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Week of February 23, 2009

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:

NSTA Has Professional Development Down to a Science

Join us in New Orleans for the most comprehensive National Conference on Science Education, March 19–22. With more than 1,900 workshops, presentations, seminars, institutes, symposia and sessions to choose from, educators can count on options to build content knowledge, learn strategies for reaching students, gather techniques on assessment, inquiry, integration and more. Becoming “more highly qualified” is a goal we’ve heard mentioned from members and the science education community, repeatedly. Take advantage of this opportunity. Here are some sample sessions to consider:

Sponsored by:
  • How Children Learn: Brain Research and Inquiry-based Science, Kenneth Wesson, expert on the neuroscience of learning
  • Brainsense: Learning About the Brain Through Puzzles, Activities, and Optical Illusions, Michael A. DiSpezio (author and educator)
  • What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Teaching, Thomas J. Carew (President, Society for Neuroscience, and Donald Bren Professor and Chair, Dept. of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California-Irvine)
  • Adapting Labs for a Physics First Program (High School)
  • Blown Away by Weather—Come build components of a weather station, track hurricanes, and become a meteorologist-in-training. Handouts provided.(Elementary)
  • Climate Change: Classroom Tools to Explore the Past, Present, and Future (Middle–High)
  • In vitro Culture of Freshwater Prawn Embryos for Laboratory Investigations (High–College)
  • Simple Ways to Create Nature Journal Entries (Elem–Middle)

Check out field trips, short courses, professional development institutes, and the Exhibit Hall where 400 companies bring their new products and giveaways to town:

  • Save up to $40 a night. Our staff has requested that the conference hotels reduce their rates for conference attendees. To date, the following hotels have graciously responded.
    • Intercontinental-rate reduced to $159 from $190.
    • Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel-rate reduced to $155 from $189.
    • Marriott Convention Center-rate reduced to $219 from $259.
  • 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.

Click here to register for the New Orleans conference online.

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NSTA Governance Election Results Announced

Here are the newly elected members of the NSTA Board of Directors and Council, whose terms of office will begin on June 1, 2009:

Alan McCormack
Professor of Science education
San Diego State University
District IV
Lynn Gatto
Adjunct Professor
University of Rochester
Elizabeth Mulkerrin
Curator of Education
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

District VIII
Bonnie Embry
Science Lab Teacher
Rosa Parks Elementary School

Middle Level
Kathy Prophet
Science Teacher - Director
Hellstern Middle School
District X
Kate Baird
Clinical Assistant Professor of Education
Indiana University Purdue University Columbus
Delene Hoffner
K–2 Science/Kindergarten
The da Vinci Academy
District XIV
Beverly Devore-Wedding
Science & Math Teacher
Meeker High School
Professional Development
Christine Royce
Associate Professor
Shippensburg University
District XVI
Denise Antrim
K–12 Science Coordinator
Orange County Department of Education
District II
Linda Bates
5th Grade Teacher/Science
Milton Elementary School

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What's New on the SciLinks, Early Years Blogs?

If you haven’t checked NSTA’s SciLinks and Early Years blogs lately, you may be missing out on some valuable information.

Get the most from your NSTA journal with the SciLinks Blog. This blog serves as a companion to NSTA’s professional grade-level journals: Science & Children, Science Scope, and The Science Teacher. Each week Mary Bigelow—NSTA’s own “Ms. Mentor”—mentors you by discussing topics related to journal articles and themes. She then gives you the scoop on additional online resources and tells you how to use them most effectively. She also welcomes your comments.

In a recent posting, Mary provided resources for teaching about plants:

In addition to the web resources at the end of each article, NSTA's SciLinks database has dozens of websites related to plants. Enter plant as a keyword to get lists of websites related to plant growth, tropisms, plants as food, structure of seed plants, and parts of a plant. Some of my favorites include Celebrating Wildflowers from the National Park Service, The Great Plant Escape from the University of Illinois (a Spanish version is available), and the Biology of Plants from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

If you teach science to young children, The Early Years Blog was created just for you. This blog accompanies Science and Children’s Early Years column for teachers of science in grades preK–2. Virginia teacher Peggy Ashbrook offers highlights from her columns and connects them to actual experiences in her preschool classroom. Peggy recently connected a classic children’s book to a common classroom activity:

March 20, 2009, will be the 40th anniversary of the publication of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a book loved by children for its parade of fanciful food, by parents for the healthy eating message, and by all for the artwork with splendid colors. Are your students interested in the life cycles of insects? Observing caterpillars and seeing the metamorphosis to the adult form is a common early childhood classroom activity in spring, culminating with the release of the adult butterflies.

Peggy wants to hear from you, too, about what is happening in your classroom. In addition, you can tell her about your favorite classroom resources—your Teacher’s Picks. Contributors to Teacher’s Picks are rewarded with a freebie—a free book of their choice from a selection of popular NSTA Press titles.

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News from AAAS

AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize
Help spread the word about an outstanding science teacher in your school or district. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is now accepting nominations for the 2009 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers. The $1,000 prize honors a high school science teacher who has contributed to the AAAS goal of advancing science education by developing an innovative and effective strategy, activity, or program. In addition, the winner will be invited to attend and make a brief presentation at the annual Shanghai International Forum on Science Literacy of Pre-college Students as a guest of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology.

For full details about the prize and to download the nomination and application forms, visit the AAAS website. For more information, contact AAAS Project 2061’s Lester Matlock at lmatlock@aaas.org. Deadline: April 24, 2009.

AAAS/Subaru Children’s Science Book Award winners for 2009
Children’s science books exploring sibling relationships in the animal world, global climate change, and neuroscience earned top honors in the 2009 AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film (SB&F) competition, sponsored by Subaru of America, Inc.

The 2009 prizes, intended to promote science literacy by drawing attention to the importance of good science writing and illustration, honored 10 authors, one illustrator, and a total of seven books. AAAS and Subaru co-sponsor the prizes to recognize recently published works that are scientifically sound and foster an understanding and appreciation of science in readers of all ages.

The winning books typically wind up in libraries, said Heather Malcomson, AAAS senior project associate who administers the AAAS/Subaru award. Podcast interviews with the winning authors and lesson plans based on the books are other ways that the award fosters scientific literacy, Malcomson added.

Click here for a list of the winning books.

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Reminder: Take the First-Ever NSTA State of Science Education Survey

NSTA Express readers are invited to participate in the first NSTA State of Science Education Survey.

The survey will only take few minutes of your time and it will help NSTA to obtain very valuable information on a host of issues important to science education and educators.

After you complete the survey, feel free to forward this message (and the link) to other science teachers. And as a token of our gratitude for participating in this important survey, you can enter to win a pair of FREE airline tickets to travel anywhere in the continental U.S. (some travel restrictions apply)!

The survey will close on Monday, March 2, SO ACT NOW!

Thanks for your input and don’t forget to pass this along to your colleagues! The URL:

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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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