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Week of September 10, 2012

Table of Contents

Teacher Resources Prepare Educators for Upcoming Next Generation Science Standards

New for science teachers is a series of eight FREE web seminars this fall to better understand the practices in the Framework for K–12 Science Education, the foundation for the upcoming Next Generation Science Standards. On September 11, the first web seminar, Asking Questions and Defining Problems, is a great place to begin your learning experience. Register today .

In this web seminar, teachers will learn more about:

  • How scientists ask and refine questions that lead to descriptions and explanations of how the natural and designed world works and which can be empirically tested;
  • How engineers ask questions to clarify problems to determine criteria for successful solutions and identify constraints to solve problems about the designed world;
  • How scientists and engineers ask questions to clarity the ideas of others.

Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Time: 6:30–8:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Just a few weeks later, on September 25, the second web seminar in the series, Developing and Using Models, will be held. Be sure to save the date and attend. Each web seminar is accessible through NSTA’s archives after its initial presentation and should be considered as a stand-alone event or as a part of the series. Graduate credit for participating in all the webinars is available through Shippensburg University.

Visit the NSTA Learning Center for more information.

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What the Democratic Platform Says on Education

As Democrats end their national convention in Charlotte, learn more about the 2012 Democratic platform on a number of key education issues in this Washington Post blog post by education reporter Valerie Strauss (requires free registration).

Download the entire Democratic platform here.

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Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Launches 2013 Program, Announces Changes to Align More Closely with NRC Framework for K–12 Science Education

Year 21 of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program—the world’s largest K–12 student science competition—officially kicked off at the end of last month. Applications for this year’s competition are now available online at exploravision.org. The deadline for all projects is January 31, 2013.

The ExploraVision program, sponsored by Toshiba and administered by NSTA, was created to help motivate young students to excel in science and technology. Working in teams of 2–4 to design innovative technologies that could exist in 20 years, students have the opportunity to win a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond, valued at maturity. Canadian winners receive Canada bonds purchased for the equivalent issue price in Canadian dollars. The program is also offering great prize packages for the teachers and the school with the largest number of qualified teams.

This year, ExploraVision is unveiling several key changes that align the program more closely with the National Research Council’s (NRC) Framework for K–12 Science Education. Among the changes to the program, is a requirement that as students provide an overview of their project idea for a new technology, they must also define a key challenge or limitation of the present technology upon which their idea is based. Additionally, students must describe a research project that would have to be planned and carried out in order to test their ExploraVision project, including, if possible, the type of data or measurements that would be used in the assessment. For the first time, team members must also create a web page devoted to a depiction of a model or visual representation of the technology that could be used to create a prototype for display.

For more information or an application for 2013, visit the competition website or e-mail exploravision@nsta.org.

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Third Annual "Education Nation" National Summit To Showcase and Discuss Solutions in Education

NBC News recently announced that it will host the third-annual 2012 “Education Nation” National Summit, which consists of live events and panel sessions, and is complemented by education reports and programming across the network’s shows and platforms. The Summit will take place Sept. 23–25 at the New York Public Library (NYPL). Summit sessions and NBC’s on-air programming will highlight a series of case studies from communities across the country, providing tools and takeaways for participants and viewers.

As part of the summit, NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams will moderate the nationally televised Teacher Town Hall—airing on Sunday, Sept. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. Eastern—with help from MSNBC’s Tamron Hall and NBC News’ Jenna Bush Hager. NBC News’ Chief Education Correspondent Rehema Ellis will also take part, moderating and reporting an online conversation with teachers across the country during the two-hour live event. The program—for and about teachers—will focus on the most important challenges and opportunities facing America’s teachers, providing teachers an opportunity to voice their priorities, brainstorm new ideas, discuss key policy issues, and ask questions of each other to advance the conversation about teaching in the United States.

More information on the summit agenda and programming is coming soon. To learn more about “Education Nation,” visit www.educationnation.com.

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NSTA Conference on Science Education: Sessions Just for Elementary Teachers

If you’ve wanted to teach science to elementary students but were tasked to concentrate on reading and mathematics, we’ve got an antidote. NSTA’s Conference on Science Education, Louisville, Kentucky, opens its doors early on Wednesday, October 17, for a full-day program called Picture Perfect Science Workshop (ticketed). Attendees will learn how to integrate science into their reading instruction using picture books and take home a copy of the ever-favorite Picture Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry, 3–6.

This academic getaway, October 18–20, provides top-notch professional development and practical workshops that are filled with activities to use in the classroom, strategies for reaching all levels of students, content sessions that will build your knowledge, and inspiration from the experts who share their stories. Check out plans for the elementary educator:

  • Cutting Across the Curriculum: Examining Lessons That Integrate Science, Literacy, and Mathematics
  • Exploring the Science Encountered in the Young Child's World: Nurturing, Observing, Questioning, Investigating, Thinking, and Talking About Science
  • Inquiry in Action: Investigating Matter Through Inquiry
  • SOS: Save Our Science—Integrating Across the Curriculum
  • Using Data to Move the Common Core into Science Inquiry
  • Linking Home and School with P.A.S.S. (Portable Affordable Simple Science)
  • Learning Progression for Matter and Its Interactions, K–8
  • Activities from Across the Earth System
  • Taking Science Outdoors with Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (OBIS)
  • Put the "E" in STEM Using Lessons You May Already Have. Real-World Applications to Science Are Everywhere
  • Science at Home: Take-Home Inquiry Kits for Elementary Children

Learn more about the details, register online at www.nsta.org/louisville, and join us in Louisville.

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Across the Board Cuts to Federal Education Programs this January? Learn More at Friday Sept. 14 Webinar

School districts may be losing federal education dollars very soon if the proposed across-the-board cuts in federal programs, known as sequestration, takes effect in January 2013.

The Alliance for Excellent Education, Committee for Education Funding, and Coalition for a College- and Career-Ready America are hosting a webinar on Friday, September 14, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (ET), during which panelists will discuss the impact of the federal budget debate on education. The webinar will (1) provide an explanation of the overall budget process; (2) explain how sequestration would be implemented and its potential impact on early childhood, K–12, and higher education; and (3) describe what advocates can do to discourage Congress from making major cuts to education programs. Panelists will also address questions submitted by viewers from across the country.

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Earn Graduate Credits Online from the American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History Seminars on ScienceRegistration is now open for fall sessions of the American Museum of Natural History's Seminars on Science program. Each of these online courses can be taken for up to four graduate credits. Courses run from October 1 to November 11 and from October 29 to December 9. Additional courses will be offered next spring and summer. For more information or to register, visit www.amnh.org/learn

Fall courses include: Earth; Evolution; Ocean System; Water; and Solar System. All courses are completed online and are taught by both experienced educators and museum scientists. 

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. You can e-mail or call for more information about courses and registration:

Phone: 800-649-6715
E-mail: seminfo@amnh.org
Register: www.amnh.org/learn

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Fisher Science Education

NSTA Conference in Atlanta

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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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