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CS2N: Computer Science Student Network

CS2NFrom art to aerospace, computer science plays a vital role in virtually every field and innovation. Yet few U.S. students pursue computer science or engineering degrees. The Computer Science Student Network (CS2N), a collaborative research project between Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), aims to change that with a site full of engaging activities, competitions, step-by-step programming lessons, animation software, and free courses for teachers.

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STEM Video Game Challenge Names Winners

Winner and Cousins Test GameTwelve students have won the National STEM Video Game Challenge, according to Education Week. They include a team of students who developed a game called, “You Make Me Sick!” to teach about bacteria and viruses. Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the contest aims to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passions for playing and making video games.

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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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Website: Gas Hydrates and Crystallography Resources

Gas Hydrates in Solid FormThis website on gas hydrates and crystallography from the University of California-Irvine provides resources, information, and class materials for teachers. It offers information, documents, presentations, photos, and data from past programs and projects, as well as lab activities, experiments, lesson plans, software, and an online tutorial.

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Resource: Naval Astronomical Information Center

Carina Nebula from HubbleThe Naval Oceanography Portal website maintains an Astronomical Information Center that contains a variety of informative resources. The directory features a glossary of terms, important definitions, fun facts, in-depth articles, data sets, lists, mathematical equations, and links to outside resources. Some topics include phenomena of the sun and moon, time, calendars and events, computing astronomical data, celestial navigation, and more.

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KLASS Act: A NASA Simulation

Space Shuttle LauchChuck Lostroscio, a NASA software engineer, has reconfigured the simulation software NASA used to train Space Shuttle astronauts and created a computer game-like tool to help students learn how they might one day apply their math, science and engineering lessons. It’s called the Kennedy Launch Academy Simulation System, or KLASS, and it requires students to play a mission control engineer for a simulated shuttle launch.

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Web Resource: NASA Simulation Launch Software

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Based on the actual software currently used for training at its Launch Control Center, NASA’s downloadable Kennedy Launch Academy Simulation System Software (KLASS) enables a launch countdown simulation with a networked system of computers. The supporting KLASS Curriculum is a series of STEM lesson plans for students grades 6-10 with interactive resources that build to a simulated shuttle launch.

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Using Doesn’t Mean Knowing

Give kids a laptop and a wireless broadband connection and just watch them search, chat, and network. But that’s not good enough, says the Computer Science Teachers Association, which wants more schools teaching students how computers actually work.

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Web Resource: Bridge Building Software

Built for the West Point Bridge Design 2010 Contest, the West Point Bridge Designer 2010 software also can be used and distributed for educational uses. This software provides tools to model, test, and optimize a steel highway bridge, based on realistic specifications, constraints, and performance criteria. It introduces students to engineering through an authentic, hands-on design experience. This software provides tools to model, test, and optimize a steel highway bridge, based on realistic specifications, constraints, and performance criteria. It introduces students to engineering through an authentic, hands-on design experience.

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