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Week of September 15, 2008

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Become an Eco-Hero with the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge

NSTA has partnered with the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Communications in an important initiative to educate, empower and engage students, teachers, and communities to become agents of change in improving the environment.

Starting today, middle school students across the United States are being encouraged to "go green" and team up for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, the first and only national K–12 sustainability education initiative aligned to education standards and uniquely tailored to match students’ growing comprehension abilities throughout their school-aged years.

Student teams of two to three students from sixth through eighth grade, under the mentorship of a teacher or adult supervisor, can register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge at www.wecanchange.com. Participating teams will identify an environmental issue in their community, research the issue using scientific investigation, and create a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.

All student teams entering the Middle School Challenge will receive prizes for their participation; top-performing teams, as judged by a panel of environmental experts and science educators, will earn cash, teacher education materials, and unique Discovery Experience trips. The grand prize-winning team will receive a comprehensive prize package that includes an appearance on the Discovery Television Network Planet Green and a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery Adventure Trip, accompanied by a Discovery TV personality.

More information, including entry details, registration, and Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at www.wecanchange.com.

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2008 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy Fellows Announced

The National Science Teachers Association congratulates the 185 new middle and secondary science teachers from across the country as they begin their year-long professional development journey as Fellows in the 2008 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy. Selected from hundreds of applications from across the country, the Fellows will participate in a variety of web-based professional development activities and attend the 2009 National Conference on Science Education in New Orleans.

For a list of the 2008 Fellows, or to learn more about the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, please visit www.nsta.org/academy. In early March, the online application for the 2009 Fellows will become available. A link to the application will be posted on the Academy web page.

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NSTA Online Short Course: Energy

For grades 3–9 teachers, NSTA’s online short course Energy helps build content knowledge in physical science concepts. Teachers can brush up using this short course that combines asynchronous learning with live web sessions. September 30 is the beginning session, with participants who will meet then and on four consecutive Tuesday evenings as well (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.

The virtual classroom with the instructor and NSTA staff to answer questions and lead discussions offers teachers a quick option for building their science teaching resume. There is 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) that all contribute to boosting your knowledge of the subject.

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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Earlybird Deadline for Charlotte Approaching!

There is only one week left to register for NSTA’s Charlotte Area Conference on Science Education at the most affordable rates! The earlybird deadline is September 19. Join us Oct. 30–Nov. 1 to participate in this your areas most engaging opportunity for science educators.

  • Join Stop Faking It! author Bill Robertson at the NSTA booth for a special lesson, "How do we know atoms look the way they do?"
  • Attend Climate Change: Using Inquiry to Investigate Impacts on the Natural World to hear how climate change impacts biological systems, including populations and ecosystems. Receive inquiry-based activities that enable students to investigate how organisms respond to climate change.
  • Learn about bats from around the world up-close and personal! Join TV personality and Director of the Organization for Bat Conservation Rob Mies, for a Live Bat Encounter! Mies will speak about the benefits of bats, why we need to conserve them, and what you can do to help these unique mammals.
  • Don’t miss feature presentation, Rethinking Assessment. This will focus on erroneous beliefs or “assessment myths” that have limited assessment’s impact on the improvement of schools. We will also explore practical strategies for using classroom assessments to enhance learning, not simply measure it.
  • Framingham State University is offering one graduate credit for twelve hours of program attendance. Build your credentials today!
  • Download a copy of our program preview to have a detailed look at what’s planned.

Visit www.nsta.org/charlotte for information on the wide variety of activities and career-building events for science educators.

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Explore Award-Winning Online Graduate Courses from AMNH

Sign up today for an online course through Seminars on Science from the American Museum of Natural History. From the formation of our solar system to the ethics of the genomic revolution, AMNH seeks to connect teachers to science through rich, diverse resources, interaction with working scientists, and eye-opening discussions on current science topics.

Fall courses include: Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Evolution; The Solar System; The Link Between Dinosaurs and Birds; and Genetics, Genomics, Genethics. Free sample resources are available for each course at learn.amnh.org.

Designed for K-12 educators, each six-week course is led by an experienced classroom teacher and a research scientist. In-depth readings and assignments paired with rich web-based discussions assure that educators come away from each class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Graduate credit is available and each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use.

Registration closes October 6 for Fall Session Two (October 20–November 30)! Sign up by September 22 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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Attention Writers! NSTA Innovates with New Manuscript Submission System

NSTA announces the launch of a new manuscript submission and review system for its award- winning journals (4), published for science teachers in all grade bands, kindergarten through college. The new system, Manuscript Central, developed by a division of Thomson Reuter Business, is a database application that manages peer-reviews and online submissions for scholarly publishers. It will provide authors, reviewers, and editors more tools for efficiently tracking, editing, and managing article submissions. Visit mc.manuscriptcentral.com/nsta to check out the new system and submit your manuscript.

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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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