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Week of May 21, 2007

Table of Contents

And Don’t Forget…

  • Membership Means You Belong! Join NSTA for these essential benefits that will enhance your marketability in the teaching profession and build your professional knowledge.
  • NSTA’s online Calendar keeps you informed about upcoming events and opportunities of interest to science educators with information on summer programs, grants, awards, and workshops.
  • NSTA is offering more Web Seminars in May. Visit the website for more information about these upcoming professional development opportunities.












NSTA President Testifies on Capitol Hill

On May 15, NSTA President Linda Froschauer and four other leaders in science education (Michael Lach, Director of Mathematics and Science, Chicago Public Schools; George D. Nelson, Director, Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education, Western Washington University; Van Reiner, President, Maryland Science Center; and. Iris Weiss, President, Horizon Research, Inc.) provided their perspectives on federal agency programs for STEM educators when they testified before the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Science Education.

During the hearing Chairman Brian Baird (D-WA) asked for input from science teachers nationwide on their experience with federal agency programs.

Tell Congress what you think about programs for science educators provided through the federal mission agencies. We invite you to view the hearing’s webcast (the hearing starts at 9 minutes) At this site you can read the testimony from witnesses (lower left-hand corner) and provide your comments at the Contact Us section (right-hand side).

The hearing comes days after the release of the Academic Competitiveness Council report, a year-long initiative chaired by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings that worked to identify all federal education programs with a math or science education focus, to determine areas of overlap or duplication, then recommend processes to integrate and coordinate these programs.

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Experts in Literacy and Technology to Speak at NSTA's Detroit Conference in October

Laura Schiller and Barry Fried have been confirmed as featured speakers for NSTA’s Detroit Conference on Science Education (October 18-20). Schiller is Literacy Consultant for Oakland County, Michigan school system and Director Oakland Writing Project. A National Board Certified Teacher and a doctoral student in Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Michigan, Schiller works with elementary and secondary teachers to improve teaching and learning. Part of her work includes facilitating large-scale staff development initiatives in content area literacies. These include Michigan’s Content Literacy Assessments, Standards, and Strategies (MiClass) and High School Content Literacy Assessments, Standards, and Strategies (HiClass).

Fried is Principal John Dewey High School and Solar System Educator. At present, he and other teachers in his school are beta-testing curriculum materials from the Mars Education Program at Arizona State University where his students are working with the data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He previously had been involved with Passport To Knowledge (P2K) in the “To Mars with MER” series. Fried helped plan and coordinate the MARS-A-PALOOZA tour in his school and community, which provided an innovative approach to science education geared toward NASA planetary mission science for parents, students, and community groups. Fried is also on P2K’s K–12 Advisory Committee for POLAR-PALOOZA, an National Science Foundation-funded project for the International Polar Year.

Register for the conference online.

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NSTA’s Board of Directors Approves Position Statement on Induction Programs

“The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends that schools and teacher preparation programs provide new teachers of science with comprehensive induction programs….Induction programs not only provide new teachers with the support they need during the critically important early years of teaching, these programs can set practices and beliefs that last throughout a teacher’s career." The complete position statement is available on NSTA's website.

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NSTA WebNews Analysis: Video Gaming in Schools

Educators nationwide have been considering the idea of placing more video games in schools as a way to improve America’s education system. Nobody is talking about putting violent video games such as "Doom" or "Mortal Kombat" into classrooms, particularly given concerns they may encourage aggressive behavior. Instead, educators such as Indiana University associate professor Sasha Barab are developing alternative video games that can teach as well as entertain. NSTA's WebNews Analysis examines several articles that discuss this trend.

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


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