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Teach Biology and the Life Sciences?

NABT is where biology teachers belong!  And now you can join the National Association of Biology Teachers at a special low rate and GoGREEN as well by receiving NABT’s award-winning journal, the American Biology Teacher, in it’s online and iPad-enabled digital version.  Don’t miss this opportunity to join the professional organization that has meant so much to so many Oklahoma biology teachers for over 75 years!  Go to www.nabt.org and use the discount code GoGreen.

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Aldo Leopold – A Standard of Change

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Oklahoma Green Schools Summit

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Join us to learn, share and network with other schools in Oklahoma that are going green!  Click Here to Register!

 

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Genes in Space Contest

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THE CHALLENGE: Design a dna experiment for space

Genes in space is a national contest inviting teachers and students to design experiments that will solve real-life space exploration problems through dna analysis.

MISSION

Help design a pioneering experiment that will open an era of DNA exploration in space.

Crew: U.S. students and teachers interested in science, technology, and space, in grades 7 through 12.

Location: International Space Station.

Contest Launch Date: March 17, 2015.

Closing Date: April 30, 2015.

Life as we know it is encoded in DNA. On Earth we use a process called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) to rapidly detect and analyze DNA. PCR can make billions of copies of specific DNA sequences for study, in a process called DNA amplification. PCR has never been done in space, and now you can be among the first to propose a DNA amplification experiment for the International Space Station.

If you win, your design will become one of the first ever DNA experiments in space!

IF YOU’RE A STUDENT

You’ll become part of the first generation of Space DNA Scientists and Innovators.

If your design is among the five finalists, you will work alongside scientist mentors and present your proposal to a panel of world class scientists, innovators, and educators at the ISS Research and Development Conference in Boston, MA.

The winning proposal will be performed aboard the ISS, and the students who design it will be invited to witness the rocket launch.

IF YOU’RE AN EDUCATOR

You’ll get to engage your students in a national competition that fosters 21st century skills, including:

  • Interdisciplinary connections between the biological and physical sciences
  • Collaboration among students, and between students and Ph.D. scientists
  • Experimental design to test a cutting-edge hypothesis
  • Solving real-world problems using the latest technologies
  • Creativity and innovation

FINALISTS WILL

  • Receive mentoring and coaching from Ph.D. scientists
  • Present their proposals at the ISS Research and Development Conference in Boston, MA.
  • Be awarded free miniPCR™ equipment for their educational institution.

WINNER WILL

  • Have their experimental design carried out aboard the ISS.
  • Be invited to witness the rocket launch.

DESIGN AND LAUNCH YOUR DNA EXPERIMENT TO SPACE!

Genes in Space is a National Science Contest inviting students in grades 7 through 12 to design a pioneering DNA experiment for space. Until April 30, participants can help solve real-life space exploration problems by designing and proposing a DNA analysis experiment to be conducted aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Five finalist teams will receive mentoring from world-class R&D scientists during May and June, and a donation of miniPCR equipment for their educational institutions. Finalists will present their proposals at the 2015 International Space Station R&D Conference, where a prestigious panel of scientists and educators will select a winner that will later have their experiment performed 250 miles above the Earth, using a miniPCR machine aboard ISS.

http://www.genesinspace.org

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NCSE Evolution and Climate Change Update – 3/3/2015

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AFT ADDS ITS VOICE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION

The American Federation of Teachers adopted a resolution in 2014 affirming the role of science in climate change courses.

Observing that “the political will to see a specific outcome is not a proper justification to overthrow models resulting from the scientific process” and that “powerful economic interests have shown willingness to deny the existence of climate changes,” the resolution affirms “the validity of using scientific inquiry methods to address the issue of global climate changes” and insists that “arguments against the current scientific model on climate change be subjected to the standard rigor and scrutiny of the relevant field instead of being subjected to manipulation by special interest groups.” The resolution ends by calling upon AFT’s members to “assist those engaged in overseeing science education policy to understand the nature of science, the content of contemporary climate science[,] and the inappropriateness of including non-science in our science curriculum” and to “promote these concerns and help resolve these issues in their home communities.”

NCSE is in the process of collecting statements supporting climate change evolution such as AFT’s in Voices for Climate Change Education.

For AFT’s statement, visit:

http://www.aft.org/resolution/affirming-role-science-climate-science-courses

And for Voices for Climate Change Education, visit:

http://ncse.com/climate/taking-action/voices-climate-change-education

POLLING EVOLUTION IN CANADA

Science Culture: Where Canada Stands, a new report from the Council of Canadian Academies, includes data on Canadian public opinion about evolution and related topics.

