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February 2010

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Contents
Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Volume 54, Number 1 February 2010
CAST Call for Proposals STAT Board Nominees National Lab Day Letter to SBOE
Inside:
The Official Newsletter of the Science Teachers Association of Texas 1
Contents
Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
About Us
We are STAT, the Science Teachers Association of Texas. STAT is committed to the enhancement of the teaching of science in Texas at all levels and in all science disciplines. For STAT Position Statements, go to: http://www.statweb.org/news/position.php STAT is: o A statewide organization of elementary, middle level, and high school teachers, college educators, supervisors of science, and others dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of science and education in our schools. o A chapter of the National Science Teachers Association o Visit the NSTA site STAT seeks to: o Serve as a unified voice for the science teachers of the state. o Keep science teachers and other members informed about current trends in science education. o Provide opportunities for members to examine techonology, curriculum, materials, and services. o Inform members of local, state and national meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops related to sciences. o Cooperate with other science oriented organizations and teacher associations in the promotion of teaching of science. History: STAT, Science Teachers Association of Texas, was formally organized in 1957 during the 4th Annual Conference for the Advancement of Science & Mathematics Teaching (CASMT). STAT membership is more than 6,000 strong!
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Contacts Elected Officers ............................................4 Appointed Positions ....................................4 Affiliate Congress ........................................5 Regional Directors .......................................6 Texas State Board of Education..................7 Message from the President ...........................8 Calendar............................................................11 Regional Reports .............................................12 Affiliate News ..................................................16 CAST 2010 Call for Proposals.......................20 STAT Officer Elections 2010 ..........................21 What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? ..................................................30 National Lab Day ............................................31 Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott........................................32 Continuing Education ....................................33
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
STAT Office
Mailing Address: 5750 Balcones Dr., Ste 201 Austin, TX 78731 Phone: (512) 491-6685 Fax: (512) 873-7423
www.statweb.org stat@bizaustin.rr.com
Elected Officers
President: Patsy Magee
(409) 617-5054 pmagee@beaumont.k12.tx.us
Past President: Michael Baldwin
(956) 548-8246 lbaldwin@rgv.rr.com
President-Elect: Joel Palmer
(972) 345-8379 jpalmer59@gmail.com
Treasurer: Laurel Frank
(281) 232-2025 lfrank@magnoliaisd.org
Vice President: Ross Ann Hill
(806) 892-1900 rahill@idalouisd.net Appointed Positions
Secretary: Karen Jo Matsler
(817) 483-7251 kjmatsler@gmail.com
Executive Director: Chuck Hempstead
(512) 491-6685 stat@bizaustin.rr.com
Texas Science Teacher Editor: Joel Palmer
(972) 345-8379 jpalmer59@gmail.com
CAST Exhibits Manager & Advertising Manager: Frank Butcher
(281)424-1230 frank.butcher@comcast.net
STATellite Editor: Jon Rodriguez
(512) 491-6685 stat@bizaustin.rr.com
TEA Representative: Kenn Heydrick
(512) 463-1827 Kenn.Heydrick@tea.state.tx.us 4
Contents
Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Integrated Science Educators of Texas
chenry1@satx.rr.com
Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas Rhonda Alexander
rhondaalex@gmail.com
ACT
Informal Science Education Association
kiki.corry@tpwd.state.tx.us
ISEA
Kiki Corry
ISET
Texas Association of Biology Teachers
hewittkaren@yahoo.com
TABT
Texas Association for Environmental Education
swall@ccisd.net
TAEE
Carole Henry
Karen Hewitt
Sally Wall
Texas Council of Elementary Science
mv12@bcm.edu
TCES
Texas Earth Science Teachers Association
dvalenti@houstonisd.org
TESTA
Texas Marine Educators Association
marolyn.smith@yahoo.com
TMEA
Michael Vu
Diann Valentine
Marolyn Smith
Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers
toni.saucy@angelo.edu
TSAAPT
Toni Saucy
Texas Science Education Leadership Association
DrTTalley@comcast.net
TSELA
Terry Talley
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Robert A. Soper 300 Hollywood Dr. Edinburg, TX 75839 E-mail Lola Grundy 15222 Reales Drive Corpus Christi, TX 78418 E-mail Catherine W. Porter 308 Welch Palacios, TX 77465 E-mail Mary Ingle 7145 W. Tidwell Road Houston, TX 77092-2096 E-mail Mike Hoke 1802 W Rein Orange, TX 77630 E-mail Roxanne Minix-Wilkins 1130 Skipwith St. Beaumont, TX 77705 E-mail Georgeanna Adams-Molina 3332 Montgomery Rd. Huntsville, TX 77340 E-mail Donna Wise 1909 N. Longview Street Kilgore, TX 75662 E-mail
Region 6
Gary Mabry 2110 Marsalis St. Abilene, TX 79603 E-mail Jerita Taylor P.O. Box 390 Bronte, TX 76933 E-mail Bobbette Doerrie 13925 CR B Booker, TX 79005 E-mail Cathy Box P.O. Box 698 Tahoka, TX 79373 E-mail Martha Alexander 5006 Castleford Rd. Midland, TX 79705 E-mail James and Dusty Milson 252 Viking El Paso, TX 79912 E-mail Mary Poarch 1425 Wilshire Ave. San Antonio, TX 78209 E-mail Shari Hiltbrand 1330 Augusta #20 Houston, TX 77057 E-mail
Region 14
Region 7
Region 15
Region 1
Region 8
Region 16
Vacant
Tanys Gene James 1625 Rodgers Dr. Graham, TX 76450 E-mail Bill Neal 6231 Woodcrest Ln Dallas, TX 75214 E-mail Becky Yarbrough 3001 North Freeway Fort Worth, Tx 76106 E-mail Jeanine Wolf 3680 CR 269 Oglesby, TX 76561 E-mail Dr. Barbara ten Brink 1410 W. 29th Street Austin, TX 78703 E-mail
Region 2
Region 9
Region 17
Region 3
Region 10
Region 18
Region 4
Region 11
Region 19
Co-Region 5
Region 12
Region 20
Co-Region 5
Region 13
Region 21
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Gail Lowe, Chair Lawrence A. Allen, Jr., Vice Chair Terri Leo, Secretary
SBOE District 1 - Rene Nuñez
1521 Upson Dr. El Paso, TX 79902 (915) 351-9923 (512) 936-4319 fax
William B. Travis Building 1701 North Congress Avenue Austin, Texas 78701-1494
SBOE District 9 - Don McLeroy
9277 Brookwater Cir. College Station, TX 77845 (979) 255-2538 (979) 846-1174 fax 22123 Skyridge Ln. Richmond, TX 77469 (512) 463-9007 (512) 936-4319 fax
SBOE District 2 - Mary Helen Berlanga
2727 Morgan Ave. Corpus Christi, TX 78405 (361) 881-1000 (361) 881-1028 fax 205 N Presa, Ste B 200 San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 226-7106 (210) 226-7104 fax 4302 Grapevine Houston, TX 77045 (713) 433-4643 (713) 556-7243 fax
SBOE District 10 - Cynthia Nolan Dunbar
SBOE District 3- Rick Agosto
SBOE District 11 - Patricia Hardy
900 N. Elm Weatherford, TX 76086 (817) 598-2968 (817) 598-2833 fax
SBOE District 4 - Lawrence A. Allen, Jr.
