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This issue of the middle level edition of Science Class features the theme Transfer of Energy. 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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The National Science Education Standards specify that students in grades 5–8 should study transfer of energy. Students, however, may not understand why this is important. In summarizing the concept of transfer of energy in his book Stop Faking It: Energy, Bill Robertson writes: "Heat is a quantity of energy transferred from one system to another. The first law of thermodynamics describes the transfer of heat to and from a system. It's basically a statement of conservation of energy applied to heat transfer. Heat can transfer from one system to another through conduction and radiation. Hot and cold liquids and gases can exchange places through a process of convection. Different substances have different thermal conductivities, which measure each substance's ability to conduct heat. Different substances absorb and reradiate heat differently. This property affects the heat balance of the Earth and is a key concept for understanding the issue of global warming."

This issue of Science Class presents news stories, journals articles, books, and web resources that can help you teach your students the importance and relevance of transfer of energy.

Transfer of Energy 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 selected for this month’s issue can help you teach students about the transfer of energy.

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

Transfer of Energy on the Web

In this month's middle level journal, Science Scope, NSTA members can read "Infrared Thermometers." The link to that article is http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=ss&n=51389.

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

Transfer of Energy: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263565510111066

NSTA Journal Articles on Transfer of Energy

The archives of Science Scope provide articles that arouse students' imaginations while they learn about transfer of energy.

Click here to learn more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about transfer of energy in NSTA Press and NSTA Recommends books, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2006-01/books_middle.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

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.

NSTA Opportunities

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


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