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Week of March 3, 2008

Table of Contents

Sen. Glenn to Chair NSTA's Center for Science Education Campaign

Last week NSTA launched a $43 million, five-year effort to create a national Center for Science Education (CSE). CSE initiatives will promote science literacy, produce the next generation of science education standards, and create a state-of-the-art facility that will allow science educators nationwide to engage in leadership and content-based learning opportunities. Senator John Glenn, former NASA astronaut and a lifelong champion of science education, will chair the $23 million external fundraising campaign.

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It's a Science Fair, Not the Nobel Prize

Business columnist Alina Tugend takes a look at proliferation of websites dedicated to science fairs in the March 1 issue of the New York Times. "Some of the sites, with their overwrought promises of helping students create winning projects, seem to miss the point. Call me an innocent, but shouldn't the goal of science fairs be to teach children how to do scientific research, not win blue ribbons?" Read the New York Times column (free registration required). NSTA Executive Director Gerald Wheeler is quoted in the article.

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Science Teachers Get the Goods at NSTA's Conference on Science Education

The national conference, planned for March 27 through 30 in Boston, has something for everybody. All disciplines, all grade bands from PreK through College, teachers and administrators can pick and choose from thousands of workshops, seminars, presentation, meetings, meals, galas, field trips, and more. Sample just a few of science teacher favorites:

  • Ioannis N. Miaoulis (President and Director, Museum of Science, Boston, Mass.): Re-Engineering the Curriculum. Dr. Miaoulis will describe the value of including engineering in the formal curriculum and share examples of success in various learning environments. He will discuss the curriculum content for elementary, middle school, and high school, and how engineering makes science engaging for both boys and girls and for all types of learners.
  • Blue Hill Observatory and the Trailside Museum (Ticketed Field Trip). Join us on an adventure to the Trailside Museum, trails, and the Blue Hill Observatory atop Great Blue Hill in Milton, Massachusetts! Come see the oldest continually operating weather research station in the U.S.
  • RET—Bringing Research into the Classroom Reception/Poster Session. This reception will provide attendees the opportunity to view posters of new and emerging research and meet with teachers, graduate students, and university faculty who are paving the way to integrate this research into the K–12 curricula.
  • AAAS Policy-Influenced Science Lessons. During this session participants will experience and receive seven 5E high school science lessons that highlight the interactions between policy and science.
  • The Ultimate Science Classroom Giveaway. Put your name in to win one of four science classrooms for your school. Supported and stocked with all kinds of science teaching materials and products from the conference vendors, every attendee can take a chance to win.
  • Fuels for the Future? Inquiry-based Activities That Promote Critical Thinking about the Alternative Biofuel Ethanol. Participate in activities designed to help students both learn about ethanol generation from plants and think critically about ethanol as a fuel.
  • Experience the Exhibition Hall where more than 400 exhibitors are prepared to inspire, entertain, engage, and give away their knowledge and products to take back to the classroom. Science teachers historically love this opportunity and often bring an extra tote to carry new materials home.
  • Enjoy the NSTA Science Bookstore, with its wealth of professional development titles to help you become the best you can be.

Don't miss this conference! Visit www.nsta.org/boston for details.

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NSTA Goes to the Movies

The new Doug Liman film, Jumper, makes use of teleportation—a few people have the natural ability from age five on to teleport themselves to any location they already know. With practice, these "jumpers" can bring objects or people along with them when they jump. For instance, one jumper brings a London bus back to the Egyptian desert in the middle of the climactic battle. Leaving aside the possibility of teleportation itself, we might wonder: won't other problems arise in this scheme of things? For instance, there's the pesky little issue of the difference in the speed at which the surface of the Earth is moving eastward ...

Jacob Clark Blickenstaff, a physics educator and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Southern Mississippi, takes a closer look at the science of Jumper in a special article in NSTA's WebNews. It's the first in an ongoing series of movie reviews whose aim is to examine how scientific concepts are used, misused, or simply ignored on the silver screen.

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Principals: It's Beyond Goggles and Labcoats—New Regulations for Science are Here

The NSTA Ready Reference Guide to Safer Science is the need-to-know survival guide for every middle school teacher, principal, science-resource coordinator, and science supervisor who has ever had a question regarding safety.

Find out:

  • How to protect your students during hands-on science lessons
  • How to protect yourself legally in aging facilities
  • Is it safe to allow backpacks, open-toe shoes, and long synthetic nails in the lab?
  • Are microwave ovens safe to use for heating liquids for experiments?
  • Can ether be safely used to anesthetize fruit flies in a lab?

Plus: get the latest NSTA Position Statements related to safety.

To read a free sample chapter and order, visit www.nsta.org/saferscience.

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Where Do They Stand?

Politicians, particularly those running for president, have a position on practically every issue, including education. However, discovering the details of a candidate's stance can sometimes be daunting. The mere prospect of sifting through hours of recorded speeches and piles of press clips—not to mention all the advertisements—can leave the most diligent prospective voter overwhelmed. NSTA Reports has found several websites that will help science educators examine the candidates' positions on science and education issues as the presidential race continues. Culled from debates, official statements, and interviews, the sites offer the candidates' views on science and education issues, often in their own words.

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And Don’t Forget…

Visit our member services web page to ensure that NSTA has your current contact information.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars through the winter months. Visit the website for more information about these upcoming professional development opportunities.

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

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