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Week of October 4, 2010

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
Bush Gardens-Seaworld

Sponsored by:
Pearson ad

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation in STEM is Focus of New NRC Report

A new report issued from the National Academy of Sciences focuses on the critical lack of minorities in STEM-related careers and offers concrete ways to address this issue.

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads outlines the demographic realities of the country’s changing population and the urgent need to focus on the well-documented disparities in education for low-income and minority groups. The report encourages broad participation of minorities to bolster science and engineering in the U.S. and to ensure the country has a dedicated and diverse workforce and provides a “road map” for increasing involvement of underrepresented minorities and improving the quality of their education.

Sponsored by:
Verizon Thinkinfinity

According to the report, “Underrepresented minorities—including African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans—comprised just over 9 percent of minority college-educated Americans in science and engineering occupations in 2006." This number would need to triple to match the share of minorities in the U.S. population. And to reach a national target that 10 percent of all 24-year-olds hold an undergraduate degree in science or engineering disciplines, the number of underrepresented minorities would need to quadruple or even quintuple.”

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Einstein Fellowship Application is Now Open

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship is a paid fellowship for K–12 science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) teachers. Einstein Fellows spend a school year in Washington, DC, serving in a federal agency or on Capitol Hill. To be considered for an Einstein Fellowship for the 2011–2012 school year, apply online now and submit your application and three letters of recommendation no later than January 4, 2011.

To learn more about the program and apply, visit the Triangle Coalition website. If you have questions about the program or application, contact Program Manager Kathryn Culbertson at culbertsonk@triangle-coalition.org.

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Add a Free NSTA Web Seminar to Your October Plans

Join us for free, 90-minute live web seminars. All programs are from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm unless otherwise noted.

  • Engineering Design Challenges: Spacecraft Structures (NES)—Covered will be an overview of the challenge activity—designing a strong but lightweight thrust structure that can withstand the launch of a water bottle rocket by means of a wooden lever—along with tips for implementing this lesson in the classroom, and a video of students engaged in the lesson.October 5, 2010
  • Global Climate Change and the Earth System (NASA/NESTA/UCAR)—Take a tour of our planet to learn how climate change and increasing greenhouse gases is affecting the Earth system. October 6, 2010
  • Using Stories to Teach Chemistry (ACS)—Learn how magazine articles can be used to help students understand basic chemistry concepts and apply what they have learned to everyday life. October 7, 2010
  • NSTA: Strategic Goals 2010—The Strategic Goals 2010 Task Force will explain the background, purpose, and development process of NSTA's new 2010 strategic goals. October 12, 2010
  • How Can I Win in ExploraVision? (Toshiba/NSTA)—Hear past winning coaches share tips on the basic components of ExploraVision entries and the ways to submit high-quality entries. October 13, 2010
  • NES: The Virtual Lab—Test a free downloadable computer program that simulates a scanning electron microscope. With this virtual tool, your students will have access to high-powered simulated scientific instrumentation with 90 different specimens and three different virtual tools: atomic force microscope, scanning electron microscope, and fluorescence light microscope. October 13, 2010, 8:00–9:30 pm
  • Effects of Climate Change: Ocean and Ice (NASA/NESTA/UCAR)—Explore how warmer temperatures, increasing greenhouse gases, and melting snow and ice are affecting the ocean. October 14, 2010

Visit the NSTA Learning Center to learn more or to register.

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Wake Up Your Passion for Science Education in Baltimore
Sponsored by:
Kansas City Conference

It could be any day of the week in your classroom and your students are daydreaming through your lesson on cell structure and function. You might ask yourself how it could be better, more focused for these kids who will need to understand science concepts to thrive in the 21st century economy.

NSTA’s Conference on Science Education has some answers. We know about PD. More than 400 workshops, seminars, and hands-on, practical sessions are available for K–16 teachers in every science discipline. Thousands come to experience science education at its best over the course of three days, Nov. 11–13.

PD experts arrive from across the nation to teach techniques that improve student performance, strategies that capture student interest, and assessment processes that help student attainment. And there’s more. We’ve got inspiring presenters with stories you won’t forget. Come listen to Bill Nye. As a student at Cornell University, Bill Nye the Science Guy® was introduced to the wonders of astronomy in a class taught by Carl Sagan himself, one of the founders of The Planetary Society. So, for Nye it was like coming full circle to join the Society’s board of directors and later to become the organization’s newest vice president. Scientist, comedian, teacher, and author, Nye became a household name with his innovative, fast-paced television series Bill Nye the Science Guy.

You might consider attending a daylong program in your discipline—Chemistry Day, Physics Day, or Biology Day. Field trips in the surrounding area, an Exhibit Hall with the most cutting-edge products to test, a bookstore with award-winning books—content-based, pedagogical, and interdisciplinary—provide a perfect environment that will stimulate and enhance your teaching portfolio.

