Mentors in the pennlincs program use simple devices to demonstrate the principles underlying such commonplace occurrences as the refraction of light by glass and the change of liquids into solids.
The program, which was founded in 1989 by the cognitive scientists Pamela Freyd and Jean Roberts, encouraged some 60 students to be mentors at 15 public schools each semester last year.
Two-thirds of the nsf grant will be used to perpetuate pennlincs and the rest will go to help other schools replicate the program.
Students in 80 schools in Tulsa, Okla., will exchange letters and souvenirs this year with Peace Corps volunteers around the world.
The effort, announced jointly last month by the Peace Corps and Tulsa school officials, is part of the Peace Corps' "World Wise Schools" exchange program. Though the program was officially launched in 1989, Tulsa will be the first city to incorporate it in all of its public elementary and secondary schools, according to Paul D. Coverdell, the director of the agency.
Mr. Coverdell said the program provides a way to make lessons in geography, international politics, and social studies come alive for students.
"Courses will take on new meaning as students write and receive letters from an American volunteer who may live in a tropical forest, speak French, or coach soccer students of their own age on another continent," he said.
The first 220 music teachers to achieve national certification in their field have been named by the Music Educators National Conference.
Like the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which is developing a general national certificate for outstanding teachers, the music-education group is hoping to improve the quality of the teachers in its own discipline by offering certification for music teachers who excel.
Teachers who applied for the certificate were required to be a member of the conference, hold a state-issued teaching license, and have a minimum of eight years of music teaching experience and 20 semester hours of study in a graduate program.
Candidates who applied were judged on the basis of recommendations from colleagues, on evidence that they were continuing to grow professionally, and on their contributions to the profession.