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U.Md. Student Summer Programs

The University of Maryland offers a variety of summer programs for students, including ESTEEM (Engineering Science and Technology to
Energize and Expand Young Minds); Exploring Engineering;SAT Strategies Workshop; Young Scholars Program; and the Women in Engineering Leadership Enhancement, Application and Design Academies (open to young men and women).

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Building Blocks: Back to Basics

building blocksTalk about old school. Building blocks, those indestructible wooden mainstays of elementary classrooms since the 1900s, are finding new favor as a way to boost student learning, particularly in math and science. In New York City, parents are creating castles and toppling towers at oversubscribed building-block workshops. Some charter schools advertise block corners along with chess programs and science labs.

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Atlanta Launches STEM Teacher Residency

teacher residencyAtlanta Public Schools has a plan for easing its shortage of math and science teachers: Create them. The 50,000-student district is launching an urban residency program to prepare both career-changers and current educators to work in math and science classrooms. Recruits will spend a year shadowing a high-performing APS teacher while completing a master’s in education from Georgia State University.

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Feature: Low Cost, High Impact

salad-spinnerIn many poor, rural areas of the world, scourges like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and malnutrition are endemic. Blood tests for anemia are a quick way to diagnose them, but it can take days to get results back from hospitals many miles away. Last year, a multidisciplinary team of Rice University undergraduates devised a clever solution: It’s a centrifuge fashioned from a common salad spinner.

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Event: Computer Science Education Week

CSEdWeekCSEdWeek 2011 celebrates the impact of computing and the need for computer science education. The week incorporates events and resources for students, teachers, parents, administrators, college and university reps, and industry. When: December 4-11, 2011.

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Lesson: Dirty Water Project

dropletCivil, chemical, and environmental engineers work together to develop new water treatment systems or to improve existing ones. In this activity, teams of students in grades 3-5 investigate different methods for removing pollutants from water, then design and build their own water filters from plastic bottles.

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Program: MESA at Arizona State University

MESAMathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is a university-based outreach program operating in eight states. In Arizona, MESA strives to provide an opportunity for ethnic minority, low income, and first generation college-bound students to explore college majors and career interests with a group of peers interested in attending college.

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Contest: eCYBERMISSION

ecybermissionRegistration is now open for eCYBERMISSION, the U.S. Army’s free, web-based STEM competition for students in grades 6 to 9. Now in its 10th year, the competition seeks to foster student innovation, creativity, and interest in studying and pursuing STEM fields. Winners can get up to $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds. Registration for teams closes December 16, 2011.

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Lesson: Can-Do Canoe

canoeIn this activity, teams of students in grades 3-12 explore the engineering design process by building model canoes from everyday materials and testing their design in a basin. The canoes must be able to float for three minutes and, for older students, support a load. Students then evaluate the effectiveness of their canoes and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.

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