NSTA Home | NSTA Communities | Member Benefits | Conferences | Journals | Science Store | Learning Center | Career Center
[ View in web browser ]

Week of April 25, 2011

Table of Contents

Elementary and Middle School Educators in Urban Districts Invited to 2011 USEL Academy for Professional Development

Teams of educators will make the trip to Baltimore, Maryland, June 27–July 1, to bond at this unique PD opportunity and kick off the summer.  Registration requires teams of 5 educators to attend—1 district science coordinator/supervisor, 1 building administrator/principal/assistant principal, and 3 classroom teachers along with heart, mind, and a passion for learning and teaching science. In conjunction with Urban Science Education Leaders, NSTA offers an outstanding program with renowned educators Anne Tweed, Dr. Eleanor Rodriquez, and Camille J. Cooper who will facilitate. Both Tweed and Rodriquez have authored books that support the PD initiative. The featured presenter is Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, co-founder, Meyerhoff Scholars Program, and co-author, Beating the Odds and Overcoming the Odds—two books about parenting strategies for raising high-achieving African American men and women.

Participants at the USEL Academy will:

  • Establish a distributed leadership model to guide a district plan
  • Create/modify a district strategic plan to improve science education
  • Advance best practices in your district
  • Develop as experienced practitioners to lead science improvement
  • Positively affect student achievement

Fees: New Academy team ($6,000), Returning Academy team ($5,000). Fees include registration, program materials, Holiday Inner Harbor Baltimore lodging, June 27–July 1, and daily continental breakfast and lunch.

Visit www.nsta.org/2011usel for more information.

(back to top)

The New Science Teacher Academy Welcomes New Applicants

“This was a great program that provided excellent resources and inspiration,” said a 2009 Fellow who spent a year honing her teaching skills and building her confidence through the New Science Teacher Academy, a program for second- and third-year middle or high school teachers. This professional development academy is turning out teachers with more self-assurance and content knowledge, and with a new network of colleagues and mentors who have offered access to solid resources and teaching advice, along with a ready word of encouragement.

According to a 2003 study by Richard Ingersoll, nearly 50 percent of beginning teachers leave their jobs in the first five years. The NSTA New Science Teacher Academy supports science teachers during the challenging initial teaching years to help them stay in the profession.

Among the many benefits of this superior program, Fellows chosen to participate are rewarded with a membership in NSTA and all its benefits; use of web-based PD activities including web seminars; complimentary registration to NSTA’s National Conference with lodging, meals, and air travel; participation in a PD Institute or Research Conference; and more. Importantly, sharing the experiences with others across the nation who come together to meet and bond at the National Conference has proven to create long-lasting friends for the Fellows. Visit www.nsta.org/academy to get the details and complete an application. The deadline has been extended to July 1.

(back to top)

17 Regional Winners Selected in Inaugural Year of NSTA's Shell Science Lab Challenge

Congratulations to the 17 middle and secondary school science teachers who have been named regional winners in the inaugural year of NSTA's Shell Science Lab Challenge. The competition encouraged teachers (grades 6–12) in the U.S. and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000. From the 17 regional winners named, five national winners will be chosen, and from the national winners a grand prize winner will be selected.

As a regional winner, each teacher and their school will receive donated science lab equipment or gift certificates, a grant to purchase additional science lab tools and resources, and a gift certificate to the NSTA Bookstore. The school will also receive memberships to the NSTA and the NSTA Learning Center and paid registration for two teachers at the school to attend a 2011 NSTA area conference.

To learn more about the program, visit shellsciencelab.nsta.org.

(back to top)

Build Your Content Knowledge in Physical Science and/or Earth/Space Science

Summer 2011 Online Short Courses

Force and Motion
Intimidated by inertia? Frightened by forces? Mystified by Newton's Laws of Motion? Force and Motion is the perfect course to improve your content knowledge. Member Price: $325.76, Nonmember Price: $370.75

Why is left right and right left in the mirror? Baffled by the basics of reflection and refraction? Wondering just how the eye works? If you have trouble teaching concepts about light that you don’t fully grasp yourself, the new NSTA Online Short Course on light will help. Member Price: $328.55 Nonmember Price: $373.25

Confounded by kinetic and potential energy? Intimidated by thermal energy and heat? Mystified by the concepts of conduction, convection, and radiation? Register for this course to learn more. Member Price: $325.76, Nonmember Price: $370.75

Earth, Sun and Moon
Explore the phenomena that can be explained by the position and motion of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Member Price: $307.38, Nonmember Price: $348.59

For each of the short courses mentioned, two hours of graded, graduate credit are available through Oklahoma State University. Course registration for Light and Force and Motion is June 7, 2011. The deadline for registration for Energy and Earth Sun and Moon is June 30, 2011. Sign up today.

(back to top)

24 Student Teams from Across the U.S. and Canada Named Regional Winners in the 2011 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Program

ExploraVision logoCongratulations to the 2011 regional winners recently selected for the 19th annual Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards Program. The programís 24 regional winners looked to the world around them to propose ideas for technologies that could make the future better, healthier and more eco-friendly. This year the program received 4,346 team entries representing the participation of 13,387 students from across the U.S. and Canada, and regional winning projects reflected in-depth research in scientific fields ranging from GPS and nanotechnology to stem cell and gene research, solar and wind energy technologies and others.

