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

June 2009 Issue #147






Towards Interoperable K12 Learning Standards

JES and Co. has announced that they have joined IMS Global Learning Consortium as a Contributing Member to support development of interoperability standards for the K12/ Common Cartridge Curriculum Standards project. This work will be part of the Common Cartridge v1.1 release, which will enable curriculum standards (e.g. learning objectives) to be contained with the learning materials of a Common Cartridge. As a result, teachers will gain greater precision in identifying appropriate materials for their students and schools can more systematically track student progression. JES and Co. brings core expertise in ensuring that the curriculum standards are interoperable across learning platforms and between these and other systems.

Several leading K-12 educational publishers and learning platform providers have been very involved in the CCv1.1 release. The inclusion of JES and Co. expertise and ASN will add a critical component to the work. For more information on K12/Schools Enhancements to Common Cartridge visit:

"We are pleased that we have such an experienced organization in the arena of state curriculum standards and metadata joining IMS." said Dr. Rob Abel, CEO of IMS Global. "JES and Co. will be instrumental in helping the group move forward and we look forward to their participation."

"IMS Global Learning Consortium is the leader in addressing international standards for teaching and learning. We are proud to be part of the organization and look forward to working closely with nations, publishers and education solution providers as they integrate learning objectives into their offerings," added Diny Golder, the Executive Director of JES and Co.

The Curriculum Standards group is part of the K12/Schools Enhancements to Common Cartridge initiative that addresses several specific issues including incorporation of IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI), alignment of content and assessments to curriculum standards and learning objectives, and lesson planning.

Shodor in the News

Shodor, a Durham, NC non profit serving students and educators nationwide, is releasing yet another new Web-based interactive educational tool called "Disease Epidemic Model," which is designed to help teachers and students better understand the spread and treatment of disease. Read more about this model at Shodor's site or take a look at the Herald Sun article.

Shodor has also been recently recognized as a winner of the2009 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility in the Durham area.

New Collections at Engineering Pathway

The Engineering Pathway is happy to announce two new collections of resources: the Community Assessment of Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES), and the Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing (SINAM).

The Community Assessment of Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CARES) is an international project involving a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, civil and environmental engineering, bioengineering, and landscape architecture. The project has a digital library of online assessment tools, resources and projects. Visit the CARES collection.

The Center for Scalable and Integrated Nanomanufacturing (SINAM) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). The target audience for the educational resources includes grades 7-12, higher education and professional development. The SINAM digital library of educational resources seeks to develop a new nanotechnology manufacturing paradigm combining fundamental scientific research with an industrial outlook. Visit the SINAM collection.

The Chemical Education Digital Library Presents in Baraboo, WI

On May 29th a representative from the Chemical Education Digital Library (ChemEd DL) was in attendance at the Best Practices in Science, Math and Engineering Teaching Conference in Baraboo, Wisconsin, where she gave a presentation entitled Introduction to the National Science Digital Library. The presentation introduced participants to a number of the pathways available through the NSDL, with a special focus on the ChemEd DL. Most participants were unfamiliar with the NSDL and the high quality resources available and all left the presentation excited to explore the library on their own.

Warren Washington: Looking for Climate Change Impacts in the 21st Century

What do scientists do? The National Academies recently launched the African American History Web site to help answer that question for students and teachers. Important contributions made by African American scientists, engineers, and physicians are featured along with information about NAE programs and events. One of the scientists highlighted on the NAE Web site is Warren Washington, senior scientist and section head at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, who was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2002 "for pioneering the development of coupled climate models, their use on parallel supercomputing architectures, and their interpretation."

Washington has spent his distinguished career looking into how to more accurately understand climate change patterns and how human behavior might affect them. Visit the NCAR Library Warren M. Washington Collection to learn more. These archival materials from 1963-2007, document Washington's scientific, professional, and advisory activities, as well as his significant contributions to diversity issues, particularly the enhancement of opportunities for people of color in science.

