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Week of July 2, 2012

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NSTA Fall Conferences on Science Education Inspire and Energize Teachers

Whether you’re at the beach, the mountains, or relaxing at home this summer, it’s the perfect time to consider one of NSTA’s fall conferences. Science teachers and administrators attend our professional development events to polish their skills, learn new strategies and classroom techniques, develop new content knowledge, and get inspired by peers and the experts. Educators at every career level, from the novice to the experienced, and in every discipline, are invited to attend. Three 2012 conferences are scheduled:

Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 18–20
Atlanta, Georgia, Nov. 1–3
Phoenix, Arizona, Dec. 6–8

Have a look at some of the terrific presentations planned:

  • Updating the Development of the Next Generation Science Standards, Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research and Development, Achieve, Inc.)
  • Engineering Enhanced Science, Inquiry, and Problem Solving, Christine M. Cunningham (Founder and Director, Engineering is Elementary; and Vice President, Museum of Science: Boston)
  • A Theory of Everything: How Models Define Science and Other Fields of Learning, Steven W. Gilbert (Author of Models-Based Science Teaching)
  • Walking with Dinosaurs, Cary Woodruff (Paleontology Graduate Student, Montana State University)
  • The Power of One, Brad Cohen (Educator, Author, and Motivational Speaker, Brad Cohen Tourette Foundation, Inc.)
  • Build the Scaffolding for Inquiry at K–8, Karen L. Ostlund (NSTA President)
  • Leadership Lessons from Apollo to Discovery, Col. Eileen Collins (First Woman to Pilot and Command an American Spacecraft)
  • STEM Curriculum—Moving Beyond the Acronym into Classroom Practice, Jo Anne Vasquez (Vice President and Program Director, Arizona Transition Years, Teacher and Curriculum STEM Initiatives, Helios Education Foundation: Phoenix)
  • Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future, James J. Elser (Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Universidad de Comahue: Bariloche, Argentina; Regents Professor and Parents Association Professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Science; and Distinguished Sustainability Scientist, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University)

For details on sessions, speakers, full-day programs, social events, and field trips at each conference location, visit www.nsta.org/conferences and review the session browser.

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Join the Science and Children Team!

Science and Children, NSTA's peer-reviewed journal for elementary teachers, is seeking manuscript reviewers. Reviewers are vital to the journal's production. We rely on our review panel to evaluate submissions and help us craft them into the articles you see in each issue. You need not be an expert writer-what we need is your classroom and content expertise. Our online manuscript submission and review system allows you to indicate your comfort zone (e.g., assessment, physical science, inquiry skills, etc.), and we will assign you manuscripts accordingly. You can even let us know when you are too busy to review. Being a member of the review panel is a great professional development experience—not only do you get previews of the articles coming to S&C, you help create them!

If you are interested in volunteering for this panel, please contact Editor Linda Froschauer at fro2@mac.com (include your CV).

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Battelle Launches STEMx

Network of State-Based Groups Will Focus on STEM Reforms

Last week Battelle and 13 state STEM education networks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington launched STEMx. Each of these states have created a state STEM network, a collection of stakeholders from K–12, the business community, higher education, philanthropy, and government, to bring about change and strengthen the STEM education in their state.  STEMx will work to connect these state networks and partners to accelerate the growth of policies, practices, and partnerships that are needed to help STEM teaching and learning. Read more about the state networks and STEMx at www.stemx.us.

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2012–2013 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy Application Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit applications for the 2012–2013 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy has been extended to August 24, 2012. Science teachers located throughout the country, who will be entering their second or third year of teaching and whose schedule is a minimum of 51 percent middle or high school science, are encouraged to apply. Hundreds of new science teachers will be awarded a place in the Academy.

NSTA Fellows chosen for the program receive a comprehensive membership package, online mentoring with trained mentors who teach in the same discipline, and the opportunity to participate in a variety of web-based professional development activities, including web seminars. In addition, each NSTA Fellow receives financial support to attend and participate in NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education, taking place in San Antonio, April 11–14, 2013.

For more information about the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy or to learn how to apply to become a fellow, please visit www.nsta.org/academy. Applications must be submitted no later than August 24, 2012, to be considered.

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Department of Transportation to Recognize Student Achievement in Aerospace/Aviation

The Department of Transportation is seeking nominations for the Secretary's RAISE (Recognizing Aviation and Aerospace Innovation in Science & Engineering) Award. The 2012 RAISE Award will be presented to a high school, college, or graduate student for an extraordinary achievement that has a significantly innovative impact on the future aerospace/aviation environment. Nominations are open through July 26; the Department of Transportation will announce the selection in October. The full announcement and application details are available at www.challenge.gov.

For more information contact Dr. Patricia Watts, FAA Centers of Excellence Program Office, (609) 485-5043 or e-mail patricia.watts@faa.gov with questions.

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Can Your Students Tell the Difference Between a Planet and a Star?

What do students know—or think they know—about what causes night and day, why days are shorter in winter, and how to tell a planet from a star? Teachers can find out with the latest installment, in the award-winning Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series. The 45 new formative assessment probes found in Uncovering Student Ideas in Astronomy are dedicated exclusively to astronomy concepts and adaptable at all grade levels. The probes will pique students’ interest while helping teachers evaluate their classes’ understanding of how the universe operates. They can then adjust their teaching accordingly.

As the authors note in their Introduction, “Teachers cannot ‘fix’ misconceptions. However, by using formative assessment to thoughtfully link assessment, instruction, and learning, you can create a path that moves students from where they are to where they need to be scientifically.” Applying this powerful set of tools to really uncover students’ current thinking is an excellent first step for all teachers who want to increase students’ understanding of astronomy.

Visit the NSTA Science Store to download a chapter. Member price: $29.56 | Nonmember price: $36.95

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Science Kit

Everyday Science Sourcebook-NSTA Press

This is Your Brain-NSTA Press

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 July featured book, Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene!

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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