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Week of March 21, 2011

Table of Contents

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SMART Technologies sponsorship

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NSTA Science Supply Guide

NSTA Legislative Update: 82 Percent of America's Schools Could Fail to Meet AYP Next Year

According to the Department of Education, more than 80 percent of schools across America may fail to make AYP next year under No Child Left Behind. Also last week, Congress passed, yet again, another short term funding bill for FY2011 programs, and the President takes his message for Congress to fix NCLB to a Northern Virginia school. Read all about it in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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New Chemistry Resource For Middle School

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has just released a new web resource offering activity-based lesson plans for teaching basic chemistry concepts at the middle school level. The lessons cover all the main concepts in middle school chemistry, so any part of a lesson or the entire lesson can be used on its own or in conjunction with the curriculum the teacher is already using. Each lesson also contains integrated animations and video that teachers can use to help explain student observations on the molecular level. Online professional development will also be available to introduce and familiarize teachers with the demonstrations, activities, and chemistry content in the site.

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Building Content Knowledge in Preservice Teachers

NSTA’s Learning Center offers online PD for teachers who want and need additional content knowledge. Using a mix of products and platforms, teachers can choose from rich resources that meet personal preferences and are available 24/7. Field-tested and reviewed for content, accuracy, and pedagogy by experts, a range of online learning sessions that run from two hours to ten hours are available. The learning sessions provide real-world content and concepts with detailed teaching strategies and include examples of content in an instructional context. Lesson plans, simulations, and samples of students' work help exemplify the learning outcome. Assessment tools provide both the preservice teacher and the instructor a report of accomplishment. Tracking of the experience is part of the Learning Center’s toolbox that includes “My Professional Development Plan and Portfolio.” Other tools—My Transcript, My Notepad, My Library, and My Calendar—help the user organize and manage PD experiences. For more information, visit learningcenter.nsta.org.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Develop Lesson Plans With the CDC

Middle school and high school science educators who would like to combine health and science in one lesson plan can spend part of their summer at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC’s Science Education and Professional Development Program Office will hold its 2011 Science Ambassador Program, July 18–22. During the program, educators will collaborate with CDC subject-matter experts to create public health-based lesson plans. Three Professional Learning Units for continuing education credit will be awarded to educators who successfully complete the workshop, which is free of charge for participants.

Visit the Science Ambassador Program’s website to learn more and apply by March 31, 2011.

Discover other summer professional development activities by visiting the NSTA Calendar.

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Register Today for July Policy Conference on STEM

Thinking of coming to Washington, DC, this summer to visit our nation’s lovely capital? Why not pair your vacation with a short education policy conference and become an advocate for science education at the same time.

Registration is now open for the K–12 STEM Education Policy Conference, scheduled for July 12–13 in Washington, DC.

Teachers, science supervisors, curriculum leaders, researchers—anyone with an interest in K–12 science and STEM education policy—will not want to miss this 1½-day conference. You'll have the opportunity to learn more about the rapidly changing policy landscape from influential federal policymakers and national education leaders before you head up to Capitol Hill for meetings with your elected representatives. Seating is limited, so act soon. Conference registration is only $60; participants will be responsible for their travel costs and lodging in Washington, DC.

Learn more and register now for the conference at stemeducationconference.eventbrite.com or go to www.nsta.org/about/olpa.

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New from NSTA Press®: Hard-to-Teach Science Concepts: A Framework to Support Learners, Grades 3–5

Authors Susan Koba and Carol Mitchell introduce grades 3–5 teachers to their “conceptual framework” as a model for successful instruction of hard-to-teach science concepts. Four actions make up the methodology: (1) engage students about their preconceptions and address and dispel misconceptions, (2) target lessons to be learned, (3) determine appropriate strategies, and (4) use standards-based teaching that builds on student understandings. With the framework comes an explanation on how to use it, a variety of tools, and examples of application. This resource is aimed at science educators of preservice classes, middle school teachers who could benefit from a new approach, and elementary teachers with limited science content and a desire to attempt hard-to-teach science concepts. Pre-order today at www.nsta.org/store.

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Listen and Learn About Google's Global Science Fair

In episode 61 of NSTA’s podcast Lab Out Loud, hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk with Google's Cristin Frodella about the Google Global Science Fair 2011. In partnership with CERN, the LEGO Group, National Geographic, and Scientific American, Google has created an exciting new global science competition to help celebrate young scientific talent and engage students in science. Learn how to submit a project, then return to see and vote for some of the best projects.

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WCS's Online Teacher Academy Announces Spring 2011 Courses

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Online Teacher Academy invites you to revitalize your love of nature and discover some WILD ways to inspire your students' interest in learning. 

Spring 2011 Courses (…it’s not too late to sign up!):

Academy courses will expand your knowledge, enhance your expertise and advance your teaching practices. Providing a unique opportunity to examine the life sciences of zoology, ecology, and conservation, the Online Teacher Academy offers learning with:

  • Interactive online learning
  • Most up-to-date reports from WCS field researchers
  • Best practices in science education
  • Ready to use curriculum and resources
  • Teachers from throughout the United States and around the world
  • Dynamic facilitators
  • Graduate credits

Interested? Know someone who might be? www.wcs.org/elearning

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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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