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Event: Potter Day, Maryland Science Center. Nov. 20, 2010

harry potterBaltimore’s Maryland Science Center invites everyone to join Harry Potter Day, November 20, 2010. The screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in the IMAX theater, will be accompanied by day filled with activities for kids of all ages, from the creation of chemical potions, to a hunt for horcruxes, and mapping of the stars. Cost: Free with paid admission and for members.

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Movies That Watch You

Going to the movies is always fun, but would you still enjoy it if you knew the movie was watching you?

Soon, movie theaters may be equipped with cameras that will use facial recognition technology to monitor which way you are facing; if you’re laughing, scared, or bored; and if you came alone or with friends.

In order to monitor facial expressions, the theater cameras will illuminate the audience with infrared beams and create 3-D stereoscopic images of each viewer. Aralia Systems, a British security firm, received a $350,000 grant to develop the system.

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Color-Changing Bandage Can Signal Infection

Isn’t it time that band-aids, which have changed little since their invention in 1920, got a high-tech update? German engineers certainly think so, and that’s why they have created “smart” bandages that turn purple at the first sign of infection.

The new bandage insulates injuries just like any other bandage, but the dressing also contains a special dye that reacts to different pH values.

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Contest: NASA’s Sports Design Challenge

Spaced Out Sports ContestStudents in grades 5-8 are invited to participate in Spaced Out Sports, a national design challenge that applies Newton’s Laws of Motion in the design of a game for astronauts of the International Space Station to play in space. The goal is for students to learn the “science behind the game” on Earth and in microgravity. Deadline: February 1, 2011.

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Contest: Environmental Excellence Award

OceanThe 2011 SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Awards recognize the efforts of students and teachers across the country who are working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve the environment. All K-12 schools in the United States and formally recognized school groups, such as a grade level, classroom or club are eligible to apply. Public, private and licensed home schools are also eligible. Awards include $10,000 for eight award-winning projects and all expenses-paid trip to a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park for the awards event. DEADLINE: Dec. 1, 2010.

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