Day: September 5, 2006

Study Finds Flame Retardant Chemicals In Washington State's Rivers, Lakes

Read the full story in Water & Wastewater Products.

Flame retardant chemicals are building up in some of Washington’s rivers and lakes, according to a state Department of Ecology (Ecology) study released on Aug. 31.

Ecology collected fish from 20 major rivers and lakes throughout Washington during 2005. Three-to-four fish species were typically analyzed for each waterbody. The goal of the survey was to establish existing levels of PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) that could be used in the future to evaluate the effectiveness of the state’s efforts to reduce PBDEs in the environment.

The complete study, PBDEs Flame Retardants in Washington Rivers and Lakes: Concentrations in Fish and Water, 2005-06 [116 p., PDF], is available at

Back-to-School Prep for Child Asthma

Read the full story at WebMD (Thanks to Carol Knepp for the link).

Parents of children with asthma have some homework to do to prepare for their child’s at-school asthma care.

That’s the key finding of an online survey, done by Harris Interactive in late June for the American Lung Association.

SHOPA Kids in Need Teacher Grants

The School, Home, & Office Products Association Kids In Need Foundation offers Kids In Need Teacher Grants to provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for their students. The Kids In Need Teacher Grants are funded by retail and education credit union sponsors.

Teacher Grant awards range from $100 to $500 each and are used to finance creative classroom projects. Typically, 200 to 300 grants are awarded each year.

All certified K-12 teachers in the U.S. are eligible. (Some sponsors have geographic restrictions.)

Winning projects are put in the form of lesson plans and are published as a Best Practices Guide. The guide is distributed to other teachers through Kids In Need Resource Centers and from the foundation office.

Retail sponsors and designated education credit unions make the grant applications available at their outlets during the back-to-school season. Applications from the sponsors are also available on the Kids In Need Foundation Web site.

ThinkQuest International

ThinkQuest inspires students to think, connect, create, and share. Students work in teams to build innovative and educational websites to share with the world. Along the way, they learn research, writing, teamwork, and technology skills and compete for exciting prizes.

Sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation, the competition offers a unique project-based learning experience to students and teachers across the globe. Everybody wins by having their completed websites published in the ThinkQuest Library, a rich online resource visited by millions monthly.

Students, ages 9-19, form a team and recruit a teacher to act as coach. Once the coach enrolls the team, students work together to create an innovative website on any topic within a broad range of educational categories. Diverse teams and globally relevant themes are encouraged.

The top 10 teams in each age division receive laptop computers and a cash award for the coach’s school. In addition, the top 3 teams in each age division travel to ThinkQuest Live, an educational extravaganza celebrating their achievements. A special award is also presented to the team best demonstrating global perspectives.

Tourism Cares' Worldwide Grant Program

Deadline: November 1, 2006 (Letters of Inquiry Packets)

Tourism Cares (, the tourism industry’s nonprofit organization, awards charitable grants through its Worldwide Grant Program to worthy tourism-related nonprofit organizations worldwide for capital improvements as well as education programs in conservation and preservation.

The program’s primary consideration is to fund projects and programs whose goal is capital improvements that serve to protect, restore, or conserve sites of exceptional cultural, historic, or natural significance; or the education of local host communities and the traveling public about conservation and preservation of sites of exceptional cultural, historical,
or natural significance.

Based on merit and availability of funds, grants of up to $100,000 will be considered.

Grant recipients must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, or, in the case of non-U.S. organizations, must function as the equivalent. The 2006 Worldwide Grant Program goals for grantmaking call for a balanced distribution to U.S. and non-U.S. recipients.

Read the full solicitation.

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