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Week of May 21, 2012

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NSTA Career Center

2012 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Finalists Announced

Siemens Challenge logo Congratulations to the 72 student teams recently announced as finalists in the 2012 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. These teams—comprising more than 850 students representing 34 states—will vie for more than $300,000 in scholarships, educational trips, and other prizes for their work on advancing the global green initiative.

Since its inception, more than 62,000 students have participated in the competition. Under the guidance of a teacher or mentor, students were tasked with identifying an environmental issue in their community and creating a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools. This year’s finalists’ projects include developing a new method to detect detergent contamination in water, educating peers on the environmental effects associated with using disposable water bottles and creating a way to harness energy through electromagnetic inductance.

As part of a rigorous three-part judging process, a panel of environmental advocates, science teachers, and professors selected this year’s finalists based on the project’s ability to creatively present a viable solution and engage their communities. National winners will be announced on May 23, 2012. 

For more information on the Challenge, the state finalists and their projects, visit www.wecanchange.com.

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NGSS Out for Public Review Until June 1

As reported earlier, the first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released on May 11 and will be online for public comment until June 1.

When adopted by states the NGSS will have a huge impact on the teaching and learning of science for years to come. All teachers are urged to take the opportunity to review the standards and provide feedback to Achieve.

NSTA has a variety of resources and materials on NGSS.

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Elementary and MIddle School Educators from Urban Districts Take Advantage of PD Getaway

Kick off the summer with a unique PD opportunity for teachers and teams of educators in Austin, Texas, June 15–20, to attend the 2012 Urban Science Education Leadership Academy. Apply early for (limited) scholarships.

Participants at the Academy will

  • Establish a distributed leadership model to guide a district plan
  • Create/modify a district strategic plan to improve science education
  • Advance best practices in your district
  • Develop as experienced practitioners to lead science improvement
  • Positively affect student achievement

Renowned educator Anne Tweed, retired NSTA president, consultant for McREL, and author of Designing Effective Science Instruction, will facilitate along with Larry Bell, veteran educator and author of 12 Powerful Words That Increase Test Scores and Help Close the Achievement Gap.

CEO Vanessa Westbrook, Westbrook Consulting, veteran elementary education teacher, and one of the writers on the team developing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will discuss the impact of the new standards on current science curriculum and share strategies for aligning them to your current district science plan.

A five-member team is preferred for registration—one district science coordinator/supervisor, one building administrator (principal or assistant principal), and three classroom teachers bringing heart, mind, and a passion for learning and teaching science. Individual teachers are also invited to attend.

Fees: $6,000 for an Academy team or $1,200 for an individual. Registration, program materials, up to five nights of lodging, and continental breakfast and lunch on full program days are included.

Visit www.nsta.org/2012usel for more information.

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Are Parents Involved at Your School?

Many studies have shown parental involvement can have a positive impact on students’ educational success. However, defining, and increasing, the participation of parents or other family members can be challenging. NSTA wants to know what you think about parental involvement at your school and in your classroom.

Please take this short survey. Results will be published in an upcoming issue of NSTA Reports. Thank you!

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Professional Development Scholarships for Second- and Third-Year Science Teachers

The New Science Teacher Academy is an NSTA- and corporate-sponsored initiative that supports second- and third-year middle and high school science teachers through mentoring and other professional development resources during the challenging initial teaching years. The one-year Academy helps promote quality science teaching, enhances teacher confidence and classroom excellence, and provides the resources to help develop teacher content knowledge. A scholarship award to this program provides rich benefits for Academy Fellows (participants):

  • Comprehensive NSTA membership and its benefits;
  • A variety of web-based professional development activities including web seminars;
  • Unlimited use of resources including vetted web links for lesson plans, links to state and national standards, professional organizations, safety tips and more;
  • e-Mentoring with an experienced teacher in the same science discipline and grade level;
  • Facilitated online curriculum that focuses on science content and applicable classroom pedagogy;
  • Access to a nationwide, online network of science educators and scientists who facilitate the exchange of information, ideas, and resources;
  • Accommodations, coverage of airfare, food, and registration fees to attend the NSTA National Conference;
  • Participation in specialized conference pathways and in a Research Dissemination Conference or a Professional Development Institute.

One of the 2010 Fellows said, “The New Science Teacher Academy has made a huge impact on my teaching and my ability to cope with the stresses of teaching. I believe my third year is going much smoother and easier because of my participation in the academy. I hope that this program may be expanded and maintained for many years to come.”

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Global Inquiry and Science Investigation in Costa Rica

This is your last chance to join NSTA and Holbrook Travel for a unique professional development opportunity this summer, July 23–August 1, in Costa Rica. During the course of the program, educators will have the opportunity to visit a variety of ecosystems and perform critical research for national and international scientific projects using GLOBE protocols. The program is designed to highlight the principles of Earth system science, life science, and species conservation through activities such as actively collecting data, analyzing findings, and participating in inquiry-based learning modules. In addition to its scientific core, threads of cultural exchange and service have been woven throughout the itinerary, providing participants with a comprehensive foundation for widening perspectives and strengthening global science understanding both in the field and the classroom. Visit www.holbrooktravel.com/nsta to register.

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Summer 2012 Special Offer: Wildlife Conservation Society's Online Teacher Academy Courses

Receive free resources and cutting edge science from field experts—all from the comfort of your home! The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Online Teacher Academy courses run entirely online for six weeks. This summer, plan to explore best practices in science education with WCS.

Summer courses run from July 6 to August 26, 2012:

Summer 2012 Special Offer: reduced price of only $125 (a $150 savings). Graduate credits are available for a reasonable additional fee (see “Registration Details” on www.wcs.org/elearning for more information).

Register today at pd.wcs.org. Questions? E-mail teacherinfo@wcs.org or call +1-718-220-5136.

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Fisher Science Education

Success Academy Charter Schools

NSELA/NSTA Summer Leadership Institute

Learn more about NSTA e-newsletter sponsorships

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 renewselect the "Autorenew" option!

Interact with your fellow NSTA members on the list server. Join one list or join them all!
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Download your copy of the NSTA Membership Guide.

Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the May featured book, Exemplary Science.


Click on the logo above for more information and to register for 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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