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Week of October 11, 2010

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
Verizon Foundation-Think Infinity

Informal Science and Science Education

Two new initiatives to note from informal science:

Howtosmile.org—a joint project of UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, the Exploratorium, the New York Hall of Science, Science Museum of Minnesota, Children’s Museum of Houston, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers—is a free, online collection of thousands of hands-on interactive science and math activities for kids in nonclassroom settings.

Sponsored by:
Pearson ad

The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) last month announced the Youth Inspired Challenge, a major new initiative "designed to expand the impact of science centers and museums to assist the nationís youth to become the innovative and creative thinkers needed for the 21st century workforce." IASTC member institutions will offer valuable science education and youth employment programs outside the classroom to engage at least 25,000 youth, ages 10–19, in a minimum of 2 million hours of science enrichment.

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Sponsored by:
Scholastic Inc

The Baltimore Conference is Just Around the Corner

Take a few days off from teaching and opt for the best professional development for science teachers at NSTA’s Conference on Science Education, Baltimore, Nov. 11–13. Are you interested in learning new content, trying new assessment techniques, testing inquiry-based strategies in your school? Or maybe you want discipline-specific day long programs in biology, chemistry, or physics. The list of choices, more than 400, caters to K–16 teachers in every science discipline and at every career stage, pre-service to experienced curriculum specialist.

Highlights to consider:

  • Featured Speaker: Finding Your Way When You're Not Sure Where You're Headed—Bill Nye
  • Featured Speaker: Visualizing the Possible: Science Teaching and Learning in the Age of Web 2.0—Lynne Schrum
  • How to Assess the Sustainability of Cellulosic Biofuel Production—The U.S. is poised as a major producer of cellulosic ethanol. Explore ways to integrate biofuels into existing science courses. (General audience)
  • Facilitating Early Childhood Education with Project Learning Tree—Take home PLT's Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood activity guide and accompanying music CD.
  • Studying Soil Ecology in the Classroom (Middle–High)
  • Content Literacy Strategies That Improve Cognition in Science (Middle–High)
  • Evolution: Variation, Selection, and Time (Middle–High)
  • Scaffolded Inquiry in the 21st-Century Classroom (General)
  • What's Matter Made Of? (High School)
  • Environmental Science in a World of Seven Billion (Middle–High)
  • Why Evolution Matters in the 21st Century—Short Course, ticketed (Middle–College/Supervision)
  • Building a Well-informed Workforce for Our Future—Short Course, ticketed (Grades 4–9)
  • Field Trip: Behind the Scenes at the National Aquarium in Baltimore—ticketed
  • Field Trip: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Howard B. Owens Science Center—ticketed

In addition, you can network with your peers, handle new, cutting-edge products in the Exhibit Hall (bring a tote for the freebies), and take time out for the Science Bookstore, loaded with books and gifts that are all about science. Visit www.nsta.org/baltimore to register.

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Register Now for FREE Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Seminar

NSTA ExploraVision logoRegister now for the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Web Seminar, “How Can I Win In ExploraVision?” This web seminar, the second in a new series of web seminars being offered through the NSTA Learning Center, will focus on how you can help your students win in ExploraVision, the world’s largest K–12 science and technology competition.

Join past ExploraVision winning coaches as they provide tips on the basic components of ExploraVision entries, the various ways you and your students can submit entries, and some pointers on how you can help your students produce higher quality entries.

Prospective ExploraVision coaches of grades K–12 are encouraged to participate. All participants will receive a certificate of participation as well as a one-year subscription to SciGuides. Don’t delay, register now!

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Sponsored by:
Baltimore Conference

From the NSTA Calendar: Fellowships Provide STEM Training

Current and prospective teachers can apply to receive free, live, online training to improve their practice for teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The training is part of a highly competitive fellowship awarded by the NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project. Endeavor Fellows earn a Certificate in STEM Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and 15 graduate credits from regionally accredited partners over the 12- to 18-month program.
In addition, fellows receive extensive ongoing support, as well as assistance and mentoring with meeting state requirements to be deemed highly qualified or earn additional endorsements. The Endeavor Fellowship Project staff works with state departments of education to enable coursework to count toward new certification or re-certification. Fellows also network and receive support from likeminded educators and Endeavor alumni from across the nation.
Forty NASA Endeavor Fellows will be selected in December for cohort 3, which begins in January 2011. The application deadline is October 29. Click here to apply.

