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Week of November 9, 2009

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
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Time is Running Out to Apply for a Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award

Do you have a student who has an amazing idea, one that could be patented and possibly be taken to the commercial marketplace? The Spirit of Innovation Awards is looking for great ideas, amazing innovations, and entrepreneurial projects that solve real world challenges. Win a trip to California and an opportunity to meet industry leaders and venture capitalists who are also looking for great ideas. To learn more, check out the Spirit of Innovation Award website at www.conradawards.org. Don’t delay, apply now! Applications must be submitted no later than December 15, 2009 to be considered.

Also, be sure to check out our upcoming webinars.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Project FeederWatch

By sharing information about which birds visit their feeders between November and April, backyard and schoolyard bird watchers can help scientists track changes in bird numbers and movements from year to year. Project FeederWatch, a citizen-science program from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada, works with all ages and skill levels. Teachers can use it to engage children in nature study and scientific investigation through careful observation and note-taking and asking questions about the natural world.

Find more opportunities in the NSTA online Calendar.

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FREE SciPack—The Ocean's Effect on Weather and Climate, for Elementary and Middle School Teachers

If you’d like to polish your content knowledge to help your students understand this topic correlated to state standards, take advantage of this 10-hour online learning experience. Teachers can access NSTA’s online Learning Center (open a free account) and explore concepts related to Earth’s weather and climate. The focus is on standards and benchmarks related to weather and climate, the water cycle, climate change, and the role of solar energy and its affect on the atmosphere and oceans. The unique role oceans play in defining Earth’s weather and climate patterns is also specifically addressed. In addition to comprehensive inquiry-based learning materials tied to Science Education Standards and Benchmarks, the SciPack includes the following:

  • Pedagogical implications addressing common misconceptions, teaching resources and strand maps linking grade-band appropriate content to standards.
  • Access to one-on-one support via e-mail to content “Wizards.”
  • Final assessment which can be used to certify mastery of the concepts.

Visit the NSTA Learning Center for more information.

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Seeing the Forest and the Trees

NSTA’s new title Forestry Field Studies is a “how-to-teach environmental science and ecology manual” for high school science teachers and freshman level college teachers with an interest in outdoor exploration. Basic principals are learned through investigations with steps covered from selecting items for field kits to collecting and analyzing data and writing the final reports. At minimal expense, students can experience the work of foresters, wildlife biologists, park rangers, and ecologists. Concepts incorporated into the studies include secondary succession, community structure and function, elemental cycles, population dynamics, biodiversity, global warming, watershed issues, and sustainable management of natural resources. For students who love the “real” experience as opposed to the “virtual” experience more common today, the field studies may provide a career track previously not considered.

Visit the NSTA Science Store to preview a chapter and purchase.

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Seeking Preservice Teachers for NSTA's Preservice Teacher Preparation Committee

NSTA is seeking qualified preservice teachers to serve a two-year term on the NSTA Preservice Teacher Preparation Committee, which is a standing committee of the National Science Teachers Association. Serving on a committee is a great way to network with your peers, and it’s a tremendous boost to your professional portfolio.

NSTA’s goal in placing preservice teachers on this committee is to receive input from those directly affected by the preservice science teacher community; engage preservice and early career teachers of science in NSTA activities; promote the professional development of preservice teachers of science and the appointed future teacher; and support the development of current and future NSTA student members in the leadership activities of NSTA affairs.

The nomination will be a highly competitive honor for preservice nominees. For the student selected, the two-year appointment will provide an opportunity for early professional growth as a science teacher. The NSTA Division Director of Preservice Teacher Preparation and the NSTA staff liaison will identify the appointed student’s responsibilities. The appointee will receive one nights lodging to attend each of the national conference(s) she/he has agreed to attend. NSTA officers, staff, and members of the Teacher Preparation Committee will invite the appointee to participate in appropriate special events during the annual and regional conferences the individual may attend during her/his term.

Any active NSTA member may submit nominations for the 2010–2012 appointment on the nomination form (PDF), which also contains additional information about the nomination and selection process, expectations for the candidate selected, and NSTA support for the student. Nominators should submit completed nomination forms and all accompanying materials by November 20, 2009. Materials should be addressed to:

NSTA Preservice Teacher Nomination
Attn.: Membership and Chapter Relations
National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Blvd
Arlington VA 22201-3000.

Questions? Contact Theresa Nicely with NSTA Chapter Relations at (800) 722-6782, ext. 364 or e-mail chapters@nsta.org.

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Conference on Science Education, Phoenix: An Educational Getaway

Register to attend the top conference on science education, west of the Mississippi this year. Science educators will meet in Phoenix, Dec. 3–5, to learn new science content, enhance their teaching strategies, gather classroom tips and techniques, and take advantage of support from professional development experts who are leaders in the field. Presenters will inspire you, you’ll make new friends, meet mentors, and enjoy a beautiful destination. Consider some of our program offerings:

  • Discipline-specific full-day programs—biology, physics, physical science, earth science, and chemistry.
  • Veteran NPR science correspondent and award-winning TV journalist Ira Flatow presenting Talking Science in a Science-challenged World.
  • Matthew E. Kaplan, Project Lead, Human Origins Genotyping Laboratory, presenting DNA: The Strand that Connects Us All.
  • Forensic Science: The Context for Integration (Middle–High School)
  • Cosmic Times: Astronomy History and Science for the Classroom (Middle–High School)
  • Using Rain Forests to Teach Across Disciplines: Educational Resources on Forestry in Guatemala (Elem–High School )
  • Imaging the Invisible—Learn how scientists use technologically advanced detectors to "measure" invisible sources, record the measurements, and transform the measurements into increasingly greater detailed "representative color" images. (High–College)
  • Science Notebooking in the Elementary Classroom (Elem)
  • Inquiry Matters—Conduct tests on four look-alike household liquids, identify unknowns. Free molecular model animations explain observations. Handouts. (Elem–Middle)
  • Field trip (ticketed): Biosphere 2—Better understand how natural environments create habitable conditions for human sustainability.
  • Field trip (ticketed): Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Saguaro National Park—A world-renowned zoo, natural history museum, and botanical garden, all in one place. A genuine field experience offered at the national park.

For more information and to register, visit www.nsta.org/phoenix.

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Sponsored by:

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Phoenix Conference sponsorship

Learn more about NSTA e-newsletter sponsorships

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 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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