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Table of Contents

Pluto Demoted as Planet

A barrage of media stories, blogs, and buzz followed last week’s announcement that Pluto is no longer considered our Solar System’s ninth planet. At a meeting of its General Assembly in Prague, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to adopt new guidelines defining what is—and isn’t—a planet. According to an Associated Press story, Pluto doesn't make the grade under the new rules for a planet: "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a...nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit." Pluto is disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's and it will now be considered a “dwarf planet” in a new classification system. For now, membership is restricted to the eight "classical" planets in the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

According to Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Executive Director, "Science is not a static set of facts. Our understanding of science is constantly changing as new evidence is added. This is a perfect teachable moment to show the dynamic nature of science.”
To read news coverage in Scientific American Magazine about the IAU vote, visit http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa007&articleID=000BAB90-0894-14EE-889483414B7F014C. To read a CNN story featuring comments from NSTA Executive Director, Gerry Wheeler; NSTA President-Elect, John Whitsett; and former NSTA Pre-school-Elementary Committee Chair, Rich Hogen, visit http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/08/25/pluto.reaction.


New Orleans Hotels Provide Free Lodging to Teaching Candidates

In an effort to strengthen the education system in New Orleans, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau has partnered with the Louisiana Recovery Authority to provide free hotel rooms to all teachers applying for K–12 teaching positions in New Orleans during the interview process. Hotels providing rooms include New Orleans Marriott, JW Marriott New Orleans, Drury Inn & Suites, Chateau Sonesta Hotel, the Terrell House Bed and Breakfast, the Renaissance Arts Hotel & Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, and the Hilton Hotel. Teachers interested in this offer should contact the participating hotels directly. To read the press release from the visitors’ bureau, go to http://www.neworleanscvb.com/articles/index.cfm/action/view/articleID/598/typeID/24.


Two Online Specials this week for NSTA Press Publications

Two different NSTA Press titles share the discount promotion spotlight this week: August’s Exploring Safely: A Guide for Elementary Teachers is available at 30% off regular retail price through Thursday at http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial. And starting on Friday and throughout September, you can order NSTA Press’s bestselling title Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: 25 Formative Assessment Probes at 30% off the regular retail price. Uncovering Student Ideas in Science helps pinpoint what your students know (or think they know) so you can monitor their learning and adjust your teaching accordingly. To browse the book and to order, go to http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial2.


Meet Fellow Pioneers in Science… Join NSTA in Omaha October 19-21 for a Professionally Enriching Experience

For the first time ever, NSTA brings an area conference to Omaha, Nebraska, October 19-21. NSTA area conferences bring together professional development, networking, social events and field trips you won’t want to miss. Conference strands are Assessment in Learning;Teaching for Learning in Science: Exemplary Practices—Good, Better, Best; and Freshwater Systems Science. With the earlybird deadline for best rates fast approaching, now’s the time to visit http://www.nsta.org/conferencedetail&Meeting_Code=2006OMA to tour the Omaha conference agenda, create a personal scheduler to plan an enriching professional development experience, and register for the conference. We look forward to seeing you in Omaha.


New Book from NSTA Press Offers Hands-on Projects for Teaching Physics

If You Build It, They Will Learn is the perfect do-it-yourself guide for physics teachers who want custom-made demonstration projects to use in their classrooms. Devices like Galileo’s Track, Coupled Pendulum, and Gum-Wrapper Thermostat will help you teach forces, energy, properties of matter, and much more. To browse sample pages and order, visit http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB200X.



Back-to-School Special—Save $5 on Your NSTA Membership!

When you make use of the helpful information in NSTA Express, you’re just scratching the surface of the many ways that NSTA membership gives you voice, knowledge, and a sense of community. If you’re already a member, you know how valuable that sense of community is—why not renew your membership now and save? If you’re not a member, now is the time to join! NSTA membership is the best way for you to expand and enhance your knowledge and teaching skills, to make your voice heard on important state and national education issues, and to share your expertise with other members as part of a national community of committed educators.

Join or renew your membership now thru September 30 and receive $5 off your individual regular* membership dues and take advantage of these great benefits:

  • Choose the grade-specific journal geared to your specific needs
  • Receive NSTA Reports, our monthly newspaper, printed September through May
  • Search the online journal article archive
  • Network with peers online and in real time
  • Access SciLinks® database of teacher-approved websites
  • Discover grant, scholarship, and leadership opportunities
  • Receive discounts on books and registration fees
  • And much more!

    Members: Visit http://www.nsta.org/renew and enter B2SREN7 in the source code field or download this form (http://www.nsta.org/conference/B2SREN7.pdf).

    Nonmembers: Visit http://www.nsta.org/join and enter B2SNEW7 in the source code field or download this form (http://www.nsta.org/conference/B2SNEW7.pdf).

*Discount does not apply to student or retired membership options.




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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