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White House Honors America’s Outstanding Science and Mathematics Teachers

The White House rolled out the red carpet last week to honor the recipients of the 2004 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Considered the nation’s highest honor for science and math educators, this year’s awards went to 95 elementary teachers. Awardees received a $10,000 gift from the National Science Foundation and an all expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. for a week-long celebration of events and professional development activities.

“This award recognizes the contributions that teachers make to America’s legacy of progress by encouraging young people to study and understand math and science,” wrote President George W. Bush in a letter to all awardees. “With a strong foundation in these critical subjects, today’s students will be able to better compete and succeed in the 21st century workforce.”

NSTA honored the teachers at a special breakfast event and encouraged their continued participation and involvement in NSTA. The 2005 Presidential Award nominations are currently open for science and math teachers in grades 7-12. Public, private, and parochial school teachers can be nominated by anyone except themselves. For information about the 2005 program, or to read more about the 2004 winners, go to http://www.paemst.org. Four PAEMST winners were selected to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee (Visit http://www.house.gov/science/press/109/109-54.htm to learn more.)

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Ask Your Member of Congress to Support Science Education—Call Today

More than 57 members of Congress have signed on to the Ehlers/Udall/Holt/Biggert Dear Colleague letter in the U. S. House of Representatives asking for increased funding for science and math and science education programs, but we need more Congressional support! This is a very critical time for K-12 science and math funding, and every call from science educators to their representatives will make a difference! Please take a minute and make your voice heard. For details on how you can join your colleagues to advocate for increased funding for science education, visit http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_04_18_congress.htm.

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Toyota Awards $550,000 in Grants to K-12 Science Teachers

Toyota TAPESTRY, the largest science teacher grant program in the nation, awarded nearly $550,000 in grants to 50 K–12 U.S. teachers at the NSTA National Convention last month. Fifty teachers received up to $10,000 each and 27 received minigrants of up to $2,500 each. This year’s projects range from evaluating emissions data from alternative fuel sources to an innovative forensics science investigation. To see the list of winning teachers and grant projects, go to http://www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry/thisyears.htm.

(Tracy Underwood, Toyota’s national manager for corporate contributions holds up a full-page ad in the April 1 edition of USA Today announcing the 2005 TAPESTRY winners.)

Toyota awards grants to K-12 teachers each year. Judges select projects that demonstrate creativity, involve risk-taking, and possess a visionary quality in three critical areas: environmental and physical science, and science applications that promote literacy. Toyota has awarded more than $6.5 million to 750 teams of teachers throughout the program’s 15-year history.

It’s never too early to begin working on your grant submission for next year. You could be among the next 50 teachers to get $10,000 for your innovative ideas! Teachers can apply individually or in teams and applications are due in January. For more information about Toyota TAPESTRY grants, visit http://www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry or call 800-807-9852.

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World of Activities for Grades 4-8 Bring Outdoors “Up Close and Personal,” in New NSTA Press Book—Free Sample from Exploring Ecology to Read, Print

Designed for easy use, Exploring Ecology: 49 Ready-to-use Activities for Grades 4-8, combines content with activities all in one place and organized into clear sections. "Management, Mechanics, and Miscellany” leads off with guidance on safety, preparation, materials, and discipline; activities can be found in sections “The Basic Introduction to Ecology,” “The Field Trip: Applying Ecology Concepts,” and “Integration and Extension.” The latter chapter features activities that integrate other disciplines—language arts, social studies, and art—in extending students’ understanding of Earth as an ecosystem. Material is adaptable for younger and older students and is suitable for nature centers and summer camps. To read and print your own free sample from the book, go to http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/ecology.pdf; to purchase Exploring Ecology, go to http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB182X.

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Put Food Safety First…Registration Open for Accredited U/Mass Summer Online Professional Development Courses for Teachers of 6-12

The University of Massachusetts (U/Mass) Extension Nutrition Education Program is accepting registrations for the upcoming presentations of three Food Safety FIRST online courses: Bacteria are Everywhere and Current Controversies in Food Science which begin May 2; and Food Handling is a Risky Business, which begins June 6. Designed for science teachers of grades 6-12, courses may be taken separately and each five-week course includes a Certificate of Completion to document 10 hours of professional development. For a look at complete course descriptions and to register, go to http://www.foodsafetyfirst.org.

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