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Week of February 6, 2012

Table of Contents

Intel Corporation

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Winners Invited to Exhibit at White House Science Fair

Two Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision team members will be attending and exhibiting at the White House Science Fair on Tuesday, February 7. President Obama will host the White House Science Fair, the second White House event celebrating the student winners of a broad range of STEM competitions from across the country.

Jack Dudley and Sydney Dayyani will be talking about their ExploraVision project, The HEADS UP! Helmet, a military helmet designed to protect soldiers from traumatic brain injury on the battlefield due to an improvised explosive device.

At the fair, students will meet the President, who will view exhibits of student work ranging from breakthrough research to new inventions. The President will also make remarks on the importance of STEM education to the country’s economic future to the students, science educators, and business leaders assembled for the science fair.

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision WinnersSince its inception in 1992, more than 287,000 students from across the United States and Canada have participated in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program. This fun and engaging competition inspires a lifelong love of science for students and teachers alike by encouraging K–12 kids to simulate real research and development as they study a technology of interest and predict and model what the technology might be like 20 years from now. ExploraVision is one of the world's largest K–12 science competitions and is a cornerstone of Toshiba's efforts to inspire youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). For more information visit www.exploravision.org.

Pictured—back row: David Gaut (Toshiba), Brenda Conwell-Dudley (Mentor), Suzanne Sloane (Head of School, Virginia Virtual Academy); front row: Abby Porter (Tolbert Elementary School), Sydney Dayyani (Belmont Ridge Middle School), Jack Dudley (Virginia Virtual Academy), Jovia Ho (Tolbert Elementary School).

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NSTA Seeks Moderators for STEM Forum & Expo Roundtables

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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Pushback to Republican Plan to End Science Testing in ESEA Bill Continues

NSTA and the STEM Education Coalition are leading efforts to change language in the Republican ESEA draft bill that would eliminate the federal mandate to test science. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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NSTA News Roundup: State Science Standards Analyzed and Creationism in Indiana

A new analysis of state science standards find the majority of them to be “mediocre to awful.” And a new bill introduced—and passed—by the Indiana Senate may allow creationism to be taught in the classroom.

The State of State Science Standards

The State of State Science StandardsThe Thomas B. Fordham Institute has released The State of State Science Standards 2012, an update of a similar report on state standards first released in 2005. The report analyzes the K–12 science standards currently in place in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, as well as the framework that undergirds NAEP’s science assessment.

According to Fordham, “The results of that analysis paint a fresh—but still bleak—picture. The standards in science were mediocre to awful in 2005 and—though most of them have been revised in the intervening years—today a majority of the states’ standards are still mediocre to awful. Indeed, the average grade across all states is—once again—an undistinguished C. (In fact, it’s a low C.) In twenty-seven jurisdictions, the science standards earn Ds or Fs.

Indiana Senate Passes Bill on Teaching Creationism

Last week the Indiana Senate passed a bill that would allow schools to teach creationism and the religion-based creation theories of several religions, including Muslim, Jewish, and Scientology, alongside the theory of evolution in public school science classes.

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Rich Professional Development Institutes Add Breadth to NSTA National Conference

For science educators and administrators who are interested in comprehensive, in depth programs that reflect and support the principles of the new Framework for K–12 Science Education, NSTA invites you to consider Professional Development Institutes (PDIs). Scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, full-day institutes kick off the National Conference on Science Education in Indianapolis. Renowned experts will lead on key topics that will continue with follow-on pathway sessions throughout the conference. Check out four PDI titles (of eleven) that will enhance your expertise.

Engineering byDesign™ (EbD): An Integrative STEM Solution for K–12. The (ITEEA) STEM Center for Teaching and Learning has developed the only standards-based national model for Grades K–12 that delivers technological literacy through STEM-based instruction. Attendees will learn to provide culturally and cognitively diverse students with STEM learning experiences that are meaningful, engaging, and appropriate to stages of development.

The Literacy and Inquiry Connection: Instruction that Scaffolds and Enhances Scientific Thinking and Understanding. Participants will learn how to use language structures and other strategies to scaffold students’ learning of science content and scientific thinking and enhance their ability to write scientifically, all in the context of firsthand inquiry. Through group work, mini-lessons, discussion, and video, experienced practitioners will model and share research-based strategies for using scaffolding to enhance students' understanding of and skills in inquiry-based science and writing, and effective strategies for formative assessment of notebook entries. Participants will practice these strategies and receive materials for classroom use.

What Works in Science Classrooms: Developing Student Understanding through Classroom Inquiry, Discourse and Sense-Making. Based on the author Ann Tweed’s Designing Effective Science Instruction, this program is designed to improve teachers' ability to plan and deliver effective lessons to diverse student populations. Participants will engage in activities to help them understand how inquiry, discourse and sense-making science classroom activities translate to improved student understanding and performance.

