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Week of August 11, 2008

Table of Contents

Learning Center Offers On-demand Training for Teachers

NSTA has developed a new resource to improve the quality of science instruction in the nation’s schools: an online hub that provides affordable, on-demand professional development to help educators boost their knowledge about various science topics, as needed. The online Learning Center was introduced earlier this year with more than 3,000 electronic professional development resources and opportunities, including books, journal articles, web seminars, and online courses.

More than 50 free, on-demand Science Object lessons allow teachers to increase their content knowledge at their own pace. The resource is particularly useful for K–8 teachers, who might have a general education degree but no in-depth knowledge of some of the science content areas they are expected to cover in their classrooms.

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Back to School: Enhance Your Knowledge of Physical Science

Register to attend the NSTA Online Short Course: Energy

For grades 3–9 teachers, Energy, NSTA’s online short course, offers a painless refresher in physical science concepts, available directly from your computer this fall. The short course combines asynchronous learning with live web sessions to help you master this science content. Beginning September 30, participants will meet on five consecutive Tuesday evenings (September 30, October 7, 14, 21, and 28) under the guidance of Don Boonstra, an educator with over 30 years of experience in providing professional development for science teachers.

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 with 24 years of experience who attended from Florida said, “Being able to ask questions through the chat window throughout the presentations and having my questions answered so quickly was very helpful. I liked working with and learning from the other participants. The presenter was very knowledgeable both about energy and how to effectively present it to students.”

A comment came from a first year, high school teacher from Wisconsin after completing the course. “This was a great opportunity for me. I'm a life science major and never learned the specifics of energy. [The online course] helped a lot in understanding [the physical science concepts] as well as my new area of teaching, Earth science!”

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 fmendez@nsta.org.

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Planning Your Trip to the Charlotte Area Conference on Science Education?

Take advantage of the full conference preview and preliminary program available online as PDFs to assist with all of your scheduling needs. Locate answers to all of your travel, housing, and registration questions. View major speakers, special daylong programs, field trips, and sample conference schedules. Check out hours for the Science Bookstore, Exhibit Hall, and registration center.

You can create a personalized agenda using the Charlotte Session Browser/Personal Scheduler. Browse events by day, format, subject, grade level, conference strand, sponsor, or keyword. View and revise your personal schedule as often as you like.

For all of your Charlotte pre-conference needs visit www.nsta.org/charlotte or call 1-800-722-6782.

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Guidelines Now Available for the Zula International–NSTA Early Science Educator Award

Zula International, producers of the award-winning series The Zula Patrol, has partnered with NSTA on an award which will recognize two preschool to 2nd grade educators who have innovative science inquiry-based programs. We welcome members of National Head Start Association, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Science Teachers Association, and Council of Elementary Science International to apply. Prizes include $400, Zula science-math curriculum, local press coverage, one-year NSTA membership, and travel to New Orleans next year to be honored during the Awards Banquet at the NSTA conference. Winners will be mentioned on Zula’s website and winning selections will become part of NSTA's website. A key program goal is to broaden awareness of "best practices" in early science inquiry. Click here for additional details and to apply.

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NSTA Introduces: The Science Alliance for Elementary Schools

The Science Alliance for Elementary Schools is an easy to implement, professional development opportunity that will provide administrators and up to five of their faculty with tools to ensure that they are well-prepared to teach science.

Offering all the benefits of a one-year electronic NSTA membership, elementary schools can participate in The Science Alliance for a fee of only $100 a year per school!

Other Benefits Include:

Click here for more information or go directly to the online form to apply for the Science Alliance!

If you’re at the middle, high, or college level, please click here for information on NSTA’s other membership categories.

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NTEN Fall Science Courses Open with New Web Look

Science teachers who register for fall online courses through NTEN, the National Teachers Enhancement Network, will notice a new look and feel to NTEN's website.

The site was updated to better align NTEN's inquiry-based online courses with the new look of Montana State University, where NTEN was founded in 1993. MSU was recently recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as one of only 96 U.S. institutions with the highest level of research activity, and MSU is known for its discoveries in thermal biology and Yellowstone; space science and astrobiology; and nanotechnology; among many other areas of expertise. NTEN's fall courses reflect this diversity, offering online graduate courses in biology, earth science, geography, physics and other subjects.

NTEN's courses are interactive and inquiry-based, and NTEN's experienced instructors will help you become a better science teacher. Visit the new NTEN website at www.scienceteacher.org for a listing of fall classes and other professional resources.

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Be Active in NSTA: Join a Committee

Being part of NSTA can mean so much more than reading journals and attending the meetings. Committee membership is a means by which you can interact with colleagues, gain insights into the complexity of issues, and have a positive impact on science education at the national level. We need your views and your expertise. Please consider joining a committee, advisory board, or panel. The application and appointment process begins on August 15, 2008. To learn more about the various opportunities available, apply online, or download an application (available after August 15), please visit this web page.

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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 August featured book, A Head Start on Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder.

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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