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Week of May 31, 2010

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
NSTA Career Center sponsorship

Sino-U.S. Science and Education Forum to be Held in Shanghai

Science educators are invited to participate in the Sino-US Science and Education Forum to be held in Shanghai, China, November 15–21, 2010. Hosted by the NSTA and the China Association of Children’s Science Instructors (CASCI), educators from both countries will share experiences on the design and implementation of science education. During the weeklong forum, these topics will be discussed:

  • Science education trends in both countries
  • Professional development of science teachers
  • Design and implementation of science curriculum and lessons
  • Social and informal resources in science education

Up to 75 US educators are invited to join this trip. US participants will be responsible for all expenses of the trip including air, hotel, meals and tours. Local school visits will be scheduled for attendees and there will be time allotted for sightseeing in the city and nearby historical areas. The tentative agenda is as follows:

Day 1, Nov. 15: US Delegation arrives and registers in the evening
Day 2, Nov. 16: AM—Rest, PM—Opening speeches and discussion, Dinner
Day 3, Nov. 17: Keynote speeches and discussion, Lunch, Invited reports, Dinner
Day 4, Nov. 18: Concurrent Sessions (4 forums), Round table meeting, School visits
Day 5-6, Nov. 19–20: School visits and sightseeing in Shanghai and nearby areas.
Day 7, Nov. 21: Departure from Shanghai

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity shouldn’t be missed. For more information, visit the forum web page, e-mail Michelle Butler at mbutler@nsta.org, or call her at 703.312.9254.

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New Science Teacher Academy Mentors "Fellows"

If you’re a second- or third-year secondary science teacher, don’t miss the newly extended deadline (June 21) to apply to NSTA’s New Science Teacher Academy. This Academy supports Fellows through mentoring and other professional development resources during their challenging initial years. Striving for quality science teaching, enhanced teacher confidence, classroom excellence, and solid content knowledge, the Academy provides the following additional benefits.

  • Full membership in the National Science Teachers Association
  • Access to the web-based Learning Center’s tools and professional development activities and resources including web seminars led by national experts
  • Use of vetted science websites, state and national standards sites, other professional organizations, safety tips, and more
  • E-mentoring with an experienced teacher in the same science discipline and grade band
  • Facilitated online curriculum devoted to science content and applicable classroom pedagogy
  • Access to a nationwide, online network of science educators and scientists for exchange of information, ideas, and resources
  • Participation in specialized conference pathway sessions, and a Research Dissemination Conference or a Professional Development Institute.
  • Paid accommodations, airfare, meals, and registration fees to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education.

Who is Eligible?

  • Applicants must reside in the United States
  • Applicants must be entering their second or third year of teaching
  • Applicants must be working a schedule with 51 percent of their classes in middle or high school science

Download and complete an application (www.nsta.org/academy) to become a Fellow in the New Science Teacher Academy and share this message with your colleagues. June 21, 2010, is the deadline for receipt of all applications.

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STEM Education and National Security

On Thursday, May 27, the Obama Administration released its National Security Strategy (NSS) document that lays out a strategic approach for advancing American interests, and addresses a wide array of issues including strengthening STEM education. The document notes that

America’s long-term leadership depends on educating and producing future scientists and innovators. We will invest more in STEM education so students can learn to think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology; improve the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations; and expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and girls. We will work with partners—from the private-sector and nonprofit organizations to universities—to promote education and careers in science and technology.

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From the NSTA Calendar: National Pollinator Week 2010

It’s time to talk with your students about the birds and the bees—along with the butterflies, bats, and beetles! Coming up the week of June 21–27, National Pollinator Week 2010 is an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by the more than 100,000 vertebrates and invertebrates that act as pollinators. Teachers will find free materials at the National Pollinator Week website, including Pollinator Gardens and Habitat Program Curriculum and Activities, which contains lessons for grades preK–12. In addition, Nature's Partners: Pollinators, Plants, and You, an inquiry learning-based curriculum for grades 3–6, offers activities appropriate for the formal classroom or for a nonformal education setting that can easily be adapted to fit the needs of the students and the teaching situation.

