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Week of October 3, 2011

Table of Contents

Delta Education

The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education Issues Two-Year Update

Major developments in four key areas of STEM education reform are evident two years after the release of a major report issued by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Institute for Advanced Study, say the authors of the report.

The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy called on districts and states to “do school differently to improve STEM education." The update released last week found signs of improvement in Excellence and Equity; Standards and Assessments; Teaching and Leadership; and School and System Design.

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Original and Free Multimedia Resources from NBC Learn

Four award-winning multimedia series for educators and students can now be accessed on the NSF, NBC Learn, and Science360 websites. These original resources (short videos, documents, images, and activities) are super examples of the application of science in our world today and they’re FREE. Check them out.

  • "Chemistry Now!" consists of 32 weekly learning packages that break down the chemistry behind things such as cheeseburgers, chocolate, soap, and plastics. Each learning package contains short video stories that illustrate real-world applications of chemistry, current events, and archival news stories and lesson plans.
  • From the tropics to the Arctic Ocean, "Changing Planet" explores the impact that climate change is having on our planet. Each of the 15 videos, 3–5 minutes long, follows scientists in the field who are studying the dramatic effects of rising temperatures in the air, in the water, and on land. Designed specifically for classroom use, each report has a lesson plan and activities.
  • A fast-paced and informative 10-part video series, the "Science of NFL Football" explores the physics, engineering, materials science, math, and more behind America's popular sport. The series uses the universal appeal of football to drive an understanding of complicated scientific concepts in 3–5 minute videos with lesson plans.
  • "Science of the Olympic Winter Games" is a 16-part series that features sports of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The 3–5 minute videos illustrate how scientific principles apply to competitive sports. Lesson plans and activities for each video are included.

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NSTA Press® is Now on Facebook

Love the great books and other resources from NSTA Press? Looking for inspiration, free book chapters, behind-the-scenes interviews with authors, discounts, links to discussion groups, and more? Then connect with us on Facebook. “Like” us and join the conservation about cutting-edge resources that will help you make the most of your teaching.

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U.S. News and World Report Releases List of Best High Schools for Math and Science

Last week, U.S. News and World Report released its first-ever edition of the Best High Schools for Math and Science during the U.S. News STEM Summit: Making Science Cool: Solving the Shortage of Math and Science Students. According to U.S. News, the list of 200-plus schools was drawn from the U.S. News Best High School rankings (published in December 2009) based on the performance of students in a series of AP math and science classes using 2008 graduating class data.

U.S. News also launched the U.S. News STEM Education Center where “users can browse viewpoints from top experts in the field, rankings of top STEM schools, and stories about programs and people that are making a difference.”

“The Best High Schools for Math and Science rankings were developed as part of U.S. News's larger initiative to provide consumers with the latest news, research, and resources concerning STEM education,” said U.S. News & World Report Editor and Chief Content Officer Brian Kelly.

Listed below are the top ten schools as ranked by the publication. For the full list of rankings, go to

Best High Schools for Math and Science Rankings:
High Technology High School (NJ)
BASIS Tucson (AZ)
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (VA)
Oxford Academy (CA)
The School of Science and Engineering Magnet – SEM (TX)
The School for the Talented and Gifted – TAG Magnet (TX)
Pacific Collegiate School (CA)
International Community School (WA)
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IL)
Mission San Jose High School (CA)

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Professional Development in New Orleans

Join thousands of science educators planning for top-notch professional development, Nov. 10–12, along with New Orleans–style jazz, gumbo, and crawfish etouffee in the Gulf Coast city. K–16 science educators from every discipline and administrators can select from more than 400 workshops, seminars, presentations, and full-day programs to build teaching skills and content knowledge and develop new strategies for strong student performance.


  • Keynote speaker, actor, and activist Ted Danson will present “My Ocean Story.”
  • Next Generation Science Standards: Panel discussion led by Dr. Francis Eberle (NSTA Executive Director) and Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve, Inc.)
  • All Eyes on Brain-STEM: Merging Brain Research and STEM Education to Reach All Students, Kenneth Wesson, Educational Consultant


  • Differentiating Strategies in Science for Early Childhood Settings: Building a Better Student Scientist
  • Picture-Perfect Science Preconference Workshop: Integrating science with reading

Middle School

  • Hassle-free Microbiology
  • Building Environmental Values and Good Global Citizenship
  • STEM Research Made Visible

High School and College

  • Redesigning the Laboratory Investigation: Integrating Inquiry into Chemistry
  • Climate Change: Global Connections and Sustainable Solutions
  • A Tasty Lesson: Using Taste and Smell to Teach Cell Basics


  • Scaffolded Inquiry: Success for All Students
  • STEM in Action—I'm Ready for the Real World!
  • A Framework and Tools to Make Tough Grades 3–5 Science Topics Approachable
  • Science Success: How Do I Spell Thee in an All-inclusive Learning Environment?

Visit www.nsta.org/neworleans for more information. Register by Oct. 7 to save the most.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Exploring the Oceans With NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed a new Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection to encourage educators and students to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of the Okeanos Explorer, America’s first federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration. Volume 1 of the collection—Why Do We Explore?—offers 15 lessons focused on modern reasons for ocean exploration and provides background information on key topics of ocean exploration, such as Climate Change, Energy, Human Health, and Ocean Health.

Want to learn more about Why Do We Explore? You can do so at a series of one-day professional development workshops NOAA is holding at its Ocean Exploration Program Alliance partners nationwide. The next workshop will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, and has an October 14 registration deadline. Other workshops are scheduled for November and early December. Click here for a complete list of sites and workshop dates.

Help your students explore the world’s wonders: Discover the professional development opportunities posted to the NSTA Calendar.

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Online Professional Development Opportunities from Montana State University

Montana State University’s Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program recently celebrated its 13th graduating class during the Annual Symposium in Science Education. Eighty science educators from across the nation presented capstone projects and completed requirements for their MSSE degrees.

As an interdisciplinary program focusing on both pedagogy and science content, we offer a variety of online and campus courses across many disciplines. We now offer several online chemistry courses throughout the year:

Exploring Chemistry for Teachers

Atoms First Primer for AP/IB Chemistry
Exploring Organic Chemistry for Teachers

Special Topics in Chemistry: Kinetics, Equilibrium, Thermodynamics
Exploring Biochemistry for Teachers

A highlight for spring 2012 is one of our newest courses, Snow and Avalanche Physics for Science Teachers.

Learn more about MSSE and these courses at our website: www.montana.edu/msse. Students do not need to be enrolled in the master’s program to take courses, and NSTA members receive a discount on most science courses.

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Frey Scientific

NSTA Conference-Hartford

Learning and Teaching Scientific Inquiry-NSTA Press

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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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