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Feature: Kart Me Away

evGrandPrix Line UpA Purdue University engineering professor has found that building and racing go-karts is a great way not only to interest his own students in science and engineering, but at-risk middle-school kids as well.

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N.C. Students Rev Their Green Engines

Go Green Go-KartA group of North Carolina students is literally on the fast track to going green. On May 19, design teams from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools raced their biofuel-powered vehicles in the annual Go Green Go-Kart Competition hosted by the school system’s career center. The contest drew a whopping 24 teams, up from 11 teams last year.

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Will Tech Doom Teachers’ Unions?

Tech WorldForget politics and budget battles. Digital learning, not legislatures, represents the biggest threat to teachers’ unions, argues Stanford political science professor Terry Moe in his new book, Special Interest. Part history, part analysis of education trends, the book details the rise of the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.

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Mathlete of the Year

Math CountsCheering crowds. An ESPN crew. Who knew math could generate as much excitement as the NBA playoffs? Ask Scott Wu. On May 7, the Baton Rouge, La., eighth grader beat 223 other middle-school “mathletes” from around the country to win the 2011 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS national competition in Washington, D.C.

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States Push STEM Partnerships

STEM PartnershipsAfter years of discussing the need to improve STEM education, states are starting to seize their Sputnik moment. Some are forging novel connections between colleges and local school systems. Others are considering laws so school districts can form regional STEM schools.

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Feature: Finland, A Model for Success

FinlandFinland enjoys a surprising claim to fame: world-class K-12 education. Only a handful of nations come close to matching Finland in math, science, and literacy, and none boasts such uniformly high achievement rates across regions and income levels. How could the country produce 15-year-olds on par with Asia’s whiz kids? The answer may reside in teacher training and approach.

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House Republicans Offer Bill

No Child Left BehindHouse Republicans made their opening bid to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act, introducing the first of what are expected to be as many as five bills seeking to change specific parts of federal education law and eliminate “wasteful” education programs. A bipartisan group of Senators is seeking broader changes, however.

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Lesson: Design a Sturdy Paper Table

Paper TableIn this lesson, students in grades 4-7 explore the engineering design process by building a table out of tubes of newspaper that is strong enough to hold a heavy book. They learn to brainstorm, test, evaluate, and redesign their tables to support more weight and figure out how to keep the table legs from buckling.

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Summit: Adventures of the Mind

Adventures of the MindAdventures of the Mind, a mentoring summit, brings together 150 of the nation’s top students and 50 accomplished mentors, who will share their life stories with the Junior Achievers. They will learn first-hand that excellence is not only possible, but the path to it lies right in front of them. The 2011 summit is at the University of Montana, Missoula, June 22-26, 2011.

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