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Week of June 11, 2012

Table of Contents


Royal Society of Chemistry

NSTA Publications Honored by AEP, AMP

NSTA Winners at the 2012 AEP Awards
NSTA Publisher David Beacom (lower right) with staff members (clockwise): Scott Stuckey, Agnes Bannigan, Wendy Rubin, and Lynn Petrinjak.

NSTA strives to provide top-quality resources for members and science educators, and these efforts were recognized recently when the association received five Distinguished Achievement Awards at the 2012 Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) Awards. NSTA’s journals for elementary, middle, and high school educators took home top prizes in Department or Column (“Everyday Engineering,” Science Scope), Feature Article ( “One Fish, Two Fish, Redfish, You Fish,” The Science Teacher), One-Theme Issue (“Maps and Models,” Science and Children), and Whole-Publication design (Science Scope’s “Earth Science”). NSTA Press’ Uncovering Student Ideas in Life Science by Page Keeley won the Supplemental Resources/Assessment. Ten NSTA entries, including NSTA Reports’ Blick On … and Ms. Mentor columns, were award finalists. NSTA's Facebook fans can learn more.

NSTA publications also earned six EXCEL Awards from Association Media & Publishing (AMP) on June 11. Receiving gold awards were Science and Children (“Early Primary Invasion Scientists”) and The Science Teacher (“Krakatoa Erupts!”) in the magazine feature article category, NSTA Press’ Models-Based Science Teaching by Lawrence F. Lowery in the books/nontechnical book category, and NSTA Press received the gold media innovation: blog post award for Claire Reinburg’s post, “Science and engineering that helped win a war: Reflections on Veterans Day.” The Journal of College Science Teaching (“When Wrong Answers Receive Top Grades”) and NSTA Reports received Bronze Awards in the journal feature article and newspapers/newswriting categories, respectively.

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News Roundup

NSF Report on U.S. Students Flocking to Graduate Science Programs

A new report from the National Science Foundation finds that the number of graduate students enrolled in science, engineering and health programs increased approximately 30% between 2000 and 2010. The report finds that biomedical engineering is one of fastest growing S&E fields and has experienced the most rapid growth over the last decade (165%), and that the number of women graduate students in S&E fields also grew over the 10-year period.

NSF and ED Want Your Ideas on Improving Math Education

The National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the U.S Department of Education (ED) is interested in input that can inform new activities and programs to support and improve K–16 mathematics education. Ideas are due by July 1, 2012.  A request seeking ideas is currently published on the NSF website and can be found here.

The Nation’s Report Card Science in Action

The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) is hosting a panel of experts to demonstrate a number of hands-on and computer tasks administered during the 2009 NAEP Science Assessment which can provide information on student achievement in these areas.

The Nation’s Report Card Science in Action: Hands-On and Interactive Computer Tasks from the 2009 Science Assessment, which will be webcast, will explore how fourth-, eighth-, and 12th-grade students performed when asked to manipulate multiple variables or engage in strategic decision-making; how often students engage in classroom science experiments and report-writing; and much more.  The event will take place within an interactive science exhibit at the Foundry Lofts in Washington, DC, at 10 a.m. EDT on June 19 and will be webcast. For more information, visit the NAGB website.

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NSTA's Strand: Mobile Learning to Support Science Education at ISTE 2012 Conference, San Diego

Educators interested in learning how to use technology effectively in their instruction should consider attending ISTE’s Annual Conference and Exposition in San Diego, California. NSTA will support the conference with a full day of presentations and discussion on Wednesday, June 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Led by experts in the field, these sessions offer wide-ranging learning for attendees.

  • Developing Large Scale Effective Teacher Learning Communities at NSTA—Overview of the online learning community and the research and findings that document impact, growth and efficacy. We will examine learner-content and learner-learner community opportunities such as diagnosing learning needs, aggregating resources, sharing collections and completed self-directed experiences in community with others.
  • How Immersion in Mobile-Enabled Augmented Realities Helps Students Learn—Learn how augmented reality and mobile broadband technologies may enhance student learning. View demonstrations along with photos and videos. Lessons about designing effective augmented reality experiences will be shared with resources for teachers to get involved in creating their own augmented reality experiences for their students.
  • Free STEM Resources for Mobile and Desktop Devices from the Concord Consortium Collection—Learn to use hundreds of free activities developed by the Concord Consortium for grades 3–14 that integrate probes and models, including the award-winning Molecular Workbench.
  • Science Education and Mobile Technologies: A Very Happy Marriage—Learning science by doing science is the Holy Grail. Mobile technologies with suitable software make possible the doing of science, outside/inside the classroom.
  • Poster Session: The NSTA Learning Center: An Effective Blended e-Professional Development Solution—Hear about advantages and lessons learned via this e-PD model, examining learner usage and preference data and how this model is best achieved when integrated as part of a coherent long-term blended PD solution at the state and district level.

Visit the NSTA Learning Center for more details.

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Carl Wieman Leaves OSTP

Dr. Carl Wieman, the Nobel Prize–winning physicist who has been a prominent researcher and advocate for improving science education in the Obama Administration, left the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) last week, citing personal reasons. Wieman was confirmed by the Senate to serve as Associate Director for Science at OSTP in September 2010. Before coming to Washington, DC, Wieman served at both the University of British Columbia and the University of Colorado on key science education initiatives and as professor of physics. For the past two years, Wieman has been instrumental in shaping the Administration’s initiatives on STEM education, including the current efforts to coordinate Federal STEM education programs.

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NSTA's Everyday Engineering Encourages Middle Schoolers to Discover Extraordinary Science Behind Ordinary Objects

What makes a Bic click? Why do squirt guns squirt? And how do pop-up thermometers know it’s time to pop up? Everyday Engineering: Putting the E in STEM Teaching and Learning offers unique investigations for grades 6–8 students that explore the role of engineering in common and ordinary objects found in the office, kitchen, and bathroom, and those related to electricity and outdoor recreation.

Teachers, parents, and leaders of informal after-school and enrichment programs will love the resources in this book: clear explanations of the science and history behind objects’ development, materials lists, student data sheets, close-up photography, and safety suggestions. Integrating engineering concepts into a current science curriculum, as advocated in A Framework for K–12 Science Education (2012), has never been easier. The Framework notes, “It is impossible to do engineering today without applying science in the process, and, in many areas of science, designing and building new experiments require scientists to engage in some engineering practices.” Middle school educators should add the fresh ideas to their science instruction provided in this new NSTA volume and generate both student interest and engineering literacy. Visit the NSTA Science Store to download a chapter.

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Special Offer: Wildlife Conservation Society's Online Teacher Academy Summer Courses—Discounted!

For a reduced price of $125 (a $150 savings!), the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Online Teacher Academy offers online courses that explore best practices in science education. Courses run entirely online for six weeks, so enrich your summer with cutting edge science from field experts—without ever leaving your home.

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

Free resources! Graduate credits are available for a reasonable additional fee (see “Registration Details” on www.wcs.org/elearning for more information).

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

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NSELA/NSTA Summer Leadership Institute

ISTE seminar

NSTA Press_Teaching Science Through Tradebooks

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Visit 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.


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Professional development courses in your future?
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Take a look at these groups offering courses for science educators!
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