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Week of February 28, 2011

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
Delta Education

Sponsored by:
USA Today-STEM Career National Competition

Next Generation of Science Education Standards—NSTA Wants to Hear From You

The National Research Council (NRC), with a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, is developing a conceptual framework that will guide new K–12 science education standards. A draft framework was released for public input last summer and a final document is slated for release this spring. Achieve, Inc., will then begin the process of drafting new science education standards based on this framework, with completion scheduled for 2012.

NSTA has been a collaborating partner with NRC and Achieve during the framework development process. As we inch closer to new science standards, NSTA wants to know what you think. Take this quick poll and let us know:

Do you support common science education standards that all states can adopt?

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Member Input Sought on Draft Position Statement: 21st-Century Skills and Science Learning

A team of science educators has developed a new NSTA position statement acknowledging the value of 21st-century skills within the context of science education. The statement advocates for the science education community to support 21st-century skills consistent with best practices across a science education system and notes that “exemplary science education can offer a rich context for developing many 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and information literacy.”

NSTA encourages feedback from members before the draft document is adopted by the NSTA Board of Directors. Please tell us what you think by viewing the draft statement here (PDF) and submitting your comments here.

We welcome your feedback by Monday, March 14.

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Deep Cuts to STEM Education in House Continuing Resolution for FY2011 Programs

Late last week the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 that would cut federal funding by $60 billion. The bill, H.R. 1, eliminates the Department of Education Math and Science Partnerships and makes key cuts to STEM education programs at the National Science Foundation. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Sponsored by:
National Wildlife Federation

Meet Us on the West Coast

There is still time to register for NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education, March 10–13, in San Francisco. Don’t miss your chance to attend 2000+ sessions for K-16 science teachers in every discipline. Whether you are time-starved, on a budget, new to teaching science, interested in refreshing your lessons, looking for content knowledge, or working with diverse students, NSTA has something to offer. Read what past attendees enjoyed about their National Conference experience:

“The specific tips, techniques and additions to my teaching toolkit that I'll be able to immediately use in my classroom when I return.”

“I found the enthusiasm of the presenters infectious. Their love of science and willingness to impart their knowledge and experiences will help me to reach the next level of teaching science.”

“Ease of networking and meeting other science teachers, the variety of sessions—particularly the ones that provided direct classroom ideas.”

“It was all wonderful. I have attended conferences for other disciplines in the past—this was by far the best organized and most worthy conference I have ever attended! Well done.”

Check out a sampling of our San Francisco highlights:

  • Bill Nye the Science Guy® presents The Planetary Society Lecture: Helping Students Know Their Place in Space
  • Eat It! Edible Science Labs—Discover an innovative means of using food to present various science concepts such as freezing point depression, DNA, and others. (Middle–High)
  • Information, Networking, and Support for Preservice and New Teachers (General)
  • Ten Science Investigations for Under $10 (PreK–Elementary)
  • Teacher Researcher Day Session: Developing Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Middle–High)
  • Understanding STEM Education and STEM Schools (General)
  • ELL Pathway Session: Science Notebooks for English Language Learners (General)
  • NSTA Press Session: Stop Faking It! Finally Understand Force and Motion So You Can Teach It (Elementary–Middle)
  • Taking the Cool Demonstration to the Next Step to Develop Process Skills—Our demonstration-experiments combine uniquely designed discrepant events and structured exploration. (General)
  • Building Skills for Raising Girls' Interest in Science and Engineering (General)
  • Exhibit Hall—Featuring new products and giveaways from over 400 exhibitors.

Visit www.nsta.org/sanfrancisco for more information or to register.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Celebrating Women in STEM

March is Women’s History Month, and around the world, people will celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. Doing its part for women and girls this month, the National Engineers Week Foundation will highlight women and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with its annual Global Marathon For, By, and About Women in Engineering. During this six-day worldwide “town square” that begins on March 7, live online “conversations” and prerecorded sessions will connect precollege, university, and professional women working in or who are interested in the fields of engineering and technology.

Six global regions each have their own leaders and presenters, and scheduling follows the Sun in four-hour blocks: North America, Latin/South America, China, India, Africa, and United Kingdom/Europe. Participation in the Global Marathon is free and can expose young women to role models and inform them about STEM careers. To learn more and participate, visit the Global Marathon website.

Looking for STEM programs and events for girls and boys? Check the Student Programs section of the NSTA Calendar.

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Yet More Everyday Science Mysteries: Stories for Inquiry-Based Science Teaching (Grades K–8)

Enjoy 15 new mysteries for elementary and middle school classroom lessons from favorite series author Richard Konicek-Moran. By leaving each mystery without an ending, the author encourages students to identify the problem to be solved, formulate questions, form hypotheses, test their ideas, and come up with possible explanations. This popular format has teachers coming back for more. Pre-order your copy today!

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Earn a Master of Science Degree from Mississippi State University

You can earn your Master of Science degree via distance learning through the Teachers in Geosciences program from Mississippi State University.  All of the core Earth science courses are taught online, and the curriculum is designed around the Earth science content that is most relevant to K–12 educators. The program concludes with an 8- to 10-day capstone field course that is taught during the summer at a variety of locations including Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, Western Washington State, the Sierra, Central Arizona, Upstate NY, Lake Superior, the Bahamas, and the Great Plains Storm Chase.

This 12-course, 36-credit hour graduate program is designed to take as little as two years to complete and includes courses in meteorology, geology, planetary science, oceanography, hydrology, and environmental geoscience. The program has alumni in all 50 states, and all students qualify for in-state tuition rates.

Please visit the Teachers in Geosciences website or contact Joy Bailey, jbailey@aoce.msstate.edu, for additional information.

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Sponsored by:

Really Easy Data Collectors

NSTA Conference in San Francisco

Full Day Professional Development Institutes

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 March featured book, Dig In!

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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