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Week of February 2, 2009

Table of Contents

Note from Francis Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA

We at NSTA understand the enormous pressure the economy is placing on schools and educators nationwide. Because of the tightening of school and personal budgets many science educators and administrators are considering cutting back on professional development. However, this is one investment that consistently pays high dividends for our students.

So that you and your students can reap that reward, we want to make sure that NSTA’s premier professional development opportunity, the National Conference on Science Education in New Orleans March 19–22, 2009, is accessible to the greatest number of K–college science educators.

We want to help every educator attend.

  1. Save up to $20 on your registration fee (off full-price registration). We have extended the discounted Advanced Registration date from February 6 to February 20, 2009.
  2. Save up to $40 a night (savings from originally published prices). Our staff has requested that the conference hotels reduce their rates for conference attendees. To date, the following hotels have graciously responded.
    1. Intercontinental—rate reduced to $159 from $190.
    2. Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel—rate reduced to $155 from $189.
    3. Marriott Convention Center—rate reduced to $219 from $259.
  3. Finally, if you are considering bringing a group of educators larger than five that would register as a group, we would be happy to discuss additional savings. Please contact our office at 1-800-328-8998 or e-mail sales@nsta.org

To take advantage of the extended Advanced Registration date or for additional information or to register, visit www.nsta.org/neworleans.

We hope to see you in New Orleans.

Francis Q. Eberle
Executive Director, NSTA

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NSTA Legislative Alert: Ask Your Senator to Support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed their economic recovery bill on a party line vote of 244–188. The Senate is expected to take up their version of the bill sometime this week. Read more—including information on how you can contact your Senator to support this bill—in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Alert.

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In-Depth Learning Experiences at the 2009 National Conference

The NSTA Professional Development Division is offering the following in-depth learning experiences at the 2009 National Conference on Science Education on a variety of topics of current significance in science learning and teaching. Preregistration is limited, so act fast!

Next in the series of NSTA Research Dissemination Conferences (RDC): Science Assessment, Linking Science and Literacy, and Science and English Language Learners: What Does Current Research Have to Say About Best Practices?

Date: Saturday, March 21, 2009; 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Location: New Orleans—Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Rooms 343–345
Cost: $295

Featured plenary speakers Peter Dow, chairman, First Hand Learning, Inc., and Michael Klentschy, former superintendant of the El Centro School, will discuss the history of education, best practices, and education reform.

In conjunction with the plenary sessions, breakout sessions will target the interests and needs specific to elementary teachers, secondary teachers, principals, curriculum coordinators, and professional development providers. For more information and to register, please visit the RDC web page.

Professional Development Institutes

Professional Development Institutes (PDIs) are daylong, content-based programs that explore key topics in significant depth followed by two days of pathways sessions that offer further exploration of topics covered.

Date and time: Wednesday, March 18, 2009; 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: New Orleans—Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Cost: $295

For more information, and to register, please visit the PDI web pages.

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SSP Fellows Program

Society for Science & the Public (SSP), with generous support from Intel, is pleased to announce the launch of its Fellows Program. The SSP Fellows Program provides funds and training to selected U.S. science and math teachers who serve underresourced students, to enable interested and motivated students to perform high-quality independent scientific research. Fellows receive a stipend of up to $8500/year depending on proposed budget, demonstrated need, support of the school and needs of the student population.

The SSP Fellows Program will attract the most creative and motivated high school science and math teachers in the country. Through a competitive selection process, the Program will provide teachers the financial and training resources necessary to support and inspire the success of their most enthusiastic science students. Fellows may serve for up to four years. The goal is to enable Fellows to guide students to produce project-based research of the highest quality, such as is selected for SSP’s premiere science competition, the Intel Science Talent Search.

The application deadline for the 2009 Fellows Program is February 15, 2009, at 5:00 pm EST. For more information, visit SSP’s website. Questions? Please contact Jennifer A. Carter.

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Black History Month at NASA

Join NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in celebrating Black History Month.

Each week in February, a different African-American employee from GSFC will be featured. In the opening week, two will be featured. The employees will talk about their careers, career paths and, in some cases, obstacles and challenges they have faced.

  • Week of Feb. 2—Dewayne Washington, Public Affairs Officer
  • Week of Feb. 2—Noble Jones, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Engineer
  • Week of Feb. 9—Denna Lambert, Disabilities Program Manager
  • Week of Feb. 16—Danielle Wood, M.I.T. Ph.D. Student/NASA Researcher
  • Week of Feb. 23—Jahi Wartts, Business Resource Analyst

Each day a two- to three-minute video clip of the NASA employees talking about their careers will be available at www.nasa.gov/goddard.

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Forensics Seize Student Detectives

Television fans’ favorite show, CSI, has generated enormous interest in forensic science, and to that trend, NSTA Press has published Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene! for science teachers of grades 6–12. Grabbing the attention of students will be simple with this engaging text that encourages investigating actual crimes against wild animals. Following the book’s four section format, student detectives will start with

  1. Background on crimes that threatened wild animal species around the world,
  2. Implementing eight forensic training lessons that examine the evidence,
  3. Participating in an investigation simulation with student team reviews, reports, interviews, evidence analysis, and charges raised against a prosecuting attorney, and lastly for teachers, and
  4. Strategies for evaluation of work completed.

Author Laura Arndt, who wrote and taught this wildlife forensics curriculum for her outdoor naturalist classes, has shown us scientific mysteries without obvious answers that will require students to observe, collect specimens, analyze, and conduct experiments. The results drive students to question their own assumptions and ask questions about others’ ideas. This is real engagement in science and it’s no mystery why students like to learn this way. For more information or to order, visit the NSTA Science Store.

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A Summer Workshop, 2009

Science educators may want to consider a summer learning opportunity, Introduction to Global Inquiry and Investigation: A Costa Rican Field Study, July 19–28, 2009. This 10-day professional development workshop offers NSTA members and others an exceptional opportunity to explore key themes of science, education, government and culture through hands-on practice and experiential design.

Participants will:

  • Gain experience in applied field research and observation in the tropics
  • Build knowledge through comparative ecosystem analysis
  • Analyze educational practices within urban and rural education systems
  • Network with individuals and organizations focusing on conservation and sustainable development
  • Challenge perspectives through cultural exchange

For registration and information please visit www.holbrooktravel.com/nsta.

MEDUC Graduate Credits and National Science Teaching Correlations are available upon request. Grant eligibility may be available for participation.

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Sponsored by:

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 Febuary featured book, Technology in the Secondary Science Classroom.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars in the months ahead. 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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