The Best of Our Knowledge
2:47 pm
Mon July 27, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 984

Albany, NY –
"THE CONTINUUM OF SECONDARY SCIENCE TEACHER PREPARATION: KNOWLEDGE, QUESTIONS, RESEARCH", Pt. 2 -

The new administration is consistent with its message that the path to jobs and growth begins in America's classrooms.

Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, emphasizes recruiting, retaining, and rewarding an "army" of new teachers, while embracing innovative approaches to learning in order for the nation to remain a global leader in the 21st century.

Where will America find this "army of teachers?" And who is going to prepare them for the challenges facing today's students? A piece of that puzzle may come from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) in New Jersey. Since 1999, KSTF has been working to achieve some of the same educational goals now mirrored by the Obama administration.

Last week we looked at the projected severe shortage of math and science teachers, plus the need to boost teacher training and certification standards.

This week we look at why science is important for all people, the gender gap in science, and we profile what a successful Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Fellowship candidate is.

The KSTF Teaching Fellowship program is designed explicitly to meet the needs of beginning high school science and math teachers as they earn a teaching credential, right through the early years of their career.

The Foundation is led by Dr. Angelo Collins, Executive Director, and a science educator who has taught at both the high school and university level, and spent decades studying how best to prepare teachers for what she describes as a "complex profession."

Glenn Busby reports. (9:55)

**(Attention Listeners and Program Directors. To learn more about the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, they're online at : www.kstf.org.)**

ASTROBIOLOGY RESEARCH AND EDUCATION SERIES

"ZIRCON AS A WINDOW INTO THE EARLIEST HISTORY OF EARTH", Pt. 2 -

To researchers and students of solid-Earth geochemistry, the past two decades has been a time of many exciting developments.

Perhaps foremost among these is a major shift away from what scientists thought Earth was like right after birth, during what's known as the Hadean Eon. More recently, this era has been interpreted by some as far more benign, possibly even with oceans like those of the present day.

Using the mineral Zircon, and a thermometer based on titanium content, temperatures substantiate the existence of wet minimum-melting conditions within 200-million years of solar system formation. They further suggest that Earth settled into a pattern of crust formation, erosion, and sediment recycling as early as 4.3 billion years ago.

To get the latest on the current research into conditions on the earliest Earth, I spoke with Dr. Bruce Watson, Institute Professor of Science at RPI in Troy, New York. Dr. Watson is a faculty member in their Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Glenn Busby reports. (9:45)

The preceding is made possible by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, through support of the New York Center for Astrobiology, located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - in partnerships with the University at Albany, the University of Arizona, and Syracuse University.

**(For more information about this story, or any of the other more than 150 stories featured in this current and past exclusive radio series, or if you would like to hear them again via your computer, the website given at the conclusion of the above segment is: www.origins.rpi.edu.)**

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