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Week of January 28, 2013

Table of Contents

Reminder: the comment period for the second and final draft of the Next Generation Science Standards closes Tuesday, January 29. Click here for details.


Four Free Web Seminars for Teachers and Principals

Winter is the perfect time to access professional development through one of NSTA’s interactive web seminars. Teachers of all grades can learn more about classroom application of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and principals can discover strategies for implementing NGSS at the schoolwide level. Participants can also log in for more exciting STEM lessons from NASA.

  • January 29: Using the NGSS Practices in the Elementary Grades
  • January 31: The NSTA Learning Center: An Online Portal With Free Resources for Educators
  • February 4: Science Instructional Leadership in an Era of New Standards
  • February 7: NASA Explorer Schools: Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber

Get details on these web seminars, view the full calendar of upcoming programs, and register in the NSTA Learning Center.

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Teacher Professional Development Opportunities at the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian is inviting teachers to engage in professional development opportunities this summer.

Each of the three Smithsonian Science Education Academies (Biodiversity June 23–28; Energy: Past Present, & Future July 7–12; and Earth's History & Global Change July 1–26) is a weeklong immersive science experience, including content sessions to deepen understanding of key concepts, and behind-the-scenes access to Smithsonian collections and cutting-edge science at world-class research facilities. Three optional graduate-level credits are available for each Academy.

For more information, go to www.scienceteachersacademies.si.edu.

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Professional Development for Science Educators: NSTA's 2013 National Conference

With nearly 2,000 sessions to choose from, educators who attend NSTA’s National Conference on Science Education, San Antonio, Texas, April 11–14, can count on rigorous content, hands-on workshops, new products and technologies, nationally-known speakers, and a network of peers for sharing your passion for teaching science. The conference provides a perfect venue to talk about the issues: Common Core, best practices, NGSS, Crosscutting Concepts, STEM, and assessment strategies, to name just a few.  Join thousands for this exceptional professional development opportunity. Register now. The earlybird deadline is February 22. Have a look at some of our events.

  • Icons and Innovation in Paleontology—Louis L. Jacobs (Professor of Earth Sciences, and President, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, Southern Methodist University)
  • The Climate Science Debate—Andrew Dessler (Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University)
  • Next Generation Science Standards Town Hall Meeting (NGSS @ NSTA)—Stephen L. Pruitt (Vice President for Content, Research, and Development, Achieve)
  • Making the Most of a Math and Science Night (Elem)
  • Using Evidence to Construct a Scientific Explanation (Elem–Middle School)
  • Uncovering Student Science Ideas as a Springboard to Deeper Understanding (Elem-Middle School)
  • Creating Integrated STEM Programs—Full-day program, 4/10/13, K–12: Using the Common Core State Standards, the Standards for Technological Literacy, and the Grand Challenges for Engineering, participants will understand the integrative nature of K–12 STEM
  • It’s Not JUST Science: Integration Across the Elementary Curriculum—Full-day program, 4/10/13, K–6
  • DIY Forensics (Middle–High School)
  • Engineering for Space (Middle/Informal)
  • Literacy in High School Science? How We Made It Work (Middle–High School)
  • Promoting Disciplinary Literacy in the Science Classroom: Active Reading of Science Text with Digital Supports (Middle School)
  • Hit the Ground Running! An Authentic Approach to Units and Measurement (High School)
  • Using a Project-based Science Unit to Link Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, and Student Engagement (High School)
  • Integrating Common Core State Standards in STEM-based Courses (Middle–High School)
  • Bridge Data Activity: Sea Level Trends (Middle–College)

Visit www.nsta.org/sanantonio and check out the program scheduler to view all the sessions.

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Infuse Inquiry into Elementary Curriculum with NSTA's A Year of Inquiry

NSTA’s new book A Year of Inquiry: A Collection for Elementary Educators provides guidance on ways to move your students toward doing science and away from lectures, memorization, and cookbook labs. It is structured around an entire year of support, instruction, and learning through inquiry with 36 easy-to-read articles gathered from Science and Children, NSTA’s elementary-level journal. It’s both useful to experienced teachers and accessible to those with limited science background. Turn to A Year of Inquiry for the essentials of inquiry theory and practice—vetted by experts and explained for your unique perspective as an elementary school educator.

Member Price: $20.76 | Nonmember Price: $25.95

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Special Opportunities for Preservice Teachers at NSTA's National Conference

NSTA has three, that's THREE, opportunities for preservice teachers to enhance their experience during the 2013 National Conference!

2013 NSTA Student/Student Chapter Showcase
For three full days, NSTA will be presenting the second annual Student and Student Chapter Showcase, featuring interactive sessions presented by both NSTA-recognized student chapters and individual preservice teachers. Learn about existing and developing preservice teacher programs at the institution and community level, and participate in hands-on demonstrations and discussion groups. Network with existing NSTA-recognized student chapters to learn about how to develop one at your institution! This year's showcase will be limited to ten (10) sessions and each group will be awarded a $500 stipend (to defray travel and registration costs). To apply, submit contact information and an abstract using this online form: 2013 Student Showcase.

The 2013 Student Essay Contest Is Back!
Once again, NSTA is awarding a limited number of scholarships to preservice teachers planning to attend the 2013 National Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The scholarship will cover the cost of registration and a one (1) year student membership to NSTA. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and be enrolled in an accredited college or university as a student with an interest in science education (only). To apply, submit an essay (500 words or less) on ONE of the following topics: 1) What has inspired you to become a teacher? OR (2) Tell us about a teacher who had a profound influence on you. Submit your contact information and essay using this online form: 2013 Student Essay Contest.

2013 Student Poster Session
Lastly, NSTA is expanding the Student Poster Session, held in conjunction with the Student Showcase. This year, those selected to participate in the poster session will also receive a complimentary student eMembership to NSTA (for one year). To apply, submit contact information and an abstract detailing your poster using this online form: 2013 Student Poster Session.

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NASA, Ahoora Foundation Unit to Ignite Students' Passion for Science, Space, and Technology

Candy, soda, and other everyday items will be the tools of the trade for teenage rocket makers competing in the What If? Live Student Design Challenge, which was launched Tuesday by NASA and the Ahoora Foundation of Plano, Texas. Registration is open through February 28 for the worldwide contest, in which 14- to 18-year-old students will design experimental propulsion systems using materials that are cheap and easy to get.

What If? is designed to excite students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goal is to develop their creative and analytical abilities by learning about the growing need for green fuels and designing a vehicle propulsion system using commonly available materials, including sweet treats and carbonated beverages.

Students in two age categories, 14–16 and 17–18, may work alone or in groups of as many as four. They must create a research plan, write a research paper, develop and build the propulsion system, make a video showing the vehicle in action, and submit the video to judges via YouTube.com.

A panel of scientists, astronauts and educators will judge the entries and select finalists. There will be one winning design in each age category. Winners will be announced in May and receive special recognition from NASA and Ahoora.

To register, submit research, and learn more about vehicle design, the official rules and other information about the What If? Live Student Design Challenge, including view a two-minute video of the propulsion system in action, visit the What If? website.

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NSTA Press-Inquiring Scientists Inquiring Readers

NSTA 2013 STEM Forum and Expo

NSTA Press-Science Fair Warm Up series

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!

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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 January featured book, Handbook of College Science Teaching.


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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