Presented with “Human beings as we know them today developed from earlier species of animals,” 74% of respondents regarded it as “definitely true” or “probably true,” as compared to 47% of respondents in the United States in 2010.

Presented with “The continents have been moving their location for millions of years and will continue to move,” 91% of respondents regarded it as “definitely true” or “probably true,” as compared to 80% of respondents in the United States in 2010.

Presented with “The universe began with a huge explosion,” 68% of respondents regarded it as “definitely true” or “probably true,” as compared to 38% of respondents in the United States in 2010.

The percentage of Canadian respondents correctly answering these three questions increased from a previous survey in 1989, although unfortunately the rates from the previous survey are not reported.

The report is based on a survey of 2000 Canadians conducted by Ekos Research in April 2013; the results are considered to be accurate within +/- 2.2% at the 95% confidence interval.

For Science Culture: Where Canada Stands (PDF), visit:

http://www.scienceadvice.ca/uploads/eng/assessments%20and%20publications%20and%20news%20releases/science-culture/scienceculture_fullreporten.pdf

And for NCSE’s collection of polls and surveys, visit:

http://ncse.com/creationism/polls-surveys

A PREVIEW OF THE ATLAS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview of Kristin Dow and Thomas E. Downing’s The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World’s Greatest Challenge (University of California Press, 2011). The preview consists of thirteen full-color spreads with information on warning signs, polar changes, shrinking glaciers, ocean changes, everyday extremes, the greenhouse effect, the climate system, interpreting past climates, methane and other gases, threatened water security, threats to health, personal action, and public action.

“A rich and colorful collection of charts, data, case studies and clear text that explains the main topics that make up the many faces of climate change,” writes the reviewer for Frontiers of Biogeography. “An excellent introduction to the many dimensions of climate change— one that will engage and inform a wide range of readers. … In a crowded market of ‘introductions to climate change,’ the Atlas stands out for its clarity, range of topics and appealing presentation. It is much more than just the sum of its maps.”

For the preview of The Atlas of Climate Change (PDF), visit:

http://ncse.com/book-excerpt

For information about the book from its publisher, visit:

http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520268234

Thanks for reading. And don’t forget to visit NCSE’s website— http://ncse.com – where you can always find the latest news on evolution and climate education and threats to them.

Glenn Branch

Deputy Director

National Center for Science Education, Inc.

 

 

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How Do Teachers Respond to Urgent, Science-Related Issues? Tell NSTA

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NSTA has partnered with a national research firm and we need your help with a brief study on how teachers respond to urgent, science-related issues like Ebola.

As you know, K-12 teachers are critical to providing students with accurate and timely information about health-related issues. But researchers want to know:

  • How exactly do teachers respond when important and urgent issues like Ebola emerge?
  • How do teachers decide whether to address these issues in their teaching?
  • What types of resources do teachers draw on to design instruction?

Regardless of whether you’ve taught about Ebola, your help is needed.  Please take 5 minutes to register for the survey.

Our goal is to have over 3,000 science teachers –including elementary teachers—participate. The results will be announced, and will inform how science teachers respond to Ebola and other urgent and emerging health issues in the future.  All teachers who register and complete a survey will be entered into a drawing for cash awards.

Thank you for your participation.

Sincerely,

Juliana Texley

NSTA President, 2014-2015

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A Special TiffanyGram – Volunteer Today for the Open Education Resources for Science Project

Greetings Science Educators!

I hope that each of you found some time to relax and rejuvenate during Spring Break and that some of you might be interested in an exciting opportunity to partner with the Oklahoma State Department of Education to curate Open Education Resources for Science.
If you attended one of the Science Standards Regional Workshops this year, you may recall me presenting a project that the Utah State Department of Education developed in conjunction with Utah science educators http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/science/OER.aspx . After receiving numerous requests from educators in our state to develop a similar resource for Oklahoma, we are moving forward with the Open Education Resource Project. In order to develop similar resources, we need your help!
We are seeking volunteers willing to serve as curators for the project.. Details regarding the project timeline and curator expectations are provided in the attached application. If you are interested in participating in this exciting project complete the short application and return to me by March 31st. Those selected for the project will be notified by April 2nd of their selection and the first of three working meetings will be held on April 11th in the Oklahoma City area. Travel reimbursement and lunch will be provided to participants at each of the three working meetings.
If you have additional questions regarding the application or project, please feel free to contact me at 405-522-3524 or Tiffany.Neill@sde.ok.gov..
Thank you in advance for your willingness to apply and serve on this ground breaking project!
-Tiffany

