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Week of May 14, 2012

Table of Contents

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

First Public Draft of Next Generation Science Standards Released—Comment Period Open Until June 1

Description: NGSS logoThe first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released on May 11 and will be online for public comment until June 1.

Register now for two FREE web seminars on Tuesday, May 15, and Wednesday, May 16, to learn more about the NGSS:

  • Introduction to the NGSS Public Draft: Tuesday, May 15, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET, Stephen Pruitt, Vice President for Content, Research and Development at Achieve, will provide an introduction to the NGSS draft and answer your questions.
  • How to Lead a Study Group on NGSS Draft: On Wednesday, May 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET, three top NSTA officials—Harold Pratt, Gerry Wheeler, and Ted Willard—will lead an in-depth webinar to help you develop and/or lead a group to review the draft NGSS.

Let NSTA be your guide to the Next Generation Science Standards—

Access the vast variety of NSTA resources and materials on NGSS (including background information) and the FREE NSTA Reader’s Guide to A Framework for K–12 Science Education, an important companion to the Framework that will help science educators prepare for the standards. Visit NSTA’s Next Generation Science Standards Forums in the NSTA Learning Center or sign up today for the comprehensive NSELA/NSTA Summer Leadership Institute, which will focus on NGSS, scheduled for June 24–28, 2012, in Austin, Texas.

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U.S. Students Show Slight Improvement on Science Test—No Cause for Optimism, Says NSTA

The science results of the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card, were released last week by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). The results showed that the average eighth-grade science score rose from 150 in 2009 to 152 in 2011, a small increase, but still far below 170, which is considered science proficiency on the test’s 300-point scale.

The NAEP data also revealed that score gaps between white and black students and between white and Hispanic students narrowed slightly from 2009 to 2011. In comparison to 2009, average science scores in 2011 were one point higher for white students, three points higher for black students, and five points higher for Hispanic students.

NAEP tested a nationally representative sample of 122,000 students in 8th grade from 7,290 public and private schools. Among the 47 states that chose to participate in both years, scores were only higher in 16 states—Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

According to NSTA's Interim Executive Director Dr. Gerry Wheeler, “There is no cause for optimism regarding the science results of the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Overall, the results show miniscule gains in student achievement. The majority of our eighth-grade students still fall below the proficiency level … When you consider the importance of being scientifically literate in today’s global economy, these scores are simply unacceptable.”

Click here to read NSTA’s official statement regarding the science results of the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress.

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2012 Summer Leadership Institute

June 24–28, 2012
Austin, Texas

Grab an academic getaway to learn the most about the Next Generation Science Standards. 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 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, determine key features of each, noting comparisons, contrasts, and shifts in focus.

Participants will 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, and apply new knowledge to their own unique professional environment.

Highlights include nationally renowned science leaders who will share their insights throughout the four-day Institute. Lance Rougeux, Discovery Education; Stephen Pruitt, Achieve Inc.; Martin Storksdieck, National Research Council; Harold Pratt, Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh; and Dana Center program director Sam Zigrossi comprise the list of presenters. Most of these outstanding leaders will be available for discussion and questions from attendees throughout the meeting. This unique experience offers professional development immersion into the new standards, a topic that will impact your teaching and learning in a new way. For more about the speakers and plans for this event, visit www.nsta.org/pd/nsela.

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NSTA's Strand: Mobile Learning to Support Science Education at ISTE 2012 Conference, San Diego

Educators interested in learning how to use technology effectively in their instruction should consider attending ISTE’s Annual Conference and Exposition in San Diego, California. NSTA will support the conference with a full day of presentations and discussion on Wednesday, June 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Led by experts in the field, these sessions offer wide-ranging learning for attendees.

  • Developing Large Scale Effective Teacher Learning Communities at NSTA- overview of the online learning community and the research and findings that document impact, growth and efficacy. We will examine learner-content and leaner-learner community opportunities such as diagnosing learning needs, aggregating resources, sharing collections, and completing self-directed experiences in community with others.
  • How Immersion in Mobile-Enabled Augmented Realities Helps Students Learn-Learn how augmented reality and mobile broadband technologies may enhance student learning. View demonstrations along with photos and videos. Lessons about designing effective augmented reality experiences will be shared with resources for teachers to get involved in creating their own augmented reality experiences for their students.
  • Free STEM Resources for Mobile and Desktop Devices from the Concord Consortium Collection-Learn to use hundreds of free activities developed by the Concord Consortium for grades 3-14 that integrate probes and models, including the award-winning Molecular Workbench.
  • Science Education and Mobile Technologies: A Very Happy Marriage- Learning science by doing science is the Holy Grail. Mobile technologies with suitable software makes possible the doing of science, outside/inside the classroom.
  • Poster Session: The NSTA Learning Center: An Effective Blended e-Professional Development Solution- Hear about advantages and lessons learned via this e-PD model, examining learner usage and preference data and how this model is best achieved when integrated as part of a coherent long-term blended PD solution at the state and district level.

Visit the NSTA Learning Center for more details.

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Elementary and Middle School Educators in Urban Districts Invited to 2012 Urban Science Education Leaders (USEL) Academy

Kick off the summer with a unique PD opportunity. Teachers and teams of educators will meet in Austin, Texas, July 15–20, to attend the 2012 USEL Academy.

Participants at the Academy will:

  • Establish a distributed leadership model to guide a district plan
  • Create/modify a district strategic plan to improve science education
  • Advance best practices in your district
  • Develop as experienced practitioners to lead science improvement
  • Positively affect student achievement

Renowned educator Anne Tweed, retired NSTA president, consultant for MCREL, and author of Designing Effective Science Instruction will facilitate along with Larry Bell, veteran educator and author of 12 Powerful Words That Increase Test Scores and Help Close the Achievement Gap. CEO Vanessa Westbrook, Westbrook Consulting, veteran elementary teacher, and participating team writer of the Next Generation Science Standards will attend to discuss the impact of the new standards on current science curriculum and share strategies for aligning them to your current district science plan.

Registration requires teams of five educators to attend— one district science coordinator/supervisor, one building administrator (principal or assistant principal), and three classroom teachers bringing heart, mind, and a passion for learning and teaching science. Individual teachers are also invited to attend.

Apply early for a limited number of scholarships.  Fees: $6,000 for an Academy team or $1200 for an individual. Registration, program materials, up to five nights of lodging, and continental breakfast and lunch on full program days is included.

Visit www.nsta.org/2012usel for more information and to apply.

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Win a Professional Development Scholarship—Apply by July 1

Special experiences for second- or third-year secondary science teachers can be found through the New Science Teachers Academy, a year-long professional development and mentoring program that offers unique support and resources. 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 educational experiences. Simply apply and take control of your career.

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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Special Prices on Select Books Expire May 15 (Tomorrow!)

Act now to save 10% off these new NSTA Press books coming off press in the next several weeks: Teaching Science Through Trade Books (K–6), Rise and Shine: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Science Teacher (K–12); The Everyday Science Sourcebook: Ideas for Teaching in Elementary and Middle School (K–8); and This Is Your Brain: Teaching About Neuroscience and Addiction Research (6–8). Be sure to enter promo code PREPUBMAY when placing your order through the online Science Store to receive the 10% discount off the regular prices.

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Frey Scientific

Success Academy Charter Schools

NSELA/NSTA Summer Leadership Institute

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 renewselect 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 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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