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Week of January 11, 2010

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President Obama Announces New Partnerships Under Educate to Innovate Campaign

NSTA and PBS Initiatives Acknowledged at White House Event

Last week at a special event to honor the winners of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching held at the White House, President Obama announced several more public-private partnerships totaling over $250 million as part of his Educate to Innovate campaign to improve science and math instruction. One of the initiatives announced during his speech was NSTA's Science Matters public awareness and engagement campaign and the PBS Teachers® Innovation Challenge.

Other public-private partnerships announced were Intel's Science and Math Teachers Initiative; expansion of the National Math and Science Initiative's UTeach Program; a commitment by more than 75 public university presidents to train 10,000 math and science teachers annually by 2015; and the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships in Math and Science.

At the event the President also called on the 200,000 scientists and engineers working for the federal government to engage in National Lab Day (www.nationallabday.org).

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Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers Program Deadline Fast Approaching

The deadline for entries for the 20th annual Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program is just one week away! NSTA and Toyota are accepting entries now through Monday, January 18, at 11:59 p.m. EST. K–12 science teachers with innovative project ideas that enhance science education in their school and/or school district are encouraged to apply.

Fifty large grants and a minimum of 20 mini-grants totaling $550,000 will be awarded this year. Individual science teachers or a team of up to five teachers can submit proposals in one of three categories: physical science application; environmental science education; and integrating literacy and science. Additionally, all awardees will receive a $500 stipend to use for travel expenses or registration to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Philadelphia. Apply today!

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Deadline for Einstein Fellowship Application is January 13

Applications for the 2010–11 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship program will remain open through midnight, January 13. Access the online application now to create an account, review the application, and join the applicants' mailing list. Make sure to include your e-mail address to receive e-mail updates, tips, and ideas to help guide you through the application process. Additional program information, including biographies of the current Fellows, can be found on the Triangle Coalition website. This prestigious fellowship is in its 20th year of lending a teacher's voice to the development of Federal STEM education programs and policies in Washington, D.C.

The program is open to any K-12 STEM educator who thrives on personal and professional challenges; enjoys the opportunity to network with creative, passionate, intelligent colleagues; recognizes the importance of experienced educator; is interested in sharing their knowledge of teaching and learning in the national education arena; has the desire and the confidence to work on educational programs and/or issues at a national level; and wants to learn more about the role of federal agencies in education. Those selected will serve an 11 month paid Fellowship in Washington, D.C., working either in one of the sponsoring Federal agencies or on Capitol Hill.  The Einstein Fellowship Program is under the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy and is managed by the Triangle Coalition. Questions may be directed to Kathryn Culbertson, Program Manager, at culbertsonk@triangle-coalition.org.

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DOE Opens Lab Equipment Acquisition Program to High Schools and Middle Schools

U.S. high schools and middle schools are now eligible to participate in the Department of Energy Energy-Related Laboratory Equipment (ERLE) program. For 32 years this program has enabled institutions of higher education to acquire hundreds of millions of dollars in high quality surplus laboratory equipment from the Department’s National Laboratories. Schools may acquire equipment by reviewing the available equipment list at the DOE ERLE website and completing an electronic application form. The ERLE website is hosted by the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI).

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NSTA Welcomes New Board Member

Melvina Jones photoNSTA is pleased to welcome Melvina Jones to its board of directors. Jones will serve as the association’s new preschool/elementary division director. She replaces DeLene Hoffner, who has accepted a teacher exchange opportunity in Australia. Jones joins a 13-member board that oversees NSTA’s finances, policies and procedures, and strategic planning.

Jones, a science resource teacher for D.C. Public Schools and an adjunct professor at American University, is an active and passionate member of the science education community. In addition to teaching science, Jones has served as an ExploraVision judge, was a presenter at NSTA’s 2006 National Conference in Anaheim, and was a panel speaker at a U.S. joint congressional briefing on STEM education in 2005. She is also the recipient of several awards and accomplishments, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship.

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Share Your Good Ideas at an NSTA Conference

Don't delay—the deadline for submitting a session proposal for the NSTA 2010 area conferences is January 15, 2010. In 2010, NSTA will hold area conferences in Kansas City, MO (October 28-30), Baltimore, MD (November 11-13), and Nashville, TN (December 2-4). The 2011 National Conference on Science Education will be held in San Francisco, CA (March 10-13). The deadline for submissions for this conference is April 15, 2010. For more information, visit www.nsta.org/conferences and click "Presenting at NSTA Conferences." Here you can also pick up tips on submitting a successful session proposal.

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A National Conference on Science Education—Philadelphia 2010

Looking forward to what’s in store for science education next year, teachers and administrators can count on unmatched face-to-face professional development through NSTA’s annual event. Scheduled for March 18–21 in historic Philadelphia, program strands include:

  • Meeting the Unique Needs of Urban and Rural Science Learners
  • Connecting Content: Between, Within, and Among Subjects
  • Closing the Digital Generation Gap Between Teachers and Students
  • Rekindling the Fires of Science Teaching and Learning

The kickoff begins on Wednesday, March 17 with ten content-driven, in depth institutes (PDIs) and their follow-on pathway sessions along with a research dissemination conference called Keeping Elementary Primary: Current Research and Best Practices for Quality Instruction.

Beginning Thursday, attendees can find symposia with follow-on web seminars and intensive short courses meant to build content knowledge in a wide range of topics critical to teachers in all science disciplines. Nearly 2000 concurrent sessions are available for every grade band and for the newest preservice teacher to the career professional who writes curriculum or policy. Add to that, we offer terrific field trips, networking with peers and pros, and speakers like Bill Nye the Science Guy and Greg Marshall, a scientist, inventor, and filmmaker, who developed the Crittercam. Visit www.nsta.org/philadelphia for more information. January 22 is our earlybird deadline so early registration helps you save the most.

The Philadelphia conference preview (PDF) is available to view online or download.

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Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Web Seminar: How to Avoid Disqualification

Whether your class has just begun their project for the ExploraVision Awards program or is just finishing up, take some time to learn about the rules and requirements of the competition. The ExploraVision Awards program will present its fourth Web Seminar on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The web seminar will feature former coaches giving tips on how to avoid disqualification in this year’s ExploraVision competition. Find out about the rules and requirements of ExploraVision, how to navigate the online registration and the ins and outs of the submission process.  It’s free and all you have to do is register. For more information and to register, click here.

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Learn the Science of Sound, the History of Spaceflight, and More Online

Earn graduate credits online from a Carnegie I research institution. Spring courses from Montana State University's "National Teachers Enhancement Network" include topics in astronomy, physics, earth science and more.

"The Science of Sound" (PHYS 580-01) is a fun "ears-on" course designed for elementary teachers. The six-week course begins March 1 and offers 1 MSU graduate credit.

Internationally known space journalist Andrew Chaikin co-teaches "The History of Spaceflight and Space Technology" (EDCI 580-01) along with scientist Jason Marcks, executive director of Space Education Initiatives. Chaikin's best-selling chronicle of the Apollo moon missions, "A Man on the Moon," was the main basis for Tom Hanks' Emmy-winning HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon.

The course begins Feb. 8 and offers 3 graduate credits.

Other spring online NTEN courses include Quantum Mechanics, Astrobiology for Teachers, Water Quality in the Classroom and several others. Visit eu.montana.edu/NTEN and click on current courses.

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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 January featured book, Girls in Science.

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Professional development courses in your future?
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