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Week of August 6, 2007

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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.













NSTA Salutes Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan–
First Science Teacher to Go into Space

The National Science Teachers Association salutes NSTA member Barbara Morgan, a former Idaho elementary science teacher, and her upcoming launch aboard the space shuttle Endeavor. Morgan is one of seven STS-118 crewmates selected for the 11-day construction mission to the International Space Station (ISS), scheduled to launch Wednesday, August 8.

In addition to leading in-orbit educational activities, Morgan’s duties will include operating the shuttle’s and station’s robotic arms during spacewalks and other activities and overseeing the transfer of 5,000 pounds of supplies and equipment between the shuttle and station. Additionally, Morgan and her crewmates will be transferring a set of plant growth chambers, as well as 10 million basil seeds, to the ISS. Expedition 15 astronaut Clayton Anderson will cultivate some of the seeds over 20 days as part of a NASA Engineering Design Challenge. The remaining microgravity-exposed basil seeds, along with a control set of seeds, will later be distributed to students across the U.S. to grow in their own home-built growth chambers.

Click to read more about Barbara Morgan and her upcoming space flight.

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NSTA Legislation Update: Congress Gives Final Approval to Major Competitiveness/Science Education Legislation

Before adjourning for the August recess, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed major competitiveness legislation that includes key programs for science and math education.

H.R. 2272, the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act (COMPETES), is the culmination of Congressional efforts over the past year and a half to pass legislation in response to the
recommendations made in the 2005 National Academies report, Rising above the Gathering Storm. Read more about this key legislation and news on the efforts to fund FY2008 federal science and math education programs in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Apply Today for a Toyota Tapestry Grant

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., and NSTA are pleased to announce the 18th Annual Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers Program. The program is open to middle and high school science teachers who teach at least two science classes a day and to elementary classroom teachers who teach at least some science in the classroom.

This year, Toyota will offer $550,000 in grants to 70 to 82 teams of teachers throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories and possessions. A total of 50 large grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded, along with 20 to 32 mini grants of up to $2,500 each. Large grant winners will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to the NSTA National Conference in Boston. Mini grant awardees receive a one-year NSTA membership.

For the second year, all proposals must be submitted online via the link at the Toyota TAPESTRY website. The online proposal process has been updated and improved, and character limits have been greatly expanded. The deadline for submission of online mini and large grants proposals is 11:59 p.m., Monday, January 28, 2008.

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NSTA Seeks Feedback on New Position Statement: Liability of Science Educators for Laboratory Safety

Safety—and potential liability—in the science classroom is the topic of NSTA’s most recent position statement, Liability of Science Educators for Laboratory Safety. A team of science educators, safety experts, and an attorney has worked over recent months to develop this statement for NSTA. As always, we seek and encourage members to review draft position statements and provide feedback. Please take a minute to review it and tell us what you think. To view and comment, go to and click on it to post a reply. (Note: You must register to use the NSTA Discussion Board before posting comments.) Comments must be received by Friday, August 17.

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Fall Online Courses from the American Museum of Natural History

Sign up today for a fall course through the American Museum of Natural History’s Seminars on Science, and join teachers from around the globe in exploring key science topics.

Fall courses include: Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Space, Time and Motion; The Solar System; Evolution; The Link Between Dinosaurs and Birds; and Genetics, Genomics, Genethics. Free sample resources are available for each course at learn.amnh.org.

Designed for K–12 educators, each six-week course is led by an experienced classroom teacher and a scientist affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. In-depth readings and assignments paired with rich, web-based discussions assure that educators come away from each class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Graduate credit is available, and each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use.

Registration closes August 20th for Fall Session One (August 27 – October 7)! Sign up early for fall courses and receive a $50 early registration discount. For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.

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Introducing NEW Interactive Floor Plans for the 2007 Fall Area Conferences

Start your NSTA conference exhibit experience now by viewing nationally known vendors via our new interactive floor plans. See where your favorite company is on the show floor, discover new companies who have come to share their products, and create your own “must see” list. You can search companies by name, grade level, or science discipline.

Historically, teachers who attend our conferences tell us the exhibits and their giveaways are their favorites. Think about LEGO, National Geographic, Pearson, and Sally Ride Science, to name just a few.You’ll find SME/GEMS, with all the rock and mineral specimens you want; see the remarkable long-spinning top at Educational Innovations; and unearth new curricula by Delta, Frey, and CPO Science.

Start planning your experience now!

Detroit Exhibits

Denver Exhibits

Birmingham Exhibits

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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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