The Science Teacher

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

Articles from Vol. 80, No. 3, March

A Focus on Physical Science
What should all students know about the physical sciences? Why should all students have a basic understanding of these ideas? An amazing number of new scientific breakthroughs have occurred in the last 20 years that impact our daily lives: genetics,...
A Look at the Next Generation Science Standards
The final version of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is expected later this spring. Once it is released, educators across the country will need to carefully study the standards as plans are made for adoption and implementation. The following...
A Look at the Next Generation Science Standards
The final version of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is expected later this spring. Once it is released, educators across the country will need to carefully study the standards as plans are made for adoption and implementation. The following...
Banking on the Future: Seed Bank Investigations Teach Biodiversity and Biocomplexity
People depend on plants to fulfill many of their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. And al-though plants are all around us (Figure 1), people are often afflicted with "plant blindness," paying more attention to animals (Wandersee and...
Banking on the Future: Seed Bank Investigations Teach Biodiversity and Biocomplexity
People depend on plants to fulfill many of their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. And although plants are all around us (Figure 1), people are often afflicted with "plant blindness," paying more attention to animals (Wandersee and...
Best Friends Affect Teen Drinking
All you remember about your first swig of alcohol may be how bad it tasted. What you didn't know is that the person who gave you that first drink and when you had it affects your predisposition to imbibe later in life. A national study by a University...
Beyond Slopes and Points: Teaching Students How Graphs Describe the Relationships between Scientific Phenomena
Graphs represent complex information. They show relationships and help you see patterns and compare data. Students often don't appreciate the illuminating power of graphs, interpreting them literally rather than as symbolic representations (Leinhardt,...
Beyond Slopes and Points: Teaching Students How Graphs Describe the Relationships between Scientific Phenomena
Graphs represent comple information. They show relationships and help you see patterns and compare data. Students often don't appreciate the illuminating power of graphs, interpreting them literally rather than as symbolic representations (Leinhardt,...
Black Macaques Rebounding
Critically endangered Sulawesi black macaques living in an Indonesian nature reserve have been in decline since at least the 1970s. But a new study by researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and in Indonesia shows that their population has...
Career of the Month
Work overview. I do clinical trials to determine if certain nutritional interventions can help control diseases. First we design a meal program with proper nutrition--calories, protein, carbohydrates, and so on. Then another team designs the foods...
Conceptual Shift
"At NSTA, it has, and will continue to be, 'all hands on deck' to help science educators prepare for the Next Generation Science Standards."--Gerry Wheeler, (then) NSTA Executive Director With the imminent release of the Next Generation Science...
Editor's Corner
Conceptual Shift "At NSTA, it has, and will continue to be, 'all hands on deck' to help science educators prepare for the Next Generation Science Standards."--Gerry Wheeler, (then) NSTA Executive Director With the imminent release of the Next...
Flipping Your Classroom in One "Take"
March 2013, using Web Tools to Support Learning When a teacher flips his classroom, he creates video lectures that students watch as homework. This frees up time in the classroom for students to work collaboratively on activities. This month, we...
From Content to Skills
March 2013, Tips for Teachers Just Starting Out With pressure mounting to teach to standardized tests, having to cover volumes of material in a school year is a real concern for new teachers. However, many education reformers and professional organizations...
Headline Science
New Mirrors Eliminate Blind Spot A new type of automobile mirror may eliminate the dreaded blind spot in traffic without distorting the perceived distance of cars approaching from behind. As described in a paper published in the journal Optics Letters,...
Health Wise
Unplug to Power Up The average U.S. teen spends seven hours and 38 minutes a day--more than 53 hours a week--watching TV or using a computer, mobile device, or video game, according to Kaiser Family Foundation research (Kaiser Family Foundation...
New Mirrors Eliminate Blind Spot
A new type of automobile mirror may eliminate the dreaded blind spot in traffic without distorting the perceived distance of cars approaching from behind. As described in a paper published in the journal Optics Letters, objects viewed in a mirror using...
New Views of Sun's Corona
The Sun's visible surface, or photosphere, is 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. As you move outward from it, you pass through a tenuous layer of hot, ionized gas or plasma called the corona. During a total solar eclipse, the corona glimmers ghostly white...
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
