved and widely distributed, making it a globally rare and iconic geological wonder. The selection of the High Island Formation as one of the First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites recognises its international importance.”


     Hexagonal rock columns elsewhere around the world are usually composed of dark-grey basalt with low silica content, while the High Island Formation is composed of light-coloured rhyolitic volcanic rock that is rich in silica content. This columnar rock formation spreads over areas on High Island of Sai Kung East Country Park, Kau Sai Chau, Jin Island, the Ung Kong Group and the Ninepin Group, covering an area of about 100 square kilometres on land and under the sea. The average diameter of the rock columns is about 1.2 metres while some reach 3m in diameter. The exposed height above ground of the rock columns is up to 100m.


     According to geologists, the columnar rock formation in Sai Kung originated from volcanic activities in the region about 140 million years ago. Intense crustal activities created a large volcano in the southeast part of Hong Kong. Experts believe that a volcanic eruption spewed a large amount of volcanic ash and lava. The volcano eventually collapsed, forming a caldera of about 20 kilometres in diameter. Deposited in the caldera, a huge amount of volcanic materials slowly cooled down and contracted, forming the hexagonal volcanic rock columns.


     The selection of IUGS Geological Heritage Sites aims to recognise geological heritage sites of high international scientific significance around the world to promote their conservation, education and geotourism. The First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites are being announced October 25 through October 28 (Spain time) in Zumaia, a town in the Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, Spain. The selected geological heritage sites include Shilin Karst on the Mainland, Uluru/Ayers Rock in Australia, the Grand Canyon in the United States and Pamukkale Travertines in Turkey, among others.


     This project is a collaborative effort involving international organisations such as UNESCO’s International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme, geological survey institutions and research institutions around the world. One hundred and eighty-one sites in 56 countries were nominated. All nominations were evaluated by no less than three international experts, and a total of 33 international experts participated in the evaluations. For more details of the First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites, please visit: iugs-geoheritage.org.

2022 Early Childhood Education Virtual Conference, Featuring Childress Ink Client Brooke Layton, June 7-9, 2022

 2022 6th Annual Early Childhood Education Virtual Conference.

Offered by the University of Arizona Global Campus College of Education and Liberal Arts and taking place June 7-9, 2022, this is a free, professional, development opportunity, and participants earn badges and certificates for the live sessions.

Three days of live sessions will focus on early education from industry professionals, including Adjunct Professor, Educational Consultant, author, and Childress Ink client, Brooke Layton.

Layton will be presenting for aspiring administrators, teachers who want real help for classroom success, tips on avoiding time-wasters, handling issues in classrooms, motivating students, and organizing parental and community involvement; as well as advice and resources for parents and homeschoolers.

Registration is required, June 7-9, 2022, at https://uagc-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register

Check the full agenda here: https://sites.google.com/site/auecevirtualconference/2022-ece-virtual-conference

About Brooke Layton:

With nearly fifteen years in education, as an elementary teacher, assistant principal, then later adjunct professor, and now speaker and author, not to mention homeschooling mom of two growing boys, Brooke is passionate about teaching elementary-age children and helping provide much-needed resources (and encouragement) to teachers, homeschoolers, and professionals in the field of education. Learn more at BrookeLayton.com.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Kim Childress at Kim@ChildressInk.com, ChildressInk.com.

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Kim Childress



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  • K-12 Education

Send Your Packages Early This Holiday Season – 2021

There are many factors that go into creating your holiday plans. Do you stay home or go visiting? Do you send gifts or deliver them Santa-style to friends and loved ones?

If you’re like many of us, no matter what happens, you will likely send at least one or two special gifts to people for the holidays. Regardless of how many packages and greetings you drop in the mail, it’s always important to mail your gifts and cards early.  

The 2020 holiday season was a record-setting year for the Postal Service. Specifically, more than 13 billion letters, cards and packages were processed and delivered under some of the most difficult circumstances we’ve faced in the past century.

For the 2021 peak season — the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day — the Postal Service will deliver more mail and packages to homes than any other shipper. It’s anticipated that between 850 million and 950 million packages will be delivered for the holidays. The total number of letters, cards and packages processed and delivered is estimated to be more than 12 billion.

