Research news and notes from the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education
Digital Library (NSDL) Program [Back Issues]

The Whiteboard Report
January 2007, Issue #107



New NSF NSDL Solicitation for 2007
NSF has announced that approximately $6,000,000 will be available for 1 to 2 Pathways; 4-6 Services and; 15 to 20 Small grants in 2007 through the National Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education Digital Library (NSDL) Program.

"Building on work supported under the multi-agency Digital Libraries Initiative, this program aims to establish a national digital library that will constitute an online network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels. The program has three tracks: (1) Pathways projects are expected to provide stewardship for the content and services needed by major communities of learners. (2) Services projects are expected to develop services that support users, resource collection providers, and the Core Integration effort and that enhance the impact, efficiency, and value of the library. (3) Targeted Research projects are expected to explore specific topics that have immediate applicability to collections, services, and other aspects of the development of the digital library. In FY2007 the program will only accept proposals in the Pathways track and specific components of the Services track. The program will also accept proposals for small grants that extend or enhance results from existing services, collections, or targeted research activity so as to enlarge the user audience for NSDL or improve capabilities for the user."

In FY2007 the NSDL program will accept two types of proposals: 1) From the current set of three tracks, Pathways, Services, and Targeted Research, the program will accept proposals only in the Pathways track and specific components of the Services track. 2) Proposals for small grants that extend or enhance efforts supported by awards from all tracks within the NSDL program will also be accepted. See the full text of this solicitation for more details. Optional letters of intent are due on March 14, 2007 with full proposals due on April 11, 2007.

Please contact Lee Zia, Lead Program Director, NSDL Program, with questions (703) 292-5140,email

Related Link:

TEACHERS: Free NSDL/NSTA Web Seminar: Charging into Electrostatics on Jan. 30
Get ready for labs, interactive's, historical accounts, and lesson plans at your fingertips. Digital collections such as are carefully selected materials that prevent endless searching on the Internet, organized with educational goals in mind. Brought to you by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), this interactive seminar is designed for teachers grades 2-12 and will explore static electricity. Register today at

Physics Teaching Resource Agent Director Jan Mader and Science Education Research Scientist Dr. Cathy Ezrailson will demonstrate how charges behave and interact with each other using hands-on activities. AAPT is the lead organization for ComPADRE, the NSDL Pathway for Astronomy and Physics
Related Link:

Professional Development Opportunity for Science and Math Teachers--Spring 2007
The Digital Libraries go to School Workshop series continues this spring in upstate New York at the following times and places:
Session I: February 1, 2007, 5-8 pm, SUNY Cortland campus, Cortland, NY
Session I: February 3, 2007, 8:30-11:30 am, OCM BOCES training center, Syracuse, NY
Session II: March 8, 2007, 5-8 pm, SUNY Cortland campus, Cortland, NY
Session II: March 10, 2007, 8:30-11:30 am, OCM BOCES training center, Syracuse, NY
These workshops are intended for teachers: in-service and pre-service, science and math, middle and high school. Participants are introduced to the National Science Digital Library ( with a just-in-time tutorial and then receive instruction on assembling NSDL resources into web-based learning activities using the Instructional Architect (IA) tool
By the end of Session I, teachers will have searched NSDL for online science and math resources and completed 2-3 learning activities to use in their classrooms. During the second session, teachers will demonstrate learning activities that were implemented in their classroom and will relate lessons learned about the pedagogical aspects of using online resources. Teachers will receive handouts, a list of all the projects created by the other workshop participants, a certificate of completion and a letter certifying the professional development hours and activities completed. Teachers will also have ongoing support from project staff and other participants via a listserv.

Space is limited due to computer availability, so reply soon. Would these workshops be of interest to a group of teachers you know? Contact: Sarah Giersch,
For a schedule of spring workshops conducted in Utah, contact Andrew Walker:

The Digital Libraries go to School project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (#ESI 0554440) and is being conducted in cooperation with the National Science Digital Library ( at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the Instructional Architect project at Utah State University (, and the Department of Biological Sciences and School of Education at SUNY-Cortland.

NSDL/NSTA Web Seminars Bring Scientists and Teachers Together
Since last spring NSDL has been working with the National Science Teachers Association to bring NSDL's rich web of scientists, researchers and resources to teachers all over the country in an effort to jump start digital learning in classrooms nationwide. Teacher evaluations, comments and increased attendance point to the ongoing success of NSDL/NSTA "webinars" as an effective way to use online technology to bring scientists engaged in current research and teachers together to explore current topics of interest. NSDL Outreach Specialist Robert Payo coordinates the NSDL/NSTA Web Seminars program.

