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Week of March 19, 2012

Table of Contents

NSTA Science Supply Guide

New STEM e-Newsletter Coming from NSTA

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is on everyone’s mind, and the National Science Teachers Association is publishing STEM in the Classroom to provide a forum for ideas and resources middle and high school teachers will need to support these disciplines. By coordinating science and math courses with technology and engineering courses, teachers can give students a better understanding of the world they live in. Few of today’s students understand the way in which these fields benefit our society or the variety of career opportunities that are available to them. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for this newsletter, please subscribe here. You will NOT need a promo code, so please ignore that field.

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Special Prices on Select NSTA Press Books Through 3/23/2012

Between now and midnight on March 23, 2012, take advantage of 15% off savings on books in the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science Series from NSTA Press®. Visit the Science Store Sale page to browse the featured books or download a free chapter. The entire Uncovering Student Ideas in Science Series is on sale for this limited time, including Page Keeley and Cary Sneider’s brand-new volume: Uncovering Student Ideas in Astronomy.

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Win Yearlong PD Scholarship to the New Science Teacher Academy

For new secondary science teachers, those first years of teaching often are stressful and anxiety-ridden. Research indicates new teachers’ performance and confidence is enhanced with professional development, engagement with like-minded peers, and solid professional mentoring. To that end, NSTA and sponsoring corporations established the New Science Teacher Academy, a program that fills those needs. Middle and high school science teachers in their second or third year of teaching are invited to apply to participate in the Academy. More than 200 teacher applicants will win a scholarship for the 2012–2013 Academy program. “Fellows” in the Academy will enjoy the following:

  • Membership in the NSTA with full benefits
  • Access to facilitated, web-based curriculum devoted to content and classroom pedagogy
  • One on one e-mentoring, specific to the Fellow’s discipline and grade band
  • All expenses paid to NSTA’s National Conference (lodging, airfare, meals, and registration included)
  • Attendance at a Professional Development Institute or Research Dissemination Conference

Visit www.nsta.org/academy to learn more or apply. Deadline is July 1.

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Become a Microsoft Partner in Learning

The Microsoft Partners in Learning 2012 U.S. Forum is a part of a global program consisting of regional forums culminating in a worldwide event recognizing innovative educators from around the world. The competition is open to all K–12 educators and school leaders. Educators apply with classroom projects using technology in innovative ways that is positively impacting student learning.

The 8th annual U.S. Forum will be hosted in Redmond, WA, July 31–Aug 1, and the 2012 Global Forum will be in Athens, Greece, Nov. 2012. In 2011, 700 educators from more than 60 countries attended the Partners in Learning 2011 Global Forum in Washington, DC. The U.S. sent 11 finalists last year, and six went home with a 1st place award.

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Indianapolis 2012, Here Come the Science Teachers

We’re headed for Indianapolis for NSTA’s annual National Conference on Science Education, March 29–April 1, 2012. To share in the discussion on the most critical issues for educators today, science teachers and administrators from across the nation are invited to attend. Onsite registration is always an option. Consider the importance of the new Standards, STEM, climate change, technology, and energy issues. Or your interest may be focused on hands-on classroom techniques and strategies that raise student performance and literacy. Presentations, content-based symposia, and workshops on hundreds of topics you care about will provide learning opportunities specific to your needs. Have a look at just a few highlights.

  • Tim Samaras, Severe-Storms Researcher and National Geographic Emerging Explorer, presenting “The Science Behind Chasing Tornadoes”
  • Leland Melvin, past NFL wide receiver, astronaut, and current national advisor on STEM education, presenting “Inspiring the Next Generation of STEM Leaders”
  • “Integrating Science and Literacy: A Journey, Not a Destination”—Three-hour workshop to learn how to integrate trade books into science instruction. (9 authors will work with small groups of attendees).
  • Panelists Stephen L. Pruitt, VP, Achieve, Inc., and Francis Eberle, NSTA Executive Director, discussing “Next Generation Science Education Standards”
  • Elementary Extravaganza—Collect resources (make and take) to use in the classroom tomorrow.
  • Professional Development Institutes (fee-based)—Choose from 11 in-depth, full-day programs, many with follow-on pathway sessions, i.e. “Conceptual Flow: Bridging the Gap Between Standards, Instructional Materials, and Student Learning. (WestEd)

Count on more than 400 companies in the Exhibit Hall that will share and show new products, field trips to local sites of interest (e.g., the Indiana State Police Forensic Lab), networking with your peers, and a preconference event, “Science Rocks,” to meet prominent scientists in the STEM fields. Visit www.nsta.org/indianapolis for more information.

