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Week of August 6, 2012

Table of Contents

University of Texas-Arlington

NSTA Partners with the U.S. Army to Manage and Support Web-based STEM Competition for Students

NSTA and the United States Army have joined together to promote student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through a comprehensive education initiative. As announced today, NSTA will manage the U.S. Army’s eCYBERMISSION program, an online collaborative learning competition designed to inspire student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world challenges in their local communities. NSTA will also join the consortium of the Youth Science Cooperative Outreach Agreement (YSCOA), under the lead of Virginia Tech.

Through the program, now in its 11th year, teams of three to four students are asked to identify an issue in their community related to one of seven mission challenges. After selecting a mission challenge, teams—under the guidance of a team advisor—apply the scientific method/inquiry or engineering design process to propose a solution. Each team then submits a mission folder, the official write-up of their project. A panel of virtual judges evaluates and scores the mission folders on the basis of several criteria to identify winning teams. Teams have the opportunity to win state, regional, and national awards and the students on the four national winning teams can receive up to $8,000 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds.

The eCYBERMISSION competition is part of the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). The AEOP is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education competitions, internships, and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in STEM education.

Registration for the 2012-2013 competition is now open. To learn more about the program and to register, visit www.ecybermission.com or contact eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or via email at missioncontrol@ecybermission.com.

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Go Back to School this Year with NSTA

From now until August 20, NSTA is rolling its membership dues back to 2001 rates—saving you $10 on a regular individual membership (regularly $75, now only $65). Click here to get the details and use the discount to get either a new membership, renew your existing membership, or purchase a gift membership for the special science teacher in your life!

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August 2012: Take Part in Connected Educator Month

Online communities and learning networks are helping hundreds of thousands of educators learn, reducing isolation and providing “just in time” access to knowledge and opportunities for collaboration. Launched by the U.S. Department of Education, the Connected Educators initiative has set aside August as a month of opportunities, events, and activities in dozens of online locations to develop skills and enhance one’s personal learning network.

As a participant in Connected Educator Month, NSTA offers a close look at its electronic professional development portal, called the Learning Center, which helps thousands of teachers improve their competence in science subjects they are charged to teach.

By providing a suite of tools, resources, and opportunities for personal and professional growth, the Learning Center and its popular “communities of practice” support K–12 teacher learning from the preservice level and beyond. Learn more about NSTA’s Learning Center and read about the rich history of NSTA’s social media development in an interview with Al Byers, Assistant Executive Director of Government Partnerships and e-Learning at NSTA.

Educators at all levels can sign up for updates at connectededucators.org and get involved:

  • Webinars and other real-time events—many headlined by education, technology, and community leaders—that you can register to attend. See what NSTA’s Learning Center has planned.
  • Forums on key education and community issues in which you can participate.
  • Guided tours, open houses, launches, exhibits, collaborative projects, polls, and other special activities to take part in.
  • Contests you can enter, badges you can earn, plus other resources ranging from starter kits to book clubs and classes to help you join the world of connected education or become more connected.

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Be a Winner in the 2012 Shell Science Lab Challenge

Are you a science teacher succeeding in science lab instruction with minimal equipment? The Shell Science Lab Challenge offers you a chance to compete to win a school science lab makeover, valued at $20,000, by sharing your exemplary approach.  Invited to participate are middle and high school science teachers, grades 6–12, in the United States and Canada, with special attention paid to urban and underrepresented groups. Your task will be to illustrate replicable approaches to science lab instruction utilizing limited school and laboratory resources. Teachers and schools submitting top entries will receive additional laboratory tools, resources, and rich professional development opportunities.

Visit www.nsta.org/shellsciencelab today and begin working on your application. The deadline for entries is November 12, 2012.

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Teaching Students About Climate Change

It’s a long, hot summer and the perfect time to think about teaching your students about climate change. Climate Change From Pole to Pole: Biology Investigations offers timely, relevant, biology-based case studies and background information on how to teach the science of climate change. Six field-tested activities, which build on four content chapters, give students the opportunity to solve real-life scientific problems using guiding questions, graphs and data tables, short reading assignments, and independent research. Use this NSTA Press book to engage your students in science and environmental issues in a rigorous way. Read a sample chapter now: Now You “Sea” Ice, Now You Don’t.

