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Week of August 20, 2012

Table of Contents

NSTA Conference-Louisville

STEM Competition for High School Students

Siemens Foundation, in partnership with the College Board, is sponsoring the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, which recognizes remarkable talent early on, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research. Through this competition, students have an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school. Students or teams of students can enter to win scholarships of up to $100,000 for their work. Registration is open. Visit the College Board website for more information. The deadline for project submission is Monday, October 1, 2012, at 5:00 pm EST.

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What's a "Normal" Class Load?

A recent discussion on the NSTA e-mail lists inspired this month’s survey. After receiving her class schedule for the year, one teacher wanted to know what others consider to be a “normal” load. There was lot of variety (and emotion) expressed in the responses. What’s a normal class load for your school? Take this NSTA survey and share your view!

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Discover NSTA's Conference on Science Education: Louisville

Discover over 400 sessions, field trips, workshops, and full day programs devoted to educators that will bring inspiration and enhanced learning to build performance in the classroom.

Covering major topics such as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), STEM, and ELL, thousands of educators will join the discussion in Louisville this fall, October 18–20.

Check out these sample sessions:

  • Integrating the Dimensions at the Elementary Level: Practices, Concepts, and Core Ideas
  • SOS: Save Our Science—Integrating Across the Curriculum (Elem)
  • Literature to Engage Early Childhood Learners for Science (Elem)
  • Inquiring Minds Provide Spark for Science Lessons (Elem–Middle)
  • Help! Putting Literacy into Science (Elem–Middle)
  • Iteration in Engineering (Middle–High)
  • Promoting Scientific Literacy Through the Use of Novels (Middle–High)
  • STEM—Now or Never! (Middle–High)
  • Creating a Digital Strategy for STEM (Middle–High)
  • A Simple Connection Between STEM and Data Logging (High)
  • STEM: The Game Changer in Science Lab Design (High)
  • Solving the Mystery of STEM Using Forensic Science (High)

Visit www.nsta.org/louisville for more information and to register. Earlybird Deadline is September 7.

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National Assessment Governing Board Seeks New Board Members

The National Assessment Governing Board—an independent, bipartisan board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card—is seeking nominations of qualified individuals to serve on the Board. Governing Board members play an important role in determining how the United States measures student achievement, lending their unique perspectives to the national conversation on education.

This is a crucial time for U.S. education. New Governing Board members will help lead several groundbreaking efforts, including research studies on students’ academic preparedness for college and job training, parent engagement initiatives, innovative computer-based assessments, and studies linking NAEP with the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

For 2013, the Governing Board seeks nominations for five positions in these four categories:

  • Elementary school principal
  • Testing and measurement expert
  • Democratic state legislator*
  • General public representative (2 positions)

*The Board also has a Republican state legislator among its members.

The four-year term for new Governing Board members begins October 1, 2013. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2012. More information about the nominations process can be found at www.nagb.org/nominations2013.

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Sneak Peeks from NSTA Press

Take advantage of special pricing on these new books even before they come off press. Order your copies now and receive 15% off listed prices by using the promocode PREPUB. Offer is valid until Tuesday, August 21.

Looking for exciting STEM design challenges and activities to inspire students? In need of up-to-date safety guidelines for your classroom? Get ideas on these hot topics and much more.

Integrating Engineering and Science in Your Classroom
Grades K–12
Next time you need an engaging STEM activity, you'll be glad you have this collection to help you blend meaningful and memorable experiences into your lessons. Its 30 chapters features STEM lessons and design challenges that involve everything from light sabers and egg racers to prosthetic arms and potatoes. These activities reinforce important science content while illustrating a range of STEM skills.  As Editor Eric Brunsell promises, "By exposing students to authentic engineering activities, you can help students uncover the profession that makes the world work."

Member Price: $23.96 | Nonmember Price: $29.95

The NSTA Ready-Reference Guide to Safer Science, Volume 2
Grades K–12
The new volume includes topics such as general safety practices; legal issues, including negligence and liability; more than 40 teacher questions on everything from acrylic nails to latex goggles to ventilation; and helpful safety-related NSTA position papers and internet resources.  Safe science is a daily requirement for every teacher in every science classroom and laboratory. As easy to read as it is practical, this new volume is full of safety information, anecdotes, and advisories you can use every day.

