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Week of February 16, 2009

Table of Contents

Congress Approves Economic Stimulus Bill

Sponsored by:

One day after the U.S. Senate approved their version of the massive economic stimulus bill, Congressional leaders quickly reached agreement on a compromise version of the two chambers’ versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). On Friday, February 13, the House approved the final stimulus bill by a margin of 246-183. No Republicans voted for the bill. The Senate followed suit and approved the bill by a vote of 60 to 38. Read more, including the funding dedicated to education and science, in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Professional Development for Science Educators

Are you on board to attend the best conference for science teachers and administrators? February 20 is the advance registration deadline and the savings are substantial. In these tough economic times, you won’t want to put your professional development needs on the shelf. NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education will be the forum for more than 10,000 educators who want to grow personally and professionally. Join us March 19–22 in New Orleans for workshops and seminars, experts and leaders, celebrities and authors, your peers and mentors, who will share your passion for science. Teachers in every discipline and grade band will find sessions with new ideas, strategies, problem solving, content development and more. Here is a sample of what is scheduled.

  • Featured Presenter: Renowned ethnobotanist Mark J. Plotkin is an expert on rain forest ecosystems in the Neotropics and an advocate for tropical rain forest conservation.
  • Featured Presenter: Michael DiSpezio works with the National Geographic JASON Project as writer, online curriculum architect, content specialist, and broadcast talent for 60 live satellite broadcasts.
  • Detecting, Diagnosing, and Coping with Students' Chemistry and Physics Misconceptions (High School)
  • Innovative Technology in Science Instruction (ITSI)—ITSI has created numerous activities for grades 7–12 science classrooms using probes and open-source models that teachers can customize with a simple online authoring system.
  • Knowing What They Know: The Importance of and Strategies for Eliciting Student Thinking in a Classroom Setting (Elem–High School)
  • Science for English Language Learners (ELL): Integrating Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, and Thinking in the K–8 Classroom (ticketed) (Elem–Middle)
  • NASA: Solving the Mysteries in the Heart of a Supernova Explosion (Middle–College)
  • Science in a Time of Crisis—Teachers returning from field research programs on climate change talk about how to use scientific investigation as a means for instilling a sense for community involvement and civic duty into programs.

There’s a lot more. Field trips, socials, networking, day long programs and graduate credit for attending 12 hours of programs. Visit New Orleans conference web pages and look for the Session Browser to view more than 1900 symposia, events, institutes and more.

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Take the First-Ever NSTA State of Science Education Survey

NSTA Express readers are invited to participate in the first NSTA State of Science Education Survey.

The survey will only take a few minutes of your time and it will help NSTA to obtain very valuable information on a host of issues important to science education and educators.

After you complete the survey, feel free to forward this message (and the link) to other science teachers. And as a token of our gratitude for participating in this important survey, you can enter to win a pair of FREE airline tickets to travel anywhere in the continental U.S. (some travel restrictions apply)!

The survey will close on Monday, March 2, SO ACT NOW!

Thanks for your input and don’t forget to pass this along to your colleagues! The URL:

www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=v0lCnq3m9CbxwZNuuhh4YA_3d_3d

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NASA Education Unveils New Do-It-Yourself Podcast Activity

NASA Education is excited to introduce the Do-It-Yourself Podcast activity in the For Educators section of NASA.gov. Students can preview and download audio and video clips of astronauts performing work in space and on the ground. They can then use these clips to build their own podcast or similar audio/video project.

Learning modules on the DIY Podcast page will be categorized by topic to assist students with creating projects about a subject of interest. Each subject module includes video and audio clips, images, helpful information and links to related resources. A variety of audio and video clips will be provided to enhance flexibility and creativity. Students can create video or audio projects using free or inexpensive software on Windows or Macintosh computers.

Educators and their students are encouraged to distribute their NASA projects through podcasts, social networks, Web sites, CDs, DVDs, or other channels that they may choose.

The Do-It-Yourself Podcast Blog will keep users posted on the latest updates. Tips and suggestions for incorporating the DIY Podcast into the classroom and updates on when new topic modules are available will be posted regularly. Use the Comments feature of the blog to share ideas and experiences with other teachers and students.

To learn more and to start making podcasts, visit the DIY Podcast website. For answers to questions about this activity, please contact Deana Nunley at Deana.Nunley@nasa.gov.

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NSTA Symposia at the New Orleans Conference

Global climate change may be the most critical scientific issue of our time. Register for one of our symposia (ticketed) at the National Conference on Science Education in New Orleans March 19-22, to hear scientists from SRS, NOAA, and USFS for a multifaceted explanation of the basic science behind climate change.

Other symposia being offered in New Orleans:

  • High school teachers shouldn’t miss the National Institutes of Health’s exploration of bioethics in the biology classroom. You will experience field-tested lessons that enable students to discuss sensitive ethical issues such as biomedical practices and genetic testing.
  • Experts from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program will teach you how to use satellite data to understand and predict coral bleaching events, real indicators of the warming of our climate. Participate in hands-on experiments that show the ramifications of ocean acidification and other impacts of climate change on coral ecosystems.
  • Make science relevant for students using food! Learn from the FDA about tracking food borne pathogens in an outbreak investigation or pick up the scientific basis for the percent daily values (% DVs) on the Nutrition Facts Label. Those attending this symposium will receive a $60 stipend upon completion.
  • Confounded by kinetic and potential energy? Meet with author Bill Robertson, the guru of the Stop Faking It series, who will teach you the basics on energy so you can teach it.

For more information and to register, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

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ExploraVision Ice Cream Social and Information Session

Attending the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in New Orleans?  Then please join us for an ExploraVision Ice Cream Social where you can interact with an ExploraVision Ambassador and other winning coaches. Discover elements of winning ExploraVision projects and succeeding in this leading K–12 science competition while enjoying an afternoon treat and a chance to win a Toshiba laptop. Gain insight into the competition rules, developing innovative project ideas, and getting students involved and recognized. The ExploraVision Ice Cream Social and Information Session will be held on Friday, March 20, from 4:00–5:00 PM at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 352. Visit booth #1035 for more information. Click here (PDF) for a coupon to receive a special prize at the booth.

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Sponsored by:

And Don’t Forget…

Visit our member services web page to ensure that NSTA has your current contact information. And when the time comes to renew—select the "Autorenew" option!

Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the Febuary featured book, Technology in the Secondary Science Classroom.

NSTA is offering more Web Seminars in the months ahead. Visit the website for more information and to register to attend these FREE 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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