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In late May the San Diego School Board voted 3-2 to drop the requirement instituted five years ago that students take physics in the grade 9 (followed by chemistry and biology) in an effort to raise the performance of minority and low-income students after complaints from parents and some teachers. A mid-April Wall Street Journal article also examined the issue. Read the San Diego Union Tribune article at http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/education/20060524-9999-7m24science.html. Or read a synopsis of the April Wall Street Journal article at http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/nstaexpress_2006_04_24_wsjarticle.htm.
“NSTA believes a high-quality science teacher workforce requires meaningful, ongoing professional development. To achieve this goal, schools and school systems must devote time and resources to effective professional development for all K–16 teachers of science and science educators to support learning throughout their careers.”
This quote is taken from the new position statement on professional development recently adopted by the NSTA Board of Directors. The statement focuses on the key principles behind professional development; considerations for designing professional development; planning, implementing, and sustaining professional development; and specific needs of professional development providers.
The NSTA Board of Directors is grateful to the members of the position statement panel who developed the statement: Joyce Tugel, (Chair), Page Keeley, Susan Koba, Susan Mundry, Consuelo Rogers, Jim Short, Iris Weiss, and Jim Woodland. To view and download the statement—or any other NSTA position statement—visit http://www.nsta.org/positionstatement&psid=45.
Kicking off NSTA’s first conference this fall—in Omaha, October 19-21—with a much-anticipated address to the General Session, will be Tim Gay, Professor of Physics at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Gay has the distinction of teaching the “largest physics class in the world”: 78,000 fans who attend the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers’ home football games. During pauses in the action, Gay’s lessons are shown on the giant end zone television screens—sometimes as long as a two-minute discourse on such topics as Newton’s Laws of Motion (blocking and tackling), projectile motion (kicking and punting), kinematics (open-field running), and the ideal gas law (why not fill the football with helium to get better hangtime?). Gay’s work has been featured on ABC and ESPN; in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, People Magazine, Boston Globe, and Washington Post; and reported by various other television and radio outlets. For video clips from Gay’s football physics lessons, visit http://physics.unl.edu/outreach/football.html.
Online registration and the full agenda for the Omaha Conference on Science Education (and for Conferences in Baltimore, November 2-4, and Salt Lake City, December 7-9) will soon be available. Sign up for our ’06 Conferences VIP list to get details online when information becomes available. Visit http://www.nsta.org/vipresponse to add your name and e-mail address.
Give the gift that keeps on giving—membership in NSTA. It’s the perfect remembrance for a friend, associate, colleague, or that hard-to-shop for person on your list.
For birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions, choose from three membership categories:
Membership includes the grade-specific journal of choice for the recipient teacher, a subscription to NSTA Reports (our monthly newspaper), discounts on NSTA Press® books and conference registration, and much more. For a complete list of benefits, visit http://www.nsta.org/memcategories.
To order your gift membership, simply download the NSTA Gift Membership Application (http://www.nsta.org/nstaexpress/gift.pdf).
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-243-7100.
The Science Teacher, NSTA’s member journal for high school science educators, has been awarded a 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) in the Periodicals for Whole Publication—One-Theme Issue (Adults) category.
“Our Place in the Universe” was the theme of the issue; it focused on ways to help students explore the wonders of the universe, and included a Stellar Evolution poster from the Chandra X-Ray Center/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a CD-ROM on Cosmic Evolution from the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts. The award recognizes both editorial and design efforts. For a special peek to see why judges recognized this issue, several articles are temporarily available to all (full journal issues are generally open only to NSTA members) and noted as “FREE”, including:
Also receiving an AEP Distinguished Achievement Award was Quantoons with “metaphysical illustrations by Tomas Bunk,” from NSTA Press, which was honored in the Illustrations/Graphics category. To browse this book for “science and math buffs who crave both physics problems and captivating illustrations,” and to buy, visit http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB198X.
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