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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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Resources: Programs from the Navy

ONR logoThe Office of Naval Research provides several different outreach programs for students at different grade levels. The programs, which include competitions and afterschool engagement, range in size and mission.

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States Push STEM Partnerships

STEM PartnershipsAfter years of discussing the need to improve STEM education, states are starting to seize their Sputnik moment. Some are forging novel connections between colleges and local school systems. Others are considering laws so school districts can form regional STEM schools.

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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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Dropout Factories Decline

Sleeping StudentThe number of U.S. schools with such poor graduation rates that they are known as “dropout factories” fell by 6.4 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a report released at the Building a Grad Nation Summit in Washington, D.C., March 22. The report also included recommendations to help ensure a high school graduation rate of 90 percent for the class of 2020–today’s third graders.

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Navy on Course to Boost STEM Learning

Naval ShipThe U.S. Navy now spends $60 million a year on STEM education, but Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wants to double that amount over five years, officials say. The expanded effort is directed particularly at elementary and middle school students in rural and urban communities – not just areas with existing naval facilities – and at university freshmen and sophomores, too many of whom now drop out of science and engineering.

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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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NASA Weightlessness Challenge, Grades 5-8

WeightlessnessNASA’s “Kids in Micro-g” challenge calls for students in grades five through eight to design a classroom experiment that can also be performed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The “Kids in Micro-g” challenge calls for the experiments to examine the effect of weightlessness on various subjects.

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Contest: Environmental Excellence Award

OceanThe 2011 SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Awards recognize the efforts of students and teachers across the country who are working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve the environment. All K-12 schools in the United States and formally recognized school groups, such as a grade level, classroom or club are eligible to apply. Public, private and licensed home schools are also eligible. Awards include $10,000 for eight award-winning projects and all expenses-paid trip to a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park for the awards event. DEADLINE: Dec. 1, 2010.

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