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Bush Ignites Firestorm With Comments About Intelligent Design
ignited a media firestorm last week when he voiced his support for
“Intelligent Design.” When asked by reporters whether
he believed both evolution and intelligent design should be taught
in schools, Bush replied that he did “so that people can understand
what the debate is about.” The response from the scientific
and education communities was immediate and fierce. Statements by
NSTA, the American Physical Society (APS), American Geophysical
Union (AGU), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Americans United
for the Separation of Church and State (AU), American Institute
of Biological Sciences (AIBS), and others helped to shape the controversy
for millions nationwide. A statement was also issued by the National
Congress on Science Education (NCSE), which is comprised of representatives
from NSTA Chapters and Associated Groups.
In a statement
released on August 3, NSTA indicated that it was “stunned
and disappointed” that President Bush is endorsing intelligent
design—effectively opening the door for nonscientific ideas
to be taught in the nation’s K-12 science classrooms.
simply not fair to present pseudoscience to students in the science
classroom," said NSTA President Mike Padilla. "Nonscientific
viewpoints have little value in increasing students' knowledge of
the natural world."
To read the
NSTA statement, go to http://www.nsta.org/pressroom&news_story_ID=50794.
To read statements issued by other organizations, go to the following
To view the
statement by the NCSE, visit http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_08_08_ncse.htm.
NSTA also contributed
to numerous news articles, including the cover story in this week's
issue of TIME magazine. To read a few of the many news articles
generated from Bush’s comments, go to the NSTA News Digest
Study Critical of High School Science Labs
of science laboratory experiences is poor for most U.S. high school
students, says a new National Science Foundation-funded report from
the National Research Council (NRC), but educators can improve these
experiences by following four key principles of effective instruction
science lab experiences with clear learning outcomes in mind.
• Thoughtfully sequence lab experiences into science instruction.
• Integrate learning science content and learning about the
processes of science.
• Incorporate ongoing student reflection and discussion.
To read the
USA Today article, which includes conclusions from the
NRC report and quotes from NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler
and High School Division Director Steven Long, go to http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2005-08-08-schoollabs_x.htm.
To read the
press release on the report and to find more information on ordering
copies of America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School
Science go to: http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/0309096715?OpenDocument.
Science: And Now There Are 10 Planets; Selected SciLinks Give
You Instant Information for Classroom Use
of what appears to be a 10th planet in the Earth’s solar system
made headlines around the world last week. To read the Los Angeles
Times article on the as-yet unnamed planet, visit http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-planet30jul30,1,2911500.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
(free registration required). For the NASA report, visit
NSTA’s teacher-approved internet service, we’ve identified
several grade-specific websites and resources to save you hours
of web-searching time. If bringing interesting science news into
your classroom is part of your teaching strategy, visit the links
below for a wealth of information on our planets.
Grades 5-8: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=63823447145510881055
Grades 9-12: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=63823447149910881055
Headline Science is a new NSTA Express feature
that will bring you timely and valuable online resources and materials
you can use to examine breaking scientific news with your students.
The SciLinks offered above are normally available to NSTA members
only, but they are available here for a brief period of time. Look
for Headline Science whenever important scientific news
makes the headlines.
Your New Science Teachers the Support They Need to Succeed, with
Reduced Rate NSTA Memberships
a mentor, administrator, or department head in charge of your school’s
or district’s new teacher orientation, an NSTA New Teacher
Membership is an important way to support your new science teachers
in a successful first school year. For less than half the cost of
regular individual membership, your new teacher will receive all
member benefits including a subscription to the award-winning, grade-specific
member journal of choice, and NSTA Reports, our quick-read
members will have access to a dedicated area on the NSTA website
just for them, and to the archives of all NSTA member journals to
search and download useful articles and content from current and
past issues. They can join any of 10 electronic listservs to post
questions and gain knowledge from experienced science educators
who gather online to share insights and information. NSTA members
can also use relevant, trustworthy SciLinks internet resources for
quick, easy access to the best web content available. And of course,
members receive 20% discounts on highly regarded NSTA Press books,
and up to 40% discounts on NSTA convention and educational programs…all
for only $32 per teacher for 12 months.
