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Teacher Tax Deduction for Classroom Expenses Extended for 2004-05

The recent tax legislation signed into law by President Bush includes an extension of the "above-the-line" tax deduction for teachers for the first $250 "out-of-pocket" you spend on instructional materials and classroom supplies. The legislation, first passed in 2002, had expired at the end of 2003. Many groups, including the NEA, are working to increase the deduction, to make the deduction permanent, and to expand eligible expenses to include professional development. For more information, visit the NEA website at http://www.nea.org/lac/edtax/index.html.

Remember to keep your receipts for classroom materials you purchased during the 2004 calendar year so that you can take the deduction come tax time; and, of course, consider that the NSTA Science Store offers the best selection of classroom resources available for science educators at http://store.nsta.org/home.asp.

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NSTA Celebrates 60 Years of Support for Science Educators!

Sixty years ago IBM dedicated the first program-controlled calculator known best as the Harvard Mark I; Smokey the Bear debuted for the first time in public service advertisements; and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) was born. Launched on July 4, 1944, NSTA was a merger of two existing organizations, the American Science Teachers Association and NEA's American Council of Science Teachers.

The success of NSTA is due in large part to the commitment, active involvement, and enthusiasm of its members-people like you-who come together to advance the profession! We invite you to celebrate with us this year as we mark this important milestone. To get a historic perspective on our growth and success over the past 60 years, check out this timeline at http://www.nsta.org/timeline. We also encourage you to share your memories, thoughts, and experiences as an NSTA member. Tell us what you like most about NSTA, share an exciting experience you've had, or just add your words of congratulations. Go to the NSTA memory page at http://www.nsta.org/60th_memory_page.

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Science and Math Teacher Education Focus of U.S. Dept. of Education
Conference for IHE Presidents

Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Education hosted an invitation-only conference for presidents of institutions of higher education (IHE) as part of the ongoing Math and Science Initiative. The topic: Improving science and math education and better teacher preparation in these areas.

In his opening statement, Education Secretary Rod Paige told the audience, "We need to make every effort to better prepare potential teachers. And that is the role that only you can play. Your leadership in bringing this issue to the top of your university's agenda is critical to the nation's future."

A white paper developed by Ted Sanders, President of the Education Commission of the States, and distributed at the conference provides an excellent status report of K-12 science and math education, what the research shows, and provides key points of what college and university leaders must do to improve science and math education.

To read the Sanders' white paper titled "No Time to Waste: The Vital Role of College and University Leaders in Improving Science and Mathematics Education" go to http://ecs.org/clearinghouse/54/80/5480.doc. To read Secretary Paige's remarks to the conference, go to http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/2004/10/10052004.html. To learn more about the Secretary's Math and Science Initiative, go to http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/progs/mathscience/index.html.

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NASA to Present Symposia on Exploration, Robotics at NSTA Fall Conventions

NASA will present symposia for teachers of grades 5-8 at each of NSTA's upcoming fall conventions. "NASA Extreme Solar System Exploration" provides two dozen extraordinary teachable moments during launches, encounters, and landings-including the recent Mars Exploration Rover missions-with the potential for even more focused efforts in the future for the Moon and Mars. Educators can use mission science and technology to meet their curriculum requirements. This event will be offered during the Indianapolis convention (Nov. 4-6) on Nov. 5 (for information and to register, go to http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxindianapolis_symposium.asp); and during the Seattle convention (Nov. 18-20) on Nov. 19 (for information and to register, go to http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxseattle_symposium.asp).

The topic on Dec. 3 at NSTA's Richmond convention (Dec. 2-4) will be "NASA Robotics," and participants will learn from leading NASA scientists, engineers, and education specialists about the latest innovations and discoveries in robotics. The presentation will include information about robots currently working on Mars and new developments in "humanoid" robots. For information and to register, go to http://www.nsta.org/pd/institute.aspxrichmond_symposium.asp.

Registration for all three events includes two live e-classroom follow-up experiences and a discussion board. One hour graduate credit is available for an additional fee.

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Your Invitation to Present at NSTA's 2005-06 Conventions

Share your successes, your ideas, and your knowledge by presenting at an upcoming NSTA convention-our annual forum for bringing the latest in content, research, and teaching strategies to science educators. Submitting your session proposal is easy, because it's all online, with an easy-to-use format and the assurance that the review process will be as speedy as possible.

Proposals are currently being accepted for NSTA's 2005 fall conventions, which will be held in Hartford, CT (Oct. 20-22), Chicago (Nov. 10-12), and Nashville (Dec. 1-3); and for our 2006 national convention in Anaheim, CA (April 6-9). Deadline for submission is January 15 for 2005 fall conventions; April 15, for the 2006 national convention. Complete instructions, criteria for rating proposals, confirmations and more are available at http://www.nsta.org/enewsletter/2004-09/www.pdf. Membership in NSTA is not a prerequisite for presenters, so let us hear from you.

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No Banking Hours Here-Access NSTA Anytime Right From Your Computer!

NSTA is available to serve you 24/7. Simply visit http://www.nsta.org, where you can access an archive of journal articles (http://www.nsta.org/journals) from as far back as 1996 (members only) packed with teaching ideas and lesson plans; professional development courses (http://institute.nsta.org); the SciLinks (http://www.nsta.org/scilinks) database of teacher approved websites (members only); the Science Store (http://store.nsta.org); and much more.

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