For more science education opportunities, visit the NSTA online calendar.

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Free Web Seminar on Teaching for Sustainability

Science educators can take advantage of a free webinar called Educating Students for Sustainability: Case Studies from Around the Country. Scheduled for Nov. 10, 2010 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm PST or 6:00 to 7:30 pm EST, attendees will hear from teachers who are currently educating for sustainability:

  • Their vision for students in the context of sustainability
  • What’s working in the classroom to educate for sustainability
  • How their administration and community offer support
  • The challenges and how to overcome them
  • Their favorite resources

Register now to reserve your virtual seat.

Sponsored by the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development K–12 and Teacher Education Sector.

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Meet Us in Nashville for Great Professional Development

Professional development for science educators is not a luxury. Take a few days from your classroom and invest in options that will keep you competitive. At the NSTA Conference on Science Education, Dec. 2–4, in Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll find more than 400 pd sessions, hands-on workshops, seminars and short courses. Consider what you’ll learn about assessment, inquiry, ELL, and literacy. It might be content knowledge you want, or practical lesson plans on energy, for example. On the Exhibit floor you can conduct your own experiments, handle cutting edge equipment and collect lots of freebies. Consider these highlights taking place in Nashville:

  • Featured Presentation: Responding to Imperatives—Good Teachers Moving to GREAT!—Diana Nunnaley (Director, Using Data Projects, TERC
  • Featured Presentation: Brain-considerate Learning: How the Human Brain Learns Best—Kenneth Wesson (Educational Consultant, Neuroscience, and VP, Delta Education/School Specialty Science)
  • Engaging Students with Math and Science Through Global Issues—Bring climate change, sustainable design, and population growth alive in your class with these hands-on lessons that use real-world data to integrate math and science. Receive free curriculum.
  • Hands-On Performance Assessment for K–12 Students: The Impetus for Inquiry (Elem–Middle)
  • The New Biology in a Box Unit—STEM—National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) present the new STEM Box program (High School)
  • How to Fit Nanotechnology into Your Classroom: Lessons Tied to Current Science Teaching (Middle–High)
  • Inquiry Matters: Incorporating Inquiry into Elementary and Middle School Physical Science (Elem–Middle)
  • The Invisible Universe—NASA handouts (Middle–High)
  • Global Sustainability Science Connections: Engaging Lessons for the Primary Grades
  • Renewable Energy—Short Course, ticketed. Participants will use interdisciplinary materials incorporating science, math, language arts, art, and music to learn and teach about renewable resources.
  • A Solid Science Background for Designing a New Tomorrow—Short Course, ticketed. Using our hands-on integrated activities showing how our natural resources play a role in every aspect of our lives. CD giveaway.
  • Field Trip: Rocking Out in Limestone Cedar Glades—ticketed. The Central Basin of Tennessee is home to the limestone cedar glades, a unique and extremely fragile habitat rich in marine fossils.

We hope to see you there. Visit www.nsta.org/nashville for more information or to register. The earlybird deadline is Oct. 22.

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How Do You Use Popular Media in Your Classroom?

Jacob Clark Blickenstaff, whose “Blick on Flicks” columns appears in NSTA Reports and online, is collecting information for the Science and Entertainment Exchange on how K–12 teachers use popular media to teach science. He'd like to know how you use media written as entertainment (like Avatar, Mythbusters, or World of Warcraft) to teach science content or process.

If you use movies, TV shows, or video games in your classroom, please consider taking a few minutes to fill out the survey. Thank you.

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Sponsored by:

Chemical Heritage Foundation sponsorship

USA Today

Teaching Science in 21st Century-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!

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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