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President's Plan to Eliminate NSF MSP Subject of NY Times Column

The President's proposal in his FY2005 budget to eliminate the National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership program and shift $120 million to the U. S. Department of Education solely for math programs under No Child Left Behind was the subject of an April 14 New York Times column.  The article showcases the reactions of two science education champions in the House—Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Representative Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY)—to the President's proposal, and their commitment to maintain the NSF program.

Writes columnist Michael Winerip “So when Representative Ehlers heard that his fellow Republican, President Bush, had proposed killing the agency's $120 million math-science partnership program between colleges and public schools, which has been supported in various forms by Congress and presidents for decades, he was angry. ‘A very bad idea,' he said. And when he learned that the president wanted to give that $120 million in NSF grant money to the federal Education Department for remedial math so districts could meet their testing goals under the No Child Left Behind law, he was madder still.”

To read the entire NY Times article titled “Lines Drawn in Fight on NSF Financing,” go to http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/14/education/14educ.html?ex=1082949341&ei=1&e (Free registration is required).

To read the NSTA letter that was sent to members of Congress with the article, go to http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_04_19_letter1.htm.  Click here http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_04_19_letter2.htm to read the NSTA letter to the editor sent to the NY Times. 

Please take a minute to contact your Representative!  Send him or her a copy of this NY Times article and ask him/her to join Representative Ehlers and Representative Boehlert and reject the Administration's proposed elimination of the National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership program in the FY2005 budget.  Go to http://www.house.gov to identify and contact your House representative.


NSTA Testifies Before President's Commission on Moon, Mars, and Beyond

On April 15, NSTA Executive Director Gerald Wheeler testified before a blue ribbon panel tasked by President Bush and funded through NASA to examine and make recommendations about future space explorations as outlined in the President's policy initiative “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery.”

In his testimony, Wheeler said NSTA believes that space exploration “provides inherent, compelling, and powerful opportunities to strengthen and support education.” He provided six recommendations to the Commission for their consideration:  (1) establish education as a core component of the President's vision for space exploration; (2) develop a unifying vision to guide all education contributions of exploration activities; (3) significantly increase the number of teachers and university faculty engaged in high-quality professional development through space exploration; (4) enhance the content knowledge of educators through their intellectual engagement; (5) create a compelling national understanding of the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics using the President's exploration vision; and (6) explicitly include the science-teaching workforce in all workforce considerations.

For more information on the commission, go to http://www.moontomars.org. Click here http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_04_19_testimony.htm to read or download a copy of the NSTA testimony.


Two New NSTA Press Titles Meet Challenges of College Professors: Innovative Teaching Tips, and 36 Ready-to-Use Favorite Demonstrations

Leading the spring new books list from NSTA Press are two important titles for every college science instructor.

Favorite Demonstrations for College ScienceTeaching Tips: Innovations in Undergradutate Science InstructionFavorite Demonstrations for College Science  is a collection of 36 popular classroom demonstrations published since 1993 in NSTA's member journal, Journal of College Science Teaching.  The book begins with a chapter on safety, then goes on to you-are-there demonstrations conveying scientific principals while making them memorable.  Subjects include general science, biology, chemistry, Earth science, and physics; demos are simple to prepare, low-cost, and repeatable.  To browse the book, go to http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB185X

Teaching Tips:  Innovations in Undergraduate Science Instruction, brings professors the best thinking from campuses nationwide on how to engage their science students.  A quick-read compilation of more than 50 innovative approaches that the Society for College Science Teachers have found especially effective under “Pedagogical Practices,” “Assessment Activities,” and “Content Challenges.”  Preview the book online at no charge at http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB188X

(Not teaching on the college campus? Share NSTA Express with an educator friend who toils away in the halls of ivy by forwarding this edition.)


Earth Systems in Spotlight in American Museum of Natural History Summer Online Courses for K-12 Teachers

How, exactly, has our Earth evolved? Think you really know all the fine points?  Register now for Earth: Inside and Out—Dynamic Earth Systems,” an online summer course from the American Museum of Natural History, and you'll explore the geological events and systems that have shaped the planet and make it habitable. The six-week course is one of five life, Earth, and physical science courses being offered by the museum starting June 28. Each course is designed for K-12 educators, is fully Web-based, and can be taken for up to four graduate credits.  Courses feature rich media elements and flexible online discussions that include a museum scientist, an experienced instructor, and a networked community of teachers.

For course descriptions and to register, please go to http://learn.amnh.org/welcome.php?w=NSTAIS04.  For more information on the NSTA Institute, of which the museum is a member, please go to http://institute.nsta.org.


University of Maryland Master of Life Sciences Program, Term IV Application Deadline is May 24; 30-Credit Course of Study Begins Online June 7

Created specifically for practicing middle and high school science teachers, the University of Maryland Web-based Master of Life Sciences program is a 30-credit interdisciplinary course of study with concentrations in biology and chemistry.  Human Physiology, Immunology, and Statistics and Experimental Design, will be offered in the upcoming Term IV (of four 10-week terms offered each year), and applications are now being accepted for admission. Deadline for application is May 24. Classes for Term IV begin June 7.   

University of Maryland professors with significant teaching and research credentials teach the courses. Students have access to the university's online library services and receive full technical support.  Admission requires two letters of recommendation and is open to those with one year of teaching experience, an undergraduate degree in biological science, chemistry, biochemistry, science education, or related field. Students must also have successfully completed a gateway review class or earned a grade of B or better on the admission exam. The admission exam is offered continuously. GRE scores are not required.

For more information and to apply, visit http://www.onlinestudies.umd.edu/mlfsc/, or send a request to onlinestudies@umail.umd.edu for a free brochure.


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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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