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Contest: Science and Engineering, WA

The Washington Science Teachers Association (WSTA) invites students grades K-12 to participate in the WSTA Science and Engineering Contest to be held Sat., May 1, 2010 (West side) and Sat., April 10, 2010 (East side). Registration cost: $5.00 per student. Entry deadline: April 3 (East side), April 23 (West side). Students must be present to compete.

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Lesson Plans: Nanotechnology

How does a gecko walk on the ceiling?The NanoLeap project represents an approach for teachers to introduce the exciting world of nanoscale science and technology to their classes by integrating interdisciplinary research with traditional science concepts. Investigating Static Forces in Nature: The Mystery of the Gecko is a three-week module that replaces and supplements part of a unit that is normally taught at the beginning of a physical science course.

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Event: NY Girls Computer Engineering at NYU, April 30, 2010

New York University Women in Computing (WinC) and Princeton University Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) invites young women in 9th and 10th grade to the fourth annual New York City Girls Computer Science and Engineering Colloquium, April 30, 2010. The program will give young women a taste of the tremendous creativity and innovation involved in computer science and engineering or science career, and show young women how these fields can help change the world. Registration Deadline: Schools encouraged to apply by March 16

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Fast Track Out of High School

Tenth grade and out? That’s the plan behind a pilot program beginning next fall at around 100 public high schools in eight states. At the end of 10th grade, students who pass a battery of board examinations, covering a number of subjects, including mathematics, science and English, can opt to immediately enroll in a community college.

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Teach for America May Have to Compete

Federal money comprises more than 10 percent of the budget for Teach for America, the highly touted program that places recent college graduates in distressed school districts. But under a plan proposed by the Obama administration, Teach for America would compete with other organizations that train teachers for troubled schools for a share of a $235 million pool of grant funds.

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Applause for the MUSIC Man

Gary A. Ybarra is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, an expert in microwave imaging and director of undergraduate studies in his department. But he’s also a keen proponent of improving STEM education at the K-12 level. One of his programs, Math Understanding through Science Integrated with Curriculum (MUSIC), combines standard course studies with engineering problem-solving tasks.

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As Homelessness Rises, Achievement Suffers

Homelessness among high school students is rapidly increasing. Nationally, 794,617 K-12 students were homeless in 2007-08, up from 679,724 the year before, with 39 states reporting increases. A 2005 Massachusetts study found that homelessness and poor academic results were linked.

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Conference: Society of Black Engineers, Mar. 31-April 4

The 36th Annual Convention of the National Society of Black Engineers will be held at Toronto, Canada, March 31-April 4 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

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Website: Here come the Science Fairs!

Starting to ponder the upcoming science fair and projects? Be sure to consult Science Buddies, a Website that boasts 900+ free project ideas, organized by grade level, difficulty, and topic. The Science Buddies site is packed with supporting materials for teachers and parents, and offers “free science fair ideas, answers, and tools for serious students.”

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