October 29th, 2009 Bob
OK, so you plan to attend the OSTA Fall Conference (and you really need to attend this year), even though you forgot to pre-register. Yes, you’ll miss the luncheon and the opportunity to network with other state teachers and honor this year’s OSTA Awardees. But enough time is built into the days’ schedule that you’ll be able to zip out for lunch and return in ample time for the afternoon workshop offerings.
If you haven’t been to Edmond for a few years, you’re in for a treat (or shock as it were for some of us old-timers who were undergrads at UCO in the early ’70′s and remember when this place was a trailer park, or that place was a field, or where the Broncho Drive-in was). The place is really booming and there are a lot of places to grab lunch within a half-mile or so of the UCO Campus. Here is a list of some places you might want to check out:
Flat Tire Burgers 318 E Ayers St (North on University a few block from the conference site) Local off-campus favorite. Indoor and split-level patio dining with a bicycle theme.
Interurban 1301 E Danforth Rd (North of the Campus on Danforth and Bryant) A local chain restaurant with Burgers, Mexican, Steak, Pasta fare.
Ted Cafe’ Escondido 801 E Danforth Rd (North of the campus) One of several in the OKC area famous for gut-busting portions of your Tex-Mex favorites. Really, ask for the to-go box first so you won’t be miserable.
Mc Alister’s Deli 1021 E 2nd St (just south and east of the campus on) A chain restaurant featuring a variety of hearty deli sandwiches.
These are just a start of what turns out to be a very extensive list. Just east of the campus on 2nd street is a collection of most of the franchise fast food restaurants you will ever find in any strip-mall/ Home Depot-laden area built within the last 10 years. A Google search yielded this map from which you may locate your favorite source of calories (“Look at all the little red dots…”).
October 29th, 2009 Bob
April 22, 2010 at the Oklahoma City Zoo
ScienceFest is designed to foster scientific literacy while educating children about protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and using alternative fuels and technologies. Educators plan a day packed with exciting exhibits, presentations, and hands-on demonstrations all developed to show the importance of scientific applications in the environment.
ScienceFest is designed to promote scientific diversity. The hands-on activity stations use basic geology, biology, physical science, health and environmental sciences to teach the children how science impacts everyday life. Examples of alternative fueled vehicles are also on location for the students to view. The event provides opportunity for the students to be exposed to science in a fun and different setting.
One teacher stated, “ Our students very much enjoyed the day, and experienced and learned much more about our environment than they would have in the classroom.”
“All of the booths were very informative and run by friendly and professional people,” reported a ScienceFest attendee.
The bonus for teachers – ScienceFest meets your educational curriculum goals and IT’S FREE.
4th and 5th grade students statewide are invited to participate in this annual event. Visit the Archives button to the left for a sample of the event from previous years.
ScienceFest is a positive contribution to the environmental education of Oklahoma’s students. By exposing them to the arena of science, we not only enhance their awareness of science and possibly stimulate some to pursue careers in science, we also help them be better citizens and stewards of the environment.
This event is held at the Oklahoma City Zoological Park and Botanical Garden. There is no fee to participate in ScienceFest, but registration in advance is required. Registration opens November 1st and this event usually fills up fast! Register at http://www.sciencefestok.com
October 28th, 2009 Bob
Read the latest JanaGram from OSDE Science Director Jana Rowland. This monthly newsletter is chock full of opportunities and programs that savvy science teachers use to their advantage.
MEET JANA ROWLAND!
Come to the OSTA Fall Staff Development Conference and meet Jana. Give her your email address and get added to one of the several listserves she maintains. Let her know you’ll work on one of the many committee’s she organizes each year. See her excellent presentation linking children’s stories with physical science in elementary grades.
October 28th, 2009 Bob
The National Environmental Education Foundation provides knowledge to trusted professionals who, with their credibility, amplify messages to national audiences to solve everyday environmental problems. Together, we generate lasting positive change.
“That’s the basis for my call to action – the utilization of environmental education to assure an infusion of wonder in the years of promise.” ~Richard C. Bartlett
Environmental education (EE) programs succeed when teachers are passionate, creative, and able to connect with their students and inspire their peers.
