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Week of May 23, 2011

Table of Contents

Sponsored by:
USA Today-NASA Space Shuttle Art Competion

Anticipating the Science Conceptual Framework

In the first installment of a new web series, an NSTA article, Anticipating the Conceptual Framework for Science Education (PDF), takes an early look at the soon-to-be released framework and explores its development, role, possible content, and relationship to science standards. NSTA’s goal is to help science educators prepare for the Next Generation Science Standards by better understanding the framework on which they will be built.

The National Research Council (NRC) and Achieve, Inc., with support from NSTA and AAAS, have embarked on a two-step process to develop science standards. The first step is to develop a Conceptual Framework that is grounded in current research and identifies the science all K–12 students should know. The NRC is conducting this work and is expected to release the framework in late spring. This framework will not only be a guide for developing the standards—a process led by Achieve, Inc.—it will be a valuable resource for many in the science education community.

Check the website often for updates on the framework and standards work and to read additional articles that take an in-depth look at the content of the Conceptual Framework when it is released.

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NSTA Legislative Update: First Bill to Reauthorize the ESEA Introduced in the House of Representatives

Last week House Republicans introduced the first (of what will likely be several) bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) and announced the spending allocations for FY2012 federal education programs. Read all about it in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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2011 National Congress on Science Education (NCSE)

The National Congress on Science Education meets annually and consists of one voting delegate from each of the 94 NSTA Chapters and Associated Groups. The Congress meets to discuss issues and bring forth recommendations that may be of interest to NSTA and the science education community. Delegates and other local leaders benefit from attending the summer congress, which provides opportunities to:

  • Network with other science leaders from the US and Canada;
  • Attend leadership workshops to assist them in their association role;
  • Represent their members as a voting delegate;
  • Attend focus groups to address national issues and formulate debate and adopt resolutions;
  • Meet and work with the NSTA elected leaders and staff.

Registration and Credentialing:
Registration for the 2011 NCSE is now open! Click here to register and to be credentialed as a voting delegate or voting alternate.  Chapters and Associated Groups can REGISTER multiple people to attend NCSE. However, only ONE (1) person can serve as a CREDENTIALED VOTING DELEGATE and only ONE (1) person can serve as ALTERNATE CREDENTIALED VOTING DELEGATE.

Meeting Location and Hotel Accommodations:
Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards
110 South Eutaw Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: 410-962-0202

The 2011 NCSE Meeting will be held at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. Attendees must make hotel accommodations by June 17 to receive the group rate. Visit www.marriott.com/bwiih to book your room online and enter group code NTSNTSA for the reduced rate.

Need more information?
For more information about the 2011 NCSE Meeting, click here.

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Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Announces 2011 Grand Prize–Winning Teams

Congratulations to the grand-prize winners of the third annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Nearly 18,000 elementary, middle school, and high school students competed in this year’s Challenge. This year’s projects addressed a wide variety of topics, ranging from recycling old trophies to stopping radon gas from entering homes to harvesting usable energy using a microturbine.

Under the mentorship of their teachers, the elementary teams identified an environmental issue in their classroom or school, while middle school students worked in teams of 2–4 students, also under the guidance of a mentor, to identify an environmental issue in their community. High school students were specifically challenged with identifying an energy-related issue that has local, national, and global implications, and creating a sustainable solution that can be replicated around the globe. All levels researched their issue using scientific investigation and created a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.

To learn more about the winning teams and their projects, visit www.wecanchange.com.

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New Science Teacher Academy Application Deadline: July 1, 2011

If you’re a second- or third-year secondary science teacher, don’t miss the deadline, July 1, to apply to NSTA’s New Science Teacher Academy. The Academy supports its Fellows through mentoring and other professional development resources during their initial, challenging second and third years of teaching. Striving for quality science teaching, enhanced teacher confidence, classroom excellence, and solid content knowledge, the Academy provides the following benefits:

  • Full membership in the National Science Teachers Association
  • Access to the web-based content development and pedagogy activities and resources including web seminars led by national experts
  • Use of vetted science websites, state and national standards sites, other professional organizations, safety tips, and more
  • E-mentoring with an experienced teacher in the same science discipline and grade band
  • Access to a nationwide, online network of science educators and scientists for exchange of information, ideas, and resources
  • Participation in a Research Dissemination Conference or a Professional Development Institute
  • Paid accommodations, airfare, meals, and registration fees to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education

Who is Eligible?

