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Week of June 28, 2010

Table of Contents

NSTA Offers Professional Development for Urban Elementary and Middle School Educators This Summer

The Urban Science Education Leaders (USEL) and NSTA are partnering to offer their second annual learning opportunity—an Urban Science Education Leadership Academy, scheduled for August 2–5, 2010, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The deadline to register is June 30—don’t miss it!

Teams of teachers accompanied by their district supervisors will collaborate to develop the leadership skills to help guide reform that supports excellence in science learning in urban schools. Attendees will share their personal experiences, build on their knowledge of the change process, and become experienced practitioners who will lead initiatives for science education improvements in their districts. Ultimately, the Academy will help form engaged and responsible leaders who will enhance best practices in an urban setting and improve student performance. Dr. Adriane Dorrington, a noted PD expert, will facilitate. The featured speaker is astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr.

Who should attend: Teams (five-person team required) composed of one district science coordinator, one building administrator-principal/assistant principal, and three teachers.

When: August 2–5, 2010

Where: New Orleans, Louisiana

Registration is required by June 30.

For more information, visit the USEL Academy’s web page.

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Thirty-one States Collaborate to Create National Tests

As reported by USA Today, a group of 31 states has banded together to compete for a federal grant to create a series of new national academic tests to replace the current patchwork system. In the current system, every state gives a different test to its students. In some states, passing the exam is a graduation requirement. The federal government has said it will award up to two grants of up to $160 million to create a testing system based on the proposed new national academic standards in reading and math.

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Summer Online PD to Build Your Content Knowledge

Check out three new NSTA online short courses:

  • Gravity and Orbits. Explore concepts related to the Earth’s universal gravitation and how gravity affects the universe around us. Register for the course that will take place on any of the following dates; July 13, 20, 27, and August 3 and 10 from 8 pm to 9:30 pm ET.
  • The Solar System. The focus of this course will be how the solar system and its bodies are formed. Live sessions will be held on July 7, 14, 21, 28 and August 4, from 9:30 am to11:00 am ET.
  • The Universe. Explore the ways scientists learn about the universe and the current ideas on the origins and formation of the universe. The course will be held on July 8, 15, 22, 29, and Aug. 5 from 9:30 am to 11 am ET.

Two graduate credits from the University of Idaho can be earned for attending any of the short courses above for an additional fee. To see the links to all course pages, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

Fees cover all materials:
Member rate: $304.59
Nonmember rate: $344.11

Last day to register is Friday, July 2.

Questions? E-mail ptingler@nsta.org.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Online PD for High School Chemistry Teachers

Drug Design and Development is a free online professional development program for inservice and preservice high school chemistry teachers. This two-week program provides an opportunity to learn effective and creative ways to teach chemistry using computer visualization tools and inquiry-based activities that enhance high school chemistry courses and meet learning standards. In addition, participants will receive a free laptop and computational chemistry software.

The MolySym Corporation, with support from the U.S. Department of Education, is offering this program, which begins on August 7. Applications will be accepted until July 15, 2010. Visit the MolySym website for more details and to apply.

More opportunities await you at the NSTA online calendar.

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Kansas City Kicks Off Fall Conference Season

Join thousands of science educators at the first regional conference on science education to be held Oct. 28–30, in Kansas City, Missouri. If you’re interested in building content knowledge, testing new strategies in assessment, learning inquiry techniques that challenge your students, consider attending this event. Science educators from every discipline and every grade band will meet and explore the finest professional development opportunities available. See a sampling of our workshops, presentations, and sessions.

  • Get That Textbook Out of My Classroom! How to Integrate Young Adult Literature in the Science Classroom—Use recent young adult literature to teach physical science skills and content. (Elem–High)
  • Conceptualizing Gravity: It's More Than F = m (Middle–College)
  • Finding New Levels of Achievement Through Standards-based Grading (Middle–High School)
  • Featured Presentation: Science Education Partnerships: Lessons from the K-State Olathe Innovation Campus by Lisa C. Freeman, DVM, PhD, who has focused her academic career on bringing people and resources together to solve complex problems.
  • Featured Presentation: Unleashing the Power of Data to Improve Science Teaching and Learning by Aminata Umoja (Educational Consultant, Umoja Consulting)
  • Environmental Science in a World of Seven Billion—Discover timely, interdisciplinary, hands-on activities to help students understand the connections between human population growth and a host of environmental challenges. (Middle–High School)
  • Ramps and Pathways: A Constructivist Approach to Teaching Early Childhood Physical Science (PreK–Elementary)
  • Bringing Glaciers into the Classroom (Elementary–Middle)
  • Use a Three-Prong Approach to Develop Conceptual Understanding (General Audience)

An attendee from our national conference in Philadelphia said, “I go for the sessions/workshops that offer me lesson plans, teaching strategies, or activities that I can immediately use in the classroom.”

We offer more than 400 sessions, an Exhibit Hall for testing new products and services from top companies, field trips in the surrounding area, and networking with your peers. Check out our website for more details.

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Bring Lessons to Life with NSTA's Inside-Out: Environmental Science in the Classroom and the Field, Grades 3–8

Science teachers of grades 3–8 will find Inside-Out’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.

Each chapter begins with a primer covering basic concepts for a quick refresher on content and continues with thought-provoking, inquiry-based activities that are 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. Chapters cover water, physical geography, soil, topography, nutrients and energy, and biodiversity. 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. Order your copy today!

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Upcoming AAAS Project 2061 PD Opportunities in August and September: "Using Atlas of Science Literacy" Workshop

Do you want to learn more about AAAS's Atlas of Science Literacy, Vol. 1 & 2 and how to put it to use to improve curriculum, instruction, and assessment? AAAS Project 2061 is offering its popular professional development workshop "Using Atlas of Science Literacy" in Lebanon, New Hampshire from August 16 to 18 (scholarship application deadline is July 9), and Calgary, Canada from September 8 to 10 (scholarship application deadline is July 23).

Developed by AAAS Project 2061, the two-volume Atlas of Science Literacy contain 100 strand maps that present conceptual connections among the ideas and skills that all students should learn as they make progress toward science literacy. The workshop gives participants a new perspective on standards-based reform based on understanding the maps, clarifying standards, changing classroom practice, and improving curriculum.

The Atlas of Science Literacy is copublished by AAAS and NSTA.

The fall schedule includes workshops at the University of Missouri, Washington, DC, New York City, and Connecticut. For details on all upcoming workshops, go to the Project 2061 website.

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Sponsored by:

Frugal Science Teacher PreK-5 NSTA Press

Urban Science Education Leadership Academy ad

Brain Powered Science

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 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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