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Week of January 7, 2008

Table of Contents

NAS Releases Third Edition of Science, Evolution, and Creationism

On January 4, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released Science, Evolution, and Creationism, the third edition of a publication first issued in 1984 and updated in 1999. The updated version provides a comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the current scientific understanding of evolution and its importance in the science classroom.

The publication documents the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including intelligent design. It also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in science classes. "Teaching creationist ideas in science class confuses students about what constitutes science and what does not," states the Committee on Revising Science and Creationism in a press release on the publication.

"As Science, Evolution, and Creationism makes clear, the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith. Science and religion are different ways of understanding the world. Needlessly placing them in opposition reduces the potential of each to contribute to a better future," the book says.

For more information on the book, visit www.nationalacademies.org.

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Bridge the Gap in Your Skills and Become the Best You Can Be

Join NSTA at the 56th Annual National Conference on Science Education, March 27-30, 2008, “Science: Bridge to the Future.” This event offers educators a wide range of professional development opportunities in every discipline and in all grade bands. Below are a few examples.

Learn new strategies to increase science literacy through the use of science notebooks in sessions such as Can You Hear Me Now? Creating Students' Voice Through Science Notebooks! and Science Notebooks Assessing Student Understanding.

Attend "Yes, You Can!" Lessons on Learning from the Women of MIT and Girls at the Center—Promising Practices, Practical Resources, Powerful Outcomes to review research and present strategies that encourage girls to embrace science education

Obtain tips to introduce students to “green” initiatives in the science classroom through It's Easy Being Green! Student Led Green School Activities and Planning for a Green School: Building for Learning and the Earth.

When you broaden your content knowledge and learn new ways to reach your students, you’re defining yourself as a great teacher and improving performance in the classroom. You can even get graduate credit for attending 12 hours of conference programs.

For more information or to register, visit www.nsta.org/boston.

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Texas Officials Debate Creationist Online Master Degree in Science Education

A Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is deciding whether to approve a Bible-based master’s degree in science education. “Approval for the degree is being sought by the Institute for Creation Research’s graduate school, which has been offering science and science education degrees online under California law. But the nonprofit group is moving to Dallas, where new rules apply,” writes Education Week reporter Bess Keller.

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Leading Scientist Discusses Cloning on NSTA Podcast

After taking an extra week off for the holidays, NSTA's podcast Lab Out Loud is back with another exciting episode. Brian and Dale's guest is Shoukhrat Mitalipov, whose team cloned a rhesus monkey and used the resulting embryo to create stem cells. This was number 9 in the ABC News "top ten stories of 2007" list. Click here to listen!

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Registration Closes Soon for January Seminars on Science

Sign up by January 14 for the Spring 1 session of online science courses provided by the American Museum of Natural History. Six courses are being offered, including the newest, “The Solar System.” Seminars on Science provides an interesting and quick way to fulfill your professional development needs. For teachers who are working towards a degree, certification, NCLB requirements or salary grade improvement, graduate credit is available from several leading institutions.

Other Spring 1 courses include Evolution; Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics; and Space, Time and Motion. Come away from your class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Courses are user-friendly and flexible enough to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule. Each participant receives a CD comprised of course resources suitable for classroom use. Syllabi, National Standards correlations, and free sample resources for each course—essays, videos and interactive simulations—can be found online at learn.amnh.org.

Spring 1 session begins January 28. Registration is also open for the six-week session that begins March 24, as well as two sessions for Summer 2008. Register for these sessions now, 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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And Don’t Forget…

Visit our member services web page to ensure that NSTA has your current contact information.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars through the winter months. Visit the website for more information about these upcoming professional development opportunities.

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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