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New App Aids Class Participation

Using an AppEver stumble with students’ names? Or struggle to perk up class participation? Most schools view cellphones as disruptive nuisances, but a new iPhone app called Pikme could turn them into powerful tools for educators.

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Science & Engineering H.S. Best in Nation

Magnet Super LabIt’s been a banner spring for STEM this year. First, a Maryland science teacher draws White House honors as national Teacher of the Year. Now, the School of Science and Engineering Magnet high school in Dallas, Texas, has soared to the head of the latest Washington Post Challenge Index of more than 1,900 high schools nationwide.

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Feature: Engineering Icons

Grand Canyon BridgePlanning a road trip this summer? Whether en route to a beach, lake, or national park, there are plenty of engineering landmarks to admire along the way — including the interstate highway system, along which most travelers must pass. Here are some designated engineering destinations worth braking for!

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N.Y., D.C. Top Per-Student Spending

School BusNew Census figures reveal that the nation’s overall spending on education grew at a significantly slower pace in 2009 than at any other time in more than a decade. State and local revenues supplied all but 9.5 percent of the nation’s total $590.9 billion education tab. New York topped the class at $18,126 per student, with D.C. a close second at $16,408. Utah spent the least: $6,356.

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STEM Activities: Time to Invent

Time to Invent ClubThe Time to Invent Club, an invention-based mentoring program, helps students participate in fun, hands-on invention activities that spark their interest in STEM. They tackle challenges, gain confidence through inventing and creative problem-solving, meet STEM professions, and realize the impact invention has on daily life.

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Free Courses for STEM Teachers

Johns HopkinsJohns Hopkins University’s Engineering for Professionals (EP) program, part of the Whiting School of Engineering, will provide free tuition beginning with the summer term to Maryland public and private high school teachers who want to further their professional development in STEM disciplines.

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Grass-roots Advocacy? Ask Bill Gates

Bill Gates SpeakingThe foundation launched by Microsoft founder Bill Gates is spending millions of dollars to enlist educators and experts in promoting sweeping changes to public education. Teachers hired by Gates-funded advocacy group Teach Plus helped persuade Indiana lawmakers this spring to eliminate seniority-based layoff policies.

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Lesson: Rubber Band Racers

Rubber BandsIn this activity, teams of students 8 – 18 learn about engineering design by constructing rubber-band-powered cars from everyday materials that can travel in a straight line for a distance of at least 3 meters within a 1 meter wide track. They test their rubber-band racers, evaluate their results, and present to the class.

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“Innovation Campus” Links K-12, Colleges & Industry

Northrop Grumman Globalhawk UAVEver since the Wright brothers ushered in the aerospace era a century ago, America has ruled the skies. Now, a unique Arizona industry and education partnership aims to lift the country’s future aviation expertise by building a seamless high-school-to-career STEM pipeline focused on off-board pilot technology and autonomous flight.

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