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Week of March 5, 2012

Table of Contents

Delta Education

Final Print Version of A Framework for K–12 Science Education Now Available

Framework coverA Framework for K-12 Science Education—released online last summer and now available in print—describes the major practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school, and it provides an outline of how these practices, concepts, and ideas should be developed across the grade levels. The Framework is grounded in the most current research on science and science learning and is the first critical step in the development of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). To view the Framework or to purchase a print copy, click here.

In a process managed by Achieve, 26 states are currently leading the development of Next Generation Science Standards. The standards will undergo multiple reviews, including two public drafts. A first public draft of the standards is expected sometime this spring, with a final version expected in late 2012. NSTA is providing advice to the project and engaging the science education community in the feedback process. Visit www.nsta.org/ngss to view and download numerous resources exploring the Framework and to stay up-to-date on news regarding standards development. Visit the NGSS site at www.nextgenscience.org.

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NSTA Legislative Update: House Panel Approves Republican Bills to Rewrite NCLB

On February 28, the House Education and Workforce Committee approved two bills introduced earlier this year by Republican members which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). Both the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990) were passed out of committee by a vote of 23 to 16, with all Republicans voting for the bills and all Democrats voting against the bills. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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March 29–April 1: NSTA National Conference on Science Education, Indianapolis

“If you build it, he will come,” said the narrator in Field of Dreams, a 1989 movie about the magic of baseball and a longing for the past. “Yes, people will most definitely come and for a million different reasons.”

In the context of NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education, we, too, have a terrific setting for science teachers in every discipline and grade band who want to take the challenge. Every base is loaded with workshops on inquiry-based learning, discussions on critical issues such as STEM and the Next Generation of Science Standards, presentations by national science education experts and renowned authors, symposia, professional development institutes, and more than you could imagine. Nearly 2,000 sessions will be offered and we invite you to play the game, learn new skills and meet some of the most passionate players from across the nation.

Have a look at the field:

  • Inspiring the Next Generation of STEM Leaders—Leland Melvin (Associate Administrator for Education, NASA)
  • The Science Behind Chasing Tornadoes—Tim Samaras (severe-storms researcher and National Geographic Emerging Explorer)
  • Ingenuity: A Work in Progress—David Macaulay (best-selling author and illustrator)
  • CESI Elementary Strand—11 sessions and a full-day program, Engineering is Elementary
  • Effective STEM Challenges for the Classroom—Michael DiSpezio (science writer and educational consultant)
  • What's in Your School Yard? Strategies to Teach New Science Core Standards in the Middle Grades
  • Understanding Earth's Magnetism and Space Weather
  • Scientific Inquiry for All: Making Inquiry More Accessible for Students of All Skill Levels
  • Biotechnology from Bench to Bedside
  • Different Approaches to Help Students Understand Gases
  • Build a Powerful Electric Motor Out of Junk
  • Exploring the Science of Cooking!
  • Teach the Electromagnetic Spectrum via the Sun and the 5Es
  • Field trip, Indiana State Police Forensic Lab

Join us in Indianapolis. We think it’s a home run. www.nsta.org/indianapolis.

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NSELA's Professional Development Institute in Indianapolis

Blending Online and Onsite Professional Development: Applying What the Research Says for Effective and Sustainable Learning Communities

Professional development administrators and experts charged with the design, implementation or evaluation of professional development should consider attending Blending Online and Onsite Professional Development: Applying What the Research Says for Effective and Sustainable Learning Communities, developed and presented by NSTA. Among eight sessions, this three-hour institute on Wednesday, March 28, provides a "real-world" look at both challenges and success cases in blended models of PD. Those that serve as master educators, coaches and mentors will also benefit learning of the value in blending online group discourse to extend to face-to-face PLCs, teacher PD digital portfolios, and resource sharing to extend local school-based professional learning communities.

Actual mini-case studies with question prompts lead by NSTA and district science specialists will be used to guide small group report-out discussions on such issues as (a) teacher engagement and recognition strategies, (b) learning pathways to address the personal learning needs and preferences of individual teachers, (c) the importance of organization support and affordable incentives for teacher effort, and (d) the need and value for integration in the blend to ensure a coherent and on-going growth experience for teacher learning.

