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Table of Contents

A Snapshot of the State of U.S. Education

Did you know that despite all the criticisms leveled from coast to coast about K–12 public schools, most parents report being very satisfied with their child's school? Did you know that distance education courses are offered at more than half of the country's two- and four-year postsecondary institutions? These and other statistics are in the 2006 Condition of Education report published by the U.S. Department of Education. Visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/20/AR2006112000943.html to read more.

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The Personal Conference Scheduler is Now Available for St. Louis!

Did you know that we post information on our conferences to the Personal Scheduler BEFORE we open registration? Often this takes place approximately 10-14 before registration opens.

So what is the Conference Personal Scheduler? The Conference Personal Scheduler is a worksheet that allows you to create and present your proposed professional development itinerary to your administrator or principal to aid your request for funding support. Use it as a calendar to organize your conference experience to get the most from your participation when you're with us in St. Louis, Missouri, March 29-April 1, 2007. It's easy!

Once you've logged on to begin your Schedule, it remains saved so you can return at any time to view, change, or print it. The Scheduler is not linked to the actual Conference registration process, so it is continually flexible, changeable, and nonbinding.

Plan your conference experience and secure your funding and substitute request now! Visit http://www.nsta.org/main/conferences/schedule_select.php.

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Take an Online Science Course from the American Museum of Natural History

Need to fulfill degree, certification or professional development requirements? Seminars on Science, a member of the NSTA Institute for Professional Development, offers award-winning online graduate courses in the life, Earth and physical sciences. Designed by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for K-12 educators, each six-week course immerses the learner in an area of contemporary research. Come away from your class with a deeper understanding of both the science and the tools of scientific inquiry. Courses are led by educators and Museum scientists and include rich web-based discussions.

Graduate credit is available from several leading institutions. Courses may be used to meet your professional development needs, including degree, certification, NCLB, and salary gradation requirements.

January courses include Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics; and The Diversity of Fishes. Free sample resources for each course, including essays, videos, and interactive simulations, are available online at http://learn.amnh.org.

Registration is now open for the six-week session that begins January 15 as well as the following session beginning March 19, which will include a NEW course on Evolution. Courses are easy to use and flexible enough to fit into a teacher’s busy schedule. Each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use.

Register by December 18th and receive a $50 discount. For more information and to register, visit http://learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.

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Check Out NSTA’s December Web Seminars

Register to attend one or more NSTA Web Seminars taking place this month! All programs begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. For more information, visit http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxweb_seminars.asp.

  • December 5—Force and Motion: Stop Faking It!
  • December 7—JPL: Inquire, Engage, and Explore—The Mars Student Imaging Project
  • December 12—NOAA: The Ocean's Role in Weather and Climate
  • December 14—NASA: Living and Working in Space—Energy
  • December 19—NSDL: Learning by Doing: Computational Science

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Toxic Seed Becomes Hope for the Hungry

Where most people might look at a white-capped cotton plant and see the makings of next year’s T-shirts, Keerti Rathore sees food for a hungry world. Rathore and his colleagues have figured out how to make poisonous cottonseeds fit for human consumption. The new, nontoxic seeds could give 500 million people an additional source of high-quality protein, the team estimates, if the genetically engineered plant is approved for cultivation. Visit http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1127/p03s02-usgn.html?s=hns to read more.

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Save 30% on NSTA’s December Online Book Special!

It’s a challenge educators at all grade levels face: How do you teach subjects your students can’t see, touch, or hear? You do it with models—which have gained new importance since the National Science Education Standards specifically recommended using models as an organizing framework for teaching and understanding science. Understanding Models in Earth & Space Science is available during December at a super online-only discount of 30%. To browse and buy, go to http://www.nsta.org/onlinespecial.

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And Finally...

    In the past week, as the result of an opinion piece in the Washington Post, a number of statements have been made in public forums about the ways in which NSTA endorses and distributes materials to its members. As science educators dedicated to the process of inquiry and discovery, we encourage you to learn the complete set of facts surrounding these issues by clicking on the following link: http://www.nsta.org/pressroom&news_story_ID=52977#faq.

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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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