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ASCD and NSTA
ASCD and NSTA

Learn more about how NSTA and EduCore will be working together to bring you up-to-date science resources.

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

NSTA's list of outstanding science trade books for K-12.

Interdependence of Life: Organisms and Their Environments (first in series)
Interdependence of Life: Organisms and Their Environments (first in series)

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Interdependence of Life in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores organisms and their environments. All organisms, including human beings, live within and depend on the resources in their environment. These resources include both living (biotic) factors such as food and nonliving (abiotic) factors such as air and water. The size and rate of growth of the population of any species, including humans, are affected by these environmental factors. In turn, these environmental factors are affected by the size and rate of growth of a population. Populations are limited in growth to the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, which is the amount of life any environmental system can support with its available space, energy, water, and food. Learning Outcomes: Identify and describe biotic and abiotic factors that influence the size and growth rate of a specific population in a particular environment. Describe possible immediate and long-term effects on an individual population that exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment. Given a line graph displaying an individual population size and its rate of growth, infer the carrying capacity of the environment for that population.

Heredity and Variation: Inheritance (first in series)
Heredity and Variation: Inheritance (first in series)

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of three Science Objects in the Heredity and Variation SciPack. It explores the historical perspective and experiments of Mendel. Sexual reproduction results in the continuity of species accompanied with a great deal of variation in physical traits. One familiar observation is that offspring are very much like their parents but still show some variation— differing somewhat from their parents and from one another. People have long been curious about heredity, using even the most primitive understanding of inheritance to cultivate desirable traits in domesticated species. In the 1800s, Gregor Mendel took his observations of heredity and variation to new heights through carefully designed and executed breeding experiments that generated repeatable inheritance patterns. Mendel developed a model for explaining the patterns he observed, describing discrete units or “particles,” which both segregate and assort independently of one another during inheritance. This model offered a foundational explanation for how variation is generated through sexual reproduction. Although Mendel’s model over-simplified how traits are inherited and expressed, it set the stage for the discoveries of chromosomes and genes from which contemporary genetics grew. Learning Outcomes: Explain how domestication of plants and animals produced an early understanding of inheritance. Use Mendel’s model to explain patterns of inheritance represented in graphic form (for example, data tables, histograms, etc.). Identify the conditions required for an inheritance pattern to be explained correctly by Mendel’s model. Use data representing patterns of inheritance to support the idea that some observable traits are defined by discrete units of inheritance that segregate and assort independently of one another during inheritance.

Nature of Light: Characteristics of Light (first in series)
Nature of Light: Characteristics of Light (first in series)

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Nature of Light SciPack. It establishes the concept that electromagnetic waves can interact with materials in different ways. For example, they can reflect off a material’s surface. We can see an object when light waves that are emitted or reflected by the object enter the eye. Electromagnetic waves can also pass through materials, sometimes slowing down or changing direction as a result of entering and leaving the material. Or, electromagnetic waves may be absorbed or scattered within the material. Electromagnetic waves and other waves diffract around corners, and interfere with one another in predictable ways.

Solar System (first in series)
Solar System (first in series)

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach.This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the first of four Science Objects in the Solar System SciPack. It provides an understanding of where Earth is located in space and explores evidence used by astronomers to place Earth at this location. Earth is a relatively small planet and the third from the Sun in our solar system. The Sun is the central and largest body in the solar system. Our still-growing knowledge of the solar system comes to us in part by direct observation from Earth, including the use of optical, radio, and x-ray telescopes that are sensitive to a broad spectrum of information coming to us from space; computers that can undertake increasingly complicated calculations, find patterns in data, and support or reject theories about the origins of the solar system; and space probes that send back detailed pictures and other data from distant planets.

Introducing the Next Generation Science Standards - A NSTA Webinar
Introducing the Next Generation Science Standards - A NSTA Webinar

NSTA executive director Dr. David Evans opened the web seminar by discussing NSTA’s role in the development of the standards. Dr. Pruitt then discussed the defining elements of NGSS, scientific and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. Dr. Pruitt then talked about the next steps in the implementation process and discussed strategies for linking the standards to classroom instruction. Ted Willard, director of NGSS@NSTA, facilitated questions from the audience. Zipporah Miller, associate executive director of professional programs and conferences at NSTA, shared information about NSTA resources related to NGSS, including additional web seminars, online short courses, conferences, and publications.

Rocks (first in series)
Rocks (first in series)

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Rocks SciPack. It provides an introduction to what rocks are, how and where they form, and what we can tell about a rock’s formation by making observations about its characteristics. Different rocks have different compositions (element and mineral assemblages) and textures (grain size, orientation, etc.) Important observations of rock include characteristics of both a sample of the rock and its larger geologic context and natural setting. Observations of rocks can tell us about the processes and the environment in which they formed. The major categories of Earth’s rocks include igneous rock, sedimentary rock, and metamorphic rock.

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