MatDL Pathway Presents at Open Repositories 2009

At the 4th International Conference on Open Repositories held May 18th - 21st, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia, MatDL Pathway presented "Facilitating Wiki/Repository Communication with Metadata". This presentation described how MatDL is enabling two-way communication between a digital repository and open-source collaborative tools, such as wikis, to support users in materials research and education in the creation and re-use of compelling learning resources. A search results plug-in for MediaWiki has been developed to display relevant search results from the Fedora-based MatDL repository in the Soft Matter Wiki established and developed by MatDL and its partners. Wiki-to-repository information transfer has also been facilitated by mapping the metadata associated with resources originating in the wiki onto Dublin Core (DC) metadata elements and making the metadata and resources available in the repository. A poster describing MatDL's efforts to co-develop and host a Fedora installation package for Ubuntu was also presented. This package will soon be available on MatDL through the Fedora Commons, helping to bring the advantages of Ubuntu to the open repository community as well as to support greater adoption of Fedora.


Announcing the 4th NSDL/NSTA Web Seminar Series

Starting this fall, our series of free online teacher professional development continues! Watch for these seminars featuring experts from the NSDL community for the 2009-2010 school year: Chemistry Comes Alive IV: Oxidation and Reduction, Timely Teachings: Seasons and the Cycles of Night and Day, along with seminars from PBS favorites Dragonfly TV and WGBH Teachers' Domain.

CALL for Papers: Materials Research Society

This year the MRS 2009 Fall Meeting in Boston, November 30th - December 5th, is having an Educational Symposium. The Call for Papers is issued with a deadline of June 23rd. The following link is also the Call for Papers as posted on the MRS Web site

Call for Submissions - 2009 Premier Award

Have you developed courseware - interactive websites, simulations, tutorials, case studies, software environments or tools - designed to enhance engineering education? We want to see it! The Engineering Pathway digital library is proud to host the 2009 Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education, an annual international competition to recognize high-quality, engaging, non-commercial learning innovations designed to enhance engineering education. Submission deadline: July 17. For complete eligibility and submission information, please visit theEngineering Pathway. The winners will be announced at the Frontiers in Education: Imagining and Engineering Future CSET Education conference.

What Works? Using NSDL Collections in the K-12 Classroom

In this three-part webinar series, we'll explore some of NSDL's collections and highlight what works for teaching chemistry, physics and physical science, as well as using rich-media in teaching science.

While finding quality resources is half the challenge, we'll also provide tips on how to use these materials more effectively. Whether you're teaching these subject areas for the first time or need some new material to freshen up next year's curriculum, sign up for one or several of these free sessions. Sign up for our upcoming session, "How to Use Rich Digital Media to Impact Science Teaching and Learning" on June 16th.

Schedule and Registration:


Shodor Celebrates 15 Years of Excellence

Shodor is a non profit dedicated to serving students and educators nationwide, since its incorporation in 1994. Their mission is to improve math and science education through the effective use of modeling and simulation technologies - "computational science." Shodor has grown to a staff of 20 scientists and educators, and we proudly involve more than 20 interns and 40 apprentices in many aspects of our internet and network design, creation and maintenance - a unique and meaningful "real world" hands-on learning project for all of the students. Dozens of college faculty who are graduates of our National Computational Science Institute are active collaborators.

Broadening Participation in Computing

Minority undergraduate and graduate scholars in the computing disciplines in the U.S. are faced with multiple challenges. The Empowering Leadership Alliance aims to develop a national network of colleagues committed to the success of these students and faculty.

Help for High School Chemistry Teachers

The National Academy of Sciences has released a new report of a workshop on "Strengthening High School Chemistry Education Through Teacher Outreach Programs."

To identify key leverage points for improving high school chemistry education, the National Academies' Chemical Sciences Roundtable held a public workshop, summarized in this volume, that brought together representatives from government, industry, academia, scientific societies, and foundations involved in outreach programs for high school chemistry teachers. Presentations at the workshop, which was held in August 2008, addressed the current status of high school chemistry education; provided examples of public and private outreach programs for high school chemistry teachers; and explored ways to evaluate the success of these outreach programs.

Participate in the Middle School Portal 2: Math & Science Pathways Social Network

Join a growing community of educators by participating in some lively conversations, sharing your best resources, and adding events. We've added the Engineering Education Blog to the Main Page - we'd love to incorporate other NSDL products and services - any ideas? Please contact PI Kim Lightle at


Hug a Library Lately?

At the Library of the University of California, Riverside,where cuts over the last two years have amounted to over $1 million dollars (with more on the way), around 300 faculty, staff, and students recently joined together for 15 minutes to surround and hug the Rivera Library Video of the HUG:

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