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Week of June 22, 2009

Table of Contents

NSF Releases Science Nation, a Video Series on Breakthroughs and Discoveries That Impact Our Lives

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released the first in a series of video programs called Science Nation, which examine breakthroughs and the possibilities for new discoveries about our planet, our universe and ourselves. The video series is being created for NSF by former senior science producers at CNN, including Peter Dykstra and Kate Tobin. Each program features a two-minute and five-minute version.

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Build Your Content Knowledge Through the Learning Center

If lazy days at the beach are scheduled for late summer, you might want to consider (before your vacation begins) a series of online learning experiences—10 sessions, each about an hour long—on topics you'll be teaching in the fall. Consider NSTA’s Solar System SciPack, which explores the solar system, how it was formed, and what we know about the planets, moons, and other bodies in the solar system. You’ll be presented with problems, phenomena, demonstrations, and simulations utilizing inquiry-based learning. Other components include pedagogical implications addressing common misconceptions, teaching resources, and strand maps linking grade band appropriate content to standards. You’ll get access to support via e-mail and a final assessment to certify mastery of the concepts. For more information on other SciPacks or to register for an account, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

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Education Week's 2009 Spotlight on STEM in Schools

Education Week has put together an online package of articles about hot topics in the field and innovative approaches to STEM teaching and learning. "Spotlight on STEM in Schools" features a collection of articles hand-picked by Education Week’s editors for their insights on:

  • One public school's blending of the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines
  • Courses on renewable energy and “green” technology
  • Learning science through informal experiences and educational television
  • Playing games in the classroom to strengthen students’ math skills
  • Using unconventional textbooks and other materials to help struggling middle schoolers become “algebra-ready”
  • Research on the qualities of effective math teaching
  • Experiential approaches to STEM as a curriculum

In addition, Education Week has Spotlights available on other topics such as technology in the classroom, pay for performance, response to intervention, tips for new teachers, inclusion and assistive technology and more. For more information about the Spotlight on STEM in Schools, visit the Education Week website.

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From the NSTA Calendar: National Pollinator Week, June 22–28

Officially declared by the US Senate and the US Department of Agriculture, this celebration helps spread the message that pollination is vital to our survival and the existence of nearly all ecosystems on Earth. Teachers will find free materials online, including Nature's Partners: Pollinators, Plants, and You, an inquiry learning-based curriculum for grades 3–6 comprised of seven modules. Each module offers three or four activities designed to engage young people in active, investigative science following a learning cycle of

  • exploration,
  • concept introduction/development, and
  • concept application.

The activities are appropriate for the formal classroom or for a nonformal education setting and can easily be adapted to fit the needs of the students and the teaching situation. The website also features podcasts, videos, and reports on pollinators.

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Fall Conference Planning for Science Educators

The first fall Conference on Science Education kicks off Oct. 29–31, 2009, in Minneapolis, the “City of Lakes.” Science teachers and administrators can count on a list of events and speakers to move and inspire you.

  • Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, and chairman of the Children & Nature Network, will speak about the transformation in the relationship between children and nature and how society is teaching young people to avoid direct experience in nature.
  • William A. Sommers, PhD, of Austin, Texas, is currently a Leadership Coach and author of 6 books, will speak on PLC’s and their implications. His presentation is titled Newton, Einstein, and Friedman: Who’s Next?
  • Page Keeley is the Senior Science Program Director at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and the 2008–2009 President of the National Science Teachers Association. Her presentation is titled What Are They Thinking? Using Formative Assessment to Improve Opportunities to Learn.

Special daylong programs devoted to Physical Science and Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry will be offered. Workshops, sessions, field trips, and networking with your peers with a passion for science are some of the 20 reasons to attend an NSTA conference. For more information, visit www.nsta.org/minneapolis.

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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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