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Week of December 5, 2011

Table of Contents

Delta Education

Get on Board for Computer Science Education Week

Did you know …

  • By 2018, more than 800,000 high-end computing jobs will be created in the economy, making it one of the fastest growing occupational fields.
  • Computer software engineer jobs are expected to grow 45% over the next five to seven years.
  • Computer science and computer engineering bachelor degrees are in high demand and command two of the top three average salary offers from employers among all majors.

Yet the percent of high schools with rigorous computer science courses fell from 40% to 27% from 2005 to 2009 and the percent of high schools with introductory computer science courses fell from 78% to 65% during the same period.

Join Computing in the Core (NSTA is a partner) for Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), December 4–10, to learn more about computer science education and how you can elevate computer science education for students at all levels.

In celebration of CSEdWeek, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will rollout CS Bits & Bytes, a one-page biweekly newsletter highlighting innovative computer science research, starting December 5 and continue publication through the end of the 2011–2012 academic year.

The NSF CS Bits & Bytes series will emphasize how computer science permeates and improves our lives and supports progress in many other disciplines. CS Bits & Bytes issues will also include profiles of the individuals who do this exciting work.  Educators and parents are encouraged to use CS Bits & Bytes to inspire students to engage in the multi-faceted world of computer science, to become not just users but creators of technology, and to develop the skills to bend computation to their own ends, no matter their interests. To receive CS Bits & Bytes, please visit www.nsf.gov/cise/csbytes.

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Volunteer on a Committee, Advisory Board, or Review Panel

Applications are being accepted through December 16, 2011, for volunteers for NSTA’s committees, advisory boards, and panels. Committee membership is a means by which you can interact with colleagues, gain insights into the complexity of issues, and have a positive impact on science education at the national level. We need your views and your expertise. Please consider joining—it only takes a few moments to apply, and it will be a tremendous boost to your professional portfolio. To learn more about the various opportunities available, apply online, or download an application, please visit this page.

The following groups are especially in need of volunteers this year: Committee on College Science Teaching, Science and Children Advisory Board, Science Scope Advisory Board, The Science Teacher Advisory Board, Journal of College Science Teaching Advisory Board, NSTA Reports Advisory Board, Retired Members Advisory Board, Aerospace Advisory Board, Special Needs Advisory Board, Conference Advisory Board, Development Advisory Board, International Advisory Board, Investment Advisory Board, and Urban Science Education Advisory Board.

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NSTA Global Inquiry and Science Investigation in Costa Rica

Join NSTA and Holbrook Travel for a unique professional development opportunity this summer! Investigate the rich habitats of Costa Rica, a country world-renowned for its tropical forests, biological diversity, and dedication to environmental conservation. During the course of the program, educators will have the opportunity to visit a variety of ecosystems and perform critical research for national and international scientific projects using GLOBE protocols. The program is designed to highlight the principles of earth system science, life science, and species conservation through activities such as actively collecting data, analyzing findings, and participating in inquiry-based learning modules. In addition to its scientific core, threads of cultural exchange and service have been woven throughout the itinerary, providing participants with a comprehensive foundation for widening perspectives and strengthening global science understanding both in the field and the classroom.

NSTA members save $200 with early registration, by Dec. 31, 2011. Visit www.holbrooktravel.com/nsta to learn more and register. Look for the Holbrook booth in Indianapolis at NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education, March 29–April 1, 2012.

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You’re Invited to The National Conference on Science Education

NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education is scheduled for early spring in Indianapolis, March 29–April 1, 2012. Join thousands of science teachers, administrators, professional development experts, and passionate science advocates at this annual event. More than 2000 sessions, presentations, workshops, and symposia will be offered on critical topics, the new Standards, content, techniques, and strategies for better teaching, along with the chance to network with your peers and colleagues. Take advantage of the best in professional development opportunities, compelling and relevant discussions, and resources to use and share in your classrooms.

A few highlights:

The Science Behind Chasing TornadoesTim Samaras, Severe-Storms Researcher and National Geographic Emerging Explorer. As a severe-storms researcher, Tim’s mission is to predict the exact coordinates of an unborn tornado, arrive before it does, and place a weather-measurement probe directly in the twister’s violent, swirling path. A driving force behind his research is increasing warning times in “Tornado Alley,” where seconds add up to saved lives. Come hear about his life work.

FrankenClimate: The Perils of Engineering Our Way Out of Global WarmingGabriel Filippelli, Professor of Earth Sciences, Director, Center for Urban Health Indiana University—Purdue. With the burning of fossil fuels resulting in a sharp increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, a powerful heat-trapping gas, geoengineers are looking at ways to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as a means to combat global warming.

Next Generation Science Education StandardsStephen L. Pruitt, Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve, Inc.; Francis Q. Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA. This informational session will provide an update on the development of these standards, including process and timeline for release of drafts and final documents, how science educators can be involved, and implications for science teaching.

