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SciJinks for Kids: Wild Weather

SciJinks volcanoFrom tidal curiosities and solar flares to bad weather jokes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s SciJinks website offers a wealth of resources for learning and teaching about Earth’s climate and geography.

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Robots to the Rescue

DRC Robotics IHRC and CHIMPThey got out of cars, climbed stairs, opened doors – and fell. But the mechanical humans that went through their paces in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Robotics Challenge in June showed that they could assist in disasters.

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Smithsonian Opens New Innovation Hall

Smithsonian innovation hallOn July 1, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open its new innovation wing, with interactive exhibits and programs focused on the theme of U.S. enterprise, business, and invention. The centerpiece of the 45,000-square-foot space is the studio of Ralph Baer, inventor of the home video game.

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Building Bridges to Literature

Concord Hymn rude bridge poemDesigning, building, and testing bridges can help students develop teamwork and problem-solving skills along with inspiring their interest in engineering. Such hands-on projects also can fuel an interest in reading about bridges. Here are some notable titles that might strike a chord with your budding civil and structural engineers.

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Happy Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge

golden gate bridge at sunsteWhen California’s Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937, more than 200,000 people strolled or roller-skated across its 4,200-foot causeway. The graceful span quickly became one of America’s most iconic landmarks – including for its safety features and other engineering feats.

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Report: Improving STEM Education

Kids doing STEM activityWant to improve the quality of STEM education? AdvancED devotes its entire Spring 2015 issue to the subject. Articles range from narrowing the STEM achievement gap to 3-D virtual learning to explicitly teaching engineering.

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Inspirational Math

female geometry studentMath can be a tough sell. Many students think it’s too hard, or that they’re no good at it. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Jo Boaler, who has designed a free program for teachers to change mindsets and inspire their fifth through ninth graders to think more deeply in mathematics.

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Earth Day 2015

Earth in handsPlant a tree. Snap a selfie for NASA. There are countless ways students and teachers can celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. This year’s theme: It’s Our Turn to Lead. See how your small steps can lead to big change!

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‘Bot Diggity: r-one Robots For All

Bot Diggity robotsThey clean floors, deliver drinks, fetch like puppies, even tell jokes. But can personal robots improve engineering education?

James McLurkin, an assistant professor of computer science at Rice University, certainly thinks so. And no wonder. The pioneer of swarming robotics has seen his bagel-size ’bot transform an introductory engineering course into an unabashedly fun way to convey circuits, mechanics, and other core concepts.

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