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Feature: Great Communication Key to Success

letter-eCould an approach developed to help deaf and hearing-impaired undergraduates overcome educational disadvantages work for anyone–including mainstream K-12 students who struggle with reading and math? Scott Bellinger, an instructor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, America’s only technical college for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, thinks so.

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Chemistry Teacher Named Top in Nation

Michelle ShearerWho says science is for nerds? Not the Council of Chief State School Officers, which just named Michelle Shearer, an AP chemistry teacher from Frederick, Md., the 2011 National Teacher of the Year. President Obama will honor her and other state teachers of the year at the White House on May 3.

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1, 2, Robot Hands Please Tie My Shoe

ShoelacesIn this activity, students will explore how sensing is part of robotics by tying their shoes with different constraints. After lacing their shoes normally, try it wearing thick gloves or with popsicle sticks taped to fingers so they can’t bend. Can students tie their shoes now? A connection is made to the limitations of the motion of robots, and to the role of design in allowing robots to perform different functions.

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Colorado STEM Program Gets VIP Praise

Colorado STEM ProgamSkyline High School in Boulder, Colo., showed Interior Secretary Ken Salazar what a high quality program looks like when he visited the STEM Academy March 21. Students must earn 28 credits for a STEM certificate, instead of the 24.5 needed for a regular high school diploma, and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Graduates are guaranteed acceptance in the University of Colorado’s engineering program.

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White House Honors H.S. STEM Champs

Intel Science Talent SearchIn his State of the Union address, President Obama urged Americans to “teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair.” Last week, the sports-fan-in-chief made good on that vow by welcoming 40 high school STEM superstars — finalists in this year’s Intel Science Talent Search — to the White House.

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More Students Pass AP Exams

Pen and TestMore public high school students are taking and succeeding at AP exams than 10 years ago, a new report from the College Board reveals. Maryland tops the nation, with 24.8 percent of students passing at least one AP test, compared with a national average of 16.9 percent.

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Top AP Science & Math Students Win Siemens Awards

Siemens Foundation WinnerTop achievers in Advanced Placement science and mathematics courses from each state recently won 2010 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement. The annual awards confer a $2,000 college scholarship to one male and one female student who aced the greatest number of AP exams in subjects ranging from Biology to Calculus BC to Physics C.

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Students’ Summer: Science and Math in New Hampshire. July 5-29, 2010.

Project SmartProject SMART (Science and Mathematics Achievement through Research Training) is a 4-week Summer Institute at the University of New Hampshire, July 5-29, 2011, for talented high school students in grades 10 and 11. It challenges, educates, and motivates students in science and mathematics while acquainting them with the environment and resources of the University as a place for higher education and research. Cost: $3,000 for full four weeks, $2,500 without weekend stays.Applications accepted until all places are filled.

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Teens Grasp Value of Math and Science

Teen StudentA survey commissioned by Intel finds that, “contrary to perceptions that American teenagers are apathetic about math and science, students highly value the importance of these subjects and understand the role of math and science to their futures.”

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