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Lesson: Tsunami Survival

TsunamiStudents in grades 3 to 8 use a table-top tsunami generator to observe the devastation of these huge waves. They make villages of model buildings to test how different material types are impacted, and they learn how engineers design buildings to survive tsunamis.

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The Green Roof is Growing!

An attractive website offering teacher resources for grades 6-8 to study green roof and related environmental technology. Includes interactive online presentations and downloadable lesson plans and activities, a student workbook, and teacher guide.

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The Big Deal Book: A Resource for Educators

big dealThe Big Deal Book of Technology is an easy-to-use, biweekly resource of grants, timely articles of interest, interactive Web sites and free materials–all related to the successful integration of technology in today’s classrooms and schools. Created for K-12 technology directors and coordinators, media specialists and tech-savvy teachers.

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NASA, Disney Launch Two New Challenges

NASA and Disney Parks, which collaborated to send toy space ranger Buzz Lightyear into a 15-month orbit aboard the International Space Station, are together launching two new educational design challenges, NASA has announced.

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Houston Charter a Favorite of Super-Rich

A 12-year-old charter school serving 3,400 mostly poor students in Houston has become a favorite of billionaire donors, including Bill Gates, the Walton families, Michael Dell and John Arnold, a former Enron trader turned hedge fund manager, Forbes magazine reports.

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NEA Alters Stance on Teacher Assignments

In a major policy shift, the nation’s largest teachers’ union will ask its local bargaining units to waive contract language that might hamper school districts from staffing troubled schools with highly qualified teachers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Duncan Enlists Political Odd Couple

As he travels across the country seeking to advance his school-reform agenda, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has drawn help from an unlikely pair: the Rev. Al Sharpton, an outspoken progressive Democrat, and former Republican House Speaker New Gingrich, an equally outspoken conservative.

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Strides Seen Among Low-achieving Groups

A new analysis backs up earlier reports that the achievement gaps between so-called advantaged and disadvantaged students has narrowed in the past decade, according to Education Week. The trend appears to have been bolstered in the 1990s by the standards-based-reform movement.

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Activity: Taking the Heat

Ever touch a metal object on a hot day? The heat burns your fingers. But the ground is cool enough to walk on barefoot. Different materials have a different heat capacity, something engineers consider in designing everything from houses to hair dryers. In this lesson for grades 3-5, students compare the heat capacities of different materials and learn why heat capacity is an important property of thermal energy.

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