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15 Leading Business Groups Launch Action Plan To Improve Science and Math Education; Call for Doubling of STEM Graduates in 10 Years

15 major business groups representing business of every size and from every sector of the economy—led by the CEO members of the Business Roundtable—last week called for doubling the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates by the year 2015 and issued an action plan to do this by:

  • Launching an awareness campaign to make improvements in STEM fields a national priority;
  • Motivating students and adults to study and enter careers in these disciplines;
  • Upgrading elementary and secondary teaching in math and science;
  • Reforming visa and immigration policies to enable the U.S. to attract and retain top STEM students; and
  • Boosting and sustaining funding for basic research.

In a press statement Business Roundtable President John Castellani says the business community would “take the lead in building public awareness and support for greater interest, investment, and performance in science, technology, engineering, and math by:

  • Expanding the successful State Scholars program that encourages students to take rigorous courses in high school;
  • Offering more opportunities for company employees to serve as role models and mentors in these fields;
  • Providing teachers with materials that will show students the importance of math and science in a wide range of careers;
  • Funding scholarships for students and professional development for math and science teachers;
  • Working with education groups, the media, and the entertainment industry on messages showing how math and science learning leads to a wide range of interesting careers; and
  • Meeting with and lobbying Governors and Members of Congress to carry out the report's recommendations.
To read more about the recommendations in Tapping America’s Potential: The Education for Innovation Initiative, go to http://www.businessroundtable.org/pdf/20050727002TAPStatement.pdf.

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New NSTA SciGuide Online Resource Guides Exploration to Mars for Grades 5-8

Now here’s more of a good thing: The growing library of NSTA SciGuides now includes another new title: A Close-up Look at the Red Planet is available by subscription for science educators of grades 5-8. The newest SciGuide, developed under the sponsorship of NASA Explorer Schools, examines Mars from various viewpoints beginning with a look at the surface of the red planet and progressing through how NASA and others are exploring it. Following close behind NASA Exploration: The Moon, Mars, & Beyond, which was released last month this newest online resource, like all SciGuides, delivers key science concepts, lesson plans, student work samples, and vignettes using targeted web resources aligned to the National Science Education Standards. Other titles on the core content list for middle school include Earth and Sky, Organisms, and more. And of course there are content topics designed for elementary and high school educators as well. To learn more about SciGuides subscriptions, view a multimedia demo, and get a free SciGuide sample, go to http://sciguides.nsta.org.

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Oceanographic Explorer Sylvia Earle on Deck for NSTA Hartford Convention General Session

Oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle is recognized by the Library of Congress as a Living Legend. And NSTA is pleased to announce that she will be a General Session Speaker at the fall convention in Hartford, October 20-22. Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society, she has led more than 60 expeditions worldwide involving more than 7,000 hours underwater in connection with her research. Dr. Earle will be addressing “Sustainable Seas—The Vision, The Reality.” For more about her fascinating and extensive life and career, go to http://www.doer-inc.com/sylvia-earle2004a.htm. For more on the Hartford convention agenda and to register, go to http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2005HAR. And keep in mind that the earlybird registration deadline for best savings is September 16.

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Is Block Scheduling Part of Your Back-to-School Picture? The August 30% Discount Book Is For You

Thanks to this great resource from NSTA Press, block scheduling need no longer be a stumbling block when you have Block Scheduling to guide you. You’ll adjust to the transition more easily with this special collection of articles—originally published in NSTA’s award-winning member journal The Science Teacher. “From these articles, we picked out valuable information on developing a schedule that worked,” noted a reader in our NSTA Recommends online book review service. And if you buy Block Scheduling online during August, you’ll save 30% off the retail price! For more information and to order, go to http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial.

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NSTA Express Poll: What Will Be Your Biggest Challenges This Fall?

We know that teachers face many challenges that make it difficult to teach—and for students to learn—science. As you prepare to head back to the classroom this fall, what challenges do you anticipate being the most significant? Please take our NSTA Express Poll and tell us: http://science.nsta.org/survey_fall_challenges Look for results in an upcoming edition of NSTA Express.

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And Don't Forget... 

Now that you have time on your hands, take a look at NSTA's new topic-specific SciGuides for classroom internet use... check out the demo and download a free sample at http://www.nsta.org/main/SciGuides.

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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