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Design Students Help Media Molecule Shape LittleBigPlanet

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305w ago - Burning the midnight oil with pizza and caffeinated drinks is common for college students, but doing so to create a functional playground for a walking happy-go-lucky ball of yarn is definitely new.

Developer Media Molecule's charming creation Little Big Planet was the focus of last weekend's 24-hour Game Jam at Parsons the New School for Design.

The reputed design school in the heart of New York City teamed up with Little Big Planet publisher Sony to host a competition with more than 150 students from different disciplines divided into 19 teams. The students had a single day with Little Big Planet to build the most creative level possible using Little Big Planet's in-game tools.

"The results of students in teams working for 24 hours straight were absolutely amazing," said Sven Travis, chair of the communication, design and technology department, at the awards ceremony on Monday afternoon. "I don't think there was anyone who wasn't astonished by the results."

Originally there were supposed to be five awards doled out, but judges felt the need to acknowledge an additional two teams whose efforts stood out. There was a $1,000 grand prize for best in show, and additional prizes were given for the most personal, most innovative, most fun, and most beautiful levels. After judges...
 

Six teams vie for Satellite Prize

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327w ago - Six teams of students are vying for the chance to build an experiment for a satellite that will launch in 2010. The semi-finalists are now required to work up a final proposal for submission in August; an outright winner will be selected by judges in the Autumn.

The winning experiment is required to be about the size of a lunch box, weighing no more than 1kg. The contest is organised by the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL).

It is aimed at students between the ages of 14 and 18. It was conceived by Dr Stuart Eves, of SSTL, as an initiative for boosting interest in space science among young people. But it will be given a developmental budget of up to £100,000.

St George's College Addlestone - experiment will study the characteristics of Near-Earth space dust, which can damage orbiting spacecraft

Helston Community College - will test the ability of bacteria to survive the extreme conditions of outer space

Langton Star Centre - experiment will detect cosmic rays hitting the Earth's atmosphere

Schome Park Project - to observe "earthshine" and identify key life markers in the reflected light of the Earth

Shrewsbury School - will investigate the electrically charged...
 

Students 'should use Wikipedia'

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346w ago - Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said teachers who refuse younger students access to the site are "bad educators".

Speaking at the Online Information conference at London's Olympia, he played down the long-running controversy over the site's authority.

He said young students should be able to reference the online encyclopaedia in their work.

Mr Wales said the site, which is edited by users, should be seen as a "stepping stone" to other sources.

As long as an article included accurate citations, he said he had "no problem" with it being used as a reference for younger students, although academics would "probably be better off doing their own research".

"You can ban kids from listening to rock 'n' roll music, but they're going to anyway," he added. "It's the same with information, and it's a bad educator that bans their students from reading Wikipedia."

In 2005, at the height of the controversy over the site's accuracy, Mr Wales told the BBC that students who copied information from Wikipedia "deserved to get an F grade".

Mr Wales said the website still lacked the authority to be used as a citeable source for college-aged and university students.

But he said new editing and checking procedures had made Wikipedia more trustworthy....
 
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