January 30th, 2009 Bob
Are you sure your students will perform well enough to meet state PASS requirements? Will they be able to show they are college ready on the ACT? If you need to build your skills, learn new content, and develop new strategies to raise performance, the National Science Teachers Association can help. The NSTA National Conference on Science Education is happening in New Orleans, March 18-22, 2009. Join 10,000 science educators at this premier event and take advantage of expert-led workshops on critical topics, presentations by renowned speakers, and sessions for every discipline and grade band. With nearly 2000 sessions to choose from, you’ll surely find what you need most. Here is just a sample of what you can expect in professional development.
- Scientist, comedian, teacher, and author Bill Nye the Science Guy, one of the original founders of The Planetary Society will present on studying the planet from space.
- Renowned ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin will speak on “Rain Forests, Medicine Men, and Google Earth: Curing the Incurable and Saving the Amazon in Six Dimensions”
- Detecting, Diagnosing, and Coping with Students’ Chemistry and Physics Misconceptions (High School)
- Developing Literacy and Addressing Content Standards Through Issue-oriented Science (High School)
- Hopping Into Math and Science Integration (Elem-Middle)
- The Inquiry Carnival: A Potpourri of Activities to Identify, Discuss, and Define Process Skills Used in Inquiry-based Science (Middle)
- Innovative Technology in Science Instruction (Middle-High)
- Science Fair Projects for Elementary Students (Elem)
- Phenomena of Nature: Developing, Classifying, and Answering Investigative Science Questions in the K–8 Classroom (Elem/Supervision)
- Assessing the Effects of Professional Development on Teacher Pedagogical Knowledge (Supervision)
There is a lot more to consider including Day Long Programs i.e. Informal Day, Professional Development Institutes (ticketed) that are comprehensive and focused study sessions, field trips, and the Exhibition Hall where you can view new products and bring home hundreds of freebies for the classroom. Graduate credit can be earned by attending 12 hours of conference programs. Take advantage of our advanced deadline extended to Feb. 20 for the best savings. For additional information, visit www.nsta.org/conference.
January 22nd, 2009 Bob
The Biological Sciences & Geosciences faculties at the University of Tulsa are sponsoring a series of events to inform students and faculty at TU and the larger public community of northeastern Oklahoma about the scientific theory of evolution, its contributions to society, and future scientific developments.
Calendar of Events
February 4: Geosciences Noon Seminar Darwin’s Career, Keplinger Hall M216
February 13: Biological Sciences Seminar, Darwin’s Career
February 14: Oklahoma Science Teachers Workshop, Keplinger Hall M1
February 26: 7:00 pm – Public Lecture
Dr. John Mitani, University of Michigan - ”The Behavior of Wild Chimpanzees”
March 11: 7:00 pm – Public Lecture
Dr. Donald Prothero, Occidental College, Evolutionary Paleontologist - “Evolution: what the fossils say and why it matters”
For more information call
918-631-2517 or 918-631-3833
Download the NEWLY REVISED and UPDATED event brochure here.
January 9th, 2009 Bob
The Oklahoma City Zoo is honored to be the site for the 2009 OKAEE Expo. Due to the generosity of the Oklahoma Zoological Society, the zoo’s non-profit arm, the zoo education department is excited to announce funding for teacher scholarships to attend the Expo on January 30th. For more information go to http://www.okaee.org/eeexpo/#waivers
Hurry the deadline for scholarships applications is January 16th.
January 9th, 2009 Bob
Date: Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Overview: The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma, in partnership with the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens, is pleased to offer a viewing of the award winning film:
America’s Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie
Prior to Euro-American settlement in the 1820s, one of the major landscape features of North America was 240 million acres of tallgrass prairie. But between 1830 and 1900 – in the space of a single lifetime – the tallgrass prairie was steadily transformed to farmland. The extraordinary cinematography of prairie remnants, original score and archival images are all delicately interwoven to create a powerful and moving viewing experience about the natural and cultural history of America.
