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Week of October 5, 2009

Table of Contents

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National Directory of STEM Learning Opportunities Now Available

Are you looking for an opportunity to promote and expand an after-school science or technology program?

The Coalition for Science After School, an NSTA partner, has teamed up with Time Warner Cable to create a national directory of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities. This resource is designed to help parents and young people access science and technology learning opportunities in their communities and will be widely marketed to increase the visibility of STEM after school and informal learning opportunities.

NSTA Express readers are encouraged to visit the website to learn more about it and spend a few moments entering information on your organization and its programs and events (where applicable). There is no cost to join or access the national directory.

Questions about the Directory, the Coalition, or informal STEM education should be directed to info@directory.scienceafterschool.org.

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Urban Science Education Leaders to Meet in Minneapolis

Planned as a preconference “kickoff” to the start of NSTA’s Minneapolis Conference on Science Education in late October, is a special full day workshop for Urban Leaders in Science Education (administrators) at the middle grade level.

Scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, participants will choose to visit a set of area schools that exemplify best practices in middle level classrooms and laboratories.

  1. Tour A includes a math and science magnet school, Murray Junior High School, and Washington Technology Middle School, a technology/magnet middle school, home of the BioSMART program that focuses on medical and bioengineering fields.
  2. Tour B includes Battle Creek Middle School with single-gender class settings and Hazel Park Middle School Academy which is implementing a professional learning community (PLC) and a grading system based on the work of Richard DuFour.

The program features keynote speaker Dr. Bobby Jeanpierre, Associate Professor, University of Central Florida, who will talk on Science in Urban Middle Schools. Additional presentations will be made by John Olson, Director, Minnesota Department of Education, and Joel Donna Wise, STEM Director, Minnesota Department of Education, on A Statewide View of Science; and NSTA’s Associate Executive Director for Professional Programs and Conferences Zipporah Miller on A Look at SPIR.

The registration fee is $130 and includes the Wednesday, Oct. 28, full-day workshop along with meals and transportation to target schools, in addition to one day of attendance at the Conference on Science Education on Thursday, Oct. 29. Preregistration is required. For more information, e-mail Beverly Shaw at bshaw@nsta.org or call her at 703.312.9232.

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Apply Now For The 2010–2011 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program

The Triangle Coalition, an NSTA partner, is seeking nominees for the 2009–2010 Einstein Fellow program.

As an Einstein Fellow you will spend a school year in Washington, DC sharing your expertise with policy makers. You may serve your Fellowship with Congress or one of several government agencies, such as the Department of Energy, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Einstein Fellowship program provides an opportunity for teachers to inform national policy and improve communication between the K–12 STEM education community and national leaders. Selection is based on excellence in K–12 mathematics, science, or technology teaching; demonstrated leadership; an understanding of national, state, and local education policy; and communication and interpersonal skills.

The Fellowship program was created in 1990 with support from the MacArthur Foundation. Congress formalized the program in 1994 by passing the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Act. The Triangle Coalition administers the program under the direction of the Department of Energy. The application deadline is January 13, 2010.

For more information about the Einstein Fellows program, visit www.einsteinfellows.net or contact Program Manager Kathryn Culbertson at culbertsonk@triangle-coalition.org.

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Minneapolis Promises Great Science, Indoors and Out

The beautiful fall weather awaits us in Minneapolis where NSTA’s Conference on Science Education will be held Oct. 29–31. With an average temperature of 58 degrees, walks through the city, a field trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota for a behind the scenes look, and jogs to the convention center will add to this city of lakes’ ambience. Presentations to inspire will include author Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods, author Page Keeley’s talk on Using Formative Assessment to Improve Opportunities to Learn, and author/instructor Michael Klentschy’s The Science–Literacy Connection: Myth or Reality? Special day long programs are intended for the discipline-specific attendee: ESP Symposium, Biology Day, Chemistry Day, Physical Science Day, and Physics Day.

Science teachers from every grade band, K–College, can build their content knowledge, learn new assessment techniques, and test strategies for inquiry-based learning. Critical topics like ELL and differentiation are covered in more than 400 workshops that offer practical, hands-on activities and lesson plans to use in the classroom. Consider the following sample sessions to pique your interest:

