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Week of July 26, 2010

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
Biotechnology Institute sponsorship

Sec'y of Ed to Hold Live Radio Town Hall Meeting with Nation's Teachers

On Thursday, July 29, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will take part in a live town hall meeting with the nation’s teachers on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s POTUS public affairs channel. The program will air from 11:00 AM EDT to 12:00 PM EDT and will feature a studio audience of teachers from a cross-section of public schools, drawing from a variety of districts, grade levels, and disciplines. Tim Farley, host of POTUS's "The Morning Briefing," will moderate the event.

Since his appointment in 2009, Secretary Duncan has spoken with thousands of teachers from around the United States to gather input on the Obama administration's blueprint for K–12 education reform. As Congress prepares to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the purpose of this town hall is for teachers to voice their ideas and concerns directly to the Secretary and to discuss the critical issues in education with the educators who work daily in America’s classrooms. In addition to the studio audience, those listening to the program online or via radio will be able to call in free of charge with questions and comments.

The town hall will be broadcast on channel 110 on Sirius Radio and channel 130 on XM. Nonsubscribers may access the program free of charge through these live online feeds by going to www.xmradio.com and clicking on “Free Online Trial.”

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First Fall Conference on Science Education, Oct. 28–30

NSTA Conference-Kansas CityThousands of science teachers and administrators will meet in late October on the banks of the Missouri River in Kansas City. The first fall Conference on Science Education will commence and for those who take their careers seriously, this event shouldn’t be missed. For K–16 science teachers in every discipline, we offer workshops and seminars to build your expertise. The issues—inquiry, assessment, differentiation, integration, and of course, the new core standards—will be at the forefront. You'll tackle the problems that you and your colleagues see every day and you'll learn new skills and techniques for solving them. Strategies for performance improvement, content knowledge development, and wide-ranging sessions on the details are offered over the course of three days. Sample titles of our workshops, daylong programs, and featured presentations in Kansas City:

  • Science Education Partnerships: Lessons from the K-State Olathe Innovation Campus—Lisa C. Freeman, Professor of Pharmacology, Associate Vice President for Innovation, Kansas State University
  • Bill Nye, the Science Guy—Science Matters, Free Community Event
  • Brain-considerate Learning: Understanding the History of the Brain as the Foundation for Future Learning—Kenneth A. Wesson Educational Consultant, Neuroscience
  • Chemistry Day (full day, sponsored by ACS)—For high school and middle school teachers. Choose one or all of the in-depth sessions covering your favorite topics, big and small.
  • Physics Day (full day, sponsored by AAPT)—Presentations on physics topics of current interest, demonstrations for the precollege classroom, and a make-and-take session among many
  • Tools to Deepen Students' Understanding of Hard-to-Teach Biology Concepts (High–College)
  • Environmental Science in a World of Seven Billion (Middle–High)
  • Engineering Model—Using scale models of airplanes, you'll learn the applications of scaling using ratios and proportions. (Elem–High)
  • Science and Math Lessons for the Biological Sciences—It's about integration. (Middle)
  • STEM in Action: The Bridge to the Real World (Elem–High)
  • Fun Activities with Gel Polymers to Enhance Any Science Class (Elem–Middle)
  • Voyage Through a Scale Model of the Solar System—Kansas City's own replica of Voyage led by Dr. Jeff Goldstein, astrophysicist and director of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE). (Ticketed)
  • Exhibit Hall—See cutting-edge products in science ed and take home giveaways for your classroom!

Visit www.nsta.org/kansascity for more details or to register. Register by the earlybird deadline, Sept. 17, to save the most.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Tech Camp for Teachers

How do you educate a generation of students distracted by the internet, cell phones, and video games? Find out by attending Touch 'N Go, a technology camp taking place August 18–21 in Cowichan Bay, British Columbia. Organized with the theme "Integrated Learning by Design," this conference will offer more than 100 workshops and skill sessions for a range of subjects, including science. Local, provincial, and North American speakers will demonstrate the power of integrated technology in supporting student success.

If you're perplexed about podcasts, awed by animations, or curious about "clickers," register online by August 11.

Visit the NSTA online calendar for more science education opportunities.

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Summer Planning for Higher Ed Methods Professors

Consider NSTA’s Learning Center for your preservice teachers who may need content knowledge development. This online service provides cost effective teacher preparation in science topics ranging from force and motion to cell structure and more. Preservice teachers can access The Learning Center 24/7 from a laptop, participate in a choice of study options (10-hour experiences or 2-hour experiences and others), and assess the content knowledge learned when completed. A key feature ties the content to pedagogy and lessons. You, the professor, are able to view, evaluate, and report the accomplishments of the preservice teacher activity through a Learning Center tracking and authentication tool. With the data in hand, user tools assist in creating My Professional Development Plan and Portfolio, My Transcript, My Notepad, My Library, and My Calendar. For more benefits and features, visit learningcenter.nsta.org or call 703.312.9201.

