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Week of August 13, 2012

Table of Contents

NSTA Conference-Louisville

NSTA Legislative Update: A Short-term Budget and the Threat of "Sequestration"

House and Senate leaders have agreed to a short-term spending bill for FY2013 that will keep the federal government funded until March (and avert a showdown on federal spending until after the election); and everything you need to know about sequestration, the across-the-board cuts to defense and domestic federal programs that may kick in this January. Read all about it in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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NSTA Mourns the Passing of Sylvia Shugrue

NSTA notes with sadness the recent passing of life member Sylvia Shugrue at the age of 98. Sylvia served as NSTA president in 1976–77 (she was the first elementary-level teacher elected to that post) and remained a remarkably active member of the association in the many years after she retired from classroom teaching. Sylvia will continue to be remembered through NSTA's Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary Teachers.

In 2002 Sylvia received NSTA’s highest honor, the Robert Carleton Award. Click here to read the NSTA Reports article commemorating her achievements.

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Exclusive New NSTA Member Benefit

What science topics are you so passionate about that they compel you to teach certain things in certain ways? Now NSTA has a new member benefit to provide you content that will help you do just that. We’re pleased to be able to offer all current NSTA members a very significant discount on Discover Magazine—both the print and digital editions—available only to you. Subscribe for one year to either the print or digital edition and pay only $10 for each, or, choose both and pay only $15. That’s an enormous (nearly 67%) discount off of the regular subscription rates, and still only half of the current best “off the street” discount of $19.95.

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NSTA Seeks Executive Director

The National Science Teachers Association is seeking an established leader in science education to lead the organization in the coming years. The ideal candidate should be a visionary, with strong leadership skills, experience in nonprofit management and fundraising. If you (or someone you know) have the qualifications and are interested in leading a widely respected organization that will play a critical leadership role in science education and science literacy, please visit the NSTA website. Applications for the position will be accepted until the end of August.

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SciAm Pushes for Adoption of Higher Standards for Science Education

“Teachers, scientists and policymakers have drafted ambitious new education standards. All 50 states should adopt them”—thus begins the article "U.S. Should Adopt Higher Standards for Science Education" in the August issue of Scientific American magazine. The article highlights the importance of quality standards and the process taken—to date—to develop the Next Generation Science Standards.

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NRC and NAE Release Report on Community Colleges and STEM

The National Research Council (NRC) and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) have released a new report, Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit. Community colleges are essential in accommodating growing numbers of students and in retraining displaced workers in skills needed in the new economy. Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit looks at the changing and evolving relationships between community colleges and four-year institutions, with a focus on partnerships and articulation processes that can facilitate student success in STEM; expanding participation of students from historically underrepresented populations in undergraduate STEM education; and how subjects, such as mathematics, can serve as gateways or barriers to college completion. This report is based on a national summit that was supported by the National Science Foundation and organized by the NRC and the NAE.

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STEM Sessions, Dynamic Speakers, and Hands-on Workshops Await You in Atlanta This Fall

Are you tired of using the same lessons? In a rut and need a fresh viewpoint? Consider attending NSTA's Conference on Science Education in Atlanta, Nov. 1–3. Teachers and administrators can count on thousands of peers attending for personal and professional growth.

Through dynamic speakers and leading PD experts, you'll find rich resources and inspiration to take back to your school or district. Don’t miss David Mizejewski (naturalist, media personality, blogger, and author) presenting Kids and Nature—Reconnecting Youth to the Outdoors.

Discipline-specific day programs and hands-on workshops offer content development, strategies and techniques for better student performance, and improved science literacy. The strands include Providing Access for All Students to the Science in STEM, Effective and Engaging K–8 Science, and No Student or Teacher Left Inside.


  • Integrating the Dimensions at the Elementary Level: Practices, Concepts, and Core Ideas
  • Excite Elementary Students with Science Olympiad
  • Connecting Science Across the Elementary Curriculum
  • Using the 5Es to Become Next-Generation Ready


  • Addressing Core Science Standards Through Nanoscale Science for Grades 6–8
  • Linking Language to Learning
  • Promoting Scientific Literacy Through the Use of Novels
  • Using Interactive Science Notebooks in the Middle School Classroom

High School

  • Let's Get Helical: Exploring DNA Structure/Function with Interactive Physical Models
  • STEM—Now or Never!
  • Cyberlearning: Bringing the Science Classroom Closer to STEM
  • Iteration in Engineering

Click here for more information or to register.

Earlybird deadline is September 14. Don’t wait—register today!

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Information, Interaction, and Inspiration: Find it at NSTA’s Conference on Science Education, Louisville

Build your knowledge and your network Oct. 18–20 in Louisville, KY. Science educators will meet to participate in an academic getaway with more than 400 sessions, presentations, and discipline-specific full day programs. Teachers and administrators from preservice level to veterans are invited to bring their passion for science education. Topnotch professional development, interesting field trips, an Exhibitor’s Hall, and social events for meeting and sharing shouldn’t be missed. Strands include Everyday Connections: Science Across the Curriculum, Everyday Applications: Putting STEM to Work, and Everyday Innovations: Creativity and Problem Solving with Science.

Have a look at some scheduled sessions:

Featured Presentations:

A Theory of Everything: How Models Define Science and Other Fields of Learning by Steven W. Gilbert, author of Models-Based Science Teaching, Bloomington, Indiana

Product Design and Robots Applied to Health Care Problems: A Recipe for Joy and Passion for K–12 Science and Engineering Education? Michelle J. Johnson, Associate Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical College of Wisconsin; and Research Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Marquette University


  • Put the "E" in STEM Using Lessons You May Already Have! Real-World Applications to Science Are Everywhere
  • Learning Progression for Force and Motion K–8
  • Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's Challenges Through Creative Problem Solving
  • The Framework for Igniting Students' Interests in STEM Careers
  • EiE I Know … I Can Be an Engineer … EiE I Know


  • Teaching and Learning Biology Through Scientific Argumentation
  • STEM—Now or Never
  • Making the Burning of Coal Visible to Students
  • Engaging English Language Learners and Striving Readers with Science Content and Skills Through Global Issues
  • Integrating Theater Arts Through Color Mixing with Light


  • Using Inquiry to Teach Plate Tectonics
  • Best Practices: Modeling Scientific Phenomena in AP and General Biology
  • Developing Skepticism as an Essential Strategy for Science
  • Equilibrium and Energy
  • Is It (Carolina) Gold? The Intersection of Genetics and American History; explore a cross-curricular lesson collection full of data-rich exercises.

Visit www.nsta.org/louisville for more information. The earlybird deadline is Sep. 7.

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NSTA Press-Teaching Science Through Tradebooks

NSTA Press-Everyday Engineering

NSTA Press-Front Page Science

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 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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