The purpose of this program is to support grants to eligible entities to enable them to develop, produce, & distribute innovative educational & instructional programming that is designed for use by elementary schools or middle schools & based on challenging State academic content & student academic achievement standards in reading or mathematics.

An eligible applicant is a local public telecommunications entity, as defined in section 397(12) of the Communications Act of 1934, that is able to demonstrate a capacity for the development & distribution of educational & instructional television programming of high quality. Section 397(12) of the Communications Act of 1934 provides that: The term public telecommunications entity means any enterprise which: (A) Is a public broadcast station or a noncommercial telecommunications entity; & (B) Disseminates public telecommunications services to the public.

Estimated Available Funds: $2,300,000. Estimated Range of Awards: $250,000 to $2,300,000 per year. Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 4.

For more information:

http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2002-3/071702c.html

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The School Connectivity Project, which is being administered by Catholic Relief Services, aims to connect 80 secondary schools in Southeast Europe with approximately 15 schools in the United States to promote mutual dialogue and understanding using a common curriculum. The School Connectivity project encourages teachers and students from Southeastern Europe and U.S. to increase their understanding of the concepts of shared history, cultural similarities, mutual understanding, citizenship, and tolerance through the use of technology and collaborative internet communication. They will undertake projects that require collaboration between European and U.S. students and teachers and might correspond to classes in Western Civilization, European History, Morality and Ethics, or Journalism. Through an open merit-based competition, high schools in participating countries will be selected to receive computers and internet connections. The program will provide training and support for developing and disseminating joint thematic projects on topics such as shared history and culture.

For more information:

http://exchanges.state.gov/education/citizens/students/
eurasia/connectivity.htm

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Student-built computers to save Mississippi nearly $2 million

Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s office asked Moss Point computer teacher Anne Davis last month if she knew of any students who would be willing to help build 6,000 computers for the state’s public schools.

Nine students and four days of work later, 85 computers were ready to be shipped to schools throughout the state.

Davis teaches a class called ExplorNet that teaches kids how to take computers apart and put them back together. Moss Point High School is one of 12 sites in Mississippi that are building the 6,000 computers needed to put a computer in every classroom in the state.

The program not only provides hands-on job training, but also is expected to save the state nearly $2 million. Buying computer components separately and putting them together is about $300 cheaper than buying computers that are already assembled.

The Moss Point teens started work July 10. They hope to complete their share of the work—500 computers—by the end of the year.

For 18-year-old Marlen Bogan, spending the day wielding a screwdriver for $8 an hour beats last summer’s job working at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“I think this is the best summer job you could have,” said Bogan, who graduated in May.

Like many of the students, he is remarkably comfortable with the technology. He has been playing with computers since he was 8 years old.

“It was fun taking them apart,” Bogan said. “I wanted to know, what does this do?”

Installing the software is the hardest part of the job, he said. Although all the computer parts should be the same, they don’t all respond to the same commands.

“It’s like they have a mind of their own,” he said.

After he gets a degree from a junior college, Bogan plans to get a job as a computer technician to pay for the rest of his schooling. He said he wants to get a degree in software engineering.

Davis said Bogan’s experience putting computers together this summer is transferable to real-world jobs paying $30,000 to $45,000.

Davis said she plans to have Moss Point High School students build computers for local residents once the computers for the state are finished in December. She hopes enough orders will come in to make the program self-sufficient enough to continue indefinitely.

Links:

Moss Point High School
http://www.mphs.edu

ExplorNet
http://ms.explornet.org

Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove
http://www.governor.state.ms.us

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