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Week of January 16, 2012

Table of Contents

University of Rochester

Help Celebrate Nuclear Science Week

NSTA is celebrating National Nuclear Science Week, Jan. 24–28, hosting a special live web seminar from the Illinois Institute of Technology on January 25. Join scientists and national experts from the medical, energy, and research fields who will lead the discussion. Topics to be covered are

  • Green Power for a Digital World
  • What’s Cool about Nuclear Electricity
  • Why Nuclear Medicine is Important to You
  • The Nuclear Energy Future in the U.S.

For more information and to register, click here

As National Nuclear Science Week progresses, teachers can “Get to Know Nuclear” by downloading games, free tools, and curricula information free online. Participate in National Nuclear Science Week to learn about the many career options in this fascinating field.

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Essay Contest for Preservice Teachers Attending the National Conference

NSTA is awarding a limited number of scholarships to preservice teachers planning to attend the 2012 National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The scholarship will cover the cost of registration and a one (1) year student membership to NSTA.  Applicants must be 18 years of age or older, enrolled in an accredited college or university as a student with an interest in science education only.

To apply, submit an essay (500 words or less) telling us about

  • One success you have had as a preservice teacher;
  • The biggest challenge you have faced as a preservice teacher, and
  • How you plan to use and share what you learn from the conference

Send your essays to chapters@nsta.org by February 3, 2012. Winners will be notified by February 10. Good luck!

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New Mars Education Challenge Deadline

The deadline for submissions to the Mars Education Challenge (MEC) has been extended to January 31, 2012. If you are a science educator in the United States (grades 7–12) and you intend to enter the Challenge, submit your curricula materials by 11:59 p.m. EST on the new deadline. For more information on the Mars Education Challenge, please visit the MEC website.

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Fiscal Survey of States Shows Slow/No Growth in Education

While the overall fiscal condition of states has improved from the depths of the recession a recent survey from the National Governors Association and the National Association of  State Budget Officers shows states are facing a ‘big squeeze’ from both local and federal governments. The combination of the effects of the economic downturn, tepid economic growth and the expiration of Recovery Act (stimulus funding) and other federal funds has severely impeded the growth of state resources. Additionally, spending on Medicaid is expected to consume an increasing share of state budgets and grow much more rapidly than state revenue growth, resulting in slow or no growth in education, transportation, and public safety.

For more information, please visit: Fall 2011 Fiscal Survey of States (PDF).

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NSTA Seeks Moderators for STEM Forum & Expo Roundtable

Attention, High Schools, Institutions of Higher Education, and STEM-related Business Leaders … We need YOU!

NSTA is seeking moderators for roundtable discussions at our STEM Forum & Expo, May 17 –19, 2012, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with an Evening Exhibits Preview on May 16.

Deadline for applications is March 1, 2012. Click here (PDF) for all the details.

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Free ExploraVision Web Seminar on Successful Project Submissions

Don’t delay. The deadline to submit projects to the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition is February 1, 2012. To help you meet all the judging requirements, join us on January 18 at 6:30 p.m. ET for a web seminar on How to Avoid Disqualification in ExploraVision. Past successful participants will lead the discussion on what makes a quality project and provide tips on the pitfalls. For more information and to register, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

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Lab Out Loud, Episode 73—Special Announcement: NCSE Now Defending Climate Change Education

As science educators are increasingly reporting attacks on climate change education, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is announcing that they will also be defending climate change science in public school science education. Join hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler as Dr. Eugenie Scott explains this new initiative for NCSE by adding climate change to their portfolio in defending good science education.

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The Best Professional Development for High School Science Educators

It’s no secret. NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education delivers, as promised, the finest PD around. Nearly 2000 sessions, symposia, workshops, and presentations will bring inspiration and enhanced learning to your performance in the classroom. Covering major issues such as assessment, inquiry, next generation Standards, STEM, and ELL, thousands of teachers will join the discussion in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 29–April 1. Here are a few highlights just for high school science teachers:

  • The Science and Ethics of Animal Research
  • Different Approaches to Help Students Understand Gases
  • DNA Subway in the Classroom—Discover the principles of molecular biology while using the bioinformatics tools in "DNA Subway" (dnasubway.org) to find genes and compare genomes.
  • Build a Powerful Electric Motor Out of Junk—Teach multiple STEM topics while exploring the relationship between electricity and magnetism.
  • Building a Sustainable Planet … One Biodegradable Utensil at a Time—Learn how plastics are formed through hands-on activities and how chemists work to reengineer the polymer formation to create biodegradable plastics.
  • Dive In With Physical Models: Impact of Water on Protein Structure
  • The Polymer Science of Sporting Spheres (aka Balls)—Learn of numerous connections among sports and polymer chemistry, including nanotechnology and physics.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Data!—Learn to use geospatial technologies and gigapixel image viewers in a scalable approach to investigate Earth and ocean science data.
  • Let's Get Helical: Exploring DNA Structure/Function with Interactive Physical Models—Explore DNA structure and information storage with an interactive, magnetic DNA model and a paper bioinformatics exercise focusing on the beta subunit of hemoglobin.
  • Developing 21st-Century Skills Through Issue-oriented Science

Professional Development Institutes are preconference ticketed events on Wednesday, March 28. These in-depth, full-day options provide rigorous instruction with follow-on pathway sessions during the conference. Here are a few to consider:

  • Engineering by Design: An Integrative STEM Solution for K–12
  • Using Cognitive Science to Improve Science Learning
  • The Literacy and Inquiry Connection: Instruction That Scaffolds and Enhances Scientific Thinking and Understanding
  • Conceptual Flow: Bridging the Gap Between Standards, Instructional Materials, and Student Learning

Visit www.nsta.org/indianapolis for more information or to register. Save the most by registering before February 3, the earlybird deadline.

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NSTA Offers Help With Your Career

Your career success begins right here! Whether you are actively looking for a job or just want to know what opportunities may be out there, posting your résumé on NSTA’s Career Center is a step in the right direction. The Career Center is an online resource designed to help you find the best job opportunities in the science education field.

The NSTA Career Center provides

  • Free and confidential resume posting
  • Job search control
  • Easy job application

Visit careers.nsta.org today and find your next opportunity!

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An NSTA Press® Favorite: Activities Linking Science With Math, K–4

Science does not exist in a vacuum and, therefore, shouldn’t be taught that way. In that spirit, Activities Linking Science With Math, K–4, is a hands-on guide for preservice and inservice elementary school teachers who want to connect science  instruction with other areas of study—including visual arts, social sciences, language arts, and especially math.

The 20 discovery-based and academically rigorous activities provided in this volume enrich students’ awareness of the world around them, encourage their natural curiosity, and promote the development of their problem-solving skills. The lessons—such as Digging Into Soil, Exploring the Mysteries of Fingerprints, and What Makes a Boat Float?—are teacher friendly, too, requiring no advanced expertise in any subject area and using only inexpensive and easily accessible materials. Each includes a list of needed materials, a step-by-step procedure, discussion questions, and assessment techniques.

Activities align with the latest national standards for both science and math and cover topics from all scientific disciplines.

To learn more, read a sample chapter, and purchase, visit the NSTA Science Store.

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Delta Education

American Sleep Medicine Foundation

NSTA Confererence in Indianapolis

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 January featured book, Activities Linking Science With Math, K–4.

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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