Bringing Computers into Physics Classes

The National Science Foundation has given researchers at Michigan State University a $1.2 million grant to incorporate computation into high school science classrooms in the state. Researchers will use the funding to design a development program for physics teachers to engage students through computational activities.

Researchers say using a computer to solve, simulate, or visualize problems is crucial to modern science, but it’s not the practice in many high school courses.

Do Comic Books Promote S.T.E.A.M.?

A recent American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) exhibition in Washington, D.C., called “S.T.E.A.M. Within the Panels: Science Storytelling Through Comic Books, Comic Strips, and Graphic Novels,” was devoted to the ways comic books advanced the study of science and technology.

Showcasing art created as early as the 1930s, the exhibit explored the depiction of science storytelling featured in the funny pages and between the covers of comic books. New works—which AAAS commissioned to reimagine classic superheroes who got their powers from scientific discoveries—were also on display. Visit to learn more.

17 States Now Have Tax-Credit Scholarship Programs

Seventeen states have school voucher programs that bypass thorny constitutional and political issues by turning the process over to nonprofits that rely primarily on businesses to fund them. However, the programs are raising questions about transparency and accountability at a time when supporters are urging that they be expanded into a federal program.

Such “tax-credit scholarship” programs don’t use any public money. Instead, those who contribute to the voucher program get tax credits.

Toledo Equipping School Buses With Wi-Fi

Students with particularly lengthy commutes in Toledo, OH, will be able to pass the time productively this year thanks to a technological upgrade to their school buses. Ten of the district’s buses are now outfitted with Wi-Fi capabilities.

The action is part of a pilot program designed to give students the opportunity to complete assignments on their way to and from classes.