NSTA's Science Matters Newsletter

Summer 2015

Dear Educator,

We hope you enjoy the Summer Newsletter of science and STEM education resources and announcements provided by the Science Matters Network. Please forward them on to other science/STEM educators in your school and/or school district. If there are any topics you would like to have us highlight in the next newsletter, please let us know.

Table of Contents


The National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS) has joined the STEM Education Coalition’s Leadership Council

Established in 1988, NCSSS was created to provide a forum for specialized secondary schools focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to exchange information and program ideas. The Consortium now includes approximately 100 member schools (high schools), many “ranked” as the best in the country, along with 55 affiliate members (colleges, universities, summer programs, foundations, and corporations) located in 32 states, that share the goals of transforming mathematics, science, and technology education. There has been a proliferation of schools that are calling themselves STEM. In an effort to help students, parents, regulators, foundations, and others to identify those truly STEM schools, the NCSSS Board has established this definition of a STEM school as those schools that prepare students to be leaders in global innovation by engaging them in rigorous, relevant, and integrated learning experiences, with a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics focus and specialization that include authentic research schoolwide. Learn more »

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Teacher Education, Professional Learning, and Grant and Award Opportunities

Google Teacher Academies

The Google Teacher Academy (GTA) is a free professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Each GTA is an intensive, two-day event during which participants get hands-on experience with Google tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact.

Call for Makers: Come Teach or Speak at Maker Media Lab (MAKE)

Do you have a story to tell to Makers, or a project or skill to teach? Would you like to tell it live at one of the most iconic Maker buildings in San Francisco? Now you can at the (relatively) new Maker Media Lab! This new project lab is in San Francisco, at the Palace of Fine arts, the original location of the Exploratorium hands-on science museum (it moved to a pier on the waterfront in 2013). The Maker Media Lab is a great place to build and to teach, so they are launching two great speaker programs to connect Makers to Makers. If you want to share your project, idea, or story with our local community, get in touch! They’ll help find a time that works, send out the word, and work with you to organize a great event to highlight your skills.

BMX STEM After School Program

USA BMX, the governing body of bicycle motocross racing in North America, is offering a first of its kind after school curriculum combining Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with BMX Bikes. The program also includes a physical fitness element, and the kids take away a BMX bike, helmet, and much more.  No other Olympic sport offers an officially sanctioned after school program in the United States.

Million Women Mentors Summit & Gala in Washington, D.C, September 21, 2015

This event will be bringing together thought leaders from corporations, non-profits, higher education and state/city leadership as well as CEO speakers focused on how you can get involved with mentoring at every level. You will engage withTED talk-style mentor-focused speeches; networking opportunities with key leaders in STEM education. Learn more »

College for Every Student

Explore what College for Every Student (CFES) does to support K–12 educators! It is through you that CFES Scholars engage in the three core practices—Mentoring, Leadership Through Service, and Pathways to College—that help underserved youth achieve college success. These practices have been shown to raise aspirations, improve students’ preparation for college, and develop leadership skills. Access the CFES Resources to learn more about the core practices and essential skills that help students get to and through college. Their yearly conference is in October in Burlington, Vermont.

Applications Open for NSTA New Science Teacher Academy

The NSTA New Science Teacher Academy is now accepting applications for the 2015–16 program year. U.S. science teachers, who will be entering their second through fifth year of teaching and whose schedule is a minimum of 51 percent middle or high school science, are encouraged to apply. NSTA Fellows—whose participation in the Academy this year is being funded by Lockheed Martin—receive a comprehensive membership package, online mentoring, and a variety of web-based professional learning activities. Fellows will also receive financial support to attend and participate in NSTA’s 2016 National Conference on Science Education in Nashville.

Global Digital Citizens

The Global Digital Citizenship Foundation helps teachers instil values in their students
that guide them towards a vision of creating a better world for themselves and for others.
Compassionate, innovative, inspirational, and fun—professional learning,resources, etc.

NSTA NGSS Resources

NSTA has introduced new innovative resources to help all teachers better understand and implement the vision set forth by the Next Generation Science Standards and Framework for K–12 Science Education—an interactive e-book and unit planner, free videos showing NGSS/Framework–based teaching in action, and NGSS-supported instructional resources, vetted by an expert team of curators, including lesson plans, units, instructional guides, books and book chapters, video simulations, science kits, and more. Learn more about these and other resources from NSTA. See attached PDF for more detailed info and links.

Between now and August 14, 2015, take 10% off your online order of NSTA Press books or e-books at the NSTA Science Store by entering the promo code SUMMER at checkout.

Integrated STEM Takes Hold: Three Case Studies

In a recent NSTA web seminar, STEM education experts outlined three case studies, showing how STEM education was integrated at the district level in grades K–12. The three case studies differed both culturally and geographically. View the archived seminar here.

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Student Opportunities


You're talented. You're driven. You want an internship. Meet—Launchcode, which pairs people aiming to work in technology with top-level employers through paid apprenticeships and job placement. Over 90% of apprentices end up with full time employment in technology.

Google for Students

If you are interested in STEM, explore this site for internships,scholarship, and programs!

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What Is Science Matters?

Science Matters is an initiative by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to bring content, news, and information that supports quality science education to parents and teachers nationwide.

Science Matters, sponsored by the ExxonMobil Foundation and Shell Oil Company, builds on the success of the Building a Presence for Science program, first launched in 1997 as an e-networking initiative to assist teachers of science with professional development opportunities. Building a Presence for Science—now Science Matters—reaches readers in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Why does Science Matter? Science is critical to understanding the world around us. Most Americans feel that they received a good education and that their children will as well. Unfortunately, not many are aware that international tests show that American students are simply not performing well in science when compared to students in other countries. Many students (and their parents!) believe that science is irrelevant to their lives.

Innovation leads to new products and processes that sustain our economy, and this innovation depends on a solid knowledge base in science, math, and engineering. All jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. The most recent ten year employment projections by the U.S. Labor Department show that of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected for 2014, 15 of them require significant mathematics or science preparation to successfully compete for a job.

This is why Science Matters. Quality learning experiences in the sciences—starting at an early age—are critical to science literacy and our future workforce. Feel free to publish this information in school newsletters and bulletins, and share it with other parents, teachers, and administrators.

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We Want to Hear from You

Do have a story idea or announcement that you think we should consider? Do you have a suggestion for how we can make this newsletter better? Let us know what you think. E-mail us your suggestions and feedback at wbinder@nsta.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

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