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Week of September 12, 2011

Table of Contents

American Society of Civil Engineers

NSTA's Innovation Marketplace Houses New Products

Science educators, we need your valuable input. Volunteer to test new, cutting-edge products through the NSTA Innovation Marketplace. The Innovation Marketplace showcases the latest science education materials, from books to software to classroom products, and provides a ready platform for teacher evaluation. Science educators who choose to participate in the Marketplace will access a sample or trial of a product and become one of the first to test it. If you would like to take part in this exciting opportunity, visit www.nsta.org/imarket. Questions or comments? Please contact us at innovation@nsta.org.

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STEM Forum & Expo, May 17–19, 2012

Teachers should plan on being a part of the very first NSTA STEM Forum & Expo in May 2012. We are bringing together renowned STEM experts and practitioners, and educators interested in learning about successful approaches and implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education into our schools. STEM best practices, content, and integration processes are critical to the training of our elementary and middle school educators who will need to radically increase student literacy in STEM subjects to meet the technology-charged world of today and tomorrow. For K–8 teachers, high school and college educators knowledgeable about what secondary and college level students need to be successful in STEM course work, and administrators who must educate their teaching staff about STEM, this is a one-of-a-kind event. An Exhibits Preview on Wednesday, May 16, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. will kick off the conference. Join this very important discussion on STEM in Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 17–19, 2012.

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New Classroom Science Labs Part of Obama Jobs Plan

During his speech before a joint session of Congress and to the nation on Thursday, September 8, President Obama presented his American Jobs Act, which includes a component dedicated to teachers and the creation and restoration of classroom science labs.

The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools. Funds could be used for a range of emergency repair and renovation projects, greening and energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos abatement and removal, and modernization efforts to build new science and computer labs and to upgrade technology in schools (emphasis added). The President is also proposing a $5 billion investment in modernizing community colleges.

The President’s plan also calls for an investment of $30 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers nationwide.

In their weekly news release, Republicans on the Education and Workforce Committee said of the President’s plan, “Instead of offering a new vision to move the country forward, President Obama demanded more of the same policies that have burned workers and taxpayers in the past. The president’s flawed proposal will lead to more failed stimulus spending, another teacher union bailout, a government takeover of school construction, and one more handout to big labor.”

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Professional Development for Science Educators: Make the Commitment

High-performing teachers help create high performing students. Attend NSTA’s first regional Conference on Science Education this fall in Hartford, Connecticut, from Oct. 27 to 29 and choose from over 400 presentations, seminars and workshops offering content knowledge development, strategies for the classroom, and teaching techniques that work. Three professional development stands—STEM Education, Sustainable Global Communities, and Developing Literacy Skills through Science—will provide the direction for many sessions.  Science educators at every career stage, in every grade band, K–16, and in every discipline are invited. Register by the early bird deadline, September 16, to save the most. See some of our highlights:

  • Science at the Frontier of Space: Where We Are Going… James B. Garvin (Chief Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Next Generation Science Standards, Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve); Francis Q. Eberle (Executive Director, NSTA)
  • Brain-STEM: Blending Brain Research and STEM Education, Kenneth Wesson (Educational Consultant, Neuroscience)
  • Cross-Pollination: Using Science to Develop Similar Skills in Reading and Mathematics
  • Teaching Energy Conservation with an Emphasis on Biofuels
  • CSI on a Shoestring: An Introduction to Forensic Science
  • Under the Lens: Discover Literacy and Science
  • Science: The WRITE Way (Middle–High School)
  • The Language of Science Through Collaboration and Coaching (Middle–High School)
  • STEM-focused Technology Activities Using Inquiry Investigations™
  • Helping High School Students Write Their Own Scientific Experiments
  • Full-day programs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering
  • Field trips—the Mark Twain House and Museum and The Connecticut Science Center, socials, networking, and the Exhibit Hall, where you’ll see cutting edge products and ready lessons plans. Bring an extra tote for giveaways.

Visit www.nsta.org/hartford for more information and to register.

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Support Science Education—Support House Res. 378

Please take a moment to go online now and help influence the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind by sending a simple e-mail to your elected representative asking him/her to support science education.

By clicking on this website, you will enter the STEM Education Coalition website, where you will be able to send a letter to your member of the House of Representatives, urging him or her to cosponsor H.Res. 378. Once you enter this website, you will be able to enter your contact information, see a sample letter, and edit it as you like with your personalized information. All information sent through this website is confidential.

Read more and please contact your House Representative TODAY.

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From the NSTA Calendar: A Chance to Win $50,000 for Your School

The Clorox Company’s Power a Bright Future school grant program gives kids the power to grow and transform through playing, creating, and exploring inside and outside the classroom. Nominate your school by October 17 for the chance to win a $50,000 grand-prize grant to help fund a new or ongoing program. Schools also have a chance to win $25,000 grants in each of the Play, Create,or Explore categories. One school will also receive a special judges’ choice grant of $25,000.

For more information and to nominate your school, visit www.PowerABrightFuture.com/NSTA.

Grants, awards, and competitions galore can be found on the NSTA Calendar.

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Search for Leading Edge School Districts

As a part of an initiative called Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is conducting a nationwide search to identify innovative “leading edge” school districts that use digital media, social media, Web 2.0, and student owned mobile devices at school.

Please read the Leading School Districts Cadre information, and submit your application by Sept. 30 to become part of this program. If you are selected, you will come together with other district leaders to form a “cadre” and participate in an online Community of Practice (CoP), drawing  support, information, and resources from peers who share similar goals. CoSN will also distill the concrete “real world” knowledge, experience and best practices from the participating district teams to assist others who wish to move in the same direction. Your help is needed in identifying districts that embrace participatory learning. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact Ariadna Mahon-Santos at amahon-santos@cosn.org .

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Models-Based Science Teaching

K–12 teachers who are interested in expanding their thinking about the nature of science should consider Models-Based Science Teaching. Steven Gilbert asserts that all learning involves the construction of mental models, defined as “simplified representations of what we think we know.” He begins with a philosophical context for modeling, includes discussion questions, and recommended resources and readings with each chapter. In Gilbert’s words, “The best way to engage students in the creativity of science is to engage them in inquiry, beginning with the creation of a problem and ending with a completed expressed model.

To read a free chapter or reserve your copy today visit www.nsta.org/store.

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Ward's Natural Science

Delta Education

NSTA Conference-Hartford

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Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the September featured book, Doing Good Science in Middle School.

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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