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Chevron’s Partnership with the Fab Foundation (video)

Chevron's Partnership with the Fab Foundation

In order to create Fab Labs in the United States, Chevron has entered into a $10 million partnership with the Fab Foundation. Fruitvale Junior High School's Project Lead the Way class was among the first visitors to get to use the first Fab Lab opened through this partnership in Bakersfield, CA.

"This Fab Lab was established in partnership with California State University, Bakersfield, and it is the first of our planned Fab Labs," said Blair Blackwell, Manager, Education and Corporate Programs at Chevron.

"A Fab Lab is a place where students and entrepreneurs come to imagine, to design, and to make almost anything they want," said Sherry Lassiter, Director of the Fab Foundation. "California State University is joining a global network of over 400 Fab Labs in more than 50 countries."

"Seeing these projects come out that the students have worked so hard on has just been the greatest experience. Not every design is coming out as anticipated. So when you have to re-work the project, the students see the design process in action," said Holly Shelton, Science/Gateway to Technology Teacher at Fruitvale Junior High School, regarding the invaluable engineering lessons her students learned at the Fab Lab.

Watch a video of the partnership in action below.

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Chevron’s Partnership with the Fab Foundation

X-STEM Symposium Takes You Inside the Visionaries Who Are Making Math Come Alive

This is a post in our ongoing coverage of USA Science & Engineering Festival's X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium - April 28, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Mathematics -- the bane of many a student -- is getting a facelift in the classroom these days, thanks to a growing number of visionary mathematicians who are exploring new ways to make math more exciting and relevant for learners. At the USA Science & Engineering Festival’s X-STEM Symposium in April, meet key players in this movement, including prominent physicist Robert Lang, known for using the centuries-old art of origami to reveal the mysteries of mathematics and science; and professor-author Frank Morgan whose award-winning teaching methods in math are becoming legendary. Tickets for X-STEM -- a hands-on, all-day experience -- are going fast so register today!

X-STEM Speaker Profile:
Dr. Robert Lang
Rediscovering The Art Of Origami As An Exciting Tool In Science And Mathematics

Dr. Frank Morgan
Discover Why This Noted Mathematician Is Passionate About Motivating Young Learners In Math

State to Celebrate Women’s History Month and Pass Women in STEM Resolution

Kickoff event to be held Tuesday, March 17 in Nashville

March is Women’s History Month, and history tells us that women earn only around 77% of the salary of men in the same positions. History also tells us the national average of applicants vs jobs is over 4 job seekers for every 1 job. But what if there was a field where jobs were so plentiful that there were more than twice as many available jobs as applicants, and that historically paid higher than other fields? In STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and math – this is a reality and this Tuesday, March 17, the Tennessee Legislature will be passing a State Resolution encouraging more women to study and work in these STEM fields.  In these fields women earn 92% of the salary of men.
 
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey will join with Speaker of the House Beth Harwell on Tuesday, March 17th from 10am to 11am Central at the State Capitol Senate Chamber in Nashville to recognize and commend the hard working women of Tennessee who work and study in STEM fields. The event, sponsored by Million Women Mentors and over a dozen Tennessee businesses and organizations, will be the first of its kind to honor both women in STEM and Women’s History Month with a State Resolution. 
 
 
“Despite the tremendous gains that girls and women have made in education and the workforce during the past 50 years, progress has been uneven and certain scientific and engineering fields remain overwhelmingly male,” said Sheila Boyington, Senior Advisor for Million Women Mentors. “Women are about 50% of the national workforce but they are only 24% of the STEM workforce.  It is so important that we make STEM education a top priority for Tennessee to address the STEM workforce shortage, and to help close the gap between women and men in these high paying fields,” said Boyington.
 
The U.S. is facing an increasing shortage in the STEM workforce. Employment in STEM is expected to grow 17 % by 2018, while the number of college graduates in STEM fields continues to decline. A constant supply of well-trained STEM workers is essential to meeting the workforce needs in Tennessee.  In 2009, just 18 % of bachelor’s degrees awarded were in STEM fields, down 24 % from two decades ago, particularly for women.
 
Besides the obvious reasons why women should major in STEM, the economic implications based on pay are profound.
 
