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Week of July 19, 2010

Table of Contents

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Science Educators Urged to Review and Comment on Draft Framework for New Science Standards by August 2

Dr. Francis Eberle, NSTA's Executive Director, spoke with Erik Robelen of Education Week about the draft framework for new science standards released on July 12. “It’s high time to develop new national science standards, given advances both in science itself and in the understanding of how students learn about the subject,” said Dr. Eberle.

The framework lays the foundation for what core science ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and scientific practices all students need to succeed in science, and is the first major step in the development of the next generation of science standards.

It has been nearly 15 years since the first set of national science standards was released by the National Research Council. And in 1993 another influential document, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, was released separately by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Both documents are similar and both are criticized for having too many learning objectives. The new standards are being designed to minimize the learning objectives and emphasize the idea that science education is an ongoing developmental process.

The National Research Council is asking for comment on the draft conceptual framework for new science education standards. Stakeholders have until August 2 to review and comment on the framework.

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Learn How to Build Professional Learning Communities

It always helps when your colleagues and administrators join hands to collaborate. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are built on this premise. Take advantage of a NSTA’s fall PLC Institute to learn the in’s and out’s of this concept. Scheduled for Oct. 7–9 in Bloomington, Minnesota, this getaway will give you the tools, models and strategies to focus PLCs on science content and science learning. Through a combination of plenary and breakout sessions, participants will learn:

  • The key features of effective Professional Learning Communities
  • (PLCs) for science teachers
  • Tools and protocols PLCs can use to strengthen their focus on science learning
  • A model for teacher collaboration focused on improving science lessons and gathering formative assessment information that can be used by PLCs
  • How to use Science Curriculum Topic Study within PLCs

Designed for science teacher leaders, department chairs, administrators, and teams of science teachers working in or starting PLCs.

Registration Fee
NSTA Member: $375 per person
Nonmember: $450 per person

Registration includes entrance to the Professional Learning Communities conference and breakout sessions and tickets. Housing is not included in the registration fee. Register online or download a registration form.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Science After School

Do you teach science in an after-school program? You can learn about research-based best practices, program and curriculum development, and evaluation at the National Conference on Science and Technology in Out-of-School Time, to be held in September in Universal City, California. The three-day event will also feature sessions on systemic approaches to aligning science education in- and out-of-school time, with a particular focus on equity and access issues for underrepresented populations. You’ll also discover tips for working with scientists.

Register on or before August 23 to receive a discount on the conference fee. For more information, visit the conference’s home page.

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Visit Kansas City and Build Your Professional Development Portfolio

Science teachers involved with summer planning should consider the first of NSTA’s fall conferences on science education to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, Oct 28–30. For all disciplines and every grade band K–16 including preservice teachers, this event provides performance enhancing teaching skills and strategies. Workshops and seminars, presentations, and short courses offer wide topical and issue studies along with hands-on activities to use in the classroom. Check out some of more than 400 sessions scheduled:

  • Tackling the Global Warming Challenge in a Rapidly Changing World-Middle-High School
  • Wind Energy Science for the Classroom—Hands-on, standards-based lessons bring wind energy science into the classroom. (Informal Education)
  • Process-oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in High School Chemistry and Biology Classrooms—Ticketed short course
  • Strategies for Teaching and Assessing the Nature of Science-ticketed short course
  • Featured Presenter: Jeff Goldstein (Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education): Science Education: Conceptual Understanding at an Emotional Level
  • Free Science Matters Community Event with Bill Nye, the Science Guy—Hands-on activities for the family
  • Engineering Modeling—Using scale models of airplanes, students learn the applications of scaling using ratios and proportions. (Elem–High)
  • Science + Writing + Learning—Learn to implement science notebooks in your classrooms with math integration, supporting data, and assessments. (Elem–Middle)
  • STEM in Action: The Bridge to the Real World—Instructional technology helps engage students in the learning process by providing authentic science experiences through design projects, competitions, and live-data analysis. (Elem–High)
  • Shawnee Mission West Public Schools’ Biotechnology, Wind and Solar Energy, Robotics, and Fine Arts in the Science Department—Ticketed field trip
  • Exhibit Hall-view and test new products and services for cutting edge science education from top companies across the nation.
  • Networking with your peers and the experts—Hang out with those who have a passion for science education.
  • Science Bookstore—It’s more than you imagined. Gifts, t-shirts, I Love Science mugs and the finest collection of science education books published. Check out our new titles!

For more information, visit www.nsta.org/kansascity. The earlybird deadline is Sept. 17, so register early.

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Stretch Your Dollars by Using NSTA's The Frugal Science Teacher: Strategies and Activities

Science teachers on a limited budget will enjoy two new collections of inspiring essays that outline creative and inexpensive strategies to keep expenses low while raising student understanding of science concepts through the author’s everyday classroom projects. Two volumes, one for PreK–5 teachers and another for grades 6–9 teachers, provide a host of ideas for approaching projects that include materials and supplies that school and district budgets can’t—or won’t—cover.

Editor Linda Froschauer suggests new and untapped resources to obtain materials along with re-imagined uses for items teachers already have at home or school. Creative activities and lessons complement the thrifty suggestions and enhance teachers’ abilities to conduct science investigations at a minimum cost. Teachers will find ideas for further reading to expand on an idea and a comprehensive list of the many free resources available from the National Science Teachers Association. Visit the Science Store to download a chapter or to order.

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NSTA Science Supply Guide—Desktop Search Tool

Looking for equipment, furniture, software, publications, or other science teaching materials? NSTA's Science Supply Guide is the perfect source for information about every product you could possibly need for your classroom or laboratory. In just seconds, NSTA members can download a search toolbar for their desktop. Go to nstasciencesupplyguide.com, mouse over “Tools” in the navigation bar near the top of the screen, and click on the word “Desktop Search Tool.”

The toolbar loads directly to your computer, giving you instant, one-click access to the NSTA Science Supply Guide and the NSTA website at any time—even if you are not logged on to an internet browser.

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Sponsored by:

Science Teaching as a Profession-NSTA Press

More Chemistry Basics-NSTA Press

Designing Effective Science Instruction-NSTA Press

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 July featured book, Dig In!.

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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