NSTA Express
 Main NSTA Website | Become an NSTA Member | Register for a Convention | Career Center | NSTA Express Feedback | October 27, 2003

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Table of Contents

Blazing Galactic Trails—Get Ready for Space Day 2004

To commemorate the national bicentennial anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Space Day 2004 will spark the imagination of 21st century space explorers, scientists, and inventors. Space Day 2004—Blazing Galactic Trails—provides educational programs and activities all year long, culminating in a global celebration on May 6, 2004. Space Day programs include the Space Day Design Challenges, in which students actively collaborate as they create solutions to the challenges of living and working in space; Student Signatures in Space®, in which digitized student signatures travel on a space shuttle mission; and Cyber Space Day, the annual Webcast devoted entirely to science, space, and math. Learn how you can get your students involved by visiting www.spaceday.org.


Mercury Experiments in Class Can Be Poison

An article in the October 22 edition of Education Week highlights the dangers of using mercury in school science laboratories. According to the article “Mercury Experiments in Class Can Be Poison,” at least seven U.S. schools have been evacuated because of major spills. The most recent incident occurred in a Washington, DC, high school when students took mercury from an unlocked science lab and played with it. Nearly 1,200 students, teachers, and staff had to be screened for mercury poisoning, and the school had to close down until a cleanup could be completed. Ken Roy, chair of NSTA’s Science Safety Advisory Board, provides comments and suggestions throughout the article. To read the entire article and learn tips for what to do and not to do when a mercury spill happens, go to http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=08Mercury.h23.

Need help making your lab safe? Check out the many resources from NSTA. For elementary resources, go to http://www.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-06/member_elementary.htm; for middle level resources go to http://www.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-06/member_middle.htm; for high school resources, see http://www.nsta.org/enewsletter/2003-06/member_high.htm.


NSTA Offers Webwatchers Training Course Onsite—District-by-District 

Beginning in January 2004, NSTA’s highly regarded Webwatchers Program will “hit the road,” to bring specialized training to K–12 educators interested in locating and selecting online science education content and using it effectively with students. NSTA developed the course, which comprises a two-day, onsite workshop followed by five weeks of facilitated online collaborative teamwork, over a three-year period through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Designed for up to 24 participants, the course is offered at several price levels to school districts interested in providing their science teachers with professional development in effective use of the Internet for instruction and an opportunity to collaborate to develop customized “Science Guides”—topic- and grade-specific modules featuring models, inquiry-based simulations, lessons, assessments, classroom examples, and more, all aligned to the National Science Education Standards. For additional information, visit http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/webwatchers/program_summary.doc, http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/webwatchers/service_descriptions.doc, or contact Tyson Brown at NSTA by e-mailing tbrown@nsta.org or calling 703-312-9395.


Results Are In! NSTA Express Survey: Volunteers in the Science Classroom

Results of last month’s NSTA Express survey by AAAS on the use of volunteers in science classes reveal that teachers frequently call on scientists, engineers, or other individuals with a science background to support them in the classroom. Of the 71 percent reporting that they have used a science volunteer, 32 percent said they asked someone from a university, 30 percent relied on parents, and 28 percent tapped an industry representative. Volunteers most frequently made presentations to the class (64 percent), but a significant number worked directly with students (31 percent). For the complete survey results, go to http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/survey_aaas.htm.


Virtual Workshops Offer Taste of NSTA Conventions…Online

For the first time this fall, NSTA is pleased to offer educators an opportunity to participate in several virtual exhibitor workshops—broadcast live from our conventions via the Web—on a personal computer (or on-screen projection) at your offsite location.  You’ll be able to view demonstrations and graphics, ask questions and get responses in real time, and more. All times listed are EST.

Friday, Nov. 14, LIVE from Kansas City, MO
  • NSTA—“No Child Left Behind:  How Will the New Federal Law Affect Science Education?” (9–10:15 a.m. EST)
  • Vernier Software and Technology—“Science Data Collection with Computers, Graphing Calculators, and Palm® OS Handhelds.” (11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. EST)
  • CPO Science—“The Best Buoyancy Experiment: What Floats Your Boat?” (1–2:15 p.m. EST)
  • Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision—“Invent the Future with ExploraVision.” (3–4:15 p.m. EST)

Friday, Dec. 5, LIVE from Reno, NV
  • NSTA—“Starting an NSTA Student Chapter.” (11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. EST)
  • Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision—“Invent the Future with ExploraVision.” (1–2:15 p.m. EST)
  • CPO Science—“The Science and Math of Waves, Sound, and Music.” (3–4:15 p.m. EST)

These special virtual exhibitor workshops are open to only 50 individual (or group) site registrants each, so click on http://www.nsta.org/virtualworkshops for more details and to sign up. If you’d like to attend the Kansas City and Reno conventions in person, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventions for agendas and registration.

For early-bird science educators looking forward to attending our 52nd annual convention in Atlanta, GA, April 1–4, 2004, housing reservation forms now appear online, along with registration forms and the four-day agenda of speakers, sessions, and events… go to  http://www.nsta.org/conventions. Register early and save.


Attention Students and College Professors—Ignite the Science Teacher in You!

Many areas of the country are experiencing a serious shortage of science teachers. What better way to highlight K–12 science teaching as an exciting career choice than through an NSTA Student Chapter. You will engage more preservice teachers of science and connect them with incredible professional development opportunities.

Students and faculty members alike will
  • gain leadership skills
  • enhance their career growth
  • network with their peers and experienced science educators

For more information and to receive your copy of the NSTA Student Chapter Procedures Guide http://www.nsta.org/main/pdfs/Student_Chapter_Brochure_03.pdf, e-mail NSTA Chapter Relations chapters@nsta.org, or call (800) 722-NSTA (6782) or (703) 312-9364.

Planning to attend one of NSTA’s upcoming area national conventions? Be sure to look for our how-to session on starting your own NSTA student chapter in the convention program guide.


Not a member and want to join? Visit https://ecommerce.nsta.org/membership/apply.asp!

NSTA Express Feedback
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Hope you found this Monday’s edition of NSTA Express an interesting, quick read and a worthwhile update on the latest news and information from the National Science Teachers Association. Our goal is to save you time by delivering information each week in short "news bites," so if you'd like to know more, simply select the headline quick link. NSTA continues to create resources and improve services for science educators. If you're not already a member, we invite you to join the crowd by going to www.nsta.org/whyjoin


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