NSTA Express
 Main NSTA Website | Become an NSTA Member | Register for a Convention | February 10, 2003



Thanks for opening this edition of NSTA Express, containing the latest news and information from the National Science Teachers Association, and delivered to you every Monday. To save you time, information is presented in short “news bites,” so if you’d like to know more, you simply select the headline quick link. As always, NSTA is working to create products and improve services for science educators. If you’re not already a member, we invite you to join the crowd!

Table of Contents

Convention Final Discount Deadline 2/17; Dr. Ben Carson to Headline
NASA Announces Explorer Schools Program
NSTA Legislative Update: Bush Administration Announces Math and Science Education Reform Initiative
Survey: How Has the Columbia Disaster Affected Your Teaching Strategy?
Concerned About Professional Development Funding and No Child Left Behind? NSTA Can Help! 
Food Science—A Delectable Subject for Students!
$2,000+ in Vendor Coupons Mailed to Members!
 

Convention Final Discount Deadline 2/17; Dr. Ben Carson to Headline

Hurry! The deadline is February 17 to take advantage of advance registration discount pricing to attend NSTA’s eagerly anticipated annual convention in Philadelphia, March 27-30.  For full details, complete convention agenda, and to register, click on http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2003PHI.

To open the four-day gathering of science educators, NSTA is honored to announce that Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., M.D., will address the General Session on Thursday, March 27.  Dr. Carson is recognized worldwide for his accomplishments: triumphing over a background of dire poverty to practice medicine, and attaining his current position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in 1984 at the age of 33.  Recipient of numerous honors and awards, including more than 20 honorary doctorate degrees, Dr. Carson will give attendees an inspirational look at the philosophy that helped him deal with obstacles and overcome them as he prescribes his personal formula for success: THINK BIG.  

For more about our remarkable featured speaker, select this link: http://www.nsta.org/main/conventions/ticketed_info.php?record_id=14939

Following his address, Dr. Carson will be available at the NSTA Science Store to autograph his recent books for purchasers. 

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NASA Announces Explorer Schools Program

Reaffirming its commitment to education, NASA is announcing the new NASA Explorer Schools (NES) program, which replaces its existing NASA Educational Workshops (NEW).

Administered by NSTA, the Explorer Schools program encourages teams of 4–5 science, mathematics, and technology educators from a school or district to apply for a three-year partnership with NASA. Educators will receive NASA-unique scientific content, advanced technological tools, and sustained professional development to develop rich learning opportunities in mathematics, science, and technology. An exciting component of the program will engage students and parents. Fifty school teams will be selected for the 2003 program. For details and an application, visit http://explorerschools.nasa.gov. Deadline for entries is April 4.

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NSTA Legislative Update: Bush Administration Announces Math and Science Education Reform Initiative

On Thursday, Feb. 6, U. S. Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige joined members of Congress, business executives, and researchers—in addition to a number of high-profile math, science, and education advocates—to kick off a new initiative designed to improve mathematics and science education.

The Department of Education hopes to improve math and science education by developing a research base for math and science education; educating the public about the need for better math and science education; and improving teacher knowledge in these areas.

The Feb. 6 event focused specifically on mathematics education; a more detailed program for science is still being developed and will be unveiled later this year.

Joining Secretary Paige for the morning-long session in Washington, DC, were John H. Marburger, II, science advisor to the President; Tom Loveless, Brookings Institution; William Schmidt, Michigan State University; Representative Vern Ehlers (R-MI); Craig Barrett, CEO of Intel Corporation; Russ Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences; Rita Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation; Frederick Gregory, NASA deputy administrator; Alejandro Adem, University of Wisconsin; and Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan.

In addition to the Department of Education, representatives from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will work together on this program.

The nearly 300 participants invited to the Summit were asked to signify their interest in participating in follow-up activities and recommendations to address the three goals. The Department hopes to form action teams focusing on each goal. A steering committee, which includes NSTA Executive Director Gerald Wheeler, will work with representatives from the Federal agencies to shape the recommendations that come from the working groups. In addition to NSTA, the steering group includes representatives from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Mathematical Society, the Business Roundtable, Council of Chief State School Officers, Committee for Economic Development, Grantmakers in Education, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Learning First Alliance.

The goals for the initiative include

  1. Conducting a broad-based public engagement campaign that draws attention to the need for better mathematics and science education in our nation’s schools.  The initiative will work with the business community and professional organizations of mathematicians, scientists, engineers, educators, and researchers to (a) define the concepts that all students must master; (b) sponsor events that excite students and parents about scientific and mathematical careers; (c) bring science and mathematics professionals into schools to work with students and teachers; and (d) send teachers and students to work with such professionals at the scientific job site.
  2. Initiating a major campaign to recruit, prepare, train, and retain teachers with strong backgrounds in mathematics and science. The campaign will work with colleges of arts and sciences, colleges of education, teacher training programs, school districts, and states to ensure strong content knowledge in teachers through professional development programs known to boost student achievement. It will also promote alternative routes to recruiting and retaining qualified teachers.
  3. Developing a major academic research base to improve our knowledge of what boosts student learning in mathematics and science in the classroom. A research agenda will specify the learning processes essential for success in a wide range of learners and identify effective instructional strategies.

For more information on the Secretary’s Summit on Mathematics, visit the Department of Education website at www.ed.gov.

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Survey: How Has the Columbia Disaster Affected Your Teaching Strategy?

Let us know what you think about space travel and science education: Take our NSTA Express Poll

Should educators have a place on future shuttle missions? We want to know what science educators think. Give us your opinions by taking our first-ever NSTA Express Poll at http://ecommerce.nsta.org/survey_columbia/survey_columbia.asp

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Concerned About Professional Development Funding and No Child Left Behind? NSTA Can Help!

Eisenhower professional development grants are gone, replaced by the new Title II grants under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). As a result, many teachers are unclear about the new programs under NCLB and concerned about finding funds for professional development. NSTA can help! E-mail jpeterson@nsta.org with a specific question you may have about NCLB and/or federal funding for professional development, or visit the NSTA website at www.nsta.org for a quick overview of the new federal education law and how it will affect science education.

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Food Science—A Delectable Subject for Students!

Middle level and high school science teachers are invited to apply to the FDA/NSTA Professional Development Program in Food Science, a sustained training opportunity for certified teachers. Selected participants will attend a one-week summer workshop in Washington, DC, and a two-day follow-up enhancement conference held in conjunction with an NSTA area convention, and they will be asked to lead their own workshop in their local area. All expenses are paid. For more information and an application, visit www.nsta.org/fda, or e-mail Jill Heywood at jheywood@nsta.org. The application deadline is March 1, 2003.

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NSTA Membership—Working for You!

NSTA’s 2003 Suppliers Guide for science educators, packed with more than $2,000 in money-saving coupons, is arriving in member mailboxes. This one-stop shopping source contains information on the most up-to-date textbooks, computer programs, curriculum kits, and lab equipment available from our participating suppliers. Available to NSTA members only, the print-version Guide features science education products and materials from vendors, associations, consultants, and software producers. The online version at http://suppliers.nsta.org allows customers to search, browse, buy, and even provide feedback. Not yet an NSTA member? Join today at https://ecommerce.nsta.org/membership/apply.asp, and we’ll get your copy right out to you.

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