News in Brief: November 3

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November 3, 2009

1:16 AM

*Swine flu clinics cancelled due to shot shortage*

H1N1 shot clinics scheduled to be held this week at public schools in Virginia’s Peninsula Health District have been canceled. The Peninsula Health District, which covers Newport News, Williamsburg, Poquson, York and James City counties, canceled because it had not yet received enough of the vaccines to hold large-scale clinics. Patients in the high-risk categories can call the Peninsula Health Center at (757) 594-7069 to schedule an appointment.

District Director David Trump has requested that those not at high risk wait for later clinics to get their vaccines. All other medical practices slated to receive the vaccines should begin to receive them at the start of next week.

*VIMS engages in York River oil-spill cleanup drill*

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science participated in an oil-spill clean-up drill last Wednesday, Oct. 28. The drill, which took place on the York River, was conducted by a coalition of several different organizations including the U.S. Coast Guard, Western Refining-Yorktown, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, VIMS and local EMS HAZMAT teams.

The York River is home to a Western Refining plant, a naval weapons station, VIMS and a coast guard training center. During the drill, VIMS practiced deploying oil-spill containment booms on the river around their Gloucester Point facility.

*National grant expands education school program*

The School of Education at the College of William and Mary has received a $900,000 grant from the federal government to expand its STEM Education Alliance program to the national level. The program targets middle schools, aiming to increase interest in science and engineering-related fields.

“Our STEM program is part of an institution-wide commitment to reach out to middle and high schools to stimulate interest in vital fields,” Dean of the School of Education Virginia McLaughlin said. “We realize that being scientifically literate and mastering critical 21st-century skills are key elements in our nation’s effort to remain strong and prosperous. For that reason, these topics are included in all of our teacher preparation programs and in various other curriculums as well.”

The funding received will expand the program to eight states including Virginia, create a magazine about teaching the sciences in middle school, and start a website for the program.

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