The nationally launched Million Women Mentors® effort is growing in Tennessee to use mentoring as an avenue to engage women and girls in STEM careers. The goal of the movement is to garner one million mentors in STEM professions over the next several years, to collectively increase the interest and confidence of girls and women in these academic areas. Approximately 30 states are commitment to this effort. Each mentor will commit to a minimum of 20 hours and the initiative has five suggested mentor pathways with a robust portal that will capture and amplify the numbers who are working on this effort.
 
About Million Women Mentors®
Launched on January 8th  ,2014, MWM is the collective action of over  national partners and  corporate sponsors designed to increase the number of girls and women within the high school to work age continuum that persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. For more information on MWM please visit www.MillionWomenMentors.org
 
About STEMconnector®
STEMconnector®is a consortium of over 110 companies, associations, academic institutions and government entities concerned with STEM education and the future of human capital. STEMconnector® focuses on the STEM workforce and jobs, with a particular emphasis on diversity and women. Our work spans the entire pipeline (K-J—Kindergarten to Jobs) and how STEM education experiences translate into careers. For more information, visit STEMconnector.org.
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Is America Maintaining Its Competitive Edge? Get Answers at the USA Science & Engineering Festival’s X-STEM Symposium!

This is a post in our ongoing coverage of USA Science & Engineering Festival's X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium - April 28, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

How is America doing in maintaining its competitive edge in technology, including attracting the best and the brightest in STEM? Robie Samanta Roy, Ph.D., Vice President, Technology and Innovation at Lockheed Martin, provides timely -- and surprising -- insight at the Festival’s X-STEM Extreme Symposium next April! Mark your calendar for this unforgettable day of workshops and live demonstrations with him and other STEM leaders as they take students inside the frontiers of innovation and science. Tickets are limited, so register NOW!

X-STEM Speaker Profile:
Dr. Robie Samanta Roy
Keeping America Competitive -- At The Speed Of Innovation

Vernier and NSTA Announce Winners of the 2015 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards

This is a press release from Vernier Software & Technology

Seven STEM educators awarded prizes valued at $5,500 each for their innovative use of data-collection technology in the classroom

BEAVERTON, Ore., March 12, 2015 (PRNewswire) | Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announced the winners of their annual Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. The seven science and STEM educators—one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator—were chosen by a panel of NSTA-appointed experts for their innovative use of data-collection technology with a computer, graphing calculator or other handheld device in the science classroom.
 
Each winner will be formally recognized at the 2015 NSTA National Conference in Chicago, IL on March 13, 2015 and will receive $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the conference.
 
"The use of data collection in science and STEM classrooms can truly transform the teaching and learning processes," said David Vernier, co-founder of Vernier and former physics teacher. "From investigating lichen growth to the analysis of water samples from a nearby watershed, this year's Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners show how the use of data collection provides engaging, hands-on opportunities for scientific investigation and discovery."
 
This year's Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners include:
 
Category: Elementary School
Amy Atkinson, Hominy Valley Elementary School, Candler, NC
Amy Atkinson created a project that focuses on healthy lifestyle choices in diet, exercise and relaxation and culminates with a fourth grade health and wellness fair. As part of the project, students work with local health professionals to explore different facets of healthy living and use Vernier sensors to measure and collect real-time heart rate, blood pressure and respiration data. 
 
Category: Middle School
Susan Brown, Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff, AZ
To help students in grades 6–12 explore how climate change effects lichen growth and diversity, Susan Brown created a long-term research project in partnership with a local arboretum and Northern Arizona University. Her project utilizes gardens along an elevation gradient, as well as an on-site garden at the school. Students used Vernier sensors to collect weather-related data from the gardens and then make their own observations and draw their own inferences about climate change and its effects.
 
Dennis Pevey, Jr., eSTEM Public Charter School, Little Rock, AR
Dennis Pevey engages his students in science education by infusing STEM concepts into projects that focus on the environmental issues impacting central Arkansas. In one particular project, students will create biofiltration units for the school's parking garage to help prevent the leaching of chemicals into the Arkansas River. They will use Ion-Selective Electrodes and SpectroVis spectrophotometers from Vernier to monitor and analyze the water samples over a three-month period.
 
Category: High School
Kristy Bibbey, Poudre High School, Fort Collins, CO
During a project that introduces the physics of sound, Kristy Bibbey's physics students—as well as a local musician—bring in an instrument that they play and use the Vernier Microphone to record various wavelengths using the various instruments. The data are shown in real time on the classroom's whiteboard so that students can analyze the data, recognize the properties of a wavelength and understand the inverse relationship between period and frequency.
 
