Newton Network Newsletter: February 2011

Newton Network News:
Greetings from the Newton Network!

It is February and that can only mean one thing: everyone is talking about Valentine’s Day! You can celebrate Valentine’s Day by incorporating math into the holiday. But did you know that February is also American Heart Month? Valentine’s Day is the perfect chance to talk about how your students can keep their hearts, and themselves, healthy and happy. We also have plenty of other exciting opportunities for you and your students in this issue.

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:

Heart PictureAmerican Heart Month– Heart disease is listed as the number one cause of death in the U.S. and most frequently appears as a heart attack. February was named American Heart Month to help raise awareness for the disease. The American Heart Association has many lesson plans for students up to grade eight. Lesson plans include understanding how tobacco affects the air we breathe and a lesson plan on the circulatory system.

A healthy diet and regular exercise are important to having a healthy heart. Discovery Education offers a lesson plan for grades 6-8 on controllable risk factors for heart disease.

And let’s not forget Valentine’s Day! If you want to incorporate math and science lesson plans into your Valentine’s Day celebration, you can write math problems on paper hearts or graph the amount of each colored candy hearts.

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 2.0Twiducate is “social networking for schools”. Similar to twitter, twiducate allows teachers to create an online classroom for students and parents. Teachers can post information on assignments or lessons using text, links, videos, and pictures. Students also have the opportunity to interact with teachers by responding to updates. Twiducate is free and safe for students to use.

Professional Development– The Northeastern Nevada Regional Professional Development Program is currently offering new professional development classes in Fallon. Topics for classes include co-teaching and utilizing T4S. Classes begin in February and March.

The Regional Professional Development Program is currently offering classes on technology, science and math for K-12 teachers. The classes are available through UNLV.

NASA is currently offering an electronic professional development opportunity called Project-Based Inquiry Learning. The course helps teachers develop skills in scientific reasoning, problem solving, critical thinking, and more. The course is free and lasts five weeks starting February 23, 2011. To register or find out more information on the course, visit Electronic Professional Development Network.

Western Nevada Science Faire LogoUpcoming Events– The annual Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair is here! The science fair will be held March 24-26, 2011 at the Lawlor Events Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Schools must be registered by February 4, 2011 to participate. K-8 students can participate as individuals, teams, or as part of a class. High school students can participate as an individual or as a team of up to three students. Student projects must be registered by March 6, 2011.

Google has partnered with CERN, National Geographic, Scientific America, 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 Digital Learning Network has many free webcasts and webinars available to the public in February. Topics for February include “Black Hole Math”, a webinar for teachers on tips for teaching about black holes, and “The Earth: Up Close and Personal”, a webcast for students about the Earth’s atmosphere, surface, and interior. Register for a webinar or to look at the current schedule for the DLN.

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 two- or three- dimensional, digital, literature, or video art. Entries are due by April 15, 2011.

Newton Network

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