SBOE District 12 - Geraldine Miller
1100 Providence Tower West Dallas, TX 75244 (972) 419-4000 (214) 552-8560 fax PO Box 763337 Dallas, TX 75376 (214) 333-9575 (214) 339-9242 fax
SBOE District 5- Ken Mercer
PO Box 781301 San Antonio, TX 78278 (512) 463-9007 (512) 936-7319 fax
SBOE District 13 - Mavis B. Knight
SBOE District 6 - Terri Leo
23516 Twin Oaks Dr. RR#5 Spring, TX 77389 (281) 257-0832 fax (call first) 2165 North St. Beaumont, TX 77701 (409) 835-3808
SBOE District 14 - Gail Lowe
SBOE District 7 - David Bradley
11 Chris Ave. Lampasas, TX 76550 (512) 556-6262 (512) 556-3278 fax PO Box 1979 Lubbock, TX 79408 (806) 744-3232 (806) 744-2211 fax
SBOE District 15 - Bob Craig
SBOE District 8 - Barbara Cargill
61 W. Wedgemere Cir. The Woodlands, TX 77381 (281) 465-8095
Need to find your representative? Search by zip code at:
http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us
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Contents
Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
A Message from President Magee
Well if you are in Texas – crazy things have been going on!
THE WEATHER! What is with all the cold weather, rain, sleet and snow? I am ready for some sunshine and warm weather! How about you? This past weekend I had the privilege of working with your STAT Board. You will not find a group more dedicated to the advancement of science and concern for science teachers. Each member gave their time to come together and help make thoughtful decisions to help Texas science teachers. I hope you will thank them for their time and effort! This Board has made several decisions that will integrate more technology on the STAT website and we think you will find them powerful and useful. Keep reading and watching the STAT website. We will be rolling them out soon! The Board made decisions regarding future CAST sites and will be pursing those facilities that can offer larger “under one roof” facilities like Houston. Larger cities that can offer this will be a little more expensive, but “under one roof” conferences will allow for more activities and less distractions about moving from place to place. For your information the future sites at this time are: CAST 2010 CAST 2011 CAST 2012 CAST 2013 Houston George Brown Center Dallas Convention Center Corpus Christi Houston George Brown Center
As I returned from mid winter break, things began to step up in my District and I am sure yours too. TAKS science is not far away! AS we make it through this year, many questions arise about science for next year. Juniors this year will be the first group of high school students required to complete a 4th year of science and math on the recommended high school graduation plan. What courses will you offer? Who will teach them and what are the certification requirements? Do you have equipment and labs to teach them? Since we will begin to teach the new science TEKS next fall when will we get new books to help implement? What will be happening to the TAKS test? How will it change? How will students be tested next year especially 8th graders? What is all this I hear about End-Of-Course exams? When do we start
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Message from the President
them? What will students be expected to do and how will they be implemented? I have asked only a few of the questions I hear on a daily basis from my staff. How are you going to get these questions answered? Of course you can always go the TEA website and search or you can find all your answers in one place. Where? CAST 2010 – Houston George R. Brown Convention Center. The STAT Board and the CAST 2010 Committee have been busy to help science teachers as they try to meet all the new science requirements with CAST 2010. We are planning for the first time in several years an opening session. I think you will be as excited as we are to find out that Dr. Bob Ballard, famed oceanographer and explorer, will be the opening session keynote speaker! We are thrilled to have him as part of CAST 2010 courtesy of The JASON Project! I was privileged to hear one of his presentations this past week. His enthusiasm and passion for science is one message that all science teachers need to hear! We will also present our Outstanding Science teacher Awardees at the opening ceremony. We want everyone to see, know and learn about them! CAST 2010 proposal website is now online. Please consider submitting a proposal. Due to the increased number of teachers in Galveston the 2010 committee was dedicated to increasing the number of workshop opportunities available at each session. We plan to “max out” the Brown facility. We also plan to add several large “of interest to all” sessions in larger rooms – TEA, STAT Affiliate science and specialty demonstrations, Science strategies that work, etc. Watch for the housing online, it’s coming! Registration will also be online soon and you will want to get the early bird registration fee of $115. Those who want to offer field trips will now do that proposal also on the website. More and more technology! CAST 2010 will continue to move to a”greener” conference. We like the idea of leaving as small a “footprint” as possible since we are all scientists. We will eliminate more paper by asking the workshop presenters to place their information and handouts on a special place on the STAT website. You will be able to get the information you want, simply by going to the STAT website and downloading it. You will notice a greater visibility of the STAT Affiliates. We plan to make an Affiliates row right up front so that as a science teacher you can join a science organization that will help you according to what you teach. This is a great opportunity to get involved with other science educators in your field! Keep watching the STAT website. Everything is being updated and made easier for science teachers to get what they need. None of these technology advances could have been implemented without the hard work of STAT’s Executive Director, Chuck Hempstead, and his staff. They have been involved in researching and helping to implement all the new technology ideas we have brought to them. Help me to thank them for all they do for Texas Science Teachers! Science teachers, we need your help! The STAT Board is always trying to think about what would be best for you. We need people to step forward to participate, join and run for offices in the STAT organization. Science teachers are the “heart” of this organization and we need more of you to help! We need science teachers to apply for the STAT awards. We want to recognize you! Science teachers are the most fabulous group of teachers – STEP UP! Finally we need articles for the Texas Science Teacher and STATellite. Each of you do wonderful things in your classes each day and many of you have great research information
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Message from the President
that needs to be shared. Please take the time and do it now. It is difficult to do a publication when there are fewer and fewer articles. There are so many new things coming I can’t begin to name them all – this is only a start. I hope you will find what we have done helpful and useful. On a final personal note, this year our family will have a wonderful “first”. Our first grandchild will be born! Macee Kay will arrive around March 18th and we just can’t wait! One more great thing to add to the excitement of new things to come!
