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Dover, PA, Judge Says “No” to Intelligent Design in Science Classrooms

On December 20, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, III, ruled that it is unconstitutional to teach intelligent design (ID) as an alternative to evolution in Dover, Pennsylvania, science classrooms. The judge provided a stunningly clear and comprehensive legal analysis of the issue, confirming that ID is not science and has no place in public school science classrooms and indicating that he considers ID to be a “mere re-labeling of creationism.” Developed after six weeks of testimony from numerous experts, the lengthy (139-page) opinion went into great detail about the history of the intelligent design movement and the strategies used to challenge the teaching of evolution.

To read a statement from NSTA in response to the decision, go to http://www.nsta.org/pressroom&news_story_ID=51419. To read statements from other science and education organizations and for a comprehensive look at the media and public response to the Dover decision, visit the National Center for Science Education, http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2005/PA/316_praise_for_the_emkitzmiller_12_22_2005.asp.

NSTA will bring together key individuals from the Dover trial at the NSTA National Conference in Anaheim on April 6, 2005. During the panel “Kitzmiller v. Dover: The Trial of Intelligent Design,” science teachers, scientists, attorneys, and other experts involved in the case will recount the challenges, stakes, strategy, and outcome of this important trial. Look for more information about this session in a future issue of NSTA Express. (See below for more information about the Anaheim Conference).


NSTA Express Poll: Do We Need National Standards, National Tests, and a National Curriculum in Science?

Many in education circles believe the time has come for all three and a recent Education Week article summarizes the current debate (http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_01_03_completearticle.htm). There is still time to tell us what you think about the call to develop a national set of standards, assessments and curriculum in science. Take the brief NSTA Express poll, which first appeared in the December 23 edition (http://www.nsta.org/survey_national_standards) and share your opinion on this growing debate.


Free NSTA Web Seminars Kick-Off in January on Picture-Perfect Science Lessons, Space Weather, and Investigating Safely

The NSTA Institute announces the first 2006 events in its ongoing program of free 90-minute online professional development interactive Web Seminars. On Wednesday, January 11, Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan, authors of the popular NSTA Press book, Picture-Perfect Science Lessons, will talk about the five essential features of inquiry and share a sample activity for K-5 classrooms. Art Poland, astronomer at George Mason University, will talk about Space Weather on Monday, January 19, for teachers of grades 4-9. On Wednesday, January 25, Juliana Texley, Terry Kwan, and John Summers, co-authors of the NSTA Press book Investigating Safely, will discuss special safety requirements of specific science disciplines at the 9-12 grade level. All evening seminars are from 6:30-8 p.m., EST.

These live professional development experiences use online learning technologies to allow distant participants to participate interactively with appropriate recognized content and pedagogical experts including NSTA Press authors; scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NASA; and experts who provide real-time answers to questions.

Grant-funded, these online events are offered at no cost. Participation is limited, and advance registration is strongly advised. For a full schedule of seminar topics, dates, and times for January and February, and to register, visit http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxweb_seminars.asp.


Jean-Michel Cousteau to Headline NSTA 54th National Conference on Science Education, April 6-9, Anaheim

Explorer, environmentalist, educator, film producer…for more than four decades Jean-Michel Cousteau has used his vast experiences to communicate to people of all nations and generations his passion and concern for our water planet. The son of ocean pioneer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel will be the general session speaker at NSTA’s 54th National Conference on Science Education in Anaheim, CA, April 6–9. Cousteau is the first of a long list of luminaries who will address attendees from around the U.S. and the world. To browse the Conference agenda, use the Personal Scheduler to create your own Conference professional development plan, and to register, visit http://www.nsta.org/anaheimconference. For an outline of Cousteau’s presentation, “Responsible Living…Because Everything is Connected,” visit http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_01_03_cousteau.htm.


The Creation Controversy & The Science Classroom, January Online Book Special, Defines Issues, Strategies in Detailed Neutral Terms

In the dialogue over creationism, science teachers will welcome this book’s insights into modern science and the Book of Genesis, and effective strategies for teaching evolution and other controversial topics. The Creation Controversy & The Science Classroom is the January NSTA Press book special, available at 30% discount on retail price when you purchase through the online Science Store. To browse the book and to order, visit http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial2.


Top New Year’s Resolutions Solved by NSTA

I resolve to:

1. Save money by employing any one of NSTA’s ancillary partners’ programs including financial services, group insurance plans, and health care insurance.

2. Save time by designating NSTA EZ Pay system to automatically renew my membership by billing a credit card on a quarterly or annual basis. No Renewal Notices. No Stamps. Nothing to Remember.

3. Organize my lessons by using the many web offerings available on the NSTA website including an archive of journal articles; the SciLinks database of teacher-approved websites using the keyword search; the Science Store where members save up to 20% off all NSTA Press titles; and the online Teacher’s Grab Bag from NSTA Reports for free teaching materials.

4. Network with my colleagues by subscribing to an NSTA listserve; attending an NSTA conference; or participating with my local chapter or associated group.

5. Get involved in NSTA by volunteering to serve on a committee, advisory board, or panel; presenting a session at an NSTA conference; writing an article for the NSTA journals; or applying for Teacher Grants and Awards or a Student Competition.

6. Expand my commitment to lifelong learning by attending an NSTA conference; searching the NSTA Calendar for grants, scholarships, and special events opportunities; or registering for an NSTA Institute class.



Professional development courses in your future?
Online options give you a world of choice.
Take a look at these institutions offering courses for science educators!


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