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This issue of the middle level edition of Science Class features the theme Earth Science. 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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October 9–15 is Earth Science Week, and the American Geological Institute (AGI) has selected "Geoscientists Explore the Earth" as this year's theme. The celebration highlights the important work that geoscientists do every day and educates the public about the types of careers within the geosciences. AGI hopes that "during Earth Science Week, you will bring some aspect of Earth science into your classroom. You can do an Earth science lab activity with your class, or invite local scientists to your classroom to talk about their careers. Participate in a national data collection research project, or have your students enter one of our Earth Science Week contests. Your students will not only learn something new about the world around them, but will have fun discovering why Earth Science is important to society." For more information about Earth Science Week, visit http://www.earthsciweek.org. This issue of Science Class can help you celebrate Earth Science Week by providing many ideas for ways to instill a sense of stewardship for the Earth in your students.

Earth Science in the News

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

News stories for this issue cover several topics in Earth science, ranging from the Earth’s “sensitive side” and its seasons to how volcanoes may have sparked life on the planet. Another article explains how students learn about the Earth.

Visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-10/news_stories_middle.htm to learn more.

Earth Science on the Web

In this month's middle level journal, Science Scope, NSTA members can read Identification of Minerals by visiting http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=ss&n=51069.

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

Earth Science: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263565511101055

NSTA Journal Articles on Earth Science

Click here to learn more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about the newest titles available from NSTA Press, visit


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

Science Scope (grades 6–9) has issued a Call for Papers on selected topics. Click here to read more:


Next Month's Theme

Aquatic Life

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