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Middle Level Edition

High School Edition

This issue of the elementary edition of Science Class features the theme Science, Technology, and Society (STS). 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.

If you have a text-only browser or are having any difficulties accessing our links, please visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-12/member_elementary.htm.


An emerging field of academic study in itself, STS is interdisciplinary in nature, as it examines science and technology as social and cultural phenomena. Researchers make important new discoveries almost daily—in such areas as genetic engineering, the environment, emergent diseases, computers and the internet, nuclear waste, and international agriculture—that lead to ethical considerations that today's students will have to face; many of these issues have never been addressed before because they arose from new scientific knowledge and technological innovation. Steve Metz, field editor of The Science Teacher, explains in his December editorial that "when interconnections among science, technology, and society are made part of science teaching, we empower students with skills that allow them to become active, responsible, and thoughtful citizens.” This issue of Science Class explores how STS can engage your students and help answer the question "Why do we have to learn this?"

STS in the News

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

This month’s news stories, which discuss both research studies and specific scientific and educational technologies, highlight the connection among science, technology, and society.

Visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-12/news_stories_elementary.htm to learn more.

STS on the Web

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

Science and Technology: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=92635621112210551011

NSTA Journal Articles on STS

The archives of Science and Children provide several articles that highlight the importance of the connections among science, technology, and society.

Click here to read more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about STS in NSTA Press books, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-12/books_elementary.htm.

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

Building a Presence for Science

Building a Presence for Science is the largest networking initiative of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The award-winning program is designed to improve the teaching and learning of science from kindergarten through 12th grade. Its mission is to end the isolation of classroom science teachers and to provide them with professional development opportunities and science teaching resources. Major funding for Building a Presence for Science is provided by the ExxonMobil Foundation.

To learn more about Building a Presence for Science, visit http://ecommerce.nsta.org/bap/mission.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.

Global Science Teaching

A new report says the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) scientific competitiveness could be threatened by a lack of practical science teaching. The U.K.’s National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts says that science experiments inspire young scientists. But the organization’s survey of 510 science teachers found that two-thirds of educators lacked time for conducting experiments, while many said safety rules deterred them from doing so. A previous survey found that fear about students’ misbehavior was the main reason why many schools canceled hands-on science activities. Government officials say a new curriculum in 2006 will address concerns about a lack of classroom time for experiments.

To read more, visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4470148.stm.

NSTA Opportunities

NSTA Treasurer Post Open

NSTA seeks applicants for the NSTA Treasurer position. Responsibilities include oversight of the association’s financial and budgetary matters. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for a three-year term of office, which may be renewed for another three-year term. Appointees will be expected to devote 10-12 days of service a year for this nonstaff position. An honorarium will be provided, as well as reimbursement for required meeting attendance (travel and per diem).

For additional information about the position’s responsibilities, visit http://careers.nsta.org/job_detail.asp?jobid=308. Application deadline: January 15, 2006. Interested individuals are invited to submit their resume, along with a cover letter that specifies interest in being considered for appointment, to NSTA Executive Director, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3092.

The Early Years

Science and Children (S&C) and NSTA have established a blog devoted to early childhood science (see http://science.nsta.org/earlyyearsblog). Here you’ll find teaching advice, management tips, favorite resources, and activity ideas specifically for teachers of grades preK–2. The blog accompanies Science and Children’s column The Early Years. To view the first column, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_and_children.php?category_ID=86&news_story_ID=50933. Highlights from the online conversations will appear in the print column. Teachers who post a comment that gets chosen for publication in S&C will receive one free book from a select group of NSTA Press publications.

Call for Papers

Science and Children (grades preK–5) has issued a Call for Papers on specific topics. Click here to find out more:


Looking for Evening Skies?

Regrettably, Science and Children will no longer include the Evening Skies Monthly Star Map and Sky Calendar. However, yearly subscriptions to the map and calendar are available from the Abrams Planetarium for $11 and can begin at any point in the year. To subscribe, visit http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/SkyCalendar/Index.html. Subscribers will be mailed hard copies of three star maps and calendars four times a year to cover the entire calendar year. Or check out http://skymaps.com/downloads.html for free star map downloads from StarMaps.com (permission is required for multiple copies for classroom or science club use). In addition, Skywatcher's Diary at http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/diary.html posts a monthly detailing of sky happenings. Happy stargazing!

Next Month's Theme

Reaching the Hard to Reach

If your colleagues would like to subscribe to Science Class, please direct them to http://www.nsta.org/newsletters.


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