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MetLife Survey Finds Teacher Job Satisfaction at Lowest Point in Two Decades

The annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher released last week found that teacher job satisfaction has fallen to the lowest level in 20 years, teachers are more than four times as likely to say they do not feel their jobs are as secure as they were five years ago, and there has been a large increase in the number of teachers who are likely to leave the teaching profession for another occupation (17 percent in 2009 vs 29 percent today).

The survey cites cuts to school budgets may have led to some of these findings. Respondents cited cuts to school budgets, programs, and services, while at the same time reporting that students and their families are demonstrating increased needs. Sixty-three percent report that the average class size in their school has increased in the past year, and one-third of teachers (34 percent) indicate that educational technology and materials have not been kept up to date to meet student needs at their schools.

The survey also found that teachers with higher job satisfaction are more likely to have experienced adequate opportunities for professional development, time to collaborate with other teachers and more preparation and support for engaging parents effectively.

The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Teachers, Parents and the Economy is the twenty-eighth in a series sponsored annually by MetLife since 1984. The survey examines the views of teachers, parents and students about the teaching profession, parent and community engagement, and effects of the current economy on families and schools. Read more (PDF).

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A Forum & Expo for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

NSTA’s first STEM Forum & Expo is scheduled for May 17–19 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. For any teacher, administrator, and informal educator who is interest in developing better STEM opportunities for our students and professional development for STEM educators, this conference is a “must.” The good news for New Jersey teachers comes from the New Jersey State Department of Education, which has approved our request to waive the prohibition on reimbursed overnight travel by state educators (outside of a 50-mile radius) to attend the NSTA STEM Forum.


  • PreK–2
  • Grades 3–5
  • Grades 6–9
  • Community/After School/Outreach Programs
  • Administrators

Speaker Kenneth Wesson will present on “The STEM Hologram: Several Disciplines; One Interdependent Picture.” Mary Ellen Weber, a two-time Space Shuttle astronaut, scientist, engineer, and pilot, will present “To Boldly Go: The Unbounded Opportunities in Science and Math.”

Sample sessions include the following:

  • STEM Education for All Early Childhood Students
  • Kindergarten Engagement Lessons
  • Engineering the K–2 Curriculum
  • STEM Picks Up STEAM: Adding Arts in STEM Education
  • Creating Future Scientists
  • Scalable STEM Activities for Grades 3–9
  • An Engineering and Technology Twist on the Egg Drop Activity
  • Toward Energy-aware STEM Leaders for the 21st Century
  • STEM Leadership: Where Do I begin
  • Improving STEM Teacher Education with a Residency Model
  • Vertical Integration of Engineering Education in K–12 Rural Schools
  • Strategic Planning for STEM Education Success
  • Start Your Own STEM Summer Institute
  • STEM Expo: Innovative Alternatives to Typical Science Fairs
  • GEE: Girls Engaged in Engineering
  • STEM Stars: Community Collaboration

Visit www.nsta.org/stemforum for more information and to register. The earlybird deadline is April 6.

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg STEM Director Named Discovery Director of Global STEM Initiatives

Discovery Education has named long time NSTA member Dr. Cindy Moss director of global STEM initiatives. Dr. Moss joins Discovery Education from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), where she was director of STEM for the district and was responsible for overseeing STEM curriculum for more than 130,000 students.  She will be responsible for designing, developing and implementing comprehensive STEM initiatives for Discovery Education and will be the group’s STEM ambassador, partnering with organizations that set the vision and national policy for STEM education. Moss also will help expand Discovery Education’s current STEM programs, including the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Read more.

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Lab Out Loud Episode 77: Gaming for Science

This week listen as co-hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk to Zoran Popović. As director for the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, Zoran helped create (with David Baker and Seth Cooper) Foldit, a popular online game that teaches protein folding and ultimately allows scientists to discover protein structures through crowdsourcing and community collaboration. Zoran talks to Lab Out Loud about Foldit and using games to help solve problems facing humanity.

Register Today for a Spring Course from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Online Teacher Academy

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Online Teacher Academy allows you to examine life science through interactive simulations, videos, and presentations from WCS scientists and educators. Explore best practices in science education while receiving free resources and up-to-date news from field experts.

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

Register today for one of our Spring 2012 courses (April 6–May 27, 2012):

  • Habitat Ecology for Educatorsexplore 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 Educatorsdiscover 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.

Questions? Visit www.wcs.org/elearning or call +1-718-220-5136.

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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 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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