NSTA Home | NSTA Communities | Member Benefits | Conferences | Journals | Science Store | Learning Center | Career Center
[ View in web browser ]

Week of February 13, 2012

Table of Contents

University of Rochester

President Provides Preview of FY2013 Administration Priorities for STEM

Congratulations to the students from the DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition, the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, and the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition who participated in the second annual White House Science Fair. The second White House Science Fair included over 100 students from over 45 states, representing over 40 different STEM competitions.

Immediately after the Science Fair, President Obama announced several initiatives the Administration and private sector groups would be pursuing this year to prepare 100,000 new STEM teachers and strengthen STEM education. Read more.

(back to top)

Register Today for Feb. 21 NRC Webinar—A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Building Understanding Among New and Current Teachers

Last summer the National Research Council (NRC) released A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, which describes a vision for science education and three dimensions critical to that vision. On February 21, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (EDT), NRC will host a webinar to explore the framework and dimensions—especially the scientific and engineering practices—and discuss how they can be integrated into the education of new teachers and professional development for current teachers.

Presenters include Brian Reiser, member of the committee that developed the framework, and professor of learning sciences, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University; Heidi Schweingruber, co-director of the project that developed the framework, and deputy director, Board on Science Education, NRC; and Deb Smith, member of the committee that developed the framework, and assistant professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Pennsylvania State University. To register, click here. To view the Framework, click here.

(back to top)

Share Your Experience in the Elementary Classroom

Science and Children has extended deadlines for the following two calls for papers.

September 2012: Your Body and Health
Deadline March 1, 2012
In this time of being concerned about childhood obesity and good health, we are compelled to find ways to help children understand the importance of taking care of their bodies. Perhaps the first step is in developing an understanding of the human body. In what ways have you found it possible to develop an understanding concerning these questions?

  • How do all of the parts of the body work together to help us move, respond, think, live?
  • How does the body use the food we eat?
  • Why is it important to get exercise, eat the proper foods, and get a full night of sleep?
  • How can you stay healthy?
  • What role do “germs” have in good health and how can we avoid catching a “bug”?

October 2012: Hard to Teach Science Concepts
Deadline March 15, 2012
Learning science is hard for many students, and we know that there are certain topics we face each year that are especially challenging. Identify some of the topics that are particularly difficult for students to comprehend. Many of these topics are difficult to teach due to student misconceptions/preconceptions. Begin with an explanation of how you go about identifying student understanding of the concept, then explain to our readers how you address the topic, and finally how you assess subsequent learning of those hard to teach concepts.

Read the complete call for papers and find submission instructions at www.nsta.org/elementaryschool.

(back to top)

NSTA’s STEM Forum & Expo: Tools for STEM Education

Bringing together leading STEM experts, practitioners, and educators, attendees at the STEM Forum, May 17–19, Atlantic City, NJ, will be immersed in learning successful approaches, implementation of STEM subjects into the curricula, and integration of these educational processes into our schools and districts. Invited are K–16 educators, administrators and stakeholders who want to expand their understanding and teach their faculty on the best practices.

Spotlight on Training for Elementary and Middle School Educators

  • Best practices
  • Content
  • Integration
  • Partnerships and informal group roles
  • Skillsets needed for success


  • PreK–2
  • Grades 3–5
  • Grades 6–9
  • Community and After School Outreach Program
  • Administrators

Featured Presentations

  • “Brain-Considerate Learning Environments” by author, consultant, college faculty Kenneth Wesson
  • “To Boldly Go: The Unbounded Opportunities in Science and Math” by former NASA astronaut and VP for Government Affairs and Policy (University of Texas Medical Center) Dr. Mary Ellen Weber

Visit www.nsta.org/stemforum for more information.

(back to top)

PCAST Issues Report on Transforming Undergraduate STEM Education

One million additional STEM graduates are needed over the next decade to fill the growing number of jobs that require STEM skills, says the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology,  which issued a report last week recommending changes in undergraduate STEM education that will retain more STEM students in the first two years of their studies. Read more.

(back to top)

NSTA to Exhibit at 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival

Good news! NSTA will be exhibiting (Hall C, Booth #1428) again at the second annual USA Science & Engineering Festival, taking place April 28–29 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. At NSTA’s exhibit, “Get Your Hands on the Science ALL Around You,” parents, teachers, and students of all ages will engage in exciting hands-on science activities that can be used in the classroom or at home. Additionally, NSTA will be selling and distributing some of its NSTA Press® books at the Book Fair, and 2010–2011 NSTA President Dr. Alan McCormick will be presenting magical and scientific demonstrations on the main stage during the event.