Using Science Notebooks to Develop Conceptual Understanding in Grades K–8. Learn how science notebooks can be used as an effective sense-making and formative assessment tool in the science classroom. By experiencing part of an inquiry-based investigation, you'll examine how students can begin to clearly articulate their emerging understandings of science content. Authentic examples of notebook assessment rubrics, issues concerning student use and accountability, how students use notebooks, and types of writing will be part of the discussion. (No pathway sessions offered.)

These ticketed events require registration for the National Conference. Visit the PDI web pages for a complete list and more details.

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Share Your Passion for Science Education at the NSTA National Conference

Join thousands of science educators at the National Conference on Science Education in Indianapolis, March 29–April 1. We’ve planned a robust program for building new skills and broadening your content knowledge, learning strategies, and talking about the issues. Nearly 2,000 sessions comprise the offerings intended to stimulate and inspire you. Renowned presenters Bill Nye, author David Macaulay, and many others will share their stories and expertise. Networking with these experts and your peers means accessing fresh ideas and resources, making new friends, and sharing your passion. For K–16 science educators and administrators, this conference shouldn’t be missed. See some of our highlights.

High School and College

  • Maintaining Momentum: Methods to Analyze Student Work to Improve Teacher Practice
  • Teach the Electromagnetic Spectrum via the Sun and the 5Es
  • Integrating Bioinformatics into Introductory Biology Courses
  • Let's Get Helical: Exploring DNA Structure/Function with Interactive Physical Models
  • Prepare and Empower the New Generation of Women in Science: How to Build a High School/University Science Partnership

Middle School

  • Building a Sustainable Planet…One Biodegradable Utensil at a Time
  • Food Chains: Using Field Surveys That Give Real Numbers
  • Young Engineers—Integrate Engineering into Your Science Classes
  • Assessing Inquiry with Science Notebooks

Elementary School

  • Why Do I Have to Know This? Engineering Design Challenges That Drive Inquiry Science
  • They're Not Too Young: Emergent Writers Thinking and Writing Like Scientists
  • A 5E Learning Cycle Integrating Science, Health, and Language Arts
  • Curious Scientific Investigators: Flight Adventures- Explore how models can be used to test ideas and solve problems.

Special Programs

  • Looking Towards the New Framework for the Next Generation Science Standards: New Research on Promising Practices in Professional Development with a Focus on Curriculum Integration—Full-day Research Dissemination Conference, ticketed
  • A Video Showcase of Legendary Icons, Inspiring Teachers, Memorable Performances, and Stimulating Engaging Courses, Part 1—Three-part program offers screenings interspersed with commentary, discussion, and some live demonstrations.
  • NSTA/SCST Symposium: Nature Under Investigation—Forensic Science in the Classroom—Integration into the middle school and high school as well as undergraduate college-level classroom.

Visit www.nsta.org/indianapolis for more information. Register by February 24, our advance deadline, to save the most.

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Lab Out Loud: Zombies in the Classroom

This week listen as co-hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk with Dr. Steven Schlozman, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Lecturer in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Schlozman talks about his start in teaching and his recent book The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse. Learn how to use zombies to teach science.

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Do You Know a Deserving School of Distinction?

Every year, Intel honors U.S. public or private schools that implement innovative, replicable programs that inspire their students and lead to a positive educational outcomes in the areas of math and science. Up to three schools at each level—elementary, middle and high school—will be named as finalists in the math and science categories. The 18 schools will receive a cash grant of $5,000 from the Intel Foundation and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a four-member team from their school and district. Six winners will be selected from the finalists and will receive an additional $5,000 cash grant for a total of $10,000. One of these winners will be selected as the "Star Innovator" and will receive an additional $15,000 grant for a total of $25,000. All five winning schools and the Star Innovator will also receive products and services from program sponsors. In 2011, a California school won the Star Innovator Award, Valley Christian Middle School in San Jose and another California school won the High School Science Award, Lynbrook High School in San Jose. Click the links to see their videos.

Don’t miss this opportunity to have your favorite school apply online at www.schoolsofdistinction.com. The application deadline is February 23, 2012. Share the word! Application questions can be directed to Intel Education Manager Julie Dunkle at 408-621-1111.

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Affordable Online Graduate Courses from AMNH

For over a decade, Seminars on Science and the American Museum of Natural History have been offering science-rich, online graduate courses to educators from around the globe. Each course 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; courses include 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. Spring Session 2 runs March 19–April 29. Registration closes March 5. Register by February 20 for a $50 discount! For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.

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Frey Scientific

NSTA 2012 Conference-Indianapolis

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

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