The Bartlett Award, given annually by the National Environmental Education Foundation, recognizes an outstanding teacher who has successfully integrated EE into the traditional classroom setting and served as an inspiration and model to others. A $5,000 award is provided for the recipient to continue their work in EE, in addition to a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with representatives of the EE community to further his or her network and identify new resources to use in his or her classroom.
The award honors teachers who bring EE into the curriculum and the community, not just teaching about environmental challenges but also engaging students in the solutions. The $5,000 award is made possible by the Baxter Healthcare Corporation.
For more information on the 2009 Bartlett Award winner, Bertha Vazquez, visit www.neefusa.org/bartlettaward.
Do you know a high school teacher who stands out among the rest? If so, please nominate him or her for the 2010 Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award!
• High school teachers in the United States public, private, or homeschools are eligible for this award.
• Nominations are welcome from anyone involved with the nominee including parents, administrators, fellow teachers and students. Self-Nominations are encouraged.
• Nominated teachers must have at least five years teaching experience.
• Nominations are due January 15th, 2010.
From October 19th, 2009 – January 15th, 2010 nominations may be submitted online at www.neefusa.org/bartlettaward.
In addition to the online nomination, three letters of support must be submitted in order to complete the nomination. Eligibility criteria include the following:
For more information please call 202-261-6466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 27th, 2009 Bob
The annual OSTA Fall Staff Development Conference is the venue for conducting OSTA business. That business includes the annual election of members to posts on the OSTA Board of Directors. The Nominating committee has solicited volunteers from the membership and determined the following slate of candidates for office. As a member of OSTA, you will be able to approve the proposed slate when you attend the fall conference. All members will vote for Vice-President and Secretary. Division and regional representatives will be approved by their constituent members.
The candidate slate for membership approval is:
Vice-President: Beth Allen, Edmond, UCO (1 yr term as VP, then to be President-elect, then President, then Past-President in succeeding one year terms on the Board)
Secretary Tamara Lookabaugh, Moore, Central Jr.High School (3 yr term)
High School Division Director: Tina Rogers, Canton, Canton High School (2 yr term)
Elementary Division Director: Annette Huett , Moore, Kelly Elementary (2 year term)
District I, Northeast: Becky Hammack, Stillwater, Stillwater Middle School (2 year term)
District III, Southwest: Marie Pool, Clinton, Clinton High School (2 year term)
District V, Tulsa Public Schools: Adrienne Elder, Tulsa, Tulsa Public Schools (2 year term)
The ballot will also include a provision to ratify the proposed revision of the OSTA Constitution. Frequent review of the Constitution and By-Laws is a provision of the current Constitution, but so are a number of contradictions, errors, and guidelines that don’t make sense in an organization like OSTA. The Board of Directors voted in June to recommend the passage of the revised OSTA Constitution to the membership and your chance to ratify will be on the ballot. See the proposed Constitution revision with changes highlighted here.
October 26th, 2009 Bob
The OSTA Fall Conference is less than two weeks away. Did you get your pre-registration form in before the deadline? No? Not a problem. You can register at the door on November 7th. The Car-Pool special will still allow you to save money with the four-for-the-price-of-three offer. Use the same OSTA Fall Conference Registration form and come to the conference with check, cash, or PO in hand. Contact Peggy Alexander, OSTA Treasurer with any questions you might have about registration. Click the Conference tab for more information.
This is going to be a real good conference…
October 23rd, 2009 Bob
From NCSE’s Evolution Education Update:
Kevin Padian discusses — and debunks — “Ten Myths about Charles Darwin” in the October 2009 issue of BioScience. “Charles Darwin is one of the most revered (and at times reviled) figures in Western history. A great many ‘facts’ about him and his ideas are the stuff of textbook myths, others are inaccuracies spread by antievolutionists, and still others are conventional historical mistakes long corrected but still repeated,” he writes. “I present 10 such misconceptions, and some quick and necessarily incomplete rebuttals. New scholarship is rapidly clearing away some of these myths.” Addressed are:
* As a boy Darwin was good only for “shooting, dogs, and rat-catching”
* Darwin was a “mere companion” to Captain Robert FitzRoy on the HMS Beagle
* Darwin’s epiphany about natural selection came while visiting the Galápagos Islands
* Darwin stole the credit for natural selection from Alfred Russel Wallace
* Population thinking
* Dual criteria for classification: Genealogy and similarity
* Gradual change is slow and steady
* Human evolution was shaped mainly by natural selection
* Sexual selection is all about how many offspring you leave
* Darwin was a confirmed atheist who had a deathbed conversion to Christianity
Padian concludes, “Myths will always arise and abound … It is hoped that this myth-busting scholarship will soon filter down to revisions of textbooks that discuss Darwin and to public discourse about his life and work.” President of NCSE’s board of directors, Padian is Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley and also Curator of Paleontology at the University of California Museum of Paleontology. (Thanks to BioScience for graciously making Padian’s article freely available on-line.)
