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Curiosity in the Classroom Designed to Get Students and Teachers Excited about Science and Math

If you ask a student if he or she were interested in math and science, statistics say they would more than likely give a resounding no over a yes. However, if you ask them if they are curious, they might be more apt to give a positive answer. A new site, CuriosityintheClassroom.com, capitalizes on this spirit of inquiry that children have by providing engaging learning materials for them, their parents, and their teachers.

Curiosity in the Classroom, a venture between Discovery Education and Intel Corporation, encourages students in grades 6-12 to ask questions and find ways to answer them.

Does our brain store all the memories we’ve ever had?

How many texts does an average teen send per month?

Are robots “intelligent”?

The answers may surprise you, and this website answers all of these questions and more.

This interest in scientific findings is more than just a way for kids to pass the time, it may be essential to their later success in finding employment, a career, and the good of the country as a whole. Resources on the website for teachers include troubling research about students’ perceptions of their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills, which are fields in which the demand is increasing, the unemployment rates are low, and the pay is great. (more…)




Don’t Let Bad Roommates Ruin Your College Experience

A tiny dorm room isn’t ideal for most college freshmen, but sharing a room is something most freshmen will have to get used to. Students should be aware that roommates can affect your life more than expected. Bruce Sacerdote, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth, wrote in a study, “Roommate effects are important influences in freshman year GPA and in decisions to join social organizations.”

The scenarios of how roommates can affect your freshman year are endless. For example, before the school year begins, roommates talk about joining different organizations which can include going Greek. Another example is studying for an exam while every other roommate may suggest going to a party. While being away from home, first year students may have the desire to be social, instead of studying. College is all about learning how to be an independent adult and accountable for your actions, so if there starts to be a sign of lower grades and there is a direct correlation with your roommates, then something must be done to fix the situation.

Here are tips on how to fix roommate problems:

1. Speak up to your roommate, tell them you have priorities and that you need to find a way to accommodate each other in such a small space. (more…)




Want to Live a Long Life? Stay in School

Stay in school. Get an education. Knowledge is power. All of these phrases are instilled in children from preschool on. It’s great advice and can definitely lead to some smart choices in life. But now it’s been found that getting more education can not only improve your life, but make it last a little longer.

A study published in the August issue of Health Affairs shows that the life expectancy of those who are poor and less educated has increased only slightly over the past several decades. The research also shows that in some cases, the life expectancy for those who don’t finish high school is getting shorter. Within this study, the researchers examined the trends in life expectancy from 1990 through 2008 paying special attention to how someone’s age, sex, race and education affected their longevity.

Lead author of the study Jay Olshansky stated in a news release, “There are essentially two Americas. The most highly educated white men live about 14 years longer than the least-educated black men. The least-educated black women live about 10 years less than the most-educated white women.” (more…)




25 Biggest Fears of the Incoming College Freshman Class

The first day of class is just days away for many college campuses. That day can be very emotional for any student. However, there may be no one more emotional than the incoming freshmen. The first day of college is more than just attending a new class, it’s entering a whole new world.

It’s been 12 years since I had my first day of classes. Many of my biggest fears came true that day. I couldn’t find a place to park, I got lost, and I was very late to my first class. It was a public speaking course. The first assignment was to give a quick speech about the person sitting next to you. My partner had very little time to interview me as I was so late. Her speech went something like, “I can only assume she’s not a very punctual person given she was so late today.” That got her a laugh and me a red face.

Looking back, I find it funny, too. But that day I was ready to cash in my chips and assume college wasn’t for me. Our emotions have a way of getting the best of us. By my final semester I had made many more mistakes, been late a million more times, and still managed to get lost on campus after all those years. Those issues among a million others seemed to happen to everyone though, and after a few years of it, the fretting stopped and it was just understood that college is a dynamic environment. Everyone was trying to find their way, it wasn’t just me who struggled from time to time.

More than a decade later, I wondered what today’s freshmen were dealing with. What fears are keeping them up at night as they prepare for their first day. I asked several members of the class of 2016 and here’s what they said were their biggest fears: (more…)




Michael Phelps Attended the University of Michigan While Training for the Olympics

Sports enthusiasts know that when it comes to Olympic greatness, Michael Phelps holds the crown. In London alone Phelps dominated his opponents to bring home four gold and two silver medals, which made the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 total medals. If that isn’t bragging rights, I’m not sure what is.

But before Olympic fame and glory there was education, which is an important thing to remember for young athletes aspiring to walk in Phelps’ footsteps. And even though Phelps never pursued a formal degree, he did still see value in taking classes and coupling athletics with academics as an intentional career move.

Phelps, who was born and raised in Towson, Maryland, attended Towson High School where he graduated in 2003. While he started swimming at the ripe age of seven, it wasn’t until later that he realized his true talent. A series of swim clubs and competitions led to his qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics at age 15, at which point he became the youngest male athlete to make a US Olympic team in 68 years. And even though he didn’t win any medals, his next three Olympic appearances would more than make up for it. (more…)




The College Bucket List: 50 Things to do Before You Graduate

School is back in session for many colleges and universities across the country. Freshmen go in with wide-eyed wonder and seniors just want to get it over with. Meanwhile, alumni, like myself, become a bit nostalgic. While I wouldn’t want to go back to my demanding course schedule and bi-annual struggles with financial aid, I would love to go back for even a couple of days for a few of those key collegiate experiences, and even fill in the gaps with the ones I missed.

