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Week of February 25, 2013

Table of Contents

NSTA Science Supply Guide

Horizon Research Releases 2012 National Survey of Science and Math Education

A new research study provides an in-depth snapshot of K–12 science and math education with detailed information on science and math teachers, curriculum and instruction, and instructional resources.

A total of 7,752 science and mathematics teachers in schools across the United States participated in the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education, which was coordinated by Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Readers will find a rich compendium of information on how science and mathematics instruction and ongoing assessment mirrors current understanding of learning; what influences teachers’ decisions about content and pedagogy; the characteristics of the current science and math teaching force; the most commonly used science and math textbooks and programs; and professional development opportunities available to teachers.

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Online Short Courses Offer Concentrated NGSS Learning and Pedagogy

Using Formative Assessment to Link Instruction and Learning, led by renowned author and teacher Page Keeley

This short course devoted to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will provide the rationale, tools, and strategies for informing instruction and supporting science learning through formative assessment. Through three synchronous, live web seminar meetings (April 18, April 25, and May 2) and asynchronous discussion forums between seminars, K–12 science educators will identify and explore

  • Different types of formative assessment probes
  • Formative assessment classroom techniques (FACTs) that uncover students' thinking about core disciplinary ideas described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • How to guide students in NGSS practices of science such as constructing explanations and engaging in argumentation

In addition, course participants will practice a variety of strategies for the classroom and share their insights with a community of K–12 teachers interested in building their capacity for using formative assessment effectively.

Register here
Member Price: $179 | Nonmember Price: $199

Visualizing K–8 Engineering Education, led by Christine Cunningham, founder of the Boston Museum of Science's Engineering is Elementary program

Practical insights into the teaching of engineering practices in the K–8 elementary or middle school classroom will be the primary focus of this short course. Through three synchronous, live web seminars (May 16, 23, and 30) and asynchronous discussion forums throughout the three-week course, K–8 educators will build a foundation for integrating and implementing engineering practices into their instruction.

Participants will

  • Learn more about what “technology” and “engineering” mean in the context of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • Discover how to integrate engineering concepts with science instruction
  • See how engineering practices manifest themselves in the classroom through video
  • Discuss pedagogical strategies that support the development of robust engineering experiences for students.

Participants will practice a variety of strategies for teaching concepts in the classroom and share their insights with a community of teachers interested in building their capacity for engaging students with effective engineering practices.

Register here.
Member Price: $179 | Nonmember Price: $199

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Lab Out Loud Episode 91: BBC's Bang Goes the Theory

Listen in as hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler chat with Dr. Yan Wong, an evolutionary biologist and cohost of BBC's Bang Goes the Theory. Dr. Yan joins Lab Out Loud to talk about the show (now available on BBC America) and doing science in public. He also shares some ideas of science demonstrations you can do in your classroom.

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Register Now for the March 5 Web Seminar Exploring the Crosscutting Concept "Cause and Effect"

Register now for the second web seminar in a series of seven exploring crosscutting concepts described in A Framework for K–12 Science Education. It will be held on March 5 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. EST and will explore Cause and Effect.

The web seminar will be presented by Tina Grotzer from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education whose work focuses on how causal understanding interacts with science learning. She will help teachers learn more about the important concept of cause and effect: mechanism and explanation, why it’s important to learn about it in school science, what we want students to learn, and what instruction might look like in the classroom.

The Framework, published by the National Research Council (NRC), 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).

Attend all web seminars in the series or just one. To register for these free events, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

Mark your calendar for upcoming web seminars in this series, including

  • 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)

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MIT's Free Biology Course "Secret of Life" Begins March 5

For K–12 teachers of life science and/or biology and other interested educators, this 12-week course, sponsored by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and led by one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project Dr. Eric Lander and his team, will explore the mysteries of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology and genomics, and rational medicine.

At the center of each week is a series of online lectures that are supported by interactive video tutorials and interspersed exercises. Homework assignments and/or exams will be given weekly. In a collaborative format between MIT and NSTA, access to four NSTA web seminars intended to facilitate understanding of the challenging content and learn practical classroom applications offers participants additional resources and moderated community forums for discussion related to the Secret of Life subject matter and pedagogy. Visit learningcenter.nsta.org/mit for web seminar details.

