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Week of July 6, 2009

Table of Contents

Role of STEM Career and Technical Education Program Discussed in New Issue Brief

During the last decade, thousands of new cutting-edge STEM-intensive career and technical education (CTE) programs have been launched or expanded in schools across the nation. CTE programs integrate high-level academics and technology into the curriculum, and the programs offer students a deeper understanding of STEM career pathways, facilitate student transitions between secondary and postsecondary education and careers, and help encourage more students from underrepresented populations to enter STEM fields. The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) new issue brief Career and Technical Education’s Role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math describes how career and technical education (CTE) can help to meet the critical need of developing a skilled, professional STEM workforce to secure America’s economic future. CTE courses and programs strengthen students’ understanding of STEM content and attract students to STEM careers. 

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Summer PD for Science Educators

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

Only a few more spaces are available for this special NSTA summer institute scheduled for Aug. 3–5 in Orlando, Florida. The three-day institute is designed to help teams of educators learn how to develop and support a science-focused Professional Learning Community (PLC) that has continuous improvement in science teaching and learning at its core. Participants will learn what PLCs are (and are not), examine different structures for PLCs, and experience different science-specific tools and strategies to use within a PLC. A team of national presenters, led by Susan Mundry and Kathy Stiles of WestEd, will present different models of PLCs, share tools and resources that support the work of science teachers in PLCs, and facilitate planning sessions for implementing PLCs in schools and other organizations.

The institute will be held at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel, within walking distance of the downtown Disney Marketplace, offering an array of venues for nightlife, entertainment, cafes, and shopping. For additional details or to register, contact Zipporah Miller, 703.312.9235, or by e-mail at zmiller@nsta.org.

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From the NSTA Calendar: STEMester of Service Grants

Youth Service America (YSA) will give $5,500 STEM grants to middle school science teachers and service-learning coordinators to strengthen their classroom practices through service learning. The grant will target students from disadvantaged circumstances in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Washington. Grantees will engage up to 75 students in grades 6–8 in a semester-long service-learning program. With a focus on environmental concerns, STEMester of Service’s goals will include addressing community problems, encouraging students to explore STEM careers, and preventing early dropout.

The program components will include a $5,500 grant for teachers or service-learning coordinators; training and professional development; participation at YSA’s Youth Service Institute in Washington, D.C.; resources to help grantees plan and implement STEMemester of Service; and national recognition and visibility through YSA communications and outreach initiatives. The application deadline is July 15. Visit the YSA website to learn more and apply.

Visit the NSTA Calendar for more events and opportunities.

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Why Attend an NSTA Conference on Science Education This Fall?

You’ll find the Top 10 Reasons for Attending an NSTA Conference on our website. We’re sharing Reason #2 today: Leadership—Because new skills, knowledge and activities help build educational leaders who influence others to do extraordinary things.

Take this opportunity to examine presentations, seminars, workshops and events that are planned for our Conference on Science Education in Minneapolis, scheduled for Oct. 29–31 this fall. Thousands of science educators from all grade bands and disciplines come together to build content knowledge, learn new classroom strategies, view products, meet peers and mentors who share a passion for science, and take advantage of a whole range of activities that build leadership qualities.

Here is a sampling of activities:

  • Dr. Michael Klentschy, author, teacher, researcher, and investigator, will present on The Science-Literacy Connection: Myth or Reality?
  • Award-winning Inquiry Lab Activities for High School Biology (High School level)
  • Evolution Now-learn about a free resource—the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), an NSF-funded institute designed to promote synthesis in evolutionary biology (High School–College)
  • Digital Technology as a Resource to Promote Science Learning … Partner Up! (High School–College)
  • Integrating Real-Time Weather Data into Middle School Meteorology (Middle School level )
  • Stop Faking It! Finally Understand AIR, WATER, and WEATHER So You Can Teach It (Elementary–Middle level)
  • Joy of Elementary Engineering-Hands-on engineering projects integrated into the elementary school day can motivate, clarify, and reinforce your science and mathematics curriculum (Elem. level)
  • Creating a Powerful Synergy in the K–6 Classroom with Hands-On Investigations, Science Literacy Skills, and Science Content
  • Special day programs in Physical Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • Short Course: Science Assessment through a Mixed Curriculum
  • More than 250 exhibitors from across the country with new products, services and giveaways for those who stop by
  • Field Trip: Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum of Minnesota

For more information or to register, visit www.nsta.org/minneapolis.

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Serve on NSTA's Board and Council

Are you looking for a challenging leadership position that impacts local, state, and national science education? You can make a difference in science education by choosing to serve on NSTA’s Board and Council. This is an excellent means to create systemic change in science education. Let your voice be heard. We are currently accepting applications for the 2010 NSTA election.

NSTA Board of Directors offices to be filled in the 2010 election are President—term of office: three-year commitment from June 2010 through May 2013 (year one as President-Elect; year two as President; year three as Retiring President); Division Directors—term of office: three-year commitment beginning June 2010 through May 2013. NSTA seeks directors for these divisions:

  • College Level Science Teaching
  • Coordination & Supervision
  • High School Level Science Teaching

NSTA Council offices to be filled in the 2010 election are District Directors—term of office: three-year commitment beginning June 2010 through May 2013.The districts involved are:

  • District III—Delaware, District of Columbia, Virginia
  • District V—Alabama, Canal Zone, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
  • District IX—Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
  • District XI—Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
  • District XV—Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
  • District XVII—Alaska, Oregon, Washington

Submission deadline is October 15, 2009. You can apply online or download an application at www.nsta.org/nominations. Questions? Call 703-312-9217.

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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 July featured book, Animal Coloration: Activities on the Evolution of Concealment.


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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