January 31st, 2012 Bob
Washington, D.C. (January 31, 2012)— A major Thomas B. Fordham Institute report released today finds that the K-12 science standards of most states remain mediocre to awful, placing America’s national competitiveness, technological prowess and scientific leadership in grave jeopardy. Since the Sputnik launch of 1957, Americans have regarded science education as crucial to our national security and economic competitiveness. Just recently, a National Science Board report found that the U.S. could soon be overtaken as global leader in supporting science and technology, and advocates educational improvement as crucial to America maintaining its role as the world’s engine of scientific innovation. But The State of State Science Standards, which reviews and analyzes the guidelines that inform K-12 science curriculum and instruction in every state and the District of Columbia, concludes that what states presently expect of their schools in this critical subject is woefully inadequate.
In this comprehensive appraisal, more than 75 percent of states received grades of C or lower, and a majority received D’s or F’s. California and the District of Columbia earned the only straight As—while Indiana, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Virginia received A-‘s for their excellent state science standards. But most states lack rigorous, content-rich standards. Seven of them received B-level grades; 11 states received Cs; 17 states received Ds; and 10 states received failing F grades.
“If America is to remain a prosperous, scientifically-advanced and economically competitive nation, then we must ensure that every school is teaching science to a very high standard,” said Chester E. Finn, Jr., Fordham’s president. “In this subject as in others reviewed by Fordham experts, the states set the bar, prescribing what schools should teach and students need to learn. They then develop assessments keyed to those standards. If our expectations are low and unclear, we’re guaranteeing the failure of our students and the weakening of our nation.”
Leading science education experts authored this analysis, evaluating state science standards for their clarity, content completeness, and scientific correctness. Science standards are the foundation upon which a state’s system of assessment, instruction, and accountability rests. Therefore, this review analyzes the standards themselves to ensure that they’re clear, thorough, and academically demanding. It does not investigate whether science standards are being properly assessed with state tests, effectively implemented in the schools, or whether they are driving improvements in student achievement.
Shortcomings were many and diverse but there turned out to be four areas, in particular, where state science standards were flawed.
1. While many states are handling evolution better today than during the last Fordham review in 2005, antievolutionary pressures continue to threaten and weaken science standards in many jurisdictions.
2. A great many standards are so vague for educators as to be completely meaningless. Only 7 states earned fullcredit scores for clarity and specificity while 29 earned a one or zero out of three.
3. Science educators, curriculum developers, and standards writers have focused excessive attention on “inquiry based learning”—attempting to help students learn through “discovery” instead of direct instruction of specific content. In too many states, these inquiry standards are vague to the point of uselessness—depriving students of an education based on substantive scientific content.
4. Mathematics is essential to science, yet few states make this link between math and science clear—and many seem to go to great lengths to avoid mathematical formulae and equations altogether. Students cannot adequately learn physics and chemistry without understanding mathematical concepts and mastering quantitative operations.
“The brave souls, expert scientists and veteran educators currently struggling to develop a draft of ‘common’ science standards under the aegis of Achieve, Inc., have a weighty burden,” Finn remarked. “Can they develop a K-12 product that is suitably content-rich, rigorous, clear and usable across America? Will such a product replace the mediocre standards that most states have in place today? But the authors don’t have to start from scratch. Besides a commendable science-education “framework” from the National Research Council, they can look to the excellent standards already in use in several states as models. It’s no secret what good science standards look like. It’s a blight upon the United States, however, that such standards are guiding the schools and teachers in so few places today.”
The Oklahoma grade is the same as the last “State of the States” Fordham report issued in 2005. That report gave Oklahoma a grade of “F” notably because of the treatment of evolution in PASS – “The word “evolution” is never used. The Oklahoma Standards may represent the result of taking too literally the idea that in science education, “less is more.”“In-depth understanding” is not evident in this document. Grade: Dropped from “D” to “F” due to avoidance of the word “evolution,”with no mitigating treatment of the scientific evidence for descent with modification.”
