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The Best of Our Knowledge
Mon June 19, 2006
The Best of Our Knowledge # 822
Albany, NY – NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION SERIES
POWERFUL SIGNALS: TRANSFORMING THE ROLE OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
THE LINCOLN EXPERIMENT -
It used to be that physics came late in high school, generally in the
junior or senior year. This allowed students to have higher math first,
like trigonometry and calculus. Then, by the mid-90s when it appeared
science students in the United States were lagging behind students in
other countries, there came a public out cry for physics first. So, ten
years ago, the Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island responded
and began to develop its own physics-first curriculum. Before 1994,
only 30% of this all-girls school took physics. Now, ALL the girls, 100%
of the school's graduates have at least three years of lab science by the
time they leave. That includes not only physics, but chemistry and biology
as well. How has the Lincoln School managed this change?
TBOOK spent time at the school recently to find out what makes The
Lincoln Experiment in science education tick.
Jackson Braider reports. (14:58)
**(Program Directors please note. If listeners would like to hear this story
again, or other similar stories in our exclusive radio series, just visit our
dedicated website: www.womeninscience.org)**
EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -
- A U.S. - Canadian team is collaborating on a new design for a thirty
meter telescope, known at TMT. With TMT, astronomers will be able
to analyze light from the first stars born after the Big Bang, directly
observe the formation and evolution of galaxies, see planets around
nearby stars, and make observations that test fundamental laws of physics.
- U.S. education officials have confirmed that they don't expect any
state to meet deadlines for putting highly qualified teachers in every
core-subject classroom. But nearly 30 states have made some progress complying with that provision of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Law.
Nine states, along with the nation's capitol, face losing federal money
because of delays.
- Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of Education and Russia's Education
and Science Minister, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding
on expanding cooperation and exchanges in the field of education.
The MOU is the first of its kind between the two education departments.
- The variable interest rate on American federal education loans is going
up nearly 2 percentage points next month. This gives students and
parents only a short time to consolidate loans, to lock in current lower
rates and potentially save thousands of dollars.
- And speaking of money, in our update segment, the price tag on the
Professor Ward Churchill investigation we've followed here has been announced. The University of Colorado puts it at about 150-thousand
dollars, with the majority of that cost going for attorney's fees. A final
decision in his case could be announced by this time next month.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock reports. (1:30)
ENGLISH AND BICYCLE LESSONS IN LONDON -
In the East End London burro called Tower Hamlets, about 40% of the community is from Bangladesh. Many of the women have difficulty
learning English. And they often end up isolated. That's changing.
A local Bengali community center called Jagonari, is giving English
lessons and bicycling lessons to provide women more social mobility.
We stopped in to see a class at the center, and met the project coordinator.
Fiona Campbell reports from Radio Netherlands. (2:52)