The Science Teacher

The monthly magazine of the National Science Teachers Association. Articles cover innovations in science and science teaching methods.

Articles from Vol. 75, No. 3, March

35th Anniversary Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12: Books Published in 2007
To science teachers, there's a special meaning to the term "literacy" that goes far beyond language arts. For over a decade, the National Science Education Standards have focused our attention on scientific literacy, a golden umbrella that encompasses...
About the Books and the Selection Process
The books that appear in this annotated bibliography selected as Outstanding Science Trade Books were published in 2007. They are intended primarily for kindergarten through 12th grade. They were selected by members of a book review panel appointed...
Assessing Basic Knowledge in Biology
How do you think your students would respond to the 13 statements in Figure 1 (pp. 68-69)? We administered these items to 605 undergraduate students from September 2004 to September 2005. The students were enrolled in teacher-education programs at...
Cosmetic Chemist
Where do you turn when you have a bad hair day or need to cover up an unwanted blemish? From hair gels to concealers, cosmetic chemists use science and creativity to develop products that make us look and feel good. As the executive director of Chanel's...
Earliest Stage of Planet Formation
University of California, Davis (UC Davis) researchers have dated the earliest step in the formation of the solar system--when microscopic interstellar dust coalesced into mountain-sized chunks of rock--to 4,568 million years ago, within a range of...
Fireflies Help Fight Cancer
Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have figured out a way to use a firefly gene to see just how effective a new drug combination actually is against some forms of cancer. The new study looked at adult T-cell lymphoma and leukemia (ATLL),...
Geology: Rock Solid Safety
Although perceived as having a lower level of safety issues compared to chemistry or biology laboratories, Earth-space science and geology classes have their share of challenges. In fact, a number of safety concerns exist, which need to be addressed...
Getting Students to Read
In the December 2007 edition of the National Education Association's Advocate Online, Linda Nilson, director of Clemson University's Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation, discusses ways teachers can encourage students to complete--and understand--assigned...
Helping Students with Learning Disabilities Succeed: Teaching Strategies Can Help Students with Learning Disabilities Improve Their Performance in the Science Classroom
Students with learning disabilities (LD) frequently take general education science classes because their disabilities are very mild. Sometimes, however, it is difficult for students with LD to succeed in the classes and pass the related high-stakes...
Helping Students Write Better Conclusions: The Modified Sentence Completion Task Is Used to Teach Students about the Language of Science
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The language of science is not exclusively mathematical. Students need to read and write with a specialized vocabulary that communicates their learning and knowledge in science classes (Fang 2006). Unlike the vocabulary used...
Increasing the Drive of Your Physics Class: Students Learn to Integrate Force Principles through the Design and Construction of Paper Cars
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] First-year physics students often have a difficult time grasping Newton's laws of motion and recognizing the forces that these laws depend on. The "Paper Car" project is an experiential activity that is rich in application...
Invisibility Cloak Developed
Harry Potter may not have talked much about plasmonics in J.K. Rowling's fantasy series, but University of Maryland (UMD) researchers are using this emerging technology to develop an invisibility cloak that exists beyond the world of bespectacled teenage...
Lessons Learned from Test Writing
This past summer, I, like many other science educators, found myself relishing the thought of freedom--freedom to decide how to relax and freedom to choose the types of engagements to best prepare me for the future. Last summer, I chose to participate...
Oceanography for the Visually Impaired: A Scientific Collaboration Helps Visually Impaired Students Explore Oceanography Firsthand
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Amy Bower is a physical oceanographer and senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts--she has also been legally blind for 14 years. Through her partnership with the Perkins...
Parental Bias for First-Born
Most parents would hotly deny favoring one child over another, but new research suggests they may have little choice in the matter. Biologists studying a unique species of beetle that raises and cares for its young have found that parents instinctively...
Science for All
This issue of The Science Teacher (TST) represents our 13th consecutive annual issue devoted to the theme "Science for All." The theme serves as an umbrella for ideas and strategies to mitigate academic achievement gaps associated with ethnicity, socioeconomic...
Skin Pigment in Fish and Humans
When humans began to migrate out of Africa about 100,000 years ago, their skin color gradually changed to adapt to their new environments. About 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, marine ancestors of ocean-dwelling stickleback fish experienced...
Sounds like Success: A Framework for Equitable Assessment: How to Revise Written Assessments for English Language Learners
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Approximately 13 million school-age students in the United States do not speak English as their primary language (Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics 2005). Thus, there is a high demand for developing...
Traffic Mystery Solved?
Mathematicians from the University of Exeter have provided insight into the mystery of traffic jams by developing a model to show how major delays occur on our roads with no apparent cause. Many traffic jams leave drivers baffled as they finally reach...
Weaving in the Story of Science: Incorporating the Nature of Science into the Classroom through Stories about Scientists, Discoveries, and Events
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Incorporating stories in the science classroom transforms students from a group of passive learners into a community of active scientists. I use the term stories loosely to describe the literature I use in my classroom, such...