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

The National Science Digital Library Whiteboard Report

December 2008 Issue #142





Chemistry Resources from ChemEdDL Now Available Through "Google Gadgets"

Add an interactive 3D molecule or a cool chemistry video to your iGoogle page! The ChemEdDL now has What's This video, Molecules 360 and Journal of Chemical Education articles available through the iGoogle homepage setup. Include these on your home page for a fun way to see resources of the ChemEd DL!

For instructions about how to add these gadgets, visit the ChemEd DL wiki here.

NSDL Annual Meeting News

If you're interested in what your fellow attendees said about the last Annual PI meeting, the summary report of the survey is available here.

The majority of respondents rated the 2008 meeting as "good" or "excellent" underscoring the community's appreciation for the face-to-face opportunities available at the meeting. Next year's meeting is being chaired by Susan Jesuroga, former CI Project Liaison, along with several returning members of last year's planning committee and two new faces. Susan is working on funding for the next annual meeting since neither the RC or TNS were funded to support a PI meeting. Given the timing of prospective funding and the reality of signing hotel contracts, it looks like the next meeting might not be held until early in the 2010 calendar year. Recognizing this will be more than a year past the last meeting, Susan and the RC staff are exploring ways to keep community conversations around hot topics going in FY2009. Stay tuned for information about upcoming brown bag sessions and social spaces focused on topics coming out of the last meeting.

"CellDance" 2008 Image and Video Contest Winners

The winners of the 2008 competition CellDance, a film, video and imaging competition sponsored by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) combine the best of science and art. ASCB looked for films that focused on some aspect of cell biology rather than whole multicellular organisms. The best entries combine striking visuals with effective storytelling. View the Celldance winners here.

All About NSDL "Brown Bags"

According to a study by Mertens, Flowers, and Mulhall reported in 2002, fewer than 10% of teachers grades 6-8 are middle school certified, despite the fact that middle school is a critical period of time for students in their learning and in their personal development.

For the December NSDL Brown Bag, Mary Henton, Director of Integrated Media Initiatives for the National Middle School Association and Dr. Kim Lightle, Director of Digital Libraries at Ohio State University shared other data related to the needs of both students and teachers for the middle school years and how the work of the Middle School Portal will continue to address those needs. Thirty-one people attended the live webinar on December 10, 2009.

The NSDL Brown Bag Series is a free professional development webinar scheduled monthly. These 60-minute programs highlight trends and best practices in STEM education with programs at both K-12 and higher education levels.

The January webinar, "Supporting Connections Between Research and Learning." will feature Laura Bartolo, Kent State University PI for the NSDL Materials Science Digital Library on January 29, 2009 at 1pm Eastern. For more information, contact the Brown Bag team through the NSDL contact form:

NSDL Reflections - A Community Carol

Looking for something to do over the holidays once the parties are over, the tree is composted and the relatives have all gone home? Here's an invitation to grab a mug of your favorite beverage, read some essays penned by NSDL community members and post your thoughts about their stories. Do you agree with the author? Is there a gap in the story? Do you wish they had said more about some topic? Are there common themes across several essays? Is there another topic that we should explore further? This is your opportunity take part in writing the community story about building the NSDL. Two new essays have just been posted - "An NSDL Retrospective: The Case of Instructional Architect" by Mimi Recker, and "NSDL-Style" Networks: Connecting Across Audiences & Disciplines" by Laura Bartolo. These two are in addition to essays by Bill Arms, Dave Fulker and Frank Wattenberg. They all can be found at

And if you'd like to tell your story, please contact Flora McMartin at and the Reflections team will make room for yours.


NSDL Fan Club: Sciencegeekgirl

NSDL has an admirer who reports on the steady stream of reports, resources, activities and technology available through Sciencegeekgirl is "a physicist, writer, podcaster, and educator who talks about science stuff that she thinks is cool (like weird science, or stuff we think is true but isn't), K-16 science education, hands-on science activities, teaching pedagogy, and how to communicate science." Her blog has had 46,000+ hits in a year and a half. Thank you Sciencegeekgirl!

NSDL Solstice Resources

These five NSDL resources shed light on solstice math and science on the shortest day of the year.

Speak Up 2008 Survey Open Through Dec. 19, 2008

Over 60,000 students, parents and educators have shared their views through Speak Up 2008 since the survey opened in October. Find out how you can help Speak Up! achieve 1% response from total student enrollment from all 50 states at their web site.

Combine Holiday Movie-going and Lesson Planning

In the Expert Voices blog "Connecting News with National Science Education Standards" author Mary LeFever points out that moviemakers may get the science right on the recent remake of a the science fiction classic from 1951, The Day the Earth Stood Still. A scientist from the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute was employed as an advisor. Le Fever offers suggestions for developing an inquiry-based, standards-related science lesson around the science and science fiction portrayed in the movie.

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Have you ever though about shipping out to sea? NOAA's "Teacher at Sea" Program is accepting applications for the 2009 field season until Dec. 31, 2008.

Toyota Tapestry Grants for Teachers

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and the National Science Teachers Association are pleased to announce the 19th Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program. This year, 50 large grants of up to $10,000 each and 20-32 mini-grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to K-12 teachers of science in the United States.

STEM Career Exploration Educational Resources

USA TODAY Education and NASA have collaborated on free STEM and STEM career exploration educational resources. These resources are available on two websites (below) free of charge.


Singing the Praises of Interactive Computing

When it comes to stepping outside the box to motivate people, Bob Panoff, would rather stand on it with guitar in hand, or sit on it at a piano with a microphone at the ready. As a former physics professor and now founder and Executive Director of Shodor, a Durham, NC non profit organization leading the way in developing computational science education programs, Panoff's place in this entertainment spotlight is an unconventional way to share his enthusiasm with humorous tunes for fellow, "proud to be a computer nerd" colleagues and "fans" of high performance computing.

Shodor develops and maintains the Computational Science Education Reference Desk, a Pathways Portal of NSDL.

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