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Week of September 8, 2008

Table of Contents

Congress Expected to Vote on Major Environmental Education Legislation This Wednesday, Sept. 10

Legislation that would strengthen environmental education is expected to come to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 [updated].

The No Child Left Inside Act (H.R. 3036), passed by the House Education and Labor Committee earlier this summer, would reauthorize the National Environmental Education Act and also amend it to authorize additional grant funds to strengthen environmental education at the national, state, and local levels, and expand the purposes of the teacher training program in environmental education.

The Campaign for Environmental Literacy is leading advocacy efforts on this bill. Go to www.fundee.org/action/ for more information on the bill and how you can contact your House representative and urge him/her to pass this important legislation.

  • Read the letter to House leaders that NSTA signed, urging passage of No Child Left Inside

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Invitation to Urban Elementary Science Education Administrators

A specially planned daylong workshop will be devoted to urban science education leaders who want to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with peers, discuss their issues, and participate in on-site school visits to see best practices in action in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. Scheduled on Wednesday, Oct. 29, preceding NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Charlotte, NC, the workshop will help kick off the event. For details and to register, please contact Beverly Shaw at bshaw@nsta.org or visit www.nsta.org/charlottetickets.

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Need Some Recognition?

Do you want some recognition for your dedication to science education? Is there  a colleague whose lessons, teaching techniques, or mentoring deserve praise and attention? Share your school’s science education successes by applying, or nominating outstanding colleagues for one of NSTA’s 20 annual awards.

NSTA and its sponsors recognize and reward exemplary teachers (preK–college) and principals (middle level and high school) with cash, trips, workshops, computers, science program materials, and more. Two new NSTA Teacher awards should be considered. The Zula International NSTA Early Science Educator Award spotlights the work of early childhood educators who have innovative science inquiry programs. The second, the Dr. Wendell G. Mohling Aerospace Educator Award recognizes excellence in aerospace education.

Here are a few details to think about:

  • The Ciba Foundation has doubled the funds for this year’s award to $5,000
  • The Shell Science Teaching Award retains its October 15, 2008, deadline
  • SeaWorld’s application deadline is November 28 
  • The new application deadline for all other 2009 NSTA Teacher Awards is November 30, 2008

For more information about all the awards and to download or print application forms, consult www.nsta.org/awards. Don’t forget, you can’t win if you don’t apply.

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NSTA Has Learning Down to a Science

For science educators, there isn’t a better conference than one planned by NSTA. We know how to put together professional development opportunities led by renowned experts, for science educators in every discipline and every grade band—teachers, principals, and administrators. NSTA invites you to Portland, Oregon, for our Area Conference on Science Education, November 20–22. Review just a sampling of sessions, workshops, and presentations.

  • Debunk, Decode, and Demystify Science—Join Adam and Jamie from Discovery Channel's MythBusters at the opening keynote as they answer your questions and share some "behind the scenes" stories about the science experiments featured on the show.
  • International best-selling author Jean M. Auel presents on Researching for Fiction: The World of 30,000 Years Ago.
  • Making Inquiry and Literacy Integration Real—Participate in a standards-based living system inquiry lesson while developing strategies for integration of writing and assessing student content and process knowledge.
  • Problem-based Learning in Earth System Science—Through the Earth System Science Education Alliance, Seattle Pacific University offers problem-based Earth system science courses for teachers, with instruction in both content and pedagogy.
  • Engineering Education in Today's Classroom—Let us introduce you to a curriculum that gives students the opportunity to think and act like engineers and to solve and design engineering solutions for real-world problems.
  • Busting the Language Barrier—Three fun and simple strategies will be modeled that may be used during science instruction to improve vocabulary retention in science.
  • Starting Them Early: Science Learning in Pre–K and Early Elementary—Discover innovative resources and best practices designed to lay the foundation for lifelong science learning. Appropriate for educators of pre–K to early elementary school.
  • Build an Electric Motor Out of Junk—Students will solve problems as they experience the relationship between electricity and magnetism by making a working electric motor out of junk.

The Exhibit Hall, the favorite stop for teachers, provides 150 companies the opportunity to introduce the newest products. Stop by to chat and collect a giveaway.

Teachers can earn one graduate credit for attendance at 12 hours of conference programs. Register today. Become the best educator you can be.

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Retired But Want to Stay Active?

Age is just a number, and the science education community values the wisdom and experience of retired teachers. Our retired members remain active in their communities through mentoring at their former schools, consulting with curriculum and instruction professionals, and advocating at the local and state levels on behalf of science education improvement and innovation for all. Get in on the conversation! All you have to do is click to www.nsta.org, select the member services tab, and then select “update your contact info.” There, you will log on with your last name and member ID (or e-mail address and password, if you’ve set that up), and then click “submit.” Your ID number can be found on the mailing label of the journal you receive. On the next screen, you will see your profile. If you scroll down toward the bottom of the screen, you will see the names of the various lists—check the box for the Retired List. That’s all there is to it!

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Free Virtual Learning Through NSTA Fall Web Seminars

Teachers are amazed at the breadth of NSTA Web Seminars, 90-minute, online, live experiences that allow participants to interact with national experts, scientists, engineers, and fellow colleagues. These programs, designed for K–12 educators, are sponsored by the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) and NSTA. Review our fall lineup and take time for your professional development. Be the best you can be.

  • Sept. 16: Free Classroom Resources and Professional Development Tools—At the NSTA Learning Center
  • Sept. 25: Celebrating Astronomy: A Star's Story
  • Oct. 8: How to Maximize Your NSTA Conference Experience
  • Oct. 29: Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: Physical Science From the Poles

Register by visiting the NSTA Learning Center.

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MSSE Conducts Tenth Annual Symposium in Science Education

Montana State University’s Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) Program celebrated its tenth graduating class in July with the Tenth Annual Symposium in Science Education.  Forty science educators from across the nation presented their capstone projects on the MSU campus completing requirements for their MSSE degrees.The MSSE program, a blend of science content and pedagogy, is specially designed for science educators.  In addition to completing a group of education core courses (12 credits total), program candidates develop interdisciplinary combinations of graduate science courses from offerings in biology, chemistry, earth science, microbiology, plant sciences, physics, and other related areas.  Programs of study are designed to incorporate the candidate’s background, interests, and career goals.Special program features:
  • The opportunity to work at home without frequent trips to campus 
  • Over 80% of the courses may be taken on-line by asynchronous, computer-mediated communication
  • Continue employment while earning a degree 
  • On-campus summer experiences in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem that vary in length from one to four weeks 
  • Personalized science education capstone project for each candidate
  • Large selection of science content courses through partnership with NTEN (National Teachers Enhancement Network)
  • Interdisciplinary–intercollege program
Visit the MSSE website for more information on the program and its courses and to view virtual posters of this summer’s capstone presentations.

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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 the price of the September featured book, Science for English Language Learners: K-12 Classroom Strategies.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars through the autumn 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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