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April 4, 2014
On Feb. 18, 2014, Argonne hosted its 19th annual regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at the Chicago Children's Museum. This year, the competition called on teams to build a complex machine that took at least 20 steps to zip a zipper. Pictured here are students from Reavis High School of Burbank, Illinois, who defeated nine other teams in the contest with their Super Mario-themed Rube Goldberg machine.

By winning Argonne's contest, these students will compete in the National High School Rube Goldberg Machine Championship this weekend, on Saturday, April 5, at Waukesha Country Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/argonne/sets/72157642213177065#" target="_blank">View more photos from the competition here<a/>. | Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.
Photo of the Week: Power Up! Twenty Steps to Zip a Zipper

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February 28, 2014
 Last week, 79 Chicago-area high school students visited the Energy Department's Argonne National Lab for "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day," an educational outreach program designed to give 8th-grade girls an opportunity to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
 
While at the Lab, the girls participated in tours to explore different aspects of the Lab's work -- from learning about the organisms that live in soil to floating small objects in mid-air with an acoustic levitator. In the afternoon, the girls were given a car chassis with a motor and challenged to figure out the types of wheels and pulleys needed to build a battery operated transmission. At an engineering expo, the girls were able to learn about the inner workings of various scientific concepts -- from tornadoes to magnets and beyond. Throughout the day, the girls heard from scientists in a number of fields, including keynote speaker Joanne Manaster, a faculty lecturer in the School of Integrative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

In the photo above, two students work with an Argonne National Lab scientist to complete the "Automotive Tycoon" challenge. | Photo courtesy of Mark Lopez, Argonne National Laboratory.
Photo of the Week: Getting a Head Start for Women in STEM

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January 15, 2014
Record of Decision Issued for the FutureGen 2.0 Project

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has decided to provide financial assistance to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance (the Alliance) for the FutureGen 2.0 Project. DOE will provide approximately $1 billion of in cost-shared funding (the majority of which was appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) through cooperative agreements with the Alliance, as described in DOE's Record of Decision (ROD).

January 15, 2014
EIS-0460: Record of Decision

FutureGen 2.0 Project, Morgan County, Illinois

December 16, 2013
EA-1950: Draft Environmental Assessment

EA-1950: Grand Coulee-Creston Transmission Line Rebuild; Grant and Lincoln Counties, Washington

November 21, 2013
This week, the Energy Department's digital team has been focusing on the rivalry between two of history's most important energy-related engineers: Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Edison and Tesla's developments in electric power generation and distribution made possible many later breakthroughs. This 1951 photo shows a simple string of four 100-watt light bulbs powered by the first useful electricity ever produced by nuclear power, generated on December 20, 1951, by Argonne's Experimental Breeder Reactor 1. | Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.
Photo of the Week: Bright Ideas

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November 13, 2013
In 1958, Argonne National Laboratory began the construction of several zero-power reactors (ZPRs), which are nuclear fission reactors that don't actually generate any power. Scientists developed ZPRs to assess the performance of various reactor core configurations before actually building a full nuclear reactor. A series of ZPRs were built leading up to the construction of the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II, a sodium-cooled fast reactor power plant. 
 
In this 1970 photo, an Argonne scientist is loading the matrices of the ZPR-VI reactor prior to its first operation using plutonium fuel. | Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy.
Photo of the Week: The Sixth Zero Power Reactor

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November 1, 2013
EIS-0460: EPA Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement

FutureGen 2.0 Project, Morgan County, Illinois

October 25, 2013
EIS-0460: Final Environmental Impact Statement

FutureGen 2.0 Project, Morgan County, Illinois

September 19, 2013
In this photo, two Argonne researchers are pictured with Argonne's first digital computer, AVIDAC. Designed and built by Argonne's Physics Division for $250,000, it began operations on January 28, 1953. AVIDAC stands for "Argonne Version of the Institute's Digital Automatic Computer" and was based on architecture developed by mathematician John von Neumann. Groundbreaking as it was, today's smartphones are far more sophisticated and powerful than this machine. | Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.
Photo of the Week: Throwback Thursday with AVIDAC

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