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education June 2010
TSELA Meeting June 18, 2010 San Antonio, TX TABT Conference June 27 - July 5, 2010 Alaska
March 2010
ISEA Annual Conference March 3-5, 2010 UT Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas TSAAPT Annual Meeting March 18 - 20, 2010 Austin, TX NSTA National Conference March 18 - 21, 2010 Philadelphia, PA TMEA Workshop March 26-28, 2010 Matagorda, TX
July 2010
TESTA Iceland Trip July 19 - 25, 2010 Iceland
August 2010
BCCE Conference on Chemical Education August 1-5, 2010 Denton, TX
September 2010
TAEE Annual Fall Conference September 17-19, 2010 Burnet, TX
April 2010
TESTA Spring Conference April 10, 2010 Sonora Caverns, Sonora, TX
October 2010
Rio Grande Valley Science Conference October 9 - 10, 2010 Mercedes, TX NSTA Area Conference October 28 - 30. 2010 Kansas City, MO
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Regional Reports
Region IV
by Mary Ingle, Region IV Director The second annual Region 4 Science Conference was held on February 20, 2010 at the William McKinney Conference Center at Region 4 from 8:00 am–3:30 pm. The conference theme was “Gaining Momentum in Science Literacy”. Sessions were available for all grades and science courses in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Presentation Themes:  Biology  Chemistry  Earth Science  Environmental Science  Life Science  Physics  General Science  Instructional Strategies  Science Process Skills  Science, Technology, Society  Special Populations in Science  Statewide Assessment
pand your mind & Ex
expand their world!
Pursue one of Texas Tech’s Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Science degrees - MSCI or MS2
MSCI focuses on high school science with fall/spring coursework available online and summer sessions at TTU Junction. MS2 focuses on middle school math and science with fall/spring coursework available online and summer sessions in Lubbock.
www.de.ttu.edu/cast
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Regional Reports
Nasco Science Division STATellite Newsletter Spring 2010 STAT1002
Region X & XI
by Kevin Fisher
The Metroplex Mini-CAST was held on January 23, 2010 at Heritage High School in Colleyville, Texas. This is the 15th consecutive year for the Metroplex Mini-CAST sponsored by the Metroplex Area Science Supervisors group. Once again the event was a resounding success. Approximately 700 people attend the event including 525 attendees, 106 presenters, 41 vendors, and 30 volunteers from the Metroplex Area Science Supervisors group. This Mini-CAST is larger than many state science conferences. Throughout the day, over 100 different sessions were presented. Between sessions, attendees perused vendor booths to see the latest offerings. Lunch was provided to all attendees, vendors, presenters, and volunteers. One of the highlights of the Metroplex Mini-CAST is the various door prizes. This year the door prizes included four scholarships to attend CAST in Houston. Four lucky individuals will be attending CAST courtesy of the Metroplex Mini-CAST. This year’s winners were Truett Austin, Shawn Mondlach, Lauren Avery, and David Downing. In addition to informative sessions, vendor exhibits, door prizes the Mini-CAST recruited 178 new members to STAT. The purposes of the Mini-CAST are to provide the latest in instructional methodology, creative activities, networking opportunities, and most importantly, supporting STAT by recruiting new members. These goals were all accomplished. We hope to see even more people at the 2011 Metroplex Mini-CAST. Sincerely Kevin Fisher Director
STAT1002
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Regional Reports
Region XV
by Jerita Taylor
Region XV Robotics Competition
At Regional, the 1st place team was Linsey Arellano and Garrett Rogers. At Area, since Garrett and Bailey failed, the teams consisted of Linsey Arellano, Erika Sheldon as 1st place with Luke Sheldon, and Jorge Rostro in second place. The boys missed by 1 point. Also at Regional one of my elementary teams won 1st place. The team consisted of Matthew Curry, Kaleb Torres, and Trace Oleksiuk. This was their first time in Robotics.
Second place was Jorge Rostro, Luke Sheldon and Bailey Smith.
They kind of learned a lesson this year in “do not mess with something that works.” They thought they needed to improve their robot and did not place at area.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
The teams are:
Regional Reports
As far as State, all four of my secondary teams qualified.