  • The Influence of Context on Science Teaching Self-Efficacy (College)
  • The Elegance of Design: An Honors Art/Physical Science Course—A cross-disciplinary honors lab course that explores design from artistic and engineering perspectives such as color, material properties, and Newtonian physics. (High School–College)
  • Classroom Tools to Explore the Past, Present, and Future—Explore the scientific foundations of what we know about climate change through hands-on and data-rich classroom activities. Handouts. (Middle/Informal)
  • Inquiry-based Hand-On Activities and Demonstrations—Hands-on activities and demonstrations focus on energy, magnetism, diffusion, heat transfer, hydrophilic/hydrophobic materials, and forensic potentials. (Elem–High School)
  • Become a Sherlock "Homes" Energy Detective—Active hands-on learning about home and school energy. I'll share activities from our new program. (Elem–Middle School)
  • Inquiry Instruction in High School Chemistry and Its Effect on Students' Proportional Reasoning Ability (Middle–College/Supervision)
  • Animal Skulls and Algebraic Thinking (Ticketed Short Course)—Engage in an investigation of skulls that provides an example of meaningful content- and context-rich STEM integration at an adult level. Offsite (K–16)
And there are lots more to choose from—the Exhibition Hall, socials, field trips, and so on. Visit www.nsta.org/minneapolis to register.

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Did You Know About NSTA's Blog?

A recent posting on NSTA's blog by Linda Froschauer, editor of NSTA's elementary journal Science and Children and past NSTA president, offers her tips for handling the many activities at conferences that often can be overwhelming to attendees. Visit the NSTA Conference Blog to access and keep coming back.

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From the NSTA Calendar: NASA ISS Earth Climate Analysis Mission (EarthKAM)

Middle school educators are invited to join the International Space Station EarthKAM Mission, taking place October 20–23. This NASA-sponsored opportunity allows students to take pictures of Earth from a digital camera on board the International Space Station (ISS). The project provides stunning, high-quality photographs of Earth.

Since 1996, ISS EarthKAM students have taken thousands of photographs of Earth by using the web to direct a digital camera on select spaceflights and currently, on the ISS. The image collection and accompanying learning guides and activities support classes in Earth science, space science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications, and art. Learn more and register at the EarthKAM website.

Visit the NSTA Calendar for more science education events and opportunities.

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Fort Lauderdale Promises Great Science, Too

Thousands of science educators will be joining us in Fort Lauderdale, land of sun and surf, for an unmatched educational getaway at NSTA’s Conference on Science Education, Nov. 12–14. In just a few months, professional development experts from across the country will head to Fort Lauderdale to provide the best program for K-College science teachers and administrators with a passion for science. Hands-on workshops, presentations by renowned authors and scientists, special day-long programs in chemistry, biology, physics, and physical science are on the agenda.

Check out a few of our session titles among more than 400:

  • Featured speaker Emma Rader (Manager, Education Programs, Space Florida: Kennedy Space Center) will present on Advantages of Integrating Higher Technology into the Classroom.
  • Julie Scardina (Animal Ambassador, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Discovery Cove)—Saving Species: Science to the Rescue.
  • Visualizing Our Planet's Future—Schools play a special role in helping students understand the causes and impacts of our changing environment. (Elem–Middle School)
  • Magical Illusions Workshop for K–8 Teachers—Storylines, discrepant events, and magic develop concepts in both physical and biological sciences, pique children's interest and imagination, and build creative and logical-thinking skills.
  • Muscular Physics—Explore the physics of body movements. We'll construct an arm model and apply lever mechanics to the "lifting" of various masses. (Middle–College)
  • Turn It On: Inquiry and Literacy as Natural Partners, Learn how scientific inquiry and literacy can be married in this inquiry lab on electricity. (Middle)
  • Developing a Healthy Sense of Skepticism: Madison Avenue Exposed—See how data manipulation and marketing strategies apply to your science classroom. High School
  • Differentiation in the Science Classroom—Learn how to develop tiered units offering students a variety of activities at each of three levels. Leave with multiple strategies, manipulatives, and numerous ideas for working with struggling students. (Middle–High School)
  • Short course (ticketed): Putting it All Together—Come learn how you can integrate reading and language arts skills into science teaching, with a focus on science concepts, vocabulary, concept mapping, expository and narrative writing, science process skills, and the scientific method.
  • Field trip (ticketed): Kennedy Space Center—Experience the headquarters, the Astronaut Hall of Fame, lunch with an astronaut, a simulated Space Shuttle launch and an exciting journey to Earth’s orbit. We’ll end the day with a tour of the Apollo/Saturn V Center,
  • There are lots more to choose from including the Exhibit Hall, social events, networking, and earned graduate credit for program attendance.

Visit www.nsta.org/ftlauderdale to register.

And don’t forget, you can meet other conference attendees and presenters at NSTA’s newest social networking platform, www.nsta.org/communities, without traveling at all. Get yourself prepared for the conference, download session handouts, chat with presenters, and make arrangements to get together for meals, all on this unique community designed for science educators.

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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 October featured book, Inquiry: The Key to Exemplary 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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