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How a 2nd-Grade Class Sent a Science Experiment to Space

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Back in 2015, students in Maggie Samudio’s second-grade class at Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette, Ind., were contemplating an offbeat science question: If a firefly went to space, would it still be able to light up as it floated in zero gravity?

Ms. Samudio said she would ask a friend of hers, Steven Collicott, an aerospace professor at nearby Purdue University, for the answer.

“He teaches a class on zero gravity, and he would be the perfect person to answer the question,” Ms. Samudio recalled in an email.

A day later, Dr. Collicott replied, and Ms. Samudio was surprised by his answer: Instead of guessing, why not actually build the experiment and send it to space?

Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Jeffrey P. Bezos, chief executive of Amazon, was planning to offer the ability for schools to fly small experiments on its New Shepard suborbital spacecraft for as little as $8,000.

“That is a game changer,” said Erika Wagner, the payload sales director at Blue Origin. “Kids as young as elementary school are flying things to space.”

Dr. Collicott, who had sent several fluid flow experiments on New Shepard launches, pointed Ms. Samudio and her second-graders to Blue Origin.

Credit…Steven Collicott

“For the small payload 4 inches square by 8 inches tall, we’re able to fly that for half the cost of high school football uniforms,” Dr. Collicott said. “So really any school district now that affords football can afford spaceflight.”

Cumberland Elementary has not been the only school to see the value of paying for an experiment aboard the New Shepard rocket. A Montessori middle school in Colorado sent up a sensor package designed

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Dribble Handoff: Which four-year college player in the 2020 NBA Draft class will have the best pro career?

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The three biggest stars in the NBA Finals took three distinct paths to the NBA. LeBron James jumped straight to the professional ranks after high school, while Lakers teammate Anthony Davis played one season of college basketball at Kentucky. Both were No. 1 picks in their respective drafts after taking the quickest path available to the NBA (rules had changed to keep high school prospects from entering the draft by the time Davis came along).

But Miami Heat leader Jimmy Butler’s journey to the game’s highest level looked much different than the paths James and Davis took. He played at a junior college in Texas before transferring to Marquette, where he exhausted his collegiate eligibility before the Bulls selected him 30th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Several other NBA Finals contributors also exhausted their collegiate eligibility, including Jae Crowder, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn of the Heat. Same for Danny Green and Alex Caruso of the Lakers. Of the group, Butler was the only one taken in the first round in the NBA Draft. 

But he and the other former four-year college players prove that you can still find your way to the NBA spotlight even without one-and-done hype. With that in mind, our writers responded to the following prompt for this week’s dribble handoff: Which four-year college player in the 2020 NBA Draft class will have the best pro career? If you think it’s an easy question, go look at the 2020 prospect rankings. There are some intriguing choices but no obvious answer.

Cassius Winston, Michigan State

My favorite thing about this Heat team is how it’s made up of such an unlikely cast of characters while the Lakers’ starting lineup features the No 1. pick of the 2003 NBA Draft (LeBron James), the No. 1 pick of

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Jacqui Lambie is right – it just got harder for working class kids like me to go to university

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I know Senator Jacqui Lambie is a controversial figure but after scuttling government’s refugee phone ban and now delivering this powerful speech on working class kids, I am starting to warm up to her.



a large stone building with a clock tower: Photograph: David Mariuz/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: David Mariuz/AAP

Her recent speech on the floor of the Senate opposing the government’s university changes because they would make it hard for working class students to go to university resonated with me on so many levels.

I know because I was one of those working-class students she talked about.

Related: Jacqui Lambie to oppose Coalition’s university funding changes, saying poor kids ‘get a raw deal’

I went to one of the poorest high schools in this country – Parafield Gardens high school. A school with no culture of students going on to tertiary education.

It was assumed, and accepted, by those around me that if you came from the northern suburbs of Adelaide, you would end up on the factory floor.

Completing Year 10 was the ceiling. You were then ushered into vocational training and then into a low paid, insecure job behind a till or on a factory line (if you were lucky).

Universities did not bother with us.

We did not have mentors or “old boys’ or networks to open doors for us, prop us up and set up connections for life.

I was supposed to end up slaughtering chickens at the local abattoir with my twin brother before moving up to a job with Holden’s Elizabeth plant – with my older brother.

But it is not just that society (teachers, politicians, universities) gave up on me, on us working class kids, it could also be our own families.

Unlike most ethnic parents, my mother was never too keen on education because none of her working-class friends

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University of Miami basketball team lands four-star Class of ’21 guard Jakai Robinson

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Jakai Robinson, a highly touted guard from the Washington, D.C. area, committed to the University of Miami during the weekend, becoming the third guard in the Hurricanes’ Class of 2021.

Robinson, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard known for his toughness, is considered the No. 2 basketball recruit in Maryland. He chose Miami over UConn, North Carolina State, Seton Hall and Georgetown.

The Canes had previously received commitments from 6-1 point guard Bensley Joseph and 6-4 combo guard Nisine Poplar.

Robinson’s high school coach Trevor Brown at National Christian Academy told 247 Sports, which first reported the news: “Jakai and his father really like the fact that they have an experienced coaching staff over there. The coaching staff is established and has been together for a long time, much like my staff has. Miami has had a lot of success developing wing players. They play a lot of pick-and-roll type basketball. They get up and down the court pretty well and play with a decent pace. Those are all of the things Jakai does really well.”

Miami starting point guard Chris Lykes will be a senior this season, so coach Jim Larranaga and his staff now have three Class of 2021 prospects, along with returning guards Harlond Beverly and Isaiah Wong, to fill the void.

The college basketball season begins the last week of November.

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A California college student says a professor told her not to breastfeed her baby during online class

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Marcella Mares, mother to a 10-month-old girl, received an email from her Fresno City College instructor on September 23 about a new class rule requiring students to turn on cameras and microphones during online classes for attendance purposes.

Mares wrote back and said she could leave her camera and microphone on but may turn it off when she needs to breastfeed her daughter.

With the pandemic in the US entering its seventh month, many parents have had to redefine their work-life balance as many workplaces and schools remain virtual. Mares sent the email to her instructor in hopes that it wouldn’t impact her grade, but instead received an unexpected response.

“I am glad to hear that you can have your camera and microphone on, but please do not breastfeed your daughter during class time because it is not what you should be doing,” the instructor replied. “Just do that after class.”

Mares said she was shocked at his response.

“I was upset about it,” she said. “I didn’t like the feeling of him telling me what I can and can’t do with my baby, especially in my own home because school is online right now.”

On the same day, Mares said, the instructor announced during class that he received a “weird” email from a student who wanted to do some “inappropriate” things during class.

This made her even more upset because she said she felt “he publicly outed me in front of the class.”

A woman was told to cover up at Chick-fil-A while nursing. To support her, moms held a breastfeeding sit-in

She reached out to the school’s Title IX coordinator, Lorraine Smith, regarding the incident and a few days later, the instructor emailed Mares an apology.

“I am sorry for the inconvenience in regard to your intention of breastfeeding your baby. From now on, you have the right to breastfeed your baby at any given time during

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