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February 27, 2013
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STEM News for Educators

  • Study: Parameters of math competitions affect girls' performance
    Girls perform on par or even better than boys in math competitions when time constraints are removed or a competition lasts more than one round, according to a recent study. "It's really encouraging that seemingly large gaps disappear just by keeping [girls] in the game longer," professor of economics and study co-author Joe Price said, noting that the finding might have implications for getting more women to pursue careers in competitive work environments. Forbes/Entrepreneurs (2/26)
  • Akron, Ohio, students aim high in national rocketry test
    Students at Akron, Ohio's, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School are busy preparing their egg-launching rockets in a campaign to qualify for the national Team America Rocketry Challenge. The 11-year-old rocketry club has sent teams to national competition for several years, and physics teacher Bob Engels says the effort has inspired students. "The whole idea is to get students interested in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] and fool them into doing it because flying rockets is fun," he said. West Side Leader (Akron, Ohio) (2/21)
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  • Tech luminaries urge schools to provide programming courses
    A nonprofit computer science organization is calling on schools to introduce and expand programming curricula and is getting help from the most successful in the industry, including Bill Gates and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The two tech titans are starring in's first video marketing effort. According to the group, only 1 in 10 U.S. schools offer computer science courses. Reuters (2/26)
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  • Iowa students take environmental concerns to the capitol
    A school project studying food waste and the environment led three Iowa City middle-school students to present their case in support of a landfill bill in the Iowa state Senate. The students, ages 11, 12 and 13, spoke about methane gas emissions from food waste in landfills during a legislative subcommittee meeting at the state capitol. One senator credited them with changing his mind on the bill, which could make it to the Senate floor in mid-March. KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) (2/23)
  • SAT to be redesigned with college success in mind
    The College Board will revamp the SAT to make it more valuable to higher education, it was reported Tuesday. Although more students took the SAT in 2012 than ever before, the number of students taking the SAT was surpassed for the first time in 2011 by the number taking the ACT. Most schools accept both exams, but College Board President David Coleman said the redesign will be aimed at ensuring the SAT focuses more on the "core set of knowledge and skills" needed in college. The Washington Post (2/26)
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--Kurt Lewin,
German-American psychologist

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