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Week of December 13, 2010

Table of Contents

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Sponsored by:
Educational Innovations Inc

PISA Report Shows U.S. Progress to Average

The 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) report for science released last week shows U.S. students have moved up in the PISA rankings, but still trail behind many nations in science literacy. PISA is an international assessment coordinated by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that compares the performance of 15-year-old students in reading, math, and science to their peers internationally.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Herb Society of America Grant for Educators

Each year, the Herb Society of America (HAS) funds innovative projects that enhance herbal education. This grant challenges educators (formal and informal) to develop and deliver learning experiences to the public, including school systems, communities, or any public forum (electronic or person-to-person). Your project must specifically promote herbal education, beyond the usual garden activities. Learning goals and a mechanism to measure the educational outcomes are required.

The society’s Grant Committee hopes to fund one or two grants for a total of $5,000. Apply by December 31, 2010, at the HSA website.

Grow your professional development with events and opportunities posted to the NSTA Calendar.

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2011 New Year's Resolution: Attend the National Conference on Science Education, San Francisco, for Professional Development

NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education will take place March 10–13, 2011, in the beautiful city of San Francisco. This destination city is home to The California Academy of Sciences, a leading-edge research and educational institution with a new aquarium, planetarium, the natural history museum and the four story tropical rain forest. Other popular science tourist attractions such as the Exploratorium, Bay Area Discovery Museum, the Randall Museum, the Zeum for children, provide attendees and their families rich resources and day trip options. The NSTA Conference brings more than 6,000 sessions, workshops, and symposia covering science content, assessment, inquiry, English language learners, STEM, and the new Standards, to name just a few. Some of our featured presentations are:

  • Deeply Digital Science Teaching by Chad Dorsey (President and CEO, The Concord Consortium):Get a sneak peek of what lies just ahead in educational technology, and learn about cutting-edge software you can use today for free.
  • Science—It’s Not a Book of Knowledge … It’s a Journey by Dr. Jeff Goldstein who believes “science is nothing but a means to organize curiosity.”
  • Dr. Dennis M. Bartels, executive director of the Exploratorium, will present on How to Use All a Child’s Waking Hours to Activate the Science Learner in Every Student Before Adolescence.
  • Kenji Hakuta, the Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford, will present on Practical Tools to Support English Language Learners Reading Science Texts.

K–16 teachers in every discipline and at every stage in their career can take advantage of this opportunity to build an in depth resume of professional development. Check out select sessions including field trips that will pique your interest:

  • Hands-On Learning Activities for AP Biology
  • Science + Writing = Learning—Using notebooks components, math integration, supporting data, and assessments. (Elem–Middle)
  • Activities from Across the Earth System
  • NASA Solar Science Hidden in a Storybook
  • Stop Idling! Interdisciplinary Climate Change Activities (Elem–Middle)
  • Catapulting into Physics (High School)
  • Polydensity Tube Make-Learn-Take: Serious Fun with a Dense Subject, Middle-High
  • Developing Literacy and Addressing Content Standards Through Issue-oriented Science (Middle–High)
  • Field Trip: Space Science: A Visit to NASA Ames-Located in a renovated supersonic wind tunnel building, this center makes math and science curriculum come alive! Students experience science in action and come to realize its connection to their lives through activities in four hands-on stations.
  • Field Trip: The USS Pampanito—Where History Meets Science—Experiment with the basic scientific principles that submarines used during World War II.
  • NSTA Exhibit Hall—Teachers call this their favorite stop. Bring an extra tote for giveaways from top companies demonstrating their newest products.

Visit www.nsta.org/sanfrancisco for more information. The earlybird deadline is January 14, so register now.

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You Are Invited to Join the Climate Stewards Education Program (CSEP)

Help build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship activities. The goals of this program are to provide educators with sustained professional development, collaborative tools,and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship activities. As part of this growing network, you will:

  • Increase your content knowledge in climate and related sciences
  • Increase your ability to identify and use scientifically credible resources and processes
  • Help your students engage in active environmental stewardship activities

What will you have to do as part of the project?

  • Complete at least 15 hours of professional development training in climate science and educational applications starting in the winter of 2010–2011. Many opportunities will be available including online and face-to-face seminars, symposia, short courses, and mini-conferences.  
  • Participate in monthly teleconferences and online learning communities.
  • Develop and implement a stewardship project that may include service learning, classroom projects, community projects, or classroom curriculum infusion.
  •  Share ideas, findings, and recommendations concerning resources and implementation.
E-mail Bruce.Moravchik@noaa.gov  by December 31, 2010. Only 50 new educators will be accepted this year.

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Picture-Perfect Science: Books, ClassPacks, and More

Picture Perfect Science Class Packs photoNSTA Press® makes it easier than ever to incorporate Picture-Perfect Science Lessons into your elementary classroom. Visit the Picture-Perfect Science page to learn more about these award-winning books and new ClassPack supply kits, which will give you everything you need to teach about force and motion, chemical change, oils spills, inventions, and many more core science concepts. Series coauthor Emily Morgan is leading three Picture-Perfect Science Workshops this winter—let Picture-Perfect Science help you rejuvenate elementary science instruction in your district or school in the coming year.

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Professional Development Institutes Lead the Offerings in San Francisco

The kickoff experience for those attending the annual National Conference on Science Education is a full day of professional development institutes (ticketed) scheduled for Wednesday, March 9, 2011, in San Francisco. Choose from nine in depth topics critical to educators today. Follow-on pathway sessions during the conference offer continuing exploration, providing a truly comprehensive learning opportunity. Formative Assessment, Inquiry-based Classroom, State Standards, Using Mathematical Representations to Explain Science, and Science for English Language Learners are just a few of the topics to be covered. Visit the PDI web pages for complete information.

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Sponsored by:

NSTA Career Center

Earth Science Puzzles

Exemplary Science for Resolving Societal Challenges-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 December featured book, Teaching Science to English Language Learners.

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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