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Alarm Over Science Squeeze in California

kids raising handsCalifornia officials and business leaders want to correct what they say is a failure to invest enough time, money and training to teach science well. Only 10% of elementary students regularly receive hands-on science lessons, a recent survey found. Just one-third of elementary teachers said they feel prepared to teach science, and 85% said they have not received any training during the last three years.

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Kids Love Science, Teens Less So

High School StudentsYoung students are fascinated by science and very open to learning. But as they age, that interest and curiosity tends to wane — a fact too often reflected in test scores. In Texas, only 67 percent of students pass the science portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam, while 90 percent pass the English component.

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University-Lab Partnership Aids Teachers

University of California-San FranciscoScience textbooks provide students with lots of useful facts, but science is not about spoon-fed answers. “Learning doesn’t work that way in the lab. You might start with a phenomenon that gets you wondering and leads to questions. We’re helping them (students) build critical thinking skills,” Rebecca Smith, co-director of the Science and Health Education Partnership.

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Do Biology Students Need Dissection?

Students Dissecting Pig HeartsIs dissection essential to a high school biology class? That’s a question lawmakers in Connecticut are grappling with, according to the Hartford Courant. A bill heading to the state senate floor would allow students to opt out of dissections if they raise conscientious objections. Critics have long argued the procedure is outmoded and inhumane, while biology teachers have countered that it remains the most effective way to teach kids anatomy.

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Does ‘No Child’ Draft Shortchange Science?

Congress has begun work on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which became known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) during the Bush years. The Department of Education’s “blueprint” for a new ESEA has largely won warm reviews from lawmakers in both parties. But, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) is unhappy that the proposal doesn’t put more emphasis on science education.

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Event: Science Summit, Feb. 3, 2010, Indianapolis, IND

The 2010 Indiana Science Summit will be held Wed., Feb. 3, 2010 at the Eli Lilly and Company Corporate Headquarters in Indianapolis. The Science Summit will focus on the need for a system of sustained professional development to support inquiry-based science education and practical advice and methods for implementing research-based science curriculum.

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