One teacher commented, "I like hearing from scientists who actually are in the field now, while my students need the information. I love for students to see and hear science that is happening right now."

Learn more about NSDL/NSTA Web Seminars past--Hurricanes, Bringing the Field Into the Classroom--Birds, The Bones--A virtual Lab, Plate Tectonics Made to Order, and Learning By Doing: Computational Science--and present at Contact Robert Payo with questions.

Ben Scholars Program, Bethel College
The BEN Scholar program is one of the grassroots outreach activities of the BEN Collaborative, a partnership of 25 professional societies and coalitions concerned with science and science education. The Collaborative is responsible for creating, maintaining and expanding the BEN portal, the biological sciences pathway to the National Science Digital Laboratory (NSDL). The Collaborative sponsors BEN Scholars in order to help promote the use of digital libraries and inquiry based learning in higher education biological sciences lecture and laboratory courses.

Bethel College professor of psychology Dwight Krehbiel was one of 25 college and university faculty BEN scholars who attended the NSDL BEN National Leadership Training Institute in Washington, D.C., Dec. 7-10. Read press release here. Participants gained experience with digital libraries and resources with the goal of helping them enhance their own lectures and labs using these resources.

NSDL at Open Repositories 2007
NSDL project partners will be presenting plenary talks, user group sessions, and posters later this month at the Open Repositories Conference (OR07) in San Antonio, Texas.

Among the presenters will be NSDL Core Integration Executive Director Kaye Howe who will give a Fedora plenary entitled, "Risk, What Risk: Choosing Fedora for the National Science Digital Library." Her abstract states, "In a world of technical and social innovation--from the proverbial high school student who cobbles together a killer app in a basement, to institutional leaders who go out on a limb promising end-to-end solutions on tight deadlines--the National Science Digital Library's (NSDL) development strategies fit somewhere in the middle. NSDL made the decision to build a Fedora-based technical platform to enable user participation and collaboration across over 200 partner digital libraries and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics discipline communities in support of NSDL's educational mission. Dr. Howe will discuss the Fedora vision, why it inspired her management team to "take the leap," and how she balanced inherent risk and investment against long-term benefits. She will give an overview of a unique Fedora-enabled educational application and discuss why it solves a fundamental problem for K12 teachers. And finally, she will reflect on why she believes that, in the end, you will achieve none of your goals by avoiding risks."

Over 300 people have registered for this exciting international conference featuring speakers from the global Fedora, ePrints, and DSpace repository communities. The program committee has extended the Early Registration rate through January 19th and the Marriott has extended their rate as well. All are encouraged to attend by registering at>.
Related Link:



NSDL: Number One Science Library Spot in Google
A search for 'science library' both in Google and in accessible Google puts NSDL in the number one spot.

Related Link:

JCDL Request for Proposals
The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries will be held in VanCouver, BC., June 17-23, 2007. The submission deadline for full papers, panels, and tutorials is January 22, 2007. The submission deadline for short papers, workshops, demonstrations, and posters is Feb. 5, 2007. Final decisions for accepted papers and abstracts will be on April 9.

Related Link:

Library of Congress Launches RSS Feeds
Since its launch in 1994, the Library's Web site has been the destination of Web users seeking authoritative information and unparalleled collections, with more than 22 million digital objects available in 186 terabytes of content, including photographs, maps, music, film, books and reference information on topics ranging from American history to science and technology to popular culture. The RSS (Really Simple Syndication) service was launched in response to public requests for alerts on additions to the Library's digital collections, updates of events at the Library's public venues in Washington and news of the institution.

What's New in Science Reference feed://
showcases new products and services on the subject of science and technology and is available from the Library's Science, Technology & Business Division.

Related Link:


Scientists Weigh in on Mixing Science and Politics
The A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science showcases dozens of examples of the misuse of science on issues like childhood lead poisoning, toxic mercury contamination, and endangered species. Information can be viewed by alphabetical list, issue area, or on a timeline.

Related Link:

Published from 2000 to September 2009, NSDL Whiteboard Report Archives provide access to prior issues of the bi-weekly newsletter published by NSDL. To subscribe to current news and information about NSDL, go to the NSDL Community Network site, register as a user, subscribe to and participate in selected features found there. For more information contact Eileen McIlvain