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The Spill: A 3-D Printed Education

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A School Made By a 3-D Printer? It’s a Game Changer

When Maggie Grout learned that nearly 250 million children around the world couldn’t go to school because there weren’t any schools near them, she couldn’t stand it. At age 15, she started Thinking Huts, her own non-profit business. Her dream was to build schools for poor communities around the world so that all kids could go to school.

Maggie is a senior at the University of Colorado now studying business management and entrepreneurship. And she is about to see her dream finally become a reality. The first school to roll off a 3-D printer is set for construction in Madagascar. Miss Grout explains how 3-D printing technology can make schools so much easier to build:

“Compared to traditional construction, 3-D printed schools can be built in a fraction of the time while also reducing waste, since the walls are honeycombed and hollow. Another benefit is that 3-D printing significantly decreases costs with economies of scale.”

Miss Grout’s 3-D schools cost less than half as much as the old way of building them. The new schools are set to improve the educational opportunities of millions – Madagascar is just the beginning. And she is optimistic: “If all goes to plan we will be open by the start of the new year with classes in session.”

Additional Dead Sea Scrolls Discovered

For the first time in 60 years, ancient Bible texts have been discovered in an Israeli desert. The latest fragments are thought to be over 2,000 years old. Researchers believe they were hidden during a Jewish revolution against Rome. They’re portions of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets and the books of Nahum and Zechariah.

The texts are in Greek, but the passage discovered, Nahum 1:5–6, has been translated: “The mountains quake because of Him, And the hills melt. The earth heaves before Him, The world and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His wrath? Who can resist His fury? His anger pours out like fire, and rocks are shattered because of Him.”

Dead Sea ScrollsAn expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority points out that these words are different from other versions of the Bible and show how biblical text has changed over time. The first batch of Dead Sea Scrolls was found by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947. For years, scholars have argued over who they think wrote them. There are about 900 texts all together that date back to as early as the third century B.C. They contain hymns, psalms, calendars, and early copies of the Hebrew Bible.

Avi Cohen, CEO of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, is excited to share the findings: “These finds are not just important to our own cultural heritage but to that of the entire world.” Other items discovered include a collection of coins with Jewish symbols, arrowheads and spearheads, woven fabric, sandals, and lice combs. Experts believe these items are from the end of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-136 A.D.) when Jews fought against Roman rule.

It’s All for the Birds

Birds night lightsBright lights on tall buildings have been a danger to birds for many years, but Philadelphia is going to change the game for our feathered friends. Beginning April 1, the downtown businesses and residences in high-rise buildings will turn off their lights to help the birds navigate through the city.

Birds use the stars and moon to guide them at night, and the artificial lights cause disorientation during flight. On cloudy nights, the birds cannot see the sky, making matters even worse. Last October, an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 birds died in a single night in just a three-block radius.

But the deaths of migratory birds began long ago. Jason Weckstein, the associate curator of ornithology at Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences, shared this with the Associated Press: “We have specimens in the academy’s ornithology collection from a kill that happened when lights were first installed on Philadelphia’s City Hall tower in 1896.”

The program is called Lights Out Philly, and it will run April 1 through May 31. The fall season will begin August 15 and continue through November 15. Program participants will shut off their lights between midnight and 6 a.m.

According to the National Audubon Society, other major metropolitan cities – New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. – already participate in the program. It began in 1999 in Chicago.

Not only will countless birds be saved, but carbon emissions and energy costs should drop as well. Doing the right thing reaps a myriad of rewards.

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