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Week of May 7, 2012

Table of Contents

Delta Education

First Public Draft of the Next Generation Science Standards Available on Friday, May 11

The first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is scheduled to be released this Friday, May 11. This first draft of the new science standards will be online for public comment for three weeks, until June 1.

The Next Generation Science Standards are based on the National Research Council (NRC) Framework for K–12 Science Education, which describes the major practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school, and provides an outline of how these practices, concepts, and ideas should be developed across the grade levels.

Science educators, supervisors, administrators—in fact anyone interested in the future course and direction of science education—are encouraged to carefully read these new science standards and submit comments online to Achieve during the comment period.

For more information go to www.nextgenscience.org and www.nsta.org/about/standardsupdate.

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Win a Professional Development Scholarship—Apply by July 1

If you’re a second- or third-year secondary science teacher, you’re eligible to become a Fellow in the New Science Teacher Academy, one of NSTA’s premier programs providing professional development and mentoring. Hundreds of teachers will be chosen to participate in the 2012–2013 Academy and take advantage of cost-free, consistent online professional development activities along with face-to-face experiences.

The Academy provides each teacher with

To find out more about the Academy and how to apply for a scholarship, visit www.nsta.org/academy or contact the project director, Damaries Blondonville, at dblondonville@nsta.org.

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Exploring the K–12 Framework and Draft Next Generation Science Standards

For educators who need to know, the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) invite you to attend a Summer Leadership Institute, June 24–28, 2012, in Austin, Texas. This immersive experience will bring together scores of individual science educators, teams (leaders and teachers), and administrators to explore the K–12 Framework and draft Next Generation Science Standards and

  • Determine key features of each, noting comparisons, contrasts and shifts in focus,
  • Identify the "next steps," develop a deep understanding of supporting research for reform,
  • Engage in the use of models and vignettes to demonstrate the practice of science,
  • Apply new knowledge to each participant’s own unique professional environment,
  • Build a plan of action for implementation.

Featured speakers will share their insights throughout the four-day Institute, and many differentiated breakout sessions provide smaller groups the ability to challenge the status quo and build a personal or team plan of action for implementation into their classrooms, schools, and districts. Breakout sessions will be facilitated by individuals who are on the NGSS writing teams and will offer first-hand knowledge of both the content and the intent of the standards. 

  • Lance Rougeux, Discovery Education, has been featured in thePhiladelphia Inquirer and was recently highlighted in The Emergency Teacher, a book about urban teaching which termed Lance "the best teacher in Philadelphia." Lance spearheaded many statewide initiatives including Keystones, a program recognized as a success story in the U.S. Department of Education's National Education Technology Plan, and eSPARC, a research endeavor called the "gold" standard of scientifically-based research by eSchool News.
  • Stephen L. Pruitt, PhD, Vice President, Content, Research and Development, Director of Science, Achieve. Pruitt is leading the development of the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Harold Pratt was President of NSTA in 2001–2002 and as Senior Program Officer at the National Research Council where he helped to develop the National Science Education Standards. He has co-authored or directed the development of three science textbooks and published numerous articles and book chapters. He is currently a science education consultant and serves as an advisor to NSTA on standards-related efforts.
  • Dr. Martin Storksdieck is director of the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council where he oversees a wide range of studies related to science education and science learning. His prior research focused on informal or free-choice learning, including learning science from media and connecting schools and out-of-school settings.
  • Sam Zigrossi works with education systems that partner with the Dana Center as well as providing direct client services to leaders in education. Previously, Zigrossi had a 29-year career with IBM holding positions such as education manager, personnel director, site services director, and education client executive. He represented IBM in its education outreach program, which donated over $1 million to school systems.

Visit www.nsta.org/pd/nsela for an agenda, biographies of the speakers, and to register for this outstanding opportunity.

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NAGB to Release 2011 Science NAEP Scores on May 10

This Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 10 a.m. EDT the National Assessment Governing Board will host a live webinar to release the results of the 2011 Science National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 8 th grade students.

During the webinar panelists will examine if overall scores have improved in two years since the 2009 NAEP Science assessment; how students are performing at the three NAEP achievement levels in science (Basic, Proficient, and Advanced);and if racial/ethnic achievement gaps still exist.

