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Science, Higher Education, and Engineering Groups Warn That Visa “Crisis” Keeping Many Foreign Students Out of U.S.

Twenty five leading groups, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Academy of Sciences, and the Association of American Universities, last week asked the Bush Administration to make changes to the current visa-processing system, which they believe is keeping many foreign students out of the country, warning that  “unnecessary barriers to travel could harm international research aimed at curing AIDS and other diseases,” reports a May 13 article in Wall Street Journal.

The recommendations are designed to combat "the misperception that the United States does not welcome international students, scholars, and scientists," according to the joint statement by these groups, which notes that “an increased number of [visa] cases are being set aside for even more detailed screening, creating massive backlogs and delays that prevent students from attending school, and scientists from participating in research and conferences.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that international applications to graduate schools dropped 32 percent this year and 50 percent of the students affected by visa delays were from China, 27 percent were from Arab or Muslim countries, and 8 percent were from India (China and India send the most students to the U.S.) To read the statement from AAAS, go to http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2004/0512visaIntro.shtml.

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National Science Foundation Seeks Model Informal Science Education Programs

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a Request for Proposal for projects that will "raise the bar" in the field of informal science education. The Informal Science Education (ISE) program seeks to develop and implement informal learning experiences for individuals of all ages and backgrounds that are designed to increase their interest, engagement, and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), as well as projects that advance the theory and practice of informal science education. Projects for consideration will include those that directly target public audiences for self-directed STEM learning, such as permanent and traveling exhibitions; films; television and radio series; web-based projects; citizen science programs; and youth and community programs. For more information go to http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?nsf04579.

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Be Online June 28 With JASON Academy for New Reading Strategies for Science Teaching and Chemistry Through Inquiry…at Reduced Course Prices

Looking for professional development courses you can squeeze into your busy schedule, but not convinced that an online course will be a comfortable fit? NSTA Institute partner JASON Academy offers the chance to sample distance learning at low introductory prices... plus the option to earn graduate credits in education and science as well as CEUs. Starting June 28, two brand new five-week courses will be offered for the first time: Learning Reading Strategies through Middle School Science, designed to help teachers focus on specific reading comprehension strategies to help students become better readers of science texts; and Chemistry through Inquiry, developed for teachers of grades 3-8 in collaboration with the American Chemical Society and based on the National Science Education Standards for “Physical Science,” and “Science as Inquiry.” Registration for each is at the introductory price of $150.

In addition, Forces and Motion and Structure of the Earth, two of the most popular JASON Academy courses, are also being offered during the summer session at $150.  Participants who choose to be part of the SRI evaluation of these two courses will receive a $100 stipend.

JASON Academy courses are uniquely personal for students, featuring close working relationships with online instructors and modeling good science pedagogy. Courses are easy to navigate; include interactive graphic teaching tools and classroom applications; and provide a learning community conducive to colleague sharing and support. For full course descriptions on these and other summer session JASON Academy courses, and to register, go to http://www.jason.org/academy or call 888-527-6600, ext. 240.

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Interested in Purchasing Electronic Copies of NSTA Journal Articles or Book Chapters? Take Our Online Survey and Tell Us

NSTA is always looking for new ways to put top quality resources in the hands of science educators. Some of our most popular resources are our timely books and idea-packed journals. To enhance and expand these offerings, NSTA is investigating the possibility of offering electronic copies of individual book chapters and journal articles that could be downloaded and printed for a fee. Interested in this new service? Tell us more. Go to http://science.nsta.org/survey_articles/ and take our quick online survey. 

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Indianapolis Convention Professional Development Strands Focus on Science Assessment and Evaluation, Technology, Literacy, and “Outside the Box” 

convention logoSessions, workshops, and short courses on the agenda for NSTA’s Indianapolis convention Nov. 4-6, cover the hottest topics in science education today:

Assessment and Evaluation:  Focusing on concepts presented in the National Science Education Standards and the AERA/NCME/APA Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Topics include issues of teacher-created assessments; the influence of state and national standards on student assessment; K-12 statewide testing; the current and potential impact of No Child Left Behind on states’ current assessment practices; authentic assessments; and evaluation techniques/issues associated with teacher certification and licensure.

Technology: Focusing on application and integration of technology in the science classroom, including ideas presented in the National Science Education Standards on Science and Technology.  Topics include the what, why, and how of learning as related to the effective use of technology as a tool for science teachers; using technology to enhance the learning of science content; staying current in technology and science issues; and the process of accessing science knowledge via forms of technology today and in the future.

Literacy:  Focusing on the aspects of scientific literacy as set forth in the National Science Education Standards. Topics include instructional experiences that encompass cultural and/or historical perspectives of science; the nature of science; interdisciplinary and integrated science curriculum connections that enhance teaching and learning; as well as interactions among science, technology, and society.

Science Outside the Box:  Focusing on informal science settings that include art museums and service-learning opportunities that include environmental quality assessments reports for recreation parks. Topics are not limited by context, locale, or setting, but the focus is on the science all need to understand and be able to do (as well as the “why?”) to achieve “science literacy.”

Don’t miss this special opportunity to pack a wealth of learning—plus a visit with hundreds of your favorite vendors, educational field trips, and networking with your peers—into three eventful days! To browse the full agenda, fill out a Professional Development Schedule to use to submit for funding to attend, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2004IND.

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Time is Running Out to Take Advantage of NSTA Career Center Special!

Have you checked out the recent job postings on the NSTA Career Center lately? Now offering career advice for job seekers and discounts for posting employers, the Career Center is home to the top jobs postings in the science education community. Find your perfect job today at http://careers.nsta.org.


Not a member and want to join? Visit https://ecommerce.nsta.org/membership/apply.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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