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Students Taking Higher Level Science Courses, But Test Scores Flat Says New NCES Study

Results from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) High School Transcript study released last week in Washington, D.C. show that the number of high school credits taken by students is on the rise; more students are taking higher level science and math courses--which correlate with higher scores on standardized National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) tests--and the grade point average for science has increased (2.67 in 2000, up from 2.39 in 1990). Scores on the NAEP science tests, however, have been flat since 1992 and only 49 percent of all seniors were taking a science course in 2000, up from 45 percent in 1990. For more information on the High School Transcript Study: A Decade of Change in Curricula and Achievement 1990-2000, go to http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard


Checkered Flag Kick-Off to Fall NSTA Convention Season in Indianapolis, Nov. 4-6; On-Line Registration Open

convention logoIt’s official… General Session Speaker for NSTA’s first fall ’04 convention in Indianapolis will be herpetologist Brady Barr, Ph.D., host of National Geographic Channel’s Reptile Wild with Dr. Brady Barr series!  (You may have seen him last Friday as a special guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.) And that’s just one of the exciting presentations, sessions, events, exhibits, field trips and peer networking opportunities you’ll experience when you join NSTA in “Racing Toward Excellence,” our Nov. 4-6 event.  Professional development subject strands are Assessment and Evaluation, Technology, Literacy, and Science Outside the Box. For a description of the strand content, an overview of what the city offers for visitors, and “Desserts and Dinosaurs” evening event at the Children’s Museum (one of many special ticketed events) go to http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nsta_indy_brochure.pdf. For the complete three-day agenda, and to register online, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2004IND


Prestigious NSTA Press-Cornell Scientific Inquiry Book Series Completed with Just-Published Watershed Dynamics

Watershed DynamicsWhether you’re new to stream studies or a veteran aquatic monitor, biology teachers in grades 9-12 will find abundant resources to extend students’ investigations into local water quality and land-use issues with newly published Watershed Dynamics. This fourth and final title in the Cornell Scientific Inquiry Series has just been published by NSTA Press. The two-book Teacher Edition and Student Edition set is ideal for teaching biological and ecological concepts and research techniques, as well as ways the interplay between scientific data and human judgment can shape public policy decisions on zoning, flood control, and agricultural practices.

The Teacher Edition explains how to guide student research and engineering design projects.  Classroom-ready materials include detailed background, sample assessment tasks and rubrics, and guidelines for integrating peer review into classroom science.  The Teacher Edition also includes the complete Student Edition.  For more details, to page-through and purchase, go to http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB162X2T.

Other titles in the series are Decay and Renewal, Assessing Toxic Risk, and Invasion Ecology.  All books in this special series are available to browse online at no cost, at http://store.nsta.org


U. S. Department of Education Offering Free Teacher-to-Teacher Summer Workshops

The U.S. Department of Education is offering seven workshops starting in June where teachers can hear from their colleagues about research-based practices and effective methods of using data to inform instruction that have been successfully applied in the classroom. Subjects addressed will include mathematics, reading and science as they apply to diverse groups of students. The workshops are designed by teachers for teachers, and will be offered at the following dates and locations: June 21-23, Denver, Colorado; June 28-30, Portland, Oregon; July 6-8, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; July 12-14, Orlando, Florida; July 21-23, Anaheim, California; July 28-30, St. Louis, Missouri; and August 2-4, Boston, Massachusetts.

There is no registration fee for the summer workshops and the Department is covering hotel costs for two nights and will provide a travel stipend. Space is limited; for more information, go to http://www.teacherquality.us/TeacherToTeacher/Workshops.asp.


NSTA Institute Partner U/Maryland Offers Online Master of Life Sciences Program for Middle, High School Science Teachers; Register by May 24

Human Physiology, Immunology, and Statistics and Experimental Design courses will be offered for the University of Maryland’s Web-based Master of Life Sciences upcoming Term IV, which starts June 7.  Applications will be accepted for Term IV admission to the program only through May 24.

Created specifically for practicing middle and high school science teachers, the Master of Life Sciences program is a 30-credit interdisciplinary course of study with concentrations in biology and chemistry.  Courses are taught by University of Maryland professors with significant teaching and research credentials. Students have access to the university’s online library services and receive full technical support.  Four 10-week terms are offered each year.  For more information, admission requirements, and to apply, visit http://www.onlinestudies.umd.edu/mlfsc, or send a request to onlinestudies@umail.umd.edu for a free brochure.


Career Center Spotlight--Charlotte Latin School seeks Biology Teacher: http://careers.nsta.org


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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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