This year’s report covers much the same ground, but in much harsher terms:
“The Oklahoma science standards are simply not OK. Woefully little science content appears, and what is present is often flat out wrong, oddly worded, or not up to grade level. It is difficult to see how any curriculum that emerged from these standards (assuming that one could accomplish that task on such a basis) would not be fatally flawed. Oklahoma’s motto is Labor omnia vincit —labor conquers all things—but this document would sorely test that maxim.” (ouch!)
“The treatment of evolution—the central principle of life science—is essentially absent. Biological evolution is reduced to “diversity of species”; the term “natural selection” appears once in the standards (in high school biology), while the term “evolution” cannot be found at all. The closest Oklahoma comes to teaching evolution is this fourth-grade standard, which appears in earth science, not life science: Fossils provide evidence about the plants and animals that lived long ago. (grade 4)“
The fatal flaw seems to lie in Oklahoma’s (and the majority of state’s) pursuit of inquiry and science process skills. The states with a heavy emphasis on clearly defined science and mathematics facts score high, those that emphasize science concepts and process skills score low. So California and Washington DC score an A while Oklahoma is rated F.
However this does not mean Oklahoma schools and students score an F. Oklahoma science students outperform or equal the performance of students in all other states in the southern half of the country on NAEP, and California is one of the states that Oklahoma students significantly outperform! Oklahoma students also outshine the performance of students in the Southern region of the ACT. Only Virginia and Texas have higher average ACT scores, and both states test a much smaller percentage of their students. – Bob
Read the Oklahoma portion of the Fordham Foundation State of States report 2012-State-Science-Standards-Oklahoma.
Download the entire Fordham report 2012-State-of-State-Science-Standards-FINAL.
January 31st, 2012 Bob
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA), and to celebrate this “golden” milestone, NABT needs your help to find at least 50 OBTA recipients in 2012.
The Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) program recognizes an outstanding biology educator (grades 7-12) in each of the 50 states; Washington, DC; Canada; Puerto Rico; and overseas territories. Candidates for the OBTA do not need to be NABT members, but they must have at least three years public, private, or parochial school teaching experience. A major portion of the nominee’s career must also have been devoted to the teaching of biology and life science, and candidates are evaluated on their teaching ability, experience, cooperativeness in the school and community, inventiveness, initiative, and student-teacher relationships.
Many of NABT’s notable members and leaders are past recipients of the OBTA, and you can carry on this tradition of excellence by nominating a teacher you know. SELF NOMINATIONS ARE WELCOME.
Contact Kay Gamble, the Oklahoma OBTA Director as soon as possible and help NABT get 50 winners to celebrate the 50th!
Learn more about the 2011 OBTA Recipients and program and submit a nomination at http://www.nabt.org/websites/institution/index.php?p=20.
The NABT Outstanding Biology Teacher Award is sponsored by
January 30th, 2012 Bob
Darwin Day Events at the University of Oklahoma
Reconsidering Darwinian Ethics from the Origin of Species to the Descent of Man, a Darwin Day lecture by Dr. Piers J. Hale, FLS, History of Science, University of Oklahoma. The lecture will be held on February 12, 2012, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., in the Kerr Auditorium, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman.
Darwin materials on display at Bizzell Memorial Library
The glass display cases across from the circulation area will contain a number of Darwin-related materials during the first part of February.
10 – 12 February 2012 — Evolution Weekend
All participating congregations will address the relationship between religion and science. Many will focus their attention on the theme selected for this year: an interfaith discussion of religion and science.
Participating churches in Oklahoma this year include:
First Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Broken Arrow, OK, The Rev. Michael J. Barron
Cameron Campus Ministry, Lawton, OK, The Rev. Galeda M. Jones and The Rev. Montie D. Jones
Fellowship Congregational United Church of Christ, Tulsa, OK, The Rev. Dr. Paul Ashby
Hope Unitarian Universalist, Tulsa, OK, The Rev. Michael Dowd
Unity Church of Christianity, Tulsa, OK, The Rev. Mary Anne Harris
January 30th, 2012 Bob
Science and Religion: Building Bridges, Dismantling Misconceptions Symposium
A symposium on the relationship between science and religion is being organized for the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Southwestern and Rocky Mountains Division (AAAS-SWARM) annual meeting at the University of Tulsa to be held from March 31 — April 4, 2012.
