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Can Private Funds Boost STEM?

Private FundsChicago Public Schools is the latest test lab for philanthropists hoping to improve public education. English vacuum cleaner inventor James Dyson announced he was investing $500,000 to bring an after-school program focused on creative design, engineering and technology to 20 schools this fall.

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Gates: Give More Students Access to Great Teachers

Bill GatesMicrosoft founder Bill Gates says the nation isn’t getting its money’s worth in education, and faults two assumptions that have led to rising costs: that reducing class size will boost student achievement, and that teachers must be rewarded on the basis of seniority. He suggests identifying the top 25 percent of teachers and paying them more to teach more students.

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An App for STEM Aptitude?

In baseball, batters aim to “hit ’em where they ain’t.” In education, writes Autodesk executive Joe Astroth in a new Huffington Post blog, smart phones and other portable technology can connect students to learning after school and “teach ”em where they are.”

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Internships for All at New “Pathways in Tech” Schools

New YorkPathways In Technology Early College High School, a new school opening this fall in Brooklyn, N.Y., is partnering with IBM to offer internships and hands-on training in computers, engineering and information technology for all students. Students also will be able to take college-level classes at CUNY and earn an associate’s degree.

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Grant to Aid STEM Teacher Recruitment

Teach for America TeacherTeach for America is the latest player in the nation’s effort to improve STEM education. The alternative teacher-preparation program is getting a $500,000 financial boost from the ExxonMobil Foundation to recruit and train recent college graduates for math and science teaching positions in high-needs communities.

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Website: Sustainability Workshop from Autodesk

Autodesk SustainabilityThe Sustainability Workshop video series from Autodesk, an eGFI sponsor, uses animated drawings and real-world examples in short films that explain essential concepts for budding engineers. Some topics include engineering systems, green design, turning an idea into a finished product, and even why modern bicycles look so different from those built 200 years ago.

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Custom Golf Clubs for Quadruple Amputee

Custom Golf Clubs from PINGA team of research engineers at golf equipment company PING has created a set of custom-fitted golf clubs for a man who has been a quadruple amputee since 2005. The researchers developed “a workable prototype” for Mesa, Arizona’s Jeff Lewis and worked with a prosthetist to develop a set of unique clubs.

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Travel Fellowships for Middle School Teachers

Coral and Coastal EcologyTeachers of grades 6 through 8 from Northrup Grumman communities have a chance to join an expedition either to the Bahamas, to examine coastal ecology, or to the edge of the Arctic, to study climate change.

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The New Weather Channel: School

ThunderstormA number of schools around the country are helping to provide local broadcasters with up-to-date weather reports in conjunction with WeatherBug, a weather information company. In the process, they’re finding a new way to teach science, technology, and math.

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