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Week of May 11, 2009

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NSTA Legislative Update: President Obama Submits FY2010 Budget to Congress

The FY2010 budget request for federal programs President Obama submitted to Congress last week focused on his five pillars for reforming schools and included a substantial increase in funding that would “reward principals, teachers, and other school personnel who raise student achievement.” Read more in the latest issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Deadline Extended for NSTA New Science Teacher Academy

As a cornerstone to building exceptional science educators for the future, this special Academy should be considered by new science teachers across the country.

NSTA will again select 185 teachers to participate as fellows in the 2009 Academy. NSTA Fellows chosen for the program receive a comprehensive membership package, online mentoring with trained mentors who teach in the same discipline, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of web-based professional development activities, including web seminars. In addition, each NSTA Fellow receives financial support to attend and participate in NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education, taking place in Philadelphia, March 17–21, 2010.

The deadline to submit applications for the 2009 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy has been extended to June 30, 2009. Science teachers located throughout the country, who will be entering their second or third year of teaching and whose schedule is a minimum of 51 percent middle or high school science, are encouraged to apply. Last year, more than 800 applications were received, and 185 teachers from 49 states and the District of Columbia were selected to participate.

For more information about the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy or to learn how to apply to become a fellow, please visit www.nsta.org/academy.

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End-of-the-School-Year Professional Development Opportunites

On Wed. May 13, 2009, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Eastern time, join Dr. James Pawelczyk, who will lead the discussion "Studying the Human Physiological Limits of Exploring Mars." As an Associate Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University and an established NASA life scientist and former payload specialist astronaut, he will share his expertise on the human biology that could limit our ability to travel through the solar system. This web seminar is for grades 7–10 educators. Register today!

Blast off with NASA’s sponsored web seminar "Designed to Inspire: On the Moon," to be held June 4, 2009, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm Eastern time. Teachers from grades 3 through 12 will learn how six engineering activities from the “On the Moon” guide can help your students apply physical and earth/space science concepts learned in class. Concepts like the moon, force, energy, simple machines, Newton’s Laws, EM-spectrum measurement, and technology related to living and working on the moon will be addressed. The fun, open-ended challenges not only put science concepts in a meaningful context, but they show kids that the design process is a powerful way to develop solutions for problems. It’s easy to incorporate the activities into your curriculum. Each activity connects with topics taught in grades 3–12 curricula, maps to education standards, uses low-cost, readily available materials, takes one class period, and is simple to set up. Register today!

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NASA Invites High School Students to Apply for Inspire Project

NASA's Interdisciplinary National Science Program Incorporating Research Experience, known as Inspire, is accepting applications from high school students through June 30. NASA will make selections in September.

The selectees will participate in an online learning community in which students and parents have the opportunity to interact with their peers and NASA engineers and scientists. It also provides appropriate grade level educational activities, discussion boards, and chat rooms for participants and their families to gain exposure to the many career opportunities at NASA.

Students selected for the online learning community will have the option to compete for experiences during the summer of 2010 at NASA facilities and participating universities throughout the nation. The Inspire project is designed to encourage 9th through 12th grade students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The summer experience provides students a hands-on opportunity to investigate education and careers in those disciplines.

For information about the project, including details about how to apply, visit the Inspire website.

Click here for information about NASA's education programs.

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Have You Sampled Bytesize Science?

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is giving its popular kid- and teen-friendly podcast, Bytesize Science, an upgrade with the debut of new video episodes. In the latest video podcast, viewers find out that Paris—the land of the Eiffel Tower and delicious French bread—was once a tropical rainforest 55 millions years ago. Other recent videos topics include:

Download more audio and video episodes of Bytesize Science at www.bytesizescience.com or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. New episodes of the Bytesize video podcasts will be posted the first Wednesday of every month. New episodes of the audio podcast will appear biweekly.

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Invest in Your Future

Even in these challenging economic times, it makes good sense to add professional development to your portfolio of skills and knowledge in your field. The NSTA’s first area Conference on Science Education will be held in Minneapolis this fall, October 29–31. This conference for science educators at every stage in their careers and for every grade band, offers more than 300 workshops, presentations, sessions, and daylong programs. Attendees learn new strategies, increase their content knowledge, are inspired by “the best” in the field, and can choose to network with those who have a passion for science education. A favorite is the Exhibition Hall where national companies come to share new products, inform teachers, and send you back to the classroom with a tote full of giveaways.

Check out the strands:

  • Science Teaching in a Greener World
  • Making Science Connections for Student Learning Across the Curriculum
  • Sharpen and Shape Science Instruction and Assessment

Featured Speakers:

  • Richard Louv, futurist, journalist, and author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
  • Page Keeley, Author, Senior Science Program Director and Retiring NSTA President, will speak on Formative Assessment
  • Winona LaDuke, leading Native American, environmental activist and founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, will speak on sustainability and “greening” of America
  • Michael Klentschy, educator, author, leader and Administrator of the Year in 2005 (among many awards) will speak on “The Science-Literacy Connection”

And this is only the beginning. For updates and registration news, visit www.nsta.org/minneapolis often as we confirm plans for this fall conference.

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Montana State University Offers Campus and Online Courses for Science Educators

The Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) Program at Montana State University is offering a variety of graduate level science courses both online and on campus this summer.  To preview a listing of summer courses, please go to www.montana.edu/msse and click on Summer 2009 Campus Courses or Summer 2009 Online Courses

Spots are still available in several summer campus courses. Physics by Inquiry I and Physics by Inquiry II may be taken concurrently, allowing six credits of graduate coursework in four fantastic weeks on the beautiful Bozeman, Montana, campus. Biomimicry is a week-long, two-credit course being offered for the first time this summer. And be sure to check out the chemistry conference, Integrating Computers into Laboratory Instruction, that will be conducted in Bozeman this summer. Participants may register for two graduate credits in association with this conference. Registration for these courses, along with online and other NTEN science courses for teachers, is available at www.montana.edu/msse.

Information on Montana State University’s Master of Science in Science Education program is also available at this site. The 30-credit program, which was developed specifically for science educators, has a dual focus on science content and science pedagogy. Programs of study are designed across various science disciplines depending upon the candidate’s teaching assignment and interests. Please see the website for contact information.

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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 May featured book, Science as Inquiry in the Secondary Setting.

Click on the logo to explore the summer of 2009 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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