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This issue of the high school edition of Science Class features the theme Inquiry in the Laboratory. Please tell us what you think of the issue by using the Feedback link on the left of Science Class or by sending an e-mail to us at enewsletterfeedback@nsta.org.

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A recent report from the National Research Council, America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science (2005) (http://www.nap.edu/books/0309096715/html), identified a number of science learning goals that have been attributed to laboratory experiences. They include "mastery of subject matter; developing scientific reasoning; understanding the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work; developing practical skills; understanding the nature of science; cultivating interest in science and interest in learning science; and developing teamwork abilities." Although no single laboratory experience will achieve all of these goals, different types of laboratory experiences can meet one or more of these goals. Helping students attain these goals is critical to improving national science literacy and inspring the next generation of scientists. This issue reveals how teachers are working toward improving the quality of laboratory experiences for their students.

Inquiry in the News

Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Digest (visit http://www.nsta.org/mainnews for national news for science educators).

Students are able to conduct hands-on research in the lab of a new science academy, thanks to a donation from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Inquiry on the Web

In this month's high school journal, The Science Teacher, NSTA members can read "Simplifying Inquiry Instruction." The link to that article is http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=tst&n=50983.

SciLinks is a web-based service from NSTA that provides online content chosen to augment printed articles and books. It does so through keywords; the keywords for this issue are

Inquiry in the Laboratory: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263569911101055

NSTA Journal Articles on Inquiry in the Laboratory

Click here to read more:


Books, Books, Books

The NSTA Science Store and catalogs offer NSTA Press books and other outstanding titles for science educators. The selections for this issue are grade appropriate and were chosen for their relevance to this month's theme: Inquiry in the Laboratory.

Click here for this month's selection:


Click here for the newest titles from NSTA Press:


To receive the latest NSTA catalog for your specific grade level, visit


Professional Development

Science Program Improvement Review (SPIR)

SPIR is NSTA’s new initiative to help teachers and administrators assess—then strengthen—the science instruction being provided to their students. SPIR is a standards-based strategy that culminates in a comprehensive written assessment of a school's or district’s science instructional program as well as recommendations for improvement as needed.

NSTA-trained and certified SPIR reviewers will work with school or district teachers and administrators to align their science instruction more closely with state and national science standards for teaching, professional development, assessment, content, and program.

For more information, visit http://www.nsta.org/spir.

Initiatives Target Math, Science Instruction

Two new initiatives designed to increase the number of science and math teachers in America made headlines recently. IBM plans to financially back employees leaving the company to become science and math educators, and the Department of Education is teaming up with TechNet as part of the Teacher-to-Teacher initiative, a program that offers educators professional development and research-based strategies. To read more about these initiatives, visit the following links.

IBM to Encourage Employees to Become Math and Science Teachers

New Programs Support Teacher Success

Global Science Teaching

An Invitation for Our International Colleagues

Any international visitors to our Anaheim convention are invited to submit a proposal to present a session. To view the invitation or to obtain the proposal form, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-10/international.htm.

Students Prepare to Launch Homemade Satellite

A microsatellite built largely from donated parts in university workshops across Europe will be launched soon. The Student Space Exploration Technology Initiative Express is about the size of a small washing machine. Constructed by more than 400 students from 23 universities in 12 countries, the spacecraft will take photographs of Earth, test a cold-gas altitude control system, and function as a radio transponder for amateur radio operators. To read more, visit Space.com at http://space.com/businesstechnology/050921_techwed_sseti.html.

NSTA Opportunities

NSTA Symposia

These face-to-face professional development opportunities at NSTA conventions are half-day, standards-based programs designed to enhance educators' scientific content and pedagogical practices. Presenters include scientists, engineers, and educational specialists from NASA, as well as renowned NSTA Press authors. Six exciting programs are scheduled to take place this fall at NSTA area conventions. For more information and to register visit http://institute.nsta.org/symposia.asp.

NSTA Web Seminars

These 90-minute live professional development experiences use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact with nationally acclaimed experts; NSTA Press authors; and scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NSTA government partners, such as NASA and NOAA—all from the convenience of your desktop!

Educators use online tools that allow them to markup and annotate presenters' slides, share desktop applications, or engage in chat, survey and poll questions with others online. Seminars may be archived and are available for viewing after the live event has occurred. Be sure to check out the fall schedule for these exciting learning opportunities and to register by going to: http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.

Call for Papers

The Science Teacher (grades 9–12) has issued a Call for Papers on specific topics. Click here to find out more:


The Science Teacher is Looking for Good Questions!

The Science Teacher, NSTA's journal for high school science teachers, invites teachers and students to submit questions for the journal's "Ask the Experts" department. Previous questions include "Why does the Moon appear larger in winter?" or "Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of its container?" Teachers who submit questions that are published will receive a gift certificate to the NSTA Science Store. To submit questions, e-mail department editor Marc Rosner at MARosner@aol.com, and be sure to include your name, school, and address.

Next Month's Theme

Bridging the Disciplines

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