 

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OSU-RET Program Now Accepting Applications

2015 Recruitment Letter

To apply to the OSU-RET program click this link: https://okstatecoe.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_e8WBTLJeIm2lVUF

 

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National Center for Science Education Weekly Update – 3/27/2015

logo_new_final_medAFT ADDS ITS VOICE FOR EVOLUTION

The chorus of support for the teaching of evolution continues, with a statement from the American Federation of Teachers, adopted in 2014.

In its statement, the AFT observes that “biological evolution is a fundamental underpinning of modern biological thought and research and is not the subject of controversy among scientists … [but] the unfettered teaching of evolution in public schools has been under attack since the early part of the 20th century and before.” Now in the twenty-first century, “a strategy to teach creationism, intelligent design[,] or evolution denial into public science classrooms has emerged with the passage of laws intended to teach these theories as science under the guise of protecting academic freedom in the classroom”; Louisiana and Tennessee are cited as cases in point.

Invoking the expertise of the American Association of University Professors and NCSE, the statement concludes by affirming that “the American Federation of Teachers encourages and expects science teachers, in presenting evolution and other topics, to understand, respect[,] and communicate the consensus of the scientific community, in order to present the science curriculum effectively to their students” and that “the AFT will be on alert for, and opposed to, bills at the state or federal level that attempt to use the guise of academic freedom as a means of introducing creationism, intelligent design[,] or evolution denial into science classrooms.”

The AFT’s statement is now reproduced, by permission, on NCSE’s website, and will also be contained in the fourth edition of NCSE’s Voices for Evolution.

For AFT’s statement, visit:

http://www.aft.org/resolution/against-so-called-academic-freedom-bills-undermine-accurate-teaching-evolution

And for Voices for Evolution, visit:

http://ncse.com/voices

FRIEND OF DARWIN AND FRIEND OF THE PLANET AWARDS FOR 2015

NCSE is pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of Darwin award for 2015: Neil Shubin, the Robert R. Bensley Distinguished Service Professor of the Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago, codiscoverer of Tiktaalik roseae and author of Your Inner Fish (2008), and Ronald L. Numbers, the Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of The Creationists (1992, expanded edition 2006).

“It would be hard to think of anyone who has contributed as much as Ron Numbers has to the understanding of creationism as a historical and social phenomenon, through his own work and the work that it has inspired,” commented NCSE’s executive director Ann Reid, “while it is hard to know whether to praise Neil Shubin more for his outstanding research in vertebrate paleontology or for his equally outstanding efforts to explain the power—and wonder—of evolutionary biology in language that everyone can understand.”

NCSE is also pleased to announce the winners of the Friend of the Planet award for 2015: Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History of Science at Harvard University and coauthor of Merchants of Doubt (2010); Greg Craven, creator of “The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See” and its sequels and author of What’s the Worst That Could Happen? (2009); and the Alliance for Climate Education, a non-profit organization that has delivered informative and compelling presentations on climate change to almost two million high school students.

Ann Reid praised Oreskes’s work on the history of climate change denial as “ten years of unflinching, erudite, and accessible reporting on where science denial comes from and how it works” and Craven’s outreach efforts as “a touchstone for the climate education movement.” Through its series of in-school assemblies, the Alliance for Climate Education “has made truly impressive contributions to informing and inspiring youth, helping them to appreciate the essential science of climate change and what can be done to address it,” she added.

The Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards are presented annually to a select few whose efforts to support NCSE and advance its goal of defending the teaching of evolution and climate science have been truly outstanding. Previous recipients of the Friend of Darwin award include Sean Carroll, Marjorie Esman, Brandon Haught, David Hillis, Lawrence Lerner, Patricia Princehouse, and Howard Van Till, to name only a few. The first recipients of the Friend of the Planet Award, inaugurated in 2014, were Michael E. Mann and Richard Alley.

For information about the two awards, visit:

http://ncse.com/about/friend-of-darwin

http://ncse.com/about/friend-of-planet

Glenn Branch

Deputy Director

National Center for Science Education, Inc.

 

http://ncse.com

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First Robotics Oklahoma Regional March 27th-28th

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