National News Roundup
The National Science Foundation has selected 58 research teams to conduct experimental projects aimed at improving science and engineering education for students in high school and the early years of college.
The program will also enlist the aid of private industry. For 52 of the projects, five electronics companies will donate computer equipment for the researchers' use. The companies are: Radio Shack, the Atari Institute for Educational Action-Research, the Digital Equipment Corporation, ibm Corporation, and the Apple Education Foundation.
The federal science agency will provide $855,668 to the researchers, who will explore ways that computers and other "information-handling technologies" can help students learn science and engineering. All of the researchers are based at colleges or universities.
The five companies will donate equipment worth a total of $947,217 and will provide advice on how to use the computers most effectively. Each institution that will receive a grant is required to pay one-fourth of the project's costs.
Commodore International Ltd., a leading manufacturer of personal computers, is making 656 educational computer programs for school use available at no charge.
The firm will distribute copies of the programs to large school systems and will make them available to all others. Public and private education groups will also be able to copy the software, the company said.
Also, Commodore's 800 computer dealers and 250 education-resource centers will be offered a complete set of the software for a "distribution charge" of $250 and will be urged by the company to make duplicates available free.
The programs, recorded on 50 disks, will also be distributed in Canada and Great Britain.
The package includes programs for English, French, geography, administration, business, games, history, mathematics, science, technology, computer use, and computer science.
The software donation was announced earlier this month at a news conference in New York. At the briefing, the firm gave a set of the programs to the United Nations International School in New York City.
The idea of voluntary national service, supported over the years by some political and social leaders as an alternative to military conscription, apparently continues to find favor with those who would be affected by it. In the latest Gallup Youth Survey, 80 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 said they endorsed the concept of a year's volunteer service either in the armed forces or in "nonmilitary work" in the United States or abroad.
When asked if they themselves would be interested in volunteering if such a program were in effect, 43 percent of the young men and women said yes; of these, 23 percent described themselves as "definitely" interested and 20 percent said they "might be." A total of 54 percent said they would not be interested in volunteering.
Among those who were definitely interested, the Gallup organization found, 56 percent (42 percent of the men and 71 percent of the women) said they would seek nonmilitary service, and 42 percent (54 percent of the men and 25 percent of the women) said they would choose military service.
The pollsters did not ask the young men surveyed what they would choose if they were legally required to select either conscription or nonmilitary service.
For the seventh consecutive year, students in the Department of Defense Dependents' Schools abroad scored higher on standardized college admissions tests than their counterparts in the United States.
The dodds system operates 63 high schools in 20 countries for the children of military families.
The average among the 2,357 students who took the Scholastic Aptitude Test last year was 437 on the verbal section and 477 on the mathematics section.
The nationwide average was 426 verbal and 467 in mathematics.
On the American College Testing Program's college-entrance test, the act, 1,086 dodds students scored 19.1 on the English-usage portion of the test, 18.6 on mathematics usage, 18.8 on social-studies reading, and 22.4 on natural-science reading.
Nationally, students scored 17.9, 17.2, 17.3, and 20.8 on corresponding sections.
In an uncommon partnership, labor and business have joined in Washington state to co-sponsor a public-relations effort called "Arm in Arm'' that is designed to convince the public of the severity of the state's budget crisis.
The Washington Education Association, the Washington Federation of State Employees, the Weyerhaeuser Company, Pacific Northwest Bell, Rainier Bank, Burlington Northern Railroad, and the Boeing Company are donating $20,000 to enable a Seattle public-relations firm to hold workshops around the state with business representatives and community leaders.
"We want people to understand that this is a real crisis," said Anna Peterson of the Smith and Peterson public-relations agency. "There have been many mixed messages. People hear, 'There's fat in government, just cut,' and then they're told, 'there is no money, and we need to raise taxes."'
A severe slump in the aerospace and lumber industries and the loss of federal money have combined with the absence of a state income tax, a sales tax exemption on foods, and the repeal of the state inheritance tax to produce a projected 1983-85 budget deficit of $1.7-to-$2 billion dollars, Ms. Peterson said.