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Feature: Peril in Small Places

Things Made with NanotechnologyMore and more consumer products are being developed using super-small particles, but is it safe? This article examines the steps scientists are taking to try and find an answer, including research being done that has already shown some startling and complicated results.

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Informal Science Programs Can Benefit Girls

After School ProgramInformal, out-of-school science and math programs offer great ways to engage girls in the subjects, but they need to be carefully planned and executed to make sure reluctant students want to sign up for and stick with them, Education Week’s Beyond School blog reports on findings from a new Harvard Family Research Project report.

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Smart Phones to Eliminate Digital Divide?

Using a Smart PhoneWithin five years, every K-12 student in America will be using a mobile handheld device as a part of learning, according to Elliot Soloway, a professor at the University of Michigan. “Smart phones are the one technology that can eliminate the digital divide.”

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Most U.S. Students Not Proficient in Science

Proficiency MapScores released January 25 from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress show that many U.S. students still struggle in science. Just 34 percent of fourth graders, 30 percent of eighth graders, and 21 percent of 12th graders are performing at or above ‘proficient’ – with just a tiny fraction displaying the advanced skills that could lead to careers in science and technology.

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U.S. Schools Earn a C

Empty ClassroomThe nation receives a C when graded across the six distinct areas of policy and performance tracked by Quality Counts, the most comprehensive ongoing assessment of the state of American education. For the third year in a row, Maryland is the top-ranked state with a B-plus. The majority of states receive grades of C-plus or lower.

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Is There an AP Overload?

Taking a TestNationwide, the number of students taking AP tests has surged 50 percent in the last five years. For those who hope to attend selective colleges, it’s the norm. But when a Harrisburg, Pa.-area school district sought to introduce an AP course in ninth grade, some parents balked.

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Stress Skills Instead of Content Learning, Report Urges

Kids Doing MathA new report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation recommends that student assessments be based on skills, such as reading for information, locating information, and applied mathematics, instead of content. In STEM subjects, students’ desired outcome should be improved skills in inquiry, design, and the understanding and use of symbolic language in math.

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Feature: A Joint Effort

Lisa Pruitt with Horse JJ at a Summer WorkshopFor people with damaged or painful joints, something like a knee or hip replacement can be the key to a better life. It can also weaken, wear out, or break. That’s where mechanical and bioengineering Prof. Lisa Pruitt comes in.

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Schools Still Hit by Recession

Rusty LockersAccording to a new report released by the Center for Public Education, school districts across the U.S. are laying off teachers, cutting programs, and eliminating student activities because of the ongoing fiscal squeeze created by the recession. Only two states — Montana and North Dakota — do not face revenue shortfalls this year.

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