October 2002


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Welcome to Science Class, NSTA's monthly electronic newsletter for science educators. Every month, Science Class features a curriculum topic that is supported by a range of NSTA-approved teaching resources: news stories, Internet "SciLinks," NSTA journal articles (sorted by grade range), books, and more. In addition, every issue includes a column on professional development, as well as NSTA news highlights.

We hope you enjoy this new service from NSTA. Make sure to let us know via our Feedback link how you like the newsletter—and how we can make it better.


If you think that paleontology is just the study of dinosaurs, you are not alone. But it is much more. Paleontologists study fossils to understand what happened at different points in our planet's history. Paleontologists study many different fields of science to combine knowledge gained from anthropologists, archaeologists, biologists, computer science engineers, ecologists, and geologists to learn about the human race's place in the world. Sometimes the distinctions between these different fields become blurry, because they do often overlap.

The University of California at Berkeley's website (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibit/paleontology.html) does a great job of explaining "What Paleontology is NOT" by describing the different methods and areas of focus of paleontology, anthropology, and archaeology.

One of the most exciting aspects of paleontology is that you don't have to be a professional to contribute to the field. Some significant contributions have been made by amateurs. To help you teach the budding paleontologists in your classroom, we've included ideas, articles, news stories, and websites to fire up their imaginations and inspire their curiosity. Dig in!

Paleontology in the News

Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Service.

Paleontological discoveries are hot news right now! Discover what's new in old fossils. Use these opportunities to link today's headlines to your science unit on fossils, dinosaurs, or paleontology.

Click here for the latest news stories.


Paleontology on the Net

SciLinks is an interactive, Web-based service from NSTA that connects your lesson and/or course materials (certain textbooks, NSTA books, and journal articles) with online content chosen just for your selected topics. NSTA members can search by keyword or phrase and receive a list of teacher-approved Internet resources.

Elementary: Paleontology http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263562111101022

Intermediate: Paleontology http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263565511101022

High School:  Paleontology http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263569911101022

Paleontology in NSTA Journal Articles

The following journal articles are sorted by grade level to provide you with ideas for classroom lessons and activities related to paleontology.

Elementary: http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-09/elementary.htm

•  Primary Paleontologists

•  "Weighing" Dinosaurs

•  Ancient Fossil Challenges Theory of Bird Origin

Intermediate: http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-09/intermediate.htm

•  Dino-mite!

•  A Prehistoric Odyssey

•  Prints to Ponder

High School: http://ecommerce.nsta.org/enewsletter/2002-09/high_school.htm

•  Fossil Forecasting

•  Laboratory Excavations

•  Digital Dinosaur Discoveries

Books on Paleontology

Check out these titles from NSTA Press and NSTA Recommends:


• Learning About the Earth

Rising to the Challenge

Rocks & Minerals, Hands-on Science Series

The Cambridge Guide to Minerals, Rocks, and Fossils

Professional Development

"You wouldn’t dream of walking into a classroom without any idea what you want to accomplish. Why
treat your own learning any differently?" The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (ENC).

The ENC developed a comprehensive form to empower NSTA members to develop their own professional plan for learning. Print it out and start your plan today!

Click here to view the form:


If you are interested in Professional Development from NSTA, click here:



NSTA Highlights are provided by the NSTA WebNews Service. For additional NSTA Highlights, as well as the latest science and education news, visit http://www.nsta.org/mainnews.

NSTA Wants To Hear From You!

What do you think about NSTA's lead paper "Beyond 2000—Teachers of Science Speak Out" on how all students learn science and the implications to the science education community? To read the paper and to find out how to respond, click here:


NSTA Awards Deadline Extended

Due to overwhelming requests from teachers interested in applying for the NSTA teacher award programs, NSTA is extending the deadline for entries to Oct. 15, 2001. For a list of programs that are covered under the extension, click here:


Help NSTA Keep Up With You—Update Today!

This year for the first time, you can add your home address when you update your member profile, so we can keep your member benefits coming year-round…and don’t forget your current e-mail address!

Click here to update our records:


Submissions Needed for Science Scope

Read about our new columns and how you can help. Click here to learn more:


Submissions Needed for The Science Teacher

Read our latest call for papers and see how you can submit your manuscripts. Click here to learn more:


Join Your Colleagues at NSTA's Conventions


Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards

Learn how your students can benefit from this challenging competition. Click here to learn more:


Meet Author Linda Tagliaferro Online

Author of Galapagos Islands: Nature's Delicate Balance at Risk answers
questions from teachers and students

Click here to learn more:


Next Month's Theme:

Careers in Science

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