Team 1
Linsey Arellano Erika Sheldon Garrett Rogers*
Team 2
Jorge Rostro Luke Sheldon Bailey Smith*
Team 3 (Mix of Jr. & Sr. High)
James Roberts Drew Davis Zachary Sanchez
Team 4 (Strictly Jr. High)
Tristen Hildebrand J. R. Aldridge Mason Hill
*If a passing grade is maintained
Sponsored by:
Celeste Service Denise Roberts Sandy Sawyer
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Affiliate News
Texas Association of Biology Teachers TABT
by Karen Hewitt TABT had a great turnout at CAST 2009. Our strand workshops were full. Our short courses were sold out. Thanks to our presenters – Debbie Richards, Jennifer Jordan-Kaszuba, Gina Disteldorf, Joy Killough, Eugene Chiappetta and Robert Dennison – for their hard work and support of the TABT strand. We are currently looking for strand presenters for CAST 2010 in Houston. If you are interested in presenting a workshop or short course in the TABT strand, please contact Karen Hewitt or Sarah Anderson. Robert Dennison spoke at the TABT luncheon on his experiences as Charles Darwin. Robert has had some interesting experiences when he is portraying Darwin, including being given full access at Down House, Darwin’s home. Robert was also a part of the Darwin Houston 2009 program. TABT is planning a trip to Alaska June 27 – July 5, 2010 through Holbrook Tours. The fully guided adventure is designed to highlight on the most naturally beautiful regions in the country, allowing for an up-close and personal Alaskan experience. Explore the Copper River Delta and pass under the branches of old-growth hemlock and spruce on a walk through Chugach National Forest on the edge of Prince William Sound. Land pricing is $2029 for double occupancy and $1889 for triple occupancy. These are land prices only. If you are interested, you can check it out on the TABT website or contact Holbrook (www.holbrooktravel.com) 1-800-451-7111. Click here to view the flyer. Also in the news, Alton Biggs recently returned from a trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He presented a staff development for about 130 science supervisors from Saudi Arabia and some from the Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan. He thought the workshop participants were like our department chairs or district supervisors, but he later found out they were more like state supervisors and his workshop was an international conference. Because he had to have an interpreter for the sessions, the pace was slow. Everything he said had to be translated to the audience and their comments had to be translated back to him. One day was spent on strategies for differentiating instruction, one day on correction of preconceptions and misconceptions in biology, one day modeling an effective lesson, and one day on problems in the classroom. He reports he received a standing ovation on the last day from both the men and the women who were in separate rooms. The women viewed him on television. The Under Secretary to the Minister of Education told Alton he had heard only good things about his work during the week, and he was going to invite him back next year.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Affiliate News
Texas Earth Science Teachers Association TESTA
by Diann Valentine As we continue to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, the Texas Earth Science Teachers, TESTA, would like to invite you to help us make this an even more stellar year for the comeback of Earth Science to our educational curriculum. Participation and contribution are vital elements in the success for our students. You can make a difference in your knowledge as well as share your insights during this year. To increase your field base experience, TESTA is offering a spring conference “Texas – Underground!” It will be held April 9-11 at the Sonora Caverns. Arrive Friday night to stay at the Days Inn to visit with new and old friends as we begin the conference the next morning. Click here for a conference flyer. The four Saturday sessions include: • Underground Classroom – Cavern Formation & Speleology, Preservation, Cave Biology, Texas Geology, and Fossils. • Orienteering – Compass and Map reading, Pacing, GPS Technology, Geo-caching, and Topographic Mapping. • Hydrology – Groundwater, Texas Aquifers, Water Testing, and Conservation. • Caverns of Sonora – Tour of the spectacular caverns and photo opportunities. Sunday morning activities include TEXAS Rocks! – Geologic Puzzles, Steno’s Laws, Relative Dating, Road Cuts and Fossil Collecting. (Texas Room & Road cuts between Sonora & Junction. To maximize and personalize your experience these optional activities are offered: • Discovery Challenge (Maximum of 8 participants) for Off trail caving and rapelling – 4 hours - $125.00/person • Single Rope Technique and Cave Safety – Ascending and Climbing - $7.00/person • Eaton Hall Wildlife Sanctuary – self guided tour. (free) Conference fee of $150 includes two nights hotel - double occupancy, all meals on Saturday and Sunday morning, and all conference activities except optional Sunday activities. Transportation is not included. Visit our website for registration form. Contact Kathryn Barclay at 281.460.2026 for further information, TESTA looks forward to seeing you there. Also TESTA is offering again Iceland July 19-25, 2009! We were lucky to have the renowned Ari Trausti sign on again as tour guide. He did an outstanding job for those of us that attended last year. It is a trip of a lifetime for geology lovers. Call Charles Swift at 806.535.6017 for the latest information. Also check our website about both of these professional development opportunities.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Affiliate News
Texas Science Education Leadership Association TSELA
