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Website: Superfund365

Superfund365Each day for a year, Superfund365 visited one toxic site in the federal Superfund program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For each entry chronicling the trip, an interactive graph shows what kinds of contaminants are involved, along with the acreage affected. The entries also feature timelines, local demographics and population statistics, photos, location and descriptive information, a hazardous ranking score, maps, and a blog entry about the site visits.

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Feature: Learning from Blight

Polluting BuilidingFor residents of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, Blue Mountain is a scar on the landscape and a health hazard. But for 120 sixth graders at Eyer Middle School in Macungie, Pa., Blue Mountain became a laboratory for understanding the nation’s problems with toxic waste and ways to clean it up.

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NSF Funds College-Middle School Collaborations

Dartmouth CollegeMiddle school science teachers in five New Hampshire and Vermont school districts will be getting some classroom help from STEM graduate students at Dartmouth College. The college recently received a five-year, $2.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to help bring about collaborations between the grad students and teachers. The grants should help the grad students “acquire value-added skills,” including the ability to communicate STEM subjects to both technical and nontechnical audiences and how best to enrich K-12 STEM learning and instruction.

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Feature: Open Door, Open Heart

Students have to grapple with real-world applications of environmental engineering, Prof. Jeanine Plummer of Worcester Polytechnic Institute believes: “They need to see how it applies, why it’s important — ‘why am I here’ sort of questions.” An article from ASEE’s Prism magazine.

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Feature: Greener & Safer

When garbage piles up in an American city, it’s a nuisance and a health hazard. But at U.S. Army bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s also a security burden. Researchers are devising new technologies to protect troops, including a trash-to-energy refinery. But a solution to roadside bombs remains elusive. An article from ASEE’s Prism magazine.

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Scientist Profile: Carson Inspired Environmentalists

In the late 1950s, Rachel Carson began to realize that mankind had acquired the power “to change drastically — or even destroy — the physical world.” Her book on the damage caused by chemical pesticides changed history.

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Can Funding Prevent “Education Catastrophe”?

MoneySenate Democrats are pushing for another bailout of recession-hit public schools. Iowa’s Tom Harkin, the Senate’s leading Democrat on education issues, has proposed a $23 billion package to help K-12 schools across the country avoid layoffs of teachers and staff. Last year, as part of the economic stimulus package, Washington gave nearly $100 billion to states to help them shore up schools hit by budget squeezes.

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Website: Classroom Earth

Classroom Earth is an online resource designed to help high school teachers include environmental content in their daily lesson plans. Useful resources on the site include environmental news; geographically-based environmental information; course material; a resource library; teacher profiles; funding opportunities; and listings for professional development.

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C Grade for Future U.S. Math Teachers

TeacherHow well do America’s future math teachers stack up against their counterparts around the world? Just so-so, according to a new Michigan State University study released last week. They earned an average C grade, and were well and truly aced by rivals from education-centric countries like Singapore and Taiwan.

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