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Week of February 11, 2013

Table of Contents

Mcgraw-Hill Education

NSTA Conference-San Antonoio
Two great leaders exchange warm wishes: Dr. Gerry Wheeler, left, and Dr. David Evans, right.

NSTA Board Announces New Executive Director

NSTA took on new leadership last week, as Dr. David L. Evans assumed the role of Executive Director. Dr. Evans succeeds NSTA Interim Executive Director Dr. Gerry Wheeler.

Before joining NSTA, Evans served as the Director of the Center for Sustainability: Earth, Energy, and Climate at Noblis, Inc., a Virginia-based not-for-profit provider of science-related, strategic, and technology consulting services to government and commercial entities.

For several years he was Under Secretary for Science at the Smithsonian Institution, where he oversaw research and education activities, strategic planning, outreach, and fundraising. Evans also served in leadership positions at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Ocean Services, and the Office of Naval Research.

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NSTA Releases Feedback on NGSS Second Public Draft

NSTA recently released feedback on the second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and provided recommendations to NGSS lead states and writers to consider as it works on the final version to be released in March. NSTA applauded the lead states and writers for making improvements to the first draft, especially including nature of science. While pleased with the changes, NSTA also made a series of recommendations to further improve and shape this important body of work. These recommendations focus on the importance of content in the foundation box, a more complete integration of nature of science, the need to reduce content and ensure appropriate grade level, and the critical need to address the time and resources that will be necessary to implement the new science standards. To view NSTA’s full report, click here (PDF).

NSTA Wants Your Insights on NGSS Implementation

There is still time to take NSTA’s survey on the resources, professional development, and support that will be needed to successfully implement NGSS.

Register Now for NSTA Web Seminars Focused on NGSS

Connections Between Practices in NGSS, Common Core Math and ELA
Register now for the February 12 web seminar (6:30–8 p.m. Eastern) and get answers to your questions about the connections of the practices in NGSS and the Common Core Math and ELA State Standards. Join Sarah Michaels as she explores

  • How standards in science, mathematics, and English language arts encourage the development of similar skills;
  • How discourse and sense-making are common goals across the curriculum;
  • How teachers can integrate instruction in the different disciplines; and
  • Hhat this looks like in the classroom.

For more information and to register for the free web seminar, click here.

Web Seminar Series Explores Crosscutting Concepts
A special NSTA web seminar series—beginning in February and running through May—will explore the seven crosscutting concepts outlined in the A Framework for K–12 Science Education. Presenters will explore the role that each crosscutting concept plays in science, how student understanding of the concept might develop over the course of K–12 education, how learning about the concepts can take place during the learning of disciplinary core ideas by engaging in scientific and engineering practices, and what teaching with the concepts really looks like in the classroom. All web seminars will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Eastern Time on the following Tuesdays.

  • Patterns (February 19)
  • Cause and Effect—Mechanism and Explanation (March 5)
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity (March 19)
  • Systems and System Models (April 16)
  • Energy and Matter—Flows, Cycles, and Conservation (April 30)
  • Structure and Function (May 14)
  • Stability and Change (May 28)

Register now for one or all of the free web seminars.

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NSTA Legislative Update: ESEA and Waivers Focus of Senate Hearing

Will No Child Left Behind reauthorization finally happen this year? The Senate Education Committee last week heard from Education Secretary Arne Duncan on ESEA reauthorization and how ESEA waivers have allowed 34 states to break free of the restrictive federal education law. Read more in the latest NSTA Legislative Update.

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Middle School Teacher Offerings : National Conference on Science Education, San Antonio, April 11–14

Join thousands of your peers who will attend the most prestigious conference for science educators this year. Over 700 workshops and presentations out of a total 2,000 offer the middle school educator the finest professional development. Appropriate for every discipline and for teachers from preservice to the most experienced, our program is comprehensive and inspiring. Full-day preconference institutes on Wednesday, April 10, kick off the event, and a basketball outing is planned to see the San Antonio Spurs play on Friday night, April 12, offering both rigor and fun.

Check out sample sessions just for middle school educators:

  • Beyond the Three Rs: Inspiring Curious Minds—Yvonne M. Spicer (Vice President for Advocacy and Educational Partnerships, National Center for Technological Literacy, Museum of Science)
  • Next Generation Science Standards Town Hall Meeting (NGSS @ NSTA)—Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve)
  • Blowing in the Wind—Learn how wind turbines work, and design and build your own with everyday materials
  • Using Evidence to Construct a Scientific Explanation
  • Uncovering Student Science Ideas as a Springboard to Deeper Understanding
  • STEM Lesson Essentials
  • Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together: Integrating Common Core State Standards in STEM-based Courses
  • Working with Electricity, Magnetism, and the Multimeter
  • Scientific Inquiry Blended with the Writing in Science Approach
  • Beyond the Cookbook—Student-driven Investigations
  • Making Sense of Sense-Making: Strategies to Use in Your Classroom
  • The Multilevel Classroom: Differentiation Strategies for Science
  • 3-D Interactive Notebooks for Secondary Science
  • Not in My Backyard—Activity-based workshop involves government, economics, math, Earth and environmental science, chemistry, and ecology. No one wants factory pollution in their water system.
  • Introducing and Assessing Argumentation in Your Science Classroom
  • Institute: The Literacy and Inquiry Connection: Instruction that Scaffolds and Enhances Scientific Thinking and Understanding (fee-based)
  • San Antonio Spurs vs Sacramento Kings—NBA game, April 12: discounted tickets start at $25. Watch pregame warm-up close to the floor, shoot a free throw on the court postgame, take a photo at center court postgame. April 12.
  • The Day the Mesozoic Died—A movie on the big screen sponsored by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, April 11.

Check out www.nsta.org/sanantonio for a full roster of sessions, more information or to register.

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Build Your Knowledge: NSTA's STEM Forum & Expo May 2013

NSTA’s second STEM Forum & Expo has a rigorous agenda that includes key topics that any administrator, teacher, and/or business and government agency will find pertinent to the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. We’ll be meeting in St. Louis, May 15–18, to become immersed in today’s most critical education issues. For STEM educators, the activities cover the broad perspective to hands-on classroom integration sessions. Kicking off the event on the evening of May 15 is an Exhibit Preview and Reception. Visit our website often for updates. We encourage educators from specific STEM disciplines to make their voices heard at this informative event.

Panel discussions with nationally renowned speakers:

  • What is a STEM School and What Does it Look Like?
  • Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards
  • State STEM Networks—How Are They Working to Change STEM Education?
  • STEM in Urban Science Education and Engaging and Keeping More Girls and Minorities in STEM
  • Public/Private Partnerships, Out of School and Informal Programs that Excite Students about the World of STEM
  • Putting the T and E in Your STEM Program
  • A Whole School Approach to STEM: What You Need to Know
  • Promising STEM Programs: Four to Watch

A sampling of teacher workshops:

  • Science Notebooking: Integrating Literacy and Science Instruction in the Secondary Classroom
  • STEM in the Primary Classroom
  • "Stuff," STEM, and Sustainability: Engaging Students in Examining Systems, Resources, and Consumption (Middle–High)
  • Using Gaming to Develop Computational Thinking Skills in STEM (Middle)
  • Explore Building Mousetrap Vehicles to Integrate STEM
  • What Do Engineers Really Do? How Is Engineering Different from Science and How Does That Change My Teaching Practice? (Grades 3–5)
  • Science Notebooking: Integrating Literacy and Science Instruction in the Elementary Classroom
  • Integrating Hands-On Science with Math, English Language Arts, and Technology
  • Music: Applied Physics and Trigonometry (High School, Informal)
  • Teaching Neurological Disorders: Bringing Cutting-Edge Biomedical Science to the High School Classroom
  • Putting the Math in Science and the Science in Math (Middle)


Visit www.nsta.org/2013stemforum for details.

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Lab Out Loud: Looking at Our DNA with 23andMe

To prepare for this week's episode, hosts Dale Basler and Brian Bartel had to do some homework: spit into a tube. Carrying their DNA, this tube was then mailed to 23andMe for analysis. Listen in as Brian and Dale discuss their results with Emily Drabant—a research community manager (with a PhD in neuroscience) at 23andMe. As a bonus, find out which host has more Neanderthal DNA.

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Science Fair Success

NSTA's Science Fair Warm-Up series provides all of the information you need to guide your students through a productive and successful science fair season. Receive free shipping when you spend $30 or more on this series and other NSTA Press books. Enter promocode SCIFAIR  during checkout. Offer is valid through Thursday, February 14, 2013. Click here for more information.

The author, John Haysom, will be presenting at our National Conference in San Antonio—come see him live. For the most savings, register for the conference before the earlybird deadline, February 22.

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Online Courses from the American Museum of Natural History

Are you interested in learning about evolution? Do you want to know more about Earth or the solar system? Are you looking for graduate or professional development credit? If so, check out the  Seminars on Science program from the American Museum of Natural History. Online courses run from March 18 to April 28 and include Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Water; The Diversity of Fishes; The Solar System; Evolution; and Genetics, Genomics, Genethics.

Each course is available for graduate credit and is co-taught by an experienced educator and a scientist. For more information, or to register, visit www.amnh.org/learn or contact us directly.

Registration deadline: March 4
Registration: www.amnh.org/learn/Register
Phone: 800-649-6715
E-mail: seminfo@amnh.org

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Ward's Science

NSTA Press-Becoming a Responsive Science Teacher

NSTA Press-What Does an Animal Eat?

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