by Terry Talley The February 19th meeting of TSELA had a great turnout for its Winter Meeting. With about 100 science supervisors, science education leaders, science teachers, and interested members in attendance, Susan Mundry of WestEd, conducted a challenging and insightful session of the new WestEd game called “Building Systems for Science Literacy”. Thank you to Sally Dudley of CPO Science for providing breakfast. Participants learned of the most effective sequence for gaining student achievement through selecting various professional development opportunities to gain Instructional Leadership, Science Background Knowledge and Quality Teaching points, all with a limited budget. From the feedback and self evaluations submitted at the close of the session, quotes such as “I wish I would have known this 3 years ago,” and “This has changed the way I am going to approach professional development!” it was judged successful. Thank you, Susan, for a full day of invigorating and challenging professional development at the supervisor level! News of the EOC and STAAR were presented to the TSELA membership through an informative and timely presentation by Irene Pickhardt, Assistant Director of TEA Science. A copy of the PowerPoint is available on the TSELA Affiliate page, on the www.statweb.org website. The minutes of the business meeting are posted on the TSELA page as well. The new TSELA board will be installed at the June 18th meeting. President – Vanessa Westbrook, President Elect – Kevin Fisher, Secretary – Sharon Story, and Treasurer – Lisa Webber. The outgoing board will be recognized at the November meeting before CAST in Houston. Thank you to Peggy Carnahan who will be hosting the meeting at Our Lady of the Lake, in San Antonio, TX. Please continue to check the TSELA page on the STAT website for registration and luncheon reservations. At this time Vanessa is seeking proposals for the TSELA strand at CAST. These strands will center on Instructional Leadership for the implementation of the 2010 TEKS. We are specifically seeking presentations to assist Science Supervisors and Science Specialists in helping their teachers in this new and challenging task. If you are interested in presenting a session through TSELA on Friday of CAST, please send your proposal information to Vanessa Westbrook at vwestbrook@mail.utexas.edu before submitting it to STAT online. As always we are looking forward to seeing all of you at the TSELA meeting prior to CAST. Registration for the meeting and luncheon will be available on the STAT website. As a convenience to our membership, you can pay your annual membership dues at that time.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
presents
The Mobile Offshore Learning Unit (MOLU)
The Mobile Offshore Learning Unit (MOLU) is a $1.2 million dollar engaging traveling exhibit. It features six self contained learning centers with curriculum-based, hands-on activities about energy and the technologies and sciences involved with the oil and gas industry. The curriculum for each of the 24 activities is based on national and Texas state standards (TEKS). Although the MOLU is geared for 5th grade students, it is also appropriate for other age groups. The MOLU is sponsored by
Teachers will need to accomplish the following prior to the visit: ■ Administer pre-test ■ Have students view 2 complimentary DVDs, OEC’s The Offshore Story and API's Fuel-less ■ Have students complete a Career Interest Profile form Following the visit, teachers are asked to: ■ Review and correct answers in the MOLU Pass booklet with students ■ Administer post-test ■ Score pre/post tests and mail to OEC ■ Complete online teacher evaluation form A pre-visit package containing all necessary materials will be sent to the school prior to the MOLU visit.
Devon, Dominion, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Marathon Oil Company, and Schlumberger. For more information about the MOLU and to download a MOLU Request Form, please visit www.oceanstaroec.com
Presents
Project E³: Expanding Energy Education Workshops
At Ocean
Star Museum in Galveston – 20th Street at Harborside Drive
2 0 1 0 W O R K S H O P D AT E S
Knowledge Box Grades 6-12
Saturday, January 30, 2010 Saturday, February 20, 2010 Saturday, March 27, 2010 Saturday, April 17, 2010 Thursday, June 10, 2010 Thursday, July 15, 2010 Thursday, August 5, 2010 Saturday, September 25, 2010 Saturday, October 16, 2010 Friday, November 20, 2010
Playing with Petroleum Grades K-5
Saturday, January 16, 2010 Saturday, February 13, 2010 Saturday, March 6, 2010 Saturday, April 10, 2010 Tuesday, June 8, 2010 Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Tuesday, August 3, 2010 Saturday, September 18, 2010 Saturday, October 2, 2010 Saturday, November 13, 2010
Participants will receive a light breakfast, lunch, the Project E³: Expanding Energy Education Book (a $35.00 value), and a $25.00 travel stipend. A $35.00 check along with the registration will hold your place. This will be returned to you upon completion of the 7 hour workshop which begins at 9:00am. Each participant will also receive 6 CPE hours and will be entitled to reserve a Knowledge Box or Playing with Petroleum Kit for up to 30 days to untilize in their classrooms at no charge. (Free pick-up and delivery within the Houston area.) Ask about workshops outside of the Houston/Galveston area.
Mail checks to:
Offshore Energy Center 200 N. Dairy Ashford, Suite 6220 Houston, Texas 77079 (281) 544-2435 Fax: (281) 544-2441
For more information about the workshops, visit our website: www oceanstaroec.com or contact Doris Tomas, Education Director, dtomas@oceanstaroec.com
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Call for Proposals
Think you have what it takes to take science education to the next level? Do you know how to engage, enlighten and inspire your students? Are you ready to share these methods with colleagues from all over Texas?! Then we want you to help make this CAST the BEST ever!! The time has come to send in science from your city to be a part of Science in the City – CAST 2010! We are now accepting proposal applications for workshops, short courses and field trips. Submit your ideas from now until April 16th for the chance to be an important part of CAST 2010. To apply, head over to the application website and create a username and password. You can then login to access the online application. Please make sure to fill out your application as accurately as possible, so that we have the best information with which to make our decision and to schedule your course, if you are chosen to present. Thank you for your interest in being a part of CAST 2010! We look forward to hearing all of your great ideas.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education Ross Ann Hill
Decide Who Will Represent Texas Science Teachers
Online Elections will be open online to members by April 1.
STAT Needs Your Votes!
The Nominees
President-Elect
Todd Crump
Vice President
Cynthia Ontiveros Tony Zahn
Secretary
Monica Mata Deidre Parish
Treasurer
Laurel Frank
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
President-Elect
Ross Ann Hill
During the last two years, I was privileged to be elected and serve as STAT Secretary and also STAT Vice President, a rewarding and motivating experience because of my beliefs that teachers can make a difference and teachers need to provide a leadership voice in quality education. I value the opportunity to represent educators in science education, and I take my elected position seriously! STAT should support the participation of Texas in competing for the $4.3 billion in grants that will be awarded to those states.
