Alabama has a surprisingly large number of companies involved in modeling and simulation. According to a survey presented by Dr. Bernard J. Schroer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville at the 2005 Modeling and Simulation Society conference, there are about 6080 modeling and simulation jobs in Alabama (4600 in industry and 1480 in federal government). One reason that these companies can be successful is the availability of skilled scientists and engineers that have received their college education in Alabama. The Alabama Supercomputer Authority maintains a facility that gives students the
chance to do computation intensive work as part of their degree.  To read more, see the November Feature at


Millenial Generation  High school and college students -- the so-called millennial generation -- are joiners, say students, teachers, and sociologists alike. They're starting and joining school-based clubs at a much higher rate than the students before them. Based on the types of organizations they are getting involved in, they also seem more interested than their predecessors in public service and cultural and ethnic issues. Want to learn more about the millennial generation? Read the Edutopia magazine article "Synching up with the iKid."

EDUCATION AND THE INTERNET features reviewed resources for teaching about asteroids, astrobiology, the big bang theory, black holes, cosmology, dark matter, galaxies, the Milky Way, telescopes and satellites, planet formation, planetary atmospheres, space exploration, stars, the sun, and more.

Astrophysics Science Project: Integrating Research and Education (ASPIRE) offers lessons for exploring cosmic rays, force, gas particles, kinetic energy, lunar phases, machines, momentum, the night sky, refraction, the scientific method, scientific notation, seasons, seismic waves, stars, the angle of the sun, tides, and waves. Find out about careers; read interviews with scientists.

Digital Library for Earth System Education resents thousands of reviewed resources on atmospheric science, biology, chemistry, climatology, cryology, ecology, environmental science, forestry, geography, geology, mineralogy and petrology, hydrology, mathematics, natural hazards, ocean sciences, physics, soil science, space science, and more.

Engineering Is Elementary provides lessons and overviews on acoustical engineering, agricultural engineering (insects), civil engineering (balance and forces), environmental engineering (water), industrial engineering (simple machines), materials engineering (earth materials), mechanical engineering (air and weather).

NASA Robotics invites students and teachers to start robotics teams, botball teams, and enter robotics competitions. Take online courses in robotics. Follow along with scientists who are developing technologies to drill for life on Mars. Find lessons for teaching robotics and related topics.

Nutrition and Physical Activity focuses on physical activity and good nutrition. Examine the new food pyramid. Learn about body mass, bone health, cancer, dietary guidelines, fruits and vegetables and weight management, healthy eating tips, heart disease, intensity levels of various activities, obesity, physical activity statistics and recommendations, stairwells, tips for parents, and weight management ideas.

Oceans Alive explores the mountains, abysses, and other physical features of the ocean floor, as well as the movement of the continents, the water cycle, the four oceans, waves and wind, currents, tides, marine life near the surface, and ocean predators and prey. Activities are provided for learning about the water cycle, water currents, web of life, and tides.

The Physics Front provides selected resources for teachers of high school physics. Hundreds of lessons, labs, and activities can be found in four categories: conceptual physics, algebra-based physics, AP physics, and K-8 physical sciences. They can be accessed also by topic: measurement, motion, forces, momentum, energy, springs, heat and temperature, wave energy, electrostatics, electricity and circuits, magnetism, electromagnetism, optics, particles and interactions, and astronomy.

Secrets of Aging examines what scientists are learning about aging, what we can do to live longer and healthier, and how the growing proportion of older to younger people is changing our world. Learn about fluid and crystallized intelligence. Test your memory. Compare factors that might determine the longevity of different species. Explore the demographics of aging.

Vote: The Machinery of Democracy This exhibition looks at the history of voting methods in the United States and explores how ballots and voting systems have evolved over the years as a response to political, social, and technological change, transforming the ways in which Americans vote.

Past to Present: How Ancient Cultures Shaped the World In the U.S., we usually associate the first Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and Native Americans in the 17th century. However, our forebears in America were merely continuing a tradition begun long ago in another part of the world. Celebrations and festivals to give thanks for plentiful harvests were held by Greeks, Egyptians and Romans in ancient times. What's more, our annual turkey day isn't the only legacy of these early civilizations--far from it. In this month's MarcoGram, students will look at some of the ways our modern world was shaped and is still influenced by ancient cultures. Use the activities below to get started, then scroll down for more links and resources on this topic.

