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How Can Universities Help Schoolteachers Improve in Math and Science?

An article in this week's issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Juggling the Numbers” explores the Administration’s plan to cut National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership programs and to divert the funds to a parallel program run by the U.S. Department of Education. It also looks into the debate of how much and what kind of a role university researchers should play in improving math and science education. A live online discussion based on the article is scheduled for Thursday, May 26 at 2 p.m U.S. Eastern time.

According to the Chronicle, the online discussion will center on these issues: “What role should university researchers play in improving elementary and secondary education? Should the emphasis be on improving teachers' knowledge of their subject or on their teaching methods? Or, as some critics suggest, are universities not necessarily the best partners in school reform? Can college professors, in turn, learn a lot about math and science instruction from schoolteachers—and are they willing to listen? For more information and to read the article, go to http://chronicle.com/colloquy.

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More Science Education In the News

The National Academies released a report last week saying that U.S. colleges and universities need to do a better job recruiting international students for STEM-related studies. According to the report, 33% of Ph.D.s in science and engineering in the United States went to international students in 2003, up from 14% in 1996. Many of those students have stayed in the United States and contributed to this country's scientific productivity and economic development; however, says the report, post 9-11, many foreign students feel the U.S. would not welcome them, and changes to visa procedures made it more difficult for many to come to America. The report, titled "Policy Implications of International Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the United States”, also encourages universities to recruit more American students to study science. For more information, visit http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11289.html.

A petition signed by 6,000 scientists, engineers, and educators was sent to two U. S. Senators last week asking for Congress to explore ways to increase opportunities for women in STEM-related fields. “The recent debate over women's role in math and science has helped shed light on the persistent under-representation of women in these important fields. Now, more than ever, our nation will rely upon its scientists, mathematicians, and engineers for its economic health and national security.” For more information go to http://www.mentornet.net/wyden-allen.

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Summer Professional Development Opportunities Now Online

What are your plans this summer? Looking for some great professional development opportunities? Then look to NSTA—here are just a few of the professional development opportunities available to you (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_05_23_pd.htm).

For more information about these or many other summer programs, consult the NSTA WebCalendar at http://www.nsta.org/calendar (select the Summer Institute link on the right side of the page).

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UT Forensic Anthropology Center (aka the Body Farm) Director to Headline NSTA Nashville Convention, Dec. 1-3; Make Hartford Housing Reservations Online

Is forensic science a big topic in the halls of your school? Are your science students watching certain TV shows and coming to class full of questions? Would you be interested in hearing an insider’s look at Science from the Body Farm as told by Dr. William Bass, III, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Forensic Anthropology Center (aka the Body Farm) at the University of Tennessee? Then don’t miss NSTA’s Nashville convention, December 1-3, and the opening day General Session featuring Dr. Bass. The 2½-day event will cover a wealth of science immersion and networking opportunities, with in-depth sessions, hands-on workshops, presentations, and short courses under three important content strands: Connecting Research to Practice, Serving Diverse Populations, and Investigating Current Science Interests. For a look at the agenda and access to a personal scheduler to create your proposal for funding, start now by going to http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2005NAS. Or for you earlybirds all set to register now at the best possible price, go to https://ecommerce.nsta.org/2005NAS.
For all of you planning to attend the Hartford convention, October 20-22, you may make your housing reservations online starting Friday (http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2005HAR).

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