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Releases Science and Math Education Indicators
nationwide are taking higher-level science courses, but the number
of certified high school science teachers is down, says a new report
from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). State
Indicators of Science and Mathematics Education 2003, CCSSO’s
biennial report for its members, policymakers, and other educators
interested in the state of K-12 science and math education, tracks
state data on student achievement in math and science, trends in
math and science course enrollments, and teacher qualifications
and compares the 2002 data to earlier studies. Find out how your
state’s K-12 science education compares with that of other states
at http://www.ccsso.org/Projects (click
on Science and Math Education Indicators). To read highlights from
the report, go to http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_05_17_extra.htm.
Still a “Second Tier” Subject, Say College Deans and New Elementary
Teachers Polled by Bayer Corp.
Science is still considered less
important than reading, writing, and math in many elementary classrooms--and
in many teacher preparation programs--says a new poll of 1,250 elementary educators
and education deans commissioned by the Bayer Corporation as part of its ten-year
science literacy outreach program, Making Science Make Sense.
The Bayer survey found that much
less emphasis is given to science in general teaching methods courses, and most
new teachers and education deans rated their science preparation programs far
lower than those for the other disciplines. Science is cited as the subject
most new teachers wish had received more emphasis during their pre-service training,
and one in three new teachers say they rely more on what they learned in high
school science courses than what they learned in college to teach science. Deans
and teachers surveyed said “elementary teacher education programs should require
their undergraduates to take more coursework both in science itself and in science
A large majority of college deans
surveyed say the National Science Education Standards have had a major impact
on their programs, and 94 percent have reviewed and changed their K-5 science
teaching preparation program in the last four years. In the classroom, however,
only 35 percent of the teachers polled say they teach science every day, and
29 percent report they teach science twice a week or less. Only 61 percent of
the elementary teachers reported they felt “very qualified” to teach science.
To view the complete report,
titled Bayer Facts of Science Education X: Are the Nation’s Colleges
and Universities Adequately Preparing Elementary Schoolteachers
of Tomorrow To Teach Science?, access http://www.BayerUS.com/MSMS.
Announces 2004 Explorer Schools; Science and Math Teachers Named
NASA recently named 50 schools to
participate in the 2004 Explorer Schools program, part of a major education
effort to inspire the next generation of explorers. Sponsored by NASA's Education
Enterprise in collaboration with NSTA, the Explorer Schools Program establishes
a three-year partnership between NASA and the 50 Explorer School teams.
The Explorer Schools program, launched
in June 2003, sends science and math teachers to NASA centers during the summer
to acquire new resources and technology tools for grades 4-9. The program uses
NASA's unique content, experts, and resources to make learning science, mathematics,
and technology more appealing to students. Among the program’s many activities,
NASA education specialists and scientists provide investigation opportunities
and professional development programs. The teams of teachers and education administrators
represent many diverse communities.
For more information, including a
list of the 2004 Explorer Schools, go to http://explorerschools.nasa.gov/portal/site/nes/.
The online application for next year’s program will be available beginning on
September 15, 2004.
NASA also announced the
2004 class of astronaut candidates, which includes three science
and math teachers. The teachers will serve as mission specialist-educator
astronauts and will help carry out NASA’s education mission. Teachers
chosen include Joe Acaba, a science and math teacher at Dunnellon
Middle School in Florida; Ricky Arnold, a math and science teacher
at the American International School of Bucharest, Romania; and
Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, a science teacher at Hudson's Bay High
School in Vancouver, Washington. For more information about the
educator astronaut program or for a list of astronaut candidates,
Students Find Innovative Solutions to Everyday Problems in the Craftsman/NSTA
Young Inventors Awards Program
In a quest to
develop innovative solutions to everyday problems, more than 9,000
students submitted invention ideas in the 2004 Craftsman/NSTA Young
Inventors Awards Program, and 36 have been named winners.
the program invites students in grades 2-8 to invent a new tool
or rethink an existing one. The program aims to teach students the
scientific principles of how tools operate, introduce them to working
with hand tools, encourage them to think creatively about the world
around them, and enable them to develop practical solutions to everyday
problems. The program is sponsored by Sears through its Craftsman™
tools brand and NSTA.
and 12 second-place winners each will receive $250 and $500 U.S.
Savings Bonds respectively. Twelve national finalists will receive
$5,000 savings bonds, as well as a trip for themselves, their parents,
and their teachers to the national awards ceremony in Chicago in
September. At the ceremony, two top winners will be named and awarded
additional $5,000 bonds. For more information about the Craftsman/NSTA
Young Inventors Awards Program and to see a list of winning inventions,
go to http://www.nsta.org/programs/craftsman.
Fast For Free CD-ROM or PDF of Three Evolution Reports from National
Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences and the National Academies Press are
disseminating to science teachers free CD-ROMS and PDF files of
three reports on evolution. Just visit http://nap.edu/hawaii
and complete a questionnaire, and you will receive a free PDF file
or CD-ROM of Evolution in Hawaii: A Supplement to Teaching About
Evolution and the Nature of Science (2004); Teaching About
Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998); and Science and
Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, 2nd
you complete the questionnaire, you can choose to download a PDF
of all three publications immediately or to request that a CD-ROM
be sent to you (no shipping and handling fees will be charged).
The questionnaire will help the National Academies Press and the
National Academies' Center for Education learn more about teachers’
needs and product preferences. A limited number of free copies are
available, so act fast.
Releases Draft Position Statement on Science Teacher Preparation;
Member Feedback Sought
are encouraged to read and comment on a draft NSTA position statement
on Science Teacher Preparation. The statement was developed by a
committee of science education professionals and was recently approved
by the NSTA Board of Directors. Before the draft position statement
is officially adopted, NSTA first seeks input from its members.
To view it and submit comments, go to http://www.nsta.org/main/forum/showthread.php?t=1127.
Deadline for comments is May 31, 2004.
To view all
of the NSTA position statements, including those on Environmental
Science, The Teaching of Evolution, and Assessment, go to http://www.nsta.org/position.
Together with NSTA This Fall! Plan Now for Indianapolis,
Seattle, Richmond Conventions; Registration Open
Need a change of scenery? Check out the middle
school science teaching job opportunity (http://careers.nsta.org) in the U.S. Virgin
Islands. And don’t miss our $75 spring savings offer on all
30-day job postings. Learn more at http://careers.nsta.org.
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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