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Resource: BLOSSOMS from MIT

blossomsThe Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies (BLOSSOMS) initiative, a new project from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, creates videos with a STEM focus for use in high school classrooms. The program features a library with around 50 math and science lessons, available free for download or as streaming video, and also by request as DVDs and videotapes.

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Program: One Laptop Per Child

OLPC MongoliaThe One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program aims to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. To this end, hardware, content, and software has been designed for collaborative, fun, and self-empowered learning.

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Feature: Finland, A Model for Success

FinlandFinland enjoys a surprising claim to fame: world-class K-12 education. Only a handful of nations come close to matching Finland in math, science, and literacy, and none boasts such uniformly high achievement rates across regions and income levels. How could the country produce 15-year-olds on par with Asia’s whiz kids? The answer may reside in teacher training and approach.

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America’s Math Gap

Math ConceptsWhy do U.S. students fare so poorly in mathematics compared with peers in other nations? A new study suggests a major factor may be the easier math curriculum American kids typically encounter. “The consequences are clear-less opportunity to learn challenging mathematics corresponds to lower achievement,” the researchers conclude.

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Contest: ThinkQuest International Competition

ThinkQuestThe 2011 ThinkQuest International Competition challenges students to apply their critical thinking, communication, and technology skills to a real-world problem. Teams research, develop, and test their solution before presenting it to a global audience. Students and their coaches put their ideas and skills to the test in one of three events.

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Shanghai Teens are Tops in Math, Reading and Science

Chinese EducationShanghai 15-year-olds scored No. 1 in a major international math, science and reading test, beating students in dozens of countries, and did particularly well in math. American students placed “in the middle of the pack,” says an Education Department official.

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Outsourcing Math in Britain

Indian Educators on ComputersOnce a week, 11-year-olds at Ashmount Primary School in North London settle in front of computers and put on headsets. A few minutes later, they’re connected online to math teachers thousands of miles away in the Indian state of Punjab. Ashmount is one of three British state schools that outsource part of their teaching to India through BrightSpark Education.

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Overseas Schools Attract Top Graduates

U.S. GraduatesCountries with top-performing schools and students — think Singapore, Finland, and South Korea — recruit their teachers from the top third of college graduates, according to a new study. Yet only 23 percent of U.S. teachers come from the top third of graduates. Salary may be a key component.

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A Promising Math Model

A Student in SingaporeIn an effort to help their students attain the kind of stellar math scores regularly achieved by Singapore students, some U.S. schools are adapting the Asian city-state’s mathematics teaching model.

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