Forensic Science Education: Multidisciplinary Science, Bringing Critical Thinking, Interactive Learning, and Creativity to the ClassroomJay Siegel, Chair, Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Professor of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, Indiana University–Purdue. Forensic science is the quintessential example of multidisciplinary applied science and engineering. Forensic scientists use any and all scientific methods and techniques to help them give voice to physical evidence that cannot speak and thus relate it to civil and criminal acts.

Save the date and visit www.nsta.org often for updates. This event shouldn’t be missed.

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Six More States Join Effort to Write Next Generation Science Standards

Six more states have joined the initiative to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), joining the 20 states that were announced as lead state partners earlier this fall.

The newest state partners to lead this effort are Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon. These states will join the first round of states announced in September, which include Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

The 26 state partners will guide the standards writing process, gather and deliver feedback from state-level committees, and come together to address common issues and challenges.

NSTA is a partner in this initiative along with Achieve—which is leading the writing teams developing the standards—the National Research Council, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Drafts of the science standards will be made available for public input at least twice during the NGSS development process. The NGSS should be completed by the end of 2012.

For more information go to www.nsta.org/ngss or visit www.nextgenscience.org.

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STEM is More Than a Buzzword

NSTA’s first STEM Forum & Expo will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 17–19, 2012. With increased pressure for well-trained elementary and middle school educators to better develop students’ literacy in STEM subjects, NSTA will bring together STEM practitioners, hands-on educators, and administrators to discuss and learn about the following:

  • Successful approaches and the implementation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education
  • STEM best practices
  • Integration processes
  • Partnerships and informal group roles
  • Skill sets required for success

Conference strands:

  • PreK–2
  • Grades 3–5
  • Grades 6–9
  • Community, After School, Outreach Programs
  • Administrators

Featured speakers:

  • Kenneth Wesson will present on “brain-considerate learning environments” in the context of STEM
  • Dr. Mary Ellen Weber will present “To Boldly Go: The Unbounded Opportunities in Science and Math”

Visit www.nsta.org/stemforum for updates.

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New from NSTA Press: Fuel for Thought

The concept of energy is central to all the science disciplines, seamlessly connecting science, technology, and mathematics. For high school and upper middle school teachers, this compendium comprises inquiry-based activities, lesson plans, and case studies designed to help teach increased awareness of energy, environmental concepts, and the related issues.

The Investigations section includes several activities that tackle such topics as “Energy, Heat, and Temperature,” “Vehicles and Fuels,” and “Living Connections.” The Projects and Case Studies sections include examples of extensive, question-driven student projects. The last section, Issues in Depth, provides background content knowledge for deeper understanding of the critical energy issues facing the world today. These interesting and meaningful investigations demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of energy, preparing students for the complex reality of our global energy economy.

Visit the NSTA Science Store to download a free chapter.

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Education Week writer Erik Robelen explores efforts to change STEM to STEAM by adding the Arts to the current STEM acronym. The article includes some classroom examples from Philadelphia, San Diego, and Dayton, Ohio, where all the subjects are playing nicely together in the sandbox.

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NSTA Radio—This Month's Topic: Seattle Conference Speakers Address Science Across the Grade Levels

This month’s NSTA Radio segment features two speakers from the NSTA area conference in Seattle, which begins December 8. Joseph S. Krajcik with Michigan State University and Eric J. Jolly with the Science Museum of Minnesota talk about helping students to build core ideas in science from kindergarten to high school and what it means for all students to succeed in science.

BAM Radio is the largest education radio network in the world offering programming from the nation's top education organizations and thought leaders. NSTA is the newest Network Partner with BAM Radio, and every month we will be hosting five- to seven-minute discussions on a range of topics with key leaders in science education.

Tune in to the NSTA Radio on the BAM Network here.

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Go Back in Time with Lab Out Loud

In episode 70 of NSTA's popular podcast, hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk with David Shapiro about his graphic novel Terra Tempo: Ice Age Cataclysm.

Shapiro is the creative director and writer at Craigmore Creations, a publishing house that specializes in Earth science and natural history stories. In Terra Tempo, Shapiro's young characters travel back in time to Glacial Lake Missoula and witness the resulting floods when the ice dam breaks. Listen to the episode and engage your students in natural history with Terra Tempo.

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Start the New Year with an Online Graduate Course from AMNH

Seminars on Science connects classroom teachers to scientists engaged in current, real-world research. Authored by leading scientists in their fields, all courses are co-taught by an experienced educator and a researcher affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. Courses include Climate Change; The Solar 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. Spring Session 1 runs January 23–March 4. Registration closes January 9. 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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Wards Natural Science

Take Home Chemistry-NSTA Press

NSTA STEM forum and expo

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!

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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 December featured book, Brain-Powered Science.

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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