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Table of Contents

"Bring Back Elementary Science Education"

In early January the Arizona Republic published a letter written by former NSTA president Joanne Vasquez titled "Bring Back Elementary Science Education." In the letter Dr. Vasquez, a current member of the National Science Board, the oversight body for the National Science Foundation, argues that the recent TIMSS scores, which show that American fourth graders have shown no gains in science over the last 10 years, can be attributed to the fact that "science instruction has come to a dismal halt or been severely curtailed in far too many elementary classrooms here in Arizona and across the United States." To read or print the letter from Dr. Vasquez (which can easily be adapted and sent to your local newspaper), go to http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_01_10_letter.htm.

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Top 10 Science Discoveries of 2004

Each year, the editors of the journal Science compile a list of the top ten scientific discoveries for the previous year, and for 2004, the list is headed up by: 1) Evidence for water on Mars; 2) fossil records of a previously unknown species of tiny humans; and 3) the cloning of human embryos in South Korea. For the rest of the list, visit http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2004/12/28/top_10_science_stories_mars_water_evidence_leads_list.

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NSTA—and Science Teachers From Across the Globe—Recommend Tsunami Resources for the Classroom

Many thanks to those who responded to our NSTA Express survey on helping students understand the science behind last month's devastating earthquake and tsunami. From class discussions and demonstrations, to reading and reporting on the events of the tragedy, more than 400 Express readers told us how they are using this natural disaster as a teachable moment. Many readers also shared with us valuable teaching resources they found—most of which are available free online. We've compiled a comprehensive list of these resources at http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_01_10_tsunami.htm.

To provide additional resources, NSTA is giving all teachers free access to specific SciLinks. SciLinks is NSTA's premiere Internet technology that provides the best up-to-date links to web resources, science news, and student activities. For the next 30 days, NSTA is making links to resources on three key topics—earthquakes, plate tectonics, and tsunamis—available free for all. If you're an NSTA member, don't forget that you have always have access to key SciLinks topics by going to http://www.nsta.org/main/scilinks_gateway.php.

Earthquakes
http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=63204555336644

Plate Tectonics
http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=63204555882255

Tsunamis
http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=6320455511111110

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Pre-Convention 2005 Professional Development Institutes to Focus on Inquiry, Literacy, Lesson Design, and Materials Analysis at NSTA National Event

Planning to join NSTA in Dallas for our annual national convention March 31-April 3? By adding March 30 to your itinerary, you may also register for the 2005 Professional Development Institutes (PDIs). This year's program follows the same successful format as the Atlanta 2005 convention debut, expanded from four to six well-known professional development providers and NSTA partners presenting full-day sessions: BSCS Center for Professional Development on Inquiring into Inquiry; The Center for Science Education/Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) on The Role of Literacy in Developing Student Scientific Understanding; First Hand Learning, Inc., on Exploring the Processes of Inquiry by Examining Questions Arising from Firsthand Investigations of the Natural World; Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley on Understanding Student Learning Through Assessment in Science; Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) on Designing Effective Science Lessons!, and WestEd on Analyzing Instructional Materials Aligned to Standards and Frameworks.

For full descriptions and to register for the PDIs, visit http://www.nsta.org/conventionsupport&record_id=100&Meeting_Code=2005DAL (session size is limited, so don't delay).

For complete convention agenda, access to your online Personal Convention Scheduler, and registration information—including short courses, meal functions, and field trips, visit http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2005DAL.

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Present at NSTA's 2005 Fall Conventions; Deadline for Online Proposals Jan. 15

Share your successes, your ideas, and your knowledge by presenting at an upcoming NSTA convention—our annual forum for bringing the latest in content, research, and teaching strategies to science educators. Submitting your session proposal is easy, because it's all done online, with an easy-to-use format and the assurance that the review process will be as speedy as possible.

Proposals are being accepted through January 15, 2005 for NSTA's fall conventions, which will be held in Hartford, CT (October 20-22), Chicago (November 10-12), and Nashville (December 1-3).

Membership in NSTA is not a prerequisite for presenters, so go to http://www.nsta.org/sessions for complete instructions, criteria for rating proposals, confirmations and more. And if you're interested in presenting at the 2006 national convention in Anaheim, CA (April 6-9), you can submit proposals now through April 15, 2005.

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And Don't Forgetů

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