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DARPA Launches Social Networking Contest

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internet, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) the research arm of the U.S. military, has launched the DARPA Network Challenge. The competition will test the role of the Internet and social networking in supporting timely communication, wide-area team-building, and urgent mobilization to solve broad, time-critical problems.

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Disney’s Green Classroom Challenge, Dec. 18, 2009

Disney’s Planet Challenge project-based environmental competition for 4th – 6th grade classrooms invites students to identify a local environmental issue and devise a solution that they manage and document from start to finish. Classrooms develop a portfolio to be evaluated on environmental-relevance, student learning, changes in practices and attitudes, community involvement, lasting benefits to students, school and/or community and originality. A array of national, state, and regional prizes are offered. Application deadline: Dec. 18, 2009

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Engineering Education Service Center

engineering education service centerEESC is an engineering education company that specializes in providing products for K-12 schools to teach and share the fun of engineering. From curriculum to books, DVDs, posters, T-shirts and other motivational products, they aim to make engineering understandable and accessible to everyone. There’s also a blog and newsletter you can subscribe to.

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Discovery Networks to Launch STEM Programs

Discovery Communications will launch a TV programming initiative called “Be the Future” in support of the Obama Administration’s push to boost STEM education. Over the next five years, Discovery will produce an educational programming block designed to inspire student learning and interest in science careers.

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2 Websites: Polar Regions


These two international Websites dedicated to education about the polar reigions provide helpful teaching materials, resources, and links: EducaPoles, a website of the International Polar Foundation, and Classroom Antartica, from Australia.

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Event: Gizmo Expo, Bucknell U., Dec. 7


Bucknell University will host its 4th annual Engineering and Science Education Expo Mon., Dec. 7. More than 50 student teams will share inquiry-based teaching units and gizmos designed to teach science and engineering concepts to K-8 students. The Gizmo Expo allows participants to watch the gizmos in action, talk to student designers, and learn.

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Competition: Find the Red Balloons — Solved!


Game over! After 8 hours 56 minutes, an MIT team solved the contest, entered by more than 4,000 teams.

The DARPA competition, starting Dec. 5, challenges teams to compete for a $40,000 prize, to be the first to submit the locations of 10 moored, 8-foot, red, weather balloons at 10 fixed locations in the continental United States. Participants must register on the competition website and should check there for full details and rules.

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Website: PBS’s DragonflyTV

A treasure trove of resources for grades 3-6, the DragonflyTV website enriches the popular PBS science T.V. programs of the same name. It features a page of experiment activities; various videoes; a focus on nanotechnology; and games, puzzlers, and riddles.

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Curriculum: Solar, Alternative Energy


The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research arm of the University of Central Florida, has developed downloadable sets of curriculum materials for K-12 teachers and schools on alternative energy sources, including solar, photovoltaics, hydrogen, and fuel cells. The Website lists descriptions of these curriculum materials, links to web sites, and information on each unit. Care has been taken to insure that the proper state standards that apply have been maintained.

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