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Week of November 10, 2008

Table of Contents

What's in Store for Education Under President-Elect Obama?

Expanded federal preschool programs, scholarships to college students and to professionals from other fields who promise to pursue careers in teaching, more funding for charter schools, an expanded federal role in teacher pay, and changes to No Child Left Behind—read more of what K–12 educators can expect from the Obama Administration and the new Democratic majority in Congress.

In related news, nearly 180 business, science, and education organizations (including NSTA) are urging the next president to appoint a White House science adviser by January 20 and to give the position cabinet-level rank.

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Behind the Books: A Conversation with Juliana Texley, Author of The Story of Science Classroom Companion

In the ninth episode of NSTA’s Behind the Books podcast, listen in as the author of NSTA's latest e-Book offering, Juliana Texley, shares how she developed teacher and student materials to accompany master storyteller Joy Hakim’s outstanding book Einstein Adds a New Dimension. The Story of Science Classroom Companion: Einstein Adds a New Dimension (free to NSTA members) provides teaching tips, lists of key vocabulary words, activities, writing prompts, additional online and print resources, and more.

More of these special interviews with Tyson Brown, NSTA’s Director—New Products and Services, are in the works. Whether or not you’ve read the featured books, we hope you’ll find these podcasts interesting, thought-provoking, and helpful. To listen, visit Behind the Books.

And speaking of podcasts: we direct your attention to Blick on Flicks. Only Jacob Blickenstaff could offer a science makeover to a comic movie about the New York fashion world. Listen to the podcast version of his latest review as Blickenstaff makes the science connections in The Devil Wears Prada. And if you missed last month's installment, have a listen to his thoughts on the latest Hollywood production of War of the Worlds.

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Ms. Mentor Has a Blog

Ms. Mentor, an NSTA Reports columnist, regularly offers the valuable advice of an experienced colleague online as well. Recent posts have answered questions about overcoming students’ (erroneous) preconceptions, how to make grading essay tests less burdensome, and more. Ms. Mentor was a middle school life and physical science teacher for 16 years and a high school computer science teacher for eleven (also a district technology coordinator). She had a brief stint in higher education and recently retired as a regional administrator. Bookmark Ms. Mentor's spot in NSTA's blogging area: blogs.nsta.org/MsMentorBlog/. And don’t hesitate to use her "Have a Question?" link.

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Refresh and Reflect at the Conference on Science Education in Cincinnati

For elementary and middle school teachers, a few days out of the classroom—at a professional development conference designed to hone skills, teach new strategies, and nurture your passion for science education—is an option to consider. Have a look at just a few of more than 400 workshops and seminars planned for the meeting, which starts December 4. These are specifically geared for your grade bands.

  • Stop Faking It! Finally Understand Light and Sound So You Can Teach It: Are you tired of trying to teach a subject you don't fully understand yourself? With the author Bill Robertson as your guide, experience activities and explanations taken from his NSTA Press® books on light and sound.
  • Student Scientists: Students collect, report, and analyze data to learn about the scientific process.
  • Electromagnetism: The connection between electricity and magnetism will be investigated as teachers design and build a compass and a small motor. Participants will receive free PhysicsQuest kits for their classroom.
  • Dynamic Earth: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Landslides: Earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions occur in different places all over Earth. Teachers will participate in activities that help them understand the causes of these natural hazards and how they can be predicted. Teachers will receive handouts of all activities.
  • Science Inquiry and Language Arts Increase Student Understanding: Two elementary methods instructors (science and language arts) integrate their subjects through the use of the 5E learning cycle. Participate in some of their favorite activities.
  • Cool and Crazy Demos for the Middle School Classroom: Come learn how to perform exciting demos that catch student interest and foster understanding on a range of topics appropriate for the middle school classroom.
  • Field Trip (ticketed event)—National Weather Service: Get an in-depth look at the process a meteorologist must go through to successfully launch a radiosonde (a balloon-borne instrument platform) and collect the data it transmits.

Earn one graduate credit for 12 hours of program attendance at the conference.

For more information and to register, visit the Cincinnati conference web pages.

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The Newest Title on Climate Change from NSTA

Climate Change From Pole to Pole: Biology Investigations offers timely, relevant, biology-based case studies and background information on how to teach the science of climate change. The six painstakingly researched and field-tested activities, which build on four content chapters, give students the opportunity to solve real-life scientific problems using guiding questions, graphs and data tables, short reading assignments, and independent research.

This volume provides an authentic and rigorous way to engage students in science and environmental issues—scientific methods, evidence, climate, and biological effects of climate change—and is a unique and essential resource for your high school or college-level classroom.

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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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