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Week of March 15, 2010

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
Herff Jones sponsorship

Sponsored by:
Pearson sponsorship

NSTA Legislative Update: President Obama Releases Plan to Revise Elementary and Secondary Education Act

On Saturday, March 13, 2010, the Obama Administration released its blueprint for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind. According to the New York Times, his plan "strikes a careful balance, retaining some key features of the Bush-era law, including its requirement for annual reading and math tests, while proposing far-reaching changes." Read more in the latest NSTA Legislative Update.

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NSTA is All a-Twitter

Stay informed with the most up-to-date information regarding NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Philadelphia by following us on Twitter. Look for tweets announcing exciting events, activities, programs, and exclusive specials for followers.

Follow the directions below if you’d like to participate.

If you are a Twitter user:

  1. Go onto the Twitter site and sign up to follow the NSTA / National Science Teachers Association.
  2. You may want to receive these announcements at the conference throughout the day on your handheld device as a text message. If that is the case, make sure to enable that function on Twitter and turn the Device Updates on.

If you are not a Twitter user:

  1. You must sign up for a Twitter account at www.twitter.com.
  2. Then sign up to follow the NSTA / National Science Teachers Association.
  3. You may want to receive these announcements throughout the day on your handheld device as a text message. If that is the case, make sure to enable that function on Twitter and turn the Device Updates on.

We (and other attendees) will be using the Twitter hashtag #nstaphi.

We look forward to tweeting with you in Philadelphia.

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Toyota and NSTA Celebrate 20th Anniversary

Toyota Tapestry logo For the past 20 years, Toyota and NSTA have promoted science education in classrooms through the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers Program, providing more than $9.2 million in grants and touching more than 1,147 teams of teachers and tens of thousands of students nationwide. Last week, NSTA and Toyota announced that nearly $550,000 in grants will be awarded to 79 K–12 educators across the country as a part of the 2010 program. The winning programs will begin classroom implementation in June.

This year, 79 teachers in grades K–12 from across the United States were selected from more than 500 applications. Judges, accomplished in various areas of science, select projects that stand out in creativity, risk-taking and originality. Of the $550,000 granted this year, 50 teachers receive large grants of up to $10,000 each, and 29 receive mini grants of up to $2,500 each. To follow this year’s TAPESTRY recipients’ projects as they progress through the year, please visit www.toyotatapestry.com.

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Call for Applications—High School Teacher Teams Invited to Fly Experiments Aboard NASA Reduced Gravity Aircraft at Johnson Space Center

NSTA is seeking high quality applications from teams of high school science, math, and technology teachers who desire to participate in a Reduced Gravity Education Flight Week program offered through a joint project between NASA Johnson Space Center’s (JSC) Office of Education and Oklahoma State University’s Teaching From Space (TFS) Program.  Fourteen teams of 4–5 educators teaching grades 9-12 (from a single school or a school district) will be competitively selected to travel to Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX to participate in the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Week July 29–August 7, 2010, and fly their own experiments aboard NASA’s Reduced Gravity Aircraft. All participants must be US citizens.

NASA reduced gravity flight experiences offer educators the opportunity to successfully propose, design, and fabricate a reduced gravity investigation of their choice with their students; fly the experiment; conduct research in a microgravity environment; and evaluate the investigation.  Educators then share their findings with their students (who are not permitted to fly) and emulate the nature of inquiry to the larger education arena via a community experience of learning and future flight participants. The opportunity offers educators the opportunity to participate in first class immersive inquiry learning experiences and to engage, educate, and inspire their students in the STEM disciplines using NASA unique content and resources. In-flight and postflight video activities allow educators enhanced opportunities to share their experience with the students. NSTA will support the Flight Week and provide preflight and postflight professional development related to the experience.

The flight 10-day Flight Week will include training, readiness preparation, and experiment/equipment evaluation prior to actual flight days. NASA will cover the cost of securing the plane for flight week while the educators secure and pay travel and experiment equipment expenses to participate in flight week. Each selected team will be paired with a NASA mentor who will fly with the team and provide preflight technical guidance relating to the experiment design.

Selected participants will begin their involvement in the project beginning in April 2010 by participating in a series of training web seminars and initiating work on creating their experiment with NASA. Postflight participation activities occur through December 2010. Applications for participation in the NASA Reduced Gravity Education Flight Week program are due by March 18, 2010.

For more information or an application, contact Marie Wiggins, Senior Director, Competitions and Teacher Awards at NSTA at (703) 312-9241 or mwiggins@nsta.org.

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

NSTA is extending a “conference rate” online for the Buy a Brick … Build a Legacy program during the week of the NSTA National Conference in Philadelphia. The program gives donors at every level of giving the opportunity for lasting recognition of their support for the John Glenn Center for Science Education.

The program is 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. 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 conference rate for bricks will be available online starting the week of the NSTA National Conference in Philadelphia (March 15–21). 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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"Smart Science Sooner "

A message from Retiring NSTA President Page Keeley:

One of the goals of my NSTA presidency, continuing into my Retiring President's year, is to raise awareness of the critical importance of elementary science, including the ripple effect the lack of science in the elementary grades has had on middle and high school science. Support for elementary science is a continuing goal for NSTA President Pat Shane and President-Elect Alan McCormick.

I recently came across an excellent article you may want to make your members and other constituents aware of. "Start Science Sooner" is an editorial published in the March 2010 issue of Scientific American. The editors make a strong case for why science education must begin in kindergarten.

Spread the word!

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Earn a Master's Degree Online from the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland’s Master of Chemical and Life Sciences degree enhances your knowledge, increases your expertise, and advances your career. Specifically designed for middle and high school science teachers, the 30-credit, content-based program focuses on current research areas in the biological, biochemical, and biomedical sciences. Aside from laboratory experiences, the program’s online format benefits the working professional with the flexibility, convenience, and accessibility that online learning affords. Dynamic faculty with academic credentials and professional experience deliver the most current knowledge and skills in an interactive environment. Find out more—visit the University of Maryland website.

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Sponsored by:

Delta sponsorship

Wards  sponsorship

Even More Everyday Science Mysteries 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 March featured book, Science Fairs Plus: Reinventing an Old Favorite.

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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