March 27th, 2010 Bob
The AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) Educational Foundation is an independent non-profit tax-exempt public charity dedicated to providing educational incentives, opportunities and assistance for people engaged in information management, communications and intelligence efforts and fostering excellence in education particularly in the “hard science” disciplines.
The mission of the Foundation is to support development of engineers and technical personnel through selective motivational awards, prizes and scholarships, grants for educational activities of unique and high value and professional educational programs.
The AFCEA Educational Foundation will offer scholarships of $5,000 to students actively pursuing an undergraduate or graduate education degree for the purpose of teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) subjects at a U.S. middle or secondary school.
At least 30 scholarships will be awarded annually. The scholarships are made possible by a generous contribution from AFCEA International.
Eligibility: Undergraduate candidates must be a U.S. citizen, attending an accredited college or university in the United States as a traditional student and majoring in secondary education for the purpose of teaching STEM subjects in a U.S. middle or secondary school.
Undergraduate applications will be accepted from current sophomore and junior students – minimum second-year students please.
Graduate candidates must be a U.S. citizen and currently enrolled in at least two (semester-equivalent) classes at an accredited U.S. college or university.
A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required.
In addition to the STEM Teacher Scholarship, each graduating STEM Scholarship Teacher will receive a $1,000 AFCEA Science Teaching Tools grant per year for 3 years, on the condition they remain teaching a STEM subject. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes including: purchase of STEM-focused classroom supplies, purchase of hardware/software, or to support STEM extra-curricular activities and clubs.
Deadline June 10
Questions?: Email Norma Corrales
March 23rd, 2010 Bob
Check out the side column of the webpage and you’ll notice a couple of changes in the features offered by OSTA. First and foremost, OSTA now offers an on-line membership option. Through a secure website you can now initiate or renew your OSTA membership and pay by credit card. You can also continue to pay by check through the on-line form. The credit card option will incur a $3 fee assessed by Telusys, our contractor for the secure site (and who’s name will appear on your card statement). Payment-by-check will not be assessed this extra fee, but many folks will no doubt prefer the convenience of the online payment option. This is also the first time we are processing dues on a calendar year basis. Your $10 annual membership now runs January 1 through December 31st each year. If you pay your dues any time between January 1 and the end of July, your membership fee will be good for calendar year 2010. Fees paid after the beginning of August will be credited through the next calendar year as well. It’s a bit of a break, but is NO EXCUSE for letting your membership lapse for 7 months every other year!
Conference and workshop registrations will use this same system and you will be able to customize your order and payment (i.e., Do I want the t-shirt? Do I want to pay an extra fee to attend a conference field trip? etc.) Look for the first use of this system soon as we begin pre-registration for the 3rd annual OSTA Science Safety Summit to be held in late July.
Below the new membership link on the side bar is a link to the new OSTA NING. Unfamiliar with NING? The NING Network is a social network based on a group rather than an individual. There are all kinds of NING’s out there and if you follow the link at the top of our NING you can explore them. One is School 2.0 which in it’s description intends to go beyond the practical discussion of applying the read/write and collaborative Web technologies in the classroom. It is, instead, a larger discussions of how education, learning, and our physical school spaces can (or should) change because of the changing nature of our social and economic lives brought on by these technologies. There is even an NING about using NING in education. As well as the Educator’s PLN (personal learning network), among many, many others. (Even the Pickens Plan has a NING)
We hope you will join the OSTA NING to begin a Professional Learning Community to share and explore ideas with other Oklahoma science educators as well as discuss OSTA and how to best utilize this organization. We’ve already established groups for special interests like Science Competitions (moderated by Central Oklahoma Science Fair Director Beth Allen), Educational Technology (moderated by Putnam City High School teacher Jody Bowie), and group especially for beginning teachers and prospective teachers. Click the link and join the OSTA NING. We are reviewing the names and addresses all who ask to join, but once approved, your first task is to post your picture and join the discussion. What to discuss? That’s up to you, the place is wide open right now.
Finally, you may have noticed a few weeks ago we took down the ability to register to the NewsBlog. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to keep spammers from registering on the site. I really don’t know why people with email addresses from other countries (.ru, .de, .cz) would subscribe to the OSTA website, but I don’t imagine it’s all that good. So we will gradually work make the OSTA web site a members-only site for email notifications and comments (although it will always remain in the public domain for visitors). We currently have over 700 people who have subscribed for email notifications and hopefully all will take this opportunity to join OSTA to stay up-to-date with the latest Oklahoma science education news.
March 12th, 2010 Bob
With the UV Index on the rise, it’s time to remind your students to Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap! In our effort to raise awareness about a health issue that is largely preventable and too often ignored – skin cancer, EPA encourages you to promote sun safety before the second annual Don’t Fry Day on the Friday before Memorial Day (May 28, 2010). As millions of us prepare to enjoy the great outdoors this Memorial Day weekend, EPA and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention are reminding Americans to practice sun-safe behaviors. We need your help; go online and pledge to incorporate sun safety into your spring and summer activities.