The Postal Service will expand Sunday delivery, beginning Nov. 28, to locations with high package volumes. USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities and expects to deliver more than 9.7 million packages each Sunday throughout the holiday season. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.

The Postal Service plans all year for the peak holiday season. This year’s preparations include leasing 7.5 million square feet of additional space across more than 40 annexes to handle the increase in the number of packages being mailed. The Postal Service is also currently hiring for more than 40,000 seasonal positions to help process and deliver the mail.

Since April, the Postal Service has installed 92 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the “Delivering for America” plan’s $40 billion of planned investment over 10 years. Additionally, more than 50 machines that can sort large packages are expected to be up and running prior to December. The new machinery gives the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

New for This Year

As of Aug. 29, the cost of a Forever stamp increased to 58 cents from 55 cents. There are also temporary price increases in place through 12:01 a.m., Central Time, Dec. 26, on all retail and commercial domestic competitive parcels for some of our more-popular shipping products, which also includes military shipping — Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Return Service. International products are unaffected. These temporary rates will keep the Postal Service competitive while providing the agency with the revenue to cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume surges similar to levels experienced in 2020.

Here are the temporary pricing increases for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground and First-Class Package Service:

  • Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes: 75 cents
  • Zones 1-4, 0-10 pounds: 25 cents
  • Zones 5-9, 0-10 pounds: 75 cents
  • Zones 1-4, 11-20 pounds: $1.50
  • Zones 5-9, 11-20 pounds: $3
  • Zones 1-4, 21-70 pounds: $2.50
  • Zones 5-9, 21-70 pounds: $5
  • First-Class Package Service: 30 cents

A zone-pricing calculator can be found onlineA complete list of business products and prices is also available online.

The temporary price adjustment is one part of “Delivering for America,” the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, which calls for appropriate pricing initiatives. Even with the temporary increase, the Postal Service has some of the lowest mail postage rates in the industrialized world and continues to offer great values in shipping.

Busiest Mailing and Delivery Days

The busiest time of the year begins two weeks before Christmas. It’s expected that customer traffic at all Post Office locations will steadily increase beginning the week of Dec. 6. The week of Dec. 13-18 is anticipated to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week. Additionally, the Postal Service predicts that nearly 2.3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards and packages, will be processed and delivered the week of Dec. 13.

Skip the Trip and Ship Online

Consumers don’t have to leave home to ship their packages. They can visit usps.com for available at-home shipping options. It’s estimated nearly 500,000 consumers will use the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services on Dec. 14 to order free Priority Mail boxes*, print shipping labels, purchase postage and request free next-day Package Pickup.

Dec. 19 is predicted to be the Postal Service’s busiest day online with more than 12.5 million consumers expected to visit usps.com for help shipping that special holiday gift. And usps.com is always open.

*Boxes are delivered within the U.S. with your regular mail, usually within 7 to 10 business days.  Exclusions apply,
for details and to order, visit https://store.usps.com/store.

2021 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

The Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office (APO/FPO/DPO) and domestic addresses*:

  • Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
  • Dec. 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 18 — Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

Alaska to/from Continental U.S.

  • Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 18 — Priority Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

Hawaii to/from mainland

  • Dec. 17 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 21 — Priority Mail Express

*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

Delivering for the Military and Overseas

The Postal Service also processes mail for overseas Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of State (DoS) recipients. The DoD measures mail volumes in pounds not pieces, and USPS expects to process more than 12.6 million pounds of mail for APO/FPO/DPO destinations this holiday season.           

More tips for a successful holiday mailing and shipping season:

  • Use free Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes. They are available at Post Office locations or online at usps.com/freeboxes.
  • Make it easy with the Click-N-Ship feature. You can create shipping labels and pay for postage online at usps.com/ship.
  • Schedule a free Package Pickup when the carrier delivers your mail. It’s free regardless of the number of packages. Pickups can be scheduled at usps.com/pickup.
  • Mail and packages that weigh more than 10 ounces or are more than a half-inch thick and using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up. Instead, take them to a local Post Office.

Additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines, can be found on the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom at usps.com/holidaynews.