“Science and Religion: Building Bridges, Dismantling Misconceptions” is an interdisciplinary symposium intended to bring together researchers from the social, physical, and biological sciences at the interface of science, religion, and society. It is a common misunderstanding among the American public that science and religion are opposing viewpoints, when in fact they are can be viewed as different bodies of knowledge. This symposium will feature original data and ideas on how the public perceives the interaction between science and religion and the ways in which misconceptions about these relationships can be addressed and corrected. The ultimate goal of this symposium is to generate ideas and strategies that improve the general public’s understanding of science as a process, without denigrating the importance of religion in human culture and society.
Topics presented and discussed in this symposium might include but not be limited to:
- how various religions or denominations view science and scientific discoveries,
- different ways science can engage the public in meaningful dialogue about science and its relationship with religion,
- managing non-scientific viewpoints from a scientific perspective,
- informal education opportunities and the role of scientists, and
- explaining to the public differences in the ways of knowing in science compared with religion.
AAAS SWARM DIVISION 86th ANNUAL MEETING
REGISTRATION AND ABSTRACT SUBMISSION
AAAS Member and Non-Member Fees
March 31 – April 4, 2012
University of Tulsa – Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Non-presenter registrations: March 10, 2012. After this date, registrations will only be accepted on-site at the primary meeting venue (Allen Chapman Activity Center) March 31-April 4, 2012
AAAS Member and Non-Member Fees
University/College Faculty ($65)
Retired Professor/Professional ($50)
Post doctorate ($50)
Undergraduate/graduate student ($25)
University of Tulsa Student Research Colloquium Participant ($0)
K-12 Teacher ($10)
K-12 Student ($0)
Single day pass (non-presenters only) ($20)
To register by mail:
- Complete online form below, submit and confirm, print confirmation page, and mail to:David Nash
1112 Oakridge Drive,
Suite 104-PMB 297,
Ft. Collins, CO 80525
To register online:
- Complete the online form below. Please be sure to fill in all required fields (marked with an asterisk: *). Please use capital letters where appropriate.
- Each conference registrant should submit a separate registration form.
- Once you have completed the online registration, you should receive a registration confirmation from us within FIVE business days for online registration and TEN business days for mailed registrations.
- Please report any problems to David Nash (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For further questions or comments contact Dr. Aaron Place by email or by phone at 580-327-8673.
January 23rd, 2012 Bob
A test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft soon will make a cross-country journey, giving residents in three states the chance to see a full-scale test version of the vehicle that will take humans into deep space.
The crew module will make stops during a trip from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The planned stops include:
*Jan. 24-25 at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City*
*Jan. 27-29 at Victory Park and the American Airlines Center in Dallas*
*Feb. 1-2 at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala*
Engineers, program officials, astronauts and NASA spokespeople will be available to speak with the media and the public.
The full-scale test vehicle was used by ground crews in advance of the launch abort system flight test that took place in New Mexico in 2010. Orion will serve as the vehicle that takes astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, and the first orbital flight test is scheduled for 2014.
To see photos of the pad abort test, visit
For more information on the each of the sites, visit
Science Museum Oklahoma: http://www.sciencemuseumok.org.
American Airlines Center: http://www.americanairlinescenter.com.
U.S. Space and Rocket Center: http://www.ussrc.com.
January 22nd, 2012 Bob
Bring talented high school students and teachers from your school to participate in the Tenth Annual Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium (OKN-JSHS). The symposium will be held at Oklahoma State University Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3, 2012. Freshmen are invited to present Friday evening. Sophomores through Seniors will present on Saturday.
The Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium is part of an established national program of the Academy of Applied Science and the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. Lodging for participants and sponsors will be covered by OKN-JSHS. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday will be provided. Participants will be responsible for any additional charges beyond the cost of the room incurred at the lodging site.
The deadline for teacher and student applications is Friday, February 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm. All applications and supporting materials must be submitted electronically to email@example.com. Applications received after that date will not be considered for participation in the symposium.
