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Week of June 20, 2011

Table of Contents

Sally Ride Science

NSTA Legislative Update: Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Winners Testify Before Congress and Participate in Congressional Science Fair

Before a packed Congressional room on June 16 selected parents, mentors, teachers, and students from the 2011 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition testified before a U.S. House of Representatives committee during a hearing on STEM education and activities across the nation in support of STEM education. Also last week in an op-ed in the Capitol Hill newspaper Politico and an article in the New York Times, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the Department of Education may waive certain requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) if Congress was not able to reauthorize the federal education law by this fall. Read this and more in the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Congratulations to the 2011 Toyota TAPESTRY Awardees

Last week, a group of 50 U.S. science educators was selected to receive $500,000 in grants through the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers Program. Now in its 21st year, the program recognizes and provides support to educators who are making a difference by demonstrating excellence and creativity in science education.

This year, fifty $10,000 grants were awarded to science educators, who submitted proposals in the category of environmental science education. A judging panel convened by the NSTA selected the award-winning projects that stood out in creativity, impact on the community, and originality.

Projects ranged from creating bio-fuel in an effort to help school communities go green to increasing food production on farms in urban environments.

Click here to read about the 2011 winning projects.

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Study of NSTA SciPacks Shows Significant Gains in Science Learning for Teachers and Students

A study released by the research firm Edvantia on online professional development experiences offered by the NSTA Learning Center shows significant gains in teacher content knowledge and student learning among participants from the Houston Independent School District. Results show that the use of SciPacks—interactive web-based modules developed by NSTA and offered through its online Learning Center—significantly increased teacher content knowledge of Earth science and force and motion over the course of the study and gave teachers greater confidence in their ability to teach science. To read the press release about the study, click here. To read more about the study and to download a copy, click here.

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Scholarships Available for the New Science Teacher Academy

Second- and third-year secondary science teachers are eligible to win a scholarship to the New Science Teacher Academy, a yearlong professional development program that promotes better science instruction through improved content knowledge, access to topnotch resources, face-to-face conference experiences, and mentoring. Here's what past Academy Fellows say about the program:

“I enjoyed the experience immensely. I thought it really added to my personal growth as a teacher. I hope that translates to my students!”

“The program reinforced many teaching practices, however, participating in the inquiry made a huge improvement in the implementation of new ideas. I am grateful for the experience, and I am thankful for the NSTA.”

“This was a great program that provided excellent resources and inspiration.”

“The New Science Teacher Academy has made a huge impact on my teaching and my ability to cope with the stresses of teaching. I believe my third year is going much smoother and easier because of my participation in the academy. I hope that this program may be expanded and maintained for many years to come.”

“Although we had several teachers' positions eliminated this year, I am still employed in part I believe because I had been selected to participate in the New Science Teacher Academy and was able to bring so much from the Academy to the classroom. For this I am most appreciative.”

For more information, visit www.nsta.org/academy.

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Technology Reviewers Wanted

NSTA is in search of opinionated technophiles with good writing skills to join our new Technology Review Panel. Members of the panel will be asked to classroom test and evaluate new technology products of interest to science educators. In most cases, reviewers will be allowed to keep the materials that they review, but some vendors may ask that they be returned (vendors will be responsible for all shipping costs). Reviews will be published in our K–12 journals as part of NSTA Recommends. Interested candidates should e-mail the Technology Review Coordinator at techrecommends@nsta.org. Please include a copy of your CV and a brief description of your technology interests/expertise.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Using Technology in the Classroom

Need to know more about technology? On June 21, the Apple Summer Semester series will present a webcast for K–12 science educators who want to explore how technology can be used to enrich curriculum. After hearing success stories, participants will learn how their use of iPad, iPod touch, and MacBook can be applied in classrooms for personalized, anytime learning.

The webcast will start at 10 a.m. and run through 11:15 a.m. Pacific Time; the last 15 minutes will be reserved for a Q&A session. Click here to register and learn more.

Looking for more events that present tech tips? Visit the NSTA Calendar.

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Build Your Understanding of Physical Science So You Can Teach It Even Better

NSTA is proud to publish Bill Robertson’s Companion Classroom Activities for Stop Faking It! Force and Motion, the perfect supplement to the bestseller Stop Faking It! Force and Motion or a great stand-alone classroom resource for science teachers in grades 5–9.

This all-inclusive activity book:

  • Brings physical science concepts to life and builds teacher content knowledge.
  • Supplies 30 hands-on physical science lessons and simplifies their execution.
  • Tackles acceleration, speed, gravity, and more.
  • Includes objectives, materials list, Standards correlations, approximate completion time, and detailed instructions for each activity.
  • Encourages investigation, observation, discussion, and the application of concepts to everyday situations.

Order your copy today at www.nsta.org/store.

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Summer Is Here! Time for Professional Development

Revitalizing your love of nature, Academy Courses from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) 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 Academy will help you discover WILD ways to inspire your student’s interest in learning.The Online Teacher Academy offers:

  • 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!

Summer 2011 Courses

Fall 2011 Courses

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

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Hard to Teach Science Concepts-NSTA Press

Picture Perfect Science Lessons (2nd Edition) NSTA Press

ISTE Annual Conference

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!
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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 June featured book, The Frugal Science Teacher, PreK–5: Strategies and Activities.

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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