In my role as a middle school science teacher in Idalou, Texas for the last 26 years, I have embraced opportunities to grow as an educator to assure students could benefit through my professional development. I wanted a difference for students. Through my experiences, As science educators, we embrace new provided by STAT, my school and valued partopportunities and challenges with science edu- nerships in education, my vision grew. I wanted cation in Texas with modifications of the TEKS opportunities for students, but I also wanted opand their implementation. Curriculum and in- portunities and the required support for teachers struction at the secondary level should be in- to provide these opportunities. I was honored formed by the College Readiness Standards as to be selected as the STAT Outstanding Middle well. As stakeholders in quality science educa- School Teacher of the Year in 2004 because of intion, we understand the importance of strong novation and leadership encouraged through partnerships to accomplish our goals. We also the support of my district and my community. encourage foundations for educators that we feel are critical to assure the learning our stuSTAT is an innovative and essential orgadents are required to demonstrate as they pre- nization that has the opportunity to better prepare for college and careers in the twenty-first pare its members as we prepare teachers and century. Teachers require a deep understanding students for exciting new challenges. As an orof content, expertise in pedagogy and technolo- ganization we have the charge of providing vigy, combined with an understanding of student sion, leadership, and opportunity. development and how students learn. STAT provides leadership to support these needs for I am honored to provide leadership in the quality education by providing the network science community as well as represent those that is critical for our voice in science educa- who elected me, and I want to be your voice for tion. I believe that STAT should provide oppor- science education as the President for STAT. tunities for teachers to learn about the national standards being developed in science and urge Texas policy makers to join the 47 other states involved in developing these standards. Likewise,
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
President-Elect
Todd Crump
STAT and many of its members have positively impacted my career in science education over the years; I am seeking the office of President-Elect because I believe it is important to give back to the organization that has provided me many opportunities to be successful. Serving on various community boards and committees in a leadership capacity has afforded me many learning opportunities which I will utilize to lead STAT to be an even more successful organization for the science education community of Texas. My extensive experience with organizational leadership, public affairs, consensus building, fiduciary responsibilities, and project management would also serve me well in this position. As a classroom teacher, I used science as a vehicle for teaching many other content areas. My students were always more successful in reading and writing when the lesson incorporated scientific concepts that piqued their curiosity, such as where their hair color came from or how bats see in the dark. Most importantly, science provided opportunities for my students to think. My philosophy of science education was shaped by the idea that Carl Sagan expressed when he was addressing a group of primary and secondary science teachers – “You teach them how to think, and we’ll teach them the petty details later.” Texas has made significant progress in building a strong science education program for our children, yet we still face many challenges – implementation of the new TEKS, new assessments, and a long overdue textbook adoption, as well as the need for classroom equipment and solid professional development in a time of growing budgetary constraints. Leading STAT to strengthen the network of the science education community – teachers, university faculty, informal science organizations, etc. – will be necessary to be overcome these hurdles. The Science Teachers Association of Texas collaborates as a community to help achieve all that is necessary to ensure our students are successful lifelong learners, and I would be honored to lead the organization in these endeavors. When our teachers are successful, our children are successful.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Vice President
Cynthia Ontiveros
Mrs. Ontiveros has a passion for teaching science and is dedicated in supporting her teachers and students. Her goal is to become the Vice President for the Science Teachers Association of Texas so that she can represent the far west region of Texas and bring forth the issues that matter most to educators in the area. Mrs. Ontiveros is respected by her peers and is a proven leader in her District as well as the region. She is extremely motivated and driven and will support educators to her fullest potential. Her philosophy is that every student and teacher has the ability to do better, to improve or enhance no matter the circumstance. According to Carol Dweck, there are two views when it comes to intelligence; there is the “fixed mindset” and the “growth mindset”. The “fixed mindset” refers to intelligence as stable or constant; individuals either have it or don’t have it. That is, their mind is “set” and do not have the capability to grow or expand or learn something new. The “growth mindset” looks at intelligence as ever expanding and can increase with “effort.” With practice and perseverance, individuals can grow and reach new levels of cognition by experiencing higher ordered or rigorous activities. (Dweck, 2000) With that said, Mrs. Ontiveros believes that we can build a community of learners at all levels. Through practice, dedication, and providing engaging/rigorous activities, individuals have the ability to grow and change their “mindset”. If all stakeholders practiced and “lived” by this theory we would truly support learning to the highest degree. The belief that all individuals can learn and grow, will help move schools and districts to the next level. Mrs. Ontiveros looks forward to the opportunity to serve and represent her colleagues at the state level.
Dweck, C. (2000). “Theories of intelligence create high and low effort.” In Essays in Social Psychology. Self Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (pp. 3944). Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis group.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Vice President
Tony Zahn
In the 21st Century it is more important than ever that we teach our students to truly understand science. With an all-time low in STEM graduates that rivals the pre-Sputnik era, it’s essential that science programs lead students to deep conceptual understandings. Curriculum models that compel students to do science and know science will fall short until they purposefully lead students to understand science. Understanding science on a conceptual level can be achieved so that the students of today will be able to use science to solve the problems of tomorrow.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Monica Mata
As a member who has benefited greatly from the work of the STAT community, Mrs. Mata believes that it is an obligation to serve and support the journey of our colleagues. STAT has been a support structure for her as she searched for reliable resources, professional development and current information to help improve her craft. The time has come in her professional experience to give back to the community by serving as STAT secretary. It is her goal to maintain and effectively utilized the tools for clear, concise communication. This component of the work will be critical as science teachers’ as they transition from the old to the new standards. This can be achieved through the utilization of the most current technology avenues and thus expanding the opportunities for communication amongst our members. Life-long learners are also life-long educators, for nowledge is a gift of great value and it is the responsibility of the learner to share this wealth. This is her philosophy, which is applicable to all members of a community. It is what we see in highly functioning schools, as knowledge is shared from administrators to teachers, teachers to students and students to family. Applying this philosophy to the teaching of science unfolds when campus administrators understand the equipment and resources science teachers and student need; teachers improve the quality of their instruction for students; and students’ deepen their understanding of science concepts. Once these components are in place, students can practice doing science and thinking science. As a community of science educators, we have made great strides in how we teach science. We will continue to make progress as we implement the new TEKS, which founded on the conceptual construct of descriptive, comparative and experimental investigations in science. Students will be thinking and performing science as a single process. With this progress will come a deeper level of learning and replace the learning of facts one day followed by a disconnected experience of conducting a laboratory experiment. It is an exciting time in our science community, where teachers develop the minds of students into critical thinkers of science. Mrs. Mata understands that it is an honor to serve during these times of great accomplishments.
