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This issue of the middle-level edition of Science Class features the theme Characteristic Properties. 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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People are often fascinated to learn about the characteristics that make them unique. Students can really grasp the significance of the characteristic properties of matter, such as density; melting, freezing, and boiling points; and electrical conductivity, when they understand that those characteristics are what distinguishes one type of matter from another. This issue presents many ideas for inspiring your students' understanding of these properties.

Characteristic Properties in the News

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

The following news stories discuss various forms of matter.

Visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2006-10/news_stories_middle.htm to learn more.

Improving Practice on the Web

In this month's middle-level journal, Science Scope, NSTA members can read "Shampoo, Soy Sauce, and the Prince's Pendant" at http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=ss&n=52644. For the complete Science Scope October 2006 Illustrated Table of Contents, visit http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=sc&n=52670.

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 keyword for this issue is

Characteristic Properties of Matter: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=92635655111010661011

NSTA Journal Articles on Characteristic Properties

Read these articles from the NSTA journal archives for ideas .

Click here to learn more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about Characteristic Properties in NSTA Press® and NSTA Recommends® books, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2006-10/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

NSTA Web Seminars

A new series of NSTA Web Seminars is scheduled between September 2006 and March 2007. Topics include: nutrition and food safety, the Moon, the ocean's role in weather and climate, living and working in space, force and motion, energy, and the International Polar Year!

To learn more or to register, visit http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.

NSTA Symposia

The following NSTA Symposia are scheduled to take place at the Midwestern Area Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, October 19-21, 2006:

Force and Motion: Stop Faking It!, presented by NSTA Press author Bill Robertson
Lunar Exploration, presented by NASA

Global Science Teaching

The Salvation of Science (The Australian)

The president of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Robin Batterham, writes about her concern that so many of her nation's students are not choosing to study science, education, and technology.

Click here to read more:


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:

Technological Design

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

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