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Week of October 12, 2009

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Apply Today to Participate in the 2010 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy

The 2010 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy is accepting applications until October 31, 2009, for this all-expense-paid professional development program designed to give teachers like you the opportunity to hone your math and science teaching skills and help you inspire your students to shine in these subjects.

Each summer, 600 third- through fifth-grade teachers from school districts across the country attend the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academies. The Academies offer a five-day program, with camps in New Jersey, Texas and Louisiana, designed to provide third- through fifth-grade teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to motivate students to pursue careers in science and math.

Taught by a distinguished faculty compiled through the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions, teachers experience a fresh and engaging approach to many math and science concepts. The Academy faculty follow a philosophy of a learning cycle, the 5E teaching and learning model based on the theory that students learn best when they are allowed to work out explanations for themselves through learning experiences structured by the teacher. This learning cycle has five key cyclical components: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation. The structure of the model demonstrates the benefit of teachers guiding students through the learning process which is key to students fully understanding the critical subjects of math and science. To learn more and apply, log on to the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy website. Contact Dr. Joe Sciulli, Program Director, at jsciulli@nsta.org if you have questions.

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Member Input Sought on New Draft Position Statement—Science for English Language Learners

A team of science educators recently developed a new NSTA position statement—Science for English Language Learners. According to the statement, more than 5.5 million, or 11%, of public school students are now categorized as ELL students, and schools, districts, and states are challenged to deliver high-quality instruction to these students. The document states that all students, including English Language Learners (ELL), can and should have every opportunity to learn and succeed in science. The statement presents a number of principles and declarations to support this position.

The NSTA Board voted to approve the draft statement and send it to the NSTA membership for comment. We would greatly appreciate your opinion and feedback on the statement before it is formally adopted by the Board. Please tell us what you think by viewing the draft statement here (PDF) and submitting your comments here. Comments can also be submitted online in the NSTA Position Statement Group in the NSTA Communities area of the website. Comments must be received by Monday, November 2.

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Science Matters in Minneapolis!

Bring science to life for your students and children on Saturday, October 31, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The National Science Teachers Association and Twin Cities Public Television are hosting a FREE community science event, sponsored by 3M and the ExxonMobil Foundation, for elementary teachers and parents. At the Science Matters Community Event, held in conjunction with the NSTA Minneapolis Area Conference on Science Education, participants will engage in exciting hands-on activities, live animal presentations, and demonstrations on how to make perfume and produce electricity using model wind turbines. And attendees will learn about NSTA’s newest initiative, Science Matters, a major public awareness and engagement campaign designed to rekindle a national sense of urgency and action among schools and families about the importance of science education and science literacy. FREE Science Matters tote bags filled with cool giveaways* will be distributed to the first 150 people who attend. Visit www.nsta.org/sciencematters for more information or to learn how to register to attend the Science Matters Community Event.

*One Science Matters bag per person. You must be at least 18 years old to receive a bag. Bags are for participants only.

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Diving into the Next Generation of Science

Dive into science at one of Florida's premier beach communities, Fort Lauderdale, the destination city for NSTA's Conference on Science Education, Nov. 12–14. Embraced by the Atlantic Ocean, New River, and a myriad of scenic inland waterways, Fort Lauderdale is often referred to as the "Venice of America." Build your professional development portfolio in a city as beautiful as this one through workshops, seminars, presentations and inspiring speakers. You’ll take advantage of developing content knowledge, learning assessment techniques and strategies for improving student performance. Consider a sample of our offerings:

