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National Academy of Sciences Nominates Ralph Cicerone, Chancellor of UC-Irvine, for President

After a six-month search, the governing council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has nominated Ralph J. Cicerone, chancellor of the University of California at Irvine and a leading environmental scientist, to be NAS’s president beginning in July 2005. Cicerone is considered an expert on greenhouse gases and climate change. In 2001, he led an academy committee that produced a landmark report, "Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions," at the request of the White House. The 2,000 members of the academy will vote to ratify the nomination in December and January. To read more about Ralph Cicerone, go to http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/06152004?OpenDocument.

If approved, Cicerone would succeed Bruce Alberts, whose second six-year term ends next summer. Alberts has been committed to improving science education at all levels. Among other accomplishments, he formed the Center for Education at the National Academies to provide strong support for an evidence-based, continuously improving system of public education in the United States.


On Capitol Hill, Technology Leaders Push for More Science and Math in Schools

At a Capitol Hill forum last week, CEOs from leading technology companies urged Congress to promote science and math education in U.S. schools. During the meeting, the technology leaders called for better opportunities in science and math for women and minorities, and noted that India and China are graduating far more students with the skills needed to be software engineers.  According to USA Today, the executives included Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, Bruce Chizen of Adobe Systems, John Thompson of Symantec, and George Samenuk of McAfee Security. The executives met with senators in a forum organized by the Business Software Alliance, a Washington-based trade association. According to Bill Conner, chief executive at Entrust Inc., which makes software to protect Internet traffic, "We need to turn up the volume, make it OK and cool to be in math and science." To read the article, go to http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2004-06-17-tech-execs-request_x.htm.


States not Setting Clear NCLB Highly Qualified Teacher Guidelines says Washington Think Tank

A new report issued by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) charges that the standards many states have developed to determine if their teachers are highly qualified under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) “range from reasonable and responsible attempts to meet the spirit of the law to approaches that can best be described as indifferent and at times even disdainful.” Clearly, says NCTQ, states have failed to set “clear, rigorous, and relevant standards for identifying high-quality teachers.” NCTQ points to common problems in state High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) guidelines and presents recommendations in the report Necessary and Insufficient: Resisting a Full Measure of Teacher Quality, which is available online at http://www.nctq.org.


Last Chance to Register for JASON Academy Summer Courses

It’s not too late to get your feet wet online with Aquatic Ecology or Ocean Science courses through the JASON Academy summer course session beginning June 28.  The Academy offers various five-week online science content and pedagogy courses designed for elementary and middle school teachers. This summer, teachers can be part of an evaluation study of the JASON Academy, conducted by SRI International, and register for Forces and Motion and Structure of the Earth for only $150.  Those who complete the evaluation requirements will receive a $100 stipend. Summer is the perfect time to learn more science content and new strategies to teach science using the flexibility unique to online study.  Courses range from Rainforests to Transfer of Energy and offer both graduate credit and continuing education units (CEUs).  Part of the NSTA Institute, the Academy provides NSTA members with a 10% discount on registration fees.  For information about JASON Academy and the NSTA Institute, go to http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspx or http://www.jason.org/academy, or call toll-free 888-527-6600, ext. 240.   


Indy Convention Workshops to Help Grades 3-8 Teachers Stop Faking It! Featuring Popular NSTA Author Bill Robertson on Teaching Electricity and Magnetism (and More)

Maybe you’re teaching grades 3-8 science without fully understanding it all—and so it’s not as enlightening or as much fun as it could be—for you or your students. Bill Robertson, Ph.D. in science education, online teacher, K-12 science curriculum developer and author of the popular NSTA Press series Stop Faking It! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It, will be presenting three hands-on workshops at the upcoming NSTA convention in Indianapolis, Nov. 4-6.  He’ll be doing back-to-back sessions on force and motion followed by a session on air, water, and weather on Thursday, then return for a Saturday workshop on “Understanding Electricity and Magnetism So You Can Teach It.”  (The latter is also the subject of his newest book scheduled for fall publication by NSTA Press.) Visit http://www.nsta.org/conventions for a look at the full convention agendas and to register at early bird prices. And like the best-selling Stop Faking It! book series (visit http://store.nsta.org to browse them online), Robertson’s workshops promise to be as entertaining as they are informative.


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