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Week of November 30, 2009

Table of Contents

Disney's Planet Challenge Announces Funding for Classroom Environmental Science Projects

Disney Planet Challenge logoEarlier this month, Disney announced a new granting initiative to supplement its free environmental learning competition for fourth through sixth grade classrooms, Disney’s Planet Challenge. Disney is collaborating with DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that connects individual “citizen philanthropists” with classrooms in need, to match donations and fund 50 percent of each Disney’s Planet Challenge classroom environmental science project that qualifies.

Disney is providing a $100,000 grant to DonorsChoose.org that will be applied towards the Web site’s “Double Your Impact” feature which will fund 50 percent of environmental science classroom projects for Disney’s Planet Challenge, a program developed by Disney in collaboration with NSTA, West Ed K–12 Alliance and a number of federal and state government agencies.  To participate, between now and December 18, fourth through sixth grade educators across the U.S. can find out more at www.Disney.com/planetchallenge.

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Watch the National Finals of the Siemens Competition Live on the Web

The Siemens Foundation is pleased to announce that the student presentations and press conference of the National Finals of the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the nation's premiere science research competition for high school students, will be available via webcast.

During the National Finals, which will take place on December 4–7, 2009, at New York University, you will have the opportunity to watch as the nation’s best and brightest high school students compete for $100,000 scholarships from the comfort of your home or office. Students will present their research projects to a panel of scientific and mathematical experts and leaders.

Once students present their research to the panel of judges on Sunday, December 6, 2009, their presentations will be posted online and will remain online following the Siemens Competition.

On Monday, December 7, 2009, the Siemens Foundation will announce the individual and team winners and present them with scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. The press conference and award presentations will be shown live via webcast.

  1. Student Presentations: Sunday, December 6, starting at 1:00 p.m. EST
  2. Press Conference: Monday, December 7, 9:30 a.m. EST LIVE

We hope you can join us for the webcast as we recognize the nation's next generation of math and science leaders!

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From the NSTA Calendar: Biodiversity Role in Developing New Medicines

Most people regard venoms and bacteria as harmful, but both can be extremely helpful in the creation of new medicines. For example, each cone snail species produces venoms containing toxins that cause shock and paralysis—but also sedation. Because the toxins are so specific in their molecular targets, they are useful as both research tools and as potential drugs to treat neurological diseases.

On December 3 and 4, you can watch Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines, a series of free webcasts from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Register for HHMI’s 2009 Holiday Lectures on Science and request a free poster for your classroom.

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Author Joy Hakim on C-SPAN

On December 6 at 12 noon ET, Joy Hakim, author of the Story of Science series, will appear on Book TV's In Depth, a long-form live interview call-in program with one author discussing his or her body of work. Book TV can be viewed on C-SPAN2 and at the Book TV website.

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