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This issue of the elementary edition of Science Class features the theme Plants. 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/2007-05/member_elementary.htm.


Students study plants throughout their school careers. Elementary students explore seeds and how plants grow; middle school students focus on cells; and high school students continue their studies in biology. Plants are a major group of living things including familiar organisms, such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, and mosses. Nearly as many ideas exist for how to teach your students about plants as there are plant species (about 350,000 species are estimated to exist). This issue of Science Class has combined news articles, web resources, archived journal articles, and books to present you with some fresh ideas.

Plants 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 theme discuss various discoveries made about plant behavior.

Visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2007-05/news_stories_elementary.htm to read more.

Plants 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 keyword for this issue is

How Do Plants Grow?: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263562110551077

The PLANTS Database, provided by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, offers standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the United States and its territories. The database also allows for a search of plants available in each state. To learn more, visit http://plants.usda.gov.

The NSTA Calendar lists the following workshops, grants, and awards relating to plants. To access this information, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/calendar/events.php and enter the item into the Search Event.

  • Hooked on Hydroponics Grant Awards
  • Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program Project Orange Thumb Grants Garden Crusader Award Contest
  • Missouri Botanical Garden's Summer Workshops for Teachers Junior Master Gardener Training From the Massachusetts Horticultural Society
  • National Gardening Association's Healthy Sprouts Awards
  • 2007 Organic School Garden Awards
  • Youth Garden Grants Program
  • Wild Oats Gardening With Kids Grants
  • National Gardening Association's "Remember Me" Rose School Garden Award

NSTA Journal Articles on Plants

From photosynthesis to collard greens to pollution, the NSTA archives contain many articles that can help you teach your students about plants.

Click here to read more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about Plants in NSTA Press® and NSTA Recommends® books, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2007-05/books_elementary.htm.

To read about the newest titles available from NSTA Press, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2007-05/newbookselem.htm. To receive the latest NSTA catalog for your specific grade level, visit http://ecommerce.nsta.org/catalog_signup.

Professional Development

NSTA Web Seminars

NSTA Web Seminars are 90-minute, live professional development experiences that 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, NOAA, FDA, and the NSDL.

To view the complete list of Web Seminars scheduled for May and to register, visit http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.

Global Science Teaching

Pay Pupils to Take Science and Maths (The Telegraph)

The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) is calling for the government to act on the falling numbers of students choosing to study science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects at A-level. Richard Brown, chief executive of the CIHE, said: "The future lies in knowledge-intensive businesses: pharmaceuticals, IT, financial services, manufacturing. They rely on STEM graduates and post-graduates. It is really important that we have a supply chain that is going to produce the numbers." The report, published by the CIHE and IT consultancy LogicaCMG, says the government should not rule out financial incentives for passing STEM A-levels, or government bursaries for STEM students.

To read more, visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/04/12/nmaths12.xml.

NSTA Opportunities

The Early Years

Science and Children (S&C) and NSTA have 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. 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:


Science Class a Finalist for Best E-Zine Award

The Association of Education Publishers has announced finalists in its 2007 Distinguished Achievement Awards program. In light of the high level of competition for these awards, being a finalist is a worthy achievement. Winners will be announced in June.

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


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