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Week of March 25, 2013

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HHMI Grant to Expand UTeach to Top Research Universities

A $22.5 million gift from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), announced at the White House last week, will be used to expand UTeach to 10 top research schools over the next five years and is expected to produce 1,700 new math and science teachers in five years and nearly 18,000 by the year 2022. Read more »

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Students and Their Devices: What's Your Take?

Personal electronics are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Some students seem more fluent in the language of texting and tweeting than in any other. While offering distractions, these devices also can bring opportunities for educators and raise equity issues. NSTA Reports wants to know how science educators are responding and adapting to the presence of personal electronics. Take this informal survey and share your insights with our readership.

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Tonight's Web Seminar Focuses on 2013 STEM Forum & Expo … Tools and Partnerships

Tonight (March 25), starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time, the NSTA Learning Center offers a two-part web seminar for current and potential presenters/attendees to the STEM Forum & Expo in St. Louis. One lucky participant will win a complimentary registration to the 2013 STEM Forum & Expo, May 15–18. Click here for all the details on tonight's web seminar: "Preparing for the 2013 STEM Forum & Expo."

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NSTA Shell Science Lab Challenge Names 2013 Grand Prize Winner

Congratulations to Merrie Rampy of Highland High School in Craigmont, Idaho, who was named the grand prize winner of the 2013 NSTA Shell Science Lab Challenge. The competition encouraged teachers (grades 6–12) in the U.S. and Canada, who have found innovative ways to deliver quality lab experiences with limited school and laboratory resources, to share their approaches for a chance to win a school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000.

Four national finalists were also named in the third year of the competition. They include:

  • Joyce Corriere and Elizabeth Ciancio, Hampton High School, Hampton, Virginia
  • Sally Austin Hundley, Bethel Middle School, Waynesville, North Carolina
  • Cathleen Tinder, Sebastian Charter Junior High, Sebastian, Florida
  • Rachel Willcutts, IDEA Frontier College Prep, Brownsville, Texas

As the grand prize winner, Rampy will receive an $8,000 Shell cash grant, $8,000 in donated lab equipment, $1,000 in NSTA prizes—to include an NSTA bookstore gift certificate and NSTA conference registrations, NSTA memberships, and NSTA Learning Center subscriptions for two teachers—and an expense-paid trip for two teachers to attend the National Conference next month in San Antonio.

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NSTA's National Conference on Science Education, San Antonio, Texas

We’ve got the resources, experts and leaders, the national exhibitors, and thousands of science educators who will come together to share their knowledge and passion for teaching science. We’ll be talking about Common Core, NGSS, best practices, and research-based teaching. Nearly 2000 sessions offer K–16 educators a wide range of workshops and presentations for every discipline and for teachers and administrators at every stage in their careers. April 11–14 are the core conference days, and a preconference program of in-depth institutes is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10. Check out our browser/scheduler for a complete listing. Onsite registration is always an option, but there’s still time to plan your PD experience.

Sample a few sessions:

  • Rise and Shine: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Science Teacher—Strategies to help new teachers be successful from the very first day, with authors Linda Froschauer and Mary L. Bigelow
  • Icons and Innovation in Paleontology—Louis L. Jacobs (Professor of Earth Sciences, and President, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, Southern Methodist University)
  • Inquiry in the Urban Classroom: Connecting Curiosity and Creativity—Bobby Jeanpierre (Associate Professor of Science Education, College of Education, University of Central Florida)
  • Research in Practice—Judy St. Leger (Director of Pathology and Research, SeaWorld)
  • Texas Biomedical Research Institute Tour, ticketed—Tour the Southwest National Primate Research Center to view some of the animals involved with Texas Biomed’s research
  • Flight of the Monarch Butterflies—Half-day symposium with follow-up sessions to 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
  • An Engineering Strategy for Young Children: Invention—Inquiry-based STEM activities for young learners
  • English Language Arts Common Core Standards and Science Literacy (Elem)
  • STEM Lesson Essentials—Four strands of STEM mesh together into cohesive learning experiences (Elem–Middle)
  • The Multilevel Classroom: Differentiation Strategies for Science (Elem–High)
  • Bridge Data Activity: Sea Level Trends, Middle-College
  • Vocabulary Magic—Making Words Real: Powerful Strategies That Can Accelerate the Acquisition of Science Vocabulary (Elem–High)
  • Modeling Biology: Energy in an Ecosystem (High)
  • DuPont Presents "Driving Science"—Connect science content involving laws of motion to motorsports (High)
  • Slingshot Physics: Authentic Application of Work, Energy, Friction, and Newton's First Law of Motion (High)

Visit www.nsta.org/SanAntonio for details and to register.

