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Week of June 18, 2012

Table of Contents

NSTA Executive Director Search

NSTA is seeking a new Executive Director. The next Executive Director will join a well-functioning, widely respected, and financially healthy organization. This is a rare opportunity to assume the leadership of a prestigious organization that is poised to play a critical leadership role in the coming decades as the United States addresses the growing need for improvement in science education and science literacy.

The ideal candidate will have an established reputation as a leader in science education, a successful track record in nonprofit management, and either strong experience or high potential in fundraising.

NSTA seeks a leader with outstanding communication skills, vision and entrepreneurial drive, and strong leadership and organizational abilities. S/he must also bring a deep and broad understanding of science and a keen appreciation for the issues confronting science education today and in the future. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and oversees a 110-person staff and a budget of $26 million.

For more information and to apply, please go to www.nsta.org/ExecDirectorSearch.

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2011 PAEMST Winners Announced

Last week President Obama named the 97 recipients of the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The awards are given annually to outstanding K–12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2011 awardees named last week teach 7th through 12th grades. This group of outstanding secondary math and science teachers will receive their awards in Washington DC later this month.

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NSTA Legislative Update: Action in the U.S. Senate and California Science Cut Back?

Last week a key Senate panel cut funding for the Dept. of Education Math and Science Partnerships, and the Governor of California wants to eliminate a year of science for a lot of California students. Read more in this issue of the NSTA Legislative Update.

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Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Announces 2012 Grand Prize Winning Teams

Siemens logoCongratulations to the grand prize winners of the fourth annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. More than 27,000 elementary, middle school and high school students competed in this year’s Challenge. This year’s projects addressed a wide variety of topics, ranging from developing a method of harnessing energy through electromagnetic inductance to addressing the problem of voluntary car idling to reducing the community’s use of fossil fuels and helping prevent global warming.

Under the guidance of a teacher or mentor, K–12 students were tasked with identifying an environmental issue in their schools, communities, or world and creating a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools. In addition to several other prizes, the high school grand prize winning team received $50,000 in scholarship money to divide among team members and a chance to present their project at a prestigious venue. Each student on the middle school grand-prize winning team received $10,000 in savings bonds and a Discovery adventure trip to Alaska. Elementary school winners received a Discovery Education assembly focusing on sustainability and a grant for their schools.

For more information on the Challenge, the winners, and their projects, click here.

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Free Web Seminar: Science in Action: Understanding What Students Know and Can Do in the Classroom, in the Lab, and with Virtual Simulations

Curious as to how students are performing in science across the country? Want to learn more about how students apply science to real-life situations? Explore a new generation of testing on June 20 as Dr. Arnold Goldstein and Dr. Emmanuel Sikali from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) discuss the latest science assessments from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The interactive web seminar will feature results and insights from the recently released NAEP 2011 science report and the first-ever NAEP Science in Action report about student performance on hands-on and interactive computer tasks.

Target grades: K–12
Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Time: 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Register Today!

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Hundreds of Scholarships Available for Middle and High School "New" Science Teachers

We have extended the application deadline to Aug. 24 for middle and high school new teachers who are interested in participating in the New Science Teacher Academy. This yearlong program supports middle and high school science teachers finishing their first or second year of teaching. Learn about the benefits by visiting www.nsta.org/academy. Don’t miss out. We select hundreds of teachers for this enriching program.

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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From the NSTA Calendar: Live PD Webcasts Focus on the Space Station

Explore NASA’s most relevant classroom resources during three free live professional development (PD) webcasts that focus on the International Space Station. Presented by NASA's Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate project and its Teaching From Space office, the webcasts will feature curricular activities related to robotics, microgravity, and a radiation experiment aboard the station that will incorporate engineering.

Taking place on July 12, October 11, and October 12, all three webcasts will cover the same material and begin with an introduction to space station expeditions. Time will be allowed for educators to ask and receive answers to their questions.

Participants must register online, and registration closes three days before each session. For more information and to register, visit the website.

Looking for more free online PD? Look no further than the NSTA Calendar.

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From NSTA Press®: Help for New Teachers

For preservice and new science teachers, science teacher mentors and administrators, Rise and Shine: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Science Teacher provides practical advice on preparing for the first few weeks of school, managing and motivating students, effective teaching and assessment strategies, organization tactics, lesson planning and much more. It also places special emphasis on what content teachers of science must know—from laboratory set-up to classroom safety to initiating a climate of inquiry. Each of the thirteen chapters, which include many lists of resources and process suggestions, serves as stand-alone readings for picking and choosing topics of most interest to the teacher.

A corresponding website, www.nsta.org/riseandshine, hosts downloadable appendix documents and reproducible materials with new resources to be added periodically. The authors, Linda Froschauer and Mary Bigelow, seasoned science educators themselves, have covered it all in a nurturing and thoughtful way.

Visit the NSTA Science Store to download a chapter. Member price: $26.36 | Nonmember price: $32.95.

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

It’s your last chance to register for the ISTE Conference and Exposition in San Diego, California, that begins in just a few weeks. If you want exceptional guidance on how to use technology effectively in your instruction, NSTA will offer a full day of presentations and discussion Tuesday, June 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Leading experts have put together the following sessions.

  • 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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Science Kit

NSELA/NSTA Summer Leadership Institute

ISTE seminar

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 June featured book, Animal Coloration.


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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