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Week of September 7, 2009

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NSTA Leadership Meets with Counterparts in China

On August 18, NSTA President Pat Shane, Executive Director Francis Eberle, and 2009–2010 Retiring President Page Keeley visited Beijing to begin a formal leadership exchange with the China Association for Children’s Science Instructors (CACSI), part of the government-led China Association of Science and Technology. A joint Sino-American forum was held in Beijing for the NSTA leadership delegation and Chinese science teachers and university faculty. After the forum, NSTA and CACSI formalized a collaboration between the two sister organizations. Each association appointed a liaison to communicate about common interests, provide information about conferences and activities, facilitate academic exchanges, and explore possible joint activities.

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NASA Education Webcasts with Astronauts

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and space shuttle astronauts will participate in live education webcasts on September 8 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) and September 10 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

On September 8, students will hear insights from Bolden, young agency professionals, and STS-128 mission astronauts Jose M. Hernandez and John D. Olivas about the challenges and successes of their NASA careers.

On September 10, Bolden will join astronauts from the STS-125 Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission to discuss the flight and newly released images from the observatory. Commander Scott Altman, Shuttle Pilot Greg (Ray J.) Johnson and Program Scientist Eric Smith will participate.

These free webcasts are produced by the NASA Digital Learning Network. NASA uses the network's capabilities to deliver unique content by linking students and educators worldwide with agency experts. The program provides interactive educational experiences for all grade levels.

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Bill Robertson Proves You Don't Have To Be a Geek to Understand Science

Answers to Science Questions From the Stop Faking It! Guy, a valuable and entertaining compendium of Bill Robertson’s popular “Science 101” columns in NSTA's member journal Science and Children, proves you don’t have to be a science geek to understand basic scientific concepts. The author of the best-selling Stop Faking It! series explains everything from quarks to photosynthesis, telescopes to the expanding universe, and atomic clocks to curveballs—all with his trademark wit and irreverence.

The 33 short columns, plus a new introduction, provide an introductory science course of sorts, covering topics in life science, Earth and space science, physical science, technology, and more—perfect for K–8 teachers, homeschoolers, or parents who just want to boost their science know-how. Easily understood prose and lively illustrations by cartoonist Brian Diskin make this volume an engaging—and more important, readable—course you can pass with flying colors.

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Deadline Approaches for Minneapolis Earybird Savings

Earlybirds can really get the worm (and save the most) by registering before Sept. 18 for NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Minneapolis, October 29–31, 2009. The deadline is right around the corner. Keep your professional development plan intact by choosing to build your content knowledge, learn new teaching strategies, improve your inquiry-based lesson plans, and test assessment techniques that work.

This conference is for teachers in every grade band, K–College, and from every discipline. We recruit the leading experts and expect high performance. Consider some of the sessions we’re offering:

  • Featured Presenter, Richard Louv: Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
  • Award-winning Inquiry Lab Activities for High School Biology—Learn how to conduct three high-interest lab activities that give students experience in hypothesis formation, experimental design, data collection, and interpretation.
  • Using Dark Matter to Teach Physics Concepts—Use dark matter to tie together several units in your physics course. Leave with a DVD, teacher's guide, and student handouts.
  • Wind Turbine Challenge: How to Hold One in Your State or Region
  • Biotechnology and Environmental Risk: Project Learning Tree's New Secondary Program
  • Ecological Footprints (Elem–Middle)
  • Students Show What They Know—Formative assessment can have a powerful, positive effect on student learning. (General)
  • Polydensity Tube: Serious Fun with a Dense Subject—Make and take a bottle with solids floating or sinking in two immiscible liquids. Handouts. (Middle–Informal)
  • Field Trip: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory: Hydrology on a Big Scale (Ticketed)
  • Field Trip: Great River Energy: Splendor in the Glass (Ticketed)
  • Inquiry Instruction in High School Chemistry and Its Effect on Students' Proportional Reasoning Ability (Supervisory)

And there are many more sessions to choose from. Attend this conference to be the best you can be. Register by visiting www.nsta.org/minneapolis.

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Explore Award-Winning Online Graduate Courses from AMNH

Sign up today for an online course through Seminars on Science from the American Museum of Natural History. From the formation of our solar system to global water issues, AMNH seeks to connect teachers to science through rich, diverse resources, interaction with working scientists, and eye-opening discussions on current science topics.

Fall courses include: Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Evolution; The Solar System; Water: Environmental Science; The Link Between Dinosaurs and Birds; and Genetics, Genomics, Genethics. Free sample resources are available for each course at learn.amnh.org.

Designed for K–12 educators, each six-week course is led by an experienced classroom teacher and a research scientist. In-depth readings and assignments paired with rich web-based discussions assure that educators come away from each class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use.

Registration closes October 5 for Fall Session Two (October 19–November 29)! Sign up by September 21 and receive a $50 early registration discount. For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call (800)649-6715.

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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 September featured book, Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene!.

Click on the logo above for more information and to register for these free 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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