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Register for AAAS Project 2016 May 2013 Science Assessment Workshop

With the release of the new Next Generation Science Standards just ahead, find out more about AAAS Project 2061’s standards-based approach to designing science assessments. This three-day professional development experience will focus exclusively on assessment—from high-stakes testing to classroom diagnostics—and its role in helping all students achieve important science learning goals. Developing and Using Assessments Aligned to Science Learning Goals is slated for May 15–17, 2013, at the AAAS Headquarters, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Educators involved in the assessment of student learning in science, including middle school science teachers, science specialists, assessment directors and coordinators in states and school districts, assessment and curriculum developers, university science education faculty, education researchers, and informal science educators are invited to attend.

For a description of the workshop, sample agenda, and details on workshop fees and registration, click here. Registration also open for additional workshops to be held August 7–9, 2013, and October 9–11, 2013.

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Lab Out Loud: Making Connections Between Home, School, and Science

Prompted by listener feedback, hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk week with Sherri Smith Dodgson. As "Miss Science," founder of Discover Science 4 Kids, and co-founder of SciPreneur, Dodgson has been a science educator both in and out of the classroom. Dodgson talks to Lab Out Loud about her experiences working with getting kids interested in science.

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STEM Starts Here

NSTA’s STEM Forum & Expo, St. Louis, Missouri, is scheduled for May 15–18. An exceptional agenda will bring together educators from key STEM disciplines, administrators, and private/public sector partners to join the discussion. More than 100 hands-on workshops will be offered with a focus on the practical application of STEM teaching and learning. Sessions are designed with specific content for each of six strands: PreK–2, grades 3–5, grades 6–9, grades 10–12, administrators, and our partners. Kicking off the Forum is keynote speaker Ainissa Ramirez—scientist, educator, and science evangelist.

Sample some of our educator workshops:

  • To Catch a Fish—Fifth-grade project-based science and engineering unit about designing sustainable nets for groundfish.
  • NASA and LTF Activities with Technology Promote STEM (Middle–College)
  • Using Gaming to Develop Computational Thinking Skills in STEM (Grades 6–9)
  • Explore Building Mousetrap Vehicles to Integrate STEM (Grades 10–12)
  • What Do Engineers Really Do? How Is Engineering Different from Science and How Does That Change My Teaching Practice? (Grades 3–5)
  • Music: Applied Physics and Trigonometry—Lead your students in building a real one-string electric guitar, deriving music theory from physics and playing a jam. (Grades 10–12)
  • Changing the Culture: Engineering as the Integrator (Administrators)
  • Poetry in Motion—Discover how the arts can be used to build a foundation for science literacy skills recommended by STEM initiatives.

Renowned thought leaders will convene nine panels on the most critical topics related to STEM. Have a look at some of the panels running throughout the morning on May 16 and 17:

  • What Is a STEM School and What Do STEM Schools Look Like? Moderator: Martin Storksdieck (Director, Board on Science Education, National Research Council)
  • STEM X: The New State STEM Networks—How Are They Working to Change STEM Education? Chris Roe (Executive Director, California STEM Learning Network), Reo D. Pruiett (Program Officer, Educate Texas), Patrick D’Amelio (Chief Executive Officer, Washington STEM)
  • Public/Private Partnerships and Out-of-School and Informal Programs That Excite Students to the World of STEM—Effective student competitions, resources, community, and extended learning time programs demonstrate that STEM is fun while providing experiential learning experiences. We'll share tips on where to go to find these programs and how to implement them in your classroom.
  • Promising STEM Programs: Three to Watch:
    • Integrated Mathematics, Science, and Technology (IMaST)
    • New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning Progressive Science Initiative and Progressive Math Initiative
    • Next Generation Science Exemplar PD System

For more details, visit www.nsta.org/2013stemforum. Register by March 29 to save the most.

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NSTA Press-A Year of Inquiry

NSTA Press-Safer Science, Vol. 2

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Professional development courses in your future?
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