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Week of August 17, 2009

Table of Contents

Calling All K–12 Science Teachers: Toyota TAPESTRY Program Now Accepting Entries for the 20th Annual Science Grant CompetitionToyota 20th Annual Competition graphic

The Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and administered by NSTA, is now accepting entries for the 2009–2010 competition. Now in its 20th year, the program offers grants up to $10,000 to K–12 science teachers for innovative projects that enhance science education in their school and/or school district over a one-year period.

Fifty large grants and a minimum of 20 mini-grants totaling $550,000 will be awarded this year. Individual science teachers or a team of up to five teachers can submit proposals in one of three categories: physical science application; environmental science education; and integrating literacy and science. A judging panel convened by the NSTA will select the award-winning projects based on several criteria, including their innovative approach in teaching science and ability to create a stimulating and hands-on learning environment.

Since the program’s inception in 1990, Toyota TAPESTRY grants totaling more than $8.6 million have been awarded to science teachers across the country. More than 2,000 teachers have used those funds to develop and execute extraordinary programs that helped hundreds of thousands of students nationwide make a passionate connection with science.

For more information about the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program or to learn how to apply, visit www.nsta.org/pd/tapestry. Applications must be submitted no later than January 18, 2010 to be considered. Don’t delay, apply now!

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United Nations International Youth Day Serves as Kick-Off Site for Siemens We Can Change the World ChallengeSiemens Challenge graphic

Year two of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge kicked off on Wednesday, August 12, 2009, in connection with the United Nations International Youth Day in New York City. The grand prize–winning team from the inaugural year of the challenge, Team Dead Weight from West Branch, Iowa, presented their project—about the environmental hazards of lead wheel weights in tires—to an audience of peers, UN representatives, and media as part of the day’s theme, “Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future.”

NSTA, the Siemens Foundation, and Discovery Education are partnering again this year to educate, empower and engage students and teachers nationwide to become “Agents of Change” in improving their communities through the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The second year of this national sustainability challenge—now expanded to include elementary school students—encourages students in kindergarten through eighth grade to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their classroom (grades K–2), school (grades 3–5) and  community (grades 6–8).

For more information, and to register for the challenge, which officially opens for entries on August 19, 2009, go to www.wecanchange.com.

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Be Active in NSTA: Join a Committee

Being part of NSTA can mean so much more than reading journals and attending the meetings. Committee membership is a means by which you can interact with colleagues, gain insights into the complexity of issues, and have a positive impact on science education at the national level. We need your views and your expertise. Please consider joining a committee, advisory board, or panel. The application and appointment process begins on Monday, August 17, 2009. To learn more about the various opportunities available, apply online, or download an application, please visit the committee, advisory board, and panel web page.

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Publish in the National Gallery of Writing

The National Science Teachers Association is a partner in the National Gallery of Writing, an online exhibition of writing hosted by the National Council of Teachers of English, which is seeking writing samples. NSTA’s Gallery has the following theme: Why Earth? What makes our planet the ideal cradle of life?

Science teachers and students are encouraged to submit one piece of writing that is important to them (be it a letter, digital composition, video, or other format.) It just takes a few minutes to upload your submission, and more information is available at the gallery. The pieces will be unveiled on October 20, 2009, as part of The National Day on Writing, a nationwide initiative that highlights the variety and importance of writing in the everyday lives of Americans.

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Call for Papers on Teacher Action Research

The Journal of Science Teacher Education , the official journal of the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), has issued a call for papers for a special themed issue on teacher action research. Teacher action research and its products, including accompanying stories and intellectual narratives, serve as a mechanism for researchers to study the relationship among factors, such as student/teacher voice, social change, accountability, learning, and identity development. The editors are seeking manuscripts that explore these issues and share innovative methods for capturing and analyzing knowledge construction, learning, transformation, and empowerment in practice.

Click here for details (PDF).

Manuscripts should be submitted online and accompanied by a cover letter indicating that the manuscript is a “Special Issue” submission. Authors are encouraged to follow JSTE manuscript guidelines. The deadline for submission is November 30, 2009.

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Plan Now for Professional Development in Phoenix

If you’re considering professional development options to meet your career goals, NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Phoenix offers a wonderful, warm weather destination with a wide range of sessions, featured speakers, content-driven workshops, and interesting field trips for adventurous science education enthusiasts. Save the dates, Dec. 3–5, and promise a pre-holiday gift to yourself!

Here’s a sampling of what’s planned:

  • NPR Science Friday host Ira Flatow, keynote speaker to present on the challenges faced by communicators in a society where even the most educated among us don't have a basic understanding of nature, where the media is "dumbing down" science news, and where the public believes more in science fiction than fact.
  • Facing the Future—Explore sustainability issues and the incorporation of literacy in the science classroom through hands-on, inquiry-based activities. CD-ROM provided. (Middle–High)
  • Activities from Across the Earth System—Educators and scientists share their repertoire of hands-on, inquiry-based activities spanning the five "spheres" of Earth system science. Handouts! (Elem–High)
  • Using Science Exploration Stations in the Classroom—Learn three ways to add science exploration stations to your classroom. Stations offer simple five-minute exercises, full-inquiry lessons, and discovery time to inspire kids to explore and wonder. (Elem–Middle)
  • What Is Your Cosmic Connection to the Elements? Explore the origin of the periodic elements with these activities and curriculum from NASA. Take home a workbook, poster, and Imaging the Universe CD. (Middle–High)
  • Desert Discovery Tour—Centrally located in beautiful Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden is a captivating way to experience the beauty of the desert without leaving Phoenix. (Ticketed)
  • It Takes ESP to Find Exemplary Science Programs—Participants in this symposium will include the authors presenting from specific monographs
  • Daylong programs: Biology Day, Physics Day, Chemistry Day, and Physical Science Day.
  • Exhibitors from top companies bring top products and giveaways for those who stop by to talk. Bring a tote!

To register visit www.nsta.org/phoenix

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Earn a Master's Degree in Chemical and Life Sciences

The University of Maryland’s Master of Chemical and Life Sciences degree enhances your knowledge, increases your expertise, and advances your career. Specifically designed for middle and high school science teachers, the 30-credit, content-based program focuses on current research areas in the biological, biochemical, and biomedical sciences. Aside from laboratory experiences, the program’s online format benefits the working professional with the flexibility, convenience, and accessibility that online learning affords. Dynamic faculty with academic credentials and professional experience deliver the most current knowledge and skills in an interactive environment. To find out more, visit the University of Maryland website.

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Sponsored by:

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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 August featured book, NSTA Ready-Reference to Safer Science.


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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