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Week of September 28, 2009

Table of Contents

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Webinar Provides Tips for Succeeding in the Spirit of Innovation Awards

For teachers who want to provide their students with the opportunity to become young inventors and win a chance to take their product to the commercial marketplace, join the Conrad Foundation’s web seminar on Tuesday, October 6, at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time (3:00 p.m. pacific) for details on how to participate and succeed in the Spirit of Innovation Awards competition.

The web seminar will discuss how the program can be used in the high school classroom to engage students in new and exciting ways and demonstrate how the power to create something real is a very strong motivator.

The Spirit of Innovation Awards program guides high school students through an interdisciplinary product development pipeline and connects teams with leading scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs. Teams put into practice the curriculum they are being taught, apply that knowledge to designing an innovative product, and gain access to the resources and opportunities to help them bring those products to market. Teams compete for more than $100,000 in prizes. NSTA is the official education advisor to the Spirit of Innovation Awards.

To participate in the web seminar, click here or visit the Spirit of Innovation Awards website at www.conradawards.org and click on “the EXCHANGE.” Educators can also pre-register questions for the webinar in the EXCHANGE.

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Looking for a Perfect Career Fit?

Check out NSTA’s newly expanded Career Center, where you can post a job or find a job in science education.

The NSTA Career Center is an unmatched, online resource designed to help you recruit highly qualified science educators for your schools, districts and state. Post your science teaching jobs here to get maximum exposure. NSTA represents the largest audience of highly qualified science educators in the country, drawing from our member roster of 60,000. Managing jobs is simple and efficient—enter job descriptions, check the status of postings, renew or discontinue postings, and even make payments online. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to make employment connections in science education. Visit the NSTA Career Center to get started today.

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College-Level Reviewers Needed for NSTA Recommends

NSTA Recommends, NSTA’s online review system for books and other science education–related materials, is seeking reviewers for college-level materials. Reviewers evaluate published products intended for classroom use, and the reviews are published online. Reviewers must be NSTA members and be experienced educators at the college level. If you are interested in volunteering for this panel, please contact Lauren Jonas, Manager, NSTA Recommends.

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Register for the Minneapolis Conference on Science Education Right Away! Advance Deadline is Oct. 2

Science educators are meeting in Minneapolis Oct. 29–31 for NSTA’s Conference on Science Education for an educational getaway. Bring an open mind, an extra tote, and lots of energy to tackle workshops, presentations and seminars on critical issues and for every grade band, K–college. Discipline-specific full day programs include biology, chemistry, physics, and physical science. Get a full plate of professional development-build your content knowledge, teaching strategies, techniques in assessment and inquiry, and lots more. Register by October 2, our advance deadline, to save the most.

Here’s a sampling of our sessions:

  • Hard-to-Teach Biology Topics: A Framework to Deepen Student Understanding (High School–College, Supervision)
  • Inquiry Instruction in High School Chemistry and Its Effect on Students' Proportional Reasoning Ability (Middle–College, Supervision)
  • Increasing Critical Thinking: Help Your High School Students Write Their Own Scientific Experiments
  • Wind Turbine Challenge: How to Hold One in Your State or Region (Middle–High)
  • Become a Sherlock "Homes" Energy Detective (Elementary–Middle)
  • Inquiry-based Hand-On Activities and Demonstrations (Elementary–High)
  • Cruising to Food Safety: Integrating Food Safety into Your Science Curriculum (Middle–High)
  • Ice, Ice, Baby—Demonstrate displacement, density, and pressure through polar science with these simple activities about climate change. (Elementary–Middle)
  • Field Trip (ticketed): Minnesota’s Retreating Waterfalls: A Geology Tour of the Twin Cities
  • Exhibition Hall—Meet exhibitors from hundreds of nationally known companies who share new products and provides a giveaway to all visitors.

And this is just the beginning. Don’t miss this professional development opportunity. Visit www.nsta.org/minneapolis.

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Send Physics Home With Your Students

NSTA’s new title Take-Home Physics is an excellent resource for high school physics teachers who want to devote more classroom time to complex concepts while challenging their students with hands-on homework assignments. This volume has 70 take-home physics labs that use ordinary household items or other inexpensive materials to tackle motion and kinematics; forces and energy; waves, sound, and light; and electricity and magnetism. The result: Students learn background knowledge, reinforce basic process skills, practice discovery, and bridge classroom learning with real-world application—all while getting excited about homework. Teachers can also integrate science and literacy by requiring the use of lab notebooks with formal write-ups. Materials lists and safety notes, as well as both student activity pages and teacher notes are included. Visit the NSTA bookstore to download a chapter or to buy a copy.

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From the NSTA Calendar: NOAA Teacher at Sea Program

Have you ever thought about shipping out to sea? This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association program is accepting applications from K–12 teachers for the 2010 field season. The program provides a unique environment for learning and teaching by sending kindergarten through college teachers to sea aboard NOAA research and survey ships to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew. Then, armed with new understanding and experience, teachers bring this knowledge back to their classrooms.
Most participants try to sail on cruises offered during the summer, but cruises take place throughout most of the year on a space-available basis. Registration begins on October 1.

Visit the NSTA Calendar for more educational and professional development opportunities.

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NSTA Brings Professional Development Opportunities to Phoenix in Early December

If you’re a science educator and interested in professional development, NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Phoenix offers an intriguing destination and an agenda to covet. Nationally known presenters like Matthew E. Kaplan,speaking onDNA: The Strand That Connects Us All, will inspire and touch you. Workshops on critical issues like assessment and inquiry will help your teaching strategies, and sessions on topics like electricity and magnetism will build your subject knowledge. We offer discipline-specific full day programs in chemistry, biology, physics and physical science. Field trips to places like the internationally recognized Heard Museum, devoted to stories of Native American people through the beauty of their art and history, offer attendees interesting outings and a venue for networking. Favorite of many teachers is the Exhibit Hall where hundreds of companies come to share their products and talk to science educators. Bring a tote to take home their giveaways.

See just a short sample of session titles:

  • Science Notebooking in the Elementary Classroom
  • Inquiry Matters—Conduct two tests on four look-alike household liquids, then use their characteristic properties to identify unknowns. Handouts. (Elem–Middle School)
  • 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 School)
  • Ice Core Records: From Volcanoes to Stars—Use absolute and relative dating techniques with high-resolution ice core data and historic volcanic eruptions to correlate and date supernova events from nitrate anomalies. (High School–College)
  • Modeling the Spectrum—Come engage in a unit that examines the EMS, from pre- to post-assessment activities. (Middle–High School)
  • Forensic Science: The Context for Integration (Middle–High School)
  • Bacteria, Blogs, Bioinformatics, and More: Using Technology to Enhance a College Microbiology Course (College)
  • Chemistry Is Cooking: Cooking Is Chemistry—This cross-curricular, standards-based event linking chemistry and culinary arts simultaneously enhances relevance and rigor for both courses while facilitating relationships. (High School–Supervision)
  • Developing a Network of Teacher Leaders in Science (Middle–Supervision)

Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to be the best educator you can be. For more information or to register, visit www.nsta.org/phoenix.

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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!.

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Click on the logo to explore the fall 2009 new 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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