We invite you to select outstanding science students who can present either a paper and Power Point presentation or simply attend the presentation sessions. The paper presentations require the student to prepare a written report describing original research results in one of the following disciplines:
• Environmental Science; Earth and Space Science
• Physical Sciences
• Life Sciences
• Medicine and Health; Behavioral and Social Sciences
• Mathematics and Computer Science
The presentations will represent the finest efforts of high school students in the region toward either original laboratory or field research, or original work in mathematics or the humanistic aspects of science. All students wishing to present a paper at OKN-JSHS must send their application with an abstract of their research paper on a copy of the abstract form (see the Applications section for all necessary forms).
Significant awards are available to students who compete in the regional and national symposia. Many university sponsors who conduct the regional symposia contribute scholarships, cash awards, and other prizes. The availability of these additional awards, type of award, and value vary by region. The Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force jointly sponsor the following awards:
For students who participate in regional and national symposia:
• Public recognition and certificates honoring achievement and interest in research pursuits.
• Attain a sense of achievement and self-confidence resulting from interaction with students from other schools and regions and with professional researchers and educators.
To quote a former JSHS alumnus, [At JSHS] “I learned a tremendous amount of science, got to meet other high school students who shared my interests in science, and learned that I could succeed at any program that I chose to pursue.”
• A $500 award to the teacher that brings the most students presenting research results at the regional symposium.
• Teacher travel stipends will be paid as available. Kansas and Nebraska Teachers will receive $200 and Oklahoma Teachers will receive $100.
For the regional finalists:
• An expense-paid trip to the National JSHS, awarded to five finalists at each regional symposium. The National symposium brings together over 360 participants in a program of educational and scientific exchange.
• An invitation to present their original research investigation at the National JSHS, awarded to the 1st and 2nd place finalists at each regional symposium.
• A total $4,500 in undergraduate tuition scholarships, awarded at $2000, $1,500, and $1,000 to each of three regional symposium finalists (scholarship payable upon matriculation and upon meeting the JSHS scholarship conditions.)
For the national finalists:
• Six $16,000 undergraduate tuition scholarships, awarded to each of the 1st place finalists in the National research paper competition
• Six $6,000 undergraduate tuition scholarships, awarded to each of the 2nd place finalists in the National research paper competition
• Six $2,000 undergraduate tuition scholarships, awarded to each of the 3rd place finalists in the National research paper competition
• An expense-paid trip to the London International Youth Science Forum, an exchange program bringing together over 400 participants from 60 nations. The London trip is awarded to each of the 1st place finalists; the runner-ups are alternate winners.
For more information, call 800-765-8933.
Please see the Applications page to pre-register.
The planning committee looks forward to your participation in this year’s symposium. Registration / check-in will take place on Friday, March 2, 2012 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m and at 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2012. At registration, all participants will be furnished with a packet of program materials covering all aspects of their activity in the symposium.
Selection of Presenters and Participants
OKN-JSHS paper presenters will be selected based upon the merit of the individual student’s research abstract and research paper. All applications are screened without regard to gender, race, creed, or color. We will not consider student presenter applicants without an application from a teacher.
Access-Oklahoma State University encourages individuals with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Candace Thrasher at (405)744-6254 before your visit.
Cancellation-The University may cancel or postpone any course or activity because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other related costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.
High school students who have done well in mathematics and science are eligible to apply. Although these students may still be undecided in their career choices, it is expected that they have completed a science or mathematics research project. For those who wish to present a paper, good public speaking skills are very helpful. Printable application forms are available for your use.
Student Application Form
Paper Presentation Abstract Form
Teacher Application Form
Each form is required for all student presenters at OKN-JSHS. All applications and supporting materials must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each school should submit to us an electronic copy of applications from each student and teacher wishing to attend OKN-JSHS. Each student application must include a copy of a research paper and an abstract if the student is applying to present a paper. All materials must be received by Friday, February 17, 2012.
Team Projects. Students should report on their individual contributions to research. If students are part of a larger group, the presentation should focus on the individual contributions in the larger research project and properly acknowledge the contributions of other students, mentors, and/or teachers. For team research that cannot be divided into individual presentations, a team leader should be selected to present the results of the group work. In this case, all JSHS directives applying to the individual research investigations will apply to group research investigations. In the event the group presenter of the winning regional group is unable to present at the National level, this opportunity will be passed on to the next ranking project. This decision is made since the judges’ evaluations and scores pertain to the individual presenter. Student presenters who are part of a team must notify JSHS of which student finalist will receive scholarship funding, should the team presentation earn a regional or national award.
