Newton Network Newsletter: April 2011

Newton Network News:
Greetings from the Newton Network!

Welcome to April! This month we are focusing on Earth Day, April 22nd, and how you can incorporate conservation and earth science into your lesson plan. For instance, you can turn off the TV for one week to conserve energy. We also have information on events coming up for you and your students.

Once again, please pass your newsletter on to your colleagues and let them know that they can sign up for their own newsletter as easily as going to the Newton website.

In This Issue:

Earth Day Logo

Earth Day 2011– The celebration of Earth Day falls on the 22nd of April every year. Earth Day is a great time to learn more about the environment and other species living on the planet. For instance, what do you know about some of the largest fish in the world? In Ed Online’s “Superfish” lesson plan, students explore these fish in their habitat.

If you would like to focus on human impact on the planet and other species, check out National Geographic’s “Really Wild Animals”. For grades 3-5, the lesson plan teaches how humans impact their physical surroundings. For the lesson plan, visit National Geographic.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has many resources for all grade levels focusing on conservation and recycling. Resources include videos and interactive games as well as lesson plans and activities.

Waste and recycling resources.

The catastrophic 9.0 earthquake that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 presents an opportunity to look more into earthquakes and the warning signs of tsunamis. For a list of earthquake and tsunami lesson plans for all grade levels, visit Thinkfinity.

Space Math @ NASA has recently posted new math problems relating to the earthquake and tsunami. Problems include radiation and estimating the speed of a tsunami.

Screen Free Week– Screen Free Week is celebrated the week of April 18-24, 2011. The purpose of Screen Free Week is to get children away from the TV and computer and involved in activities that don’t rely on a screen. PBS has a lesson plan focusing on raising students’ awareness about how much TV they watch for grades 3-5.

More information on Screen Free Week.

PAEMST– The annual Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is currently accepting nominations for the 2011 award. Teachers who are nominated have until May 2, 2011 to fill out the application. This year, nominees must be a math or science teacher for grades 7-12. Recipients of the award will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. for recognition and professional development opportunities. Recipients will also receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. To nominate a teacher, or find out more about the award, visit

Web 2.0Glogster EDU is a free website for students and teachers. Users can create interactive posters called “glogs” on any subject using audio, visual, text, and animation. Students can share the posters in e-mail or on websites. Teachers are also given control over the students’ accounts and projects, with the ability to edit any information.

Professional Development– NASA’s Global Climate Change Education Initiative is sponsoring a professional development opportunity with PBS. The Global Climate Change lessons contain STEM resources that teachers can use in the classroom. The lesson is free and should take 3-5 hours of time.

PBS has also recently started offering their “Tip Cards” online. Tip Cards contain valuable information on STEM education resources and tips for designing lesson plans and activities. The Tip Cards are free and can be printed to keep at your disposal.

PBS also offers Activity Packs, a set of resources centering on one theme. The Activity Packs are free and contain resources for all grade levels.

Upcoming Events– Google has partnered with CERN, National Geographic, Scientific American, and the LEGO Group to launch the first Google Science Fair. It is the first online science fair available to students around the world age 13-18. Participating students have the option of working alone or in groups of up to three students. Entries are due by April 4, 2011 and finalists will be selected in July, 2011. Prizes include a trip with National Geographic Expeditions, scholarships, internships, and more.

NASA is holding the Future of Flight Art Contest, an art contest depicting what the future will bring in terms of flight and exploration. The contest is open to all students enrolled in high school or college, regardless of field of study. NASA hopes to encourage students of all courses of study to think about the future of flight and exploration through digital or two- or three-dimensional art, literature, or video. Entries are due by April 15, 2011.

The Young Scientist Challenge is a national science competition for students in grades three through eight. Students are required to make a video one to two minutes in length about a science problem. Entries are due by April 15, 2011. Finalists will participate in a summer mentorship program and will be flown to St. Paul, Minnesota, to present their project.

KIDS University is a yearly summer camp that takes place at the University of Nevada Reno. KIDS University has sessions on many different topics; including “Developing Your Own Website”, “Crazy Chemistry”, and “LEGO Robotics”. Registration begins March 26, 2011 and the camp runs from June 13-July 29, 2011. For more information, visit KIDS University.

Registration is also open for the Engineering Summer Camps taking place at the University of Nevada Reno. The Engineering Summer Camps will run from June 20-July 29, 2011 for students ages 12-18. Sessions include a “Transportation Camp” and “Computer Science Camp”. Early registration is available through May 30, 2011.

Newton Network

The Newton Network Facebook page has been updated with more resources, including the addition of PBS Vegas and PBS Reno.

We need your submissions! Do you have a classroom activity that really excited your students? How about a really great web resource that you have found? We will help you share your resources with other teachers across the state. Send your activities, lesson plans or online resources to us and we will feature you in our newsletter and add your resource to our website. Please contact Robert Newbury at