PHYSICS EDUCATION NEWS (PEN) April 1994, No. 1 An electronic newsletter of the AIP Educati

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PHYSICS EDUCATION NEWS (PEN) April 1994, No. 1 An electronic newsletter of the AIP Education Division BRAILLE-LIKE SYSTEM OPENS SCIENCE TO VISUALLY IMPAIRED John Gardner, a physicist at Oregon State University and an inter- nationally recognized expert in materials science, has developed a new system for the study of advanced mathematics, engineering, and science which may expand opportunities for vision-impaired students. The Braille-like system uses raised dot representations that physically resemble the special symbols and equations essential to mathematics, physics, and other sciences. Gardner, who lost his eyesight at the age of 49, calls the system "dots plus," referring to both the conventional Braille concepts plus graphic symbols. The system is undergoing tests and refinements in Oregon, and further tests are planned in Holland and Germany. NASA RESOURCES ACCESSIBLE ON THE INTERNET Educators looking for classroom resources from NASA can now access data from three gopher and ftp sites on the Internet. Items such as space images from current and historical missions, animations, daily NASA news, mission information, curriculum materials, and education resources are only a few keystrokes away. To connect, use the following Internet addresses: gopher bozo.lpl.arizona.edu; ftp explorer.arc.nasa.gov; ftp pubinfo.jpl.nasa.gov. GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR TEACHER DEVELOPMENT NETWORKS The U.S. Department of Education's Technology Education Program will award grants from its Fund for Innovation to model projects that use electronic networks to support teacher professional development. Projects must be designed to increase teacher interaction via electronic networks that provide resources for professional development; improve student instruction; allow electronic communication and transfer of documents; and provide access to education data bases and the Internet. School districts, state education agencies, institutions of higher education, private schools, and other public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions are eligible to apply. $1 million is available to fund 20 grants. The application deadline is April 29, 1994. (For more information, contact: Beverely Coleman or Adria White, U.S. Department of Education, 202-219-2116) EDUCATION COMMITTEE LISTS REQUIREMENTS FOR INFORMATION HIGHWAY The National Coordinating Committee for Technology in Education and Training (NCC-TET) has released a position paper listing 19 requirements they deem significant in the development of America's National Information Infrastructure. The requirements are intended for use by the Administration, Congress, state agencies, national and state organizations, and other education and training stakeholders to help shape future policy and legislation. The NCC- TET, a consortium of nearly 70 national organizations representing business, education and government, asserts that the requirements must be met if the information highway is to be accessible and useful to educators. (To access "The National Information Infrastructure: Requirements for Education and Training" via the Internet Gopher, connect to: gopher.uoregon.edu and look in the directory "DuckScoop" and then under "Academic Disciplines, Research." For a printed version, contact: NCC-TET, P.O. Box 4437, Alexandria, VA 22303) INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON SAFE METHODS FOR VIEWING SOLAR ECLIPSE Science centers, planetariums, colleges, and educators are asked to join the crusade to prevent eye injuries from watching the annular solar eclipse on May 10, 1994. A packet of educational materials that contains information on safe viewing methods was developed and distributed in 1991 by a coalition of ten eye care, safety, and astronomy organizations. Most science centers, planetariums, colleges, and eye care professionals should have the materials already on hand for use again in 1994. (To obtain a copy of these materials, send a request to: National Society to Prevent Blindness, 500 E. Remington Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173; telephone: 800-331-2020) ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY GRANTS OFFERED FOR DISABILITIES PROGRAMS The U.S. Department of Education is inviting applications for awards in its Technology, Educational Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities Program. Applicants must develop or adapt assistive technology, educational media, and/or materials to create innovative tools that improve the education of children and youth with disabilities. School districts, state education agencies, institutions of higher education, public agencies, and private nonprofit or for-profit organizations may apply. $1 million is available to fund five grants. Applications must be received by May 18, 1994. (For applications or more information, contact: Darlene Crumblin, U.S. Department of Education, 202-205-8953; for technical information, contact: David Malouf, 202-205-8111) ***************************** PEN is being published on a trial basis through December 31, 1994. Please tell us your opinion of PEN. To subscribe, send your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and how you heard about PEN. American Institute of Physics Education Division Contact: Mr. Tracy Schwab 301-209-3007, tschwab@aip.org *****************************

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