Air Command Water Rockets

This website offers tutorials and other resources for building model rockets and launchers, from basic single-bottle models to over-the-top constructions with boosters and more. Written for model rocketry enthusiasts of all ages—and adaptable for use with middle level and high school audiences (grades 6–12)—the site features informational articles, launch videos, and useful Frequently Asked Questions that address common problems in model rocketry, such as How can I make my rocket fly higher?, How much water should I put in my rocket?, How can I make my rocket fly straighter?, and other concerns. Teachers may also be interested in participating in Air Command’s 10 Challenges, which provides opportunities for students to design, build, and test water rockets for strength, speed, precision, power, and other factors and then share their results/attempts with the online model rocketry community.

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STEM Smart Briefings

STEM Smart briefings provide K–12 teachers with the support and content needed to have an evidence-based conversation with school administration or other policy leaders regarding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) success. Each two- to three–page brief is formatted to highlight a STEM challenge or Problem, outline key Research or Promising Practices relating to the issue as indicated in the National Research Council (NRC) reports Successful K–12 STEM Education and Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K–12 STEM Education, and offer Recommendations or next steps for teachers. Topics address Connecting Informal and Formal STEM Education; Raising the Bar: Increasing STEM Achievement for All Students; Nurturing STEM Skills in Young Learners, PreK–3; Preparing Students for College and Careers in STEM; Teaching and Learning Under the Next Generation Science Standards; and other challenges.

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“The Right Question at the Right Time”

In asking good questions of students, teachers are providing a great model for student questioning. But, what are good questions? There is plenty of reading material available on the art of questioning, but one of the best (and the briefest) is the article “The Right Question at the Right Time,” written by Jos Elstgeest and originally published in the book Primary Science: Taking the Plunge (Heinemann 2001). An oldie but goodie, the article explains the different types of productive questions (e.g., attention-focusing, measuring and counting, comparison, action, and problem posing) and provides guidelines for using them effectively. It also offers practical advice on the best ways to respond to reasoning questions (e.g., how and why questions), an essential question type in science but one of the most challenging kinds to address. While the article was written using examples from elementary classrooms, the content is applicable to teachers of all levels, K–college.

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Neuroimaging technique may help predict autism among high-risk infants

Neuroimaging technique may help predict autism among high-risk infants

Brain patterns precede behavioral symptoms of autism

June 7, 2017
NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (fcMRI) may predict which high-risk, 6-month old infants will develop autism spectrum disorder by age 2 years, according to a new study.


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Summer PD Opportunity for Middle School teachers – BSCS/NGSS

Middle School PD
BSCS and the UCAR Center for Science Education are developing an innovative middle school science unit on weather that uses activities, data, and scientific protocols from the GLOBE Program. This four- to five-week curriculum unit is a comprehensive approach to the NGSS-based concepts on weather, such as the uneven heating of Earth, local and global atmospheric circulation, and air mass formation and collision, all in pursuit of understanding normal weather patterns and extreme weather events that we experience in our everyday lives.
We are recruiting 12 middle school science teachers to attend a teacher professional development workshop in Boulder, CO, August 13–18, 2017, and to field test the instructional unit with students in the fall semester of 2017. Teacher and student feedback will play a significant role in informing the revision of the materials. Please note that it is not a requirement for field-test teachers to be familiar with the GLOBE Program in order to participate.
We will provide funds for travel, lodging, and meals for the professional development workshop in August. In addition, we will provide field-test teachers with a $1,440 stipend: $300 after completing the workshop in August and $1,140 after completing the field test in the fall.
For more information and to apply for this opportunity, please visit: The deadline to register is June 11, 2017.

NMLSTA Needs Your Help

NMLSTA is looking for a few members who would be interested in helping us to setup and/or maintain our new Wild Apricot Website.
If you have experience with Wild Apricot or a willingness to learn to use it, please contact Co-President, Mary Lou Lipscomb ( with the following information:
  • Your full name and contact information.
  • Why you are interested in pursuing this opportunity.
  • What qualifications do you have for this work.
The setup will need to be completed this summer. Maintenance will be on-going.
We are asking that your submission of interest be sent before June 20, 2017.
Thank you for your consideration of taking a more active role in your organization,
NMLSTA Board of Directors

Swift Playgrounds Coding App for iPad

Apple’s Swift Playgrounds, its educational coding app for iPad, has a new way for students to learn to code using robots, drones and musical instruments. The Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update will be available as a free download on the App Store beginning today, June 5. Swift Playgrounds is for students and beginners learning to code with Swift, Apple’s programming language for building world-class apps. Apple is working with leading device makers to make it easy to connect to Bluetooth-enabled robots within the Swift Playgrounds app, allowing kids to program and control popular devices, including LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3, the Sphero SPRK+, Parrot drones, and more. Swift Playgrounds is compatible with all iPad Air and iPad Pro models and iPad mini 2 and later running iOS 10 or later.

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