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The connection between K-12 science and math education and our nation’s competitiveness and the National Science Foundation’s role in education were discussed last week during two major Washington, D.C. events. Plus a prominent House Democrat has introduced legislation based on action items in the recent National Academy of Sciences report that calls for vastly improving K-12 science and math education. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update (http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_12_12_legupdate.htm).
A report issued by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute indicates that state science standards lack the rigor and high quality needed to produce the country’s next generation of scientists and engineers. The report found that nearly half of the fifty states received grades of ”D” or “F” and that the nation, in its entirety, is neither making progress nor losing ground when it comes to expectations for what K-12 students should learn in science. To read more about the report and its findings, go to http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_12_12_report.htm.
NSTA Press welcomes proposals for new books, and authors may now submit proposals of their work for consideration online at a brand-new NSTA Press Manuscript Central site. NSTA Press publishes science content updates; books on best teaching practices; books that explicate and link to the National Science Education Standards; applications of the latest findings from science education research; and classroom activity books. We are especially eager to publish works that link science with reading or math. Projects of significant relevance and value to teachers of science grades K-college are what NSTA Press was created to foster.
Paper book proposal submissions will also be accepted through February 1, 2006, but after that date, all proposals must come through Manuscript Central. For complete information, visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/nstapress.
On Wednesday, December 14, from 6:30-8 p.m. (EST), Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan, authors of Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry, will show how to seamlessly integrate reading strategies into standards-based inquiry science lessons for grades 3-6, using well-known science-related fiction and nonfiction children's picture books. The free online event is part of the NSTA Institute series of Web Seminars—90-minute, live professional development experiences using online learning technologies to allow distant participants to interact with recognized experts including NSTA Press authors, and scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NASA. Seminars are scheduled for all U.S. time zones to participate live and interactive, and content and pedagogical experts provide real-time answers to questions.
For details on this Seminar and upcoming Seminar topics, and to register, visit http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxweb_seminars.asp.
Montana State University’s NTEN Program is offering a three-credit course designed to help middle school teachers become highly qualified in physical science. The course is organized to allow teachers to practice hands-on science and explore the concepts behind classroom activities. Participants work with peers worldwide on strengthening their understanding of physical science concepts found in most middle school science curriculum, and on the Praxis middle school test. The course begins March 20 and ends June 9. For details on this and 12 other courses in areas of astronomy, biology, Earth science, science education, entomology, land resources and environmental studies, microbiology, and physics—and to register, visit http://www.scienceteacher.org/courses.htm. Early registration is suggested, as participants are limited.
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