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Week of February 27, 2012

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University of Rochester

Shell Science Lab Challenge Names 2012 Regional Winners

Congratulations to the 17 middle and secondary school science teachers who have been named regional winners in the second annual Shell Science Lab Challenge. Sponsored by Shell Oil Company and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), The competition encouraged teachers (grades 6–12) in the U.S. and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000. From the 17 regional winners named, five national finalists will be chosen, and from the national finalists a grand prize winner will be selected.

As a regional winner, each teacher and their school will receive science lab equipment provided by the Shell Science Lab Challenge in addition to Shell cash grants, membership to the NSTA, and support to attend an NSTA conference. VWR is also supporting the Shell Science Lab Challenge by providing equipment to the winners. Viable strategies submitted to the Challenge will be published in an online NSTA repository of science lab activities that can be accessed by other teachers looking for new ways to create quality lab experiences using limited resources.

For more information about the program visit the competition website.

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NSTA Reports Survey: What's the Sequence?

Students' introduction to high school science can take many forms. In some school districts, biology or Earth science may be a required before students can take physics or chemistry, while others make physics the foundation of the science education. Still other districts may require only that students earn a minimum number of science credits to graduate, but allow students (with their parents, teachers, and guidance counselors) to select which courses to take. We’d like to know how high school science instruction is structured at your school—and how you’d change if given the chance.

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Nominations Now Open for 2012 Presidential Awards

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the Nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Since 1983, more than 4,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals.

The 2012 Awards will honor math and science teachers working in grades K–6. (Save your enthusiasm for teachers of grades 7–12 for the 2013 Awards.) Nominations close on April 1, 2012.

For details, visit the PAEMST website.

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Join Us in Indianapolis

Thousands of science educators will converge at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Indianapolis, March 29–April 1. We invite you to share in this career enhancing, professional development opportunity. Nearly 2000 sessions are being offered with wide-ranging topics from content to pedagogy. Classroom strategies, technology, STEM, inquiry-based instruction, and the Next Generation of Science Standards are just a few of workshops and presentations covered. Join us!

Highlights for high school and college-level educators:

  • The Science and Ethics of Animal Research (Middle Level–College)
  • DNA Subway in the Classroom—Discover the principles of molecular biology while using the bioinformatics tools in "DNA Subway" to find genes and compare genomes. (High School–College)
  • Dive In with Physical Models: Impact of Water on Protein Structure (High School–College)
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Data! Learn to use geospatial technologies and gigapixel image viewers in a scalable approach to investigate authentic Earth and ocean science data. (High School–College)
  • Integrating Bioinformatics into Introductory Biology Courses—Learn how to integrate basic bioinformatics concepts and tools into introductory biology classrooms using a case study about genetic testing for breast cancer. (High School–College)
  • Physics with a Purpose: Forensic Science Applications (High School–College)
  • Stem Cells—Use simulated stem cells and growth factors to compare cell differentiation in embryonic and adult stem cells. (High School–College)
  • Stimulate Inquiry with Biofuels—From Feedstock to Tailpipe
  • Increasing Student Depth of Understanding Through Science Practices—Collaborative opportunities to transform teacher-directed strategies into student-directed opportunities to apply the science practices in AP Chemistry. (High School–College)
  • NSELA Session: Project-based Instruction: Grappling with Discovery—Explore the perceptions of preservice teachers as they implement project-based instruction in a public school focused on discovery learning at the helm. (College)
  • Strategies for Teaching About Charged Topics in the Earth Science Classroom (High School–College)

Visit www.nsta.org/indianapolis to view all the scheduled sessions along with featured speakers, daylong programs, field trips, networking events, and the all-time favorite, NSTA’s Exhibit Hall. Register by February 24 to save the most.

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ED Public Loan Forgiveness Program

The Department of Education last week announced new efforts take advantage of a loan forgiveness program targeted to help public servants, including teachers, with their federal student loan. Read more.

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Time Warner Cable Announces New STEM Ideation Competition for Students

As part of Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), Time Warner’s five-year, $100 million commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, the company has launched Wouldn’t It Be Cool If …, a new STEM ideation competition. The challenge is for students, ages 10–15, to use creativity and imagination to develop ideas that could make a difference in their lives, communities and even the world, and then show how STEM can make them a reality.

Students can learn more and/or submit their ideas online at www.wouldntitbecoolif.com by March 28. Four finalists will have the chance to travel to the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis to pitch their ideas to will.i.am, Dean Kamen, and other guest judges. One grand prize winner will develop their idea with Fahrenheit 212.

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Healthivores Video Game Contest: Learning About Health and Nutrition While Building Skills in STEM

What is more relevant and engaging to students these days than video games? In a few short weeks, you and your students can go from no game design experience to publishing your health related online video games on the Green Ribbon Schools website. Click here to find out exactly how to do this.

We understand that game design can be new and intimidating. So we have developed a simple Lesson Plan for teachers to follow. No matter how computer-phobic you may be, you can complete this Lesson Plan with your students in 4–5 weeks. No game design or coding experience necessary. (With game design experience, you can complete this in a matter of days.)

So dismiss those thoughts of intimidation and truly engage your students in learning about health, while also enhancing their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills and career skills.

The best NSTA submission will win an AMD-powered notebook computer. Visit www.greenribbonschools.org/nsta for more information or to register. Questions? E-mail Green Ribbon Schools.

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Delta Education

Research Dissemination Conference

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!
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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 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!

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