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U.S. Students Lag in STEM

math worksheetDespite years of White House science fairs, a national emphasis on STEM education, and new science standards that include engineering design, U.S. students still fall short of their peers around the world in math and science, a major international exam reveals.

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Soil Whisperer

Amy Kaleita in fieldFrom the air or highway, America’s fruited plains present a uniform vista of vast abundance. Not to Amy Kaleita. The associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University sees a “somewhat chaotic” array of micro-plots, each with unique hydrology, root depths, soil characteristics – all of them ripe opportunities for smart technology to enhance both sustainability and food production using “precision conservation.”

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Engineer Girl Essay Contest

endangered black footed ferret“Engineering and Animals” is the theme for the National Academy of Engineering’s 2017 EngineerGirl! Essay Contest. Students in grades 3 to 12 are asked to choose an endangered animal – like this black-footed ferret – and consider how engineering might improve life for that species. Submissions are due Feb. 1, 2017.

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Soil Biosolarization: Sustainable Weed Killer

seedlingIn this three-part activity, students in grades 5 to 7 act as agricultural engineers, learning about and testing the effectiveness of a sustainable pest-control technique that uses organic waste and sunlight rather than toxic chemicals to reduce weeds.

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Vernier Contest

Vernier engineering contest bridge buildingMiddle and high school STEM teachers can win up to $5,500 in cash, technology, and funds to cover the cost of attending either the 2017 ASEE or NSTA annual conference in Vernier Software & Technology’s engineering contest. Apply by February 15, 2017.

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Amazing Grace

Grace HopperRear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale, pioneered computer programming languages, discovered the first computer “bug,” and retired as the Navy’s highest ranking, longest-serving female officer in history. They even named a naval destroyer after her.

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Computer Science Education Week 2016

computer coding graphicWant to inspire your students? Join millions in celebrating Computer Science Education Week – and computer pioneer Grace Hopper’s birthday – from December 5 to 11 this year by hosting an Hour of Code or other fun activity.

Join more than 41,000 U.S. schools, libraries, and other organizations celebrating Computer Science Education Week this year by hosting hour-of-code events from December 5 to 11. (Get how-to details here.)

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MIT THINK Scholars Program

idea light bulb MIT THINKMIT’s THINK Scholars Program is an educational outreach initiative run by undergraduates that supports and funds STEM projects developed by high school students. Six finalists are chosen to visit the campus, with three selected to receive up to $1,000 in seed money to complete their projects. Deadline for submitting proposals is January 1, 2016.

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