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Spotlight on Science Education During Secretary’s Summit on Science
A host of notable speakers
took the stage to highlight the critical importance of science education to
our nation during the Secretary’s Summit on Science on March 16, 2004 in Washington,
D.C. The Summit on Science kicked off the science part of the Mathematics and
Science Initiative (MSI), a five-year program developed by the U. S. Department
of Education to 1) engage the public in recognizing the need for better mathematics
and science education for all children; 2) initiate a campaign to recruit, prepare,
train, and retain teachers with strong backgrounds in mathematics and science,
and 3) develop a research base to improve our knowledge of what boosts student
learning in mathematics and science.
At the end of the half-day
summit Dr. Susan Sclafani, Counselor to Education Secretary Rod Paige (and a
keynote speaker at the upcoming NSTA convention in Atlanta, see below), presented
a series of next steps for the MSI, which included working with stakeholders
to better prepare pre-service teachers, providing better assistance to in-service
teachers, working with publishers on the upcoming science assessments, working
with professional SMET organizations in the efforts to support K-12 science
and math, and continuing with more research on K-12 science and math education.
Sclafani also challenged participants to replicate the science summit in their
respective states and local districts.
To find out more about the
Mathematics and Science Initiative and to read the presentations made at the
Summit on Science, go to http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/progs/mathscience/index.html.
To read the Education Week article titled “Federal Agencies Train Spotlight
On Science Instruction” in the March 24 issue (which includes comments
from NSTA Executive Director Gerry Wheeler), go to http://www.edweek.com
(free registration required). A Webcast of the summit will also
be available soon at http://www.vodium.com/goto/doed/sciencesummit.asp
Names Top Teachers and Students in TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers Program
and Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards
Grants for Science Teachers
At the NSTA National Convention
this week, 50 K–12 teachers will be honored and presented with grants of up
to $10,000 in the Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program. An additional
29 teachers will receive mini-grants of $2,500. The teachers were selected for
their innovative approaches to teaching science. Each of them submitted proposals
for implementing science programs in their school or school district over a
one-year period. Project categories include environmental science, physical
science, and literacy and science education. For a list of the award-winning
science projects, go to http://www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry/index.htm.
If you have
a great way to make science come alive, apply for a 2005 Toyota
TAPESTRY grant and you may get $10,000 to put your ideas into action.
To download an application, go to http://www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry/howtoapply.asp
ExploraVision Awards program
teams of students from across the country have been named regional
winners in the 12th annual Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision
Awards program. More than 13,000 K–12 students entered the competition
and presented ideas for technologies that could exist 20 years in
the future. Winning ideas include a talking first-aid kit, special
meat-handling gloves that detect harmful bacteria, bug-like robots
that search for earthquake victims, and an invention that uses tiny
“nanobots” to clean teeth without brushing.
receive digital cameras and their schools receive Toshiba laptop
computers. The winning teams now advance to the next phase of the
competition where they create web sites to convey their ideas In
May eight finalist teams will be selected to receive savings bonds
up to $10,000. To view the winning entries, go to http://www.exploravision.org.
out on the fun. Call now to request entry materials for next year’s
competition. For more information or an application, call 1-800-EXPLOR-9
or visit http://www.exploravision.com/2003/hte_index.html
Museum of Natural History Opens Summer Online Course Registration
for K-12 Teachers
The American Museum of Natural History, a member
of the NSTA Institute, announces the start of registration for the
Museum’s online summer professional development courses. Beginning
June 28, five six-week courses in the life, Earth, and physical
sciences for K-12 educators will be offered. Each course is fully
Web-based. Enrollment may be limited, so individuals are encouraged
to sign up early.
Courses offered this summer include contemporary
explorations in genetics, Earth science, modern physics, and spiders,
as well as a course on sharks and rays. These courses are co-taught
by Museum educators and scientists and highlight the concepts, tools
and techniques of modern scientific inquiry. Each course also features
flexible participation, online discussions, and digital learning
resources for the classroom.
For course descriptions and to register, go to http://learn.amnh.org/welcome.php?w=NSTAIS04. For information on the NSTA Institute, visit http://institute.nsta.org.