Our kids need you to be the best you can be. Register by October 8 to save the most. Visit www.nsta.org/baltimore. One attendee said to us, “Attending is my ambrosia for the entire school year remaining and hopefully, this lasts until the next NSTA conference.”

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This October, Celebrate Science and Engineering

The U.S. Science and Engineering Festival kicked off in grand style last week with a press conference to announce the October event. From October 10th through the 24th, there will be daytime, evening, and weekend events for the general public, including workshops, lectures, open houses, performances, and more in the greater Washington, DC, area.

On the Washington, DC, mall, join us for more than 1500 fun, free hands-on activities and over 75 stage shows (October 23 and 24, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm).

Celebrate science across the nation (maybe in your area) at one of 50 satellite events in over 20 different states.

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Science Teachers to Meet in Nashville for NSTA's Area Conference on Science Education

Hands-on workshops on STEM, assessment, climate change, and inquiry are just a few of more than 400 sessions offered at NSTA's Conference on Science Education. In addition to top professional development presentations and seminars are field trips, short courses, the Exhibit Hall and networking with passionate science educators. The three-day conference is scheduled for Dec. 2–4 and teachers from every discipline and in every grade band, K–16, are invited. Take a look at some highlights:

  • Featured Presentation: Brain-considerate Learning: How the Human Brain Learns Best by Kenneth Wesson
  • Featured Presentation: Global Environmental Impact of Fossil Fuel Burning by Wilfred M. Pos
  • Forensics Science in Your Physics Classroom (Middle–High School)
  • Science Trifecta: Effectively Combining Picture Books, Foldables®, and Science Curriculum Standards (General audience)
  • Hands-On Learning Activities for AP Biology, High School
  • Biology We Can't Control and Classrooms We Can, College (Supervision)
  • Incorporating Inquiry into Elementary and Middle School Physical Science
  • The Invisible Universe (with NASA materials) (Middle–High School)
  • The Mathematics of Human Population Growth (Middle–High School)
  • Rocky Topper Scenic Walking Tour and Adventure Trip—Discover Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee's largest show cave and a National Natural Landmark. (Ticketed field trip)
  • Teacher-friendly Guide to the Geology of the Southeastern U.S. (Ticketed field trip)
  • Short Course: Renewable Energy—You'll use interdisciplinary materials incorporating science, math, language arts, art, and music to learn and teach about renewable resources. Hands-on kits will allow participants to build a wind turbine and water wheel and test the electrical output of each and explore photovoltaics to measure electrical output.

Visit www.nsta.org/nashville and check out the personal scheduler for more options.

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Science Matters in Kansas City

Click to download poster (PDF)

Bring science to life for your students and children on Saturday, October 30, from 8:30 to 11:00 am at the Kansas City Convention Center. The National Science Teachers Association, WGBH and Kansas City Public Television are co-hosting a FREE community science event, sponsored by the ExxonMobil Foundation, for elementary teachers, parents, school officials, and other community members. Engage in exciting hands-on activities, live animal presentations, and demonstrations on how to make recycled paper. And hear from Planetary Society Vice President Bill Nye, popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy®, who will be giving the keynote address at the event. Science Matters tote bags filled with cool giveaways will be distributed to the first 150 people who attend. Visit www.nsta.org/sciencematters for more information or to learn how to register to attend the Science Matters Community Event.

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Montana State University's MSSE Program Celebrates Its Twelfth Graduating Class

Montana State University’s Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program recently celebrated its twelfth graduating class with the Annual Symposium in Science Education. One hundred and two science educators from across the nation presented their capstone projects on the MSU campus in Bozeman, Montana, completing requirements for their MSSE degrees.

The MSSE program, a blend of science content and pedagogy, is specially designed for science educators. Several unique program characteristics make this program especially appealing to science educators:

  • In addition to completing a group of core courses, program candidates develop interdisciplinary combinations of graduate science courses from offerings in biology, chemistry, Earth science, microbiology, plant sciences, physics, and other related areas.
  • Program students are allowed to individualize the sequence and topics of science-based course offerings in order to meet specific needs.
  • About 80% of the program is delivered online, which allows teachers to continue to work as they pursue an advanced degree.
  • Campus summer courses are strongly field- and laboratory-based, providing actual hands-on activities that can be taken into classrooms and teaching environments.

More about MSSE, program contact information, and a listing of online spring 2010 courses can be found at www.montana.edu/msse. NSTA members receive a discount on many of the science courses.

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Frey Scientific

Delta Education

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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!

Download your copy of the NSTA Membership Guide.

Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the October featured book, Earth Science Success.

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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