Parents and guardians may attend the symposium, but are responsible for their individual hotel accommodations. Please contact Candace Thrasher at (405) 744-6254 if you have any questions.
Helpful examples and instructions:
How to Write an Abstract, with an Abstract Worksheet Form and example.
Applicants wishing to present a paper should use the Paper Presentation Checklist. (Also see the Paper Presentation Judging Criteria)
National JSHS Guidelines for Preparing and Presenting Student Research.
Oklahoma State University
325 Willard Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078
Toll Free: 1-800-765-8933
For more information go to http://education.okstate.edu/oknjshs
January 20th, 2012 Bob
Remember when summer break was made up of days playing outside until mom called you in for dinner? Today’s kids probably won’t. In the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. The average American child spends more than seven hours a day in front of an electronic screen. This shift inside profoundly impacts the wellness of our kids. They are out of shape, tuned out and stressed out, because they’re missing something essential to their health and development: connection to the natural world. Outdoor learning programs and outdoor play time can help students become high-performance learners with skill sets that will be with them throughout their lives. Outdoor education and play time also helps students perform better on standardized tests.
Join us at the 2012 Oklahoma Environmental Education Expo (EE Expo) for ideas on how to get your students outside.
Keynote speaker for this year’s Oklahoma EE Expo is Jenifer Reynolds, host ofDiscover Oklahoma television series. Ms. Reynolds will be sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for a wealth of places in our state where Oklahoma can Get Outside!
Jenifer is a third generation Oklahoman, born in Miami. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she was awarded the DuPont-Columbia Award, the broadcast equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize. She’s the only college student ever to receive this honor. Her 14 years at NEWS 9, were spent reporting on various topics including government and children’s issues.
A lover of the outdoors and proud mother of three children, Jenifer is the host of Discover Oklahoma and Mind Games, a new show on KSBI that features Oklahoma college students competing for Scholarship money in a weekly “Battle of the Brains”.
Jenifer, her husband Chris, and their 3 children now reside in Jones, Oklahoma where they have chosen to live the agricultural lifestyle. This 45 acre farm is also the home of Sandbur Productions. Sandbur is a full service production company that produces the Telly Award Winning TV show “Inside Reining”.
The Oklahoma Environmental Education Expo is sponsored by the Oklahoma Association of Environmental Education (OKAEE) and Oklahoma State University (OSU). Our goal is to promote environmental education opportunities by gathering experts, teachers, and community members together to share ideas and resources available through our state agencies and universities.
January 20th, 2012 Bob
Get ready to explore a life of crime!
Join us for the 2012 OSTA Spring Workshop at the University of Central Oklahoma Forensic Science Institute in Edmond.
Get a full day tour of this one of a kind facility as well as a full day of workshops providing insight and understanding of this STEM field.
UCO Forensic Tour and workshop April 14, 2012 from 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.
Includes box lunch and tea from McAlisters Deli
Cost: $10 for members / $20 for non-members (includes 2012 membership)
This Workshop is SOLD OUT!
January 20th, 2012 Bob
(from the National Center for Science Education, http://ncse.com/news)
Senate Bill 1742 (see below), prefiled in the Oklahoma Senate, is apparently the sixth antievolution bill of 2012, following on the heels of two bills in New Hampshire, two bills in Missouri, and one bill in Indiana. The bill would, if enacted, require the state board of education to assist teachers and administrators in promoting “critical thinking, logical analysis, open and objective discussion of scientific theories including, but not limited to, evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning” upon request of the local school district. The bill also provides that teachers “may use supplemental textbooks and instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.”
SB 1742 is evidently modeled in part on the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act, passed and enacted in 2008 as Louisiana Revised Louisiana Revised Statutes 17:285.1; indeed, the bill itself declares, “This act is modeled on a Louisiana law which has not been invalidated by the highest court of the State of Louisiana or a federal district court,” adding, “Legal challenges to academic freedom bills have historically alleged that such bills are intended to allow the teaching of creationism or intelligent design. This bill does not propose that schools teach creationism or intelligent design, rather, it is the intent to foster an environment of critical thinking in schools including a scientific critique of the theory of evolution.”
