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University of California and California State University Launch Major K-12 Science and Math Teacher Initiative

Earlier this spring the University of California (UC), California State University, and business leaders launched the California Science and Math Initiative, a new effort to enhance the supply and preparation of science and mathematics teachers for California's public schools.

According to press information from the UC system, the "California Teach" program “will quadruple its annual production of credentialed science and mathematics teachers, from 250 per year to 1,000 per year by 2010.” Undergraduate students at UC will be able to achieve, in four years of study, both a bachelor's degree in science, mathematics, or engineering and the preparation to enable them to become a secondary school science or mathematics teacher. “The California State University system will join in the effort by expanding its teacher preparation programs for science and mathematics teachers as well as its recruitment of students to the profession.”

California corporate leaders have pledged to contribute an initial $4 million over a five-year period to fund the program; lead gifts of $1 million and $2 million were received from SBC and Intel. A few of the other companies who have committed to funding this program include Qualcomm, Boeing, Sun Microsystems, HP, Adobe Systems, US Bank, and Apple.

"Improving achievement in science and mathematics in our public schools is critical to securing the economic future of California," said UC President Robert C. Dynes. "Throughout its history, UC has worked to address the real challenges confronting the people of California, and today the challenge in science and mathematics achievement demands our attention. We are eager to bring the educational resources of the UC to help create better futures for our state’s young people and to help preserve California's position of global economic leadership."

Read more about this initiative at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/academics/1000teachers.

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Science Scope Debuts "Issues In-Depth" Column to Explore Science Behind Today's Most Talked About Issues; Free Peek for Nonmembers on Topic of Stem Cells

NSTA’s journal for middle school members, Science Scope, debuts a new column, “Issues In-Depth,” in its just-mailed summer issue. In keeping with the issue’s Cell theme, the first column takes an in-depth look at stem cell research. “Issues In-Depth” is designed to help teachers as they work to meet the challenge posed by the Standards of producing students who “are able to engage intelligently in public discourse and debate about important issues that involve science and technology.”

“Both sides of any controversy involved will be presented with citations and references to expert opinions, pro and con. Instructional strategies such as problem- solving, debating, role-playing, and critical thinking will be suggested,” notes Science Scope Editor Inez Liftig. To introduce the column—which was highly praised in focus groups held to test the idea—we are pleased to offer NSTA Express readers a special look at this exciting new feature at http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_scope.php?category_ID=87&news_story_ID=50676. Content of NSTA’s journals is available only to members, with the exception of one or two “sample” stories per issue open for all to read online.

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Applications for the NSTA Board of Directors and Council Now Available Online

Are you looking for a challenging leadership position that has an impact on local, state, and national science education? Would you like to serve the association that serves you? We are currently accepting applications for the 2006 NSTA election. You can now submit your application online or download a form at http://www.nsta.org/nominations. Deadline for submission is September 16, 2005. Questions? E-mail nominations@nsta.org.

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What do Atomic Neutrality, Concept Mapping, and Getting a Van de Graaff Repaired Have in Common?

They were just a few topics being discussed last week on NSTA’s member-only list serv. Subscribers ask questions and share information about topics that are important to them and receive solutions they can use in the classroom right away.

Members can now select from 11 topic areas including:

• biology
• chemistry
• computer science
• Earth science
• elementary
• environmental science
• general science
• new teacher NEW!
• physical science
• physics
• technology education

Don’t miss out on this virtual networking opportunity available to you 24/7. To subscribe, visit http://www.nsta.org/listservs for complete details.

Not a member? Join today. Visit http://www.nsta.org/join.

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Hartford Workshops, Sessions Will Help Teachers Stop Faking It!, Probe Students' Ideas, Tackle Science Fairs, Apply for Awards and Grants, and Much More!

Take a leisurely look at the agenda for NSTA’s fall convention in Hartford, October 20-22. Even when you use the Personal Scheduler to work through your tailor-made itinerary, you’re going to have a hard time choosing how to spend two-and-a-half days honing your teaching skills!

Within the convention theme of Connections for Student Achievement, you’ll find hundreds of sessions gathered under five strands: Managing Transitions: Effective Teaching Strategies and Assessment; Coastal and Wetland Environments; Next-Generation Technology: Will We Be Prepared?; Science + Technology = Achievement; and Elementary Science: Improving Student Performance. Plus there’s a roster of notable speakers including Dr. Henry Lee, internationally known forensics expert. Short courses include Science for ALL Children: Science Activities for Students With and Without Disabilities; Sound Science; and There’s Energy in this Classroom.

Coming soon will be all the details for a very special professional development institute “Assessment Techniques for the Elementary Classroom,” for K-5 teachers, to be held October 20. Attendance will be limited, so watch for the announcement with details and availability of online registration. For all you ever wanted to know about the Hartford NSTA convention, stay in touch at http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2005HAR.

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And Don't Forget... 

Last chance! Buy Help! I’m Teaching Middle School Science at a 30% discount during June…online Science Store only, at http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial.

Blog with Science and Children Online and Explore PreK-2 Science Learning in "The Early Years" at http://science.nsta.org/earlyyearsblog.

Want more information about membership in NSTA? Complete the quick online Inquiry Form at http://ecommerce.nsta.org/sendmeinfo, and we’ll be in touch.

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