Participants can expect a time commitment of 6–8 hours per week. There are no prerequisites for this course. Knowledge of basic biology and chemistry is useful but not required at all. This course is designed so that nearly anyone can participate and complete the course without prior knowledge.

The course begins March 5 and continues through May 28. More details and registration information is available here. The NSTA web seminars are scheduled for the following dates: March 13, March 27, April 17, and May 15. More information and registration information can be found in the NSTA Learning Center.

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Stand Out in a Crowd

Professional development will have its place in San Antonio, April 11–14. NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education will draw thousands of science educators to enhance their careers through PD, learn new skills and techniques for reaching students and becoming the best teacher they can be. Content development, discussions on critical issues to teachers (Common Core, STEM, NGSS, Best Practices), strategies for the classroom, and research-based teaching and learning are some of the building blocks for performance success. For every discipline and grade level, K–16, we invite you to participate.

Check out some highlighted sessions.

  • 3-D Interactive Notebooks for Secondary Science (High)
  • From Traditional to Inquiry-based Learning (High)
  • STEM Lesson Essentials (Elem–Middle)
  • Vocabulary Magic—Making Words Real: Powerful Strategies That Can Accelerate the Acquisition of Science Vocabulary (High)
  • Engaging Students in Authentic Science Research (High–College)
  • Understanding and Studying Clouds in the Elementary Classroom
  • NASA's WISE (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer) Mission Presents: Size and Scale of the Universe (Middle–High)
  • Integrating Common Core State Standards in STEM-based Courses (Middle–High)
  • Beyond the Cookbook—Student-driven Investigations—Guide and support students as they plan and carry out investigations (NGSS practice 3). We will focus on examples from a physics class (Investigating Newton's 3rd Law) and a biology class (Investigating Photosynthesis and Respiration). (Elem–Middle)
  • The Multilevel Classroom: Differentiation Strategies for Science (Elem–High)
  • English Language Arts Common Core Standards and Science Literacy (Elem)


  • Androids in Education: How Humanlike Robots Can Help Students Learn and Teachers Teach—David Hanson
  • Blended Learning Cycle—Paul Andersen
  • Children Who Cry at Night…Fail Math in the Morning—O’dell Moreno Owens
  • High-Speed Large Area Production of Nanofibers—Karen Lozano
  • A Lifetime of Nature and Photography Education—Arthur Morris
  • Next Generation Science Standards Town Hall Meeting (NGSS @ NSTA)—Stephen L. Pruitt, Achieve

Also …

  • Teacher Researcher Day
  • Night with the Spurs—San Antonio Spurs vs. Sacramento Kings game on Friday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m.
  • San Antonio Zoo: “Awesome Adaptations” Workshop for Elementary Teachers (field trip)
  • Natural Bridge Caverns Tour, a Texas BBQ Dinner, and View the Bat Emergence at Bracken Bat Cave (field trip)

Visit www.nsta.org/SanAntonioBrowser to see all 2,000 sessions. Register today.

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What are Teachers Saying About the Science Education Graduate Program Offered by Montana State University?

The Masters of Science in Science Education (MSSE) degree program offers online courses, as well as summer field and lab courses, designed specifically for science educators.

“Having the option to take online and campus courses gives the program great flexibility. Being able to finish my degree while still working full time was essential.”
“I loved the fact that every course had a component in which we were able to determine how we would use the new information and knowledge within our current teaching setting.”
"I have found no other program that could meet the needs of such a diverse group of teachers."
“I was constantly learning about current topics, I got great ideas from teachers all over the country, it made me excited about learning.”

Now accepting Summer and Fall 2013 applications!

Find out how MSSE’s unique characteristics make this program especially appealing to practicing science educators: www.montana.edu/msse.

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NSTA San Antonio Conference-Professional Development Institutes

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

NSTA Press-Exemplary Science for Building Interest in STEM Careers

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 February featured book, Teaching Science in the 21st Century.

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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