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Week of December 7, 2009

Table of Contents

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National Computer Science Education Week

csedweek.org logoThe U.S. House of Representatives recently designated December 6–12, 2009 as Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) in recognition of the transformative role of computing and necessity of rigorous computer science education at all levels.  The CSEdWeek website, www.CSEdWeek.org, launches the week of Dec. 6 to be a hub for computer science education resources and social networking. The development of CSEdWeek is a joint effort led by ACM with the cooperation and deep involvement of the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Computing Research Association, the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the Anita Borg Institute, the National Science Foundation, Google, Inc., Intel, and Microsoft.

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NSTA's December Lineup of Free Web Seminars

Register today!

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Title I School Improvement Grants Now Available

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the final requirements for $3.5 billion in Title I School Improvement grants designed to turn around the nation's lowest performing schools.

These funds are made available to states by formula and competed for by school districts. As they compete for the funds, school districts (LEAs) must identify the schools they want to transform, and then determine which of the four following models is most appropriate.

Turnaround model: Replace the principal and rehire no more than 50 percent of the staff and grant the principal sufficient operational flexibility (including in staffing, calendars/time, and budgeting) to implement fully a comprehensive approach to substantially improve student outcomes.

Restart model: Convert a school or close and reopen it under a charter school operator, a charter management organization, or an education management organization that has been selected through a rigorous review process.

School closure: Close a school and enroll the students who attended that school in other schools in the LEA that are higher achieving.

Transformation model: Implement each of the following strategies: (1) replace the principal and take steps to increase teacher and school leader effectiveness; (2) institute comprehensive instructional reforms; (3) increase learning time and create community-oriented schools; and (4) provide operational flexibility and sustained support.

The applications are now available and are due into the Department of Education by Feb. 8, 2010

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Join National Lab Day!

Looking for help with your science fair, or with a lesson, or maybe someone to host a field trip, advise an after-school program, help with a hands-on activity, or supply some cool lab equipment? Wouldn’t it be great to have a scientist or engineer come speak to your kids about their work?

You can make it happen through National Lab Day (NLD). At the NLD website you simply sign up then submit your idea for a project (or what you need in your classroom) and the website matches your request with a local volunteer (a university  STEM student, local scientists, engineers, STEM professionals and other members of the community) who has also joined the NLD hub.

President Obama announced the initiative just before Thanksgiving, and science teachers across the United States have enthusiastically responded!

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NSTA Extends Conference Rate Online for Buy a Brick … Build a Legacy Program

As the fall season of area conferences comes to a close, NSTA is extending the “conference rate” online for the Buy a Brick…Build a Legacy program for 1 additional week (until December 14th). The conference rate was set to expire at the end of the Phoenix conference on December 6, but because of the popularity of the program, members and non-members will have one last chance to take advantage of the conference rate. The Buy a Brick … Build a Legacy gives donors at every level of giving the opportunity for lasting recognition of their support for the John Glenn Center for Science Education.

Donors to the Buy a Brick … Build a Legacy program can choose customized text to be engraved on bricks and pavers that will be featured in prominent locations in the Glenn Center. Companies and other organizations can even have a logo engraved on a paver.

The program is also a wonderful opportunity for NSTA members and other individuals to honor or memorialize loved ones, family members, teachers, mentors, or others. And, of course, all gifts will help create an important new resource for science educators everywhere.

Three options are available as part of the program for gifts of $50 (normally $75), $250 (normally $275), or $350 (normally $375). Visit www.nsta.org/buyabrick to participate.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Learning and the Digital Nation

How have the web and digital media affected learning in the 21st century? The producers of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) series Frontline examined this question during a yearlong study, the results of which appear on the Digital Nation website.

In a December 8 PBS Teachers LIVE! webinar—Education in the Digital Age: Frontline's Digital Nation—producer Rachel Dretzin will share her insights and findings and show teachers around the website. PBS Teachers invites educators interested in teaching about and with digital technology to register for this free event.

Visit the NSTA’s online calendar for more educational opportunities.

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Kick Start the New Year with Online Graduate Courses from the American Museum of Natural History

For less than the cost of one graduate credit at most private colleges, you can get up to four graduate credits through the American Museum of Natural History’s Seminars on Science program. From the formation of our solar system to global water issues, AMNH seeks to connect teachers to science through rich, diverse resources, interaction with working scientists, and eye-opening discussions on current science topics. Sign up today!

Spring courses include: Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Evolution; The Solar System; Water: Environmental Science; The Diversity of Fishes; Space, Time and Motion; and Genetics, Genomics, Genethics. Free sample resources are available for each course at learn.amnh.org.

Designed for K–12 educators, each six-week course is led by an experienced classroom teacher and a research scientist. In-depth readings and assignments paired with rich web-based discussions assure that educators come away from each course with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use.

Registration closes January 11 for Spring Session One (January 25 – March 7)! Sign up by January 1 and receive a $50 early registration discount. For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call (800) 649-6715.

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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 December featured book, Science Beyond the Classroom.

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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