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Week of June 9, 2008

Table of Contents

Student Inventors Honored During 16th Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Celebration

Congratulations to the winning students, coaches, and parents who traveled to Washington, DC, last week for the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision festivities, including the Science Showcase at the National Press Club and banquet gala to honor their accomplishments.

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Debate Brewing Over How to Teach Science

After 11 years, the Texas Board of Education will be reviewing the state's science standards. Writes Houston Chronicle reporter Gary Scharrer: "After feuding for months over how to teach schoolchildren to read, the [Texas] State Board of Education soon will shift to a topic that could become more controversial—the science curriculum. ... Science, after all, involves biology. And biology is built on the theory of evolution, raising fears among some observers that social conservatives on the 15-member panel will try to shade textbooks with religion."

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Take Control of Your Career ...

… with NSTA’s Charlotte Area Conference on Science Education. Join us Oct. 30–Nov. 1, 2008, for a wide range of professional development opportunities in every discipline for all grade bands. Broaden your content knowledge and learn new ways to reach your students and improve your overall performance in the classroom. Save the most on conference registration when you register by September 19.

Manage and introduce science notebooks into your K–8 classroom by attending, Assessing Student Notebooks—Beyond Rubrics. Learn how these powerful tools assist with integrating science, writing, and math and assessing student progress.

High school teachers: Using Toys in Science will introduce entertaining strategies to elicit your students' natural curiosity and excitement about science with a twist of fun!

College educators: join your peers at Birds of a Feather, a topics-based discussion and in-depth look into the issues, successes, and concerns of today’s Science Methods Instructor.

Supervisors: discover how formative assessment probes combined with formative assessment techniques uncover a useful data about student thinking in science with What Were They Thinking? Based on the popular Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series!

For a complete list of our workshops, presentations and special events or to register, visit www.nsta.org/charlotte. Become the best you can be with NSTA!

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Physics With a Twist: Quantoons

Attention science and math high school teachers: are you searching for a new twist to turn kids on to physics? Look no further. Quantoons, an NSTA Press® title for grades 9–12 teachers, combines challenging physics problems with provocative quotes and intricate illustrations that will make you and your students view physics and art in a whole new way.

The book combines 58 problems that appeared in contests from Quantum magazine with inspired cartoons designed by Tomas Bunk, a regular contributor to MAD magazine! These imaginative brainteasers give new context to interesting physics concepts. A chapter titled "The Leaky Pendulum" introduces the problem of a simple pendulum that is slowly losing mass. "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" covers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions and how to learn about the secrets of the Earth’s center by taking measurements of the S and P waves. "A Topless Rollercoaster" demonstrates circular motion and centripetal acceleration. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind resource for engaging your students. Download a chapter to view this creative text. Visit the NSTA Science Store for more details.

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New NSTA Board and Council Members Begin Three-Year Terms

Congratulations to the four new members of the NSTA Board of Directors and the six new members to the NSTA Council elected by the NSTA membership, who officially began their positions on June 1. New board members join the 13-member board that oversees NSTA finances, policies and procedures, and strategic planning.

Council members are the official NSTA representative in his/her geographic district and serve as the primary liaison on issues of importance to science and improvement of science education at all levels.

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Learn It Online, Solidify It in the Field

The Teachers in Geosciences program at Mississippi State University provides you with a unique opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree through distance learning. All of the core courses are taught online. The program concludes with an 8- to 10-day capstone field course that is taught during the summer at a variety of locations including Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, Western Washington State, the Sierra, Central Arizona, Upstate NY, Western Lake Superior, the Outer Banks, the Bahamas, and the Great Plains Storm Chase.

Our 12-course, 36-credit hour graduate program is designed to take as little as two years to complete and includes courses in meteorology, geology, planetary science, oceanography, hydrology, and environmental geoscience. Over 300 students from all 50 states and around the world are enrolled. All students qualify for in-state tuition rates.

It is not too late to apply for the fall 2008 semester! Please visit our website or contact Joy Bailey (jbailey@aoce.msstate.edu) for additional information.

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And Don’t Forget…

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

Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off of the June featured book, Lingo of Learning.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars through the summer 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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