Newton Network Newsletter: February 2012


As many of you know, the Newton Newsletter is well established and into our seventh year. We have expanded and continued to develop our website and now we even have a popular presence on Facebook. We communicate to more than 75% of all the teachers, and more than 95% of the high school teachers in Nevada.

However, the funding source supporting us will end this summer. We are presently in search of new funding and have some pretty good prospects. That said, the most important information we can provide to potential funding agencies is YOUR opinion.

Do our brief summaries make it easy for you to get helpful information quickly? Do the links get you to places and things you can use? Does Facebook help you access information? Do our Web 2.0 tools expand and extend your educational practice?

Bottom Line: Does our Newton Network help you - the Educators of Nevada?

This is not a formal survey and we are not asking specific questions of you. Our request to you is that you forward this newsletter back to Michael Leverington ( or Robert Newbury ( with a simple message such as: "I read the Newton Network Newsletter every month", or "NN helps me find helpful new activities for my classroom", etc. For our own reference and that of potential funders, we would appreciate your brief and honest opinion of how our efforts serve you.

This notice is placed in both the January and February newsletter (but you only need to respond once :). With your feedback and support, we will move forward with seeking funding, and continue to do our best to serve the most important readership in the state: you, Nevada's Educators.

Newton Network News:
Greetings from the Newton Network!

Welcome to February! It’s hard to believe soon we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. This month, we have several new lesson plans and resources for you, including lesson plans on hearts and medicine. We also have new opportunities for you and your students like the Doodle 4 Google competition.

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

In This Issue:

Math Across Disciplines– Math is applicable to the study of any subject, and this month we have found several resources that incorporate math into daily activities using many different lesson plans.

ThinkFinity’s collection of math lesson plans includes “Discover Engineering”, where students in grades 3-12 study skateboarding and roller coasters to learn about engineering and math. Other lesson plans study food and nutrition, and relating math to language arts. To view the list of resources, visit ThinkFinity.

Read Write Think has a lesson plan for K-2 students on using math to solve real life problems. This lesson plan takes students to the grocery store to learn about budgeting and how money works.

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American Heart Month– February is American Heart Month and its goal is to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and heart health. ThinkFinity has several lesson plans that study the heart, including “The Beat of Your Heart” for grades 3-5 and “Hearts and Worms” for grades 6-12. To see the complete list of ThinkFinity lesson plans and resources, visit ThinkFinity.

There are many factors that contribute to a healthy heart, and Discovery Education’s “Here’s To Your Healthy Heart!” lesson plan explores the different factors. Students will learn about how food, exercise, and family history affect your health.

The American Heart Association (AHA) also has free resources for teachers. Some of the lesson plans for middle and elementary students include “Astronaut Training” and “Fats and Labels”. The AHA also has information on teaching CPR.

Animals and Environments– ThinkFinity has several resources on animals and their environments. Many of the lesson plans utilize technology, teaching students how to use the technology and identify reliable sources of information. Some of the lesson plans include “Big Cats” and studying interactive maps. Others study animals in zoos via webcams. Visit ThinkFinity for the complete list of resources and lesson plans.

Web 2.0– This month we are not highlighting a specific Web 2.0 tool, but rather a collection of tools. Cool Tools for Schools is a website dedicated to finding Web 2.0 tools that can be used by all teachers. Their collection is organized by topic and includes useful apps for phones and tablets.

Professional Development– NASA also has several free webinars and classes coming up in February. NASA Electronic Professional Development Network (ePDN) offers free online classes in Project-Based Inquiry Learning, Robotics, Statistics, and Technology Integration. Most courses are five weeks long and begin at different times in February and March.

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Upcoming EventsDoodle 4 Google 2012 is an art competition hosted by Google. Students in grades K-12 make a Google doodle based on the theme “If I could travel in, I’d visit…” The winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship and their school will receive a $50,000 technology grant. Submissions are due by March 23, 2012.

The Kids’ Science Challenge is a nationwide competition for elementary students in grades 3-6. Each year, students submit questions and experiments for real scientists and engineers to solve. This year’s topics are “Zero Waste”, “Animal Smarts”, and “Meals on Mars”. Registration is currently open and ends February 28, 2012.

NASA’s Climate Science Research for Educators and Students is now accepting applications for the 2012 Summer Workshop. The workshop is for educators and students in grades 9-12. Participants will learn more about the sun, Earth, and atmosphere interactions, and will build instruments to aid in experiments. A follow up workshop will take place online in August, 2012. Applications are due June 1, 2012.

NASA’s Space Settlement Design Contest is for students 11-18 years old. Students will design a space settlement that is self-sufficient, permanent, and a place people can live in. The contest is open to anyone in the world and you can enter individually or as teams.

Tech Café 2.0 is holding the next technology initiative team meeting this month. Innovate 22 enhances educational instruction and outcomes through technology integration in the classroom and professional development. The Innovate 22 Leadership Team Meeting is on February 6, 2012 from 1-3 pm. The meeting will be held in the Matley Lane Training Facility in AC Delco building in Reno, NV. For more information, contact Mike Martindale at or (775) 789-3449. You can also visit iNNOVATE22.

Moving Forward Nevada- The Nevada Department of Education office of Assessment, Program Accountability and Curriculum (APAC) established a STEM office initiative. Russ Keglovits’s newsletter details the work of APAC and how they are fathering STEM education in our state. For more information, you can find Russ Keglovits’s newsletter on the Facebook page, under “Newsletter”.

Raggio Research Center- The Newton Network is a grant-funded outreach program sponsored by the Nevada Department of Education Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant. Our staff and operations are based in the Raggio Research Center, in the College of Education, at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Raggio Research Center recently published its second annual report. View the 2011 annual report.

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