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Week of October 1, 2012

Table of Contents

Delta Education

Join NSTA TweetChat on NGSS

Do you have questions about the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards? Wondering about the timeline for development and what you can do now to prepare? Wish you had one, simple, go-to place to get all your answers? We’re here to help! Join us on Thursday, October 4, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. EST for a tweet chat at #nstachat on Twitter. Our resident expert Ted Willard will be on hand, along with other staff members, to answer questions and point you to the latest information on the Next Generation Science Standards. Click here for information on how to participate. And yes, there really is one, simple, go-to place where we put all the NGSS information together. Click here!

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NSTA Offers Condolences on the Passing of Past President Dr. Emma Walton

NSTA expresses its sorrow over the passing of Dr. Emma Walton, 79, who, at the time of her death, worked as a science education consultant for NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project at the space agency’s Ames Research Center and served as the Association’s president from 1999 to 2000. Walton died last Saturday due to complications from a stroke.

Walton’s commitment to the education field spanned more than four decades. She began her career as a high school biology teacher in Metairie, Louisiana. After 10 years as a science teacher, she moved to administrative positions in education and taught as an adjunct instructor for several universities. An NSTA member since 1974, Walton also contributed extensively to the Association. In addition to her tenure as president, she served as a division director; presented many sessions at conferences; co-chaired the 1986 area conference in Anchorage; and worked on a number of committees, advisory boards, judging panels, and task forces.

“Emma had an enduring impact on NSTA and the greater science education community,” said Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Interim Executive Director. “She was a passionate and enthusiastic science educator whose dedication to the improvement and enhancement of science education helped hundreds of students and teachers nationwide. She will be deeply missed.”

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Energize Your Teaching and Enhance Your Skills: Conference on Science Education, Louisville, Kentucky

Bring your passion for science education to Louisville, Kentucky, this fall to participate with thousands of science educators, K–12, in topnotch professional development workshops, seminars,  and symposia for hands-on teaching skills, content knowledge, strategies for better assessment, inquiry-based lesson plans and a whole lot more. You’ll find nearly 400 sessions for the novice teacher to the more experienced, and for those in every science discipline. Attend NSTA’s regional Conference on Science Education scheduled for October 18–20. See some varied opportunities to stimulate your mind and inspire your teaching.

  • Flight of the Monarch Butterflies—View the latest IMAX film Flight of the Butterflies and engage in classroom activities focused on the monarchs’ amazing migration across North America, as well as their habitats and life cycle. Each participant will receive a $75 stipend for attendance. (K–12)
  • Literature to Engage Early Childhood Learners for Science
  • Problem Finding and Problem Solving in the New AP Chemistry Course (High School–College)
  • Connecting with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts and Literacy (Middle–High)
  • Teaching Problem-Solving Strategies in the Elementary Classroom: Helping Students See the Interconnectedness of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Differentiating K–6 Science Instruction to Enable All Students to Inquire, Explore, Participate, and Achieve Success
  • Teaching and Learning Biology Through Scientific Argumentation (Middle–High School)
  • Daytime Astronomy with Robotic Telescopes (Middle–College)
  • Engaging English Language Learners and Striving Readers with Science Content and Skills Through Global Issues (Middle–High School)
  • Need for Adaptation: Using Formative Assessment Probes in High School Biology to Uncover Student Thinking About Genetics (High School)
  • Developing Skepticism as an Essential Strategy for Science (Middle–High)
  • Field trip: Growing STEM in the Outdoor Classroom—STEM activities and lessons outdoors including math in the garden, problem solving and tool design and features for student use, garden design with technology, force and motion inquiries with the physical science space. (Ticketed)

Visit www.nsta.org/louisville for more information. Register today.

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Science Teaching and the Common Core—The Results Are In

How are grade 6–12 science teachers implementing the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and ELA? Last week we asked, you responded, and Education Week reporter Erik Robelin wrote a story—read more here.

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Yep, There's an App for That

Speaking of surveys … we’d like you to tell us your favorite science/STEM-related app and how you use it. It won’t take a minute. Click here, and thanks in advance!

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Explore, Discover, Grow: Conference on Science Education, Atlanta

If you’re in a rut, tired of your everyday lessons, and in need of a fresh viewpoint or a shot of energy, consider attending NSTA’s Conference on Science Education in Atlanta in the fall. Planned for November 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. Discipline-specific day programs, hands-on workshops, and presentations offer content development, strategies for better classroom performance, techniques to improve science literacy, and a whole lot more. It’s your forum and we plan on leading the discussion: let us hear your voice on NGSS, assessment, ELL issues, integration of STEM into your curriculum to name just a few topics teachers care about. Check out some sample sessions below.

