As we complete the work on the program booklet for our 2009 conference, I am happy to report that the variety of presentations looks to be very good.  The program includes about 110 different sessions.  The featured speakers include Dr. Jose Alonso, director of the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake, and Nate Jones of the Wessington Springs Wind Project.  From the mathematics side Cindy Croon, President of the SD Council of Mathematics has successfully invited Dr. Ed Porthan. Dr. Porthan will have an exciting and worthwhile message for all of us from both disciplines speaking on inspiration. Three other mathematicians will be presenting sessions as featured speakers and because of the commitment of the membership in making presentations, there will definitely be something for everyone.
The executive committees of both associations have decided to have a session at the end of the conference as a wrap up to get feedback from our members and I hope you will consider attending that session. There will also be a "rummage sale"- "a bring and swap" of sorts so please check the online conference booklet for additional information about this new venture. Now all we need your attendance and cooperative weather.
The officers of SDSTA met over DDN in October to discuss our Association Constitution and By-laws. The constitution and by-laws were written in 1980 and need revising. For example, some of the committees and language seem to no longer be pertinent to the functioning of our association. Please read the proposed changes in another article in this newsletter and give each of the proposed changes your consideration. We will discuss this at our annual meeting. We will be following the procedure in the by-laws to make these changes. This is just another good reason to plan to attend on Friday afternoon of the conference at 4:30.
In searching and thinking other topics I could write for this newsletter, I decided to read the Issues in

Science Education at the NSTA website. The issues include the following information. "The National Science Teachers Association is discouraged by the results of the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Science scores for both fourth and eighth grade students have remained flat since 1995.
America's global competitiveness will increasingly depend on our ability to better educate our young people in the sciences. Over the last ten years numerous reports have told us how stakeholders can and must work together to increase student achievement in science. In spite of these reports, many districts simply do not value science education.  Science is being eliminated from many K-6 classrooms. Science teachers, especially at the elementary level, need better quality professional development and more classroom materials.
We must develop and retain high quality science teachers, especially for high risk schools, by attracting more candidates into teaching and by strengthening teacher education programs. We should not accept these TIMSS scores as the status quo, but instead focus on how we can forge a stronger public commitment from parents, the business community, policymakers, and other stakeholders on the importance of quality science education." 
I also recently read in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune that in the next decade, there will be a shortage of 200,000 qualified science and math teachers in our nation.  What does this mean to us as active involved teachers??
Hoping that you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas break with family and friends and that your New Year will be a healthy and happy one. Hoping to see you in Huron.  Respectfully,

Hope to see you in Huron.

     Ramona Lundberg
SDSTA  President -- Feb. 2008-Feb. 2010

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