Take the Pledge: www.epa.gov/sunwise/dfdpledge.html
Participating classrooms and informal education organizations will receive a Don’t Fry Day poster and a set of sun safety stickers. The stickers feature SunWise animals showing children how to Slip! Slop! Slap! and Wrap! Additionally, you will be entered into a random drawing for a SunWise Prize Pack. The prize pack includes a set of UV-sensitive beads, a real-time UV monitor, UV-sensitive nail polish and other sun safety resources.
To learn more about Don’t Fry Day, visit the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention’s Don’t Fry Day resource page, www.skincancerprevention.org, where you can find background information, skin cancer statistics and facts, and public service announcements you can put in your school’s newsletter or distribute electronically to parents.
Also be sure to stop by our home page at www.epa.gov/sunwise to see the new resources we’ve developed for you. You can take an online sun safety certification tutorial, find out how to enter the 2010 SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest (due April 7, 2010), or learn about our new UV Index Facebook app.
If you have any other questions, please visit the SunWise Web site at www.epa.gov/sunwise or email us at email@example.com.
March 10th, 2010 Bob
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today released the first official public draft of the K-12 standards as part of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a process being led by governors and state school superintendents in 48 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia. These draft standards, developed together with teachers, school administrators, curriculum content experts and others, seek to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare our children for college and the workforce.
The public draft of the English language arts and mathematics standards can be accessed through the Oklahoma State Department of Education Web site, or at www.corestandards.org. The NGA Center and CCSSO encourage those interested in the standards to provide feedback by Friday, April 2, 2010, via an online survey at www.corestandards.org. The survey will allow for general responses as well as detailed responses regarding specific standards at any grade level.In addition, the Oklahoma State Department of Education would like to receive your comments, questions, and feedback. You may send an email to CommonCoreStandards@sde.state.ok.us and/or complete an online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CommonCoreOK. The Oklahoma State Department of Education will also be hosting a videoconference on Wednesday, March 31, at 2:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to learn more about the Common Core State Standards Initiative and/or provide feedback directly to the Office of Standards and Curriculum. You may register online for the videoconference at http://sde.state.ok.us/Services/Videoconference/register.html.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which began officially in July 2009, will provide states choosing to adopt the standards with common language and common expectations for all students. Governor Brad Henry and State Superintendent Sandy Garrett were among the first to sign on to the state-led initiative, and educators across the state are looking forward to the opportunities that having common standards in English language arts and mathematics could provide to Oklahoma.
If you have any questions about this initiative or how to share your feedback, please email the Oklahoma Common Core Standards Team at CommonCoreStandards@sde.state.ok.us.
————– Additional note from Jana————————
Science common core standards have not yet been developed; however, committees are beginning the process organizing to begin work on science standards projected to be complete in 2011. Science teachers may want to examine the ELA standards (see link above) and make comments/recommendations as there is a section on Literacy in History/Social Studies and Science. You can download the ELA standards at www.corestandards.org, click the link for K-12 standards now available for comment, and click the link just below the introduction. The literacy for History, SS, and Science section is found on pages 53-60. This document is NOT common core science standards; it is a part of the common core ELA standards. You are welcome to provide comments in the manner listed in the message below.
Jana Rowland, State Science Director, OSDE
March 10th, 2010 Bob
The Oklahoma Center for High Energy Physics, a consortium made up of OU, OSU, and LU, will present the workshop: “Making Particle Physics Relevant and Accessible”, June 7-11, 2010. The workshop is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy through its Ouarknet Project and through the EPSCoR program, with the intent of exposing high school science teachers to the field of elementary particle physics. Goals of the workshop include:
1. Enhancing the teachers’ understanding and appreciation of elementary particle physics.
2. Enriching the teachers’ understanding of how science is actually performed in the laboratory.
3. Equipping teachers to incorporate the subject of particle physics into their curriculum.
4. Developing partnerships between high school science teachers and university physics professors.
Teachers will spend time learning about current theories and research in particle physics, as well as discussing how scientific theories are developed based on experimental results. Emphasis will be placed on making particle physics relevant and accessible to your students. The workshop will run daily from 9:00 to 4:30 at the University of Oklahoma. Participants will receive:
• $500 stipend.
• $250 for classroom supplies.
• Support for travel.
• Professional development points (if desired).
• Activities to take back to the classroom.
• Particle physics curriculum plan which can be used in the classroom.
Through this workshop, the excitement and wonder of physics at the frontiers of knowledge can be brought into your class room. There are a limited number of positions so please apply before April 15, 2010. Notification of acceptance into the program will occur approximately May 1. For more information or to apply to this program, please contact Professor Mike Strauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply by mail, fax, or email, send the following information: 1) Name, 2) School name and school address, 3) Home and work phone, 4) Subjects currently teaching, 5) Length of time teaching at the high school level 6) Highest degree and subject, 7) E-mail address, and any additional information we should know
March 8th, 2010 Bob
Looking to spice up your math or science class? Want to learn new skills? Apply to the OSU Summer Engineering Research Experience for Teachers.