For “Ten Myths about Charles Darwin” in BioScience, visit: http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/full/10.1525/bio.2009.59.9.10
October 19th, 2009 Bob
The OSTA Fall Conference is just a few short weeks away (November 7) and you really do not want to miss this one!
Over 50 presenters will be at UCO speaking to topics ranging from classroom robotics, to bioassays, to gel electrophoresis, to preparing students for better performance on the EOI. Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education (OESE) will be there with 5 back-to-back sessions about teaching Evolution. Several vendors will be demonstrating products and materials. Professors from colleges and university across the state will present on a variety of pedagogy and content topics. Master teachers will be sharing their tips and techniques. There is something here for everyone at every grade level and every science content discipline!
And don’t forget the OSTA luncheon where each year we honor those colleagues who are making significant contributions to science education in Oklahoma.
Reserve your space at the luncheon by sending in the OSTA Fall Conference Registration THIS WEEK!
The pre-registration fee includes conference registration, lunch, and your OSTA membership for a full year.
Download a Google Map to the parking lot nearest Howell Hall on the UCO Campus here.
Download a UCO campus map here. Please note parking areas 17, 18, 13 and 14 are the most convenient parking lots to Howell hall.
October 14th, 2009 Bob
This fall marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. To commemorate Darwin’s scientific contributions, themuseum has partnered with other University of Oklahoma departments and programs to offer classroom seminars on Darwin, his research and his legacy.
These small group seminars focus on a variety of topics related to evolution. Participants pre-register and are provided with selected readings that will be the foundation for the evening’s discussion. The seminars are intended for interested adults, but no prior knowledge of the discussion topic is necessary. Participants register for each seminar separately.
Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, call (405) 325-4712.
Cost: $10 per seminar members, $15 per seminar non-members
All seminars are held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in one of the museum’s education classrooms.
“Race and Genetics in Health”
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.
Dr. Cecil Lewis (Department of Anthropology)
Are traditionally identified human “races” biologically meaningful? Are racial classifications useful in genetic disease research? This seminar discussion will address these questions. The practical importance of human evolution studies will be illuminated.
“The Origin of Sexual Selection”
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Dr. Ingo Schlupp (Department of Zoology)
Why do males often have elaborate traits that make them attractive for females, but are detrimental to survival? Why are females typically coy and males competitive for females? Charles Darwin proposed the theory of sexual selection as an answer to these questions. In our meeting we shall discuss this idea, its history and some aspects of modern research on this topic.
“Beyond Darwin: How Evo-Devo Research Offers Stunning Confirmation of Darwin’s View of Complexity “
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m.
Dr. Ola Fincke (Department of Zoology)
Darwin postulated that complexity evolved via natural selection from less complex parts. Armed with a battery of new genetic tools, researchers are in the process of confirming that Darwin’s view was of complexity was basically correct. In this session we will discuss the radical and surprising insights that “Evo-Devo” research offers for macroevolution.
October 14th, 2009 Bob
The Darwin 150 Project is a public science education initiative focused on celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, produced completely by volunteers through the Reading Odyssey. The Darwin 150 Project is reaching out to science teachers to help spread the word about their activities, including a free online lecture series featuring leading academics and authors Sean Carroll, Jonathan Weiner and Everett Mendelsohn. Lectures can be accessed live via Webcast or downloaded from the internet for use during class, with a special presentation by E.O. Wilson on November 24 (the day Origin was published in 1859).
There is also an ambitious project to encourage 1 million people to join the Darwin Facebook page. Sign up today at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=53320310123
For more information, and to join the celebration, visit www.darwin150.com.