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Week of April 29, 2013

Table of Contents


Britannica Digital Learning

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Announces 2013 Grand Prize–Winning Teams

Siemens Challenge logoCongratulations to the grand prize winners of the fifth annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a national environmental sustainability competition that provides K–12 students the tools and inspiration to improve their schools, communities, and the world through project-based learning. This year’s projects addressed a wide variety of topics, ranging from optimizing solar cells for sustainable use to developing a district-wide paper recycling plan to creating a mosquito reduction initiative to decrease the population of mosquitoes.

Under the guidance of a teacher or mentor, K–12 students were tasked with identifying an environmental issue in their schools, communities or world and creating a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools. In addition to several other prizes, the high school grand prize–winning team received $50,000 in scholarship money to divide among team members and a chance to present their project at a prestigious venue. Each student on the middle school grand prize–winning team received a $10,000 saving bond and a Discovery adventure trip to Costa Rica. Elementary school winners received a Discovery Education assembly focusing on sustainability and a grant for their schools.

For more information about the Challenge, the winners, and their projects, click here.

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NSTA Member Jeff Charbonneau Named Teacher of the Year

Jeff CharbonneauCongratulations to NSTA Member Jeff Charbonneau—a chemistry, physics, and engineering teacher from Washington state—who was recently named the 63rd National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers. Mr. Charbonneau, along with the other 2013 State Teachers of the Year, was recognized last Tuesday by President Obama at a special ceremony at the White House. Before meeting with the President, Mr. Charbonneau and the other State Teachers of the Year visited last Monday with Dr. Jill Biden, a veteran English teacher, at the official residence of the Vice President.

Mr. Charbonneau teaches at Zillah High School (ZHS) in Zillah, Washington, where he has spent his entire 12-year teaching career. A National Board Certified teacher, Mr. Charbonneau has received numerous awards and accolades, among them being various business donations and grants totaling more than $25,000 to support the ZHS Robot Challenge, of which he is founder and director.

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NGSS@NSTA: Register Now for May Short Course and Free Web Seminar

Engineering in K–8 is Topic of NSTA Online Short Course in May
Engineering has a greater emphasis in Next Generation Science Standards. Get practical insights into teaching engineering in the elementary or middle school classroom in this NSTA short course with Christine Cunningham and Martha Davis from Boston’s Museum of Science. Register now for “Moving Toward NGSS: Visualizing K–8 Engineering Education.” Participants will attend three web seminars from May 16 to May 30 and will participate in discussion forums in the days between live sessions. NSTA members receive a discount. For more information and to register, go to the NSTA Learning Center.

There is Still Time to Register for April 30 Web Seminar on Crosscutting Concept; Energy and Matter—Flows, Cycles, and Conservation
Prepare for NGSS in your classroom by learning more about the important crosscutting concept of Energy and Matter—Flows, Cycles, and Conservation. web seminar will be held April 30, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Eastern. Join Andy Anderson and Joyce Parker in this great professional development experience that will explore the role that energy and matter play in science, how student understanding of energy and matter might develop over the course of K–12 education, how learning about energy and matter can take place during the learning of disciplinary core ideas by engaging in scientific and engineering practices, and what studying energy and matter really looks like in the classroom. Visit the NSTA Learning Center to register.

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You're Invited—NSTA STEM Forum & Expo: May 15–18, St. Louis, Missouri

At NSTA's second STEM Forum & Expo in May, school administrators, teachers, and business and public sector partners will find speakers, sessions, and resources critical to the teaching and learning of STEM. With both panel discussions and hands-on workshops, educators can count on rigorous discussions and practical tactics for integrating STEM disciplines into school curriculum. Take advantage of this opportunity to build out your knowledge base.

Kicking off the event on the evening of May 15 is an exhibit preview, reception, and keynote speaker Ainissa Ramirez, who will present on "Why We Need Science Superheroes."

On May 16–17 leading thought leaders in STEM education will host panel discussions on

  • What is a STEM School and What Does it Look Like?
  • Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards
  • State STEM Networks-How Are They Working to Change STEM Education
  • STEM in Urban Science Education and Engaging and Keeping More Girls and Minorities in STEM
  • Public/Private Partnerships, Out of School and Informal Programs that Excite Students about the World of STEM
  • Putting the T and E in Your STEM Program
  • A Whole School Approach to STEM: What You Need to Know
  • Promising STEM Programs

In addition to the panel discussions, teachers and administrators can select from more than 300 hands-on workshops targeted to PreK, elementary, middle level, high school, and leadership partners on a host of STEM-related topics.

Visit www.nsta.org/2013stemforum to view all workshops and panel discussion leaders and to register.

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Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K–12 STEM Education

Following a 2011 report by the National Research Council (NRC) on successful K–12 education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Congress asked the National Science Foundation to identify methods for tracking progress toward the report’s recommendations. In response, the NRC convened the Committee on the Evaluation Framework for Successful K–12 STEM Education to take on this assignment. The committee developed 14 indicators linked to the 2011 report’s recommendations,  related to students’ access to quality learning, educators’ capacity, and policy and funding initiatives in STEM and addresses the need for research and data that can be used to monitor progress in the K–12 STEM education system and make informed decisions about improving it.

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Take Our Quick Poll on NSTA Position Statements

NSTA develops and publishes statements that represent NSTA’s formal position on important issues in science education, including safety in the science classroom, the teaching of evolution, science for English Language Learners, and more. We’d like to know your thoughts about how you use these documents. Take our quick poll.

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Earth Day Savings on NSTA Press Books

Today, April 29, is the last day to take advantage of Earth Day savings on NSTA Press books. Take $10 off when you spend $40 or more on NSTA Press books or e-books. Get inspired to investigate soil, plants, insects, the Earth, weather, and much more.

  • If you spend $40 on NSTA Press books, you can receive $10 off with promo code EARTHY.
  • If you spend $40 on e-books, you can receive $10 off with promo code EARTHYE.

Click here to learn more.

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NSTA Press-Integrating Engineering and Science

Science By Design-NSTA Press

NSTA STEM Forum and Expo

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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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 April featured book, Whole-Class Inquiry: Creating Student-Centered Science Communities.


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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