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STEM Video Game Challenge Names Winners

Winner and Cousins Test GameTwelve students have won the National STEM Video Game Challenge, according to Education Week. They include a team of students who developed a game called, “You Make Me Sick!” to teach about bacteria and viruses. Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the contest aims to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passions for playing and making video games.

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STEM Teachers’ Scholarships

AFCEAThe AFCEA Educational Foundation is offering 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to students actively pursuing an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or credential/licensure for the purpose of teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) subjects at a U.S. middle or secondary school. Application Deadline: May 1, 2011.

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Nickelodeon: Earth Day Events Promotion

NickelodeonThe children’s programming TV network Nickelodeon is offering to feature camera footage of events with groups performing “green activities” that promote a healthy Earth environment. Submitted footage may be featured on the network or on their website.

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Feature: Unlimited Space

Aerospace - First Zero G2Many kids dream of exploring space, but few get much further than their schoolyards. This is not true of students in Tekna-Theos, a Florida after-school program bursting with science activities and contests. They’ve set their sights high, designing and building mini-satellites and preparing a payload to test the effect of weightlessness on bone cells. Some have actually experienced “Zero-G.”

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Lesson: How High Can You Fly?

JumpIn this lesson, you’ll introduce your students to the four forces of flight–drag, lift, thrust, and weight–through a variety of fun-filled flight experiments. Students will “fly” for short periods and then evaluate factors that might either increase or decrease their “flight” duration.

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Navigating the Wild Blue Yonder

NavigationIt’s easy to find your way to school. Now imagine trying to navigate the skies, with no signs to point you in the right direction. How do pilots find their way? These “pilot training lessons” developed by the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology will teach your young aviators the principles of navigation in a fun series of real-time activities.

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Dropout Factories Decline

Sleeping StudentThe number of U.S. schools with such poor graduation rates that they are known as “dropout factories” fell by 6.4 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a report released at the Building a Grad Nation Summit in Washington, D.C., March 22. The report also included recommendations to help ensure a high school graduation rate of 90 percent for the class of 2020–today’s third graders.

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States Crack Down on Test Tampering

CheatingIn response to cheating, many states and school districts are tightening test security, USA Today reports. Texas distributes 14 steps staff must follow during test administration and warns that state investigators will ferret out cheaters. In other places, educators are experimenting with different ways to test what kids learn.

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Lesson: Get a Lift!

Flight DiagramIn this lesson, you’ll introduce your students to the four forces of flight — drag, lift, thrust, and weight — through a variety of fun flight experiments. Students will “fly” for short periods and then evaluate factors that might either increase or decrease their “flight” duration. They also will discover how air moving at different speeds over a wing keeps planes aloft.

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