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Week of February 15, 2010

Table of Contents

Working Toward the Next Generation of Science Standards

NSTA has long sought to take science education to the next level by addressing the challenges faced by states, school districts, and teachers as they work toward the goal of a science literate population. The need to focus the country on a rigorous set of science standards that are clear, coherent, and manageable is both compelling and urgent.

Over the past year, NSTA engaged a team of experts to advise and move the science standards effort forward. We solicited—and received—opinions from science teachers, supervisors, district and state leaders and many others about the scope and direction of new science standards. We also worked with key national organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061, the National Research Council (NRC), and Achieve, Inc. to further the effort.

This article by NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle in the March 2010 NSTA Reports sheds light on where the project is headed.

Further reading:

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NSTA Legislative Update

A long time champion of science education in the U.S. House of Representatives announces his retirement, Congress passes a resolution in support of National Engineers Week, and a well-known researcher in the science education community testifies before a House appropriations panel. Read this and more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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NSTA's National Conference on Science Education Advance Deadline Extended to Feb. 19

Take advantage of reduced registration through Feb. 19 to attend the National Conference on Science Education in Philadelphia, March 18–21. Science teachers who need and want professional development, will get top-notch opportunities through workshops on content, seminars on critical issues, coverage of topics like assessment and inquiry, presentations by inspiring scientists and sessions on techniques that improve classroom performance. Add field trips to historical places, the Exhibit Hall with national companies showing their wares, networking with other science educators, and your trip will be complete—an educational getaway.

View some session titles for administrators and teachers in every grade band and in every discipline:

  • John Mooy (Storyteller and Author)—Class, I'd Like You to Meet Mr. Einstein
  • Julie Czerneda (Science Fiction Author and Editor)—Engage the Wonder: Developing Scientific Literacy Using Science Fiction
  • Bill Nye (Vice President, The Planetary Society, and Scientist, Author, and Host, The Science Channel’s 100 Greatest Discoveries)—LightSail-1: Launching a New Solar Sail
  • Making Biology Come Alive Through Bioinformatics (High School)
  • Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century: Hands-on lab activities to explore properties of soil, soil plant interactions, plant mineral nutrition, and fertilizer usage. (High School)
  • Smarter Science in High School: Literacy and Numeracy in Action (High School)
  • Build a Battery of Batteries: Teach electric cells and alternative energy sources. (Middle–High School)
  • Fantastic Voyage: The Human Body in Space (Elementary–Middle School)
  • Ubiquitous Middle Level Science Classroom: Integrating ELA, math, social sciences, and the arts. (Middle School)
  • Nanotechnology for the Classroom: The Next BIG Thing! (Elementary)
  • Bring Live Theater into the Science Classroom (Elem–Middle)
  • Field Trip:The Academy of Natural Sciences (ticketed)—The oldest natural history museum in the Americas, housing over 17,000,000 specimens.
  • Field Trip: Arthropod Museum (ticketed)—Live collections of insects from around the world, including unusual insects such as tarantulas, scorpions, 12-inch walking sticks, metallic gold beetles, and crustaceans.

Visit www.nsta.org/philadelphia to register by Feb. 19 to save the most.

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NSTA and netTrekker Partner to Improve K–12 Science Teaching Through Online, Content-Rich Professional Development Resources

Last week, NSTA and netTrekker, a leader in the delivery of digital K–12 educational resources, announced that they are partnering to offer a complete package of instructional and professional development resources for K-12 educators.

Through this new partnership, schools and districts can purchase a package of professional development resources from the NSTA Learning Center along with their netTrekker subscription. K–12 science teachers can easily access NSTA’s online professional development resources within their netTrekker search results to immediately find the support they need, and enhance their subject-area knowledge and instructional skills on the specific science topics that they’re teaching.

The netTrekker NSTA Learning Center package will be available this spring. netTrekker subscribers will be able to access a select portion of NSTA Learning Center resources in their search results as part of their netTrekker subscription, or they can opt to upgrade to access the full suite. For more information, visit netTrekker.com.

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Help Design a Science Lab for the 21st Century

The MacArthur Foundation’s $2 million Digital Media and Learning Competition is now open for comment. Almost 800 applications have been received in the competition for 21st Century Learning Lab Designers. The hope is that at the end of the competition there will be at least 20 outstanding new resources to add the National Lab Day site.

It is a three-tiered competition. First, applicants provide an abstract of their idea, which then receives comment and feedback from the public. Applicants can then revise their proposals based on the feedback.  This is the stage at present.

For more information, visit the Digital Medial and Learning Competition website.

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Online Graduate Courses This Spring 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; Evolution; The Solar System; Water: Environmental Science; The Diversity of Fishes; 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 ensure 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 containing course resources suitable for classroom use.

Registration closes March 1 for Spring (March 15–April 25). For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call (800) 649-6715.

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Sponsored by:

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Philadelphia conference

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 February featured book, A Head Start on 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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