Registration: free but you must pre-register. Contact: Steve McGuffin at (405) 858-8557 or by email email@example.com
January 8th, 2009 Bob
The 18th annual Oklahoma Winter Bird Survey monitors 52 bird species that commonly appear in Oklahoma during the winter. Participants in the survey help state biologists at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation track population trends in the state’s winter birds and can provide clues into potential conservation issues. The dates for this year’s survey are January 8 – January 11.
Any Oklahoman with a backyard bird feeder can participate by choosing any two days between Jan. 8-11 to count birds at their feeders and record their observations. With participants observing birds across the state for four days straight, biologists can obtain important information that can help the Department better understand bird ranges and populations.
The survey includes counting birds at backyard feeders at least four times a day for two days during the survey dates and completing a form provided by the Wildlife Department. For detailed instructions and to take the survey, log on to the Wildlife Department’s Winter Bird Feeder Survey Web site at www.okwinterbirds.com as the survey period approaches. The Web site is an extensive bird-watching resource, providing information such as bird identification tips, diets, feeding behaviors and winter ranges as well as links to other birding Web sites. The site also provides detailed recipes that bird watchers can follow for making healthy, beneficial bird attractants that will draw birds to their yards.
The 52 common Oklahoma winter species appear on the on-line Winter Bird Survey form found here.
January 6th, 2009 Bob
Senator Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, has introduced SB 320, the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act”. While similar in many respects to HB 1001, the ”Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act” introduced by Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, the bill makes reference to teaching specific science topics. In the words of the bill “The Legislature further finds that the teaching of some scientific subjects, such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy…”. The bill goes on to make a provision that would prohibit school districts or the State Department of Education from stopping a teacher who chooses to present unscientific course content. It further repeats a provision also found in HB 1001, the “Students may be evaluated based upon their understanding of course materials, but no student in any public school or institution shall be penalized in any way because the student may subscribe to a particular position on scientific theories”.
Teachers of science recognize what this statement means when the entire discipline is based on theory.
The text of the bill is found here
January 6th, 2009 Bob
Preparations continue for a full year of events at the University of Oklahoma in connection with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species. A rather extensive lists of events is now posted on the Darwin at OU web site which includes a large number of lectures, presentations, and exhibitions that are open to the public. Most public lectures are evening events at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. The Darwin at OU calender continues to be updated as events are still being added.
January 4th, 2009 Bob
2009 marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of “The Origin of Species” and makes this an ideal to update your Evolution library. This week’s New York Times Education Life supplement contained a review of four books that focus on evolution and evolution education in the United States. This link opens the review “Four Stakes at the Heart of Intelligent Design” by Times writer Charles McGrath
January 4th, 2009 Bob
“15 Evolutionary Gems” is a new resource summarizing fifteen lines of evidence for evolution by natural selection, provided by the journal Nature. The editors explain, “About a year ago, an Editorial in these pages urged scientists and their institutions to ‘spread the word’ and highlight reasons why scientists can treat evolution by natural selection as, in effect, an established fact … In a year in which Darwin is being celebrated amid uncertainty and hostility about his ideas among citizens, being aware of the cumulatively incontrovertible evidence for those ideas is all the more important. We trust that this document will help.”
The fifteen evolutionary gems, as Nature describes them, are in three categories: gems from the fossil record (land-living ancestors of whales, from water to land, the origin of feathers, the evolutionary history of teeth, and the origin of the vertebrate skeleton), gems from habitats (natural selection in speciation, natural selection in lizards, a case of co-evolution, differential dispersal in wild birds, selective survival in wild guppies, and evolutionary history matters), and gems from molecular processes (Darwin’s Galapagos finches, microevolution meets macroevolution, toxin resistance in snakes and clams, and variation versus stability). References and links to relevant resources are provided.
For “15 Evolutionary Gems” (PDF), visit:
For the editorial introduction, visit:
January 1st, 2009 Bob
Get December, 2008′s Science News from OSDE Science Director Jana Rowland. Each month Jana publishes a newsletter that she distributes to several hundred teachers across the state. If you have attended one of her science workshops or worked on science curriculum for OSDE, chances are you are on her email list. In case you aren’t, or in case you’d like to refer back and can’t find a previous newsletter from her, you’ll find them listed in the Categories section as “Janagrams”. This issue is running kinda late due to listserv issues at OSDE. The January issue should be along shortly.