The sole sponsor of SB 1742 is Josh Brecheen (R-District 6). In 2011, Brecheen introduced Senate Bill 554, which combined a different version of the “academic freedom language” — referring to “the scientific strengths [and] scientific weaknesses of controversial topics … [which] include but are not limited to biological origins of life and biological evolution” — with a directive for the state board of education to adopt “standards and curricula” that echo the flawed portions of the state science standards adopted in Texas in 2009 with respect to the nature of science and evolution. SB 554 apparently died in committee on February 28, 2011, when a deadline for senate bills to be reported from committee passed.
Before Brecheen filed SB 554, he announced his intention to file antievolution legislation in a column in the Durant Daily Democrat (December 19, 2010): “Renowned scientists now asserting that evolution is laden with errors are being ignored. … Using your tax dollars to teach the unknown, without disclosing the entire scientific findings[,] is incomplete and unacceptable.” In a subsequent column in the newspaper (December 24, 2010), he indicated that his intention was to have creationism presented as scientifically credible, writing, “I have introduced legislation requiring every publically funded Oklahoma school to teach the debate of creation vs. evolution using the known science, even that which conflicts with Darwin’s religion.”
SENATE BILL 1742 By: Brecheen
An Act relating to school curriculum; creating the Oklahoma Science Education Act; providing short title; providing legislative intent; providing for the assistance of teachers in teaching scientific curriculum; promoting critical thinking; allowing for open discussion of scientific theories; directing teachers to teach certain material; allowing supplemental material to be taught; prohibiting the promotion of a particular belief system; directing the State Board of Education to adopt rules; providing for codification; providing for noncodification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 11-103.12 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Oklahoma Science Education Act”.
SECTION 2. NEW LAW A new section of law not to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes reads as follows:.
Recognizing the importance of critical thinking, logical analysis and objective discussion in education it is the intent of the Legislature to foster an environment in public schools where such learning occurs. This act is modeled on a Louisiana law which has not been invalidated by the highest court of the State of Louisiana or a federal district court. Legal challenges to academic freedom bills have historically alleged that such bills are intended to allow the teaching of creationism or intelligent design. This bill does not propose that schools teach creationism or intelligent design, rather, it is the intent to foster an environment of critical thinking in schools including a scientific critique of the theory of evolution.
SECTION 3. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 11-103.13 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:
A. The State Board of Education, upon the request of a school district board of education, shall allow and assist teachers, principals, and school administrators in creating an environment within the public school system that promotes critical thinking, logical analysis, open and objective discussion of scientific theories including, but not limited to, evolution, the origin of life, global warming, and human cloning. Assistance shall include support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied, including those enumerated in this subsection.
B. A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard science textbook and may use supplemental textbooks and instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.
C. This act shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine or set of religious beliefs.
D. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this act.
SECTION 4. This act shall become effective July 1, 2012.
SECTION 5. It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.
January 19th, 2012 Bob
(From NSTA Science Matters) Last month the National Governors Association released, Building A Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education Agenda (PDF), a guide focused on strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The report’s six chapters cover the following topics:
- Goals of the STEM agenda, focusing on specific measures;
- Why the STEM agenda is important in terms of jobs, prosperity and future economic success;
- Weak links in the system;
- Implementing a state STEM agenda; and
- Moving forward, a look at the work ahead.
The document explains that economic growth in the 21st century will be driven by our nation’s ability to both generate ideas and translate them into innovative products and services. Governors have been working to increase the proficiency of all students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) because STEM occupations are among the highest paying, fastest growing and most influential in driving economic growth and innovation. Individuals employed in STEM fields enjoy low unemployment, prosperity and career flexibility.
As governors look for the best strategies to strengthen state economic performance, states and their education institutions have taken the following actions to address these challenges: adopted rigorous math and science standards and improved assessments; recruited and retained more qualified classroom teachers; provided more rigorous preparation for STEM students; used informal leaning to expand math and science beyond the classroom; enhanced the quality and supply of STEM teachers; and established goals for postsecondary institutions to meet STEM job needs.