Join us for this free family-friendly event that allows kids and adults to participate in over 2,000 hands-on activities and see more than 200 live performances by science celebrities, explorers, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and world-renowned experts. For more information about the USA Science & Engineering Festival, click here.

(back to top)

Performance Matters When You Teach

Professional development for science educators is not a “given” or a luxury. But if you’re the kind of teacher who wants to test yourself as often as you assess your students, you might consider NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education. This event offers the best PD around—nearly 2,000 sessions, workshops, presentations, and symposia. Full day, discipline-specific programs to build content knowledge, inquiry-based techniques, NGSS and STEM coverage, and assessment strategies will add to your portfolio of teaching skills. For K–16 teachers and administrators, come to Indianapolis, March 29–April 1 for a getaway that will enhance your performance (and your students’) in your classroom. 


  • Inspiring the Next Generation of STEM Leaders by Leland Melvin, Associate Administrator for Education, NA
  • Teaching Science Inquiry Through Storytelling by storyteller, author, and educator, Brian “Fox” Ellis
  • The Art of Science and the Framework for Science Education by Jeff Goldstein, Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
  • Forensic Science Education: Multidisciplinary Science—Bringing Critical Thinking, Interactive Learning, and Creativity to the Classroom by Jay Siegel, Chair, Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Professor of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, Indiana University
  • Biotechnology from Bench to Bedside (High School level)
  • Constructing a Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework for Teaching High School Chemistry (High School/Supervision)
  • Shock Your Students—Experiential, inquiry-based lesson pertaining to electromagnetism (High School)
  • Young Engineers—Integrate Engineering into Your Science Classes (Elem–Middle)
  • Assessing Inquiry with Science Notebooks (Preschool–Middle)
  • Differentiating Instruction in Middle School Physical Science
  • Interagency Symposium (Half Day Program): Teaching About Climate Change—Here and Now—Resources and activities about the processes of science, the use of data in the classroom, and how to address climate misconceptions and controversial issues. (Grades 5–12)
  • Scientific Inquiry Blended with the Writing in Science Approach (Elem–Middle)
  • The Impossible Mission: Engineering, Strange Matter, Nanotechnology (Elem–Middle)
  • NSF Symposium (Half Day Program): Clues to the Cryosphere: Lessons from the Ice—Learn more about the latest in polar science research and participate in hands-on activities for your classroom. (Grades 7–12)
  • Field trips—Indiana State Museum, Indiana State Police Forensic Lab, Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and Riley Children’s Foundation, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company Tour, Indiana University School of Medicine Research Tour, and more.

Visit www.nsta.org/indianapolis for more information and to register. Save the most by registering before Feb. 24, the advance deadline.

(back to top)

Brighten Your Spring with a Professional Development Course from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Online Teacher Academy

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Online Teacher Academy allows audiences of busy educators across the nation to pursue their professional development virtually. Brighten your spring with a course that will bring nature into your classroom!

Spring 2012 courses run from April 6 to May 27, 2012, and include:

  • Habitat Ecology for Educators—Explore habitats and wildlife from around the world and examine the interconnectedness of everything on Earth. Available at a special reduced price of only $50 (a $225 savings)!
  • Conservation Biology for Educators—Discover what it takes to save the world's most incredible, and endangered, animals. Learn how scientists study animals in nature and use that information to protect wildlife and wild places.

Courses run entirely online for six weeks. Each participant will receive free resources. Graduate credits are available for a reasonable additional fee (see “Registration Details” on www.wcs.org/elearning for more information).

Enroll today by visiting www.wcs.org/elearning or calling 1-718-220-5136.

(back to top)

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

Professional Development Institutes-NSTA Conference 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!
List server icon

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 February featured book, Watershed Investigations.

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!

Sign Up / Opt Out | Member Services | NSTA Express Feedback | View in Browser | Archive | NSTA News Digest

NSTA Home | NSTA Communities | Member Benefits | Conferences | Journals | Science Store | Learning Center | Career Center

Copyright © 2012 National Science Teachers Association
NSTA Express is designed to keep NSTA members and the wider science education community informed about NSTA activities.
It also provides important news items and announcements from our partners.
It may be forwarded or reproduced for educational purposes but must include the copyright notice above and the link to NSTA.

This e-newsletter is brought to you by the
National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201-3000
Phone: 703-243-7100

If you do not want to receive NSTA Express by e-mail, please follow this link:

NSTA Express archive: www.nsta.org/publications/archive-express.aspx