Our vision of what we call science has broadened. The practices we use to explore the natural world and to create new products now include mathematics and engineering. We also recognize the importance of the arts, history, and human perspectives in...
Safer Science
Waste Not, Want Not After each lab experiment, chemistry students dumped chemical products into plastic-lined trash containers. Problem was, another class used the lab--and dumped different chemicals in the pails. One day the garbage pail started...
Science 2.0
Flipping Your Classroom in One "Take" When a teacher flips his classroom, he creates video lectures that students watch as homework. This frees up time in the classroom for students to work collaboratively on activities. This month, we continue...
The Ethanol Project: Exploring Alternative Energy with Role-Play and Writing
I developed this lesson after a directive from my International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator to bring a global perspective to my chemistry classroom. How, I wondered, would I connect global implications to lessons on stoichiometry and rate laws?...
The Ethanol Project: Exploring Alternative Energy with Role-Play and Writing
I developed this lesson after a directive from my International Baccalaureate (IB) coordinator to bring a global perspective to my chemistry classroom. How, I wondered, would I connect global implications to lessons on stoichiometry and rate laws?...
The Green Room: The Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy
Most power plants today burn coal, oil, or natural gas to heat water into steam to turn a turbine to generate electricity. An alternative to burning these fossil fuels is nuclear energy. Nothing is burned to create nuclear energy, so no harmful emissions...
The New Teacher's Toolbox
From Content to Skills With pressure mounting to teach to standardized tests, having to cover volumes of material in a school year is a real concern for new teachers. However, many education reformers and professional organizations are urging education...
The Next Generation Science Standards: A Focus on Physical Science
What should all students know about the physical sciences? Why should all students have a basic understanding of these ideas? An amazing number of new scientific breakthroughs have occurred in the last 20 years that impact our daily lives: genetics,...
The Patterns Approach: Engaging Freshmen in the Practices of Science
Many high school physics courses have deemphasized mathematics, which has changed the nature and role of the inquiry experiments in them. This article lays out an approach built upon an introductory unit, "Patterns in Nature," which aims to engage...
The Patterns Approach: Engaging Freshmen in the Practices of Science
A narrow focus on content alone has the unfortunate consequence of leaving students with naive conceptions of the nature of scientific inquiry and the impression that science is simply a body of isolated facts.--NRC 2012, p. 41 Many high school...
The Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy
March 2013, Making Your Teaching More Environmentally Friendly Most power plants today burn coal, oil, or natural gas to heat water into steam to turn a turbine to generate electricity. An alternative to burning these fossil fuels is nuclear energy....
Try This TOPS IDEA!
1. Mix a level tablespoon of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) with 2 tablespoons water on a plate. 2. Fold a paper towel into quarters and roll it into a "log." Lay it in your mineral water "swamp" to evaporate until dry. 3. Wood petrifies (turns...
Unplug to Power Up
March 2013, Helping Students Make Healthy Choices The average U.S. teen spends seven hours and 38 minutes a day--more than 53 hours a week--watching TV or using a computer, mobile device, or video game, according to Kaiser Family Foundation research...
Waste Not, Want Not
March 2013, Best Practices for Safety Issues in the Science Classroom and Laboratory After each lab experiment, chemistry students dumped chemical products into plastic-lined trash containers. Problem was, another class used the lab--and dumped...
What Color Do You See? a Color-Sorting Activity in Which Students Collect Data and Articulate Scientific Explanations
Generating, collecting, and analyzing data is an essential practice in the science classroom (NRC 2012). Taking this data and using it to craft an explanation that demonstrates understanding of content is another essential practice. But both practices...
What Color Do You See? A Color-Sorting Activity in Which Students Collect Data and Articulate Scientific Explanations
Generating, collecting, and analyzing data is an essential practice in the science classroom (NRC 2012). Taking this data and using it to craft an explanation that demonstrates understanding of content is another essential practice. But both practices...
Why Wolves Are Wild, Dogs Are Tame
Dogs and wolves are genetically so similar, it has been difficult for biologists to understand why wolves remain fiercely wild, while dogs can gladly become "man's best friend." Now, doctoral research by evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord at the University...
Write for the Science Teacher
Why YOU should publish The main purpose of NSTA's well-rounded publishing program is to allow our members to share ideas with thousands of other people who teach science. The content reflects the needs of its audience of classroom teachers, science...
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