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Early Education Grant Provides STEAM Learning for Jewish Day Schools

WALTHAM, Mass.June 10, 2021PRLog — KinderLab Robotics today announced a partnership with the David Lear Sulman Computing, Science, and Engineering Fund, which is offering the Limudei Code-Esh Curriculum (LCE) for Jewish day schools and Jewish supplemental schools. LCE is an integrated curriculum for students in grades K-3 (adaptable for preK-Grade 5) that was created to engage them with Judaic studies as they begin their journey into coding and robotics. With this program, Jewish schools can implement the free LCE curriculum while receiving a 10% discount on KIBO Robot Kits from KinderLab, and an additional 50% off the remaining price of the KIBO robots with the generous grant from the David Lear Sulman Fund.

This initiative includes curriculum and two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) educational technology platforms, KIBO and ScratchJr. Students use these tools as they explore themes in the Jewish holiday cycle while expressing their ideas and understanding through building, coding, and art activities.

With the KIBO Robot Kit, children build, program, and decorate robots with age-appropriate tangible manipulatives, using no screens or keyboards. The free ScratchJr app introduces coding skills to young children who program their own interactive stories and games on a PC or tablet.

The STEAM program integrates coding and computational thinking through six Jewish holidays—Sukkot, Chanukkah, Tu B’shevat, Purim, Pesach, and Yom Ha’atzmaut—and was created as a collaboration between Professor Marina Bers of Tufts University and Jewish educators from orthodox, conservative, and reform day schools and supplemental schools. Through a six-unit curriculum, young students use STEAM concepts and tools to tell stories and integrate Jewish themes and customs expressively.

Rose-Jane Sulman, director of the David Lear Sulman Fund, said, “Our goal is to improve Jewish schools by improving their STEAM education. We want our children to be the leaders of the future, and to do that they need to understand how to create with and use technology. Those who can create with technology will have the strongest voice in the future.”

Mitch Rosenberg, CEO of KinderLab Robotics, added, “Partnering with the Sulman Fund was an easy choice because their mission complements ours: to provide age-appropriate STEAM experiences to our youngest learners and empower them to express themselves and their culture. We are excited to see young students use KIBO, decorated with arts and crafts, to bring Jewish holidays to life through storytelling. Coding truly is the new literacy of the 21st century.”

Current research shows the importance of introducing STEAM learning in early elementary grades to develop computational thinking, confidence, collaboration, and individual expression. Research shows that even the youngest students can learn sequencing and coding in any subject if it is presented in a fun and engaging way. Positive learning outcomes for young learners who work with robotics include improved sequencing ability, mastery of foundational coding, and improved computational thinking with concrete tools.

For more information on the Limudei Code-Esh Program, visit https://kinderlabrobotics.com/limudei-code-esh-steam-program-grant/.

About KIBO – The Playful STEAM Robot

KIBO is a robot kit that allows children aged 4–10 to build, program, decorate, and bring their own robot to life without requiring any screen time on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. With art and building, students transform KIBO into imagined animals, vehicles, storybook characters, and more. When children create their own robot, they perceive it as play, but they are learning invaluable STEAM skills. Not only are these hands-on experiences inherently rewarding, but they help children understand the technology in their world and can even improve their future job prospects.

About the David Lear Sulman Fund for Computing, Science and Engineering

In honor of her husband David, an engineer who loved creating and building products and who also strongly believed children were not being adequately educated in science, computing and engineering, Rose-Jane established the David Lear Sulman Computing, Science and Engineering Fund. The goal of the initiative is to reinvigorate Jewish day schools and transform education so that students become engaged in computing, robotics, coding, and engineering. For more information, please visit sulmanfund.org (http://www.sulmanfund.org/) or email Rose-Jane Sulman at rj@sulmanfund.org.

About KinderLab Robotics

KinderLab Robotics is the creator of the award-winning KIBO, a playful educational STEAM robot kit based on 20 years of child development research with thousands of children, teachers, and parents. Developed specifically for teachers by Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers at Tufts University, KIBO is currently used in 60+ countries and has proven efficacy in helping kids learn STEAM—and getting them excited about it! KinderLab offers a complete suite of teaching materials that help integrate STEAM elements into a wide range of curricula, including art, cultural studies, and reading literacy. For more information, please visit https://www.KinderLabRobotics.com.