Visit www.nsela.org for more information about each Institute or to register.

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NSTA Global Inquiry and Science Investigation in Costa Rica—A Professional Development Program

Join NSTA and Holbrook Travel for a unique professional development opportunity this summer, July 23-Aug.1, 2012! Investigate the rich habitats of Costa Rica, a country world-renowned for its tropical forests, biological diversity, and dedication to environmental conservation. During the course of the program, educators will have the opportunity to visit a variety of ecosystems and perform critical research for national and international scientific projects using GLOBE protocols. The program is designed to highlight the principles of earth system science, life science, and species conservation through activities such as actively collecting data, analyzing findings, and participating in inquiry-based learning modules. In addition to its scientific core, threads of cultural exchange and service have been woven throughout the itinerary, providing participants with a comprehensive foundation for widening perspectives and strengthening global science understanding both in the field and the classroom. Visit www.holbrooktravel.com/nsta to learn more and register. Look for the Holbrook Travel booth in Indianapolis at NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education, March 29–April 1.

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Lab Out Loud, Episode 76: Not Another Lab Report

This week listen as co-hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk to Fred Ende. As a middle-school science teacher, Fred quickly became frustrated with cookie-cutter, partial inquiry and simple scientific method lab reports that rarely engaged students in the content. Deciding to change this mode, Fred created open-ended lab experiences where students investigated their own questions, became interested in sharing their work, and ultimately improved their scientific writing. Fred talks to Lab Out Loud about his experience in making scientific writing more relevant and student-centered.

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Association in UK Offers Journal for Early Learners

The Journal of Emergent Science (JES) is a professional research e-journal published by the Emergent Science Network in collaboration with the Association for Science Education (ASE). The journal focuses on science (including health, technology and engineering) for young children from birth to 8 years of age. The key features of the journal are that it:

  • Is child-centered
  • Focuses on scientific development of children from birth to 8 years of age, considering the transitions from one stage to the next
  • Contains easily accessible yet rigorous support for the development of professional skills;
  • Focuses on effective early years science practice and leadership
  • Considers the implications of research into emergent science practice and provision
  • Contains exemplars of good learning and development firmly based in good practice
  • Supports analysis and evaluation of professional practice

Articles in the journal highlight the importance of first learning and experiences in science and attempts to redress the emphasis on secondary science education, especially since science learning starts at birth. The co-editors, Jane Johnston (Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln) and Sue Dale Tunnicliffe (Institute of Education, London, NSTA Life member and former International committee) are researchers and lecturers fascinated by these critical years where interest and understanding of science is formed, and passionate about focusing on support for professionals who are attempting to use the impact of research to develop their own practice.

The journal will be published twice a year; March and September. During 2011 it was free; from 2012 on it will only be available for a subscription fee of $50, although all ASE members will continue to receive the journal free of charge as a membership benefit. The first two editions can be found on the ASE website at www.ase.org.uk.

Click here for a subscription application.

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Unique Summer Opportunities for Professional Development at Montana State University

Does your summer plan include a dinosaur dig in eastern Montana or camping in Yellowstone? Or learning new science content and techniques for your classroom from the comfort of your home?

Enroll in exciting online or campus graduate courses this summer through Montana State University’s Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program. Take online courses in biology, chemistry, earth science, microbiology, physics, and teaching strategies. Or experience the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem first-hand in one of our field courses in wildlife biodiversity and ecology, paleontology, Earth sciences, or land resources and environmental sciences.

New this summer:

  • Alpine Ecology: Learn how altitude affects the structure, function and evolution of plants, animals, and their ecosystems.
  • Biochemistry II – Metabolism: Investigate the metabolism of different biological molecules while exploring applications of these topics to a classroom setting.

Enrollment in the master’s program is not required to take classes, but courses can lead to a master’s degree in science education. Visit the website for more information: www.montana.edu/msse. NSTA members receive a 10% discount on select courses.

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Frey Scientific

Research Dissemination Conference

Professional Development Institutes-NSTA Conference in Indianapolis

Learn more about NSTA e-newsletter sponsorships

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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!

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Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the March featured book, Science Beyond the Classroom.

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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