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February 2010

By: Debbie | November 25 2010 | Category: Tidbits for Teachers

DNA Day LogoNational DNA Day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of the double helix of DNA in 1953. In commemoration of National DNA Day, the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) invites you to participate in the 5th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest External Web Site Policy!

The contest is open to students in grades 9th - 12th. The winning student will receive $400 and the teacher will receive a $2000 grant for laboratory genetics equipment.

Please visit ASHG DNA Day 2010 for the essay questions, rules and more information. The submission site goes live in January 2010 and the deadline is March 15, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. International submissions are welcome.
By: Gina | February 25 2010 | Category: Science Lite, Tidbits for Teachers

Girl in library stacksI just got back from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in (not so sunny and not so warm) San Diego and thought I would share a few of my particularly interesting discoveries.

To begin with I learned about a new organization, the Science Festival Alliance whose goal is to support the development of science festivals. The Science Festival Alliance has created a Web-based resource center to collect, archive, and share information concerning all aspects of science festivals and provide resources to help new science festivals get started.  As a starting point you can go to their interactive festival map to see what others are doing.

I also discovered Science in School, a European journal and Web-based resource that has been around for a while, but may not be familiar to North American readers.  Published quarterly on-line and in print, the  journal aims to promote inspiring science teaching by encouraging communication between teachers, scientists, and everyone else involved in science education. It addresses science, math, and engineering teaching across disciplines: highlighting the best in teaching and cutting-edge research, focusing on interdisciplinary work.  The contents include teaching materials, cutting-edge science, education projects, interviews with young scientists and inspiring teachers, as well as other items. Though the journal is published in English, many Science in School resources are available in other languages as well.

Finally, I want to mention something that I rediscovered - the Journal of Young Investigators. The journal published its first article in 1998 and is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes undergraduate research articles in science, mathematics, and engineering. Not only do undergraduates write the articles, but also, students (working with their faculty advisors) review the work of their peers and determine whether that work is acceptable for publication in JYI. This may be useful to many of you as a way to help your students publish their work and to learn about the process of publishing in science from both the perspective of the reviewer and the submitter.

Do you have any other resources of general interest that you want to share?  Any comments on these?
By: Cynthia | February 16 2010 | Category: NIH Resources, Science News

When the news started pouring in about the effects of the earthquake in Haiti last month, I was startled by the devastation. The unexpected nature of the event, coupled with the destruction and loss of lives, made me wonder just how any one person, city, state, or country could really be prepared to handle such a disaster. Since then, I’ve found some resources that can help us plan ahead and cope with traumatic events when they do occur.

The Ready campaign is a national effort to help us prepare for and respond to natural and human-made disasters. Its goal is to increase the nation’s basic level of preparedness. The campaign includes Ready Kids, which aims to help parents and teachers educate kids about emergencies and how they can help their families get prepared. The program includes a Web site with online games and helpful resources for parents and teachers. At the site, kids learn how to create an emergency supply kit, make a family emergency plan, and learn more about natural disasters.

In just the past decade, the United States has experienced the September 11 terrorist attacks along with fires, tornados, mudslides, and other natural disasters. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conducts research on our reactions to these national crises and traumatic events. The Institute’s focus areas include traumatic stress reactions and mental health issues among military service members. Researchers have learned that people respond differently to crisis. Some have more intense feelings initially but eventually recover. Others need additional help and support, especially if they’ve experienced traumatic events before.

You can order or download free NIMH publications that could help you cope with traumatic events, including several in a series titled Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters:
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