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Week of June 1, 2009

Table of Contents

NSTA Partners with the Conrad Foundation to Promote and Support Annual Education Competition

NSTA and the Conrad Foundation today announced an agreement to collaborate on the Foundation’s Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards, a program focused on combining science and technology education with innovation and entrepreneurship to solve modern-day problems in four categories: space, oceans, energy, and the environment. Through this partnership, NSTA will serve as the official education advisor to the annual competition, providing guidance on the development of educational resources, long-term goals, and vision for the program.

The Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards challenges teams of high school students to create innovative products for use in various fields of science and technology, including lunar exploration, personal spaceflight, and renewable energy. Teams vie for more than $100,000 in cash prizes and the opportunity to commercialize their products for general market use. For more information about the program, please visit www.conradawards.org.

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NSTA Legislative Update: Secretary Duncan Testifies Before House Education Committee

Before the Memorial Day break Education Secretary Arne Duncan provided an extensive overview of President Obama’s agenda for American education when he testified before the House Education panel. Read all about it, and more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Don't Delay, Apply Now to the 2009 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy

The deadline to submit applications for the 2009 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy is fast approaching. 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.

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 18-21, 2010.

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. If you have questions, e-mail Joe Sciulli at jsciulli@nsta.org. Applications must be submitted no later than June 30, 2009, to be considered. Don’t delay, apply now!

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Professional Learning Communities in Science: Designs, Tools, and Resources for Improving Student Learning

Science Teachers and Administrators: Join NSTA Aug. 3–5 in Orlando, Florida, for a three-day summer institute designed to help teams of educators learn how to develop, support and implement a science-focused Professional Learning Community (PLC) that has continuous improvement in science teaching and learning at its core. A team of national presenters led by Susan Mundry and Kathy Stiles will introduce the concept of PLCs, examine different structures for PLCs, and demonstrate different science-specific tools and strategies to use within a PLC.

For more information, to register, or to view a draft agenda, click here.

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It's All About Scale

NSTA’s new title Extreme Science: From Nano to Galactic directs science teachers of grades 6 through 12 to put the concept of “scale” in front of her/his students because it serves as a solid framework to anchor learning in a variety of disciplines, and it’s recommended as a unifying theme in AAAS’s Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Organized into sections-types of scale, measurement, powers of ten, estimation and models of scale, surface area-to-volume relationships, limits to size, and behaviors at different scales-the text can be used flexibly at the middle and high school levels to help students gain an understanding of the powerful role that scale has in scientific work. Teachers will use the quick overview in each of 26 chapters noting objectives, process skills and activity duration. Background information, materials, questions for students and a range of investigations to “engage” and “explore” make it easy to help students comprehend scale at the largest and smallest levels. To download a chapter and order online, visit the NSTA Science Store.

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Online Science Course Helps Those Teaching Out of Field

A new online course offers three graduate credits and enhanced content knowledge to high school science teachers who are teaching out of their field of endorsement. "Across the Sciences" is a 16-week online graduate course designed for Grade 9 and 10 teachers.

Thirty teachers will be chosen for the fall 2009 pilot program. Those who are chosen to participate must pay a $200 registration fee, which is returned upon completion and evaluation of the course, at which time the 3 graduate credits from Montana State University are awarded.

The course is offered by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Biological Sciences Curriculum Study in cooperation with the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) of Montana State University. Through online video, computer simulations, assessments and reflective activities, teachers will gain content knowledge and teaching strategies in biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and earth science.

For more information and application materials, visit www.rmccorp.com/ats/.

The number of participants is limited, so interested teachers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

For more NTEN courses visit www.scienceteacher.org or call (800) 282-6062 at Montana State University.

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Sponsored by:

upenn bioethis

Activities linking science and math


Minneapolis Conference

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 June featured book, Exemplary Science in Informal Education Settings: Standards-Based Success Stories.

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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