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Fall 2013 Newsletter

MASON >CEHD >CREST > Fall 2013






VISTA Reduces Achievement Gap for Economically Disadvantaged Students
Disadvantaged students achieved a 14-point increase in scaled test scores.

VISTA Reduces Achievement Gap for Economically Disadvantaged Students  

Student achievement results from the Year One cohort confirm that economically disadvantaged students of elementary school science teachers who participated in VISTA professional development scored 14-points higher on the state science achievement test than students in the control group whose teachers did not receive VISTA professional development.

 
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OSHA Issues New Lab Safety Rules
"These results show that the changes in classroom practice that VISTA is teaching are making improvements in students' achievement." - Donna Sterling

VISTA Report: Year 3 Sees Results

As we complete Year Three of the VISTA project, we can report that VISTA is succeeding in nearly every aspect of its programs. Our recruiting and retention numbers are up for our professional development programs; early research results show that we are having a positive impact on student achievement

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SUNRISE GK-12 Project Update
The Journal is published by the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition.

Call for Papers on VISTA for Journal of Mathematics and Science

The Journal of Mathematics and Science is seeking manuscripts that explore the impact of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) on in-service and pre-service teachers, science coordinators, school divisions, higher education faculty, and K12 students.

 
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CREST News

SUNRISE GK-12 Project Update
The SUNRISE project (Schools, University 'N' (and) Resources In the Sciences and Engineering-A NSF/GMU GK-12 Fellows Project 2007-2014) is a unique graduate Fellowship program at Mason funded by the National Science Foundation that targets graduate students working in the grade 4-6 school environmentRead more >

VISTA News

Elementary Science Institute: Through the School Year
Teachers participating in VISTA's 2013-2014 Elementary Science Institute completed their final professional development session after the VAST conference in Norfolk, where they shared their problem-based learning (PBL) units and networked with other teachers. Read more >

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Secondary Teacher Program Passes Halfway Mark
Teachers in VISTA's Secondary Teacher Program have surpassed the halfway mark in their courses! Participants who are new to the program this year have learned about classroom management and safety; hands-on, inquiry teaching; the nature of science (NOS); assessing students; and how to use their Gizmo accounts.  Read more >

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Webinar for i3 Grantees Features VISTA Dissemination Strategies
How can education projects like VISTA share their success and impact the education community across the nation? VISTA's Donna Sterling and Jill Williams recently spoke to this topic during a national webinar hosted by the i3 (Investing in Innovation) grantee community and the U.S. Department of Education.  Read more >

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Fall Events Connect Science Educators Statewide
Each November, the Virginia Science Education Leadership Association (VSELA) and the Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) host back-to-back events that bring together the entire Virginia science education community for several days of learning and networking. Read more >

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Applications for 2014-15 VISTA Programs Now Open
Applications are now open for all VISTA professional development programs for the 2014-2015 school year. What does VISTA teach? Watch this short video for an overview!  Read more >

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VISTA Voices: Inside the Elementary Program
Last summer, VISTA video crews followed elementary teachers participating in our elementary science institutes. You can now watch these teachers' stories online, and get a first-hand look at the VISTA training Read more >

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Science Education News

PISA 2012 Results
According to a December 2013 report, American teens scored below the international average in math and roughly average in science and reading, compared against dozens of other countries that participated in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which was administered last fall.
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Nation's Report Card: Average Math, Reading Scores Improve in 2013
Fourth- and eighth-graders across the united states are making progress in mathematics and reading, according to recently-released assessments from NAEP, the "Nation's Report Card." Average mathematics scores for both grades were one point higher in 2013 than they were in 2011, the last year the test was administered.
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NEA Foundation Offers Grants for Teachers
Do you have a project in mind that will engage students in critical thinking and problem solving? Do you want to deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter? Grants to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions ranging from $2000 to $5000 are available from the NEA Foundation, a public charity of the National Education Association.  
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OSHA Resources
OSHA has set a December 2013 deadline for all employers--including schools--to provide training to ensure that teachers and staff understand how to read new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) chemical labels.  
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Nominations Sought for Presidential Awards
The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science). Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.  
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New Staff

New Staff
Lauren Wright and Dannelle Shugart join VISTA's communications department.Read more >

Student Funding

Student and Faculty Publications/Presentations
List of Student and Faculty Publications/PresentationsRead more >

GRA Research Opportunities
By Cheryl O'Connor, VISTA GRA  
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Student Funding List
Several students joined CREST in fall 2013 as graduate research assistants to help with program evaluation and research for the VISTA project.  
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VISTA in the News

VISTA in the News
VISTA and its participating teachers made quite a splash in news outlets around the state this summer with a media push during the Elementary Science Institutes.Read more >