For more science education events and opportunities, fly over to the NSTA online calendar.

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The Science Teacher Seeks New Column Authors

The Science Teacher (TST) is on the hunt for two new column authors! Want to write for us? Check out the calls below:

TST: New Teacher Column
Do you remember your first years teaching science? Want to share what you’ve learned with new teachers? TST is looking for someone to write a new column aimed at beginning science teachers. This regular, one-page column will feature quick tips for science teachers just starting out. If you have at least 3–5 years of teaching experience and want to write this column, send a resume, a few suggested topics, and two 720-word columns to tst@nsta.org by July 1. Share some tips that you wish you’d known your first year!

TST: Green Teaching Column
TST is also looking for someone to write a new column on making classrooms—and teaching—greener. This regular, one-page column will provide green tips and practical classroom activities, with a focus on environmental education as well. If you’d like to write this column, send a resume, a few suggested topics, and two 720-word columns to tst@nsta.org by July 1.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Science Teaching as a Profession: Issues and Answers

Sheila Tobias, an educational consultant, and Anne Baffert, a high school science department chair and chemistry teacher, co-authored Science Teaching As a Profession: Why It Isn’t. How It Could Be to address the issues surrounding teacher professionalism. Using research from interviews with science teachers throughout the US, the authors cited poor working conditions, low pay, and loss of autonomy and control as reasons for diminished teacher satisfaction. With so much stress on test results over depth of knowledge, it’s obvious that science teachers need more support than ever. The profound consequences of the steady decline in the stature of science teachers is critical to America’s future success.

“This book is a must-read for anybody seriously interested in supporting a reform movement that will stick. It’s well written and accessible for both lay and professional audiences. It is a first step in addressing a facet of science education too long ignored. The transformation of science education that we need to produce the next generation of informed citizens will come through the leadership, responsibility, and accountability of professional science teachers.”

Gerald F. Wheeler
Executive Director Emeritus
National Science Teachers Association

For more information, to read a chapter, or to order, visit the NSTA Science Store.

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New NSTA Learning Center PD Provider

NSTA welcomes the University of Massachusetts Amherst as our newest member of the NSTA Learning Center’s Professional Development Provider Program! Click here to learn more.

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Open Your Classroom Doors and Let the WILD In

… with new curriculum ideas from the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Learning about wildlife and nature, such as lions and tigers and bears (“oh my!”), will revitalize your student’s interest in learning and enliven your classroom.  Learn with the Wildlife Conservation Society to discover new ways you can let the WILD in.

Whether you teach in a school or non-traditional setting, science, math, language arts, or anything in between, WCS Online Courses for Educators offer something for everyone!

Spring 2010 Courses (still spots available)

Summer 2010 Courses (starting soon!):

  • Habitat Ecology for Educators
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Education

Fall 2010 Courses (now enrolling):

  • Habitat Ecology for Educators
  • Conservation Biology for Educators
  • Marine Biology for Educators
  • Energy, Climate and Wildlife Connections

WCS Online Courses are a convenient way to enhance your understanding of the living world and revitalize your love of nature and science. Providing a unique opportunity to examine the life sciences of zoology, ecology and conservation, WCS Online Courses offer:

  • Learning experiences through virtual and interactive simulations, videos, presentations from WCS scientists, and interaction with teachers from around the world
  • The most up-to-date news from our field experts
  • Opportunities to explore best practices in science education
  • Curriculum and resources
  • Graduate credits available

For more information, please visit www.wcs.org/elearning or call +1-718-220-5136.

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Sponsored by:

More Chemistry Basics-Stop Faking It-NSTA Press ad

Using Science Notebooks in Middle School-NSTA Press ad

Brain Powered Science-NSTA Press ad

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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 June featured books, Exemplary Science in Informal Education Settings: Standards-Based Success Stories.

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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