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Week of June 23, 2008

Table of Contents

NSTA Legislative Update

The House Education and Labor Committee passes a new environmental education bill and soon will be considering reauthorization of NASA programs, and additional funding for the Noyce Scholarship program is part of the FY2008 supplemental spending bill. Read this and more in the latest NSTA Legislative Update.

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Pluto's Identity Crisis Hits Classrooms and Bookstores

“Pluto was once a planet. Then, a dwarf planet. And as of last week, a plutoid. The fall from grace has teachers, parents and educational publishers struggling to keep up, while kids remain loyal to their favorite, the ninth planet. Underscore planet.” Read more of the story by writer Jeanna Bryner from SPACE.com in the June 20 online issue of USA Today (NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler is quoted in the story).

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Summer Stimulation: Enhance Your Knowledge of Physical Science

Register to attend the NSTA Online Short Course: Force and Motion

For teachers of grades 3–9, Force and Motion, NSTA’s online short course, offers a painless refresher in physical science concepts, available directly from your computer this summer. The short course combines asynchronous learning with live web sessions to help you master this science content. Beginning on July 10, participants will meet on five consecutive Thursday evenings (July 10, 17, 24, 31, and August 7) under the guidance of Dr. Matt Bobrowsky, an educator and an astronomer with over 25 years of experience in the discipline.

For an hour and a half each week, attendees will join online in the virtual classroom with the instructor and NSTA staff to ask questions and have discussions about the topic. Follow up weekly participation in the discussions posted on the course listserv, and self-paced completion of corresponding course materials (SciPack, SciGuide, e-book, and journal articles) all contribute to boosting your knowledge of the subject.

An elementary teacher who attended from New York said, “Even though I teach third grade inclusion and we do not have a unit on force and motion, this course has been quite meaningful. The visuals, comics, simulations, and the [live web sessions] have helped me better understand Newton's Laws of Motion.”

A comment came from a high school teacher in Indiana after completing the course: “Although I have taken several physics courses, I find physics a very difficult area of science. The course was very beneficial in reviewing key concepts and forcing me to examine my own understanding. I was so impressed with the software used I'm still talking about it with my colleagues.”

Fees include all materials:

Member rate: $322.50
Nonmember rate: $367.00

Two graduate professional development credits from the University of Idaho can be earned for an additional fee. For more details and to register, visit the NSTA Learning Center. Questions? Write to Flavio Mendez (fmendez@nsta.org).

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NSTA Publications Reap Awards

NSTA publications on topics ranging from Einstein to wildlife “crime” scenes recently accepted accolades from publishing associations. See this NSTA WebNews story for details.

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Get Caught in Charlotte's Summer Web

Join NSTA at our Charlotte Area Conference, Oct. 30–Nov. 1, 2008, to experience science education like never before! We offer comprehensive professional development opportunities through content-rich sessions, skill-building workshops, and personal career development focused on helping you to become the best teacher you can be. We have a vast array of topics covered for teachers at every grade level. Save the most on conference registration when you register by September 19.

  • Consider attending Using Student Research in Your Classroom (6–12), Content Conclusions (6-8) or Statewide Institutes in Teaching Excellence (SITE) Professional Development (1-12) to update your content knowledge and assessment strategies.
  • Acquire practical knowledge that can be applied to any discipline by participating in Does the Use of Differentiated Instruction Increase Student Achievement? (1-8) and Digitizing the Science Classroom—Prepare Students for the Global Society (general).
  • Build your credentials and distinguish yourself as an experienced professional by earning one graduate credit for twelve hours of conference programs through Framingham State College in Framingham, MA. For teachers who need recertification, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

For a complete list of our 400 concurrent sessions, workshops, presentations, and special events, or to register, visit www.nsta.org/charlotte. It’s all within your reach at NSTA.

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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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