For six weeks in the summer, teachers selected as Engineering RET Scholars will participate in this hands-on laboratory research experience at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Teachers will develop effective techniques for translating research experiences to simple and affordable experiments designed to engage students in the middles grades; develop or adapt effective techniques for teaching middle school students ways to think about and conceptualize emergent processes vital to understanding complex phenomena and systems; and build long-term, sustainable, relationships with Oklahoma State University faculty and other middle school teachers across Oklahoma.
Program Dates: June 7 – July 16, 2010
Qualifications: Oklahoma middle school mathematics and science teacher teams (6-9th grade). Two teachers need to come from a given school.
Obligations: Two pre-research professional development days, six weeks summer engineering research commitment, follow-up days during the school year, curriculum unit development and implementation, teacher narrative, reflective journaling, and assessment and dissemination of project.
Deadline: March 22 (postmark)
To apply: Complete and submit Application form
For more information: Contact Dr. Karen High by phone at (405) 744-9112 or by email at email@example.com.
March 5th, 2010 Bob
EVOLUTION AND GLOBAL WARMING REDUX (from NCSE’s Evolution Education Update)
“Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools,” reported The New York Times (March 3, 2010). “Wherever there is a battle over evolution now,” Lawrence M. Krauss told the Times, “there is a secondary battle to diminish other hot-button issues like Big Bang and, increasingly, climate change. It is all about casting doubt on the veracity of science — to say it is just one view of the world, just another story, no better or more valid than fundamentalism.”
The article suggested that the linkage of evolution and global warming was in part due to legal considerations. NCSE’s Joshua Rosenau told the Times that he began to notice the linkage after the 2005 decision in Selman v. Cobb County. At issue was a disclaimer about evolution affixed to textbooks; although the text of the disclaimer was not religious, it was held to be unconstitutional because it endorsed the creationist view that evolution is a problematic theory lacking an adequate foundation. “By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general.”
Reporting the scientific consensus, the Times explained, “For mainstream scientists, there is no credible challenge to evolutionary theory. They oppose the teaching of alternative views like intelligent design, the proposition that life is so complex that it must be the design of an intelligent being. And there is wide agreement among scientists that global warming is occurring and that human activities are probably driving it.” Nevertheless, it seems clear that around the country, attempts to undermine the integrity of science education are increasingly likely to include global warming as well as evolution.
(Ed. Note: Those who live in the OKC area may recognize this linkage as the wife of a local member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives recently penned a letter to the Oklahoma Gazette, a weekly publication found on-line and in many area restaurants, in which she called Evolution and Global Climate Change as two hoaxes the teaching of which was illustrative of the failure of Oklahoma public schools. Needless to say, there were many responses in rebuttal to her letter from scientists and educators.)
For the story in The New York Times, visit:
March 4th, 2010 Bob
Just in time for Spring Break and springing forward for Daylight Savings Time- the March JanaGram from OSDE Science Director Jana Rowland.
March 2nd, 2010 Bob
June 9 – June 25
Monday – Friday from 9:00—4:00
Visit 10 of the most popular educational institutions in and around Tulsa!
All lessons and activities are PASS aligned
Receive 3 Graduate Credits from University of Tulsa
Stipend upon completion of workshop for accepted applicants
Private Digital Camera for classroom use
This is a workshop you’ll never forget…
Spend your summer getting paid to visit some of the most exciting attractions in and
around Tulsa. You will meet fellow teachers excited to learn new ways to engage students while meeting PASS standards.
You do not need to be a science teacher to attend; actually we invite teachers from all content areas to apply. During the workshop, you will learn about fine arts, science, history, ecology, physics, chemistry and mathematics just to name a few.
The cost is FREE! Actually, we pay you!
· The SENSE-sational Science teacher Workshop is funded through the “No Child Left Behind Grant” sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
· As long as you are a K-5th grade teacher serving students in Oklahoma you are welcome to apply!
· You will be asked to submit samples of a lesson plan you will complete during the workshop and required to participate in 2 Saturday follow up days during the school year.
· You will also be required to use the lesson plan you create as well as pre and post assessment from your students
· Each teacher will work towards a common goal of developing and distributing applications for their students that extend lessons and integrate science, math and reading.
· There will be outdoor sessions and moderate physical activity, including walking on uneven terrain.
· Be able to attend all classes at all institutions.
· Have private transportation to and from all workshop locations.
· You will receive part of your stipend upon successful completion of the summer workshop. You will receive the remainder of your stipend upon completion of the two follow up days during the school year.
· Complete teacher application and provide one letter of support from your school administrator (preferably your principal) by March 26.
Submission of application does not guarantee a spot in the workshop; you will be notified of acceptance by mail.