NAEP is known as the Nation’s Report Card and is considered by many to be the definitive barometer of student achievement. To register for the webinar, go to www.nagb.org/science2011.

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Two New Books for High School Educators

Consider adding these books to your PD library—each is filled with content, strategies, techniques, or hands-on lesson plans.  

You Want Me to Teach What?
Sure-Fire Methods for Teaching Physical Science and Math

You Want Me to Teach What? concentrates on general techniques for approaching a variety of problems and enhancing your teaching skills in science and math. It covers student psychology; classroom management; planning; instruction; problem-solving techniques; laboratory methods; and reporting, assessment, and professional development. Member Price: $19.96 | Nonmember Price: $24.95

EVO DVD and Teachers Guide
Ten Questions Everyone Should Ask About Evolution

The EVO DVD and teachers guide are structured around 10 fundamental questions about biological evolution. The teacher’s guide explores the DVD’s commentary from scientists who were interviewed about everything from what evolution is to how it happens to why anyone should care. The rigorously structured teachers guide helps you maximize the video with lesson-by-lesson learning outcomes; background; and guidance on preparing for and then leading the lesson—from initial student engagement through evaluation. Member Price: $28.76 | Nonmember Price: $35.95

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Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)—Mission 3 to the International Space Station

May 3, 2012
Time Critical: communities onboarding now for 2012–13 academic year

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, in partnership with NanoRacks, LLC, announces Mission 3 to the International Space Station. This opportunity gives students across a community the ability to design real experiments to fly in low Earth orbit on the Space Station. The program is open to students in grades 5–14.

Each participating community will be provided a real microgravity research mini-laboratory and all launch services to get it to the International Space Station and safely returned to Earth. An experiment design competition in Fall 2012 in each community (September 17 through November 9) allows student teams to design and write proposals for real experiments vying for their community's reserved experiment slot on the Space Station. Flight experiments are selected by December 7, 2012. Additional programming leverages the experiment design competition to engage the community, embracing a Learning Community Model for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

The flight of the payload to Space Station is expected in early April 2013, and a return to Earth in mid-May 2013, so that the entire Mission 3 program is contained in the 2012–13 academic year.

For more information, visit the SSEP website.

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Ethanol Rocks Video Contest

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is conducting a nationwide competition to promote the advantages of ethanol in motor vehicles. Corn ethanol replaces millions of gallons of imported foreign oil, burns more cleanly than traditional gasoline and has created tens of thousands of jobs across rural America. The NCGA “Ethanol Rocks” Video Contest invites high school and college students to produce a promotional video that highlights the benefits of this fuel. Two $1500 and two $500 awards will be presented. Contestants must read and agree to the Official Rules of the contest, upload the video to an unlisted YouTube site (directions on uploading are provided in the Guidelines), and complete the application for contest eligibility. The deadline is 5 p.m. CDT Monday, October 15, 2012. Visit the NCGA website for further details.

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Montana State University Opens Summer Online Courses for Science Teachers

Logo-National Teachers Enhancement NetworkMontana State University’s online graduate courses for science teachers are now open for summer registration. The courses are all part of MSU Extended University’s National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN).

Summer courses include “Plant Science,” "Environmental Measurement: Sensors & Electronics,"  "Teaching Adolescent Nutrition," and "Quantum Mechanics" among others in Earth science, microbiology, and more.

The courses offer MSU graduate credits to practicing elementary, middle, high school and community college teachers, and each course is 100 percent web-based. Courses offer between one and three MSU graduate credits. Courses begin in May and June. Teachers do not have to enroll in an MSU degree program in order to take the courses; however, courses can apply towards MSU's new graduate certificates in science teaching and the university's Masters of Science in Science Education degree.

Members of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) receive a discount on nearly all of the courses.

Register or read more about the courses at www.scienceteacher.org. If you have questions about registration, contact Margaret Worob in Extended University at (406) 994-7798 or (800) 435-1286 (toll-free); e-mail: distance@montana.edu.

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Science Kit

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

NSELA/NSTA Summer Leadership Institute

Learn more about NSTA e-newsletter sponsorships

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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 May featured book, Exemplary Science.

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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