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Week of September 24, 2012

Table of Contents

Cable in the Classroom

SciStarter Partners with NSTA on Citizen Science Projects

NSTA and SciStarterNSTA and SciStarter are partnering to connect teachers and their students to collaborative opportunities with scientists on cutting-edge research projects and informal science activities. Selected SciStarter citizen science projects now appear on the NSTA website each day connecting teachers with opportunities—ranging from analyzing distant galaxies to monitoring frog, firefly, or whale populations to detecting home and body microbiomes—so they and their students may communicate with researchers and learn about, participate in, and contribute to science in fun and engaging ways.

Look for the SciStarter widget in each of the NSTA grade band tabs—elementary, middle, high school, and college—and click through to see what citizen science is all about.

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Developing and Using Models is Topic of NSTA's Second Web Seminar on Practices in Preparation for NGSS—Graduate Credit Offered

NSTA’s second web seminar in a series of eight on the scientific and engineering practices described in A Framework for K–12 Science Education will be held this week on Tuesday, September 25, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Titled Developing and Using Models, the free online event led by Christina Schwarz and Cynthia Passmore will help educators learn

  • How modeling tools are used to develop questions, predictions, and explanations;
  • How students can analyze and identify flaws in systems and communicate ideas;
  • Methods where models are used to build and revise scientific explanations and proposed engineered systems; and
  • How measurements and observations are used to revise models and designs.

The hugely popular web seminars explore the eight practices described in the Framework published by the National Research Council (NRC). The Framework describes the major practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school and is being used to guide the development of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  Take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about these practices in advance of the release of NGSS and begin incorporating them into instruction now.

Attend all eight seminars or just one. Graduate credit is offered through Shippensburg University. Participants also have a chance to win a free copy of the Framework, compliments of NRC.

Save the date for the next web seminar—Planning and Carrying out Investigations—scheduled for October 9. If you missed the first seminar on asking questions and defining problems, the archived program awaits you here.

For more information and to register, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

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Lab Out Loud Kicks Off Season 6 with Olympic Science

As the school year begins, why not think back to the summer? Lab Out Loud kicks off its sixth season by talking with Senior Producer Mark Miano about NBC Learn’s “Science of the Summer Games.” NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, has been providing historic stories, images, and primary source documents available on-demand to teachers, students and parents. Join hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler as they talk to Mark about NBC Learn and all of its educational programming and lessons available for science educators.

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Advance Registration Deadline for NSTA's Conference on Science Education, Louisville, Kentucky, Extended to October 1

Alert! If teachers need help with their science instruction, NSTA has the resources to make a difference. Science educators tell us that our face-to-face conferences make a real difference in their classrooms and in student performance. Scheduled for October 18–20, your staff will find hands-on workshops, symposia, and inspiring presentations by top experts with a passion for science. K–16 science educators can count on new ideas, lesson plans, techniques, content and sessions on the issues: Common Core, the Next Generation Science Standards, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and how we can better prepare our students to compete in the global economy.

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.

Check out all the sessions using the browser/scheduler. Visit www.nsta.org/louisville to register today.

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Extend Your Professional Learning with Free Web Seminars

Developing a Competitive Application for the Shell Science Teaching Award—Find out how you can win $10,000 for your outstanding work as a science educator. September 26, 2012, 6:30–8 p.m. Eastern time

Engineering Design Challenge: Water Filtration—Log on and learn how to implement a NASA lesson that teaches high school students about the challenges surrounding space exploration. October 2, 2012, 6:30–8 p.m. Eastern time

Developing a Competitive Teacher Award Application—Join the chairperson of the NSTA Teacher Awards and Recognition Committee for tips on applying to win up to $10,000. October 3, 2012, 6:30–8 p.m. Eastern time

Density - Introducing a Free Online Resource for Middle School Chemistry—Middle school teachers won’t want to miss this next seminar in a series from the American Chemical Society. October 4, 2012, 6:30–8 p.m. Eastern time

Electromagnetic Spectrum: Remote Sensing Ices on Mars—Get strategies for guiding students as they use authentic NASA mission data to investigate ice on Mars. October 4, 2012, 7:30–9 p.m. Eastern time

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It's All About STEM

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is, and will continue to be, a hot topic in classrooms. Consider picking up these two NSTA books to help you engage your students in STEM challenges, projects, and experiments.

NEW! 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

STEM Student Research Handbook
Grades 9–12
This valuable handbook outlines the various stages of large-scale science research projects. With 12 chapters covering all aspects of the process, from design through presentation, it will embolden even teachers who have never designed an experiment on their own to support student-researchers.

Member Price: $23.96 | Nonmember Price: $29.95

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Find Southern Hospitality and Science Education in Atlanta

NSTA’s Conference on Science Education, Atlanta, is scheduled for November 1–3, and it’s just around the corner. Get the best professional development through hands-on workshops for content, practical sessions on strategies and techniques for reaching your students, and presenters with insight into the world of teaching for inspiration. This conference is for K–16 science educators and administrators who would like to enhance their skills, liven up their approach, and share a passion for science. Check out some of our featured sessions:

  • Kids and Nature—Reconnecting Youth to the Outdoors—David Mizejewski (Naturalist, Media Personality, Blogger, and Author, National Wildlife Federation)
  • Walking with Dinosaurs—Cary Woodruff (Paleontology Graduate Student, Montana State University)
  • The Current State of the Next Generation Science Standards—Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve)


  • Integrating the Dimensions at the Elementary Level: Practices, Concepts, and Core Ideas
  • Using the 5Es to Become Next Generation Ready
  • Integrating Math and Science Through Balloon Rockets and Graphs
  • Integrating Science and Common Core Literacy Standards in a Grade 1 Classroom
  • Inquiring Scientists, Inquiring Readers: Using Nonfiction to Promote Science Literacy, Grades 3–5


  • Reading and Writing Science Using Polymer Activities
  • Iteration in Engineering
  • Beyond Our Solar System with NASA's Education Resources
  • Addressing Core Science Standards Through Nanoscale Science for Grades 6–8
  • Achieving Environmental Literacy Through Community-based Investigations


  • Playing Games to Learn Complex Environmental Science Concepts
  • Marine Ecology, Human Impacts, and Conservation: A High School Ecology Unit from National Geographic
  • Creatively Conceptualizing the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology
  • Preparing for the Redesign: Using Student-designed Experiments in AP Biology
  • Professional Development via the Physics Teacher Resource Agent Program

Full-day programs, an Exhibit Hall to test new products, field trips and walking tours to points of interest, and Southern hospitality are all on the agenda. Visit www.nsta.org/atlanta to view more details and to register. October 5 is the advance deadline. Don’t miss it.

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New Climate Change Course with Wildlife Conservation Society's Online Teacher Academy

Our Changing Planet: Climate Change and Wildlife Connections is a new online course with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Online Teacher Academy during fall 2012. Offered at a special rate of $50, a $225 savings, this course explores the pressing environmental issue of climate change. Access free resources, based on cutting-edge science from WCS field experts, which will help you bring this topic to your students.

This fall course runs entirely online from October 19 to December 9, 2012:

Graduate credits are available for a reasonable additional fee (see “Registration Details” on www.wcs.org/elearning for more information).

Register at pd.wcs.org. Questions? E-mail teacherinfo@wcs.org or call +1-718-220-5136.

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Fisher Science Education

Lesley University

NSTA Conference in Louisville

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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 September featured book, Everyday Assessment in the Science Classroom.

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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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