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Week of May 10, 2010

Table of Contents

National Lab Day is May 12

This Wednesday, scientists, engineers, technologists, and mathematicians from across the country will team up with K–12 schools for project-based learning experiences and more.

But National Lab Day (NLD) is more than just a day. National Lab Day is a long-term program/collaboration between STEM professionals and K–12 classroom teachers. Even if you haven’t signed up for this year’s NLD, take a look at the website and projects, and register your class for NLD today.

  • Read NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle’s commentary in this week’s Education Week titled “Making Science Labs a Priority
  • Read the blog from OSTP staff on the White House website about the May 6 NLD event in New York City
  • Read the e-mail from Energy Secretary Stephen Chu encouraging Dept. of Energy scientists to get involved in National Lab Day
  • Read the U.S. House of Representatives resolution (H.Res.1213) introduced by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), which recognizes STEM education and supports National Lab Day.

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Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Middle School Finalists Announced

Last week NSTA, Siemens Foundation, and Discovery Education named the 25 middle school state finalists of the second annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Over 6,500 middle school students competed in this year’s challenge, which encourages students to team up and develop plans to initiate environmental change in their communities. Two national winning teams and one grand prize–winning team will be chosen from these state finalists on May 24. Read more about this year’s winning environmental projects at www.wecanchange.com.

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Deadline for Graduate Credit Extended to June 4 for NSTA Conference Attendees

If you’re interested in getting graduate credit for your participation at the national NSTA conference in Philadelphia this past March (just 12 hours of program attendance can earn 1 graduate credit) … but haven’t had time to do the work, act now. The deadline to register, to complete and submit your work for credit has been extended to June 4, 2010. To learn more about this opportunity through Shippensburg University, visit www.ship.edu/extended/nsta/ or contact Shippensburg’s Office of Extended Studies at 717-477-1502 or extended@ship.edu.

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Input Requested for Draft Version of the NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation Programs

The NSTA Teacher Accreditation Subcommittee has released a draft version of the revisions to the NSSTP. Feedback and comments are welcome. This vetting process is an important one as we revise the NSSTP. When considering the five standards, please keep in mind our work was guided by the following:

  • The revised Standards are for beginning science teachers and are meant to represent minimal competencies.
  • The revised Standards are designed so as to not replicate those competencies addressed and assessed under the NCATE Unit Standards.
  • The revised Standards are designed to allow individual emphases within programs while maintaining a basic level of competency.
  • The revised Standards adopts the Continuous Improvement model approach adopted by NCATE and assumes programs currently holding accreditation to be meeting the standards.

We have used research to guide the revisions. We are very interested in additional research resources (please put on the comment section of the survey). The draft version of the revised NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation is on the survey and also is available at www.nsta.org/preservice. The website has the link to the survey as well.

The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/RF8CNWQ.

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From the NSTA Calendar: ASM Materials Education Foundation Teacher Grants

To help K–12 teachers bring the "real world" of materials science into the classroom, the ASM International Foundation, a scientific and engineering society, is awarding 10 “Living in a Material World” grants of $500 each. The grants are awarded to enhance awareness of materials science and the role of materials scientists in society. ASM International has local chapters across North America, and its members are willing to work closely with local teachers to develop and implement these lessons. Teachers must apply by May 25 at the ASM Teacher Grants website. Awards will be made in August.

Looking for more science education opportunities? The NSTA online calendar is the place for you.

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NSTA Waives NCSE Registration Fee

NSTA has waived the registration fee for everyone attending the National Congress on Science Education (NCSE). This national conversation on science education, which is organized by science leaders and for science leaders, comprises one voting delegate from each of NSTA’s Chapters and Associated Groups. For the past ten years, the NCSE has provided an opportunity for chapters and associated groups, the NSTA Council, the NSTA Board of Directors, and NSTA staff to collaboratively address issues and work toward strategies that will support our mission, “to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.”

NSTA knows that budgets are tight and also knows the value of learning and collaborating with peers. With the registration fee waived, every Chapter and Associated Group is urged to participate. For more information, please click here.

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Find Your Inner Scientist with an Online Graduate Course from AMNH

Ever wonder what scientists really do all day? Looking for ways to learn science content in a powerful, inquiry-based way? Join Seminars on Science in a summer session of our award-winning online graduate courses in the life, Earth, and physical sciences from the American Museum of Natural History. Designed for K–12 educators, Seminars on Science courses connect classroom teachers with scientists engaged in current, real-world research.  Each course is authored by leading scientists in their fields and is then co-taught by an experienced classroom teacher and a researcher affiliated with AMNH.

This summer Seminars on Science is offering eleven courses, including: Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Evolution; The Solar System; Water: Environmental Science; Space, Time and Motion; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics, and more. Free sample resources are available for each course at learn.amnh.org. Please see the website for the full course listing.

In-depth readings and assignments paired with rich web-based discussions ensure that educators come away from each class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. All courses run for six weeks and are fully online.  Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use. Affordable graduate credit is available for all courses (see website for details).

Registration is now open! Summer Session 1 runs June 7–July 18. Summer Session 2 runs July 5–August 15. Sign up now 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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Professional development courses in your future?
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