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Week of May 17, 2010

Table of Contents

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Science Matters During National Lab Day

Arne Duncan with third-graders at Martin Luther King Elementary SchoolTo celebrate National Lab Day (NLD) last week, NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan to build solar cars with third-grade students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Washington, DC. Other Administration officials, including OSTP Director John Holdren, Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, also participated in NLD activities with Washington-area schools.

Read more about National Lab Day and sign up now for programs you can do with your kids later this year or next fall. National Lab Day is more than just a day!

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Member Input Sought on New Draft Position Statement—The Role of Research on Science Teaching and Learning

A team of science educators has updated an NSTA position statement recognizing the important role that research on science teaching and learning plays in improving science literacy. The statement encourages all participants in science education to assume active roles in research practices, and sets forth a number of declarations regarding the focus, practice, and use of research on science teaching and learning. When adopted, the new statement will replace two existing documents, The Role of Research in Science Teaching (1990) and Research in Science Education (1992).

NSTA requests member feedback before the draft document is adopted by the NSTA Board of Directors. Please tell us what you think by viewing the draft statement (PDF) and submitting your comments online. Comments must be received by Tuesday, June 1.

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NSTA Legislative Update: Democrats Pull America Competes from House Floor

In a surprising turn of events, House consideration and expected passage of America Competes (HR 116) abruptly ended late Thursday when Democrats pulled the legislation following passage of a Republican motion to recommit the bill that would have substantially changed the bill and included an antipornography provision. Congressional leaders vowed to bring the bill back to the floor this week.

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Inside-Out: Environmental Science in the Classroom and the Field for Grades 3–8

Science teachers of grades 3–8 will find this new book’s field and classroom-based activities perfect for learning experiences that easily integrate Earth science, chemistry, physical geography, and life science into the study of the environment.

For a quick refresher on content, each chapter begins with a primer covering basic concepts and continues with thought-provoking, inquiry-based activities that are each organized around a driving question. Materials lists, procedures for execution, “think about” sections designed to promote student inquiry, and outdoor safety guidelines are also included. Numerous web resources are provided for further exploration. Inside-Out may be the best resource available for seamlessly blending classroom activities with field-based learning.

Visit the NSTA Science Store to read a sample chapter and purchase.

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Destination: Kansas City—Fall Conference on Science Education

Science teachers planning for professional development next fall should consider a getaway in Kansas City where “Science: The Foundation of the Future” will be the theme at NSTA’s first fall Conference on Science Education. Scheduled for Oct. 28-30, educators can select from hundreds of workshops, presentations, seminars, and sessions that often drop into three key strands: (1) Data-driven Learning, (2) Developing and Communicating Conceptual Understanding for All Students, and (3) Scientific Innovation: Applying Science in the Real World.

  • Keynote speaker Jeff Goldstein (Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education: Capitol Heights, MD) will open the conference with a presentation titled Science Education: Conceptual Understanding at an Emotional Level. This engaging speaker tells us, “Science is a journey, not just a book of knowledge.”
  • Featured speaker Lisa C. Freeman (Professor of Pharmacology, Associate Vice President for Innovation, Kansas State University) will be talking about Science Education Partnerships.
  • Unleashing the Power of Data to Improve Science Teaching and Learning is the title of the presentation of Aminata Umoja (Educational Consultant, Umoja Consulting, LLC: Lithonia, GA).

Teachers can count on NSTA’s face-to-face PD for building content knowledge, learning strategies that improve student performance, and taking back techniques and concepts that pique student interest. Take advantage of hundreds of PD experts, meet thousands of science educators who share your passion, and enjoy an Exhibit Hall where top companies will show you the newest products on the market.

Visit the Kansas City conference web pages for more details.

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"Tell Us Why Science Is Cool" K–12 Science Video Contest

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is scheduled to be held in Washington, DC, in October 2010 and will screen the contestant’s winning video on the National Mall in Washington, DC. With possible prize money, electronics, and a trip to the Expo in Washington for the winners, this is an opportunity to get your students involved and share your passion for science. Sponsored by The Kavli Foundation and conducted in partnership with SciVee, the contest closes on July 15, 2010.

Here are a few suggestions for the budding videographers who must show “Why Science is Cool”:

  • Explore a scientific concept
  • Show the wonders of nature
  • Give a glimpse into the future
  • Show what scientific discovery has done for us in the past or will do in for us in the future
  • Introduce us to a great scientist or engineer
  • Show us why we should care about science and/or engineering

For more information, visit the USA Science & Engineering Festival website.

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Earn a Master's Degree in Chemical and Life Sciences Online

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’s website.

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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 May featured books, Assessment in Science. and Climate Change From Pole to Pole.

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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