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Week of October 19, 2009

Table of Contents

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NSTA Joins in Celebrating the National Day on Writing

The first National Gallery of Writing opens for visitors on October 20—America’s National Day on Writing. On this site, authors of all ages from communities large and small have gathered to celebrate the power of words. There are over 5000 compositions from nearly 1500 local and partner galleries that have already been recognized.

On October 8, the U.S. Senate unanimously agreed to S.RES.310, declaring the importance of writing to the nation and raising the profile of this effort. The resolution emphasizes the vital role of communication to our society. Using this snapshot of compositions from real and virtual communities of common interest, NCTE and its 17 national partners will begin reshaping a writing pedagogy to better develop writers of the future.

NSTA is a partner in the gallery. Your students can contribute writing samples to NSTA’s gallery, which has the following theme: Why Earth? What makes our planet the ideal cradle of life? Earth has the best conditions for life. In this International Year of Astronomy we have invited writers to think about some aspect of Earth that makes it so special. They can read a book about that perspective and then write about the questions they have about the topic and ways that these questions might be investigated. Compositions of any length are accepted, and they may include an original drawing or photo. It just takes a few minutes to upload your submission, and more information is available at the gallery. Those that have been already reviewed by the curators will be unveiled on October 20, 2009, as part of The National Day on Writing.

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Teachers in Grades 5–12 Can Opt for Symposia on Nutrition and Food Safety in Fort Lauderdale

NSTA’s Fort Lauderdale Conference on Science Education provides an exceptional opportunity for attendees - two well-respected symposia sponsored and led by the FDA. Consider the titles and details for your program agenda:

  • Teaching Nutrition Science and the Food Label, Grades 5–12
    Learn the basics of nutrition science, nutrition-related health trends, the scientific basis for the percentage daily values (%DV), and teaching resources available from the FDA. Take these inquiry-based and hands-on concepts back to your classroom.
  • Teaching Science with Food Safety, Grade Level 5–12
    Participants will learn how the FDA detects food-borne pathogens, how to culture bacteria found in food, and how the FDA investigates an outbreak of food-borne illnesses. Hands-on activities will meet several of the National Standards for your students.

Symposia are ticketed with fee reimbursement provided by the FDA.

Inquiry-based activities with follow-on web seminars are made available to participants, extending the face-to-face experience and providing a highly engaging discussion forum. Visit www.nsta.org/fortlauderdale to register.

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From the NSTA Calendar: A National Town Hall Meeting with Arne Duncan

On October 20 on the Department of Education’s Education News Parents Can Use television series, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will engage teachers across the country in a town hall forum about what’s working and what’s not working in U.S. schools. Live from Washington, D.C., PBS television station WETA, the secretary will respond to comments and questions from teachers in the studio audience and via telephone and e-mail. The conversation will address ways to improve the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called No Child Left Behind; better methods for recruiting, preparing, and rewarding teachers; ideas for elevating the teaching profession; and much more. The program will air 8–9 p.m. Eastern Time.

For more events and opportunities of interest to science educators, visit the NSTA Calendar.

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A Single Day at NSTA's Conference on Science Education in Fort Lauderdale

Tough economic conditions are affecting us all these days. We’re hoping it won’t prevent you from continuing to invest in your career. NSTA’s professional development Conference on Science Education scheduled for Nov. 12–14 in Fort Lauderdale is an option worth your attention. For every grade band and every discipline, we offer the best in PD for science educators.

If you live within driving distance, consider attending just one day of the three-day conference filled with workshops and seminars in your field for just $145. Arrive early to begin your day at 8:00 am. Take charge of your activities by scheduling online all your learning events and enjoy a busy day until 5:00 pm. Build your content knowledge, hear from renowned authors and experts in PD, and experience a whirlwind of activities in a single day.

Here’s a sample of what’s on the agenda:

  • Student Equity and Science Integration: A Path to Ensure Success in Learning Science—Randolf Tobias (Professor Emeritus, Queens College, City University of New York)
  • Saving Species: Science to the Rescue—Julie Scardina (Animal Ambassador, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and Discovery Cove)
  • Thirty-Minute Labs with Maximum Results (Middle–High)
  • Examining the Human Footprint: Population, Land Use, and the Global Environment—Explore human evolution and its impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, climate, and natural resources. Leave with extensive lesson plans on CD-ROM. (Middle–High)
  • Take Your Physical Science Lessons to the Olympic Level—Learn how to integrate science inquiry skills, engineering, and problem solving with hands-on physical science lessons. Lesson plans provided. (Elem–Middle)
  • Climate Change: Classroom Tools to Explore the Past, Present, and Future (Middle–Informal)
  • Embedded Formative and Summative Assessment (Middle–High)
  • Differentiation in the Science Classroom (Middle–High)
  • The Physics of Supernovas (High School–College)
  • Dendroclimatology: The Trees Tell a Tale—Gain understanding of how climate is recorded in trees, how this information can be used to predict climate, and how you can conduct an investigation on the campus of your school. (High School)

More than 400 sessions are available to choose from. Discipline-specific full-day programs are planned in chemistry, biology, physics, and physical science. And historically science teachers tell us they love the exhibit hall. Bring an extra tote for the giveaways.

To register, visit www.nsta.org/fortlauderdale.

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Website Spotlight: Freebies for Science Teachers

Tucked away in the NSTA website, under the Publications tab, you’ll find the Freebies for Science Teachers, a continually refreshed repository of free resources for you and your classroom. The "Freebies" have long been a popular part of the Grab Bag pull-out section of NSTA Reports. The handy online version is well worth bookmarking.

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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?
Online options give you a world of choice.
Take a look at these groups offering courses for science educators!


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