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Week of November 2,, 2009

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Stimulus Funds Save 250,000 Jobs Nationwide, Says White House

Early last week the White House announced that the economic stimulus bill has saved at least 250,000 jobs nationwide. “[P]reliminary data shows that Recovery Act funding has enabled states to restore nearly all of their projected education budget shortfalls for FY09 and FY10. Filling these budget gaps has allowed the Recovery Act to avert layoffs of educators in school districts and universities across the nation, saving and creating at least a quarter of a million education jobs, while helping school districts make progress on reforms that will improve teaching and learning in America’s classrooms.”

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From the NSTA Calendar: Webinar on Educating for Sustainability in K–12 Schools

On November 5, the U.S. Partnership with the United Nations Decade for Education on Sustainable Development is hosting a free webinar on a national trend occurring in K–12 schools, education for sustainability (EFS). EFS involves the interconnectedness of economic, social, and environmental systems. Educators will present case studies and share resources on how they are successfully using sustainability as an integrative theme in diverse elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. The webinar will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST. To learn more, download this PDF.

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

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Astronomy Night at the White House

The White House South Lawn was lined with telescopes and science exhibits featuring moon rocks, mars rocks, meteorites, and more for Astronomy Night last month. The President and First Lady invited local middle school students to star-gaze and welcomed space heroes Buzz Aldrin and Sally Ride, as well as two remarkable science students, Caroline Moore and Lucas Bolyard, to come share some of their wisdom. Caroline was just 14 years old when she became the youngest person ever to discover a supernova and Lucas, a high school sophomore, discovered an extremely rare kind of star called a pulsar. Check out this White House video to see Astronomy Night through the eyes of young discoverers Caroline and Lucas.

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Calls from the NSTA Journals

Health Wise: Ask Us Your Questions

NSTA’s high school journal, The Science Teacher, wants your input! We are seeking questions and topics to address in Health Wise, our personal health column for high school students and teachers. In each Q&A-style column, we strive to provide you with accurate, up-to-date health information to share with your students. Recent topics include: sun protection, diabetes, and swine flu. Do you have a health question that you would like answered, or general feedback? Send an e-mail to sliberatore@nsta.org.

Call for Papers

NSTA’s elementary journal, Science and Children, is seeking submissions for its Summer 2009 issue on Professional Development. The deadline is January 1, 2010. To help students continually learn, we must continually learn. Research shows us there is a correlation between teacher expertise and student achievement. Some of us are fortunate and have excellent professional development opportunities. Many of us are left to devise our own strategies for improvement. The editor is seeking papers that address issues such as the following: How do you structure your learning if you are not in a location where PD is readily available? Do you participate in a learning community? How do you use technology to support your PD such as video courses, podcasts, webinars, and online courses? Before you submit your story, please see the manuscript guidelines.

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Volunteer on a Committee, Advisory Board, or Review Panel

Applications are being accepted through December 10, 2009, for volunteers for NSTA’s committees, advisory boards, and panels. Committee membership is a means by which you can interact with colleagues, gain insights into the complexity of issues, and have a positive impact on science education at the national level. We need your views and your expertise. Please consider joining—it only takes a few moments to apply, and it will be a tremendous boost to your professional portfolio. To learn more about the various opportunities available, apply online, or download an application, please visit the Standing Committees and Advisory Boards and Panels web pages.

The following groups are especially in need of volunteers this year:

  • Committee on College Science Teaching
  • Committee on Nominations
  • Audit Committee
  • Science Scope Advisory Board
  • Journal of College Science Teaching Advisory Board
  • NSTA Reports Advisory Board
  • Retired Members Advisory Board
  • Special Education Advisory Board
  • Conference Advisory Board
  • Development Advisory Board
  • International Advisory Board
  • Investment Advisory Board.

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Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) Applications for 2010 Spring Admission Due November 15

 “… At last, a degree that meets my needs - understanding science and how to teach it. And I can pursue the degree and keep my job.” (MSSE Student)

The Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) degree program is offered by Montana State University-Bozeman. This intercollege-interdisciplinary program is sponsored jointly by the Colleges of Agriculture; Education, Health and Human Development; Letters and Science; and the Division of Graduate Education. As you investigate the program you will find that it is an ideal program for science educators to improve not only their science content knowledge, but also their teaching skills specific to science disciplines.

Several unique program characteristics make this program especially appealing to science educators:

  • First, the program was developed specifically for science educators. The 30-credit program requires credits from graduate science disciplines as well as from science education courses.
  • Second, program students are allowed to individualize the sequence and topics of science-based course offerings in order to meet specific needs. Science courses are taken across two or more science disciplines, depending on teaching assignments and interests.
  • Third, about 80% of the program is delivered at a distance, which allows teachers to continue to work as they pursue an advanced degree.
  • Fourth, campus summer courses are strongly field and laboratory based, providing actual hands-on activities that can be taken into classrooms and teaching environments.

From the Director’s desk: “As program staff, we are always eager to provide assistance, answer questions, and provide program advisement. In fact, we like to think that guidance and assistance is one of the program’s strongest characteristics. We want you to be successful!”

More about MSSE, program contact information, and a listing of spring courses can be found at www.montana.edu/msse.

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Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the November featured book, NSTA Guide to Planning School Science Facilities, 2nd Edition.

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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