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Education Commission of the States Issues Report on Science and Math Education

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has issued a report that summarizes a National Science Foundation-sponsored conference last fall of state policymakers and math and science researchers and includes strategies to improve these two subjects. The report advises states to create more effective science assessments; strengthen teacher knowledge and skills in science and math; ensure highly qualified instructors are available to disadvantaged students; enlist leadership from the university level to improve teacher education in these areas; and promote public awareness of the importance of math and science to the nation's future. The report also includes a short synopsis of the state of math and science education in the United States, and the importance of literacy in these areas to our nation’s competitiveness. NSTA President Michael Padilla and NSTA Executive Director Gerald Wheeler were two of the participants at the November 2004 conference. To read the report Keeping America Competitive: Five Strategies to Improve Mathematics and Science Education, visit http://ecs.org/clearinghouse/62/19/6219.pdf.

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Fall Registration Open for American Museum of Natural History's Online Graduate Science Courses

Deepen your knowledge of the life, Earth, and physical sciences with Seminars on Science courses from the American Museum of Natural History. Classes begin September 26, and include a new integrated science course on The Ocean System, as well as The Link Between Dinosaurs and Birds, Space, Time, and Motion; Earth: Inside and Out; and Genetics, Genomics, and Genethics.

Each 6-week course immerses the learner in a collaborative investigation of a current topic within one of the life, Earth, or physical sciences. Courses can be taken for up to four graduate credits, and may meet local professional development requirements (subject to local approval). All courses are taught by museum scientists and educators, and highlight current, cutting-edge research. Internet access is required, and 24-hour technical support is always available.

A $50 discount is available for those who register by August 31. For more information and to register, go to http://learn.amnh.org/welcome.php?w=NSTAF05 or call 800-649-6715.

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NSTA Institute Symposia by NASA, NSTA Press Authors Highlight Hartford In-Depth Session Choices

One of the most popular features of an NSTA convention is the opportunity for science educators to register for an impressive array of extended sessions that examine a particular topic in greater depth for a concentrated learning experience. Among this group are several NSTA Institute Symposia. Presented under the banner of the NSTA Institute, these special events are noteworthy as they extend beyond the 4-1/2 hour face-to-face sessions to involve participants in a blended professional development experience that includes several follow-up online experiences in ensuing months, extending interactivity with presenters beyond the convention session.

Three NSTA Institute Symposia will be presented at the Hartford Convention (October 20-22): Doing Good Science (SC-4) presented on October 21 for middle-school educators by the authors of an NSTA Press book on the subject; Preparing for the Journey to Space (SC-8), presented by NASA on October 21; and Watershed Dynamics (SC-12) presented on October 22 by the Environmental Inquiry Team authors of an NSTA Press book of the same title in the Cornell Scientific Inquiry Series. All three Symposia are half-day sessions and require separate registration and fee. For complete course descriptions and to register, go to https://ecommerce.nsta.org/2005HAR.

If you’d like to browse the agendas of the NSTA conventions in Chicago (November 10-12), and Nashville, (December 1-3), you can peruse the complete advance program online at http://science.nsta.org/2005_area_advance_program, and register online at http://www.nsta.org/conventions.

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Whether You’ve Got Questions or Answers, NSTA’s Member Listservs are Lively Dialogue Sites

How do you deal with tardiness? Do you have advice for a new teacher? Which type of microscope would you purchase? I’m on limited budget and need to buy lab equipment, which items are a must? And those are just a few topics discussed last week on NSTA’s member-only Listservs. Subscribers ask questions and share information about topics that are important to them and receive solutions they can use from others with first-hand experience.

NSTA Members who subscribe (at no extra cost!) can now select from 11 topic areas including biology, chemistry, computer science, Earth science, elementary, environmental science, general science, physical science, physics, and technology education, and our newest list, new teacher.

This virtual networking community is available only to members 24/7. Take a look, you’ll be glad you did! To subscribe, visit http://www.nsta.org/listervs for complete details. Not a member? Join today. Visit http://www.nsta.org/join.

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And Don't Forget... 
  • Speaking 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
    http://ecommerce.nsta.org/catalog_signup.
  • Give your new teachers the support they need to succeed with reduced rate NSTA membership.

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