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Week of June 7, 2010

Table of Contents

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New NSTA President Takes the Helm

Dr. Alan J. McCormack, professor of science education at San Diego State University, is the new president of NSTA. A lifetime member of NSTA and a passionate educator, McCormack is a former district director and author of 70 journal articles, 12 science textbooks and 3 science handbooks. He has also served on many NSTA committees, most notably the Committee on Preservice Teacher Preparation and the Science and Children Advisory Board. An award-winning educator, McCormack has received the NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award, the NSTA Gustav Ohaus Award for Advancement of Science Education, and the NSTA-STAR Award. Dr. McCormack began his presidency on June 1, 2010.

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Developing Elementary and Middle School Leaders in Urban Districts to Improve Teaching and Learning of Science

For elementary and middle school educators working in urban settings, the Urban Science Education Leadership Academy 2010 provides an outstanding opportunity to tackle reform of science teaching and learning at a getaway in New Orleans. Scheduled for Aug. 2–5 in an exciting city with unmatched charm and wonderful cuisine, this academy helps build the foundation skills that support real leadership through collaboration, the change processes, use of research, and the study of relevant data. Dr. Adriane Dorrington, a noted professional development expert, will facilitate. The featured speaker is astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. Scholarships are now available.

Registration is required by June 30. Invited: Teams (five-person team required) composed of one district science coordinator, one building administrator-principal/assistant principal, and three teachers.

For more information, visit the USEL Academy web pages.

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New NSTA Award for Middle School Girls

The “Angela Award” honors one young woman who is involved in or has a strong connection to science. The award has been established in honor of Gerry Wheeler and his outstanding dedication to NSTA and lifelong commitment to science education. In addition to receiving a $1,000 U.S. EE Savings Bond or Canada Savings Bond, the awardee will be honored at the Teachers Awards Banquet at the NSTA National Conference. The award is open to female students in grades 5–8 who are residents of the United States, U.S. Territories, or Canada, and are enrolled full time in public, private, or home school. For more information and to apply, visit the NSTA Awards and Recognitions web page.

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From the NSTA Calendar—Don't Miss These Summer Programs

Are you planning to attend a professional development workshop or take a course or a study-tour this summer? June is not too late for you to register for summer PD, but act soon so you don’t miss out on programs like these:

Education in a Changing Climate, August 1–4. Unity College in Maine will host a workshop on climate change. It will include a primer on basic climate change science as well as the likely effects on ecosystems and people and a sampling of potential solutions. You’ll learn where to find the best current information and teaching resources. Register by July 1 to avoid a late fee.

All About Mining: A Total Concept of the Mining Industry, June 21–July 16. This intensive training course provides K–12 teachers of all disciplines with a comprehensive overview of all phases of the minerals, aggregates, industrial minerals, and solid fuels industries. Register by June 18.

Techbridge's Summer Institute, August 2–4. This three-day workshop, held in Oakland, California, will give participants strategies and curriculum for inspiring girls in technology, science, and engineering.

Are you wondering what else is going on? Visit the NSTA online calendar to find out!

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Call for High School Teachers and Their Student Teams to Compete in the Real World Design Challenge

High school teachers with an interest in engaging grades 9–12 students might consider an annual competition called the Real World Design Challenge. This is an opportunity for students to apply classroom lessons to real-life technical problems. In support of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the Challenge asks student teams to develop solutions to address a leading industry problem. This year, the 2010–2011 Challenge focuses on fuel efficiency in aviation. Student teams compete on a state level and winning state teams will advance to compete nationally.

Teacher/coaches who lead their teams and professional scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who volunteer as mentors are an integral part of the Challenge. Sponsors will donate $1 million in professional engineering software to teacher/coaches and provide training so they can better utilize and apply the tools to teach design and global engineering. Mentors provide guidance to students and support teachers with content knowledge and experiences that can supplement the teacher’s expertise. Top national winners will receive outstanding prizes, awards, and recognition from leaders in government, industry, and higher education. Registration for the free competition is open. Visit www.realworlddesignchallenge.org for details.

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Meet Us in Kansas City

Science educators are invited to attend NSTA’s first regional Conference on Science Education this fall, scheduled for Oct. 28–30 in Kansas City, Missouri. With a full plate of professional development workshops, seminars, presentations, and sessions covering science education pedagogy, content development, techniques for improvement in student performance, the offerings number more than 2000. Educators keep returning to these compelling face-to-face events because there is a need for personal growth, there is a venue to share with others passionate about science, and an opportunity to learn from the best.  Hear what past attendees say about their experiences:

“I came to rejuvenate my excitement for teaching science.”
“I came to gain new knowledge and experience from other elementary science teachers.”
“I came to present/share collaborative work between teachers and researchers.”
“I came to Learn new strategies that can be implmented in my class or my school.”
“I came to my FIRST conference to learn what it is all about. GREAT!!!!!!!”
“I came to be with other science teachers who love science like I do.”
“I came for IDEAS, IDEAS, IDEAS! I'm a first year teacher with 3 different topics and in graduate classes.”
“I came to see what others are doing with their community based projects and environmental projects.”
“I came to view exhibits, hear major speakers, and network with other science professionals.”
“I came to recharge 'batteries' with new ideas and info to use in my classes.”

Review some of our plans for your professional development in Kansas City. Featured Speakers:

  • Science Education: Conceptual Understanding at an Emotional Level—Dr. Jeff Goldstein, director of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
  • Unleashing the Power of Data to Improve Science Teaching and Learning—Aminata Umoja, consultant, Research for Better Teaching and the founder of Kilombo Academic and Cultural Institute
  • Brain-considerate Learning: Understanding the History of the Brain as the Foundation for Future Learning—Kenneth A. Wesson Educational Consultant, Neuroscience
  • Tools to Deepen Students' Understanding of Hard-to-Teach Biology Concepts—workshop for high school/college teachers
  • Evolution: Variation, Selection, and Time—workshop for middle–high
  • Bringing Glaciers into the Classroom–workshop for elem–middle
  • Engineering Modeling–workshop for elem–high

Visit Kansas City web pages to use the session browser and view the many plans we have in place.

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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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Earn a Master of Science Degree Online

For over a decade, the Teachers in Geosciences program at Mississippi State University has been providing educators worldwide with the opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree through distance learning. All of the core courses in meteorology, geology, astronomy, oceanography, hydrology, and environmental geoscience are taught online. The program curriculum emphasizes the Earth science content that is most relevant to K–12 teachers. All students qualify for in-state tuition rates.

The program concludes with a nine-day capstone field course taught during the summer at a variety of locations across the country (including Yellowstone, western Washington State, Lake Superior, central Arizona, the Sierra, upstate New York, the Bahamas, and the Great Plains storm chase).

It is not too late to apply for the Fall 2010 semester. Please visit the Mississippi State University website or contact Joy Bailey, jbailey@aoce.msstate.edu, for additional information.

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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 book, 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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