  • Walking with Dinosaurs—Cary Woodruff (paleontology graduate student, Montana State University)
  • The Power of One—Brad Cohen (educator, author, and motivational speaker, Brad Cohen Tourette Foundation)
  • Build the Scaffolding for Inquiry at K–8—Karen L. Ostlund (NSTA President)
  • Integrating the Dimensions at the Elementary Level: Practices, Concepts, and Core Ideas
  • Excite Elementary Students with Science Olympiad
  • Addressing Core Science Standards Through Nanoscale Science for Grades 6–8
  • Using the 5Es to Become Next Generation Ready (Elementary–Middle)
  • Achieving Environmental Literacy Through Community-based Investigations, middle-high school
  • Climate Change Classroom Tool Kit, Elementary (High School)
  • Our Changing Planet—Online activities and videos about changes in the Earth system, including three activities to do together. Handouts. (Middle–High School)
  • Equilibrium and Concentration—Observations from activities makes Le Chatelier's principle more tangible by comparisons between simulations and experiments: Jerry Bell, American Chemistry Society
  • Full-day programs in chemistry, biology, engineering, and physics
  • Exhibit Hall—New products, services, and giveaways. Bring a tote.
  • Let's Get Helical: Exploring DNA Structure/Function with Interactive Physical Models (High–College)

Visit www.nsta.org/atlanta for more information. Reminder: earlybird registration deadline is September 14.

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Microsoft Calls for a "New National Talent Strategy"

Last week Microsoft Corp. released a white paper at the Brookings Institute calling for immediate action by Congress to secure the pipeline for future jobs with an initiative that would tie immigration policy and K–12 STEM education, keep jobs in the United States and provide funding to the states for improvements in K–12 STEM.

Specifically, the Microsoft New National Talent Strategy calls for a $500m federal investment in K–12 STEM education to recruit and train teachers, implement Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, broaden access to computer science in high school and focus more on college completion in STEM fields. To fund the program, the technology giant is calling on Congress to do two things: to create a new, supplemental allocation of 20,000 visas annually for STEM skills that are in short supply and to make a supplemental allocation of 20,000 new green card slots annually for workers with STEM skills. Businesses would be required to pay $10,000 for each of the new STEM visas and $15,000 for each of the new STEM green cards—raising up to $500 million per year—which would be distributed to states to target needed K–12 STEM education investments.

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eCYBERMISSION: A STEM Competition for Students in Grades 6–9

Over the past 10 years the eCYBERMISSION challenge has increased student literacy in STEM subjects. Register a team(s) of your students to compete in the eCYBERMISSION program. This competition  is designed to build real-world application skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and meet Common Core Standards. Teams of 3–4 students must identify a problem in their community and then research, hypothesize, experiment and draw conclusions to help solve it. Teams then submit their projects to compete for state, regional and national awards, including up to $8ooo in savings bonds (maturity value).

The eCYBERMISSION team is on hand to help. Our online resources are available to registered Team Advisors and include sample lesson plans and information on how the eCYBERMISSION program fits into your state’s standards. We encourage you to access more detailed information by visiting www.ecybermission.com.

How to get started:

Extra bonus!  Students who participate will actively:

  • Practice decision-making
  • Experiment with the scientific method
  • Develop their own hypotheses and conclusions
  • Engage in collaborative learning

Register at www.ecybermission.com by October 15 to receive a free STEM research kit. For more information about the program, call us a 1-866-462-9237 or e-mail us at missioncontrol@ecybermission.com.

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From the NSTA Calendar: Win Your Share of $1 Million in Technology

Samsung has launched a $1 million educational initiative designed to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. In Samsung’s third annual Solve For Tomorrow national education contest, 75 classrooms in grades 6 to 12—25 from each of three categories: urban, rural and suburban—will be selected to receive a resource package including a camcorder, laptop, and software, to produce videos exploring the theme “Show how STEM can help improve the environment in your community.” From those 75, 15 will win technology grants worth at least $40,000. Five of those schools will then win $110,000 in technology grants and be honored at an awards ceremony.

Through October 31, teachers across the United States can submit a short application for a chance to participate in the Solve for Tomorrow video contest.  Visit the Samsung website to learn more and apply.

Need other supplies or equipment for your classroom? Consult the Awards/Competitions and Grants sections of the NSTA Calendar.

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Learning in the Last Best Place in Montana

Bozeman, Montana, has received recognition in recent years on “Top 10” and “Best Places” lists. Montana State University is also increasingly recognized because of its wide-range of excellent, and often unique, learning and research opportunities.  One of the most exciting programs at MSU-Bozeman is the Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) program. The program, primarily taught online and geared toward science educators, includes many summer courses with field components uniquely available in Montana. Sponsored jointly by the Colleges of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Development, Letters and Science, and the Graduate School, courses are offered in disciplines such as ecology, chemistry, biology, earth sciences, microbiology, physics and more. While students are required to complete one Montana-based lab or field course, many find themselves in Montana taking multiple field courses while in the program. The unique habitats, landscapes, and natural features found in Montana provide a tremendous outdoor classroom and laboratory for science learning. Learn more about the program at www.montana.edu/msse.

"There are so many interesting courses to take on campus and I don't think there could ever be enough time to take everything you wanted to take. I like the flexibility in the program and the ability to tailor it to what you can do." (MSSE Student)

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Fisher Science Education

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 October featured book, Start Young: Early Childhood Science Activities.

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Professional development courses in your future?
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Take a look at these groups offering courses for science educators!

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