NSTA Express
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Table of Contents

2003 ACT Test Results Indicate High School Seniors Are Weak in Science
Five Weeks for Graduate Credits, CEUs...Go Back to School with Fall JASON Academy Courses
"New" SciLinks® Up for Testing— Try It, Tell Us What You Think
25 Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Intriguing Science Ideas, Lesson Plans from NSTA Press®
Do Scientists Spend Time in Your Classroom? If Not, Would You Like Them To? Tell Us More in a Brief Questionnaire

2003 ACT Test Results Indicate High School Seniors Are Weak in Science

According to the 2003 ACT test results released last week, few college-bound high school seniors who take the yearly test are prepared for college biology. Only 26 percent of the test-takers earned a score of 24 or higher on the science test, which is the established benchmark indicating a high probability of completing first-year college courses with a grade of C or higher. In addition, only 5 percent of African American test-takers, 10 percent of Mexican American students, and 14 percent of Hispanic and American Indian students scored at or above the college readiness benchmark for college biology.

In response to the ACT scores, NSTA said it believes that the low numbers of students reaching the benchmark can be attributed to the growing neglect of K–12 science education in classrooms across the nation.

"We are reaping what we sow," said Dr. John Penick, NSTA President and head of the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education at North Carolina State University. "For years, far too many districts have failed to place enough focus on the quality and the amount of science education provided to their students. Schools are reducing or eliminating science instruction time because of pressure to show achievement in other subjects, such as mathematics and reading. This is simply not acceptable."

To read the complete NSTA press release, go to http://www.nsta.org/pressroom&news_story_ID=48532. To download ACT data and charts, go to www.act.org.

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Five Weeks for Graduate Credits, CEUs...Go Back to School with Fall JASON Academy Courses

Earn graduate credit and CEUs with the online JASON Academy science courses designed for elementary and middle school teachers. Among the 15 five-week courses offered starting September 22 are Forces and Motion, Structure of the Earth, Teaching Science Safely, and Science and Young Children. The Academy courses cover most of the life, physical, and Earth science content areas in the National Science Education Standards and state science standards. Online courses allow you to work according to your timetable and to have a one-on-one relationship with online instructors. NSTA members receive a 10 percent discount on tuition, so courses cost only $157.50 each. Complete course descriptions and online registration are available at www.jason.org/academy, or call 1-888-527-6600 or e-mail academy@jason.org for detailed information. Course enrollment is limited, so sign up now.

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"New" SciLinks® Up for Testing — Try It, Tell Us What You Think

Created and presented by NSTA in partnership with U.S. textbook publishers — and now available to NSTA members as well — SciLinks has quickly become the premier source for teacher-vetted Web pages for thousands of science topics. This fall, a new, easier-to-use SciLinks with added features for teacher-student interaction, improved search capabilities, plus a bright, contemporary new look, will go live online. The new SciLinks site is now ready for testing and de-bugging, and you are invited to go to www.scilinks.org/_new and "test-drive" it, as a member or guest, and give us your comments.

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25 Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Intriguing Science Ideas, Lesson Plans from NSTA Press®

Having trouble finding enough time to teach science in your K – 6 classes? Just off the press from NSTA is Mixing It Up, a lively collection of teacher-tested ways to blend science with math, language arts, and more. And each article — from NSTA's elementary school member journal, Science & Children — is categorized by grade level and by the National Science Education Standards it addresses. To browse through the book, click on http://store.nsta.org/searchBasic.asp?searchTerm=Mixing+It+Up.
And while you're visiting the NSTA Science Store online, take a look at the rest of our upcoming Fall 2003 new books: The Lingo of Learning: 88 Education Terms Every Science Teacher Should Know (K – College); the fourth title in the hugely popular Stop Faking It! series, Sound (Grades 3 – 8) by Bill Robertson; the revised and updated bestseller NSTA Pathways to the Science Standards — Second High School Edition; a new NSTA Press Journals Collection, Evolution in Perspective (Grades 6 – 12), edited by Rodger W. Bybee; Teaching Science in the Two-Year College (College); and Understanding Models in Earth and Space Science (Grades 6 – 12). As always, you can order online or after you peruse the new Fall 2003 NSTA Recommends® Catalog, which will be delivered nationwide next week.

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Do Scientists Spend Time in Your Classroom? If Not, Would You Like Them To? Tell Us More in a Brief Questionnaire

Many teachers agree that working with scientists can help students better understand science content and provide them with positive role models and solid information about science as a career. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is working with NSTA to explore a potential new program to expand the use of volunteers, such as scientists, engineers, or others with science backgrounds, in the classroom. Take a minute and fill out a brief questionnaire about how you find—or can't find—the volunteers you need. Go to http://science.nsta.org/survey_aaas/survey_aaas.asp.

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Hope you found this Monday’s edition of NSTA Express an interesting, quick read and a worthwhile update on the latest news and information from the National Science Teachers Association. Our goal is to save you time by delivering information each week in short "news bites," so if you'd like to know more, simply select the headline quick link. NSTA continues to create resources and improve services for science educators. If you're not already a member, we invite you to join the crowd by going to www.nsta.org/whyjoin

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