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Week of September 19, 2011

Table of Contents

Sally Ride Science

Earybird Deadline for NSTA's Hartford Conference Extended

Mother Nature has brought havoc to the East Coast and the Northeast has been hit particularly hard over the past three weeks. Schools have opened late, and teachers are trying to get back to teaching and put some order to their own personal and professional lives.

NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Hartford, Connecticut, is scheduled for Oct. 27–29 and by that time, we’re sure you’ll be back in the swing and ready for a professional development getaway. We have changed the earlybird deadline for conference registration to Sept. 30, a two-week extension. We hope this larger window of opportunity helps you make a positive decision about attending the conference, honing your teaching skills and improving your content knowledge.

With sympathy to those thousands of citizens, teachers, parents, and students who are dealing with the after effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, we hope this small gesture provides some extra time along with a delayed increase in the cost of registration.

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
  • Full-day programs in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering
  • Field trips, socials, networking and the Exhibit Hall, a favorite hangout for attendees. Bring an extra tote for giveaways and lesson plans.

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

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Tap Into Your Students' Environmental Concerns

The nation's premier environmental sustainability challenge is back. The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge empowers grades K–12 students to create solutions to environmental problems in their schools, communities, and beyond. At stake is more than $300,000 in prizes including scholarships, savings bonds, once-in-a-lifetime adventure trips, assemblies with Discovery Channel personalities, and much more. It’s an opportunity to make a difference and win great prizes that celebrate innovation and impact. Are you ready to join your students in helping to shape our future? Visit www.wecanchange.com for more information.

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Is Your School Lab in Need of a Makeover?

If so, middle and high school science teachers are invited to apply for a chance to win a $20,000 science lab makeover support package. The Shell Science Lab Challenge, a program of NSTA, invites teachers (grades 6–12) who have found innovative ways to deliver quality science lab instruction utilizing limited laboratory resources and equipment, to share their approaches. Teachers submitting top entries will receive rich professional development opportunities and additional laboratory tools and resources for their schools. $93,000 in prizes will be awarded this year. Viable strategies submitted to the Challenge will be published in an online NSTA repository of science lab activities that can be delivered utilizing limited resources. We encourage applications from schools across the United States and in Canada, as well as urban schools and those with underserved populations.

Applications are now available at www.nsta.org/shellsciencelab and are due October 21, 2011. To gain insight into completing your application, please join us for a web seminar entitled, “Developing a Competitive Application for the Shell Science Lab Challenge,” on Thursday, September 22, 2011, 8:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time. The presenter will take prospective applicants through the Shell Science Lab Challenge application process for 2011–12 and provide tips for strengthening your submission for a chance to win one of 18 lab makeover and professional development support packages. Click here to register for the web seminar.

For more information about the Challenge or to download an application, visit the program website .

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Two Free Webinars for Science Educators to Consider

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards

K–12 teachers interested in learning more about the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards should attend the free, introductory webinar that answers the question, What is ExploraVision and How Can I Use It? Learn how students can create and explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. Highlights include:

  • An overview of the ExploraVision competition
  • Tips and guidelines for a successful beginning
  • Basic elements of the competition and what teachers can expect
  • Personal experiences from past winners
  • General guidelines for application and preparation

“ExploraVision makes students stretch their minds. They begin to realize their learning and their abilities have so much potential. Exploravision encourages students to be lifelong learners and problem solvers”–Past participant. To sign up now, click here.

American Home Energy Education Challenge

Teachers of students in grades 3–8 are invited to attend a web seminar to learn about NSTA's newest competition, the America's Home Energy Education Challenge (AHEEC). Join us Wednesday, September 21 at 8:15 pm – 9:45 pm Eastern time and meet Dr. Ray Ann Havasy, the program manager who will share information about renewable and non-renewable energy as well as the guidelines for a successful application. Designed for students of grades 3–8 across the US, the challenge will teach fundamentals about energy use, energy conservation in the home, and cost-savings as a result of the challenge initiatives. Participating schools compete for more than $200,000 in prizes distributed at the regional and national levels of the competition. Register today.

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Special Rates for NSTA Members at ASTC Conference

The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the Maryland Science Center invite NSTA members to attend ASTC's 2011 Annual Conference, Knowledge that works—from theory to practice, in Baltimore, Maryland, October 15–18. ASTC is pleased to offer a special one-day registration rate of $199 to all NSTA members (although you are more than welcome to attend the entire conference at the discounted member rate if you so choose).

From the latest issues and insights into teacher education to conversations about partnerships between schools and science centers, ASTC's Annual Conference offers a myriad of learning and networking opportunities. For more information, or to register for the special one-day rate, visit conference.astc.org. (Online registration is available through September 23.)

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K–12 Climate Change Education Survey Available

The National Earth Science Teachers Association has developed an anonymous survey to gather information about climate change education underway in the K–12 classroom today. Please take the online survey. The survey will be available through September, and results will be made available through the NESTA website in November of this year. The results of the survey will be shared in NESTA sessions at the upcoming National NSTA conference in Indianapolis, March 29–April 1, and at selected NESTA workshops at NSTA Area Conferences this fall. For a list of NESTA sessions at NSTA this fall, see our list of sessions at the fall NSTA Area conferences.

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Register Now for Fall Online Courses from the American Museum of Natural History

Seminars on Science connects classroom teachers with scientists engaged in current, real-world research. Each course is authored by leading scientists in their fields and is then co-taught by an experienced researcher affiliated with AMNH. Courses include Earth: Inside and Out; Climate Change; The Ocean System; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics; Evolution; and more.

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

Please see the website for the full course listing. Free sample resources for each course—including essays, videos and interactive simulations—are available online. Fall Sessions 2 runs October 24 – December 4. Registration closes October 10. Register early for a $50 discount! For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.

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NSTA Science Supply Guide

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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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