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Lesson: Measure the Earth’s Circumference

In this project, students in grades 6-12 will recreate the remarkable measurement of the circumference of the earth first performed over 2,000 years ago. Using rulers, protractors, and meter sticks, students measure shadows cast by a stick on a day close to the equinox, then use that measurement in a simple equation to determine the circumference.

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Students Build Hybrid Maglev

Maglev ShanghaiWhat do you call a design problem that includes a futuristic twist and extreme deadline pressure? One of Project Lead the Way’s most daunting–and engaging–challenges, as Pennsylvania students discovered at a recent competition to create a maglev vehicle in just 2.5 hours using only a laptop, bag of parts and their wits.

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Gates: Give More Students Access to Great Teachers

Bill GatesMicrosoft founder Bill Gates says the nation isn’t getting its money’s worth in education, and faults two assumptions that have led to rising costs: that reducing class size will boost student achievement, and that teachers must be rewarded on the basis of seniority. He suggests identifying the top 25 percent of teachers and paying them more to teach more students.

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Budget Cuts Take Toll on Teachers

Teacher and Frustrated StudentTeachers nationwide could face sharp reductions in their ranks as state and local governments tackle crippling budget shortfalls. Providence, R.I., sent notices to teachers last week warning all of them could lose their jobs. New York City’s preliminary budget calls for thousands of layoffs. How is your district faring?

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As The World Turns

EquinoxSince ancient times, seasons have played a powerful role in shaping human life. They affect what crops we grow, what customs we follow, even our moods. The science behind those changes in the day’s length, however, took centuries to unravel.

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Engineers Month Giveaway #4

cards

Get excited, STEM teachers – it’s time for our final eGFI Engineers Month Giveaway!

In honor of National Engineers Week, eGFI will be giving away free packs of colorful, laminated eGFI cards for your classroom.

And because we love engineering so much, we’re extending the celebration all month and will be giving away one pack of our popular cards every week in February, 2011.

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Florida Plans Digital Texts for All by 2015

AppleFarewell, bulky backpacks–at least in Florida. State education officials recently rolled out a five-year proposal that calls for all students in K-12 to use only “electronic materials” delivered by Kindles, iPads and other similar technology by 2015.

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Obama’s Budget Boosts Money for Schools

Budget BoardCash-strapped school districts got some welcome news from Washington last week. The Obama administration’s proposed 2012 education budget, if approved, would significantly increase federal spending for public schools and maintain the maximum Pell grant — the cornerstone financial-aid program — at $5,550 per college student.

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Illinois Seeks Private Funds for Reforms

Illinois SchoolWith tough times forcing schools to do even more with far less, some states are seeking private funds to support public education reforms. For months, Illinois education officials have courted philanthropic foundations and businesses to raise money for initiatives from testing every kindergartner to revamping how teenagers study science.

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