Soy BeansThe meat alternative trend has been on a steady increase, and it has the potential to substantially cut carbon emissions. Gaining momentum and popularity, meat alternatives, like the Impossible Burger, could shape a meatless future. A future where the human diet consists of less meat is potentially vital to the overall health and conservation of the environment.

According to the Sierra Club, 27.0 kilograms of CO2 are emitted for every one kilogram of beef consumed. Also, Beef cattle are responsible for a quarter of the emissions from American agriculture. The UN released a statement last August noting if humans universally ate less meat, worldwide emissions could potentially decrease as much as eight gigatons annually. Soy beans, one of the main ingredients of meatless meats, may be one of many answers to combat meat-related CO2 emissions.

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ILI U of IUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been named one of the Top 20 Coolest Schools of 2019 by Sierra Magazine, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, which celebrates environmentally friendly colleges across the country.

Sierra Magazine praised a variety of eco-conscious student groups at UIUC, who play a large part in lessening the campus’s environmental footprint.

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I Like Illinois SIUE picSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville has started off the school year on a high note: its online nurse educator master’s program has been ranked first in Illinois and fifth in the nation for affordability, according to Affordable Schools, a site that ranks low-cost, high-quality degree programs.

To compile its list, Affordable Schools considered more than just the average cost of attendance. The rankings also took into account the program’s student-to-faculty ratio and its national standing as determined by U.S. News and World Report. Affordable Schools praised SIUE’s opportunities for hands-on learning and its individualized coursework, as well as its focus on preparing students to sit for the National League for Nursing Certified Nurse Educator examination after they graduate. Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, joined SIUE in the top 15.

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U of I campusWith the University of Illinois’ world-renowned Science and Engineering departments, it’s no surprise that six U of I researchers have received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers this year. The award is the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow upon young professionals at the beginning of their independent research careers.

This year’s winners include mechanical engineering and science professors Gaurav Bahl and Kelly Stephani, materials science and engineering professor Pinshane Huang, chemistry professor Prashant Jain, molecular and integrative physiology professor Daniel Llano, and physics professor Julia “Jessie” Shelton.

These young scientists and engineers are eligible to receive a research grant for up to five years, allowing them to further their studies in support of critical government missions. The federal agencies involved include the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Science Foundation.

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ILI ACT Scores

Illinois students are scoring higher on the ACT this year in spite of a national trend of lower scores on the test designed to gauge college preparedness.

Students in the state achieved an average composite score of 23.9 out of 36, an increase from 21.4 in 2017.

The results come at a time when composite scores across the country have declined to an average of 20.8 after reaching an average of 21.0 last year.

The nationwide decrease in scores has been particularly substantial in math, where scores reached their lowest levels since 2004. Only 40 percent of test takers were rated as prepared to take a first-year college algebra course compared to 41 percent in 2017 and 46 percent in 2012. Illinois beat the national average in math 61 to 40 percent.

Illinois students demonstrated a higher level of college readiness than students nationally, outperforming the national average in every category. More than 80 percent of test takers in Illinois were rated as ready for college-level English courses, compared to 60 percent nationally. Illinois students also beat the national average 64 to 36 percent in reading and 55 to 46 percent in science.

For complete data on ACT scores in Illinois and nationally, click here.

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