The NSRC extends its work internationally through the National Academies and the InterAcademy Panel (IAP). The IAP is a global network of 90 science academies designed to help its members develop the tools they need to participate in science policy discussions taking place beyond university classrooms and research laboratories. The IAP is a significant force in the global effort to reform science education.
All STC Program curriculum may be translated into other languages. Please contact the NSRC's International Development Assistant, Kyle DeMars-Johnson at DeMars-JohnsonK@si.edu with translation requests.
More details on this year's work in Latin America, Europe, Australia.
Inter-Academy Panel (IAP)/Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS)
The National Science Resources Center hosted a meeting of the Inter-Academy Panel/Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS) Council of the Science Education Program at the headquarters of the National Academies in Washington, D.C. from May 4–6, 2009. Thirteen countries from the Americas and Caribbean were represented at the meeting. Presentations were given on IAP Science Education and the IAP/IANAS Science Education Project. Reports were given by the Academy on the past year’s activities. The budget and activities were confirmed, and are to be supported by IAP/IANAS. Individual participant countries made proposals for 2010 activities. Discussion lead to agreement on the IANAS Education Program’s budget, activities, and future plans. A proposal was generated to hold strategic planning workshops in participating countries on a rotating basis. The NSRC is spearheading the fundraising effort for this objective.
NSRC International Award
On September 8, 2009, Sally Goetz Shuler, Executive Director of the NSRC, accepted an international award presented at the Fifth International Conference “Quality Growth of Inquiry-Based Science Education Programs,” in Monterrey, Mexico. The award was given by The Mexican Ministry of Education, Innovation on Science Education, and the Nuevo Leon State Government. She was recognized for her commitment and leadership in promoting inquiry-based science education among children and youth in the United States and abroad. The award ceremony took place at the Steel Museum in Monterrey, and the Mexican Secretary of National Education served as the presiding officer of the ceremony. In addition, Shuler opened the conference the following day on September 9th as the keynote speaker.
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Latin America Initiative
On September 9, 2009, the NSRC met with officials representing Mexico, Colombia, and the Inter-American Development Bank to initiate discussions for planning the development of a Latin American Science Education Leadership Development Center. Plans are currently underway to prepare a multi-year proposal for submission to the Bank in September 2010. The Inter-American Development Bank was established in 1959 to support Latin American and Caribbean economic and social development and regional integration primarily by lending to governments and government agencies, including State corporations.
Leaders representing Pequeños Científicos, a program conducted by la Universidad de los Andes, attended the NSRC National K–12 Science Education Leadership Development and Strategic Planning Institute held July 12–17, 2009. Participants reviewed and discussed research and its implications for designing a new science program using a systems approach. In addition, Institute leadership teams, including the Colombian team, learned about case studies of district and state reform that could be used to inform their work. Using all of the Institute’s resources and expertise, each leadership team created a strategic plan for scaling research-based science education programs for their community, state, or country. The Colombian team also met with Cristián Samper, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and former resident of Colombia, to discuss the implementation of their strategic plan. Negotiations have also continued with NSRC partners in Colombia to translate the NSRC’s Science and Technology Concepts program of 40 instructional units and 24 related children’s books from English to Spanish.
Panama Science Education Conference
On June 12, 2009, the NSRC participated in an international conference in Panama on “Quality Growth of Inquiry-Based Science Education Programs.” Held at the City of Knowledge Conference Center in Panama City, this conference served as a platform to analyze the challenges that research-based programs face. These challenges include quality assurance and sustainability. The NSRC provided a major presentation at the conference about lessons learned from and recommendations for strategically expanding science education programs to new communities.
A national leadership team representing Programa de Educación en Ciencias Basada en la Indagación (ECBI) Bolivia attended the NSRC National K–12 Science Education Leadership Development and Strategic Planning Institute held July 12–17, 2009. Participants in the SPI reviewed and discussed research and its implications to best practices in the learning and teaching of science. Strategies were presented for building awareness for a new vision of science learning and teaching. Participants shared experiences from their efforts in science education reform, increasing collective knowledge on the strategies for implementation. The ECBI National Leadership Team developed a strategic plan for reforming K-12 science education programs throughout Bolivia.
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On May 29 2009, Sally Goetz Shuler, the NSRC Executive Director, represented the National Science Resources Center at the Final European Conference of the Pollen Project. The focus of the conference was to provide a platform for discussion on four major issues of inquiry-based science education with key speakers to set a milestone towards the widespread implementation of such an approach in Europe. In attendance were about 170 leaders representing 25 countries. Further information on the conference can be found at http://www.pollen-europa.net/?page=8sam2hdh4%2Bw%3D. This European conference was held in collaboration with Freie Universität Berlin.
On May 28, 2009, Sally Goetz Shuler, the NSRC Executive Director, and Anders Hedberg, former NSRC National Advisory Board Chair, represented the United States at a conference in Berlin, Germany organized by Freie Universität Berlin. At this conference, the NSRC shared the lessons learned from its comprehensive leadership development programs conducted during the last two decades that have been focused on scaling best practices to hundreds of school districts in the United States and throughout the world.
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Australian Academy of Science
The NSRC senior staff met with Dr. Sue D. Meek, Chief Executive of the Australian Academy of Science on October 2, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The purpose of this meeting was to provide the Australian Academy the lessons learned from NSRC curriculum and leadership development programs. As a result of this meeting, Dr. Meek has expressed an interest in forming an ongoing collaboration between the Australian Academy and the NSRC.
This past year, Julia Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and first woman to hold this position, visited the NSRC to learn about the NSRC’s programs to improve K–12 science education in the United States and throughout the world. As a result of this visit, she has expressed an interest in having Australia work closely with the NSRC to benefit from its experiences.
University of Sydney
The NSRC has formed a partnership with the University of Sydney to explore how the NSRC might translate and transfer the model of the University of Sydney’s International Science School to the United States. As a part of this process, the NSRC developed a legal agreement with the University of Sydney to produce a leadership development and ethics module. This module was taught at the University of Sydney’s 2009 International Science School held for high school students. The Professor Harry Messel International Science School has inspired over 4000 students directly and countless more through the books, telecast lectures and webcast lectures. It draws students from ten countries across the world, selected in their home countries by institutions such as the Department of Energy in the USA and the Royal Institution and Association for Science Education in the UK, and has been running since 1958. (Source: http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/foundation/index_iss.html)
This year, a second Queensland-Smithsonian Fellow will join the NSRC. Dr. Alison Sammel previously worked as a Lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University on the Gold Coast in Australia. Dr. Sammel’s research and teaching focus includes the teaching and learning of science with particular interest in social and environmental justice and political issues, and the impacts of White privilege on education. She explores the world through the lenses of critical pedagogy and feminist post-structuralism. Dr. Sammel joined the NSRC on November 2, 2009, and will be with the organization through February 2010. She will conduct research on how to raise the levels of interest, understanding, and literacy of science and technology issues in Gold Coast school children and Native American school children in Washington State. She will collaborate with the NSRC staff and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in order to accomplish her research goals. Her line of research will assist both Australia and the United States by advancing science learning for these underserved populations. This area is one that NSRC has identified that needs to be strengthened if it is to motivate and engage these children to be prepared for the 21st century.
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