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Week of November 22, 2010

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
Verizon Foundation

Sponsored by:
USA Today-NASA Design Challenge

NCATE Panel Calls for Turning Teacher Education "Upside Down"

A national blue ribbon panel convened last year by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) last week called for teacher education to be "turned upside down" by revamping programs to make clinical practice the centerpiece of the curriculum. The panel also recommended that teacher education institutions and school districts partner and make teacher education more of a shared responsibility. Eight states—California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Tennessee—have already agreed to implement the panel’s recommendations and will work with national experts to pilot approaches to implementation and bring new models of clinical preparation to scale.

“The new approaches will involve significant policy and procedural changes in both the state higher education and P–12 education systems and entail revamping longstanding policies and practices that are no longer suited to today's needs. The changes called for will require state higher education officials, governors, and state P–12 commissioner leadership working together to remove policy barriers and create policy supports for the new vision of teacher education,” says the NCATE press release on the panel’s recommendations.

Read the recommendations of the NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning.

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Sponsored by:
Botanical Society ofAmerica

Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence in Science Literacy

The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition is accepting applications for the 2011 program year. Celebrating 25 years of science writing excellence, the program will award $50,000 in prizes this year. Students in grades 7–12 are eligible and could win money for college and an expense-paid trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort and Kennedy Space Center where winners will be recognized. Teachers can also earn grants and trips to the awards ceremony and the NSTA National Conference on Science Education by mentoring a winning student.

Prizes will also be awarded in the 25 Days of Giveaways, a special feature of the 25th anniversary program year. From November 22 to December 24, DuPont will award science classrooms with prizes related to STEM education and science literacy. Teachers must register to be eligible.

The DuPont Challenge was developed to honor the crew of the Challenger shuttle and as a way to increase science literacy. To register, get more information, and apply, go to thechallenge.dupont.com. The deadline for essay entries is January 31, 2011.

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Sponsored by:
NSTA Conference-Nashville

New Competition Brings Needed Lab Resources to Teachers

NSTA and Shell announce the NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Challenge—an innovative new competition for middle and high school teachers that will bring much-needed laboratory resources to school districts nationwide.  Schools will compete for up to $93,000 in prizes, including a grand prize school science lab makeover valued at $20,000.

The Challenge asks teachers who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences in schools with little or inferior equipment to submit their strategies. Entries will be judged on the basis of several criteria, including uniqueness, creativity, and replicability of their submissions. 18 regional winners will be selected. Of the 18 winners, five national winners and one grand prize winner will be selected.  Prizes include gift certificates for lab equipment, cash grants, NSTA memberships, NSTA Learning Center subscriptions, travel to NSTA conferences, and paid conference registration fees. Entries submitted to the Challenge will form a national database of ideas and strategies and serve as models for how to succeed in science lab instruction with limited school and laboratory resources.

Schools in urban and rural areas, and those with underserved populations, are encouraged to apply.

For more information and to apply, go to shellsciencelab.nsta.org. The deadline for entries is February 2, 2011.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Teach Space Science? Be An Inspiration!

If you teach space science in your classroom, you can apply to become a Space Foundation Teacher Liaison and receive benefits and privileges that will enhance your teaching career. Teacher Liaisons—preK–20 teachers and other professional or informal educators in the preK–20 arena—tend to be Master Teachers who want to inspire the next generation of students to pursue and excel in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). While serving as active advocates for the Space Foundation, NASA, and their schools and school districts, Teacher Liaisons receive specialized training at Space Foundation and NASA workshops and national recognition for their efforts.

Teacher Liaisons need not be science or math teachers; they need only have a desire to integrate space education within their curriculum. The Space Foundation will select the new flight of Teacher Liaisons in January 2011. Apply by December 10 at the Teacher Liaison Program website.

Find other opportunities to help your career take flight—visit the NSTA Calendar.

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We're Headed for Nashville for Science Education and Fun

If you’ve missed our advisories, we want to be sure you know you’re invited to register now or register on site for our third Area Conference on Science Education, scheduled for Dec. 2–4 in Nashville. For this academic getaway, the weather’s warm and the music is terrific. If it’s science education you’re after, consider more than 400 professional development sessions for K–16 science educators from every discipline.

Star of Discovery Channel’s Time Warp and Master of Science, Jeff Lieberman, keynote speaker, will present “Cultivating Curiosity.” For discipline-specific options, we’re offering half- and full-day programs in chemistry, biology, and physics. In-depth short courses (ticketed) explore renewable energy, physical science demonstrations, and tools and resources for teaching STEM. Along with field trips to local sites such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory or Limestone Cedar Glades, networking with your colleagues who share your passion, our teachers’ favorite is the Exhibit Hall. Bring an extra tote for the freebies, and peruse the most cutting-edge products available for your classroom.

Join us in just a few weeks.

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Deadline Extended for the Mars Education Challenge

Good news! The deadline to submit proposals for the Mars Education Challenge has been extended to Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. EST. High school science teachers located throughout the country, who have developed or are interested in creating new and innovative curricula support materials that focus on Mars science and exploration, are encouraged to apply. Participants who pre-register by December 1, 2010, will receive helpful tips for submitting curricula support materials.

The Challenge will recognize six winning entries with five regional awards and one national award. Regional winners will receive $2,500 grants, and the national winner will receive a $5,000 grant. Additionally, all of the winners will have an opportunity to do field research with well-known planetary scientists. The national winner will receive an expense-paid trip to NSTA’s 2011 National Conference on Science Education in San Francisco, where he or she will be recognized at a special awards ceremony. Winning lesson plans will be shared with classrooms nationwide.

If you are interested in applying but are uncertain if your submission conforms to the competition guidelines, please contact Explore Mars at info@exploremars.org. A program staff member will gladly review your proposal and let you know if it meets the program requirements.

More information, including entry details, submission requirements, and detailed prize information for the Mars Education Challenge, can be found at www.exploremars.org. Don’t delay, apply now!

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Dispatches from China

Read the blog entries from science educators (including NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle) at the 2010 Sino–U.S. Science and Education Forum in Shanghai.

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Sponsored by:

VRW Education

USA Today-STEM Career Competition

NSTA Press-Tried and True

Learn more about NSTA e-newsletter sponsorships

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

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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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