Secretary
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Deidre Parish
Exposure. Options. I believe that our students have the opportunity to find and to experience science that interests them. We have standards written by teachers that encompass all realms of science and the possible combinations of student classes can be customized for individual career aspirations. What a great time to be a student in Texas and what a great time to be a teacher! Exposure must begin early so we must continue to support the elementary teachers with easy hands-on activities that engage the students. Exploration in middle school science facilitates more in depth learning by making the connections through the grade levels that support scientific thinking. As teachers, we have the responsibility of guiding our students and helping them become all that they can be. As the STAT Secretary, I want to be an active participant in an association that promotes safe lab conditions, science curriculum options for high school students, and equity for all students in Texas. By providing support and information for teachers, together we can achieve scientific literacy for our students. Hands-on, engaging science promotes and empowers education. Science teachers hold the key.
Secretary
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Treasurer
Laurel Frank
Think about marathon runners who are well-equipped for the race. They train for months or even years to be ready to conquer the course. And while the runners are the reason for the event, there are an amazing number of people who contribute in obvious and subtle ways to make the marathon a success. Science teachers are much like those marathon runners, completing the rewarding but sometimes daunting task of preparing the students across the state of Texas to become scientifically literate citizens and perhaps even lovers of science. STAT is an unwavering partner for those who are daily charting the course of science education. Just as someone marked the course and cleared the roads to make way for the runners, STAT keeps an eye on upcoming science events including the TEKS adoption and implementation process, new state testing requirements, graduation plan information, textbook adoption procedures, and State Board of Education policies to be able to serve as a clearinghouse of information to science teachers and administrators across the state. Just as someone set up water stations along the course to keep the runners performing at their best, STAT organizes CAST, one of the largest science conferences in the nation to help teachers perform at their best. CAST is a truly remarkable opportunity for science teachers from all corners of Texas to share and network with one another and get information from an amazing number of publishers and vendors. And as with any great event, there are those who take care of the administrative details so the athletes are able to run the race. I’ve served as STAT treasurer for the past two years alongside other dedicated volunteers who give their time to impact Texas science education. I would be honored to serve as treasurer for a third term. So let me take care of some of those little details so you can get out there and run the race for our students!
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
By Joel Palmer, STAT President-Elect
What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students?
ferences are seldom beneficial but can be harmful or at least costly. All you need to do is to look at the back of any popular science magazine and you will see numerous advertisements for “NEW” scientific breakthrough of dubious validity. I have seen everything from secret “Pheromone” cologne additives that drive women wild to an “Energized Water” system that is touted to cure all your ailments. Our responsibility is to educate our student population to be informed members of a modern society. As important as it is to teach specific science content, it is more important to teach the process of science. I do not mean the five steps of “The Scientific Method.” That is the source of a whole other article and discussion. As a curriculum coordinator, I constantly discuss the nature of the various subject areas as being content-based or processbased. Usually we agree that Math is processbased. It is about teaching students the processes used in mathematics to manipulate numbers to solve problems. We lump Science and Social Studies as content-based. In other words, we primarily teach stuff. Language Arts usually ends up somewhere in the middle. They teach the skills of reading and writing and some content in literature. I am wondering if we are mistaken is it possible that the most important thing we can teach students about science is not the stuff but the process. It is the process of sciences, the habits of the mind, that helps us debunk false claims and become skeptical of every claim we see. This may be the most important thing we can teach our students. We can give them the habits of the mind that will serve them in the modern technological world. So the next time you go to plan a lesson and you examine the TEKS deciding what to teach, make sure you take time to consider the Process TEKS just as much as the Content TEKS.
One of my favorite quotes is, “May you live
in interesting times.” It had always been attributed to being an ancient Chinese Proverb/Curse. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support that claim. (for information see http://everything2. com/title/May+you+live+in+interesting+times). Be that as it may, we are living in interesting times. Anyone who is involved in science education in the state of Texas and who has been listening to the information flowing out of Austin knows that we are living in interesting times. As science educators we have a daunting responsibility. In the Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagen explains that humans are finely-tuned inference machines. Humans constantly search for cause and effect. Unfortunately we humans are not really good validity machines. This actually makes sense from an evolutional stand point. A primitive human who infers that the rustle in the bushes is the presence of a predator and keeps away has few if any negative impacts if the inference is incorrect, but a great negative impact if he/she does not make the inference and walks into a tiger and gets eaten. While there are exceptions in primitive societies, most incorrect inferences of cause and effect are not harmful, while failure to make inferences of correct course and effect can be fatal. This has created an evolutional pressure to make inference. (Note to Evolutionary Biologists: I probably have done a terrible job of explaining this. If so do me a favor and write an article for the Texas Science Teacher with a better explanation. To the rest of you if you need clarification read Dr. Sagen’s book.) Unfortunately, the habits of mind that have been developed by scientists to investigate the actual cause and effect relationships are subtle and at times extremely difficult and are not innate in human beings. Few of our students do not live in primitives societies. In modern societies, inaccurate in-
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
By Francis Eberle, NSTA Executive Director
National Lab Day
On November 23rd, 2009 President Obama
