INQUIRY IN THE LABORATORY
A recent report from the National Research Council, America's
Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science (2005) (http://www.nap.edu/books/0309096715/html),
identified a number of science learning goals that have been attributed
to laboratory experiences. They include "mastery of subject
matter; developing scientific reasoning; understanding the complexity
and ambiguity of empirical work; developing practical skills; understanding
the nature of science; cultivating interest in science and interest
in learning science; and developing teamwork abilities." Although
no single laboratory experience will achieve all of these goals,
different types of laboratory experiences can meet one or more of
these goals. Helping students attain these goals is critical to
improving national science literacy and inspring the next generation
of scientists. This issue reveals how teachers are working toward
improving the quality of laboratory experiences for their students.
Inquiry in the News
Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Digest (visit
for national news for science educators).
Students are able to conduct hands-on research in the lab of a
new science academy, thanks to a donation from the Howard Hughes
on the Web
In this month's high school journal, The Science Teacher,
NSTA members can read "Simplifying Inquiry Instruction."
The link to that article is http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=tst&n=50983.
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
Inquiry in the Laboratory: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263569911101055
Journal Articles on Inquiry in the Laboratory
Click here to read more:
The NSTA Science Store and catalogs offer NSTA Press books and
other outstanding titles for science educators. The selections for
this issue are grade appropriate and were chosen for their relevance
to this month's theme: Inquiry in the Laboratory.
Click here for this month's selection:
Click here for the newest titles from NSTA Press:
To receive the latest NSTA catalog for your specific grade level,
Program Improvement Review (SPIR)
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.
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.
The Science Teacher (grades 912)
has issued a Call for Papers on specific topics. Click here
to find out more:
Science Teacher is Looking for Good Questions!
The Science Teacher, NSTA's journal for
high school science teachers, invites teachers and students to
submit questions for the journal's "Ask the Experts"
department. Previous questions include "Why does the Moon
appear larger in winter?" or "Why doesn't glue stick
to the inside of its container?" Teachers who submit questions
that are published will receive a gift certificate to the NSTA
Science Store. To submit questions, e-mail department editor Marc
Rosner at MARosner@aol.com,
and be sure to include your name, school, and address.
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