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Week of April 21, 2008

Table of Contents

The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy Expands Opportunties for Teachers to Attend the 2009 Program

The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy recently announced a new way for elementary school teachers to get a chance to attend the 2009 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy and improve their math and science teaching skills.

Students can nominate teachers from Grades 3, 4, and 5 or urge them to apply for an all-expense paid trip to the Academy’s math and science professional development program by logging on to www.sendmyteacher.com, an interactive website.

Developed in conjunction with the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions, the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy enables teachers to hone their science and math teaching skills, enhance their curricula, and discover innovative new ways to inspire students.

The teachers will spend five days next July at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, deepening their understanding of mathematics and science content, building expertise in facilitating student learning through problem solving and inquiry, and using links between math and science that support student learning and understanding in the classroom.

Teacher applications are due by October 31, 2008. The National Science Teachers Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics will convene a panel of math and science experts to evaluate the entries and announce the selections in February 2009.

The 2008 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy will host more than 600 teachers in Houston, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Jersey City, New Jersey. To date, nearly 1000 teachers have attended the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.

To nominate a teacher or to learn more about the program, visit www.sendmyteacher.com.

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Happy Earth Day!

As Earth Day approaches (April 22), here are some key results from last week's NSTA survey on environmental education. More than 96% of all respondents teach environmental concepts in their classroom, devoting approximately 20 to 50 hours a year to the subject. The top environmental issues they focus on in the classroom are recycling, water quality, energy conservation and alternative energy uses, habitat loss, and climate change. Almost 59% of respondents say that more environmental education is taking place in their school today compared to four years ago, and the vast majority of teachers (91%) find environmental education resources on the internet.

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Louisiana Bill Stirs Controversy

A challenge to the teaching of evolution is brewing in Louisiana. Last week the Louisiana Senate Education panel passed Senate Bill 561, the Academic Freedom Act, which seeks to assist teachers "to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies."

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NSTA Introduces: The Science Alliance for Elementary Schools

The Science Alliance for Elementary Schools is an easy to implement, professional development opportunity that will provide administrators and up to five of their faculty with tools to ensure that they are well-prepared to teach science.

Offering all the benefits of a one-year electronic NSTA membership, elementary schools can participate in The Science Alliance for a fee of only $100 a year per school!

Other benefits include:

Click here for more information or go directly to the online form to apply for the Science Alliance!

If you’re at the middle, high, or college level, please click here for information on NSTA’s other membership categories.

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Use Science Notebooks to Promote Literacy in Your Classroom

Discover why Using Science Notebooks in Elementary Classrooms is the “must-have” resource for the development of literacy and reasoning skills. Learning science involves both the process of thinking and the ability to communicate those thoughts, and one of the most effective ways of building these skills is through the use of science notebooks.

Michael Klentschy’s book is designed for teachers who are beginning to use or would like to extend their use of notebooks in the classroom. Research-based best practices such as scaffolds, sentence starters, and writing prompts are clearly explained and illustrated. Examples of student work are included to provide insight for better instructional strategies.

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Ten Online Courses Offered This Summer from the American Museum of Natural History

Seminars on Science is offering two summer sessions of award-winning online graduate courses in the life, Earth, and physical sciences. Take the newest course, The Solar System, an addition to Earth science offerings that highlight NASA missions to explore our planetary neighbors. Or take part in a fun summer-only course: Sharks and Rays or In the Field with Spiders. See how scientists in the field study these unique and misunderstood creatures.

All of AMNH’s most popular courses are also available for the summer, including Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; Genetics, Genomics, Genethics and Evolution.

Designed for K–12 educators, each six-week course is led by an experienced classroom teacher and a research scientist. In-depth readings and assignments paired with rich web-based discussions ensure that educators finish each class with a deeper understanding of both science content and the tools of scientific inquiry. Graduate credit is available and each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use.

Please see the website for the full course listing. Free sample resources for each course—including essays, videos, and interactive simulations—are available online at learn.amnh.org.

Registration is now open! Summer Session One runs June 9 through July 20. Summer Session Two runs June 30–August 10. Sign up now and receive a $50 early registration discount. For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.

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Short Takes

Lab Out Loud Chats with Bill Nye

With Earth Day only a day away, the Lab Out Loud podcast team scored an interview with Bill Nye—comic, engineer, and science guy—and learned his thoughts on global warming and sustainable living.

Special Offer for NSTA Members

Announcing a special No-Annual-Fee MasterCard credit card with WorldPoints rewards now conveniently available to NSTA members. Earn points and get the rewards you want—cash, travel, merchandise, and gift certificates—now with easy online redemption, too! Learn more or apply securely online for the National Science Teachers Association credit card today. Or call 1-800-932-2775 and mention priority code FACCIF for more information or to apply.

NSTA on Facebook

NSTA recently created a group on Facebook. Communicate with colleagues, read our Boston Conference Blog, and learn more about membership in NSTA by clicking to the NSTA group on Facebook.

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And Don’t Forget…

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

Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off of the April featured book, Science Fairs Plus: Reinventing an Old Favorite, Grades K–8.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars through the spring 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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