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Week of January 30, 2012

Table of Contents

University of Rochester

Legislative Update: GAO Report Finds Significant Overlap in Federal STEM Education Programs

A major report issued last week by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) finds that 13 federal agencies invested $3 billion in over 209 STEM education programs in FY2010, and that many of these programs overlap and have little or no evaluation mechanisms. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Special Prices on Select NSTA Press Books Through 1/31/2012

Between now and midnight on January 31, 2012, take advantage of 10% off savings on select teacher resources from NSTA Press®. Visit the Science Store Sale page to browse the 14 books on sale or download a free chapter. This month’s featured books include Brain-Powered Science: Teaching and Learning With Discrepant Events; Doing Good Science in Middle School; Inside-Out: Environmental Science in the Classroom and the Field, Grades 3–8; and Science Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning.

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The Future of Science Education: STEM and Workforce Readiness

Join NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle and other science education leaders for a free virtual conference: The Future of Science Education: STEM and Workforce Readiness, sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company.

Following a 30-minute video featuring many of today’s leading experts, along with vignettes from schools across the country, participants will be explore how improvements in STEM education can generate greater workforce readiness in the United States, with a particular emphasis on successful teaching models that are oriented around project-based learning. A live online chat with experts and audience members will immediately follow the video.

The event is scheduled for February 2, at 7pm EST. For more information and to register, go to www.futurewecreate.com.

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Challenge Your Students to Imagine the Future

ExploraVision, the world’s most popular K–12 science competition, offers teams of students an opportunity to create and explore a vision of a future technology. The deadline for submissions is February 1.

  • Up to $240,000 in savings bonds will be awarded.
  • Expense-paid trips to Washington, DC, for ExploraVision Awards Weekend for each national winning student and their parents
  • Teams from Grades K–3, Grades 4–6, Grades 7–9, and Grades 10–12 are judged separately
  • Schools, coaches, and mentors win too.

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Join the Digital Learning Day Town Hall on February 1

The National Town Hall will feature live interaction with school sites around the country, profile great teachers who effectively use technology to deliver instruction, and focus on successful education innovation projects that demonstrate how technology can be used in the classroom to improve student outcomes.

Thirty six states, thousands of teachers, and more than a half million students have already signed up to participate in Digital Learning Day. This special live internet broadcast of the event is scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET.

The town hall will feature U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who will make a special joint announcement.

Register to watch and participate in the live internet broadcast of the Digital Learning Day national town hall meeting.

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STEM-Focused Schools Subject of Ed Week Webinar

At a time of heightened national attention to improving STEM education, the development of STEM-focused schools has rapidly gained momentum across the country as a strategy to boost knowledge and interest in the subjects.

While STEM schools historically have tended to target the top math and science students in a state or district, the new wave of STEM schools appears to have a broader reach, with many of the schools aimed especially at serving populations underrepresented in the STEM fields, such as African-American, Hispanic, female, and low-income students.

Last week an Education Week webinar, featuring a national researcher and the principal of a STEM-focused high school in Texas, explored the rationale for STEM schools, what they are, and what they look like in practice.

For more information go to edweek.org/go/webinar/NewWaveSTEM.

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Who's Your PD Provider? NSTA (in the Hoosier State)

Take advantage of the best available professional development for science educators coming to Indianapolis, Indiana, March 29–April 1. NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education will lead the conversation on STEM, inquiry-based teaching, the Next Generation of Science Standards, assessment and other issues of importance to educators. K–16 science teachers and administrators will be offered nearly 2000 workshops, sessions, seminars, and symposia that will raise the level of teaching, increase content knowledge, and tackle techniques and strategies that work in the classroom. Highlighted are featured presentations from an outstanding group of PD experts, scientists, authors, and leaders who are sure to inspire. Have a look at some of our sessions.

  • Presentations: Stem Cells and Cell Therapies by Lydia Villa-Komaroff (Chief Scientific Officer, Cytonome/ST), Ingenuity: A Work in Progress by David Macaulay (best-selling author and illustrator), Climate Literacy and Global Change: Seeking Simplicity in Complexity by Dev Niyogi (Associate Professor and Indiana State Climatologist, Dept. of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue)
  • Engineering Design Challenges That Drive Inquiry Science (Elementary)
  • A 5E Learning Cycle Integrating Science, Health, and Language Arts (Elementary)
  • Making Inquiry More Accessible for Students of All Skill Levels (Middle)
  • Young Engineers—Integrate Engineering into Your Science Classes (Elem–Middle)
  • Assessing Inquiry with Science Notebooks (Elem–Middle)
  • Different Approaches to Help Students Understand Gases (High)
  • Dive In with Physical Models: Impact of Water on Protein Structure (High–College)
  • Methods to Analyze Student Work to Improve Teacher Practice (High/Supervision)
  • Developing 21st-Century Skills Through Issue-oriented Science (Middle–High)

Full-day, discipline-specific programs, field trips, the Exhibit Hall, institutes and a research dissemination conference are only a few of the many events to choose from. Visit www.nsta.org/indianapolis for more information and to register. Check out the personal scheduler to save your selections. The earlybird deadline is February 3, so don’t delay.

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Check Out Science "In the Round"

Science360.gov, produced by the National Science Foundation, offers STEM multimedia and news, including hundreds of videos in a searchable database. Check out the popular Science360 iPad app.

Science360 video series include the highly engaging animated Chalk Talk, which explains science terms and concepts for middle and high school students. And if it's happening in STEM, they're talking about it on Science360 Radio and the Science360 News Service.

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AAAS Meeting in Canada February 16–20

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting this February will feature thousands of top scientists, engineers, educators, policymakers, and science journalists from some 50 nations and a full spectrum of disciplines. More than 170 plenary addresses, lectures, seminars, and symposia—plus more than two dozen briefings and interview sessions for reporters—are scheduled under the theme “Flattening the World: Building a Global Knowledge Society.”

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Congratulations to NSTA Member Rebecca Grella and Her Student Samantha Garvey

Rebecca Grella and Samantha GarveyCongratulations to 2008 and 2010 Toyota TAPESTRY Awardee Rebecca Grella (far left) and her student Samantha Garvey, shown here with Congressman Steve Israel and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Director of NOAA, outside the U.S. Capitol on January 24. Garvey, a student from New York City, and Grella were invited by Congressman Israel to attend the State of the Union address in recognition of Garvey’s research work (made possible by a Toyota TAPESTRY Grant) and incredible persistence which garnered her nationwide media attention as a semifinalist in the Intel Science Talent Search. Read more about this amazing student and her teacher here.

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Sea World

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

Professional Development Institutes at the Indianapolis Conference

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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