Member Price: $17.56 | Nonmember Price: $21.95

Exemplary Science for Building Interest in STEM Careers
Grades K–12
The newest book in the Exemplary Science series provides examples and inspiration to steer students to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. This book explores a large number of STEM career areas; including scientists, engineers, inventors, and education reformers. Many of the authors have enlisted the help of business and industry representatives, emphasizing the more current view of what science is and the importance of collaborative learning. This book will help you engage students in resolving problems and issues using their own ideas and problem-solving techniques.

Member Price: $23.96 | Nonmember Price: $29.95

To pre-order your copies today, visit www.nsta.org/store.

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Connected Educator Month—August

Did you hear about Connected Educator Month? It’s a celebration of online communities and learning networks that help hundreds of thousands of educators learn, reducing isolation and providing “just in time” access to knowledge and opportunities for collaboration. Explore the opportunities, events, and activities available to you in dozens of online locations to develop skills and enhance one’s personal learning network.

Since NSTA is participating, you can look at its electronic professional development portal, called the Learning Center, which provides thousands of teachers with the ability to improve their knowledge in science subjects they are charged to teach.

A suite of tools, resources, and opportunities can be accessed through the Learning Center as well as the very popular “communities of practice.” Visit the NSTA Learning Center to meet other online teachers and to take advantage of “being connected.”

You are also invited to visit the Connected Educators website 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.

Here are just a few of the activities available at connectededucators.org. Get involved.

  • Webinars and other real-time events—many headlined by education, technology, and community leaders—that you can register to attend.
  • 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.

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Win a Round-trip Southwest Airline Award to Any 2012 NSTA Area Conference on Science Education

  • Louisville, Kentucky: October 18–20
  • Atlanta, Georgia: November 1–3
  • Phoenix, Arizona: December 6-8

Sponsored by Southwest Airlines, teachers can compete for one of 27 round-trip airline tickets by writing an essay on what you are most interested in learning at an NSTA conference in approximately 150 words. Be sure to include your name, school, address, e-mail, and phone number along with your essay and send it to swtravelscholarship@nsta.org. Your entry must be received by 5:00 p.m., September 14, 2012. Winners will be notified September 21, 2012.

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Upcoming Events from the Connected Learning Coalition

To celebrate Connected Educator Month, the Connected Learning Coalition is hosting two online events open to the public.

Connected Learning—A Foundation for Transforming K–12 Education: Live Chat
August 27, 1:00 p.m. ET

At this live chat the executive directors of the coalition's participating associations will explain the coalition's Principles and answer questions about what this means as a foundation for transforming K–12 education. In the coming days, short videos (2–3 min.) on each principle will be posted. You are invited to view these videos in advance and come to the online, live chat with any questions and comments.

Connected Learning across Subjects and Roles with Formative Data
Thursday, August 30, 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET

Instead of operating in silos, educators across disciplines and in different roles in schools must collaborate. The principles of the Connected Learning Coalition, composed of six large professional associations, unite all the Coalition's members in supporting teaching and learning. We believe a formative assessment process assures that educators use during assessment their own expertise and knowledge of their students. The current obsession with summative evaluation thwarts rather than helps student learning and school improvement.

This webinar highlights formative assessment in regard to educator teams, analysis of data, uses of technology across content areas, and development of critical technology, culture, and professional learning.


To participate in this interactive web conference:

For more information, visit the Connected Learning Coalition website.

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NTEN Opens Fall Online Courses for Science Teachers

NTEN logoMontana State University’s online graduate courses for science teachers are now open for fall registration. The courses are all part of MSU’s National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN).

Fall courses include "Teaching Evolution," "Geology of the Moon," "The 12 Principles of Soil Science" and "Special Relativity" among others in biology, Earth science, physics and more.

The courses offer MSU graduate credits to practicing elementary, middle, high school and community college teachers, and each course is 100 percent Web-based. Courses offer between one and three MSU graduate credits, and the first course begins September 4. Other courses begin throughout the fall. Teachers do not have to enroll in an MSU degree program in order to take the courses; however, courses can apply towards MSU's new graduate certificates in science teaching and the university's Master's of Science in Science Education degree.

Members of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) receive a discount on many of the courses.

Register or read more about the courses at eu.montana.edu/NTEN. If you have questions about registration, contact Margaret Worob in Extended University at (406) 994-7798 or (800) 435-1286 (toll-free); e-mail: distance@montana.edu.

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Rise and Shine-NSTA Press

NSTA Conference in Atlanta

EVO Teachers Guide-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 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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