August Online Special!
$15.96 - Member Price  $11.17 - Member Sale Price
$19.96 - Nonmember Price $13.97 - Nonmember Sale Price

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Be the Best Teacher You Can Be: Professional Development Conference on Science Education

NSTA's Conference on Science Education, Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 18–20, weds the best PD professionals at work with thousands of science educators interested in new learning, better teaching, fresh content, and strategies that build student performance. Test yourself, reach for the best you can be, and take advantage of nearly 400 session choices for teachers in every grade band and discipline.

Full-day, discipline-specific programs, field trips, cutting-edge products via the Exhibit Hall, and inspiring presenters and passionate science education peers offer a wide-ranging portfolio. Have a look at some selections below:

  • Featured speaker: Stephen L. Pruitt, Vice President for Content, Research, and Development at Achieve Inc., is leading the development of the Next Generation Science Standards and will present.
  • Engineering-enhanced Science, Inquiry, and Problem Solving, Christine M. Cunningham (founder and Director, Engineering is Elementary; and Vice President, Museum of Science).
  • Picture-Perfect Science Preconference Workshop: full day, Oct. 18—Learn how to integrate science and reading through children’s trade books. Consider this popular STEM-focused opportunity.

Elementary workshops:

  • Let's Give 'em Something to Talk (Write) About—Learn how to integrate science and writing
  • Using Data to Move the Common Core into Science Inquiry—Integrate math common core measurement and data standards into science investigations.
  • Cutting Across the Curriculum: Examining Lessons That Integrate Science, Literacy, and Mathematics
  • STEM Activities: Animal Pictures, WebQuest, Boat Constructions, and Pumpkingrams

Middle level workshops:

  • Teaching and Learning Biology Through Scientific Argumentation
  • Engaging English Language Learners and Striving Readers with Science Content and Skills Through Global Issues
  • NASA's HIAD Program: Engineering Design in Action
  • The Framework for Igniting Students' Interests in STEM Careers

High School level workshops:

  • STEM—Now or Never!
  • Daytime Astronomy with Robotic Telescopes
  • Using Formative Assessment Probes in High School Biology to Uncover Student Thinking About Genetics
  • Stoichiometry of Safe Water: Connect your studies of stoichiometry to water disinfection and purification and the essential chemistry-based careers needed to deliver clean water to families around the world.

Science—Everyone, Everyday!

Conference Strands:

Visit www.nsta.org/louisville for a complete schedule. The earlybird deadline is Sept. 7.

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Get Social with NSTA

Join your peers, learn something new, and share your expertise—NSTA’s social media channels have something for all science educators. On our main NSTA Facebook page you’ll find an eclectic science education mix—teaching tips, NSTA’s history, special sales, and even bowtie instructions from Bill Nye. Need to keep it strictly professional? Connect with us on LinkedIn. Twitter fans can find us @nsta. We’re following thought leaders and self-proclaimed science fanatics and keep you in the loop. It’s a virtual #nerdprom!

Looking for a more targeted interaction? We have journal Facebook pages (S&C, Scope, TST, JCST), an NSTA Press page, and one devoted to Outstanding Science Trade Books. If it seems like we’re a little biased toward readers, you’re right; integrating science and literacy is a big theme for us. Fellow Pintrest junkies, check out our new Pintrest boards—so far we have Science & Reading, NSTA Conferences on Science Education, Outdoor Science, Caught Our Eye, and Science Tools & Toys. Science education offers a visual feast, and we’re diving in.

#NotTooCoolForSchool? Read about #nerdproms here.

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Stipends Available for Climate Research Applications Online Course

Registration is now open for an online graduate course in Climate Research Applications. Students receive a $1,500 tuition stipend upon successful completion. The three-credit-hour course, offered through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, begins August 20.

Designed for science educators, the course uses climate-change issues to develop research questions and design a discrete, locally oriented research project aimed at potentially impacting decision-making in their community.

Credit earned in this course may be taken on its own, as transfer credit, or applied toward the university’s 36-credit-hour Master of Applied Science specialization in Science for Educators—a 100% online master’s degree program.

The online course was developed through a grant from the NASA Innovations in Climate Education program. Stipends available on a first-come basis.

Apply now at www.unl.edu/gradstudies/prospective/steps by clicking the “Non-degree, Post-baccalaureate” option.

For additional information, contact Dr. Russanne Low: rlow2@unl.edu.

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Science Kit

NSTA Conference-Louisville

Fuel for Thought-NSTA Press

Learn more about NSTA e-newsletter sponsorships

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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 August featured book, Climate Change From Pole to Pole: Biology Investigations.

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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