The beauty of the college experience is that it can be incredibly unifying. We’ve all had to scrape enough quarters together to wash a pair of jeans and probably even slept on a mysterious couch to ensure a safe arrival home the next day. And every school has their own set of unique traditions, like riding the Sooner Schooner at an OU football game, jumping in Mirror Lake at Ohio State, participating in CalTech‘s ditch day, or unleashing Northwestern‘s “the scream” on the Sunday morning before finals. You should take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way – no matter how ridiculous it may seem at the time.

Whether a freshman, sophomore, or fifth-year senior, we want you to have a classic college experience, and so we’ve put together our picks for a college student bucket list. You’ve got (at least) four years to accomplish the items on here, but you’ve got your entire life to conjure up the incredible memories that each item will no doubt deliver.

1. Live in the dorms.

2. Take a nap in the “quad”.

3. Order a pizza and eat the whole thing.

4. Stay up all night cramming for an exam.

5. Become friends with one professor. (more…)




Google Fiber Makes Internet Faster for Students and Residents of Kansas City

After months of anticipation, on July 26 Google announced the launch of its own ultra-fast Internet and TV service, Google Fiber. Google said that the Internet would be one hundred times faster than what most Americans have today, promising a lightning-fast 1 GB access speed. Want to download a movie? Download it in one second, flat. Google Fiber TV lets users instantaneously download, record, and store television programs as well as stream shows online with no wait time.

The service is currently only offered in Kansas City as the company tests its development. Kansas City competed with hundreds of other cities vying for the bid from Google for this distinction. Only neighborhoods where enough people pre-register for the service will be hooked up to Google’s own fiber cables that they have spent months running through the city, bypassing local Internet and cable providers. Google hopes to expand its service to other cities if Kansas City’s service goes well. In its first week of signing up customers, seven thousand households had registered. (more…)




LSU Leads Preseason College Football Rankings for 2012

In the world of college sports, back-to-school time truly only means one thing… college football season is on its way. USA Today has released their annual coaches poll for the top 25 teams for preseason college football rankings.

In the Southeastern Conference, seven of their teams made the top 25, and five of those are in the top ten. In the last six consecutive years, the Southeastern Conference has managed to take every BCS title. Leading the preseason rankings in the number spot is last year’s SEC champion LSU, followed by Alabama who beat out LSU for the BCS title.

This year is the first time since USA Today Sports started their coaches poll in 1991 that the team seated in the number one spot had fewer votes than the team placed in the second spot. Another record in this year’s preseason rankings is the tightest spread of 15 points among the top three teams in the poll.

The number one team, LSU, will be returning 15 of last year’s starters as well as 41 team members who lettered last year. Coach Les Miles was quoted as saying the team is fortunate to be in a place that allows them to compete for such a spot. “We recognize that it is more of a reflection of a body of work and understand that right now, it’s a spot that we hold and not one that has been earned. It’s a position that we enjoy. Now we have to go out and play in order to keep it,” he said.

There are six teams in the top 25 rankings that come from the Big 12 Conference, including the conference’s newcomers. Among those are last year’s preseason number one Oklahoma and newcomers TCU and West Virginia. After losing two key players to the NFL draft, Oklahoma State University has dropped to number 19, even after finishing last year’s season as the number three team in the country. (more…)




Backpack Essentials Every College Student Should Have

As millions of students head back to campus they all have at least one thing in common: the bag on their backs. Besides having a pen, pencil, notebook, and books in your backpack, there are a few essential items that should not be overlooked as you pack for the first day of class.

Water Bottle

Drinking water will help to wake you up, especially if you have an early morning class. Water suppresses your appetite, so drinking water during a 45 minute class will help control your hunger before it gets out of hand.

Snacks

I’ve had countless days where I get a hunger attack in class. I forget about my professor’s lecture because I am focused on my growling stomach. Having a snack in your backpack will help curb your hunger and you won’t have to spend money on the expensive (and unhealthy) snacks at the student center. Make sure the snack is healthy like an apple or trail mix. And, don’t leave the snack in your backpack if it can melt.

Student ID

Student IDs are convenient because they can act as debit cards while on campus. You can deposit money into your account and use your student ID to pay for printed paper from the library, food at the student union, or even flash it for a discount around town. (more…)




Amidst Testing Scandal Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson Resigns

Florida’s education commissioner Gerard Robinson announced his resignation and will leave his post by August 31 of this year. This news comes amid a lot of controversy in Florida surrounding some issues with the state’s standardized test-based accountability system. Robinson has only been in office for a year after being recruited from Virginia where he served as education secretary.

Although the reason cited for Robinson’s resignation is that he missed his family that never relocated to Florida with him, many suspect that he was the fall guy for several scandals associated with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test exams, or the FCAT. Some may be thinking that if Robinson is gone the suspicion around the testing scandal will quietly fade away with him. (more…)




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