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Week of November 3, 2008

Table of Contents

Secretary Spellings Announces Final Regulations for No Child Left Behind

The 110th Congress could not finish work on reauthorizing No Child Left Behind, so with days to go before the presidential election and with only months left in office, the Administration last week announced new rules that states and districts must follow under Title I of the federal education law. Read more in the current issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Science Education in California Focuses of Half-Hour PBS Show

Science education in Bay Area schools and throughout California is the subject of an in-depth 30-minute show that aired last week on the San Francisco public station KQED. The show was generated from a study last year by Lawrence Hall of Science UC–Berkeley, which found that 80% of Bay Area elementary school students receive less than an hour of science instruction a week—half the national average—and 10 times as many teachers said they felt unprepared to teach science (41%) as math (4%) or reading (4%). California ranks second to last on the 2006 NAEP science test scores for fourth-graders and eighth-graders.

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Spotlight: U.S. School Science Labs

The October issue of District Administration magazine includes a lengthy article on science labs and the financial and spatial challenges many schools face in updating old labs or constructing new ones.

“The real world is made up of science, and how we behave in and manage our environment—from natural resources to rainforests—is critical,” adds former NSTA President LeMoine Motz, who directs science education for Oakland County (Mich.) Schools and consults nationally on designing modern science labs. “So we’re trying to design labs that will invite all kids into science.” With that goal in mind, Motz recently coauthored a revision of the NSTA Guide to Planning School Science Facilities. “The guide really tries to fix the image that science is an area where students do a lab just once in a while,” he explains. “A lot of people felt, ‘Science isn’t important in our curriculum, so why should we improve our lab?’ That attitude is changing.”

District Administration is the only education magazine to reach every superintendent in the country, along with assistant superintendents, technology directors, school board presidents, federal funds administrators, and others. The magazine covers current trends and pressing issues in the K–12 education industry along with strong coverage of emerging technologies and leadership issues for district-level administrators.

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Attend NSTA Web Seminars Before 2008 is Gone!

Web Seminars are 90-minute, online, live experiences that allow participants to interact with national experts, scientists, engineers, and fellow colleagues. November and December programs are sponsored by Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards, NSDL, AAAS, FDA, Sally Ride Science, NASA, and NSTA. Register today for these FREE seminars and become the best science teacher you can be.

Nov. 5 – How to Submit Quality ExploraVision Entries
Nov. 12 – The NSTA Learning Center: Focus on Education Leaders
Nov. 13 – Energy and the Polar Environment
Nov. 18 – Intro to the Atlas of Science Literacy
Dec. 2 – Teach Science Concepts and Inquiry with Food (WS #1)
Dec. 9 – Chemistry Comes Alive III: Water
Dec. 10 – Igniting Students’ Interests in Science Careers
Dec. 11 – Force and Motion: Stop Faking It!
Dec. 16 – Discover the Universe: From Galileo to Today
Dec. 17 – Picture-Perfect Science Lessons
Dec. 18 – Teach Science Concepts and Inquiry with Food (WS #2) 

All programs begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time and are archived for viewing on-demand at a later time.

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Cincinnati: Renewing the Energy in Science Education

Teachers and administrators: Build your skills and talents, learn new strategies, and attend face-to-face seminars and workshops at the NSTA Regional Conference on Science Education in Cincinnati, Dec. 4–6. You’ll be investing in your classroom, your school, and your district. Here’s a sampling of what you might consider.

Learning about the Nature of Science Using Hands-On Physical Science Activities
Hands-on physical science activities offered by Operation Physics and opportunities for reflection on the nature of science will be highlighted.

Investigating Earth Systems and EarthComm: Middle School and High School Guided Inquiry
Overviews of both programs, web links, materials, and professional development ideas will be presented. Leave with a practical, hands-on activity that you can do in your classroom.

Increasing Student Achievement through Formative Assessment Using Astrobiology in an All-Inclusive Learning Environment
Learn how to create student-centered environments to foster an understanding of science concepts in astrobiology and Earth system sciences and increase science literacy through differentiated instruction using formative assessments.

Bridging the Gap between Standards, Research, and Classroom Practice
Become better informed about best classroom practices by using national standards and research on students' ideas. Learn how you can use CTS tools and resources to improve teaching and learning.

Biotechnology Basics for Biology
A fresh approach to introductory biotechnology experiments for biology students will be presented at this workshop. Participants will extract and spool DNA and use fluorescent electrophoresis dyes to demonstrate DNA fingerprinting.

What's Going On in There? Inquiry Science for Administrators
Learn how to support and evaluate an inquiry-based science program and what to look for while observing a lesson. Participants will look at the use of inquiry skills, content, notebooking, and assessment while engaging in interactive inquiry-based activities.

And don’t forget the Exhibit Hall. More than 140 top companies will be showing their new products and sharing ideas. Bring an extra tote for the giveaways.

Visit www.nsta.org/Cincinnati for more details and to register.

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Fall '08 NSTA Recommends Catalog Available for Download

Have you misplaced your copy of the Fall '08 NSTA Recommends catalog? Would you like the convenience of browsing the catalog on your computer? Perhaps you'd like to pass it along to a colleague? You can download the complete fall catalog (PDF) by clicking here.

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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.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars through the autumn months. Visit the website for more information and to register to attend these FREE 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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