Exposure to air pollution causes mice to produce less sperm, and the sperm that is produced is of poorer quality, according to findings that were to be presented at the Endocrine Society meeting. The mice were exposed to the pollutant PM2.5, which mainly comes from cars that run on gasoline or diesel.
Parents across the US are creating nonprofits to advocate for and help Catholic schools provide special-education services to their children. For instance, the Catholic Coalition for Special Education has given $1 million in grants to 29 parochial schools in Maryland and Washington, D.C., since its founding in 2004.
Some schools in Colorado are installing washers and dryers to help students clean their clothes. A few frustrated community members have questioned why schools need to do this for students, but Jo Carrigan, a school principal, says accessing clean clothes boosts students' confidence and makes them feel good and ready to learn.
Some schools are adopting biometric security, including facial and fingerprint scans, to improve safety and boost efficiency. Biometrics are said to be more secure than passwords and other traditional identifiers, but concerns about the safety of students' personal information has caused some districts to proceed with caution.
Some middle-school students in a Michigan district are using fitness trackers, called Polar Sensors, to help improve students' fitness and health. The devices are linked to students' Chromebooks, and they are able to track their active minutes and heart rate throughout the day.
Princeton University economist Alan Krueger, who recently passed away, is credited with reigniting discussion of whether school resources affect outcomes for students. His research found that a 10% increase in per pupil funding could lead to a 1% increase in each student's lifetime earnings.
Officials in a Virginia school district have approved plans to install solar panels on school buildings as part of an effort -- cheered by students -- to reduce the district's carbon footprint. Some Arlington County schools also have solar panels, and Cathy Lin, energy manager for the district, says energy efficiency is a factor in new school construction.
Community colleges can keep up with changing workforce needs by implementing more transfer pathways and incorporating new technologies into their curricula, according to a white paper from the Community College Research Center. James Jacobs, president emeritus of Macomb Community College and co-author of the report, says beefing up STEM programs can give colleges the biggest boost in student preparation.
Officials with the University of Missouri System have revised a prediction of 100,000 students enrolled from 2023 by two years to 2025, saying the first goal was a rough estimate. The new goal is based on attracting students through the system's enhanced e-learning program aimed at reaching underserved student populations.