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NSTA Unveils NSTA Conferences on Science Education as New Name for Conventions; Anaheim National Conference Registration Open Now

NSTA today unveiled a new name—and an enriched format—for our time-honored annual conventions. Long considered the premiere professional development events by science educators, NSTA’s national and area conventions will now be called NSTA Conferences on Science Education. The change reflects the growth and evolution of conventions into deeper, more meaningful professional development experiences for teachers. NSTA will debut the new name at our 54th National Conference on Science Education, which takes place April 6–9, 2006, in Anaheim, California, and is expected to draw more than 13,000 attendees.

“We have been working strategically to enhance our conventions to provide teachers with professional development opportunities that are more expertly sequenced, focused, and extended over a longer period of time,” said NSTA President Mike Padilla. “This is what research tells us is effective and can translate into meaningful learning experiences for teachers. As a result, we felt we needed a new name to showcase how these events provide this experience for teachers and cover more of today’s important topics.”

To learn more about the name change, what’s in store for the Anaheim National Conference, and to register, visit http://www.nsta.org/conventiondetail&Meeting_Code=2006ANA. To read the press release, visit http://www.nsta.org/pressroom&news_story_ID=51166.

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NSTA and NAS Withhold Copyright and Call for Improved Science Standards for Kansas Students; AAAS Issues Statement of Support

In a joint statement released last week, NSTA and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) asked the Kansas State Board of Education (KSBE) to “refrain from referencing or quoting from publications” by the two organizations in the state's science education standards. The KSBE sought copyright permission to use portions of the National Science Education Standards, published by NAS, and Pathways to the Science Standards, published by NSTA, in the Kansas Science Education Standards (KSES).

“Most of the draft Kansas standards could serve as a model for other states to emulate,” said NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler. “But because of serious errors related to the theory of evolution, we had no choice but to say no and to encourage the Board to improve these standards for the sake of its students.”

NAS and NSTA offered to work with the board to resolve these issues so the state science standards could use text from the NAS and NSTA publications. The Board is scheduled to vote on the Standards at its next meeting on November 8-9. To read the entire story, visit http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_10_31_kansas.htm.

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NSTA Legislative Update

Although the spending levels for FY2006 federal programs haven’t been finalized, many Members of Congress and advocacy groups are already gearing up for FY2007. Plus the Government Accounting Office (GAO) issues a report on the massive number of federal math and science programs, and the STEM Education Caucuses plan events to highlight science and math education. Read about these developments and more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2005_10_31_legupdate.htm)

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Dig Soil? Montana State (NTEN) Introduces New Online Courses in Soil Science for Spring ’06

Want to learn more about soil science and earn graduate credit in the process, all from a convenient home or workplace location? Several new spring ’06 courses offered online by the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) at Montana State University may be the perfect solution. Understanding Soils in the Environment for secondary teachers is aimed at increasing understanding about soil science as it relates to land and the diversity of plant communities, landforms, and climates found in natural systems. Teachers will gain experience using aerial photography, satellite imagery, and 3-D mapping programs that are ideal for sharing with students.

NTEN will also offer The Dirt on Soil Science for K-6 grade level teachers. The course will examine concepts of soil science and use soil as a platform to teach other science disciplines. Registration for these and NTEN’s other online professional development courses in science education including biology, entomology, microbiology, astronomy, and physics—as well as full descriptions—are available at http://www.scienceteacher.org/courses.htm, or by calling 800-282-6062 for more information. NSTA members receive a 10% discount.

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Make Ongoing Assessment Second Nature in Your Classroom, With November Online Book Special

Everyday Assessment in the Science Classroom from NSTA Press is a thought-provoking collection of essays designed to build confidence and enhance a teacher’s ability to embed assessment into daily classwork. Starting November 1, the book is available at a special 30% discount on retail price when you purchase it online. The authors offer in-depth “how to” suggestions on conducting assessments as a matter of routine—especially in light of high-stakes standards-based exams—to improve instruction. For more details, to browse the book and to order, go to http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial2.

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And Don't Forget... 

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Professional development courses in your future?
Online options give you a world of choice.
Take a look at these institutions offering courses for science educators!

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