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Week of June 15, 2009

Table of Contents

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Carnegie Corporation Issues Report on Transforming Mathematics and Science Education

“Excellent mathematics and science learning for all American students will be possible only if we ‘do school differently’ in ways that place math and science more squarely at the center of the educational enterprise.” This is the conclusion of the Carnegie Corporation of New York two year commission study released last week in Washington, DC. The Commission study and subsequent report calls for transformative change and calls on stakeholders to establish new common standards in math and science, improve math and science teaching, and redesign schools to deliver math and science learning more effectively. Speakers at the launch of the report included Arne Duncan, U.S. Education Secretary; Harold Varmus, Chair of the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri and former North Carolina Governor James Hunt; and representatives from AFT, the Gates Foundation, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Recommendations made by the Commission include:

  • Mobilize the nation to improve math and science education for all students
  • Place mathematics and science at the center of school innovation, improvement, and accountability efforts
  • Establish common math and science standards that are fewer, clearer, and higher and that stimulate and guide instructional improvement and galvanize the nation to pursue meaningful math and science learning for all Americans.
  • Develop sophisticated assessments and accountability mechanisms that, along with common standards, stimulate and guide instructional improvement and innovation in mathematics and science.
  • Increase the supply of well prepared teachers of mathematics and science at all grade levels by improving teacher preparation and recruitment.
  • Improve professional learning for all teachers, with an eye toward revolutionizing math and science teaching.
  • Upgrade human capital management throughout the US schools and school systems toward ensuring an effective teacher for every student, regardless of socio-economic background.
  • Build high expectations for student achievement in mathematics and science into school and classroom culture and operations as a pathway to college and careers.
  • Enhance systemic capacity to support strong schools and act strategically to turn around or replace ineffective schools.
  • Tap a wider array of resources to increase educational assets and expand research and development capacity.

Read more about the report The Opportunity Equation
Read the NSTA Reports article

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News Roundup

On June 1 state officials from 46 states agreed to move toward uniform standards in math and language arts. Voluntary nationwide standards in science are the next logical step says AAAS CEO Alan Leshner and AAAS Project 2061 Director Jo Ellen Roseman. Read their June 9 op-ed in Houston Chronicle on the need for science standards.

Mobile science labs are an important tool in attracting young people to STEM careers. Read more in the USA Today article “Rolling science labs bring tools, inspiration to youngsters” by David Unze.

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Reminder: Apply Now to the 2009 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy

There are only 16 days left to apply for the 2009 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy! 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.

What are you waiting for? You don’t want to miss this exciting opportunity. 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

  • Who should attend: Teams of science educators—teachers and administrators.  Individuals are also welcome.
  • When: August 3–5, 2009
  • Where: Orlando, Florida (Buena Vista Palace, 1900 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830)
  • Why: To learn what Professional Learning Communities are and how to implement and support a "PLC"
  • Cost: $300
  • More detail: Contact 703.312.9235

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, please visit the NSTA website.

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Student Inventors Honored During 17th Annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Celebration

Congratulations to the national winning student teams, coaches and parents who traveled to Washington, DC last week to participate in the annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision festivities, including the Science Showcase at the National Press Club and the Gala Awards Banquet, to honor their accomplishments. The program’s eight national winners for 2009, including four first place and four second place student teams, looked to the world around them to propose ideas for technologies that could make the future better, healthier and more eco-friendly. To learn more about the program or the 2009 winners, visit www.exploravision.org. To sign up for Tuesday’s ExploraVision web seminar on the educational value of the program, register today.

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Richard Louv, Futurist, Journalist, Author, and Keynote at Conference on Science Education in Minneapolis

The NSTA’s first Regional Conference on Science Education will be held in Minneapolis this fall, and is scheduled for Oct. 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 day-long 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 Keely, 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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Earn a Master of Science Degree in Geoscience

The Teachers in Geosciences program at Mississippi State University provides you with a unique opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree through distance learning. All of the core courses are taught online. The program concludes with an 8- to 10-day capstone field course that is taught during the summer at a variety of locations including Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, Western Washington State, the Sierra, Central Arizona, Upstate NY, Western Lake Superior, the Outer Banks, the Bahamas, and the Great Plains Storm Chase.

This 12-course, 36-credit hour graduate program is designed to take as little as two years to complete and includes courses in meteorology, geology, planetary science, oceanography, hydrology, and environmental geoscience. Over 250 students from all 50 states and around the world are enrolled. All students qualify for in-state tuition rates.

It is not too late to apply for the fall 2009 semester! Please visit the MSU website or contact Joy Bailey at jbailey@aoce.msstate.edu for additional 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 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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