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Week of February 9, 2009

Table of Contents

Darwin Turns 200

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February 12, 2009, marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. Born on the same day as Abraham Lincoln, Darwin's insights have structured two centuries of modern biology in much the same way that Lincoln's have influenced American government. In honor of Darwin's birthday, NSTA Reports has produced an article called “Celebrate the Origin of Darwin.” In addition, our editors have compiled an outstanding selection of resources. Appropriate for both teachers and students, the article and the collection highlight Darwin's ideas and celebrate his accomplishments.

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Evolution Research Package from the Pew Research Center

Almost 200 years after Charles Darwin was born and nearly 150 years after Darwin published his groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species, Americans are still fighting over evolution.

If anything, the controversy has recently grown in both size and intensity. In the last five years alone, debates over the extent to which evolution is taught in public schools have been heard in school boards, town councils and legislatures in more than half of the United States.

A new research package by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life marks the anniversary of both the birth of Darwin and the publication of On the Origin of Species. The package features a collection of research reports and other resources, including:

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Science Education Conference is Coming to New Orleans

Join more than 10,000 science educators in New Orleans for the most prominent and comprehensive NSTA National Conference on Science Education, March 19–22, 2009. This event kicks off with two exceptional speakers from The Planetary Society. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, author, and PBS host; and Bill Nye the Science Guy is a comedian, television host, science educator, and mechanical engineer. And that is just the beginning of a full array of experts in professional development leading workshops, seminars, institutes, and sessions to stimulate your imagination, build your skills, enhance your teaching strategies, and nurture your passion.

Check out some of our program and workshop titles:

  • Observe, Question, and Explore Our Solar System
  • Exemplary Science Programs-Best Practices
  • What We Know About Learning Science in Informal Environments
  • A Sustainable Collaboration to Improve Content, Assessment, Reflection, and Efficacy of Science Teachers
  • The Murder of Kirsten Knight-Jensen: Using Chemistry to Solve the Crime
  • Teaching Core Physics Concepts Through the Lens of Seismology
  • A Demo a Week Makes Science Class the Peak

Don’t forget daylong programs, the Exhibit Hall with giveaways, graduate credit for 12 hours of program attendance, and networking with your peers. It’s all there in New Orleans, with field trips that tap into this city’s history and local charm.

Register by our extended deadline, Feb. 20, 2009, to save the most. Visit the New Orleans conference pages for more information.

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New from NSTA Press®: Reforming Secondary Science Education

NSTA's new release Reforming Secondary Science Instruction addresses the concern of countless professionals who believe our students need to be better prepared for life and work in a global economy. What reform is necessary and how should it be implemented? This highly readable text offers detailed advice for changing your methods of teaching so students get the skills they need to flourish and thrive in our new world. It's "inquiry," strategies for change, innovative instructional materials, professional learning communities and partnerships, assessment and all it entails, and more. Teachers will be inspired by the chapter authors who offer discussion, engaging case studies and scenarios, charts and figures, sample questions, and many opportunities to assess your teaching techniques and work toward improvement using their model. Interesting quotes illustrate the nine chapters, and this one stands out: "Individual teacher effectiveness is the greatest predictor of student success."

Read a sample chapter and order your copy in the NSTA Science Store.

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Preconference Blogging

Drop in on NSTA's Conference Blog for insight into the upcoming National Conference in New Orleans: preparation, anticipated sessions, sights, syrupy coffee and beignets, and more.

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Great Science, Great People, Great Values—Take an Online Grad Course from AMNH

For less than the cost of one graduate credit at many private colleges, you can get up to four graduate credits through the American Museum of Natural History’s Seminars on Science program.  Join educators from around the globe in one of our six-week online courses in the life, Earth, and physical sciences. Graduate and professional development credit are available through institutions including the City University of New York, Bank Street College, International Baccalaureate, and others across the United States.  Sign up today and experience the courses teachers are calling “fantastic,” “wonderful,” and “complex.”

(Prices vary based on academic partner. See the website for pricing information.)

Spring courses include: Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Evolution; The Solar System; The Diversity of Fishes; 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. Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use.

Registration closes March 2 for Spring Session 2 (March 16–April 26)! Sign up by February 16 and receive a $50 early registration discount. Registration is also now open for all Summer 2009 courses. For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call (800)649-6715.

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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. And when the time comes to renew—select the "Autorenew" option!

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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