Education

Tasnim Shamma

For almost a year, students at UNC Charlotte have been hard at work designing a solar house that is both affordable and energy-efficient. That hard work has paid off. Their design qualified for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon's biannual competition.  

For the next eight months, UNC Charlotte engineering and architecture students will be busy building the house. UNC Charlotte is one of only 20 teams to qualify for the competition.   

Should Teachers Train To Fight Shooters?

Feb 11, 2013
Ben Bradford/WFAE

A Gaston County martial arts instructor held a seminar a week ago for teachers about how to respond in a school shooting. First grade teachers, school nurses, and administrators practiced how to defend a classroom should a shooter try to enter, and how to fight back. Similar events have been popping up across the country, run by martial arts gyms, firearms training centers, and even schools, in the wake of Sandy Hook.

Courtesy of UNC Charlotte

The Levine Cancer Institute and UNC Charlotte are teaming up for a new project they hope will make a difference in the world of cancer research. It's called the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Project.

UNC Charlotte and the Levine Cancer Institute will be making $400,000 in grants available to scientists and doctors at both institutions. 

basketball
GonchoA / Flickr

Charter schools are supposed to offer a free, independent alternative to traditional public schools. North Carolina has just over 100 of them, and the state board of education is expected to approve 25 more at its February meeting.

Big companies, government offices, and media outlets like NPR often have ombudsmen – they’re trained to handle complaints and to try to resolve disputes. And universities are no exception: NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke all have them. The latest UNC system school to create an ombudsman position is Appalachian State University in Boone. The school has appointed a long-time professor to set up the office, Jim Barnes. He’s been on the job since January 1. He says complaints last year about a professor factored into creating his position, but the idea had been discussed for a while.  Barnes talks to Morning Editon host Duncan McFadyen about getting the office off the ground.

Four CMS schools that serve pre-k through 8th graders could move to a year-round calendar next year in an effort to boost learning.  The CMS school board plans to vote on the proposal tonight.
 

All kids have experienced the “summer slide.”  When students get back to school in the fall, they spend time re-learning what they forgot over the summer.  But for low-income kids, that backsliding can be even bigger since camp and other enriching activities are harder to come by. 

South Carolina has long had a college loan forgiveness program to attract aspiring teachers to needy schools.  But most public schools in the state are now on that list.  Some state education officials want to tweak it and make sure the program is really directing teachers to the neediest schools. 

Kids are half-way through the school year and no doubt talk of end of year tests has already come up in class.  There are some big changes in store for students across the state.  For one, there will be a lot more end of year tests and they won’t just be multiple choice.  They’ll include essay questions.  It’s not just kids that’ll be tested.  It’ll be a test for teachers in more ways than one. WFAE’s Lisa Miller is in the studio to talk about these changes, including a flood of new tests. 


Reducing the rate of high school dropouts and empowering students to succeed is a goal of several organizations in the Charlotte area, including the Arts & Science Council. They're launching a new program that seeks to serve at-risk students called Studio 345. The program is based on another initiative that's been in operation in Pittsburgh since the 70's. It uses the arts, education and the surrounding community to help students achieve. We'll meet Bill Strickland, founder of the National Center for Arts and Technology, and find out how the implementation of a program like his will help kids in the Charlotte region, when Charlotte Talks.

We’ve heard a lot of success stories from charter school advocates as they’ve tried to gain support for them. But not all charter schools provide a good education and a leading charter school advocate is the first to admit that. In fact, he’s now pushing for states to close more charter schools. Greg Richmond is the director of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. He says up to 1,300 charter schools in the country are failing their students, including a few in North Carolina.

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