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NSTA and NABT File Science Educator Amicus Brief, Joining Numerous Organizations with “Friend of Court” Opposition to Evolution Warning Labels

On June 10, NSTA with NABT joined other coalitions of proscience organizations in filing separate amicus briefs in support of a recent U.S. District Court decision, Selman v. Cobb County School District, that ruled that evolution "warning labels" in public school textbooks in Cobb County, GA, were unconstitutional. The "friend of the court briefs" were filed in the eleventh circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, in response to an appeal seeking to overturn the Selman decision.

Signatories included national and local organizations representing scientists, science educators, civil libertarians, and concerned proscience citizens, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Jewish Congress, among others. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) signed the science teacher brief, joined by the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT).

“The Cobb County stickers send a misguided message to students that evolution lacks scientific status,” said Mike Padilla, NSTA President. “This is damaging to students and their understanding about the scientific process, and it jeopardizes the professional responsibility of science teaches to teach good science. NSTA is pleased the stickers were ordered removed and we strongly urge the court to uphold this decision.”

To read more about the amicus briefs, visit http://ncseweb.org/selman/index.html. To read about the National Academies new website on evolution, visit http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_06_13_evolution.htm. To access their website, visit http://nationalacademies.org/evolution.


ExploraVision Student Winners Showcase Innovative Ideas for the Future and Win $10,000 and $5,000 Savings Bonds

At a Washington, D.C. press conference and awards banquet, the Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) ExploraVision Awards Program honored eight 2005 national winning teams—including four first-place and four second-place winners.

Students combined creativity with scientific knowledge and research to envision technologies that could make the world a safer and better place. Moved by last year’s tragic tsunami, one winning team proposed an innovative satellite-based earthquake warning system. Winners were selected from a group of 4,405 student entries representing the work of more than 13,500 students from across the U.S. and Canada.

The ExploraVision program is sponsored by Toshiba Corporation, the Toshiba America Group Companies, and the Toshiba America Foundation, and is administered by NSTA. By working in groups of two to four, students chose a technology that exists today and envision what it might be like 20 years in the future. Since the program’s inception, over 240,000 students have participated. In addition to an all-expenses paid trip to the nation’s capital for an awards weekend this weekend, each student on the four first-place teams will receive a $10,000 savings bond, and students on the second-place teams will each receive a $5,000 savings bond.

To learn more about the winning projects, go to http://www.exploravision.com/2004/national_winners.htm. For more information or an application for the 2006 ExploraVision competition, visit http://www.exploravision.org, e-mail exploravision@nsta.org, or call 800-EXPLOR9. To read the WebNews Digest story on the ExplorerVision winners, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/nsta_story.php?news_story_ID=50623.


Now You Can Blog With Science and Children Online and Explore PreK-2 Science Learning in “The Early Years”

“Should I engage kindergarten students in hands-on science lessons? How can illustrations help preschoolers understand science?” These are some of the topics that are being explored on “The Early Years,” a new online blog established by NSTA’s award-winning Science and Children (S&C) magazine. You’ll find teaching advice, management tips, favorite resources, and activity ideas specifically for teachers of children in grades preK–2nd grade.

The new blog is a companion to S&C’s new column of the same name, “The Early Years,” which will debut in the September 2005 edition of the journal. Highlights from online postings will also be chosen to appear in the print column. Teachers who post a comment selected for publication in S&C will receive a free book from a select group of NSTA Press titles. To be involved in this exciting new online venue to connect and learn from your colleagues, visit http://www.nsta.org/earlyyearsblog.


Two NSTA Press Titles Honored with 2005 Distinguished Achievement Awards by Association of Educational Publishers

With the intent of helping “parents and teachers identify the best educational products and publications available,” the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) honored two NSTA Press books with their highly coveted 2005 Distinguished Achievement Award recognizing “significant and excellent achievement in supplemental educational products and education marketing.” Electricity & Magnetism, fifth in the best-selling Stop Faking It! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It series (http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB169X5) by Bill Robertson won in the category of Reference Books/Supplemental, and Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry (http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB186X), authored by Karen Rohrich Ansberry and Emily Morgan, won in the category of Teacher Resource Books. According to AEP, books are judged primarily on their educational value, with high-quality writing, design, and editorial/design integration contributing to that value.

Earlier this year, Polymer Chemistry: Introduction to an Indispensable Science, from NSTA Press was selected by Choice magazine—the source for reviews of academic books for libraries—as an “Outstanding Academic Title.”
To preview and purchase these books online, use the title links above.


Before the Summer Takes You Away—Tips on Finding $$ to Attend NSTA Fall Conventions in Hartford, Chicago, and Nashville

Don’t wait for the last minute rush, before you know it, it’ll be the first day of school, then it’ll be time for NSTA’s convention in Hartford, October 20-22; then Chicago, November 10-12; and Nashville, December 1-3. So we’d like to help you begin your funding search now, and we have lots of tips on getting started, visit http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_06_13_pd.htm. For up-to-the-minute details on the speakers, sessions, and agendas of each of these three fall learning events go to http://www.nsta.org/conventions. And when you’ve found the convention site of interest, use the personal scheduler to help plan your itinerary (a hard copy of which can be very useful in presenting a rationale for funding). And of course, online registration is open now for all three events at earlybird prices.



And Don't Forget... 

Don’t wait! Buy Help! I’m Teaching Middle School Science at a 30% discount during June…online Science Store only, at http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial.

Want more information about membership in NSTA? Complete the quick online Inquiry Form at http://ecommerce.nsta.org/sendmeinfo, and we’ll be in touch.

NSTA Position Statements are valuable resource documents that present the organization’s rationale for our position on today’s most important issues in science teaching. Read and print any of the 35 statements currently available at http://www.nsta.org/position.

Have openings to fill in your school or district? NSTA’s Career Center is your best classified ad option to find just the right candidates. Find out how at http://careers.nsta.org.



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