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Week of September 17, 2012

Table of Contents


Learning A-Z

Change the World and Compete for More Than $300,000 in Prizes

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, the premier national environmental sustainability competition for grades K–12, is now accepting applications for the 2012–2013 program. Through project-based learning, students learn about science and conservation while gaining 21st-century skills. Educators can access a wealth of free digital tools to help integrate the Challenge into their curriculum. At stake is more than $300,000 in prizes, including scholarships, savings bonds, school grants, adventure trips, school assemblies, and more.

The deadline for all entries is March 5, 2013. Finalists and winners will then be announced in April 2013. For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, visit www.wecanchange.com or www.facebook.com/wecanchange.

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Take the NSTA Survey on the Common Core and Science Teaching

Science teachers in grades 6–12: tell us how the ongoing implementation of the Common Core State  Standards in mathematics, English language arts and literacy (ELA), and the ELA reading standards for literacy in science have—or have not—affected your classroom. The survey will only take a few minutes, so thanks in advance for participating!

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Back to School Reading List

Start the school year off right by adding NSTA Press books to your collection of teaching resources. This back to school reading list includes books with STEM lessons, science and math teaching techniques, new teacher resources like classroom management and initiating inquiry from day one, and much more.

Visit the Science Store to browse more NSTA Press books for your back-to-school reads.

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How to Be a Winner in the Shell Science Lab Challenge

Learn what comprises the best submission for competing in the Shell Science Lab Challenge on Thursday, September 20, 6:30–8:00 p.m. Eastern Time at a FREE web seminar. This competition awards the winner's school a $20,000 lab makeover. The Shell Science Lab Challenge recognizes middle and high school science teachers (grades 6–12) in the United States and Canada who illustrate replicable approaches to science lab instruction while utilizing limited school and laboratory resources. Teachers and schools submitting top entries will also receive additional laboratory tools, resources, and rich professional development opportunities. Register today.

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Middle and High School PD Sessions Offered at NSTA Conference on Science Education, Louisville

Teachers and administrators with a passion for science and whose top priority is exceptional PD that enhances skills and learning are invited to join us in Kentucky, October 18–20. Thousands of your peers and national experts will open a conversation on STEM, NGSS, and the Common Core and we want to hear your voice. Workshops, symposia, and presentations are among nearly 400 choices with a focus on hands-on techniques, strategies for better student performance, and content development to improve understanding of science concepts. Check out some of our featured sessions for middle and high school teachers:

  • Updating the Development of the Next Generation Science Standards: Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve, Inc.)
  • Engineering-enhanced Science, Inquiry, and Problem Solving: Christine M. Cunningham (Founder and Director, Engineering is Elementary; and Vice President, Museum of Science)—Explore how integrating engineering design into science classes can engage students more deeply with science and mathematics concepts, highlight real-world connections, and foster inquiry and problem-solving skills
  • Using Modeling to Help Every Kid Understand Chemistry
  • How Healthy is Your Stream?
  • Developing Skepticism as an Essential Strategy for Science
  • Newton's Laws Explained; Centripetal Motion Examined
  • Space Rescue Design Challenge: Develop and test a "flying" vehicle capable of rescuing a space crew. Great STEM design challenge.
  • NASA's HIAD Program: Engineering Design in Action
  • Climate Change Classroom Toolkit: Explore the scientific foundations of climate change, greenhouse gases, and energy consumption through hands-on and data-rich classroom activities from NESTA.
  • Put the "E" in STEM Using Lessons You May Already Have! Real-World Applications to Science Are Everywhere
  • Neuroscience for Your Biology Classroom
  • Full-day programs: Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Engineering and ESP Symposium
  • Earn one graduate credit through Framingham State University for 12 hours of session attendance.
  • Field trip: Mega Cavern Historical Tour (ticketed)

Visit www.nsta.org/louisville for more information. View all session details using the Browser/Scheduler. The advance deadline is September 21, so register today to save the most.

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What's Your State's STEM Vital Sign?

Last week Change the Equation released the 2012 STEM Vital Signs—critical state and national data on the current condition of STEM teaching and learning. The 2012 Vital Signs provide state and national information on the demand for STEM skills and knowledge, student achievement in STEM, academic standards and expectations, access to STEM skills and knowledge, teacher preparation, and school support. The reports provide a wealth of key data that teachers, administrators, and others can customize and use to advocate and support the teaching and learning of science/STEM in their schools/districts/states.

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Don't Miss NSTA's Second Web Seminar on Practices in Preparation for the NGSS—Developing and Using Models

NSTA invites you to the second web seminar in a series of eight on the scientific and engineering practices described in A Framework for K–12 Science Education. Titled Developing and Using Models, the free online event will be held Sept.25 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Eastern Time. The seminar will help educators learn

  • How modeling tools are used to develop questions, predictions and explanations;
  • How students can analyze and identify flaws in systems and communicate ideas;
  • Methods in which models are used to build and revise scientific explanations and proposed engineered systems;
  • How measurements and observations are used to revise models and designs.

The NSTA web seminars explore the eight practices described in the Framework released in 2011 by the National Research Council (NRC). The Framework describes the major practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas that all students should be familiar with by the end of high school and is being used to guide the development of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  We encourage teachers, science coordinators, supervisors, state science supervisors, and other interested educators to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about these practices in advance of the release of NGSS and begin incorporating them into instruction to provide students the skill sets they need to be successful in learning any content.

Attend all eight seminars (each will be archived) or attend just one. Graduate credit is offered through Shippensburg University. The third web seminar, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, will be held October 9. Be sure to save the date.

For more information and to register, visit the NSTA Learning Center.

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STEM-Based Competition, eCYBERMISSION, for Students in Grades 6–9

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) competition free for students in grades six through nine where teams can compete for state, regional and national awards while working to solve problems in their community. Sponsored by the U.S. Army in response to the nation’s need for increased literacy in STEM, the competition expands STEM education opportunities across the country and will help improve our global competitiveness and national security. It will open doors to new career paths for American students that lead to a brighter tomorrow. To learn more and to register a team to compete, visit the eCYBERMISSION website.

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Delta Education

Science Kit

NSTA Conference in Atlanta

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 September featured book, Everyday Assessment in the Science Classroom.


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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