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Week of April 6, 2009

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:

$44 billion in Education Stimulus Funds Now Available to States and Districts

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced last week that $44 billion for states and schools is now available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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200 Teachers From Across the Country Selected to Attend the 2009 National Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy

The National Science Teachers Association congratulates the third- through fifth-grade teachers from across the country that were recently selected to attend the 2009 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, being held at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, July 19–24. Selected from more than 1,600 applications nationwide by a panel of educators from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and NSTA, the 200 teachers chosen will participate in an intensive one-week program designed to provide them with innovative skills to teach math and science in the classroom.

In April 2008, the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy launched an interactive website, www.sendmyteacher.com, to expand professional development opportunities to teachers nationwide. Teachers from all 50 states logged on to the site to apply for the opportunity. Students were also encouraged to nominate their teacher to apply for the opportunity by sending an e-card or printing a teacher appreciation certificate from the site. The selection of the teachers from applications submitted through the site marks the first time that the Academy has chosen teachers from all 50 states.

To learn more about the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy or to apply to attend the 2010 Academy, please visit www.sendmyteacher.com.

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Deadlilne Near for 2010 National Conference Proposals

Don’t delay! Proposals are now being accepted online for the NSTA 2010 Philadelphia National Conference on Science Education, March 18–21, 2010. Share your teaching experience with our attendees! Visit the online submission page to submit your proposal for the Philadelphia conference. The deadline is April 15, 2009.

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Science Anchors: A Vision for Clear, Coherent, and Manageable Science Standards

NSTA is leading an effort called Science Anchors to bring greater focus, clarity, and coherence to science education. Our vision is for Science Anchors to serve as a model for K–12 science education standards that draws from current national standards documents, but would be streamlined and focused. Content in the science disciplines would be organized around a small number of big ideas rooted in the major fields of science that develop over the K–12 span, and crosscutting concepts and skills that would unite the disciplines in a deep, meaningful way.

The purpose of Science Anchors is to assist teams of educators revising state standards, administrators developing science programs for schools and districts, and teachers who want further insight into how a given unit of study fits into the broader picture of a student’s K–12 science learning.

NSTA has developed a preliminary model of what Science Anchors might look like. This model is meant to be the beginning of a multiphase collaborative process that will involve the National Research Council (NRC), Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Achieve, Inc., and eventually many other groups of science educators to advance this effort.

To inform this effort, NSTA wants to hear from you! Please help us by visiting the Science Anchors website to learn more about the vision and take a short survey to share your ideas about how this initiative should progress. Thank you for your help in shaping this effort.

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Grants for New Technology and Curriculum Supplies

A new grant program, the Realize Science Technology Grant, makes $10,000 worth of cutting-edge science education equipment and curriculum tools available to teachers across the country. Those awarded the grant will receive new hand-held video microscopes with software to take still pictures, video, time lapse movies, etc., and accompanying curriculum books with lessons designed to meet both state and national science standards.

The grant is sponsored by private educational groups: STR—School Technology Resources and Real Curriculum. STR is looking for creative, innovative and educationally valuable uses of hand-held video microscopes in this competitive grant based on the quality and value of the submissions.

The deadline for applications is April 30, 2009. Notification of grant awards will be sent out by May 15, 2009. For more information and to download an application form, visit the grant web page.

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Get Your Middle School Students on the Space Station (Virtually)

Middle school educators are invited to join NASA for the International Space Station EarthKAM Spring 2009 Mission on April 28–May 1, 2009. Find out more about this exciting opportunity that allows students to take pictures of Earth from a digital camera on board the International Space Station.

ISS EarthKAM is a NASA-sponsored project that provides stunning, high-quality photographs of Earth taken from the space shuttle and International Space Station. Since 1996, ISS EarthKAM students have taken thousands of photographs of Earth by using the worldwide web to direct a digital camera on select spaceflights and, currently, on the International Space Station.

For more information about the project and to register for the upcoming mission, visit the ISS EarthKAM home page. If you have questions about the EarthKAM project, e-mail ek-help@earthkam.ucsd.edu.

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Learn About Professional Learning Communities

Teachers and school administrators who are interested in forming a professional learning community will find the seven successful approaches in NSTA’s new title, Professional Learning Communities for Science Teaching, inspirational. The authors share many stories that exemplify the benefits of PLCs, from one school taking the initiative to create its own collaborative environment to a university-school network of 500 schools.

The book includes an introduction that makes a strong case for PLCs. Later chapters recount the origins of schools as professional learning communities, define the characteristics of professional learning communities, and review research on the subject. Each chapter ends with reflection questions that expand on the themes identified and encourage you to relate your learning to the chapter’s specific story. An appendix provides additional resources about developing PLCs. Visit the NSTA online bookstore for more details or to order.

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Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Web Seminar Series

Join us on Tuesday, April 14, for the next web seminar focusing on the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards program. Now in its 17th year, ExploraVision encourages K–12 students of all interest, skill, and ability levels to create and explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. This Web Seminar will include information and resources that will help K–12 teachers integrate the ExploraVision program into next year’s classroom. Presenters are ExploraVision Ambassadors, teachers who have sponsored regional and national winning teams and have had success in motivating and guiding multiple student teams in the past several years. During these live web seminars, presenters will share their ExploraVision experiences and answer questions live from participants. Register today!

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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 April featured book, Dig In: Hands-On Soil Investigations.

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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