Attendees at NSTA’s National Convention in Atlanta,
April 1-4, are encouraged to visit AMNH in Booth 1638 in the Exhibit
Hall, and to take part in their raffle of educator resources, including
a free course registration.
Complex Challenges and Solutions
Defined in Investigating Safely—New From NSTA Press for High
School Science Teachers
the risks to people and place with this vital new resource for every
high school science teacher and the newest title in NSTA’s unique
series of safety guidebooks. Investigating Safely deals with
the safety requirements of specific disciplines—physics, chemistry,
Earth and space sciences, and biology, as well as the day-to-day
challenges faced by high school science teachers such as equipping
labs, storing and disposing of chemicals and other hazardous materials,
maintaining documentation, and organizing field trips. Authors
Juliana Texley, Terry Kwan, and John Summers are classroom veterans;
they organized the book to present safety concepts in the context
of common situations in real classrooms. Included are permission
slips, student contracts, and other sample forms, which can be conveniently
adapted as needed. To browse the entire book online, go to http://nsta.tasco1.com/showItem.asp?product=PB166X3.
To browse others in the highly popular safety guidebook
series: for Exploring Safely, the K-4 edition, and Inquiring
Safely, for grades 6-8, go to http://store.nsta.org/searchBasic.asp?searchTerm=Exploring+Safely&x=21&y=11.
Results in from NSTA Express
Poll on Dissection
Results of our March 8 NSTA Express Poll on dissection reveal
the strong presence of dissection activities in the science classroom.
The majority of respondents (81%) indicated that dissection activities
are an important part of science learning and most (76%) told us
that they currently use animal specimens in dissection activities.
When asked about the frequency of dissection activities over that
past 5 years, 45% indicated that it had stayed the same, while 23%
said it is on the decline. Why the decline? Top reason is the lack
of funds to purchase dissection specimens. For complete results
on this NSTA Express Poll, go to http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2004_03_29_extra.htm.
Thanks to all who participated in the survey.
Come to the NSTA Atlanta Convention… Special
One-Day, Last-Day, and Student Rates; Submit Session Proposals by
4/15 for NSTA ’05 Convention
Making a last-minute decision? Only able to get away on this
weekend? Just a reminder to science educators in the Atlanta and
driving-distance area (this means you, Chattanooga, Knoxville,
Birmingham, Macon, Nashville…) that NSTA offers special rates of
$150 for a one-day registration for April 1, April 2 or April 3
(Saturday), and $50 for a one-day student registration. For the
final day sessions on Sunday, the registration fees are $115 for
attendees and $50 for students.
Those who join us on Saturday, April 3, will start the day with
an important featured presentation at 9:30: U.S. Education Secretary
Rod Paige's Mathematics and Science Initiative - Reconnecting Students
to Science, presented by Dr. Susan Sclafani, Counselor to the
Secretary and Assistant Secretary, Office of Vocational Adult Education,
U.S. Dept. of Education. Dr. Sclafani will provide highlights of
the Secretary's ongoing MSI initiative, as well as highlights from
the Secretary's Science Summit of March 16, 2004.
But if y’all just can’t make it down to Atlanta, look for your
Monday, April 5 issue of NSTA Express, which will highlight
NSTA’s 52nd annual convention in photos… Then put NSTA’s
2004-‘05 area conventions on your calendar and start planning now
to join us: Indianapolis (Nov. 4-6); Seattle (Nov. 18-20); and
Richmond, VA (Dec. 2-4). The 2005 National Convention will be held
in Dallas, March 31-April 3, 2005.
Interested in presenting in Dallas in ’05? Proposals for sessions
and presentations at NSTA's 2005 National Convention must be submitted--online
by Thursday, April 15. Professional development strands, which unify
and guide sessions, workshops, and short courses, are Biomedical/Biotechnology,
Technology Showcase, Assessment, and Safety.
Not a member
and want to join? Visit https://ecommerce.nsta.org/membership/apply.asp!
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Hope you found
this Monday’s edition of NSTA Express an interesting, quick
read and a worthwhile update on the latest news and information
from the National Science Teachers Association. Our goal is to save
you time by delivering information each week in short "news
bites," so if you'd like to know more, simply select the headline
quick link. NSTA continues to create resources and improve services
for science educators. If you're not already a member, we invite
you to join the crowd by going to www.nsta.org/whyjoin!
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