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Week of July 9, 2012

Table of Contents

NSTA Science Supply Guide

Is There a Science Gender Gap at Your School?

The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), released in May, found eighth grade boys scored 5% higher in science than their female counterparts. A study published in 2011 by the National Science Foundation revealed the gender gap expands at the highest education levels, with females making up only 30% of employed science, engineering, or health doctorates.

A number of programs have sought to boost the number of girls pursuing science-related careers. NSTA wants to know if you think there is a gender gap between male and female students interested in science and what, if anything, your school is doing to close the gap. Let us know what you think by taking this short survey.

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Highlights from the NSTA/NSELA Joint Summer Leadership Institute

Nearly 225 teachers, administrators, and curriculum supervisors convened in Austin, Texas, last month for the Summer Leadership Institute, cosponsored by NSTA and the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA). Read more »

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Two More States Receive Waivers to NCLB

On Friday, July 6, the Obama administration approved two additional states for flexibility from key provisions under the No Child Left Behind Act in exchange for state-based reforms in standards, accountability, and teaching. This brings the number of states that have been approved for NCLB waivers to 26. Also on Friday New York Times reporter Motoko Rich writes in his article "'No Child’ Law Whittled Down by White House."

“In just five months, the Obama administration has freed schools in more than half the nation from central provisions of the No Child Left Behind education law, raising the question of whether the decade-old federal program has been essentially nullified.”

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From the NSTA Calendar: Free Online Courses on Project-Based Learning

The Buck Institute for Education’s Project-Based Learning (PBL) University is offering a series of free online PBL courses. The next series of classes includes these:

  • How to Launch the Project (two weeks, beginning July 30)
  • How to Create a Project Calendar (two weeks, beginning August 13)
  • How to Manage the Project (two weeks, beginning August 27)
  • How to Assess Project Work (two weeks, beginning September 10)
  • How to Showcase Student Work (two weeks, beginning September 24)

Teachers who complete the entire series can then take a capstone class requiring them to actually do the project with students to obtain PBL certification. Visit the PBL University website to learn more and register. After July 23, teachers also may suggest ideas for other PBL projects and classes on the website.

If you haven’t yet registered for a summer professional development program, you still have time: Space may be available in some of the upcoming courses and workshops. Check the NSTA Calendar for more information.

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NSTA's Conference on Science Education: Learn–Discover–Explore

The first NSTA Area Conference on Science Education this fall will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 18–20. For science educators in every discipline and at every career level, this premier event provides topnotch professional development through presentations by nationally-known experts; hands-on workshops, full-day programs in biology, physics, chemistry and engineering; and an exhibit hall with the best and newest products and services available to test. Have a look at sample sessions.

  • Engineering Enhanced Science, Inquiry, and Problem Solving, Christine M. Cunningham (Founder and Director, Engineering is Elementary; and Vice President, Museum of Science)
  • How Models Define Science and Other Fields of Learning, Steven W. Gilbert (Author of Models-Based Science Teaching)
  • Updating the Development of the Next Generation Science Standards, Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research and Development, Achieve, Inc.)
  • Startastic Science—Activities covering characteristics of stars, light-years, and black holes using spectroscopy readings, cotton candy, magnets, and flashlights. Door prizes, too. (Middle–High)
  • STEM—Now or Never—Use of appropriate technology in the classroom makes STEM instruction the best means to integrate science, math, and engineering instruction. (Middle–High)
  • Using Formative Assessment Probes in High School Biology to Uncover Student Thinking About Genetics
  • Engaging English Language Learners and Striving Readers with Science Content and Skills Through Global Issues—Development of the sophisticated science and literacy skills needed to understand complex issues and communicate orally and in writing. (Middle–High)
  • Activities from Across the Earth System—Engage in multiple effective hands-on, inquiry-based activities that illustrate key concepts. (Elem–High)
  • Shine the Light on Inquiry Science—Investigate the mysteries of light using inquiry science lessons in which writing is used to formatively assess and support student understanding of content.
  • Save Our Science—Integrating Across the Curriculum (Elementary)
  • Using Data to Move the Common Core into Science Inquiry (Elementary)

Additional activities: networking, field trips, and issue-specific sessions on STEM and the Next Generation Science Standards provide for a comprehensive getaway on science education. Professional development is not a luxury. Register by the earlybird deadline, Sept. 7, to save the most. Visit www.nsta.org/louisville for more information.

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Explore Science Outdoors with NSTA Press Books

K–12 Educators: Consider adding these new books to your professional development library—each is filled with content, strategies, techniques, or hands-on lesson plans.  

Bringing Outdoor Science In
Thrifty Classroom Lessons
Grades K–8

Clearly organized and easy to use, this helpful guide contains more than 50 science lessons. All lessons include objectives, materials lists, procedures, reproducible data sheets, ideas for adapting to different grade levels, and much more. By using Steve Rich’s follow-up to his popular book Outdoor Science: A Practical Guide, you can introduce students to everything from bug zoos to the Sun and stars without ever needing to put on a jacket. Member price:$20.76 | Nonmember price: $25.95

Buzz Into Action
The Insect Curriculum Guide for Grades K–4

This cross-disciplinary guide introduces children to the joy of insects through investigations that involve scientific inquiry and knowledge building rather than memorization. You can put the 20 hands-on lessons to work individually or as a curriculum, in the field or in the classroom. Member price:$19.16 | Nonmember price: $23.95

Connecting With Nature: A Naturalist's Perspective
Grades K–12

Thought-provoking and charming, Connecting With Nature offers advice on performing accurate observations and field reports and understanding natural selection, along with an array of activities to capture the attention of students of all ages—from imitating animal sounds, to tracking animals, to creating a school garden, to photographing birds. Member price:$19.96 | Nonmember price: $24.95

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NSTA Press-This Is Your Brain

NSTA Press-You Want Me to Teach What?

NSTA Press_Teaching Science Through Tradebooks

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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 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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