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MSP News: Science, Evolution, and Creationism

January 10, 2008

HIGHLIGHTS AT A GLANCE

1. FEATURED PROJECT: The Rice University Mathematics Leadership Institute
A. "Strengthening Mathematics Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge Through Collaborative Investigations in Combinatorics," by Anne McCoy, et al., presented at PME-NA, October, 2007.

B. "Boosting Student Achievement in Math and Science," by Susan Feinberg, The Greentree Gazette, December 4, 2007.

C. "Building Bridges Between Rice Research and Houston's Teaching Communites," by Charlie Burrus, Rice at Large, Spring 2007.

2. FOCUS ON EVOLUTION
A. New in Library: "Science, Evolution, and Creationism," Steering Committee on Science and Creationism, National Academies Press, January 2008.


B. New in Library: "Evolution and Its Discontents: A Role for Scientists in Science Education," Coalition of Scientific Societies, The FASEB Journal (22:1-4), January 2008.

C. New in Resources: Evolution Resources From the National Academies

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
A. Nominations Sought: Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

B. Nominations Sought: AAAS Prize Honors a High School Science Teacher


DETAILS BELOW


1. FEATURED PROJECT: The Rice University Mathematics Leadership Institute

A. "Strengthening Mathematics Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge Through Collaborative Investigations in Combinatorics," by Anne McCoy, et al., presented at PME-NA, October, 2007.


"The NSF-funded Rice University Mathematics Leadership Institute immersed high school lead teachers in collaborative, combinatorics problem-solving experiences during an intensive four week summer institute. The program challenged participants' pedagogical content knowledge and their views about collaborative problem solving as evidenced by statistically significant gains in test scores, their self-reported ratings on content and problem-solving abilities, and excerpts from journal writings."

MSPnet Location: PROJECT SHOWCASE>>Project Highlights
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/15010


B. "Boosting Student Achievement in Math and Science," by Susan Feinberg, The Greentree Gazette, December 4, 2007.

An article that highlights the increases in student achievement by students taught by participants in Rice University's Mathematics Leadership Institute.

MSPnet Location: PROJECT SHOWCASE>>Project Highlights
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/15007


C. "Building Bridges Between Rice Research and Houston's Teaching Communites," by Charlie Burrus, Rice at Large, Spring 2007.

"Rice University's Beyond Traditional Borders, a multidisciplinary, biomedical education initiative, has designed a new science elective for middle and high school students to address current issues in global health. ..."

MSPnet Location: PROJECT SHOWCASE>>Project Highlights
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/15005


2. FOCUS ON EVOLUTION

A. New in Library: "Science, Evolution, and Creationism,"
Steering Committee on Science and Creationism, National Academies Press, January 2008.

"In the book, Science, Evolution, and Creationism, a group of experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine explain the fundamental methods of science, document the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluate the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design." The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations. The book also presents the scientific and legal reasons for not teaching creationist ideas in public school science classes."

MSPnet Location: LIBRARY>>Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/14995


B. New in Library: "Evolution and Its Discontents: A Role for Scientists in Science Education," Coalition of Scientific Societies, The FASEB Journal (22:1-4), January 2008.

"A coalition of scientific societies and science teachers has conducted a national survey of likely U.S. voters to examine acceptance of evolution, attitudes toward science and scientists, and opportunities for promoting science education. Most of these folk who responded to the survey accepted that life evolved, many accepted that it evolved through natural processes, and more favored teaching evolution than creationism or intelligent design in science classes. The majority ranked "developing medicines" and "curing diseases" as the most important contributions of science to society. They also found that "promoting understanding of evolutionary science's contribution to medicine" was a convincing reason to teach evolution. The respondents viewed scientists, teachers, and medical professionals favorably, and most were interested in hearing from these groups about science, including evolution. These data suggest that the scientific community has an important role to play in encouraging public support for science education."

MSPnet Location: LIBRARY>>Ed Change & Policy
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/15011


C. New in Resources: Evolution Resources From the National Academies

This Web page is designed to provide easy access to books, position statements, and additional resources on evolution education and research. These materials have been produced by the National Academies and other sources. The site will be updated and expanded periodically.

MSPnet Location: RESOURCES>>Useful Websites
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/14996


3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

A. Nominations Sought: Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST)

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) award honors exemplary K-12 mathematics and science teachers for their contributions to improving teaching and learning. This year elementary teachers (kindergarten through sixth grade) are invited to apply (secondary teachers will be honored next year).

Recipients of the award receive: * A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. * A citation signed by the President of the United States. * A paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a weeklong series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. * Gifts from program sponsors from around the country.

To receive award, the teacher must be nominated and then fill out the application. Both the nomination and the application are submitted online. Deadline for nomination is March 1, and the deadline for the application is May 1.

MSPnet Location: CALENDAR>>Announcements
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/announce/show/id-86


B. Nominations Sought: AAAS Prize Honors a High School Science Teacher

Help spread the word about an outstanding science teacher in your state or district. AAAS is now accepting nominations for the 2008 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers. The $1,000 prize honors a high school science teacher who has contributed to the AAAS goal of advancing science education by developing an innovative and effective strategy, activity, or program. The 2007 winner was veteran chemistry teacher Chris Kennedy of Hiram, Georgia.

All nominations must be received by AAAS no later than 2 March 2008. For full details about the prize and to download the nomination and application forms, please visit http://www.aaas.org/page/aaas-leadership-science-education-prize-high-school-teachers. For more information, contact AAAS Project 2061's Lester Matlock at lmatlock@aaas.org.

MSPnet Location: CALENDAR>>Announcements
http://hub.mspnet.org/entry.cfm/announce/show/id-87