To learn more,
or contact NSTA Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 800-722-6782. Give your teachers the resources to strengthen
their skills and build a rewarding career with an NSTA New Teacher
Membership…or forward this message to all the new science
teachers on your list.
Approaches, and so do NSTA Press Fall Books…Take a Sneak Peek—and
Pre-order—Nine Important New Resources!
The new fall
2005 NSTA Recommends catalog will be in the mail shortly, but in
the meantime, we’re pleased to introduce our exciting new
titles for fall 2005—exclusively to readers of NSTA Express
in advance of their September/October publication dates, but available
to order right now through our online Science Store at http://store.nsta.org/showMultipleItems.asp?category=62.
list is the seventh addition to our perennially popular Stop
Faking It! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It series
by Bill Robertson. And this one strays into new but neighboring
territory: Math, with the goal of helping you understand
math conceptually by focusing on the reasoning behind the rules.
Giving you the
tools you need to help you determine just what your students know
(or don’t) so you can adjust your teaching, is Uncovering
Student Ideas in Science: 25 Formative Assessment Probes.
and very timely is Science for English Language Learners: K-12
Classroom Strategies, so you can blend science and language
teaching in the classroom.
For middle school
teachers, activities for students featuring a lively scientists’
eye view of how evolution works in Virus and the Whale: Exploring
Evolution in Creatures Small and Large.
Create a research-based
teaching plan that works in your environment with Teaching With
Purpose: Closing the Research-Practice Gap.
And for the
"pfun" stuff, there’s Quantoons, blending
physics problems with quirky and captivating illustrations from
the former Quantum magazine—58 brain-teasers for
of the very youngest future scientists in preK-2, Start Young!
Early Childhood Science Activities are easy-to-do and designed
for exactly that age group.
Science in Grades 5-8 is book three in the four-book Exemplary
Science series and looks at the Standards through essays by
teachers and other middle school experts.
Science in the 21st Century examines today’s pressing
public policy concerns and provides a blueprint for developing continually
improving science programs.
Techniques for the Elementary Classroom PD Institutes Highlight
Hartford Convention (Oct. 20-22)
development institutes will bring participants “knowledge
of the complexities and range of purposes of assessments”
to help “bridge the gap between what students should know
and the development of instruction that leads to conceptual understanding.”
Separate 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. sessions on October 20 for K-2 teachers
and teachers of grades 3-5 ensure that content is targeted to the
specific needs of these groups. Space is limited and these events
are available by preregistration only at
Participants must also be registered for the Hartford Convention,
and the separate professional development institute fee includes
continental breakfast and lunch.
interested in attending Hartford, Chicago (November 10-12) or Nashville
(December 1-3), you can browse all the sessions, events, field trips,
short courses and more, in the fall conventions advance program
NOW—before it hits your mailbox--at http://science.nsta.org/2005_area_advance_program.
still time to give us your feedback on the challenges you face
this fall…take the current NSTA Express poll at
and watch for the results in an upcoming edition.
of back-to-school, if block scheduling is on your to-do list,
check out the August NSTA Press book special: Block Scheduling,
at 30% discount when you purchase it online.
- To receive
the latest NSTA book catalog for your specific grade level, visit
- 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.
a moment and use this form to submit suggestions for NSTA Express
to the NSTA Express team:
If you want to receive NSTA Express by e-mail, please follow
this link: http://www.nsta.org/newsletters
NSTA Express archive: http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_archive.htm
NSTA Career Center: http://careers.nsta.org
For the latest collected education and science news from across
the country, see the NSTA Web News Digest at http://www.nsta.org/mainnews