The regional winners will now move on to the national phase of the competition, where they will compete to be named among the eight national winner teams, including four first-place and four second-place winners.

For more information or an application for 2012, visit the competition website or e-mail exploravision@nsta.org.

(back to top)

ISTE Offers Educators an NSTA Innovative Learning Technologies Strand at Annual Conference

If you’re interested in learning more about using technology in education, the ISTE Annual Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 26–29, provides a unique opportunity. NSTA has developed a panel session, a series of lectures, and a poster session as part of the Innovative Learning Technologies strand within the Digital Age Teaching & Learning theme. The panel session and lectures will take place on June 28, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Strand sessions include:

  1. Immersive Environments for Science Education: Hyper-learning or Over Hyped Learning, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Panel, Dr. Al Byers, NSTA;Dr. Lisa Dawley, Boise State University;Dr. Chris Dede, Harvard University; and Dr. Greg Jones, University of North Texas
  2. Games and Virtual Environments: What are they and how can I integrate them in my classroom, 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Dr. Greg Jones, University of North Texas
  3. Quest-Based Inquiry Across Immersive Learning Environments: Access, Choice and Powerful New Modes of Learning, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Dr. Lisa Dawley, Boise State University
  4. Immersive Virtual Ecosystems for Learning and Assessment, 3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m., Dr. Chris Dede, Harvard University
  5. Poster Session, The NSTA Learning Center: Research-based e-Professional Development
  6. June 29, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Dr. Al Byers and Flavio Mendez, National Science Teachers Association. The NSTA Learning Center is providing one flexible and extensible model that leverages face-to-face state and local systemic PD efforts. The poster will discuss advantages and lessons learned via this e-PD model, examining learner usage and preference data, and how this model is best achieved when integrated as part of a coherent long-term blended PD solution at the state and district level.

For more details, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

(back to top)

Ammonia: A Spotless Green Thumb

Fertilizing a fieldAmmonia feeds the world. About 83% of ammonia produced industrially is used as fertilizers, either as salts or as solutions, and it is estimated that fertilizer generated from ammonia sustains one-third of the Earthís population, and that half of the protein the world eats grows from nitrogen produced from ammonia, while the remainder was produced by nitrogen fixing bacteria.

So, where does it come from, how else is it used, and how is chemistry involved?

Thatís what Chemistry Now, produced in partnership with NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation, seeks to answer. In April 2008, UNESCO endorsed 2011 as an International Year of Chemistry (IYC), a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to humankind. For its part, NSTA is developing middle and high school chemistry lessons that will be coupled with historical news coverage, documentary materials, and current news broadcasts from NBC News, as well as resources from other contributors.

Weíll place the raw lessons on the NSTA blog to make it easy for chemistry educators to download and modify them for use. Click here to access. Think of this as a wiki project, where you help shape the script for the lesson, and let us know what you think.

(back to top)

Summer Online Course Bundle Includes Free Gardening Kit

A new bundle of two online courses from Montana State University helps elementary teachers learn both plant science and nutrition, plus strategies for integrating the science related to school gardens into the classroom.

Teachers can register separately for either "Plant Science: It Grows on You" (BIOL 580) or "Food and Nutrition Across the Elementary Curriculum" (HDFN 580). However, teachers who register for the two-course bundle will receive a free gardening kit to use in their classroom. Each course lasts seven weeks and offers 1 graduate credit. When taken together, teachers can study how plants grow and develop and then learn how the body uses the food grown. Both topics lead well into integration of a school garden or local agriculture into the curriculum.

Register online at eu.montana.edu/NTEN—look for the "The Science Behind School Gardens" Bundle. NSTA members receive a 10% discount on each course.

MSU's National Teachers Enhancement Network also offers many other summer graduate courses, ranging from Space Flight and Streamside Science, to Conceptual Physics and Statistics for Teachers. 

All coursework can apply towards MSU's five new Graduate Certificates in Science Teaching in Chemistry, Earth Science, Elementary School Science, Life Science, and Physics.

(back to top)

Sponsored by:

Yet More Everyday Science Mysteries-NSTA Press

Hard To Teach Science Concepts-NSTA Press

Stop Faking It-Force and Motion Classroom Activities-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!

Interact with your fellow NSTA members on the list server. Join one list or join them all!
List server icon

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 April featured book, Inside-Out

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!


Sign Up / Opt Out | Member Services | NSTA Express Feedback | View in Browser | Archive | NSTA News Digest

NSTA Home | NSTA Communities | Member Benefits | Conferences | Journals | Science Store | Learning Center | Career Center

Copyright © 2011 National Science Teachers Association
NSTA Express is designed to keep NSTA members and the wider science education community informed about NSTA activities.
It also provides important news items and announcements from our partners.
It may be forwarded or reproduced for educational purposes but must include the copyright notice above and the link to NSTA.

This e-newsletter is brought to you by the
National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201-3000
Phone: 703-243-7100

If you do not want to receive NSTA Express by e-mail, please follow this link:

NSTA Express archive: www.nsta.org/publications/archive-express.aspx