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

Week of May 2, 2011

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
Nissan LEAF sponsorship

Sponsored by:
Chemical Heritage Foundation sponsorship

New State Reports on Science and Math Education from Change the Equation

Earlier this month CEO members of Change the Equation sent letters to the nation’s governors that called for higher proficiency standards in science and mathematics, and also sent state-specific reports that assessed the condition of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in each state.

(back to top)

Winners of the 25th Annual DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition Announced

DuPont Challenge logoCongratulations to the student winners and the teacher sponsors of the 25th annual DuPont Challenge© Science Essay competition. Created to honor the memory of the crew of the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle, the program seeks to engage and inspire students through science and to get them thinking about the possibilities for their future. The winners, along with a parent and sponsoring science teacher, were recognized as part of the 2011 Awards Trip to The Walt Disney World® Resort and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

The competition invited students in grades 7–12 to write a 700 to 1,000-word essay about a scientific discovery, theory, event or technological application that has captured their interest. Developed in collaboration with NSTA, NASA, Kennedy Space Center, The Walt Disney World Resort, NBC Learn, and A+ Media, the competition offered young students the opportunity to explore science, develop new skills and gain confidence in communicating scientific ideas.

With more than $75,000 in prizes at stake, the competition attracted nearly 10,000 entries in 2011 and since its inception more than 200,000 entries have been received. For more information about The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition, visit the competition website.

(back to top)

Secretary Duncan Describes Administration's Science Education Plan in NSTA Reports

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan shared his views on the direction of Science Education in the Knowledge Economy in the May 2011 issue of NSTA Reports.

Duncan says the administration is ”committed to ensuring our country’s science teachers have the resources, expertise, and support needed to make science an educational priority. Yet, I realize we need to make fundamental changes in policy to accelerate student outcomes. Under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), schools have felt compelled to focus on reading and mathematics, limiting teaching of other subjects that are part of a well-rounded education. While reading and mathematics are important foundational skills all students must master, they should be taught in ways that enrich students’ experiences in the sciences—not at the expense of them.”

He also noted, “Under President Obama’s plan, schools will have more flexibility to focus on science because his program focuses on the schools most at risk, rather than micromanaging schools that are doing well.”

NSTA Blog buttonWe'd like to hear what you, as a science educator, think of the administration’s plan to promote science education. Visit the NSTA Blog to comment.

(back to top)

Historic Flight of Shuttle Endeavour: A Teachable Moment in Your Classroom

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, as part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program on shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis, has provided links to resources that can make this historic moment a teachable moment. The resources include grade 5–12 appropriate essays with essential questions and classroom objectives that are relevant to: e.g., where the Shuttle orbits the Earth, the physics of a shuttle launch, the cause of microgravity (weightlessness), and the history, legacy, and future of human spaceflight.

See also this NSTA WebNews story for more ideas.

(back to top)

President Obama Honors Outstanding Science and Math Teachers

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), announced last week by President Obama. This award goes annually to outstanding K–12 science and math teachers identified in their state. Recipients receive a $10,000 award, an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and a number of educational and celebratory events (that usually includes an audience with the President.) The awards alternate between K–6 and 7–12 grade teachers; this year K–6 teachers were honored.

In other news, the President declared that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is of the utmost importance to all students and is critical to U.S. competitiveness during a town hall event at Facebook.

And STEM was a big part of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, read all about it in the White House blog.

(back to top)

Sponsored by:
NSTA Career Center ad

Win a Yearlong PD Scholarship through the New Science Teacher Academy

For new science teachers, those first years of teaching often are stressful and anxiety-ridden. Research indicates new teachers’ performance and confidence is enhanced with professional development, engagement with like-minded peers, and solid professional mentoring. To that end, NSTA and sponsoring corporations established the New Science Teacher Academy, a program that fills those needs. Middle and high school science teachers in their second or third year of teaching are invited to apply to participate in the Academy. More than 200 teacher applicants will win a scholarship for the 2011–2012 Academy program. “Fellows” in the Academy will enjoy the following:

  • Membership in the NSTA with full benefits
  • Access to facilitated, web-based curriculum devoted to content and classroom pedagogy
  • One-on-one e-mentoring, specific to the Fellow's discipline and grade band
  • All expenses paid to NSTA’s National Conference (lodging, airfare, meals, and registration included)
  • Attendance at a PD Institute or Research Conference

Visit www.nsta.org/academy to learn more or apply. Deadline is July 1.

(back to top)

Registration Extended for Summer Workshop on Creating a STEM Program at Your School

Looking to create a new STEM program at your school or re-energize an existing STEM program? The National Consortium of Specialized Secondary Schools of Math, Science and Technology can help. Their summer institute will be led by experienced, member school staff who will spend three days talking about various models and philosophies of STEM, existing STEM programs in schools, and how to set up and manage the administrative supports necessary for STEM programs (admissions, recruitment, curriculum, assessment, professional development, student services/counseling, budgets and more!). Registration deadline has been extended through May 6, 2011.

(back to top)

Freebies for Science Teachers: Fun Learning in Bill Nye’s Climate Lab

Emmy-award–winning science educator Bill Nye has become Bill Nye the Climate Guy—complete with his own Climate Lab—courtesy of Chabot Space & Science Center of Oakland, California. To accompany its new permanent exhibition, Bill Nye’s Climate Lab, the center has created an educational website at www.BillsClimateLab.org for elementary and middle school teachers, students, and families. Join Nye in his free online lab for fun missions and activities to reduce energy consumption and thwart climate change. You can hunt down energy vampires, design a “green” home, grow a virtual garden—and compete to become a “Climate Champion”!

Bill Nye’s Climate Lab is just one of the many free resources found at the Freebies for Science Teachers website. You’ll find links to all of your favorites from NSTA Reports—including the U.S. government freebies from the What’s New column—as well as “extras” that couldn’t wait until the next issue!

(back to top)

Stock Up on Science Content with an Online Graduate Course from AMNH

Looking for ways to learn science content in a powerful, inquiry-based way? Join Seminars on Science in a summer session of our award-winning online graduate courses in the life, Earth and physical sciences from the American Museum of Natural History. This summer Seminars on Science is offering eleven courses, including: Climate Change; The Ocean System; Space, Time and Motion; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics and more.Full listing and free sample resources are available for each course at learn.amnh.org.

All courses run for six weeks and are fully online. Each participant receives resources for classroom use. Affordable graduate credit is available for all courses (see website for details).

Registration is now open! Summer Session 1 runs June 6 – July 17. Summer Session 2 runs July 4 – August 14. Sign up now and receive a $50 early registration discount. For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.

(back to top)

Sponsored by:

Professional Development Academy ad

Frey Scientific ad

Welcome to Nanoscience-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 May featured book, Forestry Field Studies.

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