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Inquiry First.

Today, the Boston Herald launches a five-part series on Boston public schools that exemplify education that works. The schools included in the series: TechBoston Academy, UP Academy, Orchard Gardens, and Joseph Lee Elementary School. According to today's blog post by the Herald's Jessica Heslam, the secrets to the success of these schools include longer school days and a longer school year, innovative teachers and administrators, and students groomed for college from a young age.

The first article in the series: Teens engineer future success at TechBoston.
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NASA's new Aspire 2 Inspire section of its Women@NASA website targets young women with a campaign to inform and inspire them about careers in STEM fields. "We have an opportunity to reach out to the next generation and inspire today's girls to pursue science and technology careers," said Rebecca Keiser, associate director for agency-level policy integration and representative to the White House Council on Women and Girls. "Expanding opportunities in these fields will give our country perspectives and expertise that will help us out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the world. It's key to our future."  Check it out!
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There's a new face on the street... "Sesame Street," that is.  University of Rhode Island science educator Sara Sweetman -- an elementary science teacher in addition to her part-time professorship at URI -- has worked as a science advisor for the children's TV show since early 2010.  She was asked to appear on the program to help with a series of science experiments, and appears onscreen with such famous characters and Elmo and Super Grover.  "I respect the energy and passion the characters, producers and educators put in," she says.  It was amazing to be part of it."

Earlier this year, "Sesame Street" announced that it would be integrating a new STEM curriculum into its programming.  The curriculum focuses on STEM subjects through an inquiry-based approach to learning.

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The National Center for Education Statistics says that the number of science degrees awarded to women has been rising, slowly but surely.  From 2003 to 2009, undergrad degrees in physical science earned by women increased 22.1%, while doctoral physical science degrees awarded to women rose nearly 54% over the same time period. “The bottom line is that everyone is going to be goal-oriented, everyone wants to get to the top, and the reality of it is that only a special few are going to get where they want to be,” said University of Arizona sophomore biology major Sara Pousti. “It’s based on your abilities, not your gender.”
Via www.wildcat.arizona.edu


Science360 Radio features continuous audio programming from contributors including NSF, Scientific American, Discovery, Nature, NPR, AAAS, and many more.  Get the app for iPhone or Android or listen on your computer.
Via www.science360.gov

While Massachusetts students came out on top in 4th and 8th grade math and reading as measured by the recently-released National Assessment of Educational Progress exam (aka "the nation's report card"), there's work to be done to address a persistent gap in achievement between white and minority students.  Governor Patrick and state Secretary of Education Paul Reville have some plans in the works that aim to do just that.
Via www.bostonglobe.com

Long Island middle school student Aidan Dwyer had a thought while walking through the woods one day: Might the efficiency of solar panels improve if they were arranged like leaves at the ends of tree branches? He took the idea to the next level, creating a prototype of a tree-like solar panel array for a science fair.  "My design is like a tree," he said, "but instead of having leaves it has solar panels at the ends (of the branches)."  Aidan's work won him the Young Naturalist award from the American Museum of Natural History, and got him a speaking gig at the recent PopTech conference.  (CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO)
Via whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com

The Girl Scouts of Massachusetts partnered with Raytheon over the weekend to engage 300 middle school students in math and science through interactive learning programs.
Via www1.whdh.com

Massachusetts businesses that rely on workers with specific technical skills are finding that potential employees are in short supply. A lack of machinists, for example, and a dearth of mechanical engineers, are making it difficult for manufacturers to staff up. Some have observed that occupations traditionally considered "beneath" young college graduates are now requiring intelligent workers with problem-solving skills and the ability to work with their hands. "Those used to be skills that were passed down from generation to generation,” said Mary E. FitzGerald, human resources manager for Saint-Gobain Corp.'s ceramics and high performance refractory operations in Worcester, MA. “You just can't find those skilled people anymore."
Via www.telegram.com

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