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Next Generation Science Standards Unveiled

illustration1Engineering rarely rates more than a passing nod in most K-12 science programs. A new report from the National Research Council could change that. Its sweeping recommendations for “next generation” science standards put engineering on a par with physics and other disciplines as key to meeting society’s most pressing problems while helping citizens make informed daily decisions.

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Lesson: Pop Fly!

baseballIn this lesson, students in grades 3 – 12 will explore the engineering design process by building a device that can launch a ping-pong ball high enough for them to catch it.

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Cheating Scandal Roils Atlanta Schools

Looking for AnswersAn investigation of Atlanta Public Schools has uncovered such widespread cheating on state tests that writers of the 428-page report ran out of synonyms for cheating. Some 44 schools and 178 educators were named in the probe, with teachers now facing termination and doubt spreading about impressive gains in student achievement that helped the former superintendent become 2009 superintendent of the year.

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New Study on Girls in Engineering to Begin

Girls in EngineeringFewer than 18 percent of engineering undergrads are female. In an attempt to find the best ways to bring more women to the field, Arizona State University (ASU) education specialist Tirupalavanam Ganesh will soon begin a study of sixth grade girls as they explore hands-on learning experiences focused on engineering.

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Girls Sweep Google Global Science Fair

Winners Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose & Naomi ShahTeachers struggling to get girls jazzed about STEM take heart. Of 10,000 students who competed in Google’s inaugural global science fair, three young women soared to the top, including Texas high school student Shree Bose, who won the grand prize for her work on drug resistance in treating ovarian cancer.

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NYC Ends Teacher Bonuses

balanceNew York City will eliminate a performance-bonus program for teachers and principals in light of new research showing that the three-year-old program did not improve student achievement at any grade level or teachers’ morale. “A lot of the principals and teachers saw the bonuses as a recognition and reward, as icing on the cake,” explained Julie Marsh, lead researcher of the RAND report.

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Inspire the Next Generation of Engineers

Design Squad logoJoin PBS’s Design Squad Nation and ASEE’s Engineering Go For It for a free webinar entitled “Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers,” on August 25 from 12 PM to 1 PM EDT. Learn about free hands-on activities, videos, and other online resources that will help enliven your classes and spark a love of engineering in kids ages 9 and up.

Watch a replay of the webinar here:
http://wgbh1.adobeconnect.com/p47qx88dmmb/

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State School Chiefs Seek NCLB Waivers

going to schoolAs they hurtle toward 2014, when all students must reach proficiency in reading and math, states are pushing new accountability systems–and waivers. The Council of Chief State School Officers announced recently that 41 states had pledged to work together on a new generation of accountability systems that offer a blueprint for reforming NCLB’s pass-fail cut scores and include “growth” in student learning.

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Scopes Trial Scientists on Flickr

Scopes2Look what turned up in the “nation’s attic.” The Smithsonian Institution has released 25 photos of scientists from the 1925 “monkey trial,” more formally known as the State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes. The scientists and science reporters were supporters of the defense of Scopers, who was convicted of violating a state law against teaching evolution to school children.

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