Training & resources for implementing an environmental science program

The GLOBE program, which stands for Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, is a hands-on, school-based science and education program. It was formed through a partnership between several organizations including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The program teaches students how to research environmental topics while encouraging them to share their findings via the web. Specifically, the program provides resources for students to monitor the environment through the use of soil samples, atmospheric readings, land cover, and phenology. Teachers also benefit from this program through free training at GLOBE workshops, complementary educational videos, and continuous access to a teacher’s help desk.

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Earn cash for your school through your local grocery store

Since its inception in August of 1998, Harris Teeter’s Together In Education (TIE) program has contributed more than $4 million to schools located in Georgia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C. The TIE Program runs from August to May every school year. Harris Teeter contributes a percentage of shopper’s purchases to the schools of the customer’s choice. Shoppers simply tell the cashier that they want their store discount card number to be linked to the school account number of their choice. Checks are issued to participating schools three times during the year.

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Win a $40,000 wireless computer lab

Discovery Channel School and CDW-G have teamed up to give away a wireless computer lab valued at approximately $40,000. Each IBM lab comes complete with 20 notebook computers, Netgear wireless cards, and on-site installation. Additional prizes include 10 Hewlett Packard projectors, 10 HP inkjet printers, and 10 sets of curriculum materials from the Discovery Channel School library. Winners will be determined by a random drawing. This program starts Jan. 10.

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$50,000 to honor outstanding teachers

USA TODAY is now accepting nominations for its seventh All-USA Teacher Team. The annual recognition program honors 20 teachers as representatives of all outstanding educators. The 20 individuals and instructional teams named to the First Team will be featured in USA TODAY in October 2004 and will receive trophies. A cash award of $2,500 will be shared by each of the First Team educators and their schools. Teachers must be certified teachers K-12 teaching full-time for the 2003-04 school year. Teachers may be nominated by anyone willing to describe their accomplishments in writing, including administrators, colleagues, past and present students and parents, and community volunteers.

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$64 million to design, implement, and evaluate charter schools

The Charter Schools Program funds the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools to expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the nation. It also provides financial assistance to evaluate the effects of charter schools on students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents. Grants are available on a competitive basis to state education agencies (SEAs) in states that have charter school laws, and SEAs in turn make subgrants to authorized public chartering agencies in partnership with developers of charter schools. If an eligible SEA elects not to participate, or if its application for funding is not approved, grants can be made directly to eligible local partnerships. Grants to SEAs average $3 million and others average $150,000. Applicants must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by Feb. 19 and final applications are due March 20.

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$1.5 million in school library security products from 3M

The 2004 3M Salute to Schools program aims to help reduce the loss of valuable library resources by awarding $1.5 million in security products to 100 schools across the country. Each award, with an average value of $15,000, includes up to two 3M Detection Systems for the entrance/exit of the school’s library media center and a supply of Tattle-Tape Security Strips for marking books and other print materials.

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$100 million for American history professional development programs

The Teaching American History grants fund projects that raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of traditional American history. Grant awards assist local educational agencies in partnership with entities that have extensive content expertise, to develop, document, evaluate, and disseminate innovative, cohesive models of professional development. By helping teachers to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of traditional American history as a separate subject matter within the core curriculum, these programs improve instruction and raise student achievement. Submitting a Notice of Intent to Apply is due Feb. 5 and final applications are due March 2. ED expects to award 100 to 135 grants averaging about $750,000 for each three-year project.

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$3,000 to honor tech-savvy library media specialists

Established in 1985 as the Microcomputer in the Media Center Award, this award recognizes and honors a school library media specialist who demonstrates vision and leadership through the use of information technology to build lifelong learners. This award, $1,000 to the school library media specialist and $500 to the library, is given in two categories–elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12). Applicants must be AASL members.

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Prizes for award-winning digital films

The iCademy Digital Film Festival Awards competition encourages educators and students to use cameras and digital editing software to create digital movies related to education. Examples include educational documentaries, instructional programs, student projects related to education, or public service announcements. Prizes in seven categories covering the grades K-20 and a division for teachers will be awarded at the Microcomputers in Education Conference in March 2004 at Arizona State University. Any individual or group of students and/or K-20 teachers can enter. Submissions from Mac and PC platforms and any DVD-editing tools will be accepted as long as the entry is provided in QuickTime format. Each entry costs $10.

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New IBM laptops feature crash-protection technology

Today’s cars come equipped with sensors that can detect danger and automatically deploy air bags. Now laptops, too, are getting a similar defense mechanism.

Two new models of ThinkPad notebook computers, unveiled last fall by IBM Corp., come with a chip that can detect when the laptop is accelerating–such as when it has been accidentally nudged off a table and is plunging to the floor.

If the hard drive happens to be reading or writing data at the time, the chip tells the drive to stop temporarily. Hard drives are at their most vulnerable when reading and writing data, so IBM believes its crash-protection chip will help guard against such losses of important information.

IBM says the technology is particularly apt for use in schools, where laptop computers often are subjected to abuse by students. The crash chips are found in IBM’s new ThinkPad R50 and T41 models, which start at $1,529 and $1,649, respectively.

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