announced National Lab Day as part of the Administration’s Educate to Innovate campaign. National Lab Day (NLD) is an effort to bring more authentic, hands-on, discovery-based lab experiences to students. This year’s National Lab Day will culminate in a series of events and activities at the local, regional and national level during the first week of May 2010. But it is more than just a day. It is a nationwide movement to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in our schools. It is teachers working with community volunteers and communities rallying around teachers and scientists and other STEM professionals donating their time and expertise to our schools. National Lab Day seeks to foster partnerships between teachers, schools, STEM professionals, volunteers, federal agencies, and professional organizations that will continue long after the first National Lab Day. NLD Partners National Lab Day is a partnership between federal agencies, foundations, professional societies, and other STEM-related organizations. The National Science Teachers Association is a founding partner of NLD. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy are among the federal agencies providing support and expertise. The Jack D. Hidary, Bill and Melinda Gates and the MacArthur Foundations are joining with industry to finance the effort. Getting Started It’s a simple process to join National Lab Day. Teachers register on the National Lab Day website and describe the project they want or need
in their classroom. Whether its additional lab equipment, personal mentoring from a scientist, a visit to a working lab, technology support, internships, help with a lesson plan, up-to-date career information, help with a science fair project, or just an extra set of hands for a class project, teachers know best what is needed to improve their students’ hands-on learning experiences. NLD is teacher driven. After posting their projects and requests, teachers will be matched with a list of local volunteers. These volunteers-university STEM students, local scientists, engineers, STEM professionals and other members of the community who have also joined the NLD hub--will form a local community of support, helping the teacher to achieve desired objectives. The NLD website will also connect teachers to the resources, funding opportunities, and information on relevant programs and events that they need. Teachers can also use the site to connect with volunteers, raise funds, and schedule face-to-face meetings and events. The Role of Volunteers Volunteers will be able to browse teacher requests and will be automatically notified of any “matches” to teacher requests. Volunteers can respond to specific teacher requests or they can offer general expertise, resources, and/or assistance. Learn more about National Lab Day at www. nationallabday.org, and join the scores of teachers who have already signed up to bring more hands on learning to their students.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
By Sandra West
Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott
Low teacher certification standards continue to play a role in quality of instruction. Quality Counts (Education Week, Jan 14, 2010) gives Texas a grade of “C” for “The Teaching Profession” in accountability for quality in traditional teacher preparation programs, partly because we do not require substantial coursework in the content. Furthermore, many Alternative Certification (AC) programs have much less rigorous standards than the tradition programs that received the “C” and more than 50% of the new teachers in Texas are from AC programs. Moreover, allowing a low rigor course like Food Science as a fourth year science option on the RSHP and the Distinguished Graduation Program is not consistent with the explanation for the removal of IPC from the college preparation requirements. We are confident that with all of our efforts towards planning Excellence in Science Education in a collaborative, systematic and creative manner, our students can move forward successfully towards college and workforce readiness.
Dear Texas State Board of Education and Commissioner Scott:
Thank you for your service to Texas students. The Science Teachers Association of Texas represents more than 6,000 Pre-K-12 science teachers and supervisors. We have repeatedly urged the SBOE to keep IPC as an option for the Recommended High School Program (RHSP). Science teachers across the state continue to request that IPC remain an option on the RHSP. Universities continue to accept IPC as meeting their entrance requirements. Senator Shapiro’s office explained that the EOC exams legislation was a result of the SBOE’s decision to phase out IPC as a RHSP option. Therefore, with the science and science education communities’ urging, we once again request that a way be found to put IPC back into the RHSP. IPC is a viable course to prepare students for success in the significantly more rigorous new TEKS in Chemistry and Physics. There is a greater emphasis on calculation-based Student Expectations in Chemistry and Physics in the new TEKS. IPC is a good transition course to Chemistry and Physics. One problem that hinders student success in science is the lack of math skills or that the math that is needed in the science course is not taught until later in the year in the math course. For example, the 6th grade science teacher can’t teach the physics concepts that require understanding ratios until the second semester after ratios are taught in math. The new Chemistry TEKS require significantly more math background and many are predicting a high failure rate in the Chemistry EOC. Even with the former Chemistry TEKS, the Algebra needed in Chemistry was taught by the chemistry teacher before it was taught in the Algebra class.
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Continuing Education
Evolution in the Fossil Record and Variation, Selection and Inheritance Professional Development Series for Teachers
The Texas Natural Science Center is pleased to announce two, five day professional development programs in which teachers work with University of Texas scientists and science educators to investigate evolutionary concepts utilizing techniques from DNA analysis to interpreting the fossil record. These workshops target educators who teach evolution as part of their science curriculum and plan to teach during the 2009-2010 school year. Workshop Dates: Evolution in the Fossil Record – June 14-18, 2010 Variation, Selection, and Inheritance – June 21-25, 2010 In these sessions, educators will work with University of Texas at Austin scientists to: integrate inquiry practices into the classroom, investigate lines of evidence for biological evolution, extract and sequence DNA, investigate genotypic and phenotypic variation, observe and document changes over long periods of Earth’s history, compare and contrast the morphology of humans and their closest living relatives, investigate antibiotic resistance and rapid evolution, and much more! Participants will receive: a $250 stipend multiple curriculum guides which include activities covered in the workshop field trips to multiple collections facilities and laboratories 36 hours of professional development (CPE) credit housing is available to a limited number of out of town participants Spots are limited and educators must apply to participate in the program. For more information, please contact Christina Cid at 512.232.5509 or ccid@austin.utexas.edu For more information about the Texas Natural Science Center, visit www.texasnaturalsciencecenter.org
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
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Contacts Message from the President Calendar Regional Reports Affiliate News CAST 2010 Call for Proposals STAT Officer Elections What is the Best Thing We Can Teach Our Students? National Lab Day Open Letter to the SBOE and Commissioner Scott Continuing Education
Want to be published? E-mail us your letters and articles! Publication Due Dates
Due dates for publication of articles in The STATellite are: Submission Deadline
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Text files or Microsoft Word documents are preferable, but InDesign, PageMaker, or QuarkXPress files are also acceptable. Please send pictures and text separately. Mail or e-mail your submissions to: The STATellite 5750 Balcones Dr., Ste 201 Austin, TX 78731 stat@bizaustin.rr.com The Texas Science Teacher 5750 Balcones Dr., Ste 201 Austin, TX 78731 stat@bizaustin.rr.com
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