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Week of July 23, 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. Being a member of NSTA means you’re part of an international community of practitioners dedicated to improving science education.
  • Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off of the July featured book, Start Young.













MIT Scientists Solve Mystery of Oil’s Beating Heart

Do you have 10 minutes or so, a plate, a dropper, a clear cover or lid, water, mineral oil, and detergent? Then you have time for a great science lesson. Put the water on the plate and let it settle. Then mix a small amount of mineral oil and an even smaller amount of detergent. Squeeze a tiny drop of the mixture into the waiting water, and watch the oil beat just like a heart.

This phenomenon has long stumped the scientific community. Now, scientists think that the answer could have applications in environmental engineering and biology. For more details (including the solution to why the oil behaves as it does) click here for the full story from Science Daily.

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National Town Hall Meeting Focuses on Math and Science Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, ExxonMobil, pro-golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife Amy, the National Science Teachers Association, and Math Solutions will be conducting an hour-long National Town Hall Meeting on July 23 at noon to discuss the current state of math and science education in the United States. The meeting will be held at the 2007 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.

The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, established by ExxonMobil, Phil and Amy Mickelson, the National Science Teachers Association, and Math Solutions brings together 200 third- through fifth-grade teachers from across the country. The five-day session equips teachers with innovative methods for teaching science and mathematics to students. From egg drops to pendulums, teachers will be learning new ways to excite and inspire students about math and science.

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Student Passivity Strikes a Nerve with JCST Readership

A recent editorial in the Journal of College Science Teaching sparked an unprecedented response (http://www.nsta.org/college/200705responses.aspx) from readers across the country.

The author, JCST Field Editor Dr. Ann Cutler, reports a troubling decline in the active participation and apparent engagement of freshmen in her college courses. In “Creeping Passivity” in the May 2007 issue, she postulates that this trend may be due in part to a shift in responsibility for learning in middle and secondary schools because of No Child Left Behind legislation.

After reading the editorial and readers' responses, please share your views through our online discussion forum.

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Registration Open for NTEN Fall Semester

The National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) is ready to meet your professional development goals this fall. Registration is now open. Teachers can choose among 10 online courses in eight disciplines, including astronomy, evolution, Earth science, environmental science, oceanography, soil science, weather, and physics. See more.

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Homer Hickam to Give Keynote Address in Denver

Join us for a memorable occasion as Homer Hickam presents “Lighthouses, Rocket Ships, and Dreams Come True” at the NSTA Denver Conference on Science Education (Nov. 8–10). Hickam’s inspirational and compelling memoir, Rocket Boys, focuses on growing up in the hard-working town of Coalwood, West Virginia. Hickam and his boyhood friends built and launched their own sophisticated rockets, and he came to embody both the town’s tensions and its dreams. Hickam later became a NASA engineer and is now an amateur paleontologist.

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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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