  • Dr. Ellen Prager, marine scientist and author, will share stories from her latest book, Chasing Science at Sea: Unveiling Stories of Wonder and Adventure from the Field and How Science Really Works.
  • Julie Scardina, animal ambassador for SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, will present on Saving Species: Science to the Rescue.
  • Turn It On: Inquiry and Literacy as Natural Partners, an inquiry lab on electricity. (Middle)
  • Thirty-Minute Labs with Maximum Results—Come explore Monster Storms through hands-on labs and an online storm tracker video game from National Geographic. (Middle)
  • Literacy in the Sciences—Explore three core strategies that can be easily implemented in already existing curriculum: textbook use and comprehension strategies, vocabulary, and writing. ( Middle–High School)
  • Teach Smarter: Get Inside Their Minds—Discover quick and easy formative assessment strategies that truly drive instruction. (Elem–Middle)
  • Differentiation in the Science Classroom—Leave with multiple strategies, manipulatives, and numerous ideas for working with struggling students. (Middle–High)
  • The Physics of Supernovas—Use analysis software, graphs, and basic physics gravitation and centripetal acceleration equations to determine if an object is a white dwarf or a neutron star. (High–College)
  • Dendroclimatology: The Trees Tell a Tale—Learn to use core samples from trees as natural archives of climate data. (High School)
  • Picture-Perfect Science—Classroom veterans Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry will share lessons from Picture-Perfect Science Lessons and More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons. (Elementary)
  • 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. (Elem–High)

With more than 400 sessions to choose from, an Exhibit Hall, networking, and earning graduate credit for program attendance, science educators shouldn’t miss this event. Visit www.nsta.org/fortlauderdale to register.

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Register for Free Web Seminar on K–12 Competition—ExploraVision

Learn all the details about ExploraVision, a national science contest for K–12 student teams, at NSTA’s web seminar "ExploraVision Online Resources" on Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. If you’re fielding a team to compete in this annual science competition that awards $240,000 in prizes, or you’re just considering it, this seminar will show you how to navigate registration and the in’s and out’s of the submission process. Former coaches will be featured giving tips on how they used lesson plans and timelines and created a unified and successful student team. Visit the ExploraVision website for more information on this outstanding learning experience. To register for the web seminar, go to the NSTA Learning Center.

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Join Us—and Your Colleagues—in Phoenix

Professional development opportunities from national science education experts are coming your way in Phoenix, Dec. 3–5, at NSTA’s Conference on Science Education. If you need content knowledge, techniques in assessment or inquiry-based teaching, strategies for ELL, methods for differentiation, and discipline-specific seminars, register to participate by Oct. 23, our earlybird deadline. This educational getaway is both serious and fun.

This is how your colleagues responded when asked what was useful about the NSTA conference they attended:

  • Everything—my classes were exceptional and the exhibit hall was fantastic—for my first conference, I was entirely impressed and learned an enormous amount of information.
  • Sessions were hands-on and content rich.
  • Feeling like I know what's new and effective in science education.
  • Being able to discuss new teaching methods with other teachers on different education levels at the same time.
  • Workshops on inquiry that offered strategies to enhance planning, teaching and learning, not just introduce a lesson.
  • The variety of presenters and the topics discussed.
  • I got some great experiments and lesson plans. That is mostly why I go.
  • The presentations were great and the exhibits were full of great resources.
  • Science and literacy/math connections.
  • AP biology presentations.
  • The immediate take home material to use.
  • Picked up a lot of information in my teaching field, hands-on activities for my students, useful ideas, especially at the "swap meet" mini-sessions offered by groups like NMEA.
  • The sessions relating neuroscience and learning; engineering.
  • The broad range of scientific topics and useful information on how to be a more effective science teacher. Working for the Chicago Public Schools, I especially liked the keynote speaker, Mr. Arne Duncan. His support of science education was absolutely refreshing on the national level. The new administration is right on target with their focus on science.
  • The take-out labs workshops on kidney dialysis and stem cells were fabulous!
  • I couldn't choose. I love the networking—always learn something profound. I also get wonderful information in the Exhibit Hall that I immediately use back at school. And the workshops are always fabulous!

Are you convinced? Visit www.nsta.org/phoenix for more information or to register.

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Just the Links, Ma'am

Fresh content on the NSTA website:

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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.

Click on the logo above for more information and to register for these free professional development opportunities.



Professional development courses in your future?
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