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Week of February 21, 2011

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
American Society of Civil Engineers

Sponsored by:
USA Today-STEM Career National Competition

NSTA Legislative Update: President Obama Unveils His 2012 Budget Proposal

Last week, President Obama visited the eighth grade science class at Parkville Middle School and Center for Technology in Baltimore before unveiling his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal. Read more about the STEM education initiatives in the President’s FY2012 budget in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Find Local Scientists in Your Area with the National Lab Network

Planning and preparing for science fair and end-of-year projects? There are a number of ways that the National Lab Network can help.

Many of you participated in National Lab Day (NLD) last year. Well, NLD has expanded and rebranded to National Lab Network (NLN) NLN gives you instant access to thousands of volunteer scientists, engineers, technology experts and even mathematicians who are waiting to help you!

These STEM-professionals can help you

  • Judge a science fair
  • Mentor individual student projects
  • Plan cool post-testing projects and activities
  • Organize field trips

And much more!

Just go to www.nationallabnetwork.org, sign up (you're already signed up if you are part of National Lab Day), and check out the Community section. Click on STEM-based professionals, search in your area (ZIP or city/state), e-mail one, two, a dozen people telling them how they can help YOU. Be sure to post a Project (include the date, time and location/contact information of any fairs, events, etc) so the volunteers can also look for you.

NLN is designed to bring people together, but often you'll have to take the first step. Be assertive- send multiple emails to the volunteer "matches" and reach out to this exciting network of experts waiting to get involved in YOUR school, YOUR classroom and ultimately help you!

Will you be in San Francisco at the NSTA National conference? To learn more about NLN, please attend an informational session at NSTA in San Francisco on Friday at 12:30 presented by Camsie Matis, an experienced science and math teacher and part of the NLN leadership team. You can also stop by the NLN booth to sign up, learn more or find volunteers for your classroom!"

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From the NSTA Calendar: Reexamining the Gulf Oil Spill

Many educators are focusing on the Gulf Oil Spill as a unifying interdisciplinary theme to explore throughout the school year. During a National Environmental Education Foundation webinar on February 23, educators will have an opportunity to interact with Robert Twilley of Louisiana State University's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. He will provide information on the timeline and effects of the 2010 Gulf oil spill and answer questions about the spill and its long-term consequences. Participants will also learn about the National Wildlife Federation's Oil Spill educational materials and service projects and find out how teachers and students can get involved.

The webinar, to be held at 7 p.m. Eastern Time, will be available to registered National Environmental Education Week 2011 participants. Registration for EE Week is free. For those who can’t see it live, the webinar will be archived. Visit the Teaching About the Gulf Oil Spill website for more information and to register.

Need other ideas for interdisciplinary themes? Check out the professional development opportunities on the NSTA Calendar.

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Sponsored by:
National Wildlife Federation

Symposia at San Francisco: March 10–12, 2011

Take advantage of NSTA Symposia offered at the National Conference on Science Education. These half-day, high-quality, standards-based programs are designed to help educators increase their content knowledge and collect new ideas for classroom activities.
Check out the following symposia:

Symposia are ticketed programs—registration to the conference is required to attend. Most programs have a $60 stipend for participants who complete the symposium. For more information and to register, visit learningcenter.nsta.org/symposia.

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Mark Your Calendars for the K–12 STEM Education Policy Conference This July

This is one summer event you will not want to miss. Six leading STEM organizations—including NSTA, the American Chemical Society, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, the STEM Education Coalition, and the Hands-On Science Partnership—will be hosting an amazing conference this July 12–13 in Washington DC solely dedicated to STEM education policy. If you are interested in the future of STEM education, and want to make your voice heard, then plan now to join us this summer.

Space will be limited! For more information or to pre-register for the conference, contact Jodi Peterson, jpeterson@nsta.org.

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Immerse Yourself in Science

In just a few weeks, thousands of science educators will meet in San Francisco at the National Conference on Science Education. Scheduled for March 10–13, attendees can expect entertaining and inspiring speakers, hands-on workshops, strategies for better student performance, techniques that work in the classroom, and an exhibit hall that houses visiting companies with the newest products. More than 2,000 sessions, a “Science Matters” town hall, short courses, and in depth PD institutes are planned. Listed below are just a few of the workshops being offered:

  • Diagnosing What Students Know Before Science Instruction
  • So You Think You Teach Inquiry in Middle School? Moving Teachers from Traditional to Inquiry Investigations
  • Playing with Ecosystem Science: Informal Modeling Games to Explore the Delicate Balance (Middle/Informal)
  • Understanding the Conceptual Flow in Instructional Materials
  • Standards-based Active Learning: Protein Structure and Function (Middle–College)
  • Your World: What It's Made Of and How It Works—Chemistry-based lesson and hands-on exercises showing the fundamental ties among the four basic sciences (math, biology, physics, and chemistry).
  • DNA, Mitosis, and Me—To teach DNA, mitosis, and protein synthesis. Lesson plans and handouts.
  • Geo Focus: Bays—Questions and projects that can be used to explore STEM in four specific bays of North America: San Francisco Bay, Tampa Bay, Narragansett Bay, and the Great Bay (NH).
  • Evolution and Medicine (High–College)
  • Featured Presentation: Science—It’s Not a Book of Knowledge…It’s a Journey by Jeff Goldstein Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
  • Featured Presentation: Science, Evolution, and Creationism by Dr. Eugenie C. Scott

To register, visit www.nsta.org/sanfrancisco.

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Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge

Siemens We Can Change The World Challenge logoThere is still plenty of time to register your team for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Join K–12 students and teachers nationwide in this exciting sustainability competition to solve environmental problems and win over $300,000 in grant prizes. The deadline for all entries is March 15, 2011.  Finalists will be announced on May 2 and the national winners will be announced May 18. For more information, visit www.wecanchange.com.

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The Cautious 60 Percent of Biology Teachers

In episode 59 of NSTA’s Lab Out Loud podcast, hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler discuss evolution education with Dr. Eric Plutzer, coauthor of “Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the Classroom,” a recently published article in Science magazine. Dr. Plutzer talks to Lab Out Loud about the paper and what the results reveal about how much evolution is actually being taught in biology classrooms across the nation.

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Looking for a Different Kind of Professional Development?

Join the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Online Teacher Academy to revitalize your love of nature and discover some WILD ways to inspire your student’s interest in learning. 

Academy Courses are a convenient way to enhance your understanding of the living world.  Providing a unique opportunity to examine the life sciences of zoology, ecology and conservation, the Online Teacher Academy offers learning with:

  • Virtual simulations, videos and presentations from WCS scientists
  • The most up-to-date news from WCS field researchers
  • Opportunities to explore best practices in science education
  • Curriculum and resources
  • Interaction with teachers from around the world
  • Graduate credits

 Spring 2011 Courses (starting soon):

  • Ocean Giants: Sharks Webinar  (FREE!)
  • Conservation Biology for Educators
  • Nature’s Thread: Weaving Environmental Education into Your Classroom  (NEW!)
  • Marine Biology for Educators

Interested?  www.wcs.org/elearning or +1-718-220-5136.

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Sponsored by:

Frey Scientific

NSTA Science Supply Guide

NSTA Conference in San Francisco

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Professional development courses in your future?
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Take a look at these groups offering courses for science educators!


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