Q and A with STEM Student Research Handbook Author Darci Harland
“STEM” is one of the biggest buzz words in the science education world today, and NSTA Press author Darci Harland offers insight into why STEM education—and particularly research—are so critical to student development of science literacy. In the first in a series of author interviews, listen to her describe the skills and experiences students gain when conducting long-term STEM research projects. She even offers tips on how to overcome potential challenges.
Then check out STEM Student Research Handbook for a comprehensive look at each stage of large-scale research projects—from background research and proposal writing to using statistics to interpret data to poster presentations. Harland helps all teachers, even those who have never designed an experiment on their own, coach their students through the research process.
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Summer Leadership Institute: The Next Step to Understanding the K–12 Framework and Draft NGSS
Register now to build your understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards draft released in May for public comment. The National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA) and NSTA invite you to experience a focused and comprehensive look at the draft in Austin, Texas, June 24–28. Individual science educators, teams (leaders and teachers), and administrators will explore the K–12 Framework and draft Next Generation Science Standards, determine key features of each, noting comparisons, contrasts, and shifts in focus. Participants will identify the “next steps,” develop a deep understanding of supporting research for reform, engage in the use of models and vignettes to demonstrate the practice of science, and apply new knowledge to their own unique professional environment.
Featured speakers include Lance Rougeux from Discovery Education; Stephen Pruitt, Achieve Inc.; Martin Storksdieck, National Research Council; Harold Pratt, Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh; and Dana Center program director Sam Zigrossi.
The many differentiated breakout sessions will provide smaller groups the ability to challenge the status quo and build a personal or team plan of action for implementation into their classrooms, schools, and districts. Visit www.nsta.org/pd/nsela for more details and to register.
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What Do You Think About the NBC Learn Videos + Lesson Plans?
We need your help! NBC Learn, NSF, and NSTA have teamed up to bring you video / lesson plan packages that explore various science concepts. But we want to know how we can make them better and more usable in your classroom. Your feedback will point us to improvements. Please settle in with a cup of coffee and tell us about your video usage and what you would like to see in lesson plans. You’ll need about 15 minutes, and that includes time to watch a sample. And then, take advantage of all of the free materials available now!
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From the NSTA Calendar: Free Summer Online Course on Mechanics
Mechanics is the study of how forces change motion. Want a second exposure to introductory Newtonian mechanics? Then register for Mechanics Online, a free Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) course for teachers, advanced high school students, and curious individuals who have some familiarity with introductory mechanics. Taking place June 14 to August 31 and held through MIT’s RELATE (Research in Learning, Assessing, and Tutoring Effectively) program, the course features e-text, videos, simulations, problems, and weekly interactive office hours.
Videos, homework assignments, and other course materials will be available starting June 1. All instructional material and quizzes will be available by August 10 for participants who wish to finish early. For more information, sample course activities, and to register, visit the MIT website.
Looking for more summer professional development opportunities? Check the NSTA Calendar.
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Scholarships for Middle and High School "New" Science Teachers
Apply by July 1 to the New Science Teacher Academy for a yearlong program that supports new middle and high school science teachers finishing their first or second year of teaching. Learn about the benefits by visiting www.nsta.org/academy.
Past “Fellows” in the New Science Teacher Academy had a few comments to make about the program and what they learned.
- “It was beyond awesome! I was an NSTA Fellow this past year: the resources and both general teaching and subject-specific support made for a fantastic year teaching. Do not hesitate, if you are finishing up year 1 or year 2 of teaching science, GO APPLY!” Rebecca Jane Austin Datta, 2011–2012 Fellow
- “The exposure to learning resources, scientists, science educators and leaders in the field was an opportunity I could never have found on my own. I am deeply honored to be selected as an NSTA fellow and empowered to share my new knowledge with others in my building and district.” Aoko Omwony Hope, 2011–2012 Fellow
- “The program reinforced many teaching practices, however, participating in the inquiry made a huge improvement in the implementation of new ideas. I am grateful for the experience, and I am thankful for the NSTA.”
- “This was a great program that provided excellent resources and inspiration.”
- “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.”
- “Although we had several teachers' positions eliminated this year, I am still employed in part I believe because I had been selected to participate in the New Science Teacher Academy and was able to bring so much from the Academy to the classroom. For this I am most appreciative.”
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Last Chance for Summer Online Courses from the American Museum of Natural History
Seminars on Science connects classroom teachers with scientists engaged in current, real-world research. Each course is authored by leading scientists in their fields and is then co-taught by an experienced classroom teacher and a PhD researcher affiliated with AMNH. Courses include Earth: Inside and Out; The Ocean System; The Solar System; In the Field with Spiders; Evolution; and more.
All courses run for six weeks and are fully online. Each participant receives resources for classroom use. Affordable graduate credit is available for all courses (see website for details).
Registration is now open: Summer Session 2 runs July 2 – August 12. Registration for Summer Session 2 closes June 18, so sign up today! For more information and to register, go to learn.amnh.org or call 800-649-6715.
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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!
Download your copy of the NSTA Membership Guide.
the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the June featured book, Animal Coloration.
Click on the logo above for more information and to register for these free professional development opportunities.