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Week of February 22, 2010

Table of Contents

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Inquiry, Assessment, Differentiation, Standards—It's All About Science Education in Philadelphia

Science teachers and administrators can take advantage of professional development available at an extraordinary getaway March 18–21, at the National Conference on Science Education, Philadelphia, NSTA’s premier event. For every grade band and discipline, for the novice and the experienced, we offer full day programs, seminars to enhance content knowledge, workshops with hands-on activities, presenters like Bill Nye to inspire and teach, and networking with those who love science as much as you do. Have a look at some scheduled workshops.


  • Going Fishing for Rainbows: Connecting Content for Diverse Learners
  • Through the Eyes of Scientists: A Language Arts/Science Series—Free, brand-new language arts/science series from JPL. Learn to use science notebooks, experiment like real scientists, and learn expository writing skills.
  • Aligning Science Curriculum and Assessment to Raise Science Achievement Scores Through a "Train-the-Trainers" Model


  • The Science of Energy—Teach energy concepts with these center-based hands-on activities that investigate forms of energy—motion, sound, thermal and radiant energy, electrical and chemical energy
  • The Ubiquitous Middle Level Science Classroom—Integrating ELA, math, social sciences, and the arts. Learn some effective strategies.
  • The Science of Alcohol: Moving Health and Prevention into Inquiry-based Science


  • Fueling the Future: Energy Interconnections and Sustainable Options—Demonstrate the interconnections between energy sources, human choices, economic challenges, and environmental impacts. Includes free curriculum!
  • Teaching Chemistry with Hydrogen and Fuel Cells—Related to the standards, including conservation of energy, stoichiometry, redox reactions, and chemical thermodynamics.
  • Going Beyond 1, 2, 3: Successful Differentiated Grouping Strategies
  • Engaging Students in the Study of Biology: Real-World Connections


  • Using Formative Assessment in the Classroom to Make Students Responsible for Their Own Learning
  • Developing Science Leaders: An Elementary Science Professional Learning Community
  • Using the Science IDEAS Model to Integrate Science and Literacy in Grades K–5

Don’t wait to register at www.nsta.org/philadelphia. With more than 2000 sessions to choose from, you’ll learn and enjoy.

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Become Informed About New Online Resources for Developing Content Knowledge

Test new Learning Center online resources developed for K–12 science teachers and learn to navigate the “My Library” feature used to organize, and save your uploaded files, segment relevant information, and share your findings with colleagues. Your first step should be attendance at a free web seminar, New Resources and Tools, February 25, 2010, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. ET One free SciPack (a 10-hour online learning experience valued at $40) will go to those attending and completing an evaluation. Experienced users of the Learning Center should also attend to view our newest resources and hear strategies to maximize your online experience.

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NSTA Research-based, Full-day PD for Elementary Teachers and Administrators

“Keeping Elementary Primary: Current Research and Best Practices for Quality Instruction”

Elementary teachers and administrators can learn from the experts at this special, full-day event, March 20 at NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Philadelphia.

Two plenary sessions with specific viewpoints will be presented—from the classroom perspective and from the national perspective—on the challenges elementary science instruction is facing and what is needed to help develop and support a highly effective teacher.

Attendees can choose from fourteen breakout sessions focusing on the issues and fostering ongoing collaboration to support elementary teachers of science. Check out some of the titles:

  • Research in Elementary Science Education: The Top 10 Articles to Read
  • Seamless Assessment in Science
  • Gaps between the Standards and the Curriculum: Which Gaps Need Bridging and How?
  • Demystifying Data through Claims, Evidence and Reasoning: Bridging the Gap between Elementary Science and Literacy
  • Writing in Science: Integration That Increases Achievement in Both Domains
  • Moving Beyond Sharing Results to Constructing Evidence-Based Explanations: Strategies for Effective Science Talks
  • Ready, Set, Science! A Model for K–8 Teacher Professional Development
  • Redesigning Science Curricula to Leverage Students' Out of School Practices: An Interactive Session on Inquiry and Personally Relevant Science Instruction
  • Ideas, Evidence and Argument in Science Education (The IDEAS Project)
  • Teaching and Assessing Scientific Inquiry and Nature of Science in Elementary Classrooms

For one-day-only attendance to the special event on Mar. 20, $295 is required. Call Damaries Blondonville at 703.312.9206 or Wendy Binder at 703.312.9390 for details, questions, or to register.

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From the NSTA Calendar: National Teach Ag Day

Will U.S. students be prepared for the increasing number and complexity of agriculture-related jobs expected to be available in the future? Will their science, math, and literacy skills be up to par? National Teach Ag Day encourages agriculture educators at all levels to enlighten their students about why they chose to “teach ag” and to inspire them to consider agriculture education as a career. Visit the website for celebration ideas, lesson plans, and activity ideas.

Visit the NSTA online calendar for more science education opportunities.

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Half-day Symposia Offered at NSTA Philadelphia Conference

Learn from leading experts and scientists by attending NSTA symposia sponsored by FDA, Sally Ride Science, and the U.S. Forest Service. These in-depth, premiere professional development experiences are sure to increase content knowledge and introduce ideas for integrating standards-based activities into your classroom. Additionally each high-quality symposia is followed up with web seminars to reinforce the concepts learned and promote interaction among participants. Click here for a complete list of half-day symposia scheduled for the Philadelphia National Conference on Science Education.

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Lab Out Loud Interviews MythBusters' Adam Savage

Join Brian Bartel and Dale Basler, co-hosts of Lab Out Loud, as they interview Adam Savage from MythBusters. In episode 43, Savage talks about science education, learning from mistakes and experimentation in his work both on and off the show.

Lab Out Loud is a podcast, hosted by two science teachers, that discusses science news and science education by interviewing leading scientists, researchers, science writers, and other important figures in the field.

Listen to the show and other episodes at www.laboutloud.com. In addition to Adam Savage, Lab Out Loud has interviewed Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Dr. Theo Gray, Dr. Eugenie Scott, Sir Alec Jeffries, Sir Harold Kroto, Nicholas Wade, and many others.

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PBS Teachers® Innovation Awards Offer PreK–12 Educators Opportunity to Showcase Their Ingenuity

To honor and celebrate educators that engage students at new levels, spark their curiosity, and tap into students’ natural instinct to explore, PBS and its local stations have launched the PBS Teachers Innovation Awards. PreK–12 educators can enter now for a chance to win a behind-the-scenes trip to the premier annual PBS event and other prizes. For more information on how to enter, visit www.pbs.org/teachers/innovators.

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Astellas Pharma US, Inc., Announces New Science WoRx Program

In an ongoing commitment to advance science education—and ultimately broaden reach to a national audience of teachers—NSTA New Science Teacher Academy partner Astellas Pharma US, Inc., announces the launch of its new science education program, Science WoRx. The program provides teachers with resources to engage their students and help them to understand science's role in human health and medicine. The program features Science Pro, a fun and innovative in-classroom education and mentoring component that connects Astellas scientists with classrooms in the greater Chicago area. Here, a “Science Pro” will offer an inside look at working in human health and medicine through presentations, live experiments, and demonstrations. Teachers can also take advantage of ScienceWoRx.org, an online and interactive community established to connect science teachers nationwide, like yourself, with industry peers, as well as provide you with access to valuable resources. For more information, please visit www.scienceworx.org or visit us on www.facebook.com/scienceworx or @ScienceWoRx on Twitter.

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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 February featured book, A Head Start on Science.

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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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