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Week of December 3, 2012

Table of Contents


Delta Education

NGSS Second and Final Public Draft to be Released in January

Achieve announced last week that the second and final public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will be released the first week in January. Achieve encourages all interested parties to review the draft when it is released and provide feedback. The NGSS will be completed in March 2013. To read the announcement, go to www.nextgenscience.org.

NSTA encourages science educators to take the time to review this important draft when it’s released and to provide feedback to the writers. To support teachers’ understanding of the drafts, we developed a guide for organizing study groups. An updated guide will be published on the NSTA standards web page when the NGSS draft is released.

NSTA is also seeking science educators willing to review the NGSS draft and answer questions about implementation, such as what types of professional development and curricular materials will be needed. Volunteers should be NSTA members and be prepared to spend at least 2–3 hours reviewing the NGSS public draft and answering the NSTA survey questions.

If you would like to be considered for this project, please fill out the online registration form. The deadline for registering has been extended until December 14. You will have about 10 days to complete the NSTA survey after the release of the NGSS public draft.

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Become a Climate Steward

NOAA Climate StewardsWould you like to increase your climate science knowledge? Join NOAA's Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP). NOAA will provide formal and informal educators with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship.

Applications are being accepted until December 17 for the class of 2013. To learn more, click here.

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Face-to-Face Professional Development for Spring 2013

For science teachers and administrators who have put professional development into their 2013 new year’s resolutions, NSTA extends an invitation to attend the National Conference on Science Education, San Antonio, Texas, April 11–14, and/or NSTA’s STEM Forum & Expo, St. Louis, Missouri, May 15–18. These two events will cover critical issues, science content, classroom strategies, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and all areas related to STEM.

With a concentration on NGSS, Common Core alignment to science and engineering, and best practices for the hands-on teachers, the National Conference offers more than 2,000 sessions led by experts in their fields. Check out some featured workshops and presentations.

  • DREME Foundation: Makes Science for All Learners a Reality—Cheryl M. McNair (Founder and Chairperson, Dr. Ronald E. McNair Educational Science Literacy Foundation)
  • Beyond the Three R's: Inspiring Curious Minds—Yvonne Spicer (Vice President, Advocacy & Educational Partnerships, Museum of Science, Boston)
  • What a Difference a Measurement Makes—Jorge G. Ibáñez-Cornejo (Director, Dept. of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, Ibero-American University, Mexico City)
  • Science Process Skills Are Tools for Learning (Elem School)
  • They're Not Too Young—Emergent Writers Thinking and Writing Like Scientists (Elem School)
  • Using Evidence to Construct a Scientific Explanation (Elem–Middle School)
  • Grab-and-Go Geoscience Education: GeoMapApp Learning Activities, Middle-College
  • Students Steer the Course—Don't Crash and Burn with Meaningless Assessment—Promote scientific literacy through student-centered learning using formative assessment aligned with A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Common Core Literacy Standards. (Middle)
  • Scaffolding and Assessing Students' Engagement with the Science Content Extending from Inside to Outside the Classroom (Middle–High School)
  • Using a Project-based Science Unit to Link Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, and Student Engagement (High School)
  • STEM in My Chemistry Classroom (High School)

The STEM Forum & Expo to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, May 15–18, will offer eight separate panel discussions with more than 30 renowned speakers from across the nation, along with teacher and exhibitor workshops. Topics include Successful K–12 STEM Schools, Public/Private Partnerships, Out-of-School and Informal Programs that Excite Students About the World of STEM, Promising STEM Programs: Four to Watch, and State STEM Networks-How They are Working to Change STEM Education, among many others. Visit www.nsta.org/conferences for more complete information and new updates for both events.

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To-do List for Holiday Shopping

  1. Give the special science teacher in your life a gift membership in NSTA simply by completing the application.
  2. When we process the membership, we’ll let them know it was a gift from you.
  3. When they dry their eyes and stop thanking you for the wonderful gift, be sure to remind them to update their resume to include their membership in the largest professional association promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
  4. Bask in their gratitude!

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Lab Out Loud Talks Technology

Have you been striving to use more technology in your science instruction? Lab Out Loud's guest this week has some insights for you. Hosts Brian Bartel and Dale Basler talk with Randy Bell, coauthor of Technology in the Secondary Science Classroom and Associate Dean and Professor of Science Education in the College of Education at Oregon State University. Randy talks with Lab Out Loud about the effective use of technology in the science classroom, the power of simulations in science instruction, and some important tech tools that have the power to engage students in science.

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NSTA Kids Encourages Love of Science Through Children's Trade Books

Back in October, we announced the launch of NSTA Kids, a new collection of children’s trade books published by NSTA Press, dedicated to nurturing the wonder and curiosity inherent in young minds. Two series, “Next Time You See” and “I Wonder Why?”, kicked off the the new imprint, designed for children in grades K–6, and written to entertain and impart sound science.

Teachers and parents looking for age-appropriate resources about science and nature can use these books to supplement and extend science programs and help develop a new love for science in children. What better way to encourage our youngest students to learn science and read at the same time? Take a sneak peek (PDF).

Next Time You See” books are $9.95 and are discount-priced for NSTA members at $7.96; “I Wonder Why?”books are $10.95 and discount-priced for NSTA members at $8.76.

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Engaging in Argument from Evidence is Focus of Dec. 4 Web Seminar Exploring the Practices in the Framework for K–12 Science Education

Engaging in argument from evidence is the topic of this week’s web seminar on the scientific and engineering practices described in A Framework for K–12 Science Education. It will be held on Tuesday, December 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Join Joe Krajcik, a design team lead for both the Framework and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and learn more about

  • Why reasoning and argument based on evidence are essential to identifying the best explanation for a natural phenomenon or the best solution to a design problem;
  • How scientists and engineers use argumentation to listen to, compare, and evaluate competing ideas and methods based on merits; and
  • The use of argumentation when investigating a phenomenon, testing a design solution, resolving questions about measurements, building data models, and using evidence to identify strengths and weaknesses of claims.

The Framework, published by the National Research Council, 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 the NGSS.

Only one web seminar remains in this series—obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information—to be held on December 18. The archive of the entire series of eight web seminars on the Framework awaits you here.

For more information and to register for the free web seminars,visit the NSTA Learning Center.

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Science Kit-Science Olympiad

NSTA Press-Exemplary Science for Building Interest in STEM Careers

NSTA Press-How Does a Plant Grow

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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Visit the NSTA Science Store for an outstanding array of bestselling books and teaching resources. Receive 30% off the price of the November featured book, Project Earth Science: Meteorology.


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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