NATURE OF SCIENCE
The nature of science involves the basic values and beliefs that
make up the scientific world view, the ways scientists go about
their work, and the general culture of the scientific enterprise.
Regardless of their area of expertise, scientists are trying to
improve their understanding of the material world, and they share
a common understanding of scientific inquiry. According to the Atlas
of Science Literacy, scientific investigations usually involve
the collection of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning,
and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations
to make sense of the collected evidence. Helping your students examine
the processes through which scientists gain knowledge about the
world is an important step in learning about the nature of science.
of Science in the News
Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Digest (visit
for national news for science educators).
Stories selected for this issue discuss the work of a former molecular
geneticist and a forensic anthropologist.
to learn more.
of Science on the Web
In this month's elementary journal, Science and Children,
NSTA members can read "The Human Side of Butterflies."
The link to that article is http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=sc&n=51037.
is a web-based service from NSTA that provides online content
chosen to augment printed articles and books. It does so through
keywords; the keywords for this issue are
Nature of Science: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263562111101055
NSTA knows how busy you are, so the editors of Science and
Children have put all of the links from the October issue in
one place. To access the links, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-10/elemlinks.htm.
Journal Articles on Nature of Science
Click here to read more:
To read about the Nature of Science in NSTA Press and NSTA Recommends
books, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-10/books_elementary.htm.
To read about the newest titles available from NSTA Press, visit
To receive the latest NSTA catalog for your specific grade level,
Science Program Improvement
SPIR is NSTA’s new initiative to help teachers
and administrators assess—then strengthen—the science
instruction being provided to their students. SPIR is a standards-based
strategy that culminates in a comprehensive written assessment
of a school's or district’s science instructional program
as well as recommendations for improvement as needed.
NSTA-trained and certified SPIR reviewers will
work with school or district teachers and administrators to align
their science instruction more closely with state and national
science standards for teaching, professional development, assessment,
content, and program.
For more information, visit http://www.nsta.org/spir.
Target Math, Science Instruction
Two new initiatives designed to increase the number
of science and math teachers in America made headlines recently.
IBM plans to financially back employees leaving the company to
become science and math educators, and the Department of Education
is teaming up with TechNet as part of the Teacher-to-Teacher initiative,
a program that offers educators professional development and research-based
strategies. To read more about these initiatives, visit the following
IBM to Encourage Employees to Become Math
and Science Teachers
New Programs Support Teacher Success
Invitation for Our International Colleagues
Any international visitors to our Anaheim convention
are invited to submit a proposal to present a session. To view
the invitation or to obtain the proposal form, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-10/international.htm.
Prepare to Launch Homemade Satellite
A microsatellite built largely from donated parts
in university workshops across Europe will be launched soon. The
Student Space Exploration Technology Initiative Express is about
the size of a small washing machine. Constructed by more than
400 students from 23 universities in 12 countries, the spacecraft
will take photographs of Earth, test a cold-gas altitude control
system, and function as a radio transponder for amateur radio
operators. To read more, visit Space.com at http://space.com/businesstechnology/050921_techwed_sseti.html.
These face-to-face professional development opportunities
at NSTA conventions are half-day, standards-based programs designed
to enhance educators' scientific content and pedagogical practices.
Presenters include scientists, engineers, and educational specialists
from NASA, as well as renowned NSTA Press authors. Six exciting
programs are scheduled to take place this fall at NSTA area conventions.
For more information and to register visit http://institute.nsta.org/symposia.asp.
NSTA Web Seminars
These 90-minute live professional development experiences
use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact
with nationally acclaimed experts; NSTA Press authors; and scientists,
engineers, and education specialists from NSTA government partners,
such as NASA and NOAA—all from the convenience of your desktop!
Educators use online tools that allow them to markup
and annotate presenters' slides, share desktop applications, or
engage in chat, survey, and poll questions with others online. Seminars
may be archived and are available for viewing after the live event
has occurred. Be sure to check out the fall schedule for these exciting
learning opportunities and to register by going to http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.
and Children (S&C) and NSTA have established a
blog devoted to early childhood science (see http://science.nsta.org/earlyyearsblog).
Here you’ll find teaching advice, management tips, favorite
resources, and activity ideas specifically for teachers of grades
preK–2. The blog accompanies Science and Children’s
column The Early Years. To view the first column, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_and_children.php?category_ID=86&news_story_ID=50933.
Highlights from the online conversations will appear in the print
column. Teachers who post a comment that gets chosen for publication
in S&C will receive one free book
from a select group of NSTA Press publications.
Science and Children (grades preK5) has issued a Call
for Papers on specific topics. Click here to find out more:
for Evening Skies?
Regrettably, Science and Children will no longer include
Evening Skies Monthly Star Map and Sky Calendar. However, yearly
subscriptions to the map and calendar are available from the Abrams
Planetarium for $11 and can begin at any point in the year. To subscribe,
Subscribers will be mailed hard copies of three star maps and calendars
four times a year to cover the entire calendar year. Or check out
for free star map downloads from StarMaps.com (permission
is required for multiple copies for classroom or science club use).
In addition, Skywatcher's Diary at http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/diary.html
posts a monthly detailing of sky happenings. Happy stargazing!
Writing to Learn
If your colleagues would like to subscribe to Science Class,
please direct them to http://www.nsta.org/newsletters.
THE FINE PRINT
e-newsletter is brought to you by the National Science Teachers
1840 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201-3092