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Week of May 13, 2013

Table of Contents

Britannica Digital Learning

Energy Department and NSTA Launch America's Home Energy Education Challenge 2013–2014 Program

Registration is now open for America’s Home Energy Education Challenge (AHEEC), a national student competition administered by NSTA for the Energy Department and created to help families save money by saving energy. Students, educators, and school principals are encouraged to register to participate at HomeEnergyChallenge.org.

Participation in AHEEC will be broken into two parts: the Home Energy Challenge and the Energy Fitness Award. Each is designed to encourage students to learn about science and home energy savings, and participants can chose one or get involved with both. All students from third to eighth grade are eligible to enter for both parts of the challenge, including students in after school and home school programs.

For the Home Energy Challenge participating student teams will monitor and measure their energy consumption over a three-month period between September 2013 and February 2014, and compare it to data from the same period the year before.

Schools of all sizes are eligible to compete and schools without other nearby schools to compete against may hold a competition among classes within their school. Competing schools and classes will compete within 11 regions for more than $60,000 in prizes that will be distributed at the regional and national levels of the competition.

The Energy Fitness Award is an individual challenge that will begin September 1, 2013, and continue through the school year. Modeled after the President’s Physical Fitness Test, the Energy Fitness Award challenges students to better understand foundational energy issues and provides students with an opportunity to learn where their energy comes from and how to use it efficiently.

Learn more at HomeEnergyChallenge.org.

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NGSS@NSTA: Register Now for Web Seminars; Connections to Common Core and Other Core Ideas Now Posted

Register Now for Web Seminars on Crosscutting Concepts Scheduled for May and June

Register now for three final web seminars in a series of seven on NGSS crosscutting concepts. All web seminars will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. (EDT) and are free. Plan now to participate in these great professional development experiences to prepare for implementation of Next Generation Science Standards.

Connections to Common Core and Other Disciplinary Core Ideas Now Posted on
Next Generation Science Standards

As promised, Achieve recently updated the Connection Boxes in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The now complete Connection Boxes show how the performance expectations (PE) in each standard connect to other PEs in science, as well as to common core state standards.

The Boxes include links to other disciplinary core ideas in the same grade level, to core ideas across grade levels to show the full articulation of ideas, and to Common Core State Standards in English language arts and literacy and mathematics that align to the performance expectations. View and download the standards—which now include the Connections Boxes—from NSTA’s dedicated NGSS web page at www.nsta.org/ngss or from the Next Generation Science Standards page at www.nextgenscience.org.

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Last Chance to Register for STEM Forum & Expo, St. Louis: May 15–18

Are you still undecided? Teachers in all the STEM disciplines and administrators who need to know strategies and techniques for implementing STEM into their districts, schools and classrooms will meet in just a few days to hear from experienced practitioners. With more than 350 practical workshops (many devoted to grades K–8) to support the integration of STEM subjects (Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology) attendees will add to their knowledge and skills and find a range of activities to inform and expand on STEM best practices. A roundtable task force comprised of educators and STEM-related business leaders is planned along with a preview of the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday evening, May 16. Panel discussions on “everything STEM” will be conducted Thursday May 16 and May 17.

Check out some of our scheduled sessions:

  • STEM Education: Courses of Study to Promote Student Success in School and Beyond
  • Bridging the Gap: Building Literacy Through STEM
  • Revising Curriculum and Implementing STEM
  • The STEM Hologram: Several Disciplines; One Interdependent Picture—presenter: Kenneth Wesson
  • Practical Approaches to STEM for Younger Students
  • A New Kind of Blended Learning
  • National Best Practices STEM Curriculum to Improve STEM Literacy for All (K–12) Students
  • Behold the POWER of Inquiry in Your Curriculum
  • Creating STEM-embedded Literacy Learning Centers
  • Engineering Adventures: Engineering in Out-of-School-Time Programs
  • A Statewide Approach to Preparing Teachers and Students in STEM
  • Aligning STEM Theory and Application Through Community-based Partnerships
  • The Harnessed Atom: New Ideas, Tools, and Resources for Teaching Nuclear Science and Energy as Middle School STEM Extension
  • Innovation Labs: Using the Tools of Tinkering to Engage Students in Math and Science
  • Middle Level STEM: Public School/University Curriculum Development Partnership for Engaging Problem Solving

We hope to see you there. For more details, visit www.nsta.org/2013stemforum. Onsite registration will be available, too.

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NSTA Reports Poll: Are Your Wishes Granted?

Teachers are experts at stretching thin budgets and many—if not most—try to supplement their school budgets through grants. Whether for classroom supplies, equipment or special events, educators are turning to grants from businesses, foundations, individuals, and crowdfunding initiatives to offer their students the best learning opportunities they can. Share your grant experience in this NSTA Reports survey.

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STEM Education Star Power

Washington Post - STEM supplementCheck out this colorful and informative special supplement to the Washington Post on STEM Education, featuring Mayim Bialik, star of the show The Big Bang Theory and a neuroscientist and passionate advocate for more women in the STEM fields (Bialik also spoke to attendees at the 2011 NSTA Annual Conference in Indianapolis).

On page 14 you will find NSTA Executive Director David Evans’s article “STEM starts with the Next Generation Science Standards.”

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Science by Design: Construct a … Boat, Catapult, Glove, and Greenhouse

High school science teachers can incorporate STEM topics into their classes using the engaging and meaningful inquiry activities presented in this book. For example, biology students can explore plant biology, thermodynamics, and energy transfer by building a greenhouse, and physics students can explore torsion, elasticity, and more by building a catapult. The activities are designed to lead teachers through all aspects of the activity, from full explanations to timing estimates to student worksheets to teaching suggestions.

There are also ideas for assessment and student portfolios, plus lists of connections to national standards. And if those aren’t enough, don’t miss the bonus resources called “side roads”—off-the-beaten-path investigations that let you and your students delve further into the links between inquiry and design. Best of all, the authors suggest that each activity uses materials with a minimal cost, which helps promote equity by allowing students of any background to complete their project successfully.
Visit the NSTA Science Store to download a sample chapter.

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Lab Out Loud Episode 96: What's New in LEGO Mindstorms

This week Brian and Dale talk about LEGO Mindstorms with Caroline Hanson. As a teacher and member of the LEGO Education Advisory Panel, Caroline routinely uses LEGOs to teach her enrichment courses in reading, math, academic competition, and STEM topics to students at Aspen Middle School in Aspen, Colorado. Listen in as Caroline shares her experience with LEGO Mindstorms in the classroom and offers a preview of the new LEGO Mindstorms EV3.

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SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

NSTA Press-Integrating Engineering and Science

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

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