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Curriculum: Column One

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Hoping to turn the 1992 Presidential debates into a national homework assignment for students, two nonprofit groups have put together a brief guide to critical debate-watching.

The guide, known as "The Debate Game,'' was produced by Debate America and the League of Women Voters. It advises students, for example, to think about the structure and format of the televised debates and to determine how that affects the presentation of the issues. A scorecard is also included to help students track whether the candidates address their concerns.

The guides are being distributed free this month to 22,000 secondary schools, 7,000 teachers, state library systems, and local League of Women Voter offices.

The National Science Teachers Association, with funding from the Toshiba Corporation, has challenged precollegiate students to design a "technology of the future.''

The ExploraVision Awards program, which is open to students from kindergarten to the 12th grade, asks teams of four students, under the guidance of a teacher-adviser, to select an existing technology and describe how it will change to meet the needs of society in 20 years. The interdisciplinary project requires students to research the history and development of the technology, as well as to describe how it works. Teams are expected to submit their prototype projects in the form of descriptive essays and as a "story board'' of sample frames for a video presentation.

Each student on the four winning teams will receive a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond, and their teacher-advisers and schools will receive packages of Toshiba electronics products. The awards program is funded by $1 million annual donations from Toshiba and affiliated companies.

The N.S.T.A. has mailed information about the contest to roughly 200,000 science teachers nationwide. Entry materials also are available from: Toshiba/î.ó.ô.á. ExploraVision Awards, c/o the î.ó.ô.á., 1742 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington D.C. 20009-1171. The deadline for entries is Feb. 1.

The impact of the Bill of Rights on teenagers' lives is the subject of a new videotape produced by the Federal Bar Association.

The 48-minute videotape features a panel discussion among Philadelphia-area high school students, federal judges, lawyers, and legal scholars. A free copy of the videotape is available to high schools from: Kristin Bell, Federal Bar Association, 1815 H St., N.W., Suite 408, Washington, D.C. 20006-3698. ä.ö. & ð.÷.

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