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NSTA Legislative Alert: Call Your House Representative; Ask Him/Her to Sign the Ehlers Dear Colleague Letters Supporting STEM Education

Two Dear Colleague (DC) letters in the House are now circulating in support of STEM education funding. Call or e-mail your House Representative and ask him or her to sign the Ehlers/Holt/Udall/Biggert letter (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_03_13_ehlers.htm) urging appropriators to provide at least $562.2 million to strengthen math and science education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, and to sign the Ehlers/Holt/Inglis/Lipinski letter (http://science.nsta.org/nstaexpress/ehlers.pdf) supporting $6.02 Billion for FY2007 programs at the National Science Foundation.

You can send both letters along with your e-mail request to your Member of Congress in the House. It is very important to get as many lawmakers to sign these letters, as they are often barometers of support for a specific issue or funding request, SO PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO CALL OR E-MAIL. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. To send an e-mail, go to http://thomas.loc.gov, and link to House of Representatives (link is located on the left hand side). The deadline for both letters is March 16.

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The Teaching of Evolution: On the Front Lines

An article in the March 10 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education reports from the recent AAAS Annual Meeting sessions that focused on the teaching of evolution. The sessions helped to engage and energize the scientific community and encourage scientists to become active in defending the teaching of evolution.

NSTA President-Elect Linda Froschauer was a major speaker at one session, where she urged scientists to “identify science teachers in your own neighborhood, offer to help them, and go to the board of education and speak up. To read the speech, visit http://www.aaas.org/programs/centers/pe/evoline/index.shtml. The AAAS news story on the event can be found at http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/0220evo.shtml.

According to the Chronicle article, “National organizations such as the AAAS and the National Academy of Sciences have often championed the teaching of evolution, but there has been far less activity at the grass-roots level.” According to Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, “What is new is that it's finally trickling down. These scientists are saying, I've got to do something." To read the full article, go to http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=zgt2bmxnyqf056kbsrj15qw5yq87wv0w.

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54th NSTA Conference in Anaheim Offers 50 Short Courses, Plus NSTA Symposia With NASA, NOAA, and NSTA Press Authors

Sometimes a one-hour session on a hot topic only leaves everyone wanting more, and that’s the reason NSTA has put together a list of 50 half- and full-day Short Courses to delve more deeply into particular topics. Here are just a few of these courses—discounted when you preregister:

  • You Think You Have the Answer… But Are You Sure? (SC-25)—Dispel common science misconceptions through lessons, materials and models…focuses on concepts in elementary-level California State Science Standards—on-site at the Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana;
  • Community Inquiry (SC-26)—Learn how to implement community inquiry so that high school and college students are actively leading themselves in scientific endeavors as a community of scientists;
  • NSTA Symposium: Energy—Stop Faking It! (SC-36)—NSTA’s best-selling author Bill Robertson helps you teach a subject you may not fully understand to grades 4–8 with follow-up online interactions later;
  • An Inquiry Into Schoolwide Access and Support for Science Literacy (SC-41)—Techniques for enabling high school students to succeed in science including Readership Apprentice inquiry approach for making sense of scientific terminology and looking at supporting struggling readers;
  • NSTA Symposium: Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (SC-43)—Authors of the book of the same name, Page Keeley, Francis Eberle, and Lynn Farrin will guide participants through a collection of assessment probes used to examine student thinking in science with follow-up online interactions later;
  • Principal Leadership for Combining Science and Literacy in Elementary Schools (SC-44)—Learn what key elementary principals have done to increase time for elementary science by aligning science instruction with reading comprehension and writing across grades K–5.

Sound interesting? For descriptions of all 50 events—including program additions, and those with space available, and to register, visit http://www.nsta.org/conventionbrowse2/&Meeting_Code=2006ANA&type=Short+Course. See you in Anaheim!

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End-of-School’s in Sight…Must be Time for the NSTA Press Spring Books. Here’s An Advance Look!

The new spring 2006 NSTA Recommends catalog is in the mail, but in the meantime, we’re pleased to introduce our exciting new titles—exclusively to readers of NSTA Express in advance of their spring publication dates, but available to order right now through our online Science Store at http://store.nsta.org/showMultipleItems.asp?category=62.

  • Linking Science and Literacy in the K–8 Classroom is based on NSTA conferences funded by the National Science Foundation and written by NSF-funded researchers and professional development experts in lay language on connecting compatible content.
  • Adventures in Paleontology: 36 Classroom Fossil Activities brings dinosaurs, ancient Earth alive for middle schoolers.
  • Published in conjunction with the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Assessment in Science: Practical Experiences and Education Research delivers accessible assessment techniques that really work for teachers at all levels.
  • Technology-Based Inquiry for Middle School is an NSTA Press journals collection on using contemporary tools to help teachers in grades 58 integrate technology-based inquiry into classroom practices.
  • The perfect do-it-yourself guide for physics teachers who want custom-made demonstration projects is If You Build It, They Will Learn: 17 Devices for Demonstrating Physical Science.
  • Garden Genetics: Teaching With Edible Plants offers teachers in grades 912 some new ways to teach genetic concepts that are fun and fresh, with Teacher and Student editions.
  • NSTA Press has brought you safety books for elementary, middle, and high school levels, so now there’s one for community college guidance: Science Safety in the Community College.

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Take the NSTA Express Survey About…NSTA Express

We’ve been bringing NSTA Express to our faithful readers every week for a little over three years. With a readership of more than 250,000, we think we’re doing something right. Never to rest on our laurels, however, we’d like to hear from you about what you like and don’t like about our weekly editions. We promise it will only take a few minutes. Thanks from the NSTA Express staff! To take the survey, go to http://science.nsta.org/survey_nsta_express/default.aspx.

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And Don't Forget... 

  • No Renewal Notices. No Stamps. Nothing to Remember. Looking for a way to spread your NSTA membership dues over time? E-Z Pay allows NSTA members to have their membership dues billed automatically to a credit card on a quarterly and annual basis—FREE of charge. To select E-Z Pay, simply indicate your preference on your next renewal notice (quarterly or annual) or visit http://www.nsta.org/renew to renew online. Questions? Contact NSTA Member Services at membership@nsta.org. Just another way NSTA is working for YOU!
  • During the month of March, you can purchase the Online Book SpecialClassroom Creature Culture at 30% off list price when you buy online. To browse the book and to order, visit http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial2.
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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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