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Hidden Wealth in Food Waste?

Union Market composting garbageThe world wastes 1.4 billion tons of food annually, with the average American chucking out 250 pounds’ worth. Designers, engineers, and even restaurants are shrinking that global garbage heap with innovations ranging from “smart” food packaging to urban composting.

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Greening STEM Grants for Educators

USFWS environmental educationWhether it’s a school garden or national park, the natural world offers a great way to encourage inquiry and STEM learning. To support the integration of Greening STEM into current or new programs, the National Environmental Education Foundation is offering grants of up to $1,000 to teachers, after-school programs, and nature organizations. Apply by April 5, 2016.

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New K-12 STEM Journal

Omaha Zoo AcademyConnected Science Learning, a new online journal for STEM educators, seeks to bridge the gap between informal and traditional education settings by highlighting effective programs and partnerships that enhance STEM learning. The inaugural issue, released March 15, includes articles on Omaha’s “Zoo Academy,” a museum partnership with Denver schools, and a Franklin Institute program on applying neuroscience to education.

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CTE Makover Challenge

cardboard dinosaur at White House maker faireCould makerspaces transform career, technical, and vocational education? The U.S. Department of Education believes so and has launched a CTE Makeover Challenge to kick-start the process. Up to 10 schools could win $20,000 in cash and other awards to turn their makerspace designs into reality. Submissions due April 1, 2016.

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Survival Course

Odd Man Out Prism May 2014 coverAfrican-American males represent a sliver of engineering enrollment. More could succeed if schools understood what it takes to beat the odds. In its summer 2014 cover story, ASEE’s Prism magazine explores the challenges and experiences of black engineering students, including their lessons for higher education.

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The Engineer Behind the Super Soaker

Lonnie G. Johnson Super Soaker inverterInventor Lonnie G. Johnson spent more than a decade in high-level posts within the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Air Force, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. He was, in short, a rocket scientist, albeit one with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a master’s in nuclear engineering. But what sent his high-flying career into orbit was the invention of one of the world’s most popular toys: the Super Soaker.

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National Engineers Week 2016

DiscoverE Engineers Week 2016Introduce a girl to engineering of find an engaging hands-on activity to do with your class. The 65th annual Engineers Week, which takes place Feb. 21 to 27, has plenty of fun local events designed to raise awareness of what engineers do to make the world a healthier, safer place. New this year: Global Day on Feb 24 brings together the international community to give students around the world a chance to experience engineering.

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USPTO’s National Summer Teacher Institute

patent and trademark posterInnovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property is the theme for the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s 3rd Annual National Summer Teacher Institute, to be held July 17-22, 2016 at Michigan State University. Some 50 K-12 teachers from across the country will be selected to participate in this professional development and training program. Apply by March 15.

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FIRST STEM Equity Grants

DC McKinley Tech FIRST robotics team 2010To broaden access and reduce inequities in STEM education and after-school programming, FIRST® has partnered with Apple and Microsoft to provide grants of up to $50,000 to as many as 15 communities in United States and Canada for the coming school year. Letters of intent are due March 11, 2016.

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