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Elementary Edition

Middle Level Edition

This issue of the high school edition of Science Class features the theme Informal 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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Science centers, museums, zoos, parks, and nature centers provide the perfect setting to encourage your students to become lifelong science learners. Television, radio, and the internet also offer opportunities for students to acquire science knowledge. As you teach your students the necessary skills to distinguish science from pseudoscience and to establish the reliability of the information they read, you are preparing them to leave your classroom interested enough in science to pursue additional knowledge through avenues both formal and informal. This issue of Science Class will look at the different types of informal science available and show you how your colleagues are using informal science to supplement their teaching.

Informal Science 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 discuss various opportunities for exploring science outside the classroom, including viewing a television program or visiting a museum exhibit.

Visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2006-01/news_stories_high.htm to learn more.

Informal Science on the Web

In this month's high school journal, The Science Teacher, NSTA members can read "Learning Lessons Through Estuaries." The link to that article is http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=tst&n=51359.

NSTA Journal Articles on Informal Science

The archives of The Science Teacher provide several articles that highlight opportunities to reach students through informal science.

Click here to read more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about informal science in NSTA Press and NSTA Recommends books, visit:


Click here for the newest titles from NSTA Press:


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


Professional Development

Whole-Class Learning

The December 28 issue of eSchool News featured an article that points out that "while the importance of whole-class learning is hardly new to education, it is more significant than ever… [Today,] an educator failing to reach one student can hurt a school's reputation as much as one who fails to reach the entire class." Visit http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/wholeclasslearning/index.cfm to read a collection of articles, web links, and other resources related to how technology can facilitate whole-class learning.

NSTA Web Seminars

Three exciting free Web Seminars are being offered in January, 2006:

Picture-Perfect Science: January 11

Preparing for the Journey to Space: January 19

Investigating Safely: January 25

These 90-minute live professional development experiences use online learning technologies that allow you 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 mark up and annotate presenters' slides, share desktop applications, or engage in chats, surveys, and polls with others online. Seminars may be archived and are available for viewing after the live event has occurred. For a full schedule of seminar topics, dates, and times for January and February, and to register, visit http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp. Registration is free, but the number of participants is limited, so register early.

Global Science Teaching

China Seeks Elite University Status

China wants to transform its top universities into the world’s best within a decade, and the country is spending billions of dollars to attract big-name scholars and build first-class research laboratories to accomplish this effort. China is focusing on science and technology, areas that not only reflect its development needs, but also mirror the preferences of an authoritarian system that restricts speech. Many Chinese academics note that the biggest drawback to this effort is the lack of academic freedom. To read the article by Howard French that first appeared in The New York Times, visit the Register-Guard at http://www.registerguard.com/news/2005/12/13/a1.chinauniversities.1213.p1.php?section=nation_world.

Next Month's Theme

Science and Literacy

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