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Table of Contents

Education Week Examines Use of Science Specialists in the Elementary School Classroom

In the April 7 edition of Education Week, Linda Jacobson looks at the emerging trend of schools using science specialists in elementary classrooms. In the past year, Florida’s Broward and Palm Beach County school districts have dramatically increased the number of science specialists, who support and reinforce science lessons taught by regular classroom teachers by conducting experiments that formerly were dropped because of a crowded school day and time constraints. To view the article, go to http://edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=30Science.h23 (free registration required).

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American Museum of Natural History Online Summer Courses Offer Life, Earth, and Physical Science Topics (Plus Up to Four Graduate Credits)

Ever wonder how much genetically modified food you eat? To find out, register now for an online summer course presented by the American Museum of Natural History. The six-week course, “Genetics, Genomics, Genethics: Molecular Biology,” examines the latest research into the genome and the intriguing ethical issues that arise from such possibilities as genetic enhancement, genetically modified foods, and cloning.

This course is one of five life, Earth, and physical science courses offered by the Museum beginning June 28.  All are designed for K-12 educators, are fully Web-based, and can be taken for up to four graduate credits.  The courses feature rich media elements and flexible online discussions that include a Museum scientist, an experienced instructor, and a networked community of teachers.

For complete course descriptions and to register, go to http://learn.amnh.org/welcome.php?w=NSTAIS04. For more information on the NSTA Institute, of which the Museum is a member, go to http://institute.nsta.org.

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Chemical Heritage Foundation to Hold Leadership Initiative in Science Education, May 20-21, 2004—Register for Free Event by May 7

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) will hold its fourth annual Leadership Initiative in Science Education (LISE 4) conference on May 20-21 at the CHF headquarters in Philadelphia. The theme of the conference is "Partners in Innovation: Science Education and the Science Workforce." LISE 4 will bring together leaders from education and industry who are at the forefront of efforts to sustain and build America's science workforce. The conference will seek to define the skills required by science and technology professionals to succeed in the global workforce and the profile of science education needed for the 21st century.

LISE 4 will provide a forum for discussing many of the issues highlighted in such recent national reports as The Science and Engineering Workforce: Realizing America's Potential, issued in August 2003 by the National Science Board at the NSF, and Learning for the Future: Changing the Culture of Math and Science Education to Ensure a Competitive Workforce, issued by the Committee for Economic Development in May 2003.

Speakers include Elsa Reichmanis, immediate past president, American Chemical Society; Joseph Bordogna, deputy director, National Science Foundation; Ron Webb, manager of doctoral recruiting and university relations, Procter and Gamble; and Linda Rosen, consultant and former executive director, Glenn Commission. Also scheduled to speak are Sally Goetz Shuler, executive director, National Science Resources Center; Sara Schechner, David P. Wheatland Curator, Harvard University; Conrad Stanitski, professor of chemistry, Central Arkansas University; Sylvia Ware, director, education and international activities division, American Chemical Society; and Peter Henderson, director, Board on Higher Education and Workforce, National Academies. Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Executive Director will also lead a session on professional development and teacher preparation.

The conference is free, but space is limited. Register online by May 7 at http://www.chemheritage.org (click on LISE 4 on the front page). Questions? Contact Don McKinney at (215) 925-2178, ext. 320, or e-mail donm@chemheritage.org.

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NSTA Honors Toyota with Distinguished Partner Award

At its National Convention in Atlanta, NSTA presented its prestigious Distinguished Partnership Award to Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. The award pays tribute to those organizations that have made a steadfast commitment to the improvement and enhancement of science education in partnership with NSTA. 

For 14 years, Toyota has partnered with NSTA on the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program, the largest K–12 science teacher grant program in the country. Every year, the program awards 50 teams of teachers up to $10,000 each and at least 20 teams of teachers up to $2,500 each to develop innovative science projects for the classroom or school. Since the program began, Toyota has awarded more than $6 million in grants to teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.

To read more about the award, go to http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_04_12_extra.htm.

For information on how to apply for a Toyota TAPESTRY grant, go to http://www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry/index.htm.

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Bugged by Bugs? Now You’ll Be Fascinated by Them… NTEN Has the Perfect Online Course for K-6 Teachers This Summer

Just one of many summer online course offerings from NTEN (National Teachers Enhancement Network), “The Fascinating Bug” is co-taught by a Smithsonian science consultant and an award-winning nonfiction children's book illustrator and designed to launch K-6 teachers into the intriguing world of entomology. NTEN’s central goal is to introduce teachers--and your students--to the excitement of hands-on, inquiry-based learning. Through activities, investigations, readings, and discussion groups, you will study insects in general and one species in particular. A starter kit of  "safe, fascinating, classroom-friendly, and easy-to-maintain" live bugs will be sent as part of the course.  NTEN’s methodology is based on the premise that close observation--followed by careful drawing, writing, and further observation--builds the essential skills of science.

The course, which carries one hour of graduate credit and runs June 14-July 30, can be accessed from any location at any time of day via the Internet. Registration deadline is June 11. Tuition costs $180 for NSTA members and $200 for non-members, plus a $50 materials fee.

For more information about The Fascinating Bug, or any of the many NTEN courses for elementary, middle level, and high school educators beginning in June and July in biology; chemistry; Earth science; education, curriculum, and instruction; entomology; geography; human development; food/nutrition; mathematics; microbiology; and physics, go to http://www.scienceteacher.org/courses.htm.  For more information on the NSTA Institute, go to http://institute.nsta.org.

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April 15 Deadline for NSTA Dallas National Convention Session Proposals; Don’t Forget to Give Us Your Feedback on Atlanta

Interested in presenting at NSTA’s 2005 National Convention, scheduled for March 31-April 3 in Dallas?  Proposals for sessions and presentations must be submitted—online only—at http://www.nsta.org/sessions by Thursday, April 15. Professional development strands, which suggest topics for sessions, workshops, and short courses, are Biomedical/Biotechnology, Technology Showcase, Assessment, and Safety.

For those of you who attended the 52nd NSTA Convention, which just concluded in Atlanta, we’d like to have your thoughts about the event. Go to http://ecommerce.nsta.org/2004atl/convention_evaluation.asp, and fill out a short questionnaire. What we learn from our attendees helps shape future NSTA conventions, and we’d like to hear from you as well.

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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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