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Science Educators to Meet and Mingle in Baltimore

"Charting the Course to Excellence" is the theme for NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Baltimore scheduled for Nov. 11–13 this fall. Educators will meet to enjoy professional development in a charming seaport with attractions like the famous Lexington Market, the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and the marble steps on old Baltimore streets where a diverse city of immigrants grew up, including U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski.

For the newest preservice teacher to the experienced curriculum specialist, this conference offers a wide array of seminars, presentations, workshops, and sessions—more than 400. Choose to build your content knowledge, or tackle the issues of inquiry, differentiation, assessment, and literacy. Learn hands-on classroom techniques to engage students. Check out the newest NSTA books for science educators and gear for gifts and going green. Our Exhibit Hall houses companies from across the country to share cutting-edge products. Check out some of our scheduled sessions.

  • Featured Speaker: Bill Nye (Vice President of The Planetary Society; scientist, author, and host of The Science Channel’s 100 Greatest Discoveries)
  • Learning in 3-D: Building a Bridge to STEM (General Audience)
  • Writing in Science: Beyond the Lab Report (High School)
  • Ocean Energy—Exploring offshore energy development (Middle–High)
  • Linear Motion—Analyze real-time data collected on their own motion as well as the motion of a constant and accelerating buggy (High School)
  • Studying Soil Ecology in the Classroom (Middle–High)
  • Stellar Evolution: Cosmic Cycles of Formation and Destruction (Informal)
  • Teaching for Conceptual Change—Combining assessment probes and everyday mysteries supports conceptual change teaching and fosters a classroom climate rich in inquiry (Elem–Middle)
  • Help! Why Can't They Pass the Test? Strategies to build assessment vocabulary and skills (Elem–High)
  • Content Literacy Strategies That Improve Cognition in Science (Middle–High)
  • Incorporating Inquiry into Elementary and Middle School Physical Science (Elem–Middle)
  • Connecting the Dots: Consumer Protection, Skepticism, and Science (Elem–High)

For more information, visit www.nsta.org/baltimore. Earlybird deadline is Sept. 24. Don't miss the savings.

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Museum of Science and Industry Seeks Roommate

Love science? Need a sabbatical? The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you! MSI is conducting a nationwide search for a curious, adventurous, outgoing individual to live in the museum 24/7 for 30 days this fall as part of its Month at the Museum experiment. After the month is up, the winner will walk away with $10,000 and a package of tech gadgets that helped to record the experience. The winner will mingle with visitors, students, and teachers while having access to all the fun and education the museum offers daily. Sleep aboard the U-505 submarine. Visit the coal mine at night. Lead a class in eyeball dissection, or help blow things up in our chemistry show.

The residence period is Oct. 20 to Nov. 18, 2010. Applications are due Aug. 11. Learn more at www.monthatthemuseum.org.

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Brush up on Basic Science Concepts with Bill Robertson

Answers to Science Questions From the Stop Faking It! Guy, a valuable and entertaining compendium of Bill Robertson’s popular "Science 101" columns in NSTA's member journal Science and Children, proves you don’t have to be a science geek to understand basic scientific concepts. The author of the best-selling Stop Faking It! series explains everything from quarks to photosynthesis, telescopes to the expanding universe, and atomic clocks to curveballs—all with his trademark wit and irreverence.

The 33 short columns, plus a new introduction, provide an introductory science course of sorts, covering topics in life science, Earth and space science, physical science, technology, and more—perfect for K–8 teachers, homeschoolers, or parents who just want to boost their science know-how. Easily understood prose and lively illustrations by cartoonist Brian Diskin make this volume an engaging—and more important, readable—course you can pass with flying colors.

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Register Now for Fall Online Courses from the American Museum of Natural History

Seminars on Science connects classroom teachers with scientists engaged in current, real-world research. Each course is authored by leading scientists in their fields and is then co-taught by an experienced researcher affiliated with AMNH. Courses include Earth: Inside and Out; Space, Time & Motion; The Ocean System; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics; Evolution; and more.

All courses run for six weeks and are fully online. Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use. Affordable graduate credit is available for all courses (see website for details).

Please see the website for the full course listing. Free sample resources for each course—including essays, videos and interactive simulations—are available online. Fall Sessions run September 6 through October 12 AND October 25 through December 5. Registration closes August 27. Register early for a $50 discount! For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.

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NSTA Express will be off next week. (You may have noticed a gap in the archives—we went fishing the week of July 4 as well.) See you in two weeks!

Sponsored by:

Coalition for Space Exploration

Take Home Physics-NSTA Press

Biology Teachers' Handbook-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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