  • Applicants must reside in the United States
  • Applicants must be entering their second or third year of teaching
  • Applicants must be working a schedule with 51 percent of their classes in middle or high school science

Download and complete an application (www.nsta.org/academy) to become a Fellow in the New Science Teacher Academy. July 1, 2011 is the deadline for receipt of all applications.

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Build Content Knowledge in Physical Science and Earth/Space Science

Force and Motion—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

Light—Baffled by the basics of reflection and refraction? Grasp these concepts so you can teach them. Register for the course: Light. Member Price: $328.55 Nonmember Price: $373.25

Energy—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, the Moon, and the Sun. Member Price: $307.38, Nonmember Price: $348.59

For each of the above courses, two hours of graded graduate credit is available through Oklahoma State University. See deadlines for Light and Force and Motion (June 7, 2011) and for Energy and Earth, Sun, and Moon (June 30, 2011).

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EcoTipping Points Offers Free Resources for Environmental Engagement

Following Malcolm Gladwell’s perspective that “small things can make a big difference,” the EcoTipping Points website offers lessons from a hundred environmental success stories from around the world—stories in which communities turned environmental and social decline to a course of restoration and sustainability. The free materials for teachers are described by an article in The Science Teacher.

The most recent addition to the educational materials is the “How Success Works” lesson, which is available in English and Spanish. It assembles some of the most instructive stories and their messages into a package of powerful and engaging case studies. Each case includes a short video, PowerPoint presentations, written narratives of different lengths and detail, student worksheets to review and explore “Ingredients for Success,” and teacher keys. Worksheets include front-loaded vocabulary.

All materials in the “How Success Works” lesson are downloadable as editable Word or PowerPoint files. The package components can be combined and adapted to accommodate all ages.

Questions or comments can be directed to gerry@ecotippingpoints.org.

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Elementary and Middle School Educators in Urban Districts Invited to 2011 Urban Science Education Leadership (USEL) Academy for Professional Development

Consider kicking off the summer with a unique PD opportunity for teams of educators to meet in Baltimore, June 27–July 1, for the 2011 USEL Academy.

Registration requires teams of five educators to attend—one district science coordinator/supervisor, one building administrator/principal/assistant principal, and three classroom teachers along with heart, mind, and a passion for learning and teaching science.

Renowned educators Anne Tweed, Dr. Eleanor Rodriquez, and Camille J. Cooper will facilitate. Both Tweed and Rodriquez have authored books for educators. Cooper directs the Comer School Development Program's initiatives.

The featured presenter is Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, co-founder, Meyerhoff Scholars Program, and co-author of 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: Academy team ($6,000), $1,200 per person. Includes registration, program materials, up to five nights lodging at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor, and continental breakfast and lunch on full program days.

Visit the USEL web pages for more information. Limited sponsorships are available.

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Hands-On Lab and Field Courses for Science Educators at Montana State University

The Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) Program at Montana State University has a diverse offering of campus courses this summer that are open to all science educators. Spots are still available in several one- and two-week summer campus and online courses. Highlighted courses include:

  • PHSX 591: Night and Day Sky for Teachers
  • CHEM 506: Integrating Computers in the Chemistry Laboratory
  • EDCI 537: Contemporary Issues in Science Education

Come visit Montana and the beautiful MSU campus in Bozeman this summer and participate in exceptional professional development opportunities for science educators. You do not need to be admitted as a graduate student to register for summer courses, but these credits can count toward an MS in Science Education. Click here to see a complete list of courses and to register.

The MSSE program is also accepting applications for Fall 2011 admission. Pursue a Master’s in Science Education degree with 80% of the coursework completed online and a variety of campus field courses to choose from. Visit the program’s website at www.montana.edu/msse for more information.

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