Newton's Castle Students can learn about Earth's rotation, optical illusions, logic puzzles, color, and more at this interactive Web site dedicated to the discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton. The site, which also offers thought-provoking questions for teachers or students to use to foster further discussion, was created by the students at John F. Kennedy High School, in the Bronx, in collaboration with kids at England's Thomas Hepburn School.

S.O.S. for Information Literacy Teachers and library media specialists searching for new and innovative ways to educate their students about effective research practices now have a new online tool at their disposal: S.O.S. (Situations, Outcomes, Strategies) for Information Literacy. Launched Oct. 7 at the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) conference in Pittsburgh, this Syracuse University program--made public now for the first time--is a free multimedia resource for K-8 teachers and media specialists who want their students to learn more, and become excited, about research.


Digital Imaging & Visual Learning Grants Olympus America, Inc. & Tool Factory, Inc. sponsor a classroom grants program designed to strengthen education through digital imaging and the power of visual learning. Maximum Award: $3,500. Eligibility: K12 and special education schools in the US, its territories, and Canada. Deadline: December 30, 2006.

SRI International and Girls Incorporated of Alameda County (Girls Inc.) have announced an $875,195 three-year grant from the National Science Foundation's Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program ( The Build IT grant supports IT fluency and knowledge of IT careers through problem-based design curricula in after-school and summer programs for middle school girls in typically underserved communities. Additionally, program participants will collaborate as design partners with IT professionals and graduate students in the software engineering process.

Virtual cafeteria' teaches good eating habits To improve student health and enhance parent understanding, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District in Carrollton, Texas, has put $95,000 into developing a program to give parents, students, and other community stakeholders a new way to learn about the foods offered in its schools: a virtual cafeteria.

Distance Learning and Interactive Video Conferencing Resources

READ ACROSS AMERICA 2006  TWICE (Two Way Interactive Connections in Education) annually organizes a special celebration in conjunction with the largest national reading event "Read Across America". TWICE provides the opportunity for schools in the continental United States to connect using two-way interactive video to read to, and be read to, by another class.  This project is open to all K-12 students in public and private schools. The school must have access to ISDN (H.320) or IP (H.323) codec equipment to participate.
The dates for this activity are March 1 – 3, 2006  November Verification Registration Opens Nov. 1 TWICE implements a verification process before teacher registration opens in December. The verification process verifies the type of connection (IP or ISDN) and type of videoconference equipment that is available in (or to) the building. Verification occurs Nov. 1 through 23. Buildings must be verified before teachers from that building can register to participate in Read Across America in March. Teachers will use the PIN supplied after verification to register. Between November 1 and 24, sign-up your building for verification at

MICHAEL DOUGLAS ON SIERRA LEONE CHILD SOLDIERS This special PULSE videoconference will deal with the plight of former child soldiers in Sierra Leone who fought during this country’s decade- long civil war. In the first part of the video conference, Michael Douglas will describe what he once called “one of the most moving experiences I have ever had,” when he traveled as a UN Messenger for Peace to film an episode for the Showtime family television series, What’s Going On? During the second part of the conference, students from 2 Ambassador (interactive) schools will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to Michael Douglas about the making of the movie and his role as a UN Ambassador of Peace. Date: Thursday, November 17th Time: 1 pm EST Duration: 60 minutes For more details:

CONNECTING VOICES: A CONVERSATION WITH MIDDLE EASTERN & PAKISTANI EXCHANGE STUDENTS What’s it like to be an exchange student from the Middle East, living in the United States with an American host family and attending high school? In a rare opportunity, on November 16th at 12 (noon) EST, high school students from around the United States will be able to ask questions and share ideas with exchange students from the Middle East and Pakistan through the videoconference, “Connecting Voices.” This video conference is being produced in partnership with AYUSA ( and iEARN ( Date: Wednesday, November 16th Time: 12 pm EST Duration: 90 minutes Cost: FREE for view-only schools. More about Connecting Voices:

Google search