Karlheinz Haas, The Pine School, Hobe Sound, FL
To help make kinematics and dynamics more accessible and relatable to students, Karlheinz Haas adapted a series of commonly used physics labs to incorporate the use of the TI-Nspire CX handheld in combination with Vernier sensors and DataQuest software. These labs include a marble activity that teaches students about horizontal velocity and an investigation involving echoes that teach students about the speed of sound. 
 
Ann Shioji, William C. Overfelt High School, San Jose, CA
In Ann Shioji's "Beauty and the Yeast" unit, students explore how chemicals affect their daily lives. At the beginning of the unit, students conduct preliminary research on the gestation period and respiration rates of yeast and then conduct a class investigation using a CO2 Gas Sensor to determine the rate of respiration of glucose by Saccharomyces to monitor a closed population of yeast. Then, students are provided the opportunity to design their own inquiry-based experiments to test the effects of chemicals on living yeast cells.
 
Category: College
Lois Zook-Gerdau, Muskingum University, New Concord, OH
Muskingum University partnered with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District to assess the water quality in the nearby Salt Creek Watershed. They used Vernier sensors and spectrometers, which were instrumental in helping research students conduct a variety of analyses on these water samples. Through this partnership, students worked with local environmental professionals, and the community won a grant for conservation efforts based on the water quality assessments.
 
To learn more about the Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards and to find details for the 2016 application, visit http://www.vernier.com/grants/nsta/.  
 
About Vernier Software & Technology
Vernier Software & Technology has been a leading innovator of scientific data-collection technology for 34 years. Focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Vernier is dedicated to developing creative ways to teach and learn using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With world-wide distribution to over 130 countries, Vernier products are used by educators and students from elementary school to college. Vernier's technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students' critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Vernier's business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit http://www.vernier.com.
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Help make EdTech Weekly Report better by taking this short survey!

In order to assess that EdTech Weekly Report is meeting your needs in providing you with the most up-to-date news in education technology, please take a minute to complete our short subscriber survey. EdTech Weekly Report comes out every Tuesday morning, and is an email newsletter curating the latest news on MOOCs, EdTech startups, classroom tech, testing, and more!
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

 

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Nominees are Announced for First-Ever SET Award for Portrayal of a Female in Technology! Vote Today through April 6th on YouTube

This is a press release from EIC

The SET Award for Portrayal of a Female in Technology is presented by Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and Google

Los Angeles, CA (March 9 2015) | Voting begins today for the first-ever SET Award for Portrayal of a Female in Technology presented by Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), and Google. This award recognizes a female character, and those involved in bringing her to life, that goes above and beyond to inspire and encourage the breakdown of stereotypes and elevate the conversation around female ingenuity in technology fields. 
 
“When it comes to encouraging girls and women to pursue careers in computer science and other technical fields, we know that positive role models matter,” Mo Fong, Director for K-12 Education Outreach at Google, said. “We are excited to be partnering with EIC and NCWIT to create an award that highlights amazing women in entertainment and the characters they portray to inspire and propel more women into technical careers critical to future innovation.”
 
The nominees, from television, film and internet productions, were selected through public comment on YouTube. The winner will be determined by a combination of public voting and expert input from entertainment and technology professionals. The nominees are: 
  • Annedroids on Amazon
  • Arrow: “Felicity Smoak” played by Emily Bett Rickards
  • Bones: “Angela Montenegro” played by Michaela Conlin
  • Criminal Minds: “Penelope Garcia” played by Kirsten Simone Vangsness
  • Halt and Catch Fire: “Cameron Howe” and “Donna Clark” played by Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bisché 
  • How to Build a Better Boy: “May” and “Gabby” played by China Anne McClain and Kelli Berglund
  • The Imitation Game: “Joan Clarke” played by Keira Knightley
  • Interstellar: “Murph” played by Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn and Mackenzie Foy (at various ages) 
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Skye” played by Chloe Bennet
  • NCIS: “Abby Sciuto” played by Pauley Perrette
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: “Nell Jones” portrayed by Renee Felice Smith
  • Scorpion: “Happy Quinn” played by Jadyn Wong
“EIC is proud to recognize the power and influence actors and actresses have to bring to life inspiring and exciting characters who can change attitudes and perceptions of diverse audiences about career paths of the future,” Brian Dyak said, President and CEO of EIC. 
 
Voting begins today and continues through April 6th, 2015. Click here to cast your ballot! The winner will be announced at the 2015 NCWIT Summit for Women & IT on May 19-21 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
 
About Google Inc. 
Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.
 
About Entertainment Industries Council 
EIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders within the entertainment industry to bring the power and influence of the industry to communicate about health and social issues. The organization is considered to be the chief pioneer of entertainment and journalism outreach and a premiere success story in the field of entertainment education. This mission relies on providing resource information to the creative community and culminates in recognition of the industry through the national television special PRISM Showcase which addresses accurate portrayals of substance use issues and mental health concerns. The organization also produces the SET Awards, honoring positive and non-stereotypical portrayals of science, engineering and technology. For a complete list of health and social issues addressed by EIC and local projects please visit First Draft and EIC’s website at www.eiconline.org or the internet television network at EICnetwork.tv. The PRISM Awards web site is www.prismawards.com. The SET Awards web site is www.eicsetawards.com.
 
About NCWIT 
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 600 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at www.ncwit.org.

 

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Dean Kamen (a.k.a Modern-Day Edison): Just One of the Noted Inventors You’ll Meet at X-STEM Symposium!

This is a post in our ongoing coverage of USA Science & Engineering Festival's X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium - April 28, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Besides founding the amazing robotics outreach movement known as FIRST, he's sometimes called a modern-day Edison for the sheer number and impact of his inventions -- which range from the Segway human transporter and revolutionary robotic prosthetic arm to the iBOT battery-powered wheelchair. Get ready to engage one-on-one with Dean Kamen at the USA Science & Engineering Festival’s X-STEM Symposium, an unforgettable all-day experience in April with some of the most fascinating visionaries in STEM! Tickets are limited and going fast -- so get yours TODAY! Click here to register.

X-STEM Speaker Profile:
Dean Kamen
Inside The Mind And Creations Of Inventor Dean Kamen

Discovery Education Celebrates Pi Day With Live Virtual Field Trip Providing Students Real-World Applications Of The Famous Mathematical Constant

This is a press release from Discovery Education

Hosted LIVE from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Virtual Event Offers Students Nationwide an Exclusive Opportunity to Learn from Leading Mathematicians, Scientists, and Engineers

SILVER SPRING, Md. (March 9, 2015) | On Friday, March 13 at 1 p.m. ET, Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will celebrate Pi Day with a live virtual field trip to the laboratories of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the federal agency developing and applying technology, measurements, and standards.  Offered at no cost to classrooms nationwide, this event will feature leading mathematicians, scientists, and engineers demonstrating how Pi, the numerical value of the ratio of the circumference of a circle, is utilized in solving everyday problems.
 
During this 30-minute virtual field trip, students will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the NIST facilities, exploring its nanotechnology section, 3D lab, fire research division, and underground labs. In addition, students will have the unique opportunity to hear from a variety of experts who will discuss the integral role Pi and mathematics play in the operation of the everyday products and services we depend on, including skyscrapers, jetliners, computers, video games, cell phones, and cars. Classrooms may register and submit questions for this event at http://www.discoveryeducation.com/PiDay/.
 
“I am thrilled to give my students the opportunity to participate in Discovery Education’s Pi Day virtual field trip,” said Norma Rockwell at Teacher at Carver-Edisto Middle School in Orangeburg, S.C. “This event will show my class how Pi is being used all around us to solve meaningful, real-world problems, demonstrate NIST’s important work, and highlight the exciting career paths in STEM available to today’s students.”
 
Discovery Education will also offer elementary, middle, and high school resource guides that include pre and post activities and discussion questions to enrich the students’ experience with the virtual field trip.  These materials will assist educators in reinforcing the real-world applications of mathematics and Pi, sharpen students’ STEM skills, and connect classroom concepts to possible career paths.
 
“Discovery Education is pleased to offer students and educators dynamic, engaging learning opportunities that use real-world examples to bring mathematics education to life,” said Aggie Alvez, vice president, Discovery Education. “We are honored to work with NIST on this project, and look forward to connecting students across the country to the thoughtful scientists and innovators demonstrating the fundamental importance of mathematics in our world.”
 
In January, Discovery Education launched Math Techook, the latest in its series of award winning digital textbooks.  Discovery Education Math Techbook provides engaging instructional strategies and real-world problems that motivate and excite students with diverse learning styles.  Through its Discover, Practice, Apply instructional approach, Math Techbook moves conceptual learning, procedural fluency and real-world problem application through a cycle that promotes greater student knowledge retention. For more information about this virtual field trip or Discovery Education’s other programs and services, visit: www.discoveryeducation.com.
 
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
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100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM - Anita Zucker of The InterTech Group

The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Anita Zucker, chair and chief executive officer at The InterTech Group.

Anita Zucker, InterTech

Anita Zucker
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
The InterTech Group

A longtime advocate of education and renowned South Carolina philanthropist, Zucker currently serves as Chair and CEO of The InterTech Group, her family holding company. Zucker has been a leader in the Charleston area and South Carolina for numerous organizations and currently serves on the President’s Initiatives Committee of the University of South Carolina. Zucker earned a B.A. in education from the University of Florida and a Master’s of Education from the University of North Florida. She taught elementary school for over a decade.

About The InterTech Group

The InterTech Group is a global holding company that owns or has investments in a wide array of industries including aerospace, advanced chemicals, financial services, consumer products, sports teams and arenas, location-based entertainment, real estate and alternative energy. The Company is listed by Forbes magazine as one of the largest privately held entities in the country.

Since being founded by Jerry Zucker in 1982, The InterTech Group has grown substantially through a series of acquisitions, expansions, takeovers, “green field” start-ups, and organic growth. The Company has purchased significant divisions of DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, and Exxon, among others. Public company takeovers include the 2006 acquisition of the Hudson’s Bay Company, North America’s oldest company, which was founded in 1670.

Philanthropy and community service are ingrained in the foundation of The InterTech Group with a focus on education, workforce development and STEM initiatives. The InterTech Group currently supports programs within the top colleges and universities in South Carolina, including the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, College of Charleston and The Medical University of South Carolina.

Anita on Diversity and STEM

What principles do you apply to your professional and personal life to advance STEM education?

My family and my business are supported by a foundation based on creating change in the world around us. My late husband, Jerry Zucker, passed away in 2008 after a battle with cancer. His passion for science, technology and innovation continue to be the driving inspiration that propels The InterTech Group each day. This inspiration combined with a deep-rooted love of education have become guiding principles in our business. In an effort to have a direct impact on local students, we have invested in an ongoing scholarship program for graduating high school student interested in entering STEM related programs at our local technical college.

What is your advice to those involved in promoting STEM education?

Hang in there. We are making progress. To all the supporters of STEM education and leaders who are pushing education reform at any level, I commend your efforts. Our voices are being heard and we are beginning to see the needle move in a positive direction.

As we work to change the landscape of education, I believe it is critical to retrain our guidance and career counselors at every level. We are creating a future workforce. To do so our counselors must be knowledgeable and fully invested. In tandem with counselors and administrators, we must keep talking about STEM education and the importance of giving EVERY child an opportunity to grow and prosper through enlightenment.

I believe it is important for us to remember the arts. Creativity drives innovation and lays the foundation for building new processes and concepts. Bo Bennett, a successful tech innovator said, “enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity”. It’s in everything we do, every idea, design and invention. It’s important to remember the arts and creativity are a vital part of our world and our work.

Are you a mentor and what is your view of mentorship?

Along with my executive team, I am involved in a number of mentoring programs throughout the year. We find ourselves constantly working with students and young professionals. Together, we see mentoring as a necessary component of helping young leaders transition from one level to the next. For this reason, we make ourselves available for mentoring to high school and college students as well as MBA candidates and scholars. We are proud of the time and resources we invest in helping young people develop their skillsets.

What is the STEM initiative that your company has supported are you most proud?

The InterTech Group STEM philanthropic strategy centers on building awareness and opportunity. I am most proud of the new and exciting developments in ongoing STEM education and job development through our work with the Medical University of South Carolina and Clemson University. The Zucker Graduate Education Center, a new addition to the Clemson University Restoration Institute in